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Screw you, PayPal

For the past month or so, PayPal has been sending me irregular messages saying that I can claim €5 to do what I want. Clearly a scam, no? So I looked at the message and it was legit, really from PayPal. The conditions were that I was resident in France, had a French PayPal account, was 18+, and responded to an email carrying the offer.
So I clicked on the link, and got taken to PayPal, who replied...
PayPal says no
PayPal says NO.
So I rather suspect that it was a scam, being run by PayPal themselves, to see how many inactive accounts are actually dormant...since they've recently decided to charge people for inactive accounts, but can't do that for those with a balance of zero. I don't keep money in my account, or use it much, because PayPal go to lengths to point out that they aren't a bank. Which says to me that the normal legal rules of banking don't apply, therefore I'm not going to consider it as such. It's just... some sites only accept PayPal.

Now, I didn't really expect to get a free fiver from PayPal. It's a weird promotion to hand people five euros, and one can't help but think that somebody somewhere would be losing on this. But it's still a shitty thing to pull. If you wanted to check how many accounts are still connected to actual people, why not just send a message saying that you will be restricting the functions of dormant accounts, and if the account is unused but not dormant, please log in. Oh, and do NOT provide a link, tell people to go to Why? Because the scammers say the same thing and they provide links.
But to offer a fiver and then say "nope, not elegible"? Screw you, PayPal.


Amazon fails

The first is a vendor with pie-in-the-sky aspirations...
How much for a box of tea?
How much for a box of tea?
Sadly this rather nice black tea is no longer produced. It simply doesn't exist anymore. So it's wishful thinking that somebody would pay €1,299 for a box (that's €52 a cup!), just as it's wishful thinking that it'll ever come back.

And just to prove that we have nothing to worry about regarding Artificial Incompetence, I let this speak for itself...

Similar to custard powder...
Similar to custard powder...


Some luck with that old washing machine

I remembered a useful site called, which I think is Hungarian or something, but houses a pretty decent collection of service manuals.

They didn't have the Brandt TL550.
They did, however, have the TL540 and TL560. So I downloaded both sets of schematics, which were provided as screenshots in a .doc file. Weird, but hey, I don't care how it comes so long as it comes.

The machines (all of them) were released in October 1991. Jeez, I was seventeen.

As far as I can work out:

  • TL540 - a simple machine, the motor (the same as in all) is fixed to run bi-directionally with the windings connected together.
    The machine washes at 50 turns a minute, and spins at 400 turns a minute.
    A single temperature sensor goes open at around 83°C.

  • TL550 - a slightly more capable machine. The motor has two capacitors, and the windings are separated into "GV" and "PV" - fast (grande vitesse) and slow (petit vitesse). Actual speeds unknown but assumed to be 50rpm for washing, and 500rpm for spinning as the TL560 appears to be wired up the same way.
    There's a half load switch, which seems to simply skip one of the rince cycles.

  • TL560 - an even more capable machine.
    This seems to be basically the same as the TL550, with the addition of an ECO switch. What this does is put in-line a second thermostat, that opens at around 37°C. Drum speed quoted as 50rpm in wash, or 500rpm in spin.

It appears that the ECO switch will simply drop the temperatures that the machine heats to around 40C maximum, whatever the setting is. But since I don't have this, it doesn't concern me.

The big knob on the front
The big knob on the front.
The top panel of the machine claims to support 30, 40, 60, and 90 degree washing. It looks like this is handled by simply using timing. Run the heater for this long into "cold" water will raise it to about this temperature, with the temperature sensor basically acting as a safeguard against runaway heating (and boiling) rather than any attempt at actually controlling the temperature. So the given temperatures are subject to quite a lot of leeway. I'd be washing, most likely, on the 40°C setting anyway. That's what I did everything on in the old Zanussi. Was easy, just select programme 'D' and press the button and let it get on with things.

The behaviour of the thermostat is borne out with seeing that it is simply wired in-line with the heater element. Too hot, it goes open circuit and the heater cuts out. That's all.

The thermostat operation
The thermostat operation.

It appears that the half load setting does not affect water consumption. On the old Zanussi, if you were running half load, it would take in less water. This machine appears to consume the same amount of water whether it's half load or full load. It just skips, as mentioned above, one of the rinses. Actually, it technically doesn't. Looking at the controller matrix, it seems to be a bit of a cheat. When running a rinse cycle, at the end it will activate the drainage pump. However for this one time it will activate the half-load drainage pump. If the switch is off, the contact is made and the machine will drain. However if the switch is on, there's no contact and the machine won't drain. I've highlighted this in cyan.

