PDA

View Full Version : the march of technology


rans6andrew
22nd Oct 2016, 22:05
We have been getting by with a large screen analogue crt tv, a video cassette recorder (with CD/DVD player built in) and two freeview boxes. Seldom need to have more than one channel to watch while videoing another.

One of the freeview boxes has taken to losing a number of the channels (not always the same ones) and the video cassette recorder has poor playback, sometimes (why is there no "SLAP" button on the remote controller?). I have accumulated a good load of vouchers for one of the big department stores and thought I might just replace some of the dodgy kit...........

Looking at their website I spotted a dual freeview tuner, hard disc recorder with a built in CD/DVD player, just the job. I have enough vouchers to buy it but I then spotted the fact that it only has HDMI and USB interfaces. NO (non HD) ANALOGUE OUTPUT!!!!

It doesn't seem to have been 5 mins since they were telling us that SCART was going to be the answer to all our audio visual connectivity issues.

Has anyone seen a HDMI to SCART converter? My vouchers don't run to a new TV as well.

evansb
22nd Oct 2016, 22:09
you "..videoing another"? Kinky. Post it on Faceboo...err, forget it.

P.S.
Get off the grid.

longer ron
22nd Oct 2016, 22:11
It is a little over 5mins LOL:)
I am sure you can buy a converter but why bother - you can get a new large flatscreen for next to nothing (although the sound will not be as nice as yer old CRT) and you will free up living room space as well :ok:

rans6andrew
22nd Oct 2016, 22:21
one thing at a time! Even if the vouchers did stretch that far I couldn't carry a TV back on the train as well.

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Oct 2016, 00:12
My (small screen) CRT telly has just gone wrong.


But the only thing that has gone wrong with it is the on/off switch, and it has failed in the "on" position, and I'm told that new tellys don't have on/off switches in the first place (they burn carbon even when you're not watching them whether you like it or not).


So I'd be no better off buying a new one. (Indeed, worse off, as everyone tells me the sound will be crap.) So I haven't.

John Hill
23rd Oct 2016, 00:22
I tried to tune in the family radio last night and found the coherer would no longer 'de-cohere', the man at the radio shop said they were no longer available! Flippin 'eck! You would think the retailers would keep spares in stock for the life of the appliances they sell!

Loose rivets
23rd Oct 2016, 00:53
Oh, come on! A man of your calibre. Two Iron bolts, a glass tube and some nickel filings.

Now where's me cat's whisker?

messybeast
23rd Oct 2016, 06:07
Has anyone seen a HDMI to SCART converter? My vouchers don't run to a new TV as well.

There are a number of HDMI to SCART converters available on Amazon, Ebay, etc., although, never having used one, I can't speak for the quality of build or output.

They only cost arount 15 to 20 so could be worth a try.

Messy

longer ron
23rd Oct 2016, 09:06
My 1953 'Bush' steam driven valve radio still works and sounds gorgeous in its varnished wooden finish :ok:

Windy Militant
23rd Oct 2016, 09:41
Perhaps the panel can explain this one then? I have an abundance of VHF radios which I have acquired as Christmas presents etc. Now I'm used to them having a weak signal by day and then blaring away at night while I attempt to turn the volume down to a reasonable level that doesn't wake people up three houses away, something to do with the Heaviside layer I'm told.
But why does my new fangled DAB radio do the same?
I was under the impression that it was the ones and noughts that controlled such things so you didn't get variations due to atmospheric conditions. It was a binary thing insomuch as it either worked or didn't no fading or hissing just on or off.
Yours perplexed of Wiltshire.:confused:

VP959
23rd Oct 2016, 09:59
I've no idea, but Wiltshire is a diabolical place for radio reception. I live there, and can't get DAB in either house, or in the car for at least 30% of the time. Mobile phone signals are the same, we can't get them at either house. When TV switched to digital, we lost our TV signal completely, so had to switch to Freesat and a dish, as the terrestrial Freeview signal just wasn't usable.

We rely on either long wave radio 4 in the house, or using the Freesat TV as a radio (not a great solution in terms of running cost). We can't get decent broadband either, although to be fair Wiltshire Council did fork out for a fibre cabinet, under the rural broadband initiative (I think they got a government grant for it). Sadly the cabinet was full the day it went live, because it was over-booked with expressions of interest, and they are not going to enlarge it, so we've been told that we're unlikely to get better than our current 3Mb speed ever, as Openreach and the council have fulfilled their obligation by allowing around 10% of the village to get proper broadband....................

