Yup – were still in Banbury, and will be for a little while. We did a Cropredy run and pulled up short at Bourton Lock for the night so that Anna could raid the bankside of all the herbs she needs, the following day, just as we were getting ready to set off.. A flotilla of canoes!
There are supplies Anna has ordered that have yet to turn up at the post office, and – to be honest – I don’t want to set off on the 12th when all the restrictions lift. We still get 2 weeks from that date before we have to move on from Hennef way, so were going to stay put for a little while. We may move into Banbury for a week near to Morrisons, so that we get the full 2 weeks here that take us through the end of the month and we can arrange a hire car etc and still have somewhere to park it – not sure yet!
The boat passed the BSS test. There was one little job that was needed before Justin would issue the certificate – and that was to secure the batteries. There never has been a strap over the batteries as far as I know – but one is needed, so thankfully, I had several in the seat storage, so an hour after the test finished, the batteries were secure, photo’s were taken and emailed, and Justin was more than happy to issue the certificate.
In the mean time, I’m working on a new control panel for the toilet. Occasionally, the relay that runs the macerator jams closed, causing the macerator to keep going longer than it should, and the panel needing a good hard thump to get it to open again!
Plus, I don’t fancy forking out £150 plus for a new control panel – so I’m making my own. I mean, all it does it turn on a solenoid to allow water to flow, and power up a motor that runs the macerator – so how difficult can it be. We (or I) didn’t like the way that the water is always fed in even when you just want to empty the toilet – yes there is an adjuster to allow more or less water in – but.. when the bowl is already half full – you don’t need more water in it – so a button for water and a button for flush is what were having (if it needs a long flush – hold the button down longer!)
There are four existing wires that lead to the control panel, Red (+), Black (-), Blue (+ to water solenoid) and Brown (+ to macerator). There is a Grey cable also which is for the tank sensor – but we don’t use that one and it’s not connected to anything, plus we have a separate gauge for that anyway. The water solenoid and macerator already have a negative that doesn’t go through the panel – so all I need to do is provide power to those leads when each function is needed – and as we will put water in when we want to, and run the macerator when we want to, this doesn’t have to be complicated, and a few push buttons and some relay’s to handle the higher amperage will do!
I have my wiring diagram all laid out :
A new board made from an old bamboo tray that was falling apart (we do upcycle what we can) prepared ready for everything to be mounted on.. and my “bag-o-bits” ready to fit to it (which came in at just over £43 for 2 waterproof switches with wiring looms, 2 relays with wiring looms and 3 warning lights.
For now – that’s as far as I can go.. the rest will need to wait for a day when I can rip out the old panel and then connect the cables up to this one – but.. its tested on a 12v feed and does what it should! The green light is on when there is power.. the green light in the switch comes on when it is pressed (to show the switch is working).. and the amber light comes on when the relay is energized (showing that also works).. so if we press the button and get a green and amber light, but nothing happens.. the problem is not at my self-built panel!
But – someone else is also trying their hand at wiring..
Also – I have a rough plan for the coming months of travelling. Yes we are heading to the Thames, but tides wait for no man, and we need to get the scheduled arrival time right or we will be forced to travel at stupid-o’clock just to catch the tides! ( or be forced to fight the tides and pay to get through Richmond lock )
Working out the tides, and working schedules, were looking to pull out onto the Thames during the week of June 7th to 11th. ( If we get there early, we can join on May 10th or the 24th – but we will see!) Now, this means that we need to leave Banbury in time to get there for that week. After looking through my maps, and checking with CanalPlanAC, we should have plenty of time to get there in time, so staying put until the end of April, and then a gentle run to the end of the Grand Union is certainly do-able. With tides dictating May 10th, May 24th or June 7th when it’s high tide at Brentford at around 1pm – we need to leave Thames lock 2 hours before high tide so that we can use the incoming tide to help and to get through Richmond lock as high tide arrives there (as the weir gates are open at high tide and it’s straight through, avoiding the lock, without needing to stop) – once through there, it’s onto Kingston and a mooring (hopefully) for that night or even a few days!
So that’s the plan! If that’s how it occurs.. we will need to see 😀 – but there is one thing.. there are a lot more boats moving this week! Including holiday boats – which is good to see..