USBCells AAWent to the Science Museum in London on Saturday (15/09/07) with nephew. As was his birthday present also said he could get some stuff from gift shop.

While looking around myself I saw various things that I “May” find useful. Then came across the USBCells.

At the time I brought them was more the ingenious idea of them. But I have found they are prefect for my Handhelds 2xAA battery holder.

The Icom IC-E90 has as an extra accessory the BP-216 Drycell Battery Case. This boosts 2x AA battries to about 5v, but means radio can only be used on the low power mode (about 0.5watts compared to full 5watts with normal BP-217 7.4v 1300mAh battery pack.

USBCell Specs are 1.2v 1300mAh and charge in 5 hours via spare USB sockets on your PC. That is quicker than 16hrs for the standard battery pack.

Well I’ll see how they last and maybe report back here.

What went wrong?

Synopsis of my recent outage problems:-

  • Coax Cable cut by FM Conway
    • Friday 31st August 07
  • Broadband lost
  • Cable TV lost
  • VirginMedia activate dial-up & offer £25 rebate
  • FM Conway offer to send team to dig road when VirginMedia call
  • Engineer calls, but has to book 2 man cable pulling team
  • Modem in Laptop stops working
  • Order New USB Modem
  • New Modem doesn’t work
  • Phone line is dead
    • Later found out Virgin had removed old cable inc telephone line
  • 10 minutes on hold before they answer, but call back my mobile (Nice)
  • Get 1 month free TV & Broadband due to length of outage
  • Go to Science Museum with Nephew (OK, not to do with Outage, but was a cool day out)
  • Finally 18 days later the teams turn up on 17th Sept and I am reconnected with
    • Broadband
    • Cable Television
    • & Landline Telephone
  • Monday 17th September 07

Bad Friday!

Wow, Last Friday 31st August, I had a bad day (well in the evening at least).

I have written a blog post but can’t post it yet as is on my PDA. Check back shortly.

To keep up to date, I will post some stuff to my Twitter page via Text Message. You can view this at

I will not have major internet access until at least Friday 7th September, please avoid sending any messages or emails until this time. Thanks! Paul.

Flipping Friday

To start this story I would say I used Flipping in the title, but for the fact I don’t who may read this I would have used a different word.

So on Friday where this story begins I am having lunch chatting to my friend well aware they are knocking down the buildings next door. I try filming a little but when I start filming the machine operator starts clearing up, so I delete the video and continue chatting to my friend.

At the end of lunch I check phone for messages and then put it into standby when back at my desk. This is at 13:00. I finish work at 16:30 & head to pub for couple of ciders before heading to Radio Club. When I sit down at pub waiting for colleagues to show up I check my phone. Oh dear. It’s off.

Turn it on and them when at today screen I find 1% only left. But why?

I think back and it dawns on me that I must have left the camera on (but not as a friend suggested recording the inside of my drawer).

Two more ciders later I head off to the Radio Club and get home about 11pm.

I am barely in the door and my Mum is saying that the cable TV box wasn’t working. I asked if she had unplugged and plugged back in. This had been done.

As I was tired from work I say I will look into it and head up to my room. Computer is switched on and I load up my TV program. Oh Dear. Looks like the upstairs Cable box is down.

Will just check my email and look at the problem in the morning.

“Server not found – Firefox can’t find the server at”

Restart the Modem. Same thing. This is not looking good. Sod waiting for tomorrow I am on the phone to Virgin Media straight away. The person who answered the phone said he was aware of problems in the neighboring town and would log my call.

I head off to bed. In the morning when I eventually am up I start computer and check modem. There is the same lack of activity lights.

After 9 phone calls to Virgin I finally get them to concede there is a problem, get a 2 engineers booked (1 for TV and 1 for Broadband) a £25 rebate and refund on the premium rate calls I had made (Yes calls to the Broadband line are 25p per minute). I was also put on the standby list for cancelled engineers & got them to activate dial-up as a stand-by measure.

At this stage I decide to look at the cable coming into the house. I thought that as there are 2 separate cables between the upstairs and downstairs the problem had to be outside of my house.

The cables near the house were fine. Then as I walk up the garden path, the horror as I realise that FM Conway are digging up the pavement. They have upon removing the top layer somehow cut the coax bringing my lovely TV and Broadband into the house.

I am back on the phone to Virgin to get this note added to the engineer’s orders.

This was written day after my problems started but posted 2 weeks later as couldn’t get text to blog before this time.