Friday, 4 May 2018

Untrustworthy GPS

The trailer was loaded with the shed and some additional rubble.  A long and hard job.  Actually I didn’t discover quite how hard until the following morning.

The council tip is 20km from our house, which meant a relatively long drive.  The didn’t worry me until I was ¾ the way only to discover the road had been closed as part of the new “Northlink” motorway construction.  The gps then took me on a long detour in the opposite direction adding 14km to the journey.  Eventually I arrived at the site of a very remote recycling centre.  Not a tip!  Everything brought to the site is sorted into various recycling receptacles with a small amount destined for landfill.  Whilst I had established entry was free before leaving, I hadn’t realised I was going to be the person who sorted my rubbish into the various bins.  This proved to be a time consuming task as I had bits of fibreglass sheeting attached to timber which was attached to steel.  All this had to be separated.  Three hours later it was done!

I programmed the gps to take me home and was delighted when she (yes the gps is a ‘she’) found a shorter route home.  Instead of turning left and going east she directed me to turn right and go west.  Great, that’s the direction of home.  After 4km we ran out of bitumen and I was on gravel.  No problem, it’s a 4x4.  Another 4km and the gravel turned to a corrugated sandy road.  The track got narrower and the vegetation on either side closed in.  Surely things would improve?  I trusted her directions.  Eventually I reached a hard left bend followed by a steep descent.  At the bottom of the sandy hill was a sign “Mining Area – No Admittance – Trespasser Prosecuted.  With a trailer on the back and vegetation either side there was nowhere to turn around.  I had to go up the other side of the hill and hope there was a turning point.  There wasn’t…. instead the track had been dug up making further progress all but impossible.  I was going to have to back the trailer down the sandy hill and up the other side, then reverse around the sharp bend to find somewhere to turn around.  This was going to be no easy task.  Then the low fuel warning light came on.  Fortunately there was no one else in the vehicle to hear my expleted deletes.  I had visions of bogging the trailer/vehicle and/or running out of fuel miles from any help.  No one would be able to find me because I didn’t know where I was.

Well engaged 4x4 low range and managed to slowly reverse the trailer back to a very tight turning point before reversing my route to the tip.  All the time “she” was trying to get me to drive further into the ‘never-never’.  I’ll never trust her again!  It was a slow trip back to the nearest service station as I carefully attempted to conserve what little fuel was left in the tank.

Eventually I made it home to find a very worried wife.  Lunchtime had long passed.

After a very late lunch I cut down our orange tree and pruned the bowers off the neighbours overhanging trees.  All of this was loaded onto the trailer and tied down ready for a second trip.

This morning I woke to find myself very sore around the upper body.  It’s a struggle to get out of a chair so I’ve obviously overdone the exercise.  The mind might think I’m still 40 but the body knows I’m much closer to 70.   The second trip to the recycling centre can wait.  No heavy work for me today.  After looking around I decided it might be a good idea to clean the reverse cycle air conditioner filters.

My mother had the unit fitted after my father died.  He always chopped the wood and lit the log stove during winter.  She couldn’t manage it and had the reverse cycle air-con installed to keep her warm during winter.  My guess was she’d never had it serviced.  Of course there are no manuals, but then men don’t need manuals.

The filters in the interior half of the unit were filthy.


Brushed on the left and original on the right

After removing the top cover on the outside unit I could see it also needed cleaning.


I would never install a unit like this at ground level where it’s likely to suck in all types of debris.  It should be higher on the wall.  But then mum wouldn’t have known any better and probably agreed with the installer who selected the easiest location.

Most of the filter was clogged with dog fur, dust and leaves.  I managed to extract six balls of rubbish from the filter.


The unit was then run to test it worked and to measure the electrical consumption.  Were getting more heat and the electrical consumption has dropped from 1kWh to 0.5kWh.  No doubt a consequence of the unit being able to breath easier.

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