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Everything posted by ChipshopCharlie

  1. Hi, I have a house in Brittany that is heated with a "Franco Belge Berretta Exclusive Ballon 28 BIPD" gas fuelled boiler. As we are not often there, it spends a lot of time out of action and is very difficult to get started, but once it gets going, it's great. The problem seems to be that the pressure in the system needs to be above one bar to start it and it is invariably below this when we first try to light it. We tend to manage to get it going after about a day of bleeding radiators, pressing various buttons and turning various knobs. The trouble with that approach is I never really find it what was wrong and what actually solved the problem. Does anyone here have any experience with these? Would be most grateful for a couple of tips on how to get the pressure up and start it quicker, as a quick shower after the ferry ride over there would be great. Thanks in advance Charlie
  2. Thanks guys, you've all been very helpful. The taps are plumbed in now and  no drips (touch wood). Where I was going wrong was not using a tap connector with a fibre washer to connect the 16mm pipe to the offset connector, which now gives me a fully sealed joint that I can also rotate, if I need to. Thanks again. Charlie
  3. Hi Ron, No, there are no existing pipes coming out of the wall, I'm having to run the pipes myself through the partition. Charlie
  4. Hello Big Mac, Thanks for your help. Strangely, having checked, neither the rubber washers nor the fibre washers fit the connector end - they both seem to be for the tap. I'm planning to use the fibre washer and ptfe tape to make up the tap to the connector. I think I will be able to do these up tight, so I'm quite happy with that connection. The connection that worries me is the offset joint to the treaded pipe connector. I've managed to put a couple of pictures up here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/364357942/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/364357943/ Apologies for the quality. My concern is to get them to meet the tap correctly, I don't think I can do the offset joint up to the pipe connector tight. Will using Hawk get me round this problem? By the way, can you buy Hawk in France? I'm assuming it sets, is that right? If so, are joints reusable? I'm also curious as to why the pipe connector end of the offset joint has a serated thread (I think you can just see it in the picture). Is there a particular reason for this? Sorry about the long list of questions! Thanks again. Charlie
  5. Hello, Has anyone here installed a set of French taps? The reason I ask is that I'm refitting my bathroom and the taps I have bought for the bath/shower have an offset coupling with them. I have all of the neccesary fittings (the salesman at Leroy Merlin gave me everything I need to get from 16mm copper to the taps) but I've no idea what to use to connect the offset fitting to the connector and the taps. I have fibre and rubber washers supplied, but I suspect I also need to use something else to seal the joint. The obvious answer to me is PTFE tape, but I'm not convinced it will do the trick. Do I need something else (I've heard of somethig called 'tallow' in England) to seal the joint? Thanks in advance for any help. Charlie
  6. Hi, I hope there is a native French speaker that can help me with this. I'm studying French and have been learning about the verbs that are conjugated by être in the passé composée. My book says that there are twelve - aller, venir, entrer, sortir, arriver, partir, monter, descendre, naître, mourir, revenir, retourner, tomber, rester, rentrer devenir - plus the reflexive verbs. However, my neighbour has a French teacher (who is French), who insists there are more (but hasn't named any). Can anybody clear this up for us? Thanks   Charlie
  7. Hi, I'm currently looking at buying a flat in France and am therefore wondering whether the concept of ownership under a lease exists and is common in France or is the ownership of flats done by share of freehold? They way the agent explained it to me, it sounded like shared freehold with an external agent responsible for the communal areas. If so, am I right in thinking that the joint owners normally have the right to remove the external agent from office, if they are unhappy with their efforts? Thanks Charlie
  8. Hi, I've been living in France for a while and have my own business that I run (mostly) via the internet. None of my clients are in France, but in order to contribute to the French system, I'm thinking seriously about setting up a SARL and channeling most of my work through it. I've had a look at some of the links available here and arrived quite quickly at the conclusion that I need to consult a French accountant. Does anyone here use a French accountant (Dept. 22) that they would willingly recommend (that perhaps has a willing ear for badly spoken French)? Thanks in advance. Charlie
  9. Hi, I've recently come across a building plot in dept. 22 and am considering buying it but want to get a feel for the cost of construction before I commit myself. My plan is to have the bulk of the work done by a contractor i.e.walls, roof, plastering, 1st and 2nd fix carpentry and electrics, leaving bare walls, so that I can then fit the bathroom, kitchen and decorate. Has anyone here done anything similar? I'm thinking about a three or four bedroom house, about 160 sq. m. I'd much appreciate any recommendations for contractors and also who I should avoid! Thanks Charlie
