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Final Maps for my Roadtrip… #wtrip08

O.k… I am 24 hours away from leaving and printing out my final set of maps for the trip. I have located all the camp grounds that I need to as well so have tweaked the maps as well.

The other thing was that I plan on doing a good number of hours around Silverton and Broken Hill, so I will arrive in Broken Hill late Friday leave on Monday Morning, which gives me 2 full days.

I have also started to use the hashtag #wtrip08 if you wish to follow the tweet stream. I will be able to receive direct messages only so conversation may be a bit one way. Why the hell should I pay $29 for 100meg of data on my prepaid phone!

So here is the route day by day…

Tuesday 16/12/08: Melbourne to Echuca/Barma State Forest: 272 km

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Wednesday: Echuca to the Willandra National Park: 418 km (Just south of Ivanhoe)

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Thursday: Willandra National Park to White Cliffs, via Ivanhoe and Wilcannia: 400 km

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Friday: Broken Hill 274 km (Depending on Weather and Road conditions which I can work out at White Cliffs, I can take the main sealed route to Broken Hill, by travelling back to Wilcannia as well)

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Saturday/Sunday: Base myself in broken Hill.. will go out to Silverton for at least half a day as well

Monday: Broken Hill to Burra: 356 km (Remembering to be in Burra before Thorougoods Cellar Door Closes to stock up on some of the best Cider in Australia)

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Tuesday 23/12/08: Burra to Adelaide Airport: 161 km. Most important thing to be at the Airport before Cat arrives from Melbourne.

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Total Distance of trip will be if I only followed the maps 1,881 km – Will over 2k by the time you do all those other running around bits e.t.c… but a holiday I am very much looking forward to.

Plus the return trip home from Adelaide will be via Millicent and the coast taking a few days to do that as well 🙂

RoadTrip – New Phone

Telstra 156 – Prepaid with Monster Aerial

Yep… despite my love for my N9-8gb it simply isn’t going to work where I am going. So I have had to fork out more money for another phone.

This little phone is what is referred to a blue tick phone and with the big aerial on it should give me coverage for nearly the whole trip… sans a bit of the Cobb Highway and the back road to Broken Hill from White Cliffs. (a road that I may or may not take depending on speaking to the locals at White Cliffs before hand)

I am looking forward to sending tweets from the middle of nowhere to let people know how I am getting on as well.

The other nice thing about this phone is that it charges via USB. So the power inverter in the car can be charging either the UMPC or the Camera and the Nokia will charge of the other lighter adaptor I have and I do not need to fork out for another car charger for this little phone.

Thanks to @JonoH for the aerial as well.

Roadtrip 08 – Tech

yes I am a nerd… guess that is why I have my own domain with a blog hanging off it as well 🙂

But that aside I thought I would outline the tech I am taking on the road and why.

Lake Mountain Snow ChaseComputer: Asus R2H:  – Built in GPS, Touch Screen, SD Card Reader
Software Loaded: Win XP.OziExplorer, Nokia PC Suite, Irfan View, NxView (Nikon Software)

This is the primary tool of the trip for storing and managing all the data.  With this computer mounted on the windscreen of the car I have all the maps, music and photo handling that I could need. (well maybe not all.. but certainly all I can afford 🙂

Hanging of the computer is a WD Passport Drive and a Logitech Webcam to act as a trip recorder as well and a little FM transmitter for music.  (a lot of very bad singing to 80’s music coming up for me!)

me and the camera. exact geo locationCamera: Nikon D90: with a 18-55mm and a 55-200mm VR Lens kit configuration.  Further I have also purchased for the trip the ML-L3 wireless remote control (hopefully to get long exposures of the night sky outback) and 2xUV Filters for both lens’.  I got two so I can swap my lens’ and don’t need to swap the filter.  The filters only set me back $19each from JB, so that wasn’t a big problem.  I only have 1 4gig SD card (Class 6 rated), but given that I have the computer and a WD Portable HD as well space is not a major problem and I doubt I will shoot more than 4 gig even in RAW in one go 🙂  And the R2H reads the SD HC cards just fine so I can empty a card pretty damned quick if I need to.

Mobile Phones: I am taking two phones.  One my trusty Vodafone powered N95-8gb.  Which will be on the whole trip.  One it will act as a back up gps device and datalogger of the trip as well.  And secondly it will also be used to geotag reference photos when I am away from the car and the UMPC.  I can’t afford the new GP-1 for this trip so I will be forced to geotag manually  (oh the humanity!)  But the phone acts as a great way to get this data in a reference image via the Location Tagger software.  The other phone in a Telstra Next G – Telstra 156 with external antenna (big hat tip to @johnH for the antenna).  This will act as my emergency phone.  People can call into me and I can call out if there is a problem.  From looking at the maps of my route I am down to less than a few hundred k’s of a 2000k trip outside phone coverage.

I have a 150watt DSE Power Inverter to keep all the batteries running as I go as well.  So I can power things up on an as needed basis as well.  I have a car charger for the Nokia so can run that easily and charge the other phone/camera/UMPC on a rotating basis as needed without any additional expenses as well.

So that outlines most things and all the purchases I have made in the last month or so for this trip.  I am not allowed to spend any more money on toys 🙁 but I think I may just have enough to get by for a week on the road by myself.

Roadtrip 08 Update

Yes.. sorry for all the non writting on the blog.. been hectic at work…  plus lots of other shit as well.

Short version is yesterday we got the car back with new transmission installed.  FTW.  Which means yeah that car works and double yeah Roadtrip 08 is till on.

So the plan is leave on Tuesday Dec 16 morning to be in Adelaide for Cats flight at 10:30am to take her for a romantic getaway in the Barossa Valley that night for our 9 year wedding anniversary.

So now I have to get a few more things together.  The remote control for the D90 arrived the other day which now means I can do unlimited long exposures in the country side which is good and cause I am going on my own I can even take photos of myself at places if I wanted to.  Not that I ever do… I am one of those annoying behind the camera type of people never in front of it.

I still have to get out my old tent and check all that is in order as well and the rest of the camping gear but most of that is fairly well organised (Cat not me :-)) And I have a new self inflating air mattress as well so should be able to sleep at night.  I still need to book cheap accom in Broken Hill for 2 nights but the rest is going to be camping.

On the technical side I also need to do a clean install on the R2H and get that running clean with all the latest maps for OziExplorer as well, but that is a job for one evening this week.

Plus I am going to get a Telstra 156 prepaid as well.  My Nokia N95-8gb on vodafone is no good on the next gen network and given where I am going and that I will be on my own then this is the kind of back up I really need. And yes I will modify my twitter and tweet2sms accounts to work of this number as well so I will still be tweeting.

I’d really like to pick up another portable HD as well as given that the D90 takes 10meg raw images I plan on taking a lot of photos.  On this trip I do plan on shooting only in RAW and will work out what to do with the images when I get back to civilisation.  I get one shot at this road trip.

So still lots of things to get organised and 1 week of work as well.  But things are moving… I will keep you up-to-date as things go.