Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

Moderators: RichardW, myglaren

User avatar
myglaren
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 21721
Joined: 02 Mar 2008, 14:30
x 2084

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

Just as well I don't collect stuff as I have a houseful of junk anyway.
User avatar
mickthemaverick
Donor 2022
Posts: 9496
Joined: 11 May 2019, 17:56
x 2594

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

I've never collected stuff, but one hell of a lot of it has collected me!! :-D
User avatar
bobins
Donor 2021
Posts: 4575
Joined: 05 Jul 2012, 18:07
x 1550

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by bobins »

I don't have any junk here - they're actually all items of latent usefulness :lol:
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Quite a few items I've brought down here are getting quickly rehomed. All the TVs for instance. They would have just had to go to the recycling centre back up north as my friend just doesn't have enough time to deal with finding homes for them. Plus being in NE Scotland puts him a long way from many folks who are likely to show an interest. With my being based in the Midlands I'm a lot easier to get to.

The fact that I will try to DO something with all this tech rather than just squirrel it away into a carefully climate controlled storage box while if accrews financial value for the next 40 years I think is why a lot of it was handed over to me.

My having decided I'd like to run a hands-on retro tech panel at a few events has given me an actual idea of *what* to do with a lot of it too - though I know next to nothing about several of the machines which I've just picked up so have some homework to do!
Hell Razor5543
Donor 2021
Posts: 12590
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 1726

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

With that many floppy drives you could try composing some music!



User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

It's going to be a little while before I get to testing the Apples. Before they go near mains the power supplies will need the Rifa filter capacitors replacing and the output voltages checked.

Nothing to say I can't take a look at some of the supporting hardware though. First up I decided it was the turn of the monitor.

CRT monitors from this sort of era I have always found to be pretty bulletproof unless they've been massively abused. They just soldier on and on until the tube eventually wears out.

I did a couple of sanity checks, and after replacing the missing fuse in the mains plug we were up and running, the BBC standing in as a video source.

Image

Not the best for getting an overall impression of the image quality though...so I grabbed the next machine which had a composite video output (Toshiba T1200) and hooked it up. I've always associated monochrome monitors like this with text only systems, so it appealed to my sense of technological oddity to see a GUI running on it.

Image

Image

Shame the camera doesn't capture the colour very well. It's quite pleasing to the eye even if I do personally prefer amber to green - though I suspect that's just as I've spent many hundreds of hours in front of plasma displays so black and orange is something my brain is just used to and feels natural.

While the size needs a tweak, the geometry is decent. The CRT is a little tired it looks like as it's pretty dim, entirely usable though. Wouldn't be the first time I've seen one improve a bit after a few hours of use either following a long period of hibernation.

Image

DOS programs look a little less odd.

Image

Image

This photo shows something (albeit a bit hard to see in the photo) I hadn't realised before. The composite output on this machine obviously supports colour (or at least grey scale) as the bars in the graphs are different shades. I thought it was monochrome only like the internal LCD. I'll need to hook it up to a colour display to find out.

While I can't do all that much about the brightness, I figured I could see if the focus would respond to adjustment. It doesn't matter how long I've been working on things like this, but carrying out adjustments on a live CRT monitor always feels like a very precarious operation. I'm always acutely aware of the fact you're only a muscle twitch or sudden sneeze from extreme pain!

Image

Thankfully the focus control on this isn't buried right in among the EHT circuitry as on several I've worked on, instead it's nice and easy to get to. It's the little white doodad on the lower left corner of the PCB you can see in the above photo. It definitely did help things, photo doesn't do the difference justice but hopefully you can see it.

Image

Before putting the monitor back together it seemed a good opportunity to do some cleaning. Firstly was just to blow any loose fluff and dust out, second was to clean up the back of the CRT around the EHT anode connection. I hadn't been aware of any issues with tracking on this, but figured it was good insurance against it if the area was clean.

Image

Speaking of cleaning the case needed some attention too. It was rather grubby.

Image

I could have spent ages manually scrubbing that down, but I'm far too lazy when I have mechanised assistance available.