  10. Hi Kevin, I assume you will be travelling by boat to St. Malo and will be spending most of your time in dept. 22? If so, Where you go depends very much on what you're after. For example, if you have children and want to spend the day at the beach, I'd recommend St. Cast, Pleneuf Val Andre or Erquy if you want a small beach town or Dinard if you prefer bigger beach resorts. If you prefer historic towns and architecture, Dinan is a must and Rennes is also worth a visit. A lot of visitors to Brittany come with camper vans or caravans or rent a house/gite for accommodation. Chez Nous and Brittany Ferries provide an agency service for gite landlords, so give them a go if that's what you're after. The usual hotel chains i.e. Ibis/Campanile etc. are all here but don't tend to be in particularly scenic locations. If you fancy something small and up-market, try the Ecrin Hotel in Plancoet. There's also the (not quite so posh) Abbaye in Plancoet but it's been quite a while since I stayed there. There are also plenty of hotels in Dinan, but it's at least half an hour from the coast. Good luck with your trip - let me know if there's more you want to know. Charlie
  11. Hi guys, Thanks for all your comments, alas, I'm still struggling. I've got two laptops set up to the livebox, both by wireles connection and both can access the internet at the same time, so I think, in principle, the livebox and signal are fine. The problem is setting up the network between the two laptops. I thought there might be a networking setup procedure in the livebox setup but, having rerun the installation on both, I can't see anything. The only remaining option I can see is to try to set the network up via Windows XP. In doing so, I definitely enable file and printer sharing but towards the end I get an error message that directs me here: http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?catalog=LCID%3D2057&spid=global&query=871122&adv= Has anyone else here had this trouble? It appears to me that Lynda&Richard have something similar to what I'm trying to do. How did you set your network up - was it via livebox install or Windows XP? Once again, thank you all for your help. Charlie  
  12. Hi, I've had my Livebox for a couple of months and have been successfully accessing the internet with my laptop. Having bought another laptop for my wife, I've managed to get both of them accessing the internet, but can't seem to set up a wireless network via the Livebox. I can't see anything in the instructions that suggests it's possible, but I'm sure the salesman at France Telecom told me it was possible. Has anyone here managed to set up a wireless network via the Livebox - or should I be pleased I've got as far as I have? Thanks in advance Charlie
  13. Hi Calvados, If you want to receive UK TV in France, you'll need a satellite receiver and digital decoder. You can either pick them up at the large briocomarches (I use Leroy Merlin) or get one of the local TV/antenna shops to install one for you. If (like me) you're not willing to pay a subscription, you'll only get all of the BBC channels (i.e. BBC 1-4 + children's channels and news 24) and ITV. To get Channels four and five, you'll have to pay a subscription. I find the freebies more than enough to keep up to date. If you're installing yourself you'll want to tune to Astra 2D (28.2 degrees east). A full list of UK free channels and the Astra 2d channels can be found on Lyngsat: http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/United-Kingdom.html Good luck. Charlie
  14. Hi Anton, I think I've got the disecq 1 & 2 setup right. I didn't realise I'd need to delete satellites to create memory in the box. I'll give it a go. Thanks Charlie
  15. My Astra saga continues.... I now have two dishes going into one digital receiver box. One dish is pointing at Astra 1 and the other at Astra 2. Connected individually to the box, everything seems to work fine, the problem comes when I try to have both dishes into one box. Initially, I do a search for the Astra 2 channels and everything's fine - BBC and ITV, Men & Motors even. Once I search for the Astra 1 channels it all goes wrong. The Astra 1 channels all appear, but the Astra 2 channels, to some extent disappear. I lose all the BBC channels but still have the shopping channels. I also lose all the menu functions and none of the channel information appears on screen any more. Has anyone else here had trouble tuning Astra 1? Charlie
  16. Hi Babnik, Another potential solution, I'm told is this: http://www.castorama.fr/boutique/sku/sku.jhtml?elementId=Casto890153&productId=CastoECO0113&_requestid=30040 although I think I might struggle with the set-up. My other choice is to try and pick up French TV with a freeview digital box via a normal ariel (we are on very low land, so I expect this to be difficult) and use the satellite dish that then becomes spare to pick up Astra 1. I foresee only only problem with this - my UK TV will only accept a PAL signal. Does anyone know if any of the French terrestrial digital boxes will give out a PAL signal? (Philips maybe?) Charlie
  17. Robbie, Thanks for your help, I've had a look a the dish that's currently tuned to Astra 2 (28.2 E) and I reckon it's 50cm across at most, although I don't think it's a Sky dish. It would be particularly difficult to change this dish, so I'm wondering if I can do anything with the other dish tuned to Atlantic Bird 3 (5 W). I reckon it's an 80 cm dish, so could I add Astra 1 to this dish (or replace it so that I can get Astra 1 and Atlantic Bird 3)? Or is there a maximum difference in angles for twin heads? I've seen some pretty strange (wide) looking dishes at electrical stores with up to three heads - is one of these likely to solve the problem? Charlie
