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Everything posted by Gyn_Paul

  1. I now have a little gadget which measures the electrickery whizzing through it, and my hifi/tv stack, I discover, gobbles 45w in standby and 190w when the lot is switched on. I'd dis the plug last thing at night except that the DVD recorder has a fit of the vapours if it loses its volts and insists on doing a full disk scan which takes it about 4 minutes. By which time I've missed the plot of the thing I'm trying to record ! Just out of curiosity I'm going to go round the house and see what else is hogging the 229 volts (I know, sad git). p However I'll need to find my strongest £-shop reading glasses to see the results, the screen is about the size of a Xmas stamp
  2. [quote user="Puzzled"]For future reference On the TF1 website , I could watch the game live on my computer; [/quote] Well yes, If you had a fast enough connection. I frequently catch up on the F2 weather forecast that way, but at 602bps I either have a very small screen box, or a full-size picture which is extremely blocky - talk about "through a glass darkly.." - I wouldn't want to watch anything with movement in it like a sports event on it (but then, like Martin, I wouldn't be watching a sports event anyway: must be something about the ex-bbc influence!). p
  3. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]Well if you hook up with SCART from an analogue sat receiver to your British TV you will get a picture but it may well be in black and white. Using SCART avoids the problems presented by a system L TV signal fed to the aerial socket of your TV,  but does not prevent the colour problem;  almost all analogue sat boxes output whatever colour system they're receiving from the satellite,  so if you point the dish at Atlantic Bird 3 for the main French channels then the box will output SECAM. Which may be fine on some British TV's but they're in the minority,  unless it's fairly modern,  and/or made by Philips (speaking generally).  But you WILL get black and white. As Simon says,  it's cheap enough to buy a CRT (cathode ray tube) set at a grande surface (bought in France it's guaranteed to cope with SECAM),  and the picture quality will - believe it or not - be better than on a plasma or LCD. [/quote] Pass Martin the big wooden spoon (dig, dig, stir, stir !) [:D] p
  4. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]that thought (accuracy) struck me too,  but was too ghastly to contemplate! But actually the advantage of a meter with flashing light (as you have now in your (new - you moved didn't you?) place) is that it must act as a good incentive to switch off.... [/quote] ...depends on your definition of 'new' - we will have been here 3 years come Feb and we've only just got our P de C sorted out. Congenitally lazy, that's us! Mind you, the renovations we've designed into the plans now, are entirely different to those we'd have gone for 2 weeks after we moved in. a good incentive to switch off...       well yes, except that (at that time of night) I usually can't think of anything I've left on! p   
  5. Martin, Sounds like next time we have a rainy day you'll be getting out the soldering iron, a couple of flying leads, a plug and socket, and the multimeter to construct a bodgebox to enable you to measure the actual current of any appliance you care to plug in. One of the disadvantages of having the electric meter in (what is currently) the living room is the fact that you catch sight of the flashing mimic strobing at you when everything kicks in on the HC setting. Equally, as I go round the place last thing at night turning a million lights off, the computer, the TV (et al), I notice there is still quite a regular flashing from what's left. So you're not alone in wondering quite what is sucking up the power when  - ostensibly - there should be nothing left working. p One thought struck me from your observations: If the digital meters are so inaccurate in their readings of low currents; are they equally inaccurate when it comes to charging, I wonder ?
