Friday, 30 November 2007

Routeburn + Caples in a weekend!

Well so for the weekend after coming down to Te Anau I decided that a wee mission was in order. I saw Jordy heading out towards the hollyford river to go kayaking and was going to join him and try not to die. But as it so happened Danny and his friend Tiny wanted to do the routeburn so we decided to do it in a day then have a nice campfire on Lake Wakatipu before heading our seperate ways, mine being a return journey along the caples track. More photos can be found on Facebook.
Sweet BBQ on the beach!
Looking back to the Caples.

Monday, 26 November 2007

The mega super blow-out week!

Day 1 - Kayaking on the Hurnaui! Photos
Pretty sweet start to the week, small walk in to the river and a nice river run. It was cut a little short by cold cold wind and lack of sunlight. But all in all a good day, followed by a trip into town for my flatmate Justin's birthday party at Base, and some drinks. Eventually got to bed about 2am.

Day 2 - Started packing up my whole room as I was moving out at 5am pretty much finished by 7am. Then just packing the car before heading off towards Mount Cook at about 8am with Daniel, Sebastien, Claire and Kat. Kat drove a fair bit for me as I was rather dead. Photos here. Here is my trusty car big brown loaded up with all my belongings:

Starting the climb up to Mueller Hut,

The view of Mount Cook from the top of the climb.
The view from my bed wasn't half bad either! Went up mount olivier behind the hut for sunset.
Day 3 - Walking back down from Mueller hut
Yeah what a poser.
Day 4 - Blissful rest day/Move my stuff into house in Te Anau.

Day 5 - Quick tramping mission over Dore Pass into the Milford Track! Photos here. It is the sneaky way to get onto the Milford without paying for an expensive boat.

Weekend - The entire Routeburn and Caples in two days! See next post!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Making a lab-type power supply from a PC power supply

Hey folks, welcome to another installment of staying indoors! Apparently a storm was coming this weekend so the tramping I had been planing on was off the table. So yesterday I obtained an old PC power supply (for free from uni) and converted it into a DC power supply for my electronics projects. Didn't take to long and I took a few photos along the way to document it.

The Donor power supply with cables coming out the back.

Removed the cover (ignore the blatant Do not remove Dangerous Voltages sign)

blow out all the dust and crap
And take a look inside

Snipped off all the wires (too close really) about 2 seconds afterwards realised that a bit longer wires would have halved my soldering!
Then i soldered all the sensor cables to there appropriate cables, put a load resistor across the +5 to grnd rail and put a LED in series with a current limiting resistor on the power ok channel. Shorted the power on channel (that usually comes from PC to tell the PSU to turn on) And mounted the red and black terminals you can see here: (Those terminals are expen$ive by the way, this project was supposed to be almost free but I spent $20 on the set of them!)

Detail of the two +5 volt wires soldered to the inside of the terminal:

Testing time! Got the volt meter out, crossed my fingers, stood back a we way nervously and flicked the switch on the mains.

It did work even tho the photo says 0.0V I just turned the power back off before taking the photo!
Then I added the rest of the terminals, made Red + 5V, Black -5V, Green Ground, Yellow and Blue +/- 12 V respectively.

Bit of vivid to remind myself of that arangment and I was done!
And another saturday gone! Course work blissfully forgotten! And one last picture showing the power supplying wonderfull electricity to my microcontroller board from the last post.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007


Hey ya folks - thought since I'm not getting out and about in the natural world much now that its getting colder and my workload is getting bigger and bigger I would share my current electrical project. I'm slowly collecting tools and my desk is getting further and further towards a workbench!

This here is a microcontroller connected to 35 LED's, 2 buttons and a variable dial. Pretty much is a very basic computer! It displays characters on the screen and scrolls through a message.
Of coarse I wasn't satisfied with just that so my lab partner and I having finished the text program (yes we had to program it all as well as build it).
We ended up making a snake game for it. Buttons simply changing direction. it still needs a little work which is annoying since the assignment is due in 2 days...
Anyhow the report is worth 70% of the marks so I should really really start that now instead of posting here!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
when he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst, that
You Must Not Quit.

- C. W. Longenecker

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Milford Track Run

For some crazy reason when my Dad asked if I wanted to run thro the Milford Track in a day I didn't stop to think about the facts and said yup sure.
The crucial facts ignored included:
  1. small easy 4 day tramp translates to painfully long one day run (53.5km!)
  2. 1km vertical up then 1.2 km decent...
  3. I havn't run more than 20kms since 05...
  4. I havn't ever run more than 30km a day...
  5. I hadn't been running training or even a decent amount of tramping for months...
  6. The early early start and late finish, meant I would miss both of my current jobs (ok so that is actually a bonus, but I still didn't think about it till I was on the track.
The very early start involved getting up at 5am and driving to Te Anau downs to wait for the boat to pick us up at 5:45am.
After a short and rather cold boat ride up Lake Te Anau, we got to Glade House at the head of the lake and started running...
Maybe 6 hours later I took the camera out again on top of the pass. We had stopped at one hut and had a cuppa tea before this point. And we came across Mels boyfriend Shaun guiding a group up the small hill that was torturing my legs. The other 3 people running with me kept going while I foolishly stopped for a chat, meaning I had to catch up running up the pass :-(

Anyhow, we got a team photo at the top, as you can see we had a brilliant day. We passed almost every single person we saw the entire day at the very top of the pass as they had all stopped to enjoy the sun for lunch. We stopped for 5 minutes had a quick bite/drink/stretch then kept jