Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Closer look at Celtic (and Emirate shed) EV charging

Since I had some old (unused) pics lying around, I thought I might as well look at EV (electric vehicle) charging at Parkhead.

I won’t go techie, mainly because the last time I did this the end result was just to attract the sort of moron who spends their day telling folk they are wrong (even when they are right – I CAN read electrical standards).

There are actually some more (I haven’t mentioned before) down at Dalmarnock, but that’s not Parkhead, so maybe later.

This was sparked (sorry) off by the sighting of a privileged vehicle being charged in Celtic’s little car park, and it made me curious.

This turns out to be an electrical enclosure mounted OUTSIDE the car park, and fitted with 2 x 32 A 400 V and 2 x 16 A 230 V connectors. I assume isolators are mounted inside the enclosure (otherwise Glasgow neds would have their houses plugged in!) and ‘protected’ by the keys mentioned on the labelling.

Me? I’d check all those cables dropping from the bottom of the enclosure, and make sure they’re all legit, and that none of them run to any nearby houses.

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Rear

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Rear

With no good reason (ever in my lifetime) to be inside such a place, I can only take my best legal shot from a public place, the street, so this is the connection INSIDE the car park.

I’m guessing it’s just a conventional (but weatherproof) 13 A mains socket.

No fast(ish) charging here unless you have a Tesla and suitable adapter for the 32 A socket outside the fence.

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Spot

Celtic Car Park EV Charging Spot

Meanwhile, across the road

I hinted that the car park behind the big empty shed (they tell me it’s the Emirates Arena), across the road from Celtic Park had real EV charging stations that ANYBODY could use, not just someone with Celtic parking privileges.

And it appears to be free to use (after you cough up £10 for a card to let you access all such stations in Scotland).

Sure enough, I still have the pics from my wander across the vast empty expanse of that car park.

I wish I had an EV.

Charging Bays

Charging Bays

EV Charger

EV Charger

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October 13, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

On Friday the 13th never forget that…

Groucho Marx Black Cat

Groucho Marx Black Cat

 

If that’s too subtle, then…

 

Friday The 13th Black Cat Awareness

Friday The 13th Black Cat Awareness

Black Cat Alarmed

Black Cat Alarmed

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Instant karma – St Enoch Centre cyclist

Since I expect to be treated decently when I’m being a cyclist, I take a dim view of any cyclist whose behaviour means I might be assumed to be some sort of related moron.

I haven’t been in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre for months, but decided to cut through it, just to get an idea of how it looks as I read changes may be on the way.

I’d gone to the upper floor to get a better look, and was looking at the ground floor layout when I was slightly surprised to see a guy on bike weaving through the shoppers on the ground floor – not the best of behaviour, and unlikely to help convince most people that cyclists are not arrogant morons.

Not much I could do from the floor above, I assumed he’d got away with it.

However…

A few minutes later, I arrived on the ground floor and turned around after stepping off the escalator, to see…

Instant karma – cyclist on left, centre security on right.

Nice.

Karma At St Enoch

Karma At St Enoch

Coincidentally

Woman standing up to cyclist who smashed into her on Centennial Trail

The guy involved IS a moron:

“I think its a ruse to try to sue me,” Haller said. “Just because you have a nice bike doesn’t mean you have a million dollars.”

Haller said he calls it a good day when he makes it home without an accident. “I’ve broken 25 bones,” he said. “When I lived in LA, a doctor asked me if I was a stunt man.”

Imgur galleries won’t embed, so you’ll have to click the link: https://imgur.com/gallery/2FoHv

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Want to keep (or lose) your car or bike?

I was tolCrashed card Police Scotland had given out some info (I don’t have the source, I assume it’s online on their site somewhere – it just came up in discussion, from someone else) relating to car theft in Glasgow (five year average about 512/year). The areas around Milton, Lambhill, Possilpark, Ruchill, and Parkhouse seem worst (ave 55/year, more than Calton off Gallowgate). Govan seems to be next, then Baillieston, Barlarnark, Springboig, Carntyne, Riddrie, and Cranhill.