  6. If your off-air signal is not too bad, you might consider seeing if you can get digial terrestrial in your area (there's usually a service area map in your nearest brico; they#ll certainly know if your local transmitter is equipped). So that's more expense : a TNT Box (It'll blow your mind - ouch [:$]! ) which will give you another 5 or 6 channels including the French equivalent of news 24. p
  7. Thank you AR, yes I am; but hope that, with repeated reading of your long and detailed posting, it will all become clearer. I also have a young friend who is an absolute wizz coming for lunch next week and he can probably shed light on the darker corners (he wears his knowledge lightly but still manages to make me feel that I am about 102 with English as my 3rd language). p
  8. Wow!  Proof, if proof at all were needed, of the mess you get into if you don't punctuate properly ! First of all it's a FREEbox not a Livebox. Secondly, <<I have a Freebox v4 with a WiFi card which I need to retain (otherwise I can't use Free's 'piggyback' VoiP phone service) >>   Was a classic dangling modifier, and should have read, <<I have a Freebox v4 which I need to retain otherwise I can't use Free's 'piggyback' VoiP phone service.(which plugs directly into the box). It also has a Wifi card which I use to feed an internet radio>>   Thirdly I clicked on the wrong icon at the bottom of the screen in order to see how the box was attached to the PC so what I was referring to was my yellow ethernet cable (same double icon; 4mms further along!) rather than what my PC calls a 1394 connection.   For info, the back of my box has (In no particular order) ADSL IN, Ethernet, USB (big square type), USB (big flat type), RJ phone out, SCART, SPDIF, very-flat-and-thin-7-way-connector-like-you-connect-a-SATA-hard-drive-with-but-just-labelled-‘ext’, and the 12v in.   Eventually we hope to have the box and the main PC up in the attic (USB connection), a laptop or 2nd PC down in the kitchen (ethernet connection?), some sort of wireless feed to the hi-fi in the salon, and an internet radio or 2 generally around the place. My ideal would be sunning myself out on the terrace, with a drink in one hand, listening to a bit of Classic FM, or something ‘on demand’ from Radio 4, hence the need for decent WiFi coverage for the internet radio. This is, of course, entirely mythical in that there will never actually come a time when I can sit sunning myself etc. without seeing a dozen jobs which need to be done before I can sit down. However it's good to dream, apparently. A lifetime’s Protestant work-ethic, I find, can be every bit as effective as the standard-issue Catholic guilt-trip!  
  9. Well the Free box is sitting on top of the PC at the moment, but with a bit of jiggery pokery I should be able to get the yellow 1394 cable to reach to the ceiling and if I can untangle the mains unit, it might get near enough to join it. Then we'll see if my internet radio will work  upstairs upstairs. p
  10. I can't see why up-to-down should work any better than down-to-up but I'll give it a go when I can, but at the moment both the main phone socket and the PC are on the ground floor in the middle of the house, and I'm stuck with it for now. p
  11. I have a Freebox v4 with a WiFi card which I need to retain (otherwise I can't use Free's 'piggyback' VoiP phone service). But find that its range doesn't extend from the ground floor to the attic. If the signal won't get through 2 x 1" of floorboard and 1/2" of plaster, then it hasn't a hope of getting through stone walls once we extend sideways. Can anyone recommend any kit to fix this problem? Can one 'daisy-chain' routers ? p Oh yes... and can you use more than one internet radio at a time?
  12. [quote user="coolmum"]I have just been on holiday to the Vendee.  In our property we had to pay our own electric.  The owner took a reading when we arrived ( there was two sets of numbers on the unit).  When we left we went to pay our electric bill and we were told that we had to pay for the two meter readings on the unit.  One was for day time use and the other night time use.  Does this sound correct?[/quote] The way to look at it is to remember that if there had been just the one reading, it would have meant that you paid the higher rate for ALL the electricity you used, whereas with 2, at least a portion of it was at the cheaper rate.. p
  13. I suspect that the 'bet-hedging' tone of the Newcastle leaflet ("...you may be entitled...etc) is the effect of trying to write a leaflet which is applicable in all EU countries, some of which may not have the local equivalent of Ayant Droit. I've never encountered a CPAM person who didn't think it was applicable for a spouse here. Mind you, it's no skin off any french person's nose, as the costs incurred by those covered by an E121 are re-embursed by the UK. p
