Aug 24 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-08-24


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Aug 20 2009

Itinerary Update


Forgot to mention… I’ve updated the itinerary!

Andy and I met with Jeff last week, who was able to tell us from personal experience how to get from Roper Bar to Mt Isa, and what to see along the way. There’s a bunch of updates, so take a look!

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Aug 20 2009



It’s been ages since I’ve posted an update! The trip is only two and a half weeks away, and while there is plenty still to be done, there’s plenty more that is falling into place.

Tank Bag Insert
I’ve been working on a foam insert for the tank bag, to keep everything in there in its place. At this point it has to house (securely):

  • UHF Handheld CB Radio (and cradle… not ideal)
  • VIO-POV helmet camera recorder unit
  • AutoCom comms integrator
  • Canon HV-20 HDV Camera
  • Battery charger for the above video camera
  • iPod nano
  • Mobile phone
  • 2 x 3-way cigarette lighter sockets
  • Power adapters for the radio, the helmet camera, the battery charger, the mobile phone, the iPod and the AutoCom
  • A pair of gloves

The VIO-POV and the UHF radio barely fit upright in the deepest part of the bag, and the mass of cables and adapters is pretty frightening. Mk I turned out to be to bulky, and trying to shape the layers of foam to compensate for the angled floor of the bag became tricky. Mk II has worked out much better. The foam is angled with the floor of the bag, and the whole insert stops a few inches from the front (handle-bar end) of the bag, leaving space for the jumbled cables and adapters. I think it will work!

Testing… one… two…
Had an interesting weekend of testing recently.

First of all, I’ve worked out that I’ve hooked up the SAE connector to the bike with reverse polarity. It doesn’t matter too much, since the cigarette lighter sockets I’ve rigged up are also wired in reverse to compensate. So, unless I want to hook something directly to an SAE connector, I should be OK… except that in its current state the SAE connector can short against the frame of the bike, which is not so good.

I’m reluctant, but I think I’ll need to fix that.

Ran some tests with the AutoCom the iPod and the VIO-POV, all running off the bike. The first issue was the electrical noise from the bike. I’ll have to add a noise filter to the power supply, which suddenly makes fixing the crossed polarity less of an issue, since I’ll be pulling things apart anyway. The noise wasn’t so bad with just the iPod, but when I spoke and the VOX system kicked in, it was much worse. I’ve sourced a filter… so that will have to be added.

The next thing I found was that the throat mic was freaking out the AutoCom somehow. I’d experienced this already in tests at home, but it’s worse than I thought. I’m not sure yet if it’s just the adapter I’ve made, or if the gain on the mic is a little high, but either way, it creates an awful hiss in the headphones which masks just about everything else.

I’ve got the VIO-POV recorder connected to one of the AUX ports on the AutoCom. It doesn’t pick up the sound from the iPod (and I don’t know yet if it picks up other parties in CB an phone conversations), but it picks up anything from my own mic, or that of a pillion passenger. What I can’t tell (with the electrical noise and the hiss) is whether it records all the time, or just when the VOX control kicks in. The clips I made have engine/power noise right through, and I can’t hear the mic kick in and out the way I do in my earphones… so that will need further testing when the power noise issue is sorted.

The VOX sensitivity will need to be adjusted, too (if that’s possible). At the moment I need to talk fairly loudly to get it to kick in. It’s not too bad, but if I trail off at the end of a sentence, the gate closes and the last few words are lost. Again, it might be related to the position of the throat mic, and a range of other things.

New Gear
I’ve got a bit of gear on order (some of it on back-order, which could get tricky), and have purchased some other items:

  • Dianese Knee Pads – they’re slim enough to sit inside the top of my dirt-bike boots, and they have articulated knees
  • Pivot Pegz – these things better be the best you can buy, cause they’re flipping expensive. Pretty though. Will fit them in the next few days.
  • Fox padded bike shorts – these have a padded seat like normal bike shorts, but have added protection for the hips and coccyx. My girlfriend the paramedic tells me that nursing home patients wear them to protect their hips if they fall… though without the “Fox” branding, I suspect.
  • RAM Mounts – a handful of balls and clamps so that I can mount my helmet camera just about anywhere. They’re ordered… should be here any day
  • AutoComm cables – an adapter for the UHF radio, plus a PTT switch for Marco. The switch is on back-order, but should be here by the end of the week.

More news to come… I’m going to bed.

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Aug 17 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-08-17

  • RT @jasondaye: "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." -Mark Twain #

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Aug 10 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-08-10

  • Left my laptop charger and my lunch at home. Feel like going home to get them… or perhaps just going home. #fb #signsofthingstocome #
  • RT @geoffmatheson: This is a cool story about the recently departed John Hughes: #
  • Doin' another all-nighter. Tweet me company? #

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Aug 3 2009

This week’s Tweets: 2009-08-03

  • Leftovers of Amanda's chicken soup for lunch. My girlfriend made me soup! #fb #happyplace #
  • RT @PeterRollins: How would it be, if a house was dreaming. Breathtaking art #fb #
  • When witness is no longer surprising but coercive cause it's presented as undeniable, the GoodNews is neither news nor good.-Byron Stone #fb #
  • RT @JesusNeedsNewPR: "When witness is no longer surprising but coercive… "-Byron Stone (credit where credit is due, and fits) #
  • RT @jonathanbrink: just when you thought Emergent was dead. ///Brilliant definition… if you can call it that. #fb #
  • Pulling an all-nighter (or near enough to it) at work. I was already tired this morning… #fb #
  • Cooking up a storm with @amandajfooks #
  • Exhausted. #fb #

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