Wendy Windblows Everything for Paragliders and Hang Gliders
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Wendy Windblows Service Information

(Scroll Down To Skip The Explanations and Get The Latest Fault Repair News!)

(But please read the basic Info below if you don't already understand Wendy's background and how she works)

How Wendy Works...

Wendy is very time-consuming in regard to repairs.  It involves LOTS of travelling.  To repair, say, Devils Dyke, it's 4-5 hours on the road from our home in Sheffield, then a load of work, then a return 4-5 hour drive back.

The cost in diesel alone for our 4WD is around £150, and a complete day is taken up.  Sometimes we leave home at 4am, and don't get back till midnight!

Wendy doesn't provide a living - it just basically covers its costs, so we have to attend to it in our spare time. We have a TV aerial business that pays the bills. And we can't always take time off from that instantly if faults occur - we often have jobs booked which can't be put off.  So, faults a long way from Sheffield can sometimes take a little while to put right, and I ask you to bear with us on this.



Rod Buck
Rod Buck

Weather Problems Delay Repairs Sometimes...

Especially in winter. Weather conditions for outdoor repair work are often impossible!  Snow, ice, rain, or continued high winds often prevent us from fixing things immediately.  Most of the stations are in extremely exposed locations,  and we have to wait until winds die down, and we can get dry, calm, and reasonably warm weather before it is safe to climb the mast to repair/replace things...

Some stations (such as Wether Fell) involve a perilous drive for a mile or so over boggy moorland without even a track to follow - and if it's too wet, we can't get to it, even with the 4WD. It isn't unknown to get bogged down completely and have to get a tractor to rescue us from the bog!

Sometimes, landowners limit access to the stations until the fields/tracks have dried out - and I have to abide by their wishes, as they mostly allow the Wendy stations on their land as a favour to me, and you. The farmer at Accre, for example (who is a really nice guy) asks that we don't chew up his field taking the 4WD up it when it's really wet and slippery. So faults at Accre have to wiat until things dry out a bit.

Apologies For Slow Servicing of Faults

Both Lynn and myself have been seriously ill in the last two years, involving hospital stays and a long recovery back to something like normal fitness. Lynn still suffers from the after-effects of her stroke, so if you speak to her, please be patient, she forgets her words sometimes.

I am still recovering slowly from my serious fall (see entry for 30th August 2014, below) which involved multiple injuries and two bouts of major surgery. But we are both staggering round doing as much as we can, while working on ways to upgrade and improve Wendy. The final surgeries took place last summer (a hip replacement) and I am, at last, functioning reasonable normally again, and can start to look at the long list of outstanding Wendy repairs.

Actually, I am working in my spare time on a radical new technology, giving much more info, much more frequently updated, and returning data through the mobile networks, which will mean much improved reliability. Our major faults on the system currently are always centred around BT phone lines, which suffer a lot from lightning strikes and adverse winter weather. At the time we created Wendy, mobile cellphone coverage of most sites was absent - so landlines and radio-telemetry were the only way to get the data from hilltop to the phones and website. That has now changed, nearly all sites have good mobile signal, so we can dispense with the landlines and add new mobile features, such as webcams. This is a work in progress, but it should turn into reality for this coming season.

Of course, if a phone line goes down, we are at BT's mercy for however long it takes them to fix it - I would love to ditch them altogether, so that we can see to problems in-house and immediately. Mobile data telemetry will enable us to do just that. There will be fewer problems, and if there ARE any, we can substitute new equipment for any faulty units, and get things back online much faster than BT will attend to a landline problem.

We keep out-of-service, and anticipated return-of service data on this page up-to-date, as often as possible.

If you need more information, please contact me

Rod




Lynn Buck

Latest Service Information - Weds, March 13th 2018

Bradwell Back On-Air - Cured!

 

Previous visits had overhauled and replaced pretty well everything on the mast on the edge, but an obstinate direction error remained on the data transferred to the computer in the clubhouse.

I found out today that a bad burst pipe had flooded a good part of the clubhouse, and I think this had damaged the Wendy computer

Replaced the computer today, and bingo! All reading normally...

Now that the days are drawing out and the weather shoukd be getting a bit gentler, (although not next week, when bitter winds and snow are foreecast) I hope to start going round the other stations to overhaul them too.

 

Rod Buck

Rod


Latest Service Information - Weds, Feb 21st 2018

Bradwell Back On-Air!

 

The 5th attempt to get the new wind heads up at Bradwell succeeded today - the last 4 efforts were blown out or snowed off, or frozen to death....

It was bleedin' freezing up on that mast, but I managed to get the new wind heads up there...

Got loads of other stuff to do... on with things as fast as we can manage...

 

Rod Buck

Rod



Wendy never seems to end, bit like painting the Forth Bridge! Our apologies for the delays - this year has been a catalogue of medical disasters for both of us, including extended hospital stays, and we feel really embarrassed that the normally prompt Wendy repairs have taken so long to deal with, due to our being ill, and the appalling weather this winter.

Rod & Lynn

If The Website Crashes.....

Remember, if the website goes down for any reason, you can still gain usually gain access to the Wendy data by calling the Central Phone Server.

Details of the new Central Phone Server are at: Subscribers' Phone Help Page