Image

Much better.

Image

Image

There are quite a few marks that will never come off but it's a thousand times better. Sadly the front bezel will have to be done by hand as I don't want to risk damaging the maker's badge...so I suspect an hour or so of scrubbing with a toothbrush is in my future.

While I had the "parts cleaner" running I also stuck in the key caps from one of the spare Apple keyboards and the ones from the Toshiba T3200 which I pulled for cleaning a week or two back. I've long since decided that I don't have time or patience to manually scrub each individual key cap... especially when this does a better job anyway.

Image

Image

To give an idea of quite how much digital archaeology I have in my future, this box is full all the way down of 3.5" discs and they all have stuff on them.

Image

There's also about 1/4 that amount again we decanted into another box as it was simply getting too heavy to manhandle. There's probably a couple of hundred of 5.25" ones in the box with the Apple ][ drives as well. It's going to take a while to archive everything from those.

There is another decent bit of news on the vintage technology front too, it looks like a Sinclair QL has been sourced.

Something I'll need to start thinking about sooner than later will be making sure that I have enough displays and display adapters for all of the involved machines for the hands on event they'll hopefully be used for next year. In a similar vein I need to get the power supplies in several of the Toshibas recapped as several are showing signs of issues. I really want to do everything I can to ensure things are as reliable as possible, last thing I want is machines disgracing themselves while they're being demonstrated.
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

TPA has been out and about again today doing normal car things.

Image

I do need to try to figure out why she occasionally has issues at idle/on light throttle after running for a while. It feels like fuelling, though I don't think it's delivery. Guess I probably ought to actually check the float height in the carb given I have to confess to having not touched that so far.

The van will be going in sometime over the next couple of days to get a full set of new tyres on to deal with the horrible perishing going on with the current set.

Image

Given how much weight sits on the back axle of this thing I'm not inclined to take any chances whatsoever
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

While there was still no visible wear on the tyres on the van, the rear ones in particular were starting to perish quite badly.

Image

Given the amount of weight particularly on the rear axle of this thing I'm not willing to take chances.

Quite how the rears didn't get an advisory on the MOT a couple of weeks ago I've no idea. There was significant perishing visible around the whole tyre between the tread bands as well as what you can see in that photo.

So the second trip to The Garage over by Wolverton in a month (the Caddy had a full new set just prior to a run up to Aberdeen a couple of weeks ago) was arranged.

The situation has now been greatly improved.

Image

Funky sidewall design.

How they age and wear we'll see as the months pass I guess.

I really wasn't expecting to feel the slightest difference from the driver's seat given that the Mercedes T1/TN really isn't the last word in driving dynamics, though you really can. Most notable is that it is much more stable in the straight ahead position and the steering response is far sharper. I realise that using that word where there's something like three and a half turns lock to lock is a little ridiculous, but you get the idea.

I found a deserted road in an industrial estate and did a couple of test emergency stops from 30mph and can definitely say they bite a hell of a lot better than the old ones in that situation which is definitely a plus.

Guess next up on the tyre roster will the the Cavalier when it arrives. The tyres on that date from 2007 so definitely will be needing replacement before it goes anywhere near the road. Though little details like you know...having any brakes whatsoever might be up first.
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Over the last couple of days I got around to photographing all of the computer hardware I picked up a couple of weeks ago.

Main reason for the trip really was the Apple ][

Image

The Acorn Electron was another one I was really happy to bring home having been a fan of Acorn hardware for years. This is boxed and honestly looks like it's never been used.

Image

An Amstrad CPC-464 is nice to have rounding out the home computing lineup given I've already got Sinclair, Acorn, Apple and Commodore from this sort of era represented. This also looks to have next to no use. The protective film is still on the panel above the keyboard.

Image

I will need to find either an Amstrad monitor or a plug in RF modulator for this though. Sure we can sort that out though.

The appearance of an Atari 800XL was a real surprise, I'd never even seen one of these in person before this was dug out of the cupboard it was stored in.

Image

Classy looking thing with the black and silver colour scheme.

