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Posts posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. [quote]Hi I have installed a few of these for friends and have bought the dishes, with LNB, and coax from places like M. Bricolage, BricoMarche and the supermarkets. As long as the LNB is digital (numeriqu...[/quote]

    Jongleur : think you are having a senior moment... I suspect what you meant was " the LNB needs to be universal (universel)"



  2. [quote]I assume you are in France. As you say that your daughter was playing an interactive game, does that mean your digibox was connected to a phone line? If so, I think it may be possible, though very unl...[/quote]


    Although it's possible (almost anything's possible), I think it highly unlikely the card has been deactivated by connecting it to a phone line because :

    1) Normally when this happens the card generates a "card no longer valid" message.

    2) To be in contact with Sky centre in Livingstone, the box would have had to be told to 'phone home' which normally happens overnight, but more importantly, the box would have had to dial 00 44 etc which - as far as I know - it is singularly incapable of doing. If you embark on something interactive which requires a phonecall (booking a movie, for example) it simply reports "phone line disconnected" and ends there. It might hang, but it's unlikely to zap the card.

    No technology is foolproof and this would seem to be especially the case with satellites and cards: I have a friend who lives some 15 miles away whose box and card (one of the pre-Jan'04 FTA + ITV/4/5 cards) functioned perfectly in my house, but would not accept its card back home, and would default to stand-by if hard-booted and re-introduced to its card. It was, of course, perfectly happy to work when returned to the UK for repair; similarly my box+card was happy to perform in my friend's house. as the americans would say: "go figure!"


  3. [quote]Hi Boiling a Frog (interesting Name )(do you subscribe to disaster theory?) No, your not missing anything. Stone is as stone always is - 'rock hard' But, some people don't like the idea of stains ...[/quote]


    somewhat off-topic I know, but the vision of your 2 year old crawling around the floor put me in mind of the agony-aunt reply to a worried 1st-time mum who wondered at what age she should stop sterilizing her toddler's things and received the reply, "when you find him in the bottom of the wardrobe chewing his father's shoes !"



  4. Since there is no number showing on the info page, it's reasonable to assume that the card reader is not reading the card.

    1) (sorry to state the bleedin' obvious but) are you sure the card is in the right slot and pushed fully home?

    2) take it out and clean the contacts with a soft cloth (don't go mad polishing it or you run the risk of zapping it with static) Try again.

    3) take the card out. turn the box off at the mains, wait 10 secs, turn it on again and select the info page then insert the card and monitor it for any change.

    4) if no improvement you could try software rebooting without the card in [turn off at the mains and then back on holding the 'backup' button on the box. hold until a message appears on the screen. don't touch again until it's finished and put itself into stand-by] now select the TV guide and ITV, 4,5 etc should be missing. Now insert the card and - if its being read properly - it should re-install the missing channels.

    5) if none of these help, you have a problem with box or card (obviously). do you have anyone you can test by substitution with (swap card, swap box) ?  



  5. It will be something you've added, changed or deleted.

    * Have you added hardware or updated software?

    * Have you run a program which 'cleans up' or deletes supposedly unwanted/unused programmes or utilities?

    * Do you have antivirus software (or any other programme) which automatically downloads and installs updates ?

    * Have you recently installed XP service pack?

    * Have you altered the bios settings recently ?


    I've found the XP service pack installation had the same 'freezing' effect for me; it seems to be incompatible  with my ISDN adaptor, so had to be rolled back.


    good luck


  6. [quote]If you have having problems with terrestial, Sky 825 shows TV 5, which is all French language, though from around the world. However they do show the France 2 news at 8-30 pm. Worth noting that Digita...[/quote]

    >> Worth noting that Digital Terrestial is under way starting next March in France (like FreeView in the UK), see http://www.tvnt.net/ for details.

    That looks interesting...  it's the first I've heard of it. It will be particularly good for people like me who have a reasonable but ghosty ('ringing') sort of signal which seems to be typical of SECAM.

    However not much use for poor Quillan with his mountain in the way.


  7. I've had the same problem and it's heartbreaking... I spent all one summer/autumn putting 200mm of isolation in the roof and then covering it with lambris. Backbreaking job but worth it. it looked fabulous.

    Went back to UK and came here again in the Spring to find it in the same condition as you describe but also covered with a bloom of mould. My error was to have forgotten that the floor contained 8 inches of new concrete and I was effectively sealing the water into the room.

    As we had no shutters at the time, I couldn't have left a window cracked, and suspect that nothing less than a howling gale could have shifted that volume of moisture.

