Entries Tagged as 'RoadTrip 08'

Adelaide to Melbourne in 6m and 13 Seconds… #wtrip08

Finally got around last night to encoding the video of the drive home from Adelaide to Melbourne Last night… and here it is… compressed down to 6min and 13 Seconds… yes the video is a bit rough in places as the camera moved during the trip and I forgot to hit pause on a couple of side stops to get photos… but hey it adds to the interestingness I think.

For those are wondering the video is captured on a webcam hanging of the sunvisor in the car plugged into my Asus R2H and recorded to a WD Passport HD.

Sourced from 148Gig worth of 320×240 Video and approx 17 hours of driving and stopping to take photos 🙂

So this is Adelaide to Furner in one day.. stop at a friends place then 2 days later drive to Melbourne…

Here is the kml of the trip… so you can see what the video covers…

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Finally a draft of the #wtrip08 kmz file

yes.. it has taken way to long to do this.. but with work and all the stuff getting in the way of fun…

anyway here is the first draft of the kmz file for the #wtrip08

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Finally got around to writing the #wtrip08 end post

Well o.k.. I will have a couple more I am sure to write about the trip whilst it is still fresh in my mind, but I thought I should get some of the facts and figures down asap.

So here are some facts and figures on the trip.
The Car Computer for the Road Trip

  • Planned Distance to Adelaide: 1881k, Travelled 2425k (Trip Total inc getting home via the Coast 4069k)
  • Total Fuel Cost S415.54 across 13 fuel stops (a couple were only top ups for long runs) (Most expensive was 146.9 at Ivanhoe, White Cliffs was only 128.9!)
  • Road Kill : 2 Galah’s (1 on the windscreen right in front of me… not happy!) + countless locusts!
  • Technical Failures 2 – front cigarette lighter in the forester and then the power inverter died as well, plus 2 blown fuses. result of this is about 50k of gps trace missing plus it will take me a few days to pull some nema logs together.
  • Car Issues – 2 – 1 – Leaking transmission fluid since rebuild pretrip, noticed it 100k from Wilcannia up a dirt road in a telstra dead spot… total cost of repair $20!. 2 – have bent the chrome around the towbar after bottoming out on a dip somewhere.

Farm Machinery

  • Number of wrong turns – only about 3, and no more than 1 or 2k in total. (Silliest was not seeing the Ivanhoe Caravan Park as I drove into town… of course it is the petrol station!)
  • Photos taken – 6400 (65gig! worth) (have geotagged about 50% already) (have uploaded 50 to flickr, a lot of them are repeats or differing angles working out what looked the best, or are going to be used in panoramas.  Most of the pano’s I have uploaded already use at least 50 shots to make them so smooth.

Death in the floods

  • Number of tweets with a georeference included 43.
  • Bad People I meet on the journey = 0; good people = all those I talked to along the way.
  • Number of days with rain 1 which did mean a change to plans to camp near Ivanhoe, but worked out just fine anway.  (Protip if you hear rain on the tent in the morning… wake up and put it away then don’t go back to sleep for an hour and wait till the ground has turned to mud!)
  • Number of times I wished I had the 18-200mm lens as opposed to the 2xkit lens’ I have.. most days, oh yeah and the 12-24mm DX lens would be great as well given how big the country is)
  • Number of times I was stopped from taking photos for security reasons = 0.  Lost count of number of times people asked me questions about all the gear I had and how cool it all was.

In the next few days I will try and stop spamming my twitter timeline with images from the trip, and get the KML file for the whole trip put up as well.

And yes the next trip is in the pipeline… Easter: Melbourne to Coober Pedy and back 🙂

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.

New Camera.. and sorry for the lack of updates….

Nikon D90 Twin 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR Kit UnboxingYes yes I really should update this blog more often… however between a long couple of weeks at work finishing of a long running project and working on someo other biggish projects and a whole lot of stress I haven’t got around to this blog.