Also representing Atari is a very sad looking 2600 VCS.

Image

We reckon this may have been a kerbside find at some point, so may be beyond help. Obviously I'll do my best to save it. One of my housemates is very into their retro gaming so it would be really nice to re-gift this to them if I could get it going.

Tying in with my fondness for Toshiba's early portable machines is this little T1850C.

Image

This is a very compact little unit, though sadly does have a smashed display panel so will likely just be safely stashed away unless I come across another machine with a good display.

Finally was a trio of desktop PCs.

Image

These are two Compaq DeskPro machines, a 386 and P100, and a 300MHz Cyrix based Packard Bell.

The 386 Compaq is the one I am most interested in here as it has the potential to be quite a useful machine for me given the number of older machines I work with. Should be easy enough to get this on the network and a good base for writing disk images to both 3.5" and 5.25" discs for various other machines. My main PC only has access to a USB floppy drive, and you can't write certain images using that because of how the interface works.

-- -- --

After far too long a wait I was finally able to get the time to properly look at the Apple II today. I knew I'd want to get a few hours without interruption to work on it so I'd waited until I had a decent chunk of time. So finally hauled it upstairs today. Hauled is maybe an overstatement as the Apple II isn't actually as heavy as I thought. They still feel substantial, but I was expecting IBM 5150 sorts of heft rather than being quite easy to move.

For folks who know their Apple gear, here's the vital information.

Image

Which I'm taking to mean that this is a 48K machine.

Also on the subject of codes, it looks like we have a mid 1982 date code.

Image

Which if I remember rightly given the Apple IIe replaced the Plus etc in early 1983 is quite a late one.

Unsurprisingly someone has definitely been in here before me, two of the retaining screws for the power supply are missing.

Image

Given the original owner was quite technically minded this wasn't a big surprise.

Yep...plenty of screws missing from the power supply case too.

Image

No nasty surprises in here though. Or Rifa filter capacitors which was a bit of a surprise. I'm sure the last one of these I looked at had a couple in.

Image

Some funky looking really tall electrolytic caps though. Don't think I've seen ones quite this tall and skinny before.

Image

A very quick test showed sensible voltages on the output. I didn't want to run it for more than a second or two without a load connected as I know some switching supplies from this era can't safely run with no load. I just wanted to make sure we didn't have 12V on the 5V rail or anything like that. Only thing left to do was test it in the machine. Well, after I'd checked there were no dead shorts present on that too.

We have life!

Image

Seeing an incandescent lamp used as a power indicator on something as high tech as a computer amuses me somewhat. I do have to wonder if there was some technological reason for the choice (a very cheap crude VDR?) or if it was just cheap. It looks really striking either way.

In addition to the power light there was also a beep and life on screen.

Image

We did have life, however no cursor and the machine refused to respond to keyboard input. I did have a vague memory of these machines refusing to boot without a disc drive hooked up, so pulled the interface card and tried again.

Image

Excellent. That got us a cursor and working BASIC interpreter.

Image

Without a disc drive though there was a limit to what I could do, so this was our next target.

Image

This was just plucked completely at random out of the box of drives. I know these are pretty reliable old bricks, but it seemed prudent to at least do a quick visual check of the internal condition. Removing the case just requires four screws to come out.

Image

Two further screws once removed allows the analogue card to swing back giving you access to the drive mechanism.

Image

The little metal shield over the head just unclips allowing easy access to clean the read write head and pressure pad - these are single sided drives so there's only one head. Which in this case was quite clean even before I gave it any attention.

Image

The first disc I grabbed turned out to have Apple Writer on it, which the machine happily booted into.

Image

I was able to correctly load and view a file - which I'm not showing here as it contains personal information from the original owner.

After ten minutes or so we did seem to start having issues. Initially running the catalog command (the equivilant of "dir" on an MS-DOS or similar system) would result in a proper listing of the disc contents. Like so.

Image

After ten minutes or so however the machine seems to lose its marbles regarding disc I/O. It will start to list the disc contents before starting to print out nonsense and the head actuator in the drive repeatedly slamming against the stops.