If you want to keep your car, Cambuslang West, Coatbridge West, Clydebank Waterfront, and East Kilbride West only had one reported theft each area over the last five years.

Numbers rise for bikes – avoid the west end and city centre as Glasgow’s five year average is over 1,300/year. The area around Anderston/City area – Broomielaw to Cowcaddens, including Yorkhill and Finnieston (ave 301/year). Hillhead was next (ave 143 /year), then Southside Central ward (Gorbals, Govanhill, Queen’s Park, and Toryglen), Govan, and Partick West.

Baillieston was bottom of the list, only 65 bike thefts there over the last five years.

October 8, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

More vehicular electrickery – at Celtic (car) park of all places

You could be forgiven for thinking I was looking for electric vehicle related tales yesterday, but it really was all just chance.

While the previous posts were all city centre finds, this was miles away, and I almost missed it. It can occasionally be a place to find expensive cherished registration, if a footballer makes it there before being breathalysed.

I didn’t look closely, but think it’s an Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid) as these seem to be popular.

What’s more interesting is the presence of the mains connection, so far from the parking spot it needs a warning board lest anyone fall over the cable and sue the club for millions! I don’t really need to mention where it is – locals will be well aware.

Seems a little badly thought out, there are walls with closer parking spots, so no real reason for the hazard. Or they could have marked the area appropriately, and allowed/placed qualifying vehicles parallel to the fence. That footpath is hugely wide, and the gate on London Road is permanently locked, never used, and probably rusted shut or seized. Interestingly, Google’s satellite view dates from this year (2017) and has sufficient detail to show (possibly the same) a vehicle connected to the socket.

Still – that a really tall kerb, and it’s debatable if a modern SUV like that one could climb anything so high, and get next to that fence (irony).

There are public charging stations installed in the car parks of the (deserted? – does anything happen in this giant shed?) arena across the road, but whenever I check I have enough water on hand, and trek across their vast empty expanse, not only are there almost no vehicles in the car parks themselves, I’ve never seen a charging station in use.

Mitsubishi Celtic Charge

Mitsubishi Celtic Charge

October 7, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Another EV (REX) surprise as I trip over an Ampera

After being haunted by multiple BMW i3 sightings, on the same day I got another electric car surprise, when I came across a Opel Vauxhall Ampera (sorry, as noted before, my info usually come from US sources, rather than generally moronic coverage of cars with battery power, so I recognise this as an Opel Ampera). To be even more honest, I really see it as a Chevy Volt, which is what it was originally developed as, years before it went on sale.

This is not a pure EV, but a hybrid, or REX (range extended) vehicle. From memory, you have around 50 miles of battery only range, then a 1.4 litre engine kicks in to extend the range. I’ll say no more – having read all the arguments and debates about HOW that system works, other than to note you can have the battery charged by the engine, or plug it in,

I have to confess to watching the Ampera on the forecourt of the dealer around the corner, when it was introduced, and thinking about conning them out the test drive on offer, but chickened out. Although I’d done this a few times when picking a new car, I didn’t feel like finding out what they did when I turned up on foot, without a current car to leave behind when I drove off in their demonstrator.

Oh well.

The Ampera is quite striking in appearance, and I’ve never seen in the wild, although as you can see, they been around for over three years at least.

Vauxhall Ampera

Vauxhall Ampera

October 7, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Not the plate this time, but the car

Some things are weird.

While my occasional wanders into Glasgow mean I’m getting used to seeing PHEVs (plug in hybrid electric vehicles) quietly charging on the city’s streets (yet never once to be seen on a charger in the burbs), I can only count one neighbour’s Leaf, and one Tesla Model S that took me by surprise as it passed me at Parkhead, as the only real EV (electric vehicle) sightings, until the past week or so.

Suddenly, it’s “i3s, i3s everywhere!”.

A week ago, one surprised me as it came out of a pub car park (full of football supporters).

And in the past couple of days, two walks into Glasgow netted at least another four more, usually moving, but the one below was parked.

I was a little surprised to see this was a 2015 plate. While I haven’t really been paying close attention (much as I might like one, an EV is not within current budget plans), most of the mentions I’ve come across for this car have been from the other side of the pond, and based on US buyers (they are way way ahead in this respect).