So to keep this post on topic I will talk only about the new camera…

Most of you will be aware of the new camera simply from the my twitter and flickr streams… but I thought I should write a blog post outlining some what and whys…

Firstly the camera…. it is the brand new Nikon D90 with an 18-55mm and and 55-200mm lens kit. Now the plan was to buy it in Feb next year so I had it a month before the Avalon Airshow so I could get more photos like the ones I did at the last show where I borrowed a friends DLSR.  However the purchase was brought forward for two reasons… firstly the Xmas road trip (unsure if that is going ahead due to car issues :-() and secondly due to the Australian Dollar tanking badly against the yen.  The dollar has dropped around 30% in the last 3 months.. so when the current stocks runs out it will be more expensive… and by a lot.

To buy the camera I did a lot of research online… in fact 99.9% of the research was done online and I went into a real shop just to have a touchie feelie experience to see how the camera felt before purchase.   So I thought I would share the main links that I found and used.

DPReview – If you want to know a camera inside out and every single detail this is a site you can not go passed.  If you are into or even thinking about getting a DSLR make this your first stop.

Ken Rockwell – If you want a plain english guide on the camera its inner workings and what to and what not to buy then this is the guy for you.  I looked at a lot of review sites and found the writing style and ideas suited me perfectly.

Lots of sites suggested you get the 18-200mm lens… and whilst I would have loved to have got the one size suits all option the extra $500 I just simply could not afford and that is the reason I went with the twin lens kit version, however if you can spring the extra $$$ I would say yes get the 18-200mm lens.

Now for purchase….

I ended up purchasing the camera through a friends brother who owns a store which sold them… so that is not really fair.  But the price I got whilst better than what I found was not that much better..  In my research I had narrowed it down to two places.  One an online store and the other an online/store front which a shop in both Sydney and Melbourne.  Both of these seem to have very good reputations as well.

Online only: Cameras Direct.com.au

Online/Store Front: Digital Camera Warehouse.com.au

Rushing HomeI will do another entry about the Nikon D90 later about all the tweeks I have already made to  the camera e.t.c… But use the above links to do your research and work out what is what before hand.

I have also changed the Flickr set on the side bar of the blog to point to the new camera as well. Seeing as the photos that it takes are simply stunning and I am playing with that a lot more 🙂

So click here for the Images from the Camera… and click here for the unboxing photos… (all 48 of them)

And I promise I will update this blog more often 🙂

Road Trip….. Stage 1 Plan where..

So I have a lot more leave up my sleeve that Cat does… so to give me something to do and to get me out of her hair.. she suggested a road trip. Heading to Adelaide Via Broken Hill was her idea….

So here is what I am thinking… I pack some camping gear in the Subaru Forester, a couple of computers, a couple of GPS’s (a new camera if I can afford it before I go), my Vodfone N95 +my backup Telstra prepaid phone, and head out on the road for 7/8 days. I have to be in Adelaide on the 23rd of December at 10:30am… but the rest of the trip is fairly flexible.

The trip has been mulling in my head, and partly due to the Roadtrip to Cowra done by Stilgherrian which showed how crowd sourcing a trip can result in some unpredictable outcomes which are make the journey itself fun, I have decided to pre-blog the trip 2 months out before I leave. (Also given that for me the Journey is the point of the holiday and the destination is just somewhere I have to be for Xmas, opening it up may just work)

So below is what I have roughly planned… thanks to my good friends at google maps… (well o.k, they are not my actual friends) and a copy of the Camping Guide to new South Wales I have managed to work out an approximate route and timetable. Cat has also “suggested” that I could buy something Opal for her at Whitecliffs as well.

So what I want is people to suggest things that are must sees/do’s along the way.

So here is the route day by day…

Melbourne to Echuca: 237 km (There are a lot of camp grounds just pass Echuca so hole up there for one night)

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Day 2: Echuca to the Willandra National Park: 379 km (Just south of Ivanhoe)

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Day 3: Willandra National Park to White Cliffs, via Ivanhoe and Wilcannia: 348 km

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Day 4: Broken Hill 274 km (Depending on Weather and Road conditions which I can work out at White Cliffs, there is another route to Broken Hill, by travelling back to Wilcannia as well)

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Day 5: Have a whole day in Broken Hill (IE 2 Nights…)

Day 6: Broken Hill to Burra: 356 km (Remembering to be in Bura before Thorougoods Cellar Door Closes to stock up on some of the best Cider in Australia)

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Day 7: Bura to Adelaide: 155 km. Most important thing to be at the Airport before Cat arrives from Melbourne.

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Total Distance of trip will be 1,794 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.