I'm currently looking at putting up another satellite dish for an internet connection. Not at all cheap, but there seems little alternative to this in some rural areas, like ours.

Flying Torquewrench
23rd Oct 2016, 10:28
VP959

It might be worthwhile having a look at Gigaclear for internet. They specialise in bringing Fibre Optic to rural areas. They soon start work in our village after a minimum of 35% of the households had signed up to it. They are not cheap and the installation cost can be a bit high but it might be an option instead of a dish.

Can't say anything about their service or signal strength as our 3mb/s internet speed is sufficient for our internet needs.

VP959
23rd Oct 2016, 10:35
Thanks for that, I've been looking around at community-based solutions and I may well be able to get enough people interested, as it's a common point raised at village meetings.

What really annoys me is that Openreach fitted the smallest possible fibre cabinet, even though they had expressions of interest from more than three times the number of subscribers that cabinet would support. The result is that only those with a BT Infinity contract can get fibre broadband, and all those using other suppliers are out of luck, as the damned cabinet is full now.

vulcanised
23rd Oct 2016, 12:35
Small relief to hear that I'm not the only one with R4 VHF problems.

It can be OK for several days but then it's as if someone has turned the wick down in an attempt to promote DAB sales.
.

VP959
23rd Oct 2016, 14:01
Small relief to hear that I'm not the only one with R4 VHF problems.

It can be OK for several days but then it's as if someone has turned the wick down in an attempt to promote DAB sales.
.
What annoys me is that I know of dozens of small communities nearby that have lost terrestrial TV reception, have poor radio reception, poor to non-existent mobile connectivity and poor internet connectivity. I live within 8 miles of a city, and many of these communities are equally close to it.

Before the "digital revolution" most managed to get terrestrial TV, albeit with the use of big antennas and head amps. Now very few can get terrestrial TV at all - no one in our village can, for example. When the digital switch over occurred everyone lost TV until they purchased satellite equipment.

The same goes for DAB. I know it works very well in big cities, as I have a portable DAB set and my car has a DAB radio. However, when I get back home DAB is unusable in the car, because of all the drop outs, and cannot get any signal at all in the house. I even went to the expense of fitting a rooftop DAB antenna, but still can't get a signal.

The cause seems obvious. By moving everything to higher frequencies they have created a very large number of radio blackspots, just because the higher the frequency the poorer it is at following the terrain. At DAB frequencies the signal is practically line-of-sight only; if you cannot see the transmitter than you probably can't receive a good signal.

I accept that Wiltshire is an awkward place, as it's dominated by a high, relatively flat, plain, with many of the communities set into steep sided valleys in that plain. The main roads tend to be on top of the plain, so that's where the transmitters have been placed.

In the case of our nearest mobile mast, our house is only 450 metres away from it, yet it's sat next to the main road and the village is set 150ft down into one of the valleys. There's no way that the high frequency signal used can get down into this valley, it just goes straight over the top. Using an (illegal) Chinese repeater, with a 12ft tall rooftop mast and a high gain yagi, pointed directly at the mast, I can just about get 1 to 2 bars of signal, enough to make and receive text messages but not make or receive a phone call reliably.

If we lived in one of the sparsely populated peripheral areas of the UK, say the extreme North, then I understand the problem, but we're less than a two hour drive from London, and only a 20 minute drive to Salisbury!

Windy Militant
23rd Oct 2016, 16:37
If we lived in one of the sparsely populated peripheral areas of the UK
It's one step forward two steps back.
When television first came to the part of Wales I grew up in a nearby town had to have a cable system from a repeater mast to get a picture. Then they built repeater transmitters to fill in the gaps.
As a Youff me and my mates all had cassette decks in our cars as the radio signal was so rubbish. We couldn't get Radio One on FM at home until 1989 a few months before I moved to England.
In the intervening years the signal improved until i could listen to the radio all the way from Home to Swindon. However in the last year and a half the FM signal has started to drop off again between Home and Carmarthen.
At my Mums house which is on a repeater transmitter she only gets the bare minimum channels on terrestrial as do the folks who used to have to have the cable repeater and satellite signal is not always available due to the terrain masking the signal as my nephew found out recently.
In the posher parts the lack of signal for phone and terrestrial tv is cause the knobs won't have the repeater masts on "Moi Larnd". ;)
However when Manx Radio broadcast the TT on 219 metres Medium wave we could listen to it in the car park in Llandysul which is twenty miles inland as the wiggly amp flies with the Llŷn Peninsula and Mona between it and the Island as well! ;)

VP959
23rd Oct 2016, 17:12
It is indeed "one step forward, and two steps backward"!

