Seeing the Light

A while back I changed most of Albert's bus bulbs and a couple of halogen downlights for for energy saving LEDs . They worked well and significantly cut the overnight current draw and decreased the morning voltage drop on the domestic battery bank. Our main cabin lights were square fluorescent lamps based on 2D tubes with brass surrounds. They provided a good bright light but they were the main current draw on the lighting circuit. As a result I have been looking for a way to replace them. I eventually found a method using a flat circular 21 LED Array supplied by Bedazzled.  I went for their warm white option.

A G4-21L Array
The arrays are not cheap but the current draw is low (I measured around 1 amp for all five lights) and their light is certainly more even, the 2D tubes with their built-in inverter cause a shadow in the centre of the fitting.

Before - 2D fluorescent tube

After- Energy saving LED array

To carry out the conversion I had to dump the original innards of the lights and place the array in the centre of the plastic housing. I managed quite a neat installation using two self-tapping screws to hold the array in place and a handy lump of Blue-Tack acting as a spacer to protect the components on the underside of the circuit board. The units run cooler. The old fluorescent units generated quite a bit of heat, presumably because of the inverter installed in each unit.  One of the old units had also developed an annoying fault - going off randomly and then coming on again a few minutes later. I hope the LEDs are reliable.

Stoke Bruerne Gala Weekend 2013

We usually try and attend the Gala Weekend at Stoke Bruerne held in June. This year the celebration was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Canal Museum. The weather over the weekend was changeable but it was bright and sunny on Saturday morning so conditions for photography were good. A good selection of historic boats lined the cut, many looking very bright and particularly well polished.

Kildare from the Black Country Museum which is usually paired with the famous steam narrow boat President had travelled to Stoke from Braunston horse drawn.  She was towed by boat-horse Bilbo Baggins from the Horseboating Society to celebrate Kildare's Cententary. 

Kildare's crew relaxing in the morning sun

Bilbo Baggins  also taking a well-earned rest

There is usually a novelty feature over the weekend. Recently pirates have been to the fore but this year a more tranquil theme was adopted with NB George dressed as a swan to reflect the new Canal and River Trust symbol.

The giant swan (aka NB George)

Phil Underwood busking

With other commitments we couldn't stay long but it looked like another successful weekend was in store.

Debdale to Foxton

With fine sunny weather on Sunday we took Albert out from Debdale Wharf for a trip to Foxton and back. Our daughter Emily and grandson Hugh joined us. Hugh, aged 9 months, had a great time playing in the well deck. It made a good play pen.

Hugh having a great time in the well deck

As we got near Foxton the towpath became busy but boat traffic was light. At Foxton "the world, his wife and his children" were enjoying being gongoozlers. We moored up in a prime position right opposite the lock flight. The trip boat Vagabond was doing brisk trade.

Hugh and Foxton Locks

We got into the Foxton Locks Inn just before 12:30. It was already busy but we managed to get a table outside and enjoyed a Sunday Roast under a parasol. When we left there were queues for the tables. A bit of a change from our last visit on a Monday in February when there were only two couples in the restaurant! 

Foxton Locks Inn

After lunch we strolled up the locks and watched a couple of boats go through. An ice cream at the cafe by the top lock made a good dessert.

Leaving the bottom lock

When we got back to boat I was doing a bit of investigation on the engine when Keith and Jo from Hadar turned up and said hello. We had a good chat about engines moorings and boating in general. They were moored up just at the start of the Market Harborough branch. We then returned to Debdale and our temporary home mooring.