  18. Hi, Having moved to France last year, I've been struggling with wanadoo dial-up until the local telephone exchange was updated and I now have a 'livebox' and glorious broadband. I reckon it's faster than the BT broadband I had back in the UK. Although I've got a wanadoo email address that works well, what I'm now wondering is whether I can set up my Outlook Express to download all of the emails that are sat on my btinternet account on the internet. Of course, I can still access my btinternet emails by the BT/yahoo website, but it would be great to be able to download them onto my computer. Can anybody here help? Thanks Charlie
  19. Hi, Many thanks to those who have contributed thus far to my satellite education, I now have French and English TV in glorious colour on my UK PAL-only TV set. I'm now wondering if I can add German TV (to help maintain my language skills) and have been looking at the possibility of tuning to Astra 1F. Can anybody tell me if this is possible by adding a double head to one of my two dishes? I think if I install a third dish the house will start to look like MI5 headquarters. I'm currently tuned to Atlantic Bird (5 deg. West) and Astra 2D (28.2 deg. East). By the way, looking at Lyngsat: http://www.lyngsat.com/europe.html it would appear that Astra have six different offerings at 19.2 deg. East. If I tune to 19.2 degrees, will I automatically pick up all six? Thanks in advance for your help. Charlie
  20. Unbelievable. After a couple of weeks I finally managed to find a way of putting the transponder details into the digital box and Hey Presto... six French channels in glorious colour. I'm very, very pleased, thanks Robbie. I now need to find a way to get both satellite dish signals into the one box. I saw your commemts about the switching box. Is there an easier way of doing this? The instructions for the digital box mention something called a DiSEqC - can anyone enlighten me on this? By the way, it also looks like I can get some Italian channels, but they use a different transponder frequency - would I lose the French ones of I tried to tune to the Italians as well? I'm also quite keen on getting some German TV, preferably the freebies on Astra 1F (19.2 East). If I'm currently picking up Astra 2D (28.2 East) and Atlantic Bird 3 (5 East), is there any way I could use a double head, rather than buy another dish? Once again, thanks for your help. Charlie  
  21. Before buying the switching gear, I thought I’d test the idea out by seeing if my digital box (which is a ‘normal’ digital box and not a sky one) could pick up the signal from AB3, so I took the Astra 2D feed cable off and connected the AB3 cable.   Following the instruction manual for the box, all I then had to do was change the satellite registered in the box and then do a channel search.   Curiously, all I got was four channels, two of which are blank and the other two are test cards (for Belgian TV?)   So, success and failure at the same time. To be honest, I’m stumped at the moment, as it seems I can get some sort of signal from AB3, but not the ones I want.   Is anybody aware of something stupid I may be missing out? For example, have the channel tuning characteristics perhaps changed since they were preset in the box or have the channels that I want been removed from AB3 in digital? I’m sure the dish is pointing in the right direction, as I can still get French TV in analogue. Or maybe my head isn’t ‘universelle’? (it’s only a couple of months old, but was a cheapy from Leroy Merlin).   In need of a flash of inspiration…   Charlie
  22. Thanks Paul,   Very helpful. I can get the Philips DVD recorder from either of these two suppliers, cost about £120:   http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/sound-and-vision/vision/dvd-players/386444/details   http://www.leguide.com/combis_dvd_magnetoscopes.htm   As the Philips recorder supports both PAL and SECAM, am I right in assuming it doesn’t matter whether I order from the UK or French supplier?   As an additional possibility, I currently have a dish that picks up the BBC channels from Astra 2D in digital (thankfully, I found out that BBC are showing the rugby this afternoon).   The digital decoder for this dish gives out a signal in either PAL or SECAM.   If, as you say, the head tuned to AB3 will pick up both digital and analogue signals, is it possible that I could take the signal from both dishes into one box? If so, how would I go about it? I accept that I’d lose TF1, but it’s that or £120 for the DVD recorder, as I see it.   Regards   Charlie
  23. Thanks again for your help. Although we've got used to French TV in B&W, the thought of the impending Six Nations and a certain football knockout competition in Germany this summer, the thought of getting French TV in colour is now becoming a little more worth the effort. If I understand the guidance above, I can either buy one of the recommended Philips DVD recorders (can anyone offer a guide on price?) or get a digital decoder to convert the digital channels from AB3. Can anyone tell me if I will need to change the head on the dish to accept the digital signal from AB3 or is a head a head and it takes both analogue and digital signals down to the box? Advice before the Wales England match tomorrow would be much appreciated! Regards Charlie
  24. Thanks chaps, very heplful. The bit that was really confusing me was whether the signal from the sattelite was SECAM or it got turned to SECAM in my receiver box. I guess we'll have to learn to love French TV in black and white. Charlie
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