Washing machine control matrix
Washing machine control matrix.

The documentation suggests that the programme "Blanc 90" (which I'm assuming is without prewash) will take 130 minutes (using 110 litres of water and 2.3kW). This is from stop #5 on the controller until stop #46 (a stop point). That's a span of 42 places on the matrix. Assuming that it is linear, a quick calculation suggests a mite over three minutes per block along the matrix.
Here is the relationship between the above matrix and the control on the top of the machine. I have added annotations to the diagram.

Washing machine controller behaviour
Washing machine controller behaviour (annotated).
It's not particularly clear, but I think the "cadence lente" and "cadence normal" are related to whether one block or two is filled in the centre of the diagram.
If it's only one, then the timings will be slow, that is to say three seconds of drum rotation, twelve seconds of push, three seconds of rotation in the other direction, and twelve seconds of pause, repeat. This is used for the 90°C cycle, and also for washing delicates.
If both blocks are filled, it's normal behaviour which is nine seconds of rotation and six seconds of pause. This is normal behaviour.
I'm guessing the '3' all over the place is, indeed, the timing in minutes. It would make sense. This suggests a normal 40°C wash will run the heater for 18 minutes, and would take 69 minutes to complete a cycle.
A more ecological 30°C wash (for things that aren't that dirty) would heat for nine minutes (in other words, barely - the kettle takes half as long and that's a lot less water!) and runs a cycle in exactly an hour.
A sixty degree wash would add another 21 minutes of heating, or 28 if 60°C cotton (which is less sensitive to being too hot). I doubt I'd ever use that, it's 21-28 minutes of 2kW and potentially another third to half hour. Nah, 40°C ought to suffice...


As for the motor capacitors? You know, the reason for all of this? Well...

Schematic of the capacitors
Schematic of the capacitors (annotated!).

The colours match up. I have to confirm with a multimeter to the motor and controller, but I don't really anticipate anything to be different. It looks like the main difference with the model pictured is a €3 thermostat and €1 button, which can bump the price up a hundred or so (what, me, cynical?).
So it just looks like I need to source two 400V 16µF capacitors with dual spade connectors on each side.
I have one, but it's in pretty poor shape. On Amazon, with Prime (so won't take three months from China), they look to be around €12,50 each.

So... ☺

Now, I don't know if the machine even works, so popping in two capacitors and fixing some wiring and checking stuff is about as much as I'm willing to do. Anything else is more expense.

But I'd really like to see about getting this machine running again. Firstly in order that I may finally have something else wash my clothes, and secondly because... sorry... but I have more trust in a thirty year old mechanical gizmo than these new-fangled microcontroller jobbies. Sure, a device that can sense what's actually in the machine and tailor the heating to exact fractions of a degree may well be vastly more efficient than this machine, but to my mind it's simply more things to go wrong. And without easy access to both service manuals and spare parts, it would be either a potentially expensive call-out, or a need to scrap and replace.
Keep in mind that I'll be running this off of well water, not mains water (don't have that!), which means impurities. Any repairman is likely to take one look at that setup and say "nope!", even though that's the setup that ran our old Zanussi for over twenty years (and it was about fifteen-odd old even back then!).


Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, big thanks to ElektoTanya!



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J.G.Harston, 2nd January 2022, 03:58
Before Christmas I spent a two frustrating days trekking around clothes shops trying to find some decent trousers. Either everything was summer trousers or nothing in my size. So, frustrated I decided **** YOU! and went online. 
New troos arrived from Amazon yesterday. SIGH! Summer trousers, and wrong size! AGGGH!G!JHGFR!VI$%"^%$*"^% 
Rick, 2nd January 2022, 09:53
I don't believe it's possible to order clothes online. 
I'm an L, an XL, a 44, a 46, and sometimes a 42. 
Speaking of 42, my shoe size is 41, 42, 43, and 44. 
If companies made clothing to be an actual given size, then no problem. But different companies size their clothes differently, which makes it damn near impossible to know what size something actually is without trying it on. 
Plus, more and more these days there's only one size given. Like a waist of X means a leg length of Y. Well, my legs aren't getting longer but I think my waist might be increasing slightly. 
At least with shirts I don't have the girl problem of a third measurement, but it can be hard to find a shirt that fits the torso as well as the arms. 
naitly, 10th April 2024, 13:50 <a href="">href</a> []BB code[/url] google 
<a href="">href</a>, 10th April 2024, 13:53 []BB code[/url] google 
Rick, 10th April 2024, 14:08
An idiot spammer who didn't notice the "don't waste your time trying to add links" instruction...for what, to link to Google? 🤷 

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