Spurred on by this thread, I decided to have a look at the broadband options again, to see if Openreach had done something to increase the cabinet capacity. The results were bizarre. In theory, any supplier can buy a line from Openreach, they are supposedly just the wholesaler of the network, not the supplier of end-user services.

So, I went on to the Openreach wholesale service availability check web page, typed in my post code and 'phone number and found that (as I already knew) my house was served by Cabinet 2 in our village. The odd thing is that it's showing as having spare capacity now.

So, I called my supplier and asked if I could now have fibre broadband (using FTTC with a VDSL modem). No they said, it's not available in your area. I told them I'd just checked the wholesale site and it was clearly showing there were lines available in the nearest FTTC. The supplier was adamant that the service wasn't available. I then rang EE, as they seemed to indicate they could provide FTTC to our line. Same answer, the cabinet's full and there's no prospect of there being a line available in the foreseeable future.

Although the BT offering doesn't suit our needs very well I decided to give them a try (I have no need of their Home Hub, don't want any of their "added value" services and already have a very good VDSL/VDSL2 capable modem, router, switches and home server that I do not want to mess with). Funny old thing, but BT could switch me to FTTC almost immediately, subject to me paying for an engineer to come out and fit an NTE5 Mk3 box (which I already have - Openreach fitted it last year when the line went in) and me paying 70 for this engineer visit that isn't needed.

I smell a large rodent here. Openreach are supposed to be "independent" of BT retail services, yet it seems they are telling other suppliers that the local FTTC cabinet is at capacity, when clearly there are still slots available if you are prepared to pay the premium for a BT supplied service...............

I wish I'd recorded the 'phone conversations, so I could send transcripts to OFCOM.

G-CPTN
23rd Oct 2016, 17:22
At DAB frequencies the signal is practically line-of-sight only; if you cannot see the transmitted than you probably can't receive a good signal.
I live in a steep-sided valley with the DAB transmitter over the horizon - thus no DAB reception.

Ancient Mariner
23rd Oct 2016, 17:41
Here in Vikingland FM will be shut down next year, totally, and only DAB+ will be available.
Prepare the dumps for a few million FM radios
Per

ian16th
23rd Oct 2016, 18:05
Prepare the dumps for a few million FM radiosThere must be a marketing opportunity here.

The shops sell new ones and cars come fitted with them in this southern colony, and as far as I am aware there are absolutely no plans to stop FM transmissions.

Ancient Mariner
23rd Oct 2016, 19:34
There must be a marketing opportunity here.

The shops sell new ones and cars come fitted with them in this southern colony, and as far as I am aware there are absolutely no plans to stop FM transmissions.
Our politicians have, in their wisdom, decided that Norway shall be in the front of technology.
Some times good, other times, not so much.
Per

yellowtriumph
23rd Oct 2016, 20:04
It is indeed "one step forward, and two steps backward"!

Spurred on by this thread, I decided to have a look at the broadband options again, to see if Openreach had done something to increase the cabinet capacity. The results were bizarre. In theory, any supplier can buy a line from Openreach, they are supposedly just the wholesaler of the network, not the supplier of end-user services.

So, I went on to the Openreach wholesale service availability check web page, typed in my post code and 'phone number and found that (as I already knew) my house was served by Cabinet 2 in our village. The odd thing is that it's showing as having spare capacity now.

So, I called my supplier and asked if I could now have fibre broadband (using FTTC with a VDSL modem). No they said, it's not available in your area. I told them I'd just checked the wholesale site and it was clearly showing there were lines available in the nearest FTTC. The supplier was adamant that the service wasn't available. I then rang EE, as they seemed to indicate they could provide FTTC to our line. Same answer, the cabinet's full and there's no prospect of there being a line available in the foreseeable future.