Image

Resetting the machine it will try to read from the drive for a couple of seconds just locking up.

The power supply voltages still look to be spot on, so I don't think we have any voltage droop problems. I should get the scope out though to confirm we don't have ripple on there as there could be output stage cap issues.

It's something heat related it seems as if you leave the machine for a couple of minutes it will then work perfectly again for about ten minutes.

No ICs appear to be getting any warmer than I would expect, and the behaviour seems to be identical using either of the two disc interface cards I have. So I might need to do some more digging to get to the bottom of that. I'm sure given the following these machines have most of the common faults are well documented.

I need to do some further research anyway as it's so long since I've used these that I can't for the life of me remember any commands beyond "catalog" to be honest. Basically I need to read the manual! Helpfully I do have quite a bit of the original documentation so the information I need is likely in there.

Having a dig through some of the disc boxes though I did find a rather nice surprise I wasn't expecting. You may remember I found some of the original software documentation when I was packing things up for transportation. Today I found these in one of the disc boxes.

Image

There's about ten discs in that box, with DOS system, master, a print manager and the Pascal series of discs. Aside from the labels on a couple looking a little aged they all seem to be in good order. So far I've had no disc read error issues, a couple of random discs have showed a bit of mould, but I'd say 1 out of 10 out of what I've looked at in terms of the ones which were loose or in cardboard boxes. All the ones in plastic boxes have been fine so far.

Found a couple of other bits of software, including a graphing program.

Image

Image

There was also an expansion card in there which will potentially be useful going forward.

Image

That's a serial card. Not sure, but I think this *may* open up options for communicating with other machines, which could be well be a real bonus when archiving all of these discs.

I did a little testing and we seem to have three working disc drives. Two of the Apple ones and the Cumana one (which sounds like hell, so probably wants a good clean and grease as it sounds like it uses a leadscrew head actuator). The other two Apple and the Super 5 drives run the spindle motor but don't seem to make any effort to seek. That's something we can work on going forward.

Image

A pretty solid starting point I reckon. Machines being stored in good conditions can be a real help!

If folks have any suggestions for the misbehaviour after running for a few minutes I'm all ears.

Getting hold of some actual diagnostic software would probably be really helpful - though how to create the media is then a headache as I think both of the 5.25" drives on other machines are 1.2Mb ones so reliably creating a 100K disc may prove problematic.

Ah, the joys of dealing with stuff this old!
Gibbo2286
(Donor 2020)
Posts: 6048
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 1474

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Well you've got all the old computer stuff would you like to start on digital cameras now :) I've got a Kodak DC120 sitting here that cost something like £1200 when it was new and has been with me round the world twice.
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

I am slowly getting buried under computers here...another two were picked up yesterday. One of which was a surprise.

Image

The first of the line of Toshiba's portables in what we'd recognise as a modern laptop format.

While it has the same footprint as the T1200 from a couple of years later, it's a lot thinner.

Image

Screen size is about the same, and I *believe* the display resolution is the same - the T1000 lacks the backlight of the T1200 though.

Image

Specs are very like the original IBM PC-Portable. It's based around a 4.77MHz 80C88 (a low power, CMOS based variant of the 8088) and 512K of memory. Does have more standard ports than the IBM though. It does only have a single floppy drive though, rather than the IBM's pair. Toshiba came up with a clever solution to that though by incorporating MS-DOS into ROM, which makes the single drive far less of a headache in the real world.

The T1100 added the option of a second floppy drive, which on the T1200 could also be swapped for a 20Mb hard drive.

Will be interesting to see if we can get it up and going as it would be really nice to have along with the T1200 and the big grey luggable plasma screen brutes that ran into the early 90s.

The T1200 and 1600 both suffer badly from electrolytic capacitor leakage which can easily write them off...I've never had the cover off a T1000 so we'll have to see. I can't see any external signs of corrosion around the power supply socket and around the I/O panel as you often can on T1200s, so we'll see. It will be coming apart completely shortly either way as it needs a deep clean.

