Jul 27 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-07-27

tim
  • RT @Liturgy: Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." #fb #
  • Picked the perfect day to ride to work! #fb #
  • Found grey hair today. Pretty much thought I'd skipped that step completely. Oh well… any hair is a bonus, I guess. #fb #
  • RT @Colvinius: possibly the greatest newspaper apology ever: http://bit.ly/iUTkU #
  • RT @gideony: KFC Fried Chicken "11 herbs and spices" cracked.. and then the Guardian does up their own version http://bit.ly/AWmEb #
  • RT @jasondaye: "Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair." -G.K. Chesterton #fb #
  • just had a lovely lunch with @amandajfooks. Back to work! #fb #
  • RT @emergentvillage: RT @shayner48 – the good news, according to rob bell: http://bit.ly/164q4w #fb #

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Jul 20 2009

Coming together, with a few tweaks

tim

Departure day is getting closer, to the point of being a little scary now. The bike is almost ready, though there’s a few mods still to be ticked off. Will need to get on to that fairly soon.

We had a meeting last week to work out logistics and the like, and it was great to see almost everyone there with us. Seeing everyone together in the same room, I got the feeling that this is going to be a great group of people to travel with, and a lot of fun. General consensus is that we’ll bush-camp as many night as we can, and that we’d rather be amongst nature than at the back of a hotel somewhere. We have the basic costs worked out, and Jane’s in the process of working out a rough menu.

We’ve secured an additional vehicle for the trip. Andy has arranged the loan/hire of a diesel Land Cruiser 100 series, which will be perfect for the trip, and will ensure that we have enough seats for everyone.

We’ve also had word of an alternative route down from Nhulunbuy, in the direction of Mt Isa. We haven’t worked out the exact details yet, but we at least can confirm that it’s possible… and we now have the maps. Looking at the distance we have to cover, and the quality of the roads in the area (and deadlines we need to meet for flights etc) we might still have to head back via Tennant Creek… but you never know.

We’ll also be reaching Mt Isa a day later than planned. Flights out of Mt Isa are limited (and one of our company is flying home from there), and it worked out better for us to get there a day early or a day later… and a day later was always going to be safer. This will mean we get back to Melbourne a day later, but that shouldn’t matter too much. I’ll update the itinerary shortly to reflect the changes.

More to come…

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Jul 20 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-07-20

tim
  • RT @cdlowell: Funny Rockumentary from @crowderband http://bit.ly/4sKl5L (via @ShannonSteele) #
  • standing in the queue for Harry Potter @ IMAX. The things you do for love #fb #
  • RT @geoffmatheson: RT @thecatempire: If you want a serious laugh, read the customer reviews of this product: http://is.gd/1yIyV #
  • RT @kynanr: lynch TV http://bit.ly/WFvUH Moby: creativity, in and of itself, is beautiful #fb #
  • Tell me again how Harry Potter and 4 hours sleep are good ideas on a work night. #
  • Drinking instant coffee purely for the caffeine. When did instant coffee stop tasting like coffee… or anything else, for that matter? #
  • Meeting with my fellow travellers tonight to prepare for the Arnhem Land trip in September. http://www.halfdecentcoffee.com/ride Cant wait! #
  • RT @charitywater: Photo of the Day – http://twitpic.com/afqmi #
  • Dinner and Harry Potter for @mans09 's birthday! #
  • Dinner and Harry Potter for @mans09 's birthday! #fb #
  • Mmm… Curry Friday #fb #
  • Great night at Coldstream Brewery last night. Chocolate and custard spring rolls are fantastic. Probably shouldn't eat today. #
  • RT @billious: Looks like a film EVERYONE should see: http://www.foodincmovie.com/ (via @hmichaelrich08). Would like to see an Aus version… #

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Jul 20 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-07-20

tim
  • RT @cdlowell: Funny Rockumentary from @crowderband http://bit.ly/4sKl5L (via @ShannonSteele) #
  • standing in the queue for Harry Potter @ IMAX. The things you do for love #fb #
  • RT @geoffmatheson: RT @thecatempire: If you want a serious laugh, read the customer reviews of this product: http://is.gd/1yIyV #
  • RT @kynanr: lynch TV http://bit.ly/WFvUH Moby: creativity, in and of itself, is beautiful #fb #
  • Tell me again how Harry Potter and 4 hours sleep are good ideas on a work night. #
  • Drinking instant coffee purely for the caffeine. When did instant coffee stop tasting like coffee… or anything else, for that matter? #
  • Meeting with my fellow travellers tonight to prepare for the Arnhem Land trip in September. http://www.halfdecentcoffee.com/ride Cant wait! #
  • RT @charitywater: Photo of the Day – http://twitpic.com/afqmi #
  • Dinner and Harry Potter for @mans09 's birthday! #
  • Dinner and Harry Potter for @mans09 's birthday! #fb #
  • Mmm… Curry Friday #fb #
  • Great night at Coldstream Brewery last night. Chocolate and custard spring rolls are fantastic. Probably shouldn't eat today. #
  • RT @billious: Looks like a film EVERYONE should see: http://www.foodincmovie.com/ (via @hmichaelrich08). Would like to see an Aus version… #

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Jul 13 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-07-13

tim
  • RT @gideony: We've All Been Betrayed, We've All Been Abandoned http://bit.ly/O6Hyw (An incredibly powerful post on our abandonment by God) #
  • Just won a couple of boxes of shiraz on http://www.graysonline.com. #fb #
  • 'guru': a useful short word for people who can't spell 'charlatan' – Francis Wheen (via @Colvinius) #
  • RT @jonathanbrink: if you've ever played a first person shooter game, this is funny. http://bit.ly/PD0hY #
  • Pretty excited about the other 83% #fb #
  • Mmmm… Curry Thursday (much like Curry Friday but, you know… today) #fb #
  • Home after a great long weekend in the Grampians. Great time, despite the rain. #fb #
  • RT @Colvinius: What's more basic than clean water? Millions don't have access. Some1 did something about it. http://bit.ly/16pYNg via @sacca #
  • For interesting walks that aren't on the map, talk to the guy at the McKenzie's Falls Kiosk in the Grampians NP. Top guy! #
  • How many Emerging Church Bloggers does it take to change a light bulb? http://bit.ly/cY4lo #fb #

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Jul 9 2009

New Riding Gear

tim

A reader suggested a while back that the DriRider Rallycross range of gear was good, and that it had served him well on a trip to the top-end.