Although the BT offering doesn't suit our needs very well I decided to give them a try (I have no need of their Home Hub, don't want any of their "added value" services and already have a very good VDSL/VDSL2 capable modem, router, switches and home server that I do not want to mess with). Funny old thing, but BT could switch me to FTTC almost immediately, subject to me paying for an engineer to come out and fit an NTE5 Mk3 box (which I already have - Openreach fitted it last year when the line went in) and me paying 70 for this engineer visit that isn't needed.

I smell a large rodent here. Openreach are supposed to be "independent" of BT retail services, yet it seems they are telling other suppliers that the local FTTC cabinet is at capacity, when clearly there are still slots available if you are prepared to pay the premium for a BT supplied service...............

I wish I'd recorded the 'phone conversations, so I could send transcripts to OFCOM.
Does your neighbour have BT's super fast broadband? If they do, could you consider coming to an arrangement between you about sharing his access via wi-fi or a cable discreetly slung between your properties?

I'm not sure, but I think third parties buy exchange capacity at the exchange from Openreach, when they've used up their capacity they have to buy more (in chunks) - and so it becomes a commercial decision for them rather than a capacity one. But I may be wrong. In my own experiences with BT/Virgin/Talktalk before FTTC, i.e. copper all the way, that was certainly the case.

Assuming you could get it from multiple suppliers, do you have an idea of their respective charges? We have BT''s Infinity 1 and I think it's good value for us, but of course its a very personal decision.

rans6andrew
23rd Oct 2016, 20:29
I went into said department store today and looked with my fingers. Apparently there is a two tuner freeview hard disc video recorder with a SCART output but I need to forget the CD/DVD player possibility. This is not really an issue as the disc player in my video cassette recorder is the bit of it that still works properly. The best bit of all of this is that it works out quite a lot cheaper than the one I looked at yesterday. Win win.

rans6andrew
23rd Oct 2016, 21:01
ps, I also found at least one of the big name flatscreen TV makers still fits a SCART socket on the back of their sets.

yellowtriumph
23rd Oct 2016, 21:22
ps, I also found at least one of the big name flatscreen TV makers still fits a SCART socket on the back of their sets.
I'd be interested to know the name and model.

G-CPTN
23rd Oct 2016, 21:50
I believe that GB has chosen a less-good version of DAB?

I see that some GB transmitters are using DAB+ - are receivers compatible with both?

Sallyann1234
23rd Oct 2016, 21:54
You have to accept of course that the SCART input allows very inferior definition compared to the off-air TV signal, particularly if it is capable of HD reception.

Out Of Trim
24th Oct 2016, 01:42
I fairly recently got BT Infinity 1. I had to pay for the Home Hub 5 which they sent me. I self installed that. It has the VOSL modem built into the router. It has worked really well from day one. My connection went up from around 2.5 Mbs download to around 40 Mbs over Wifi and have seen 51 Mbs over Ethernet cable.

You can still use a different router if you don't like the Homehub.

tony draper
24th Oct 2016, 09:30
I bought a new LG 4K 3d TV a few months back that still has a scart socket on the back plus a composit Vid input.
:)

Sallyann1234
24th Oct 2016, 09:50
I believe that GB has chosen a less-good version of DAB?

I see that some GB transmitters are using DAB+ - are receivers compatible with both?

When the UK introduced DAB there was only the one version. DAB+ came later. As so often happens, being the innovator means you get overtaken by something better.

The first DAB receivers cannot receive DAB+, but all receivers on sale now should be compatible.

DAB has not been a universal success across Europe. Its only advantage is greater spectrum efficiency, which means more channels of identical carp can be compressed into the same bandwidth.

ExXB
24th Oct 2016, 10:15
The FM frequencies here are overwhelmed. There is no room for any more, and having overlaps with four EU countries means this will never improve. Lack of cooperation/coordination means that few signals are free from distortion.

Hence we are moving to DAB+. Which means the existing crap can be compressed into less bandwidth, and additional transmitters installed extending the availability to the remotest valleys.

No new FM frequencies have been allocated over the past years.

Sallyann1234
24th Oct 2016, 11:07
ExXB
It doesn't help that some of your transmitters are on mountains!

And of course having to transmit in three different languages just multiplies the problem :cool:

VP959
24th Oct 2016, 13:17
Does your neighbour have BT's super fast broadband? If they do, could you consider coming to an arrangement between you about sharing his access via wi-fi or a cable discreetly slung between your properties?