Interestingly, EVs come with ‘magic’ installed as standard. For example, one of the i3s I came across was stopped on one of our steeper hills, pointing uphill at traffic lights. While the ‘normal’ vehicles  generally did their usual ‘hill start’, EVs just don’t care, and the electric motor controller just holds them stationary with static motor torque, no real effort needed by the driver – who just presses the pedal to move off when desired. No drama, no throttle/brake/clutch juggling, no sliding backwards.

BMW i3 EV

BMW i3 EV

October 7, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

How can people walk away after leaving tyres like this?

While I may not suffer from the chronic OCD seen on some TV programmes, I do have the gene, or something related to it in terms of being a ‘perfectionist’.

There are many things I don’t even attempt because I know (or expect) not to be able to carry them out perfectly, or finish them perfectly.

Another aspect is not being able to do something “Just plain wrong!”

One manifestation of this not being able to leave a vehicle parked badly, which is just as much to do with being neat as it is not be seen to demonstrably be an idiot in public.

These examples go past that though, and frankly, I value my life too much to subject my tyres to this sort of abuse (as seen below).

It’s no wonder some people have tyres fail on the road as they drive along – the only good thing I can think about this is that many damaged tyres tend to deflate and become a recurring problem, so get replaced before the worst happens.

I’m reminded of some of my past company cars, which I drove for ages with no issues, yet when handed down the line, suddenly needed tyres every few months – and two of them failed while being driven on the motorway, with one spinning so many times it was declared a write-off. Lest you think I was desk-bound, in those days my weekly mileage varied, but could hit 1,000 miles per week (that only three trips to Aberdeen).

I didn’t set out to collect these and make a point – I just noticed them together recently.

Most of these seem to be inflated rock hard – but I have seen others where the tyres were clearly under inflated, and the sidewall was completely crushed by the weight loaded on it. Definitely not something you want to trust your life to afterwards. After loaning the company car to one of our female staff, I got it back (after a round trip to Edinburgh) with a cheerful “The steering felt a bit funny on the way back” as she dropped the keys and ran out the door. I bet it did! I walked around the car to find the nearside front had been kerbed, and driven flat for some distance – so far, in fact, that the rubber had been completely worn off the sidewall. The tread would soon have parted from the carcase if it had gone much further.

I once had a brand new tyre with a broken sidewall – so far out of balance the first time I drove it the instruments were unreadable at 50 mph, and when I was silly enough to approach 70 mph the whole dashboard was just a blur, and my day was over.

At least that was under contract hire – the tyre guy in the depot had not seen many, and even showed me the failed/faulty area of the sidewall.

Tyre: "Oh That Hurts!"

Tyre: “Oh That Hurts!”

And, a wander down the shops could have added another load to the above, but ‘Lisa Scott Jodie’ (you can’t make it out in the crushed image below, but that was proudly displayed on the plate) gave us this nice example, and a rule: ‘If you must have your name on your plate, you have to be perfect (or we will laugh at you)’.

Poor Tyre

Poor Tyre

There were some real gems, but they were the sort that needed more than one pic to reveal how bad they were.

Such as one tyre, jammed and crushed against the kerb by its own wheel rim and horribly crumpled. I’ve seen similar examples that just kept losing pressure later, as the sidewall had been minutely holed where the wheel had nipped it against the kerb.

October 6, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The petrol station that finally became a car lot

I have to be honest and say that this is actually an old pic (from a few years back), but then again, it would really look much the same if I made the effort to reshoot it today.

I forgot about it, mainly because I was still trying to work out how to get decent handheld night shots quickly, and although it’s reasonable, it was still one that needed more tweaking than I like to make it presentable. But I’m able to do that quicker these days, so why not use it?

As can be seen from earlier pics of the site, this was once a fairly handy petrol station. I liked having it there as it was the closest one to wander to if I needed a can of petrol for petrol-powered tools. Some years ago there was a choice of four – closures have knocked that down to two.

I have to confess that this site is hardly on ‘The Main Drag’ for generating passing sales.