Image

This would originally have had an internal NiCd battery pack too, though judging from the weight that has thankfully already been removed from this one so hopefully that at least hasn't nuked anything. Watch this space.


I didn't know that little Toshiba was waiting for me, it was simply a nice surprise. What I had actually gone to meet up with someone to collect though was this.

Image

Finally got me a Sinclair QL.

Even in its current grubby state it's quite a striking looking thing. I had to get the photo backdrop out for this as it was otherwise basically invisible on my black desk mat.

Big black slab of a thing, has a very purposeful sort of industrial design to it. Must have looked really quite futuristic back in 1984.

Image

If memory serves the serial and controller ports were changed to more conventional D-sub connectors rather than the oddball RJ-45 connectors they originally used, so this isn't a later machine.

Image

A close up of the somewhat infamous microdrives that Sinclair eschewed floppy drives for.

Image

You have to wonder if this machine would have done any better if they had gone with a more conventional floppy drive.

In contrast to the ZX81 and Spectrum which are very lightweight (and indeed that was claimed as a selling point), the QL has quite a heft to it and feels quite solid.

Definitely needs a good clean. This case design has plenty of features which like to gather grime.

Image

Likewise the keyboard will need to come apart as the sculpted key caps are filthy and would be a bit of a faff to clean by hand.

Image

Image

This will look a lot better once it's clean.

The keyboard is...well...meh. Compared to the Spectrum it's absolutely brilliant. It's entirely usable and once you've got used to the slightly oddly sculpted keycaps I reckon it would do an absolutely fine job of being "an keyboard." It's not going to win any awards though.

This machine had been reported as basically working but with no keyboard response, likely due to the membrane failing (they basically all do that, and replacements are available). So first thing was to look in to that.

Image

Yep...that would explain why the keyboard isn't working! The membrane cables have decayed to the point they have snapped clear off the headers. We'll need a new membrane.

Some quality cable termination for the case LEDs...just jammed into a pin header.

Image

Let's face it, it wouldn't be a Sinclair product if there wasn't at least some degree of shonkiness in there would it?

Which basically sums up the whole de-cased microdrives plonked right next to each other (and I note, right next to the RF modulator...that doesn't seem ideal) without any shielding whatsoever around the heads.

Image

Before I can go any further I'll need to wait for the keyboard membrane to arrive and will also need to figure out a power supply solution. The socket for power on the QL is an odd three pin setup.

Image

However the connector isn't half as strange as the supply it expects. This takes an unregulated 9V DC supply on one pin, and 15VAC on the other, with a common ground. That's regulated and derived locally on the board into 5V, 12V and -12V where it's needed. I reckon I may well go down the road of a regulated external supply of those rails as it's going to be far less awkward to engineer.

Aside from a good clean though this will be taking its position in the queue until parts arrive.

Car-wise I've had little to report as there's not been much going on *to* report. TPA being out for today's errands has been about as exciting as it's been this week.

Image
User avatar
bobins
Donor 2021
Posts: 4575
Joined: 05 Jul 2012, 18:07
x 1550

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by bobins »

Zelandeth wrote:
06 Aug 2022, 02:16


Finally got me a Sinclair QL.


A close up of the somewhat infamous microdrives that Sinclair eschewed floppy drives for.

Image
Somewhere, and lord knows where, I have one or two Microdrives if you are interested ? Every now and then they turn up whilst I'm rummaging around the house and I refuse to throw them away (potential items of latent usefulness, you see ? :lol: ). IIRC, back in the day my brother went into Laskys(?) to buy a Microdrive - the person behind the counter got it slightly wrong, and instead of selling him a single one, they sold him the sealed box full of them for the price of one Microdrive :-D
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

bobins wrote:
06 Aug 2022, 08:57
Zelandeth wrote:
06 Aug 2022, 02:16


Finally got me a Sinclair QL.


A close up of the somewhat infamous microdrives that Sinclair eschewed floppy drives for.