I'm not sure, but I think third parties buy exchange capacity at the exchange from Openreach, when they've used up their capacity they have to buy more (in chunks) - and so it becomes a commercial decision for them rather than a capacity one. But I may be wrong. In my own experiences with BT/Virgin/Talktalk before FTTC, i.e. copper all the way, that was certainly the case.

Assuming you could get it from multiple suppliers, do you have an idea of their respective charges? We have BT''s Infinity 1 and I think it's good value for us, but of course its a very personal decision.

The neighbour is around 90m away, so on the limit for a legal Wifi connection, plus it's technically illegal to piggy back on someone else's connection, I believe. I think you're right about the connectivity. I've now found five suppliers that can give us FTTC broadband and am working through the maze of costings - none make it easy to buy just what you need and none give break downs of their prices in any meaningful format...............

I fairly recently got BT Infinity 1. I had to pay for the Home Hub 5 which they sent me. I self installed that. It has the VOSL modem built into the router. It has worked really well from day one. My connection went up from around 2.5 Mbs download to around 40 Mbs over Wifi and have seen 51 Mbs over Ethernet cable.

You can still use a different router if you don't like the Homehub.
Therein lies the rub. Our new house has foil behind all the plasterboard, plus triple glazing with metal-sputtered anti-reflective coatings. This means that Wifi just doesn't work at all from room to room, and a single Wifi hub, like the BT offering, is no use at all.

I knew this was going to be a problem when we were building the house, as portable radios wouldn't work well inside, so I flood wired it with Cat 6 cable and fitted Cat 6 sockets wherever we were likely to need something like a TV or PC. These all lead back to a patch panel, which allows PoE injection to some ports, so that we can still have WAPs in some rooms for portable devices to work, plus I can power a decent modem/router over Ethernet and have it located right next to the incoming line. It only has two cables, a VDSL cable in from the nearby Openreach NTE5 Mk3 box, plus a single Cat 6 cable that provides both power and data to the modem router. It makes for a neat installation, but only one that's really well-suited to a new build.

rans6andrew
24th Oct 2016, 21:01
YellowTriumph, I found the SCART socket on the back of several models, all the way up to the latest huge curved towards you ones. The make is 4 letters, starting with "S" and ending with "Y" and rhyming with money.

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2016, 22:03
Just took the old analogue CRT TV to the waste disposal.


Oh the waste! That lovely copper wire in the degaussing coil all decomposing in the ground!

I took one out of a fairly old telly, one from before the copper shortage. White glove job getting it out, and a scalpel with a blunted tip. Perfect. Hung it on the hobby shop wall . . . and gave it to someone when I packed up and came home. :{

yellowtriumph
25th Oct 2016, 22:02
The neighbour is around 90m away, so on the limit for a legal Wifi connection, plus it's technically illegal to piggy back on someone else's connection, I believe. I think you're right about the connectivity. I've now found five suppliers that can give us FTTC broadband and am working through the maze of costings - none make it easy to buy just what you need and none give break downs of their prices in any meaningful format...............


Therein lies the rub. Our new house has foil behind all the plasterboard, plus triple glazing with metal-sputtered anti-reflective coatings. This means that Wifi just doesn't work at all from room to room, and a single Wifi hub, like the BT offering, is no use at all.

I knew this was going to be a problem when we were building the house, as portable radios wouldn't work well inside, so I flood wired it with Cat 6 cable and fitted Cat 6 sockets wherever we were likely to need something like a TV or PC. These all lead back to a patch panel, which allows PoE injection to some ports, so that we can still have WAPs in some rooms for portable devices to work, plus I can power a decent modem/router over Ethernet and have it located right next to the incoming line. It only has two cables, a VDSL cable in from the nearby Openreach NTE5 Mk3 box, plus a single Cat 6 cable that provides both power and data to the modem router. It makes for a neat installation, but only one that's really well-suited to a new build.
Bit jealous with the Cat6 install. Did you consider 'leaky feeder' wifi distribution? On the face of it, it might have be suitable for laying across the loft void above the upper floors and maybe in between the joists/flooring between the ground and first floors? Just a thought and of course i don't know your house layout. I haven't tried it myself, we are in new (mass) build and the BT router wifi reaches everywhere, If I did need better coverage over the house I would try those internet 'over the mains' boxes, I've had some experience of them and have found them to be very good.