The Rallycross range has been refreshed each year since it came out. The original jacket didn’t have a great reputation amongst posters on ADVrider, but by all reports later models improved. I think I’ve managed to try on just about every year’s model now, and the improvements are significant with each year.

The 2008 model was predominantly mesh construction, with a zip-off sleeves and a removable waterproof/thermal liner. It also had a cavity for a hydration bladder in the back. I tried this one, but the combined thermal and waterproof liner was ridiculously warm, and limited the jacket to hot, dry climates, or cold, wet ones, and nothing in between. Also it was just plain uncomfortable to wear. Most of the armour seemed to hit pressure points, and I get the feeling it would have been exhausting to wear for any length of time. Needless to say, the previous models were worse on all points.

The 2009 model (which I’ve bought) looks much like the 2008 jacket, but it has improved dramatically. The liner is now two liners – waterproof and thermal – and either or both of these can be zipped in and out pretty quickly. All of the zips, clips and straps have been upgraded in terms of quality and functionality, and press studs have been replaced with Velcro in just the right places. The main front zip opens from the top and bottom, and the bladder pocket now has a zip-open gusset to make room for the hydration kit. The jacket is heavy, but it’s very comfortable in any configuration, and the combination of liners means it’s easy to tailor for conditions as they change.

I also looked at pants in the same range, but these aren’t mesh, and rely on zippered openings for ventilation. The seem OK, but I took the advice of Mandy and Marco (who shopped with me) and decided to stick with Kevlar-lined jeans instead. Between the jeans, my existing off-road pants, and basic waterproofs, I think I’ll do OK. At their suggestion I’m also going to purchase what can only be likened to bicycle shorts with body armour in them. I’d heard the merits of bike shorts on long trips, but these, with built in hip protection, seem like the way to go.

I also picked up some Rallycross Pro gloves, which are overpriced and useless in the cold or wet, but otherwise very good. They’re effectively dirt-bike gloves, but made of heavier material. I think they’ll be perfect for off-road riding and warmer weather.

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Jul 9 2009

Adapting the Autocom

tim

I’ve done a bit of work with the AutoCom Active PLUS, to make it work with my setup. I’ve added a cigarette lighter plug to the 12v power lead so that I can run it from one of the outlets in the tank bag. I’ve also cut the push-to-talk lead where it goes to the PTT button, and added in a 3.5mm jack, so that I can have the adapter in the tank bag, but leave the PTT button on the handlebars, and disconnect and reconnect things fairly quickly.

Last weekend’s job was to make my Earmolds and thoat mic work with the Autocom. The supplied setup puts speakers and a mic inside the helmet. Since I’m determined to use the Earmolds, that would leave me with a mic in the helmet and speakers (or earphones) on my body, meaning I’d have to unplug something every time I removed my helmet.

I’ve had a throat mic for years, which I bought for another trip, but never really used. The lead is designed to accommodate mono speakers or earphones (which I don’t want to use) so I’ve wired up only the mic pins of the lead. If you’re interested, the throat mic is a Noise Terminator GP, which has since been superseded. I suspect that most mics of this sort are from a common source, and rebranded… but I can’t prove that.

The Autocom kit came with a couple of extension leads for the rider and pillion, so I’ve modified one of these to make the adapter. After confirming that the pin-outs listed here are correct, I’ve wired a 3.5mm stereo jack and a 2.5mm mono jack to one end the lead, and heat-shrunk everything.

The result seems to be OK so far… not that I’ve been on the bike with it yet. But with everything connected I can hear music and hear myself quite well. I also connected the VIO-POV camera to the whole setup, and the Autocom channels my voice (all the time, without music, to the exclusion of the inbuilt mic) to the camera footage, which is perfect!

All I’m missing now is a UHF radio and the adapter to connect it to the AutoCom. Fellow traveller Marco recently bought a GME TX680 for his, though I don’t think he’s tested it as part of the rig yet.

Apart from that, I just need to organise the contents of the bag so all of the wires are out of the way, and the items I need to access are within easy reach. If, after all that, I can fit a video camera and a pair of gloves in there, I’ll be pretty happy!

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Jul 6 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-07-06

tim
  • RT @willie42: RT @AngelaMaiers: RT @dtapscott Note to President Obama. Want to Fix the Schools? Look to Portugal! http://bit.ly/kZW4p #
  • just about anything + coffee = better #
  • A workable model for evangelism? http://bit.ly/15W0fg #
  • I eat too much curry #
  • Took @amandafooks out on the motorbike – in the dark, in the rain. She's either insane, or she really does like me. (be kind) #
  • Speaking at http://rangescc.org/ this morning. #
  • Testing Selective Twitter Status on Facebook (which shouldn't work, in this case) #
  • Testing Selective Twitter Status on Facebook (which should work this time) #fb #
  • Falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. #fb #

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