  14. [quote user="cooperlola"]......The fact that your wife qualifies for an E121 does not necessarily mean that you will be covered.  That is up to Newcastle (who initially assess your "dependency" upon her) and the French authorities....... [/quote] Where did you get this idea from Cooperlola? Can you point me in the direction of an EU/UK ruling to this effect? The non-working spouse of a pensioner in receipt of a E121 is surely ipso-facto a dependant and this 'piggy-backs' him or her into the system under the 'Ayant droit' ruling. I have some difficulty believing that ones entitlement (or not) is at the whim of a person in Tyneview Park; Heaven help a supplicant on the Monday after Newcastle gets comprehensively beaten ! This was certainly the case with my wife and me. She is the (OA) pensioner, but my (taken-early-discounted) company pension is slightly larger than her state pension, yet Newcastle isssued her with a E121 with my details on the back and thus I have a Carte Vitale of my own on my wife's account. Mind you, the downside is that I have to keep well in and mind my P's and Q's. If she were to pack her bags and leave in a marked manner, I'd have to stump up 8% of my pension to hang on to my CV! p
  15. [:P] Do you suppose the gag would have worked better if your typing had been up to snuff ?? p
  16. Thanks Nick, No doubt they'll trickle down to the murkey depths of the sheds eventually. p
  17. [quote user="Onion van man"]RJ45 for a phone socket ? I would have thought it would be RJ11 myself ! [/quote] Yes, you'd thinks so, wouldn't you?  Maybe they reckon the greater number of pins will help future-proof the new standard a bit. p
  18. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]You'd have thought they'd (Peritel committee) have learnt the lesson from DIN plugs so favoured in the 60's and 70's for interconnecting hi-fi (before RCA phonos).   If they were good quality they were OK but most weren't and gave endless trouble.   I still have a LEAK amplifier festooned with the wretched sockets,  and getting a stable stereo image is a nightmare. [/quote] Yes, the reason XLRs work so well is the comparatively huge contact area coupled with the fact that the shell (at least on the professional versions) locks male into female. DINs were also a nightmare to try and solder as well. Even 30 years ago when my hands were a lot less shaky than they are now (early onset intentional tremor I think!), I usually managed you melt the plastic base before successfully soldering all of the 5 pins. p
  19. Yep, Scart plugs/sockets, Designed so that they are sighted on the back of a tv in the very place where there is a vibration node to ensure it works itself loose, and in such a position as to be imposible for any human to reach round and line the thing up straight to put it back in thus necessitating dragging a 70 lb TV out of a cabinet in order to get a damned satellite picture. Basically, only an idiot (or in this case a committee of idiots)  would design something with such crappy little pins and expect it to support the weight of a shielded cable without some sort of locking mechanism. Rant over. Now, about the phone plugs........ p
  20. In the course of the grand rewiring, I've got to the stage of sourcing phone sockets. I understand that the standard French outlet for new installations from 1 Jan 2008 is to be an RJ45 socket. This is great news as I've long regarded the french inverted 'T' phone socket to be the 2nd-most useless connection in the known universe. However, I cannot find the new standard (in any design range) in the bricos. Any of the Leccy professionals seen them in the trade cataloges yet? p
  21. While we are on the subject of mobiles (and this is a Q for second homers rather than ex-pats) can anyone recommend a simple handset suitable for an elderly person ? i.e. no frills and with big buttons ! p
  22. [quote user="Martinwatkins"]BJSLIV - sadly I think you're probably right on this one.   What you say makes a lot of sense. Funny really,  because in the UK we are so ripped off on some things,   and then on others - may be through gritted teeth  - we have to admit that things are not so bad. After-sales service and insurance claims being two that spring to my mind. [/quote] Which bag are you putting these two in? or is it one in each ? p
  23. No you're quite right to rant, Martin. In retrospect it seems like NRJ performed a typical, cynical, big-business trick to hook customers and then mug them. The only reason their tricked and betrayed customers don't desert them in droves is because all they've done is sink to the level of all the others. Now that the EC has blasted the phone providers for their iniquitous (sp) roaming charges, it's about time they got their hooks into this particular money tree. When you stop and think about it, it's an appalling way to treat customers: I buy a tank of oil at the begining of the winter and hope it will last beyond the winter. I don't expect the tanker to come back 6 month's later and siphon off what's left in the tank just because, after 26 weeks, I haven't used it all . ohhhhh - you've got me going now ! p
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