Image
Somewhere, and lord knows where, I have one or two Microdrives if you are interested ? Every now and then they turn up whilst I'm rummaging around the house and I refuse to throw them away (potential items of latent usefulness, you see ? :lol: ). IIRC, back in the day my brother went into Laskys(?) to buy a Microdrive - the person behind the counter got it slightly wrong, and instead of selling him a single one, they sold him the sealed box full of them for the price of one Microdrive :-D
That's not the sort of mistake you hear about these days!

If they turn up somewhere I'd definitely not say no. I do have a few floating around somewhere, though exactly where I have no idea. Probably in the disaster area that is the loft at this end of the house. In which case they will likely remain there until we next move house...
User avatar
Zelandeth
(Donor 2016)
Posts: 4200
Joined: 17 Nov 2014, 00:36
x 558

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Hoping to get the Trevi dropped back with its owner tomorrow. So I gave it a bit of a once over this afternoon planning to take it for a bit of a longer test run.

It still wasn't running great, especially at idle but was a lot better that we started with. Though I discovered something rather interesting when I was doing a "what works, what doesn't" test this afternoon.



I was manually holding the revs at about 3,000 rpm there, the switch I'm messing with was the switch for the heater blower. When it was turned on the engine ran worse. Like way, way worse.

Yeeeeahhh...it appears that in addition to a dead coil (the cause of the original breakdown), an intermittent ignition amplifier, utterly ruined distributor cap, some awful modern HT leads that weren't made properly, an intermittent connector between the distributor pickup and the wiring loom and an incorrectly sized third party rotor arm, that we also have been fighting a high resistance issue somewhere on the supply to the coil.

I did try jumping straight to the positive of the coil a while ago - but it made no obvious difference. However I've fixed a bunch of other issues since then so there is less to mask it!

Having had plenty of experience with Lada electrics this to be honest doesn't really surprise me. With the greatest of respect to Lancia, the Lada fuse box and wiring connectors actually seem better quality than the Lancia ones. I'm guessing we probably have slight issues in the fuse box itself *and* ignition switch. It's just resulting in excessive volt drop. It's worth noting that the dash volt meter basically drops to nothing when the heater blower is turned on, though the actual battery voltage doesn't droop excessively at all.

Simple enough to work around here for now - I've hooked up a (properly fused) direct feed to the battery from the coil ballast resistor via a relay. The relay is triggered by the original 12V feed to the coil, so all that is now having to do is energise the relay coil. That's taken around 5A of draw off the ignition switch etc and has ensured we have a nice solid 12V to the coil (well...the correct voltage after the ballast resistor). I couldn't get a solid reading on what we had there with the engine running as my digital meter had a fit because of the electrical noise there.

I've hooked up this wiring and just need to label things and to trim some cable ties then I'm going to call that done. The car sat idling quite happily for a good hour I reckon while I was tidying other things up. It's very obvious that the throttle response seems sharper from idle...so we might have improved things a lot.

Idle is still very lumpy, but I'm not at all convinced that's not entirely carb related. You can't hear spark dropping out now which you originally could

Turning on every electrical device on the car now has no effect on the running of the engine, which is an obvious improvement. It's noticeable that the voltmeter in the dash now just reads low then rather than basically nothing like before.

I will have a quick look and see if I can easily find where the 12V feed to the ignition amplifier itself is. If I can I will tap that into the same relay feed as that not getting a solid 12V could cause all sorts of nonsense as well. I'm not going to go hacking things about too much, but I'd like to get a solid power feed to there if I can as it would eliminate a lot of question marks over that side of things. If we have a weak point in there any "weight" I can take off the ignition switch etc has to be a good thing too.

Hopefully get it home tomorrow though... I'm slightly nervous to take it out of the neighborhood though as I don't really trust it yet on account of having had to push this car more times than any car I've ever actually owned!
Gibbo2286
(Donor 2020)
Posts: 6048
Joined: 08 Jun 2011, 18:04
x 1474

Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Gibbo2286 »

My experience with Italian car electrics tells me to always go for the ground/earth connections first, they use crown shape steel (instead of brass or copper) push on connectors bolted to the body panels, they rust badly and become high resistance in no time.