To be honest, I really expected the place to evaporate, but it seems to be surviving, and this may down to its sales mix, which I would say avoids the extremes of cheap bangers and expensive luxury cars (which are more than well catered for by another lot which is not very far away, and now well-established on a fairly prominent site).

That said, this is not too far from nearby saturated car sales sites on Hamilton Road (both new sales and used), and Tollcross Road (all used cars).

Petrol Station Becomes Car Sales

Petrol Station Becomes Car Sales

Update

Not worth a new pic (which would look much the same anyway), but when I happened to pass the same way last night, I noticed that the ‘owner’ (or business name) had changed, and the density of cars on the forecourt had gone down, to my eyes at least (I didn’t actually count them).

But, maybe my thoughts about this being a less than ideal spot for a second-hand car dealer to set up business are closer to reality than idle ramblings, and the first one had to sell on.

I’ll have to keep an eye on this.

October 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

McVitie’s factory entrance (the sign at least)

It must be fun for strangers trying to find the entrance to the McVitie’s biscuit factory in Tollcross.

A wander around the factory perimeter reveals the extent of the original site, with the original building and entrances still extant down some narrow back streets. They may have been an acceptable route in the early days of the factory, but are all but unusable for the larger articulated lorries which have come to be the norm today.

They were all closed off some years ago, and there are signs in those streets warning anyone trying to take a lorry down them that there is No Access and that all the gates have been closed.

The real entrance is located in Tollcross Road, with a reasonably large sign for approaching lorries.

More interesting is the tenement that was split to make way for this access road, still standing, and with the exposed wall giving a good view of what a tenement apartment fireplace looked like.

McVitie's Tollcross Factory Entrance Sign

McVitie’s Tollcross Factory Entrance Sign

There was a time when we were doing some work in the factory. Although I don’t think I managed to get down there, it lasted for quite a while and we were able to enjoy cheap bags of ‘Broken Biscuits’ sold there.

There’s another piece of fun to be had when the wind and weather are just right…

The glorious smell of freshly baked biscuits can cover the area at time, and is both delicious AND free.

October 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh dear – Dyson has threatened a ‘radical’ electric car

Dyson Mega Electric

While I actually have some admiration for (now Sir) James Dyson for making his fortune from something he invented, I can never work up any enthusiasm for most of his philosophy. And he does seem to have set up something to help aspiring inventors.

Possibly this is because I see his products as tainted by being over-priced and aimed at people who can afford to buy something gimmicky.

I don’t have any issues with his cyclone-based bagless vacuum cleaners (other than their ridiculously high price – they’re even more expensive now than when they arrived) which can be shown to work, and he also succeeded in showing he was maligned overseas as regards power consumption. But then again, I see too many lying around, apparently discarded.

But he lost me with the so-called ‘bladeless fan’, which merely hides the blades into the base, and costs an absolute fortune.

I’m not sure about the hand-dryer, which I’m not buying just to try, and seems to come in for quite a lot of negative criticism (and jokes) online.

Back on track, I should declare that I don’t think the UK rates much attention regarding EVs (so far). I’ve spent the last seven years following US developments and uptake, and consider this country be up to 5 years behind, both in technology and, more critically, mindset. You’re more likely to get snide remarks here, than any appreciation of the technology

For example, back then many US ‘experts’ predicted the US power grid would collapse as soon as EVs began to appear. Guess what… it didn’t. According to sensible people, the US was under much greater threat decades ago, when air-conditioning became cheap enough for the masses to buy. But the increased load was just absorbed by the existing system, no panic, no disaster.

Last week, I read a UK ‘expert’ predict the National Grid (and even local street distribution) would be overloaded if (not when) EVs were adopted.

I should have kept a US analysis to hand (from years back) as it showed a proper analysis, and how the load was distributed. Overloading was shown NOT to be an issue.

Before you start kicking me, I’m fully aware the UK case could be different, I merely draw attention to a claim I find alarmist, and probably from the crazy anti-EV brigade.