    It was so warped (like yours, pulling itself off the nails in 'V' type expansions) I was planning to pull it all off and burn it, but a friend suggested it might shrink as the room dried out (esp. once we were in residence and could keep the room heated).

    This proved to be the case: once the heat was on, it all shrank again. It needed pushing back in place and re-nailing (with some persuasion from a clod hammer in various places), and now looks as good as before. The mould also vanished once everywhere was dry.

    Step one : Heat and ventilate

    step two : 'persuade' it all back in place



  8. A clear line of sight just west of due south, a cheap analogue sat receiver from your local brico shed, a length of co-ax and a compass are all you require.

    The satellite you need is Atlantic Bird 3 at 5deg W (i.e. due south, then a kick further round clockwise) All the terrestrial channels are available in the clear in SECAM, so - assuming you have a French or multi-standard TV set you are laughing.

    Tune to 12690V and hunt around until you find TF1.

    http://www.lyngsat.com/ab3.html  gives you details of everything on this satellite, and the frequencies for the other channels.

    Bon chance!



  9. [quote]Hello I suspect that there is little difference between natural gas here or in the UK. (Isn't "town gas" that smelly stuff made from coal?)... One point; some larger UK cooker ovens use vast amounts...[/quote]

    Now you're just showing your age, Nick.  Yes, 'town gas' was the stuff made by heating coal to give off hydrogen (and other stuff which made it stink, thank God). Its sovereign advantage was that it was lighter than air: I well remember filling plastic bin-bags with it in the chemistry lab and  launching them out of the window with a burning fuse.... they'd gently float away before bursting into flames with a whooosh !

    Boring old natural gas is methane which is heavier than air and no fun at all.

    If both UK and French mains gas were pure methane then the cooker jets would be identical as the supply pressure would need to be the same for full combustion, however, I suspect that both contain (in addition to the trace amount of stuff to make it stink) non-combustible components (nitrogen??) in a different ratio. May be completely wrong of course!


  10. you could try the manufacturer to see if they do an export version for France, and if so, in what way it differs from the 'domestic' version. (and can they supply 'export' injectors if there is a difference)

    Other option is to call in to a EDF/GDF office and ask them, what you need to know is the calorific value of the gas and the pressure it is supplied at (mBars).

    Actually; now I think about it, you might find this info on the side of your CH boiler.

    Then do the same in the UK and if they are the same then  - yes - it should work.

    I suspect that the pressure might be the only real variable, as surely gaz de ville must be the same natural gas that the UK has which is methane isn't it?


    p.s. You are SO lucky having access to the cheapest fuel!


  11. No sign of the 'speedfit' stuff you can find in the UK, but my Brico Depot cataloge lists a full range of plastic piping in it. It's called 'PER' (with 'retigripp' fittings) and is available in 12, 16, & 20mm. It comes with the full panoply of bits and pieces to 'T', connect and reduce, and clever plastic collar-things to effect a tight bend. It's available in assorted lengths (25m to 120m) in red and blue, with and without sleeving. It's fairly thick, so it's wise to 'gauge up a notch' compared with the equivalent copper size.

    Price examples: 12mm x 25m bleu inc gaine = 27E90

     16mm x25m red without gaine = 15E80

    All suitable for the higher pressures encountered with the French water system. I used it recently to plumb a temporary bathroom and found it easy-peasy to fit, but next time would use a larger size pipe as the shower is not quite as strong as in the other bathroom in the house (but still streets ahead of anything without a pump in the UK). I've used the 100m rolls of plastic piping (from Screwfix) in the UK and would say on balance that I think the French stuff suffers from less 'memory' i.e. you unroll and fix it and it doesn't seem to spend the next 20 years trying to roll itself up again.

    There are various other brands about, I'm sure, but this is the only one I have any direct experience of.



  12. [quote]The opinion from that site says "An ordinary splitter is no good, you need a Global Communications SPLIT4AF this allows you to connect up to 4 receivers from one dish, with 1 LNB and 1 cable without a...[/quote]

    The other suggestion  is what we have done, and that is to have a double LNB on the dish, with separate cables to each box.  This works very well without any risk of the channel clashing that can apparently happen with splitters.

    And indeed you can get LNB's with 4 outputs, which would solve you problems at once (and as Ron says, 4 clean signals, at that).


    It may be true that sky minidishes work in parts of France, but  look around you, what do the locals use? White 60CM + dishes, now why do you think they do that, is it because they get a good reception??


    Yes, but don't forget 'the locals' aren't looking at Astra 2's at 27E; they're probably looking at an assortment of Telecom and Astra 1's


    I have not found a dish anywhere in the UK or France that is not affected by heavy rain, they all are, its because the rain blocks out the signal and no size of dish or type of receiver can overcome that.


