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Matthew’s blog

Guitar player, amateur cook & all-round engineer

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An Engineer’s Easter – Holiday edition

So to start off this Easter holiday, a few friends and I went down into the Taff on Thursday night to celebrate another term’s hard (half) term’s work coming to a conclusion. Seeing as it was drawing near to a holiday period and after the Taff had bought in a huge supply of Guinness for St Patrick’s day, there was a special offer on. For a pint of Guinness, it was £1.25, and they were giving out free St Patrick’s day hats, which was cool. As a laugh, I set myself the task of trying to get everyone in our group to end up wearing one of these hats by the end of the evening. After a lot of Guinness (with a lot of help from my friends :P ) we managed it!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day :)

For my holiday project, I decided to fix one of my airsoft gun’s gearbox. I had bought the gun about 6 months ago, but unfortunately the shop had sold me a lemon. The problem was every time I tried to fire it I would hear a grinding sound on the cogs, something like “crkch” and it wouldn’t fire anything. On the Monday after I arrived at home, (being a half-mechanical engineer) the gearbox was whipped out and I started to peer into the enigma that was it’s inner workings. The main configuration was a motor with a 45 degree spur gear in an adjustable tension cage, which transferred its power into a two level bevel gear (left). This then connected to a ratio transfer spur gear (middle) and then to them main torque gear(right). This powered a toothed bar connected to the spring compression plunger to compress the air and fire the bb. It was a long job, requiring a file down of the aluminium casing, a re alignment of the oil bushing and an overhaul on the gear alignment/shimming. Never has the phrase “shimming makes up for poor manufacture” been more applicable! :) Eventually after 3 days of effort I managed to get the gears moving flawlessly and I’ve even upgraded the compression spring to bump up the fps to ~450. not bad for a .20g bb!

Motor + Motor Spur Gear (Far Laft), Power Bevel Gear (Left Center), Ratio Gear (Right Center), Torque Gear (Far RIght)

Over the Easter weekend, I celebrated it with my family. My dad and I accompanied the signing in the church service on Easter Sunday, including and Easter “calypso”. I gave my two little sisters an Easter egg each and we spent the weekend chilling in the snow. Bliss.

On Monday, it was time for a weekend holiday with Mum, Martha, Meg. On the journey down, Martha had spotted a landmark that she wanted to go and see. She loves the BBC series “merlin”, especially after we met the cast when they were filming in our home valley. The place was called “merlin’s hill”, and after a short walk there was a fantastic view of Carmarthen and its surrounding landscape. Here are a few I took from my phone, but it really didn’t do it justice.

Good Choice Merlin!

We were staying in a Travelodge in a place called st. clears. The room was comfortable but basic, and had a decent TV reception. I had a surprise that evening, though after discovering my shower only had cold water and was forced to share the one in my mum’s room. The moral of the story: never trust showers – THEY LIE! :D

Basic but Comfortable…Yep it’s a Travelodge!

There were some amusement arcades close by so we all went and spent a couple of hours there. My sister’s preferred the penny pushers but I found something much, much better; a whack a mole machine! I had never played it before, but it looked like fun and I gave it a go.

I enjoyed it so much I broke the high score on the machine three consecutive times in a row. The scores were 108, 11 and the final one 125 in 60 seconds. The arcade was doing a ticket redeem scheme and there were various machines giving out 1 -20 tickets a time (if you were lucky), but I walked away with 70 tickets per game much to the dismay (and my guilt) of all the other kids in the arcade.

In the end I gave my sister the tickets and she managed to exchange them for a bracelet, which was nice.

On Tuesday, we went to Tenby for the day. We were greeted by glorious sunshine – the likes of which I hadn’t seen since summer last year and later in the day my dad drove down to meet us there. We looked around the gift shops that were scattered there, and headed off to walk on the sands. The view was superb!

I think we may get more seagulls in senghennydd…?

 

Later, as we were walking back through the town we decided to buy some dessert. No sea-side visit is complete without an ice-cream! :)

 

Vanilla FTW

On Wednesday, we stopped off in two places: Carmarthen itself and Llandovery. In Carmarthen the sun was out to greet us again. We had fish and chips in the centre of town and visited the newly refurbished indoor market. It wasn’t as big as the one in Cardiff, (or as cheap!) but it had a good selection of things. Dad tried some really spicy chilli relish he quickly regretted and I bought a Russian ushanka hat. In Llandovery we looked around the town and just spent a bit of time chilling and having a laugh.

Why do chips always taste better when they’re not yours?

Get down from there squire!

A good holiday, ready for the stress to come with exams just around the corner. :L
It was nice while it lasted! :)

 

 

 

Matt

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