yellowtriumph
25th Oct 2016, 22:04
YellowTriumph, I found the SCART socket on the back of several models, all the way up to the latest huge curved towards you ones. The make is 4 letters, starting with "S" and ending with "Y" and rhyming with money.
I'm really pleased for you, we have a very new curved screen led telly, the make starting with "S" and ending in 'G" and rhyming with cowdung that has no scart inputs.

rogerg
26th Oct 2016, 07:54
My BT home Hub sends its signal upstairs through a few thick stone walls via little BT mains plug gizmo. Seems to work OK.

david1300
26th Oct 2016, 08:13
Guys, look at the calendar - it's 2016 FFS :D. Not 1916 :ugh:. Be good boys, take your medication and get with the times :ok:

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 09:13
Bit jealous with the Cat6 install. Did you consider 'leaky feeder' wifi distribution? On the face of it, it might have be suitable for laying across the loft void above the upper floors and maybe in between the joists/flooring between the ground and first floors? Just a thought and of course i don't know your house layout. I haven't tried it myself, we are in new (mass) build and the BT router wifi reaches everywhere, If I did need better coverage over the house I would try those internet 'over the mains' boxes, I've had some experience of them and have found them to be very good.

We have no loft, as the new house is room-in-roof, so on the internal vaulted pitched ceiling, behind the plasterboard, there's just the metallic coated vapour membrane then 400mm of insulation, then 18mm of sarking then the slates.

The annoying thing is that we only needed to fit the foil-backed plasterboard to the external walls, but it was cheaper to use it everywhere, as there was a bulk saving in cost. What it has done is create very effective Faraday cages around every room, making even portable radio use a problem at higher frequencies and mobile phones stop working altogether.

I have a temporary wireless router fitted next to the incoming socket, but that doesn't even cover 1/4 of the house, and if we close to door to the room that it's in we lose the wifi signal completely.

As above, I made provision for this by flood wiring the house with Cat 6, as I suspected there might be a problem with wifi. A side effect is that it's meant I can get rid of a lot of little plug-in power supplies and power ethernet connected small devices via PoE, which makes things very neat (except at the patch panel in my study!). It also means I could include a battery back up, so the home network runs when there is a power cut, very handy for cordless VOIP phones and being able to have internet access in a power cut.

Wyler
26th Oct 2016, 12:25
On a thoroughly miserable, and more general, note I firmly believe you can either have lots of technology and a small population or a big population and little technology.
To have lots of both leads, IMHO, to ultimate disaster i.e mass migration, lack of jobs, poverty, wars etc

Still, could be wrong, may never happen......................

yellowtriumph
26th Oct 2016, 12:27
VP959,

Your IT install sounds nice and robust, I assume you know you can get mobile phone RF extender units (aerial on the outside of the house, re-transmitter can be placed internally in a room of your choosing), although of course your problem would be where best to put the re-txr if your house is so absolutely rf proof internally. Tesco etc do them, and you can get network specific units to match your chosen supplier - just a thought.

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 13:11
VP959,

Your IT install sounds nice and robust, I assume you know you can get mobile phone RF extender units (aerial on the outside of the house, re-transmitter can be placed internally in a room of your choosing), although of course your problem would be where best to put the re-txr if your house is so absolutely rf proof internally. Tesco etc do them, and you can get network specific units to match your chosen supplier - just a thought.
Indeed, I have one of the little (illegal!) Chinese boxes already fitted, together with a yagi on a 12ft pole pointing at the nearest phone mast. It means we can "just" about get a phone signal in the corner of the kitchen...............

The delights of rural Wiltshire and living at the bottom of a valley.

ian16th
26th Oct 2016, 15:27
"The delights of rural Wiltshire and living at the bottom of a valley."A dam sight better than spending the winter of 1952-3 in a wooden hut, at the highest inhabited point of Wiltshire.

AKA RAF Yatesbury, where they issued 2 extra blankets as the norm.

VP959
26th Oct 2016, 17:39
A dam sight better than spending the winter of 1952-3 in a wooden hut, at the highest inhabited point of Wiltshire.

AKA RAF Yatesbury, where they issued 2 extra blankets as the norm.
Funny old thing, but I flew up to Yatesbury around 10 years ago. The very weird bloke running the grass strip there was running joy rides over the local crop circles, IIRC. I had a suspicion that him and his mates were creating the crop circles so that he could then run the joy rides.................

Yes, as I recall it was cold and windy. Windy enough that there's a local hang glider hot spot, I believe, from one of the slightly more elevated humps nearby.