    Yes, but the physics dictate that the smaller your dish, the smaller the storm-size required to block out your signal, and vice-versa.


  13. [quote]I'm putting underfloor heating in a house I'm restoring in the Var but have been advised not to use terracotta tiles on top - a real blow as these are inexpensive and made in all the surrounding villa...[/quote]

    That's surprising... Terracotta has much the same density, I should have thought, as concrete.

    What did they say would be the problem with them ? (interested, as it is one of the possible finishes I was thinking of for the hallway)


  14. When you had the Fosse Toutes Eaux installed it should have been preceded by an 'etude geologique' ( basically, as you say, a permeability test ) my company presented me with a nice ring-bound booklet with the details of the results and the required design of filter etc. And I should think so too for the money it cost!

    At the end of the installation it should have been inspected by someone : not sure who (Val2 is bound to know), my Marie made the arrangement for me, chap came from the local town. At the end of the survey, they should have sent you an  'attestation de conformitie'.

    If the answers to all these are 'yes' then you can prove it doesn't need another survey. Simply send them a copy.


  15. Some will, some won't... buy a phone cable in your local supermarket (ugly French plug on one end, little square US plug on the other) and try it. The UK system requires the phone connected on pins 2 and 5 and a derived ring tone on pin three of the cable. French phones only require the 2 wires: the ring tone being generated internally. Some newer phones on sale in the UK have this bit of electronics built-in, others don't. you really won't know until you try it. Worth a try if you like the UK phone, but, really, they're not expensive here in France.

    If you plug the phone in with its new cable and it rings continuously, swop over the two wires in the phone which would have been the '2' and the '5' on the original plug and cable.


  16. Thank you all for your thoughtful and positive replies. I'm convinced now it's the right road to go down. I've found a German company who manufacture a system of interlocking plastic 'trays' which sit directly on the insulation, you wind the coils of piping round the bumps (like tiny capstains) then bury it in screed. Quick to lay and set the pipes (apparently) and requiring a thinner layer of screed (less weight) and because its divided up into cells, the screed tends to crack less as it dries out (sounds fine in theory... I'll see if it lives up to the promises!).

    Now all I have to decide is how to heat the water..... oil-fired, wood or geothermal heat-pump: with a hectaire of flat field outside the back door, I've certainly got enough land for it but not sure I want to be wedded to EDF even at the lowest Tempo rate, or if I can stomach all that mess and trench digging for the underground coils!


  17. A non-bio in France? Some hope!

    I've had no luck looking in our local supermarkets, scrutinizing (?) the small print on the back of the washing powder/liquid/tablet boxes. As far as I can tell, all the well-known brands (including the supermarket own-label ones) contain enzymes, which in my book makes them 'bio'.

    We've been using them for years in France and have never had a problem with our fosse (well we have, but that was the local swimming pool people parking their lorry on top of one of the regards and breaking the concrete lid, the bits of which blocked the system!).  In fact, I think contributers to this thread have rather assumed that the enzymes in the detergents would be necessarilly harmful to a fosse, maybe they're not. Any chemists out there?

    ANY fosse installed since (about) 2000 is supposed to be a fosse toutes eaux, i.e. it takes ALL the waste water from the house.

    Here's another question... I have read reports that antibiotics which pass through the body and onto the fosse can damage the bacteria there..... this sounds highly unlikely, given the relative concentrations involved... anyone reckon this is true? or just something you might read in the Daily Mail?

    My feeling is it's as unlikely as that old chestnut about there being "more canals in Birmingham than in Venice!"

    Or that "you loose a third of your body heat through your head!"


  18. [quote]You'll not get Sky in Deux Sevres with a mini dish, you will need a 65cm dish to get all channels. In heavy downpours you'll probably lose all reception even with a 65 cm. However, it will be fine f...[/quote]

    ".....You'll not get Sky in Deux Sevres with a mini dish, you will need a 65cm dish to get all channels...."


    Surprised you can't get a decent signal from a mini dish in Deux-Sevres... I'm almost due west of Parthenay at the bottom of Loire-Atlantique and one of my boxes is on a mini-dish and it works perfectly in all but the most biblical of storms, and even then it only loses the signal for a minute or two. Are you sure it's aligned properly?


  19. I'm in the fortunate position of starting renovating a house from the ground up. All the floors need attention of one sort or another and can stand raising by up to 6 inches, so I am thinking of 'wet' underfloor heating. Yes I know the capital cost is higher and I think I'm prepared to swallow that for a greater comfort level. Am I being daft or is there anyone who has gone this route already?

    is it worth it?

    how do the running costs compare with rads?

    would you go back to them?



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