The Dyson car announcement doesn’t inspire me with confidence. I don’t think the ‘great inventor’ has invented much, and while his adverts tout claims for things like ‘digital motors’ I’m sad to say I happened to come across some online teardowns of them by others, and they failed to find anything ‘digital’ or innovative, just conventional electric motors with a few modern tweaks.

I worry that claims of £2 billion to be spent developing a ‘radical’ electric (battery powered) car to be launched in 2020 are spin, and the split of £1 billion on the car and £1 billion on the battery seems trite.

A further claim that 400 staff have been working on the secret project for the past two years at his HQ seems like more spin, with not even a teaser outline of a prototype, reportedly not even existing yet.

Sir James declined to give further details of the project. “Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential,” he told staff in an email. Everything is still a secret, including any annual production total, the cost of the car, its range, or top speed.

By 2020, the rest of the EV industry will have moved on from where it is now – I predict/suggest that, without an actual product on the market to develop and refine, by then, Dyson will be behind, and might not be much different from Sinclair.

The fallout from Sinclair was negative, and is still with us even today when EVs are mentioned in the UK.

I hope Dyson does not reprise past events, and do the same damage with his ‘vision’.

Via Dyson to make electric cars from 2020

From the past, 24 March 2016…

I was looking for related info, lest any genuine technical info had been leaked, and found this:

Dyson using government funding to work on electric battery technology at Wiltshire headquarters

Government documents have revealed that Dyson, best known for its vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and fans, is working on electric car technology at its factory in Wiltshire.

“The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire,” the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan said. “This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.”

The government has since updated the document reportedly to remove references to the Dyson car, according to the Financial Times and Dyson has not yet responded to TechWeekEurope’s request for comment.

The revelation comes after Dyson, set up by Sir James Dyson (pictured left) revealed earlier this week that it would be investing £1bn on developing electric batteries over the next five years as it looks to expand and grow its product sales across the world.

Via Government Documents Show Dyson Is Working On Electric Car

That’s actually MORE interesting than the current 2017 story.

Apparently, this was spotted by The Guardian, before being redacted:

The Guardian newspaper spotted the documentation that was included within a National Infrastructure Delivery Plan published on the gov.uk website. As you would expect the details revealing Dyson’s plans to create an electric car have been hastily removed from the Government site but not before the Guardian was able to grab a copy of the text which read :

The government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174m of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering.

Via Dyson Electric Car Under Development Reveals Government Website

Update

Hmmm…

Not sure if good or bad – ‘Industry’ seems to have thought about this, and agrees with me:

Dyson: industry experts cast doubt on electric car project

It seems to have provided the opportunity for more people to kick the Dyson hand dryer I mentioned.

I rather liked one user who claimed the design was poor, allowing water to collect in its base, to later allow the dirty aggregate be sprayed back out onto the unsuspecting user once enough had gathered.

But, maybe they had kids, and they were pouring water into it… for fun!

I also saw another negative report about the hand dryer:

One of his products, the Dyson bathroom hand drier, where you dip your hands down and pull them up as a blade of air blasts them dry, turns out to be a major spreader of airborne microbes and viruses in restrooms (a study found).

Going back to the car, I’ve seen some better versed writers with more info, and while there is nothing on the car, they noted:

Executives from both Aston Martin and Tesla have left their positions to join Dyson.

Earlier this year, Dyson hired Ricardo Reyes, former Tesla communications executive, which fueled speculation the British company had ramped up its rumored plans for an electric car, according to an Autocar report.

Last month, Dyson brought on David Wyer as its head of procurement. He followed another former Aston Martin worker, product development director Ian Minards, who left the British luxury brand for the same position at the appliance maker.

Looking at comments from people closer to the industry, the view seems to be Dyson is copying Tesla’s original model, and going for a premium model to sell expensive and make money.

But… that seems flawed. Tesla benefited from that model, and used it to get to money from luxury cars sales, and bring out its lower cost mass market car, launched recently. Tesla has also revised and simplified its luxury models, suggesting that is being consolidated, and concentration is moving to the cheaper cars, and their support. Notably, their service and support model has also changed recently, also changing to suit greater numbers.

Sadly, Dyson might be an EV dinosaur by 2020.

September 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

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