Saturday, January 28, 2006


Power wiring kit

I bought a Numax 85Ah leisure battery last weekend from Manbat in Manchester, and ordered a power wiring kit from Chris at C5 Alive.

I fitted it on Thursday morning. It took me somewhat longer than Chris' estimate of ten minutes, but that probably says more about me being a C5 newbie than about Chris' Sinclair-like marketing skills:)

This afternoon, I wrote an "Installation Guide" for Chris that he's going to give out to other customers. Can't wait to see his finished version of it.


C5 gearbox greasing

I finally plucked up enough courage to grease the C5 gearbox today. I've been trying to find info via the web and newsgroups as to how to do this. People have offered various tips, but all seemed to assume that I had the motor/gearbox already out of the C5!

Here's how I did it:

  1. Bought some grease from Chris at C5 Alive

  2. Took the boot off the C5

  3. Loosened the nut to the top of the bolt, but not off it

  4. I was then able to grab hold of the silver body of the motor, and slide it to the right. In order to get it completely out of the motor clamp, I first had to drop the rightmost side downwards.

  5. Once it was out, the real fun starts. There are six white clips that hold the brown gearbox cap onto the end of the motor. I cut up an old plastic credit card (thanks to Chris at C5 Alive for this tip) horizontally across the middle, and inserted each half into three white plastic "fingers" (six in total):

    I had to use a small flat-headed screwdriver to lift each finger up while sliding the plastic card in. In the end I found it easiest to cut the cards again and do at most two "fingers" at a time.

  6. Once all retaining clips are held out of the way by the plastic, you can grab hold of the brown cap and pull. Try not to jump (like I did) when there's a pinging sound. I had a horrible moment here I thought a load of sprung gubbins had gone flying round my garage, but it was just the plastic popping out :-)

    You now have something like this:

  7. I had a good look (twirled the shaft round) and the gears all looked lovely and clean (still greasy). I bet someone is going to tell me I should have completely stripped it out, removed any old grease first etc etc. If they do, I'll be out like a shot 'cos I can really do without my plastic gearbox melting the next time I pop into Sale for a four-pack of Bud. However, in the meantime, all I did was stick my finger, loaded with the best H1 food-safe lubricant I could get my digits on, into the middle of the gearbox (and the outer cap) and then put it all back together. Sounds lovely and greasy when the motor is engaged!

  8. I then slid the brown cap back on, slid the gearbox/motor back into the clamp, MAKING SURE IT WAS UP AGAINST THE STOPS SO THAT THE PINION WHEEL DIDN'T GET STRESSED AND SNAP OFF! I pointed the motor down at the left so that the pulley wheel went inside the belt, then tightened the nut back up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Frank Sidebottom!

Oh blimey! On a whim I've started sampling some old records, and found some Frank Sidebottom ones from the late 1980s. While listening to it, I did a search for album art and found Frank's web site, along with a fan site. Another blast from the past.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Gadgets on standby use 7TWh per year in Britain

I've just seen this article on the BBC web site. 7TWh in a year; 800,000 tonnes of carbon - less than it would take to fly the entire population of Glasgow to New York and back.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Longest trip so far

Tonight (yes, in the dark) I did a 7.1 mile round trip in the C5, to my Dad's and back. I wasn't getting great mileage out of the battery (a Halfords HB015) so this morning I bought a Numax L85 (Leisure, 85Ah) battery and ordered a wiring kit from Chris at C5Alive. However, I took the old battery out and checked the contacts which seemed OK (not corroded), so put it back together, and things seem better. Perhaps the contacts on the battery posts were a bit loose, leading to higher resistance and therefore a shorter battery life. Last night I was only getting half a mile before both green LEDs were out, but it was about 5 tonight.

Here are some highlights of the trip:

Those LED bulbs are cool - my Dad said he could see them from the other end of the road.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


C5: new chain

My new chain arrived today from C5 Alive. With the C5 standing on its boot, it's a pretty easy job:

(1) Take out the old half-link
(2) Pull the old chain off
(3) Put the new chain on by feeding it over the front crank, down to the rear sprocket. DON'T FORGET THE HALF-LINK (more in a minute)
(4) Connect the chain on the rear sprocket first, then half onto the crank at the front. Turn the pedals and that's it

I couldn't get the chain on easily at all - way too tight. The chain tensioner was starting to point up instead of down, and the chain was rubbing on it!

I'd forgotten to put the half-link on the new chain - I still can't believe what a massive difference it makes to the amount of play in the chain though.

If Chris at C5 Alive ever reads this, then sorry for making you count the links in your chain :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


My C5

I picked it up last Thursday - I went in the V40 since it is faster than the 806, but had to turn the C5 through 45 degrees to get it in the back due to the way the interior roof dips down to meet the back door. It could sit normally though, once it was in!

When I got home at 10.30pm, I took it up and down Priory Road a couple of times before putting it away! Was amusing to see a car coming the other way stop to see whether I was a crash-landing UFO.

On Saturday morning, I built a big "table" in the garage to make some floor space for the C5. In the evening, we all went to the offy - shopkeepers came out to look at it; false nail putter-onners came out to gawp; boozers heckled in a good-natured way; and Lucy loved sitting on my knee shouting, "Fast!" So much so, we've been to the park in it twice since.

I've ordered and fitted high-intensity LED lights to front and rear, and have got a new chain and gearbox grease on order so that my Dad and I can have a tinker at the weekend. Keeps me off the street corners and out of trouble, so stop smirking.

Monday, January 09, 2006


A Sinclair C5 of my very own

I won one of these on eBay yesterday. Need to arrange to pick it up, but here are the seller's pics.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Romantic Robot Multiface 128

My Multiface 128 arrived today from SinTech in Germany.

So far I've only had a chance to plug it into my Speccy and try out an infinite lives poke for Stranded from Cronosoft. It works - which is nice!

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Sinclair C5

It's over 20 years since these were launched, and they're very expensive (up to £1500) but I can feel a hankering for one coming on - especially if I can soup it up like the one in the picture.

Here's a link to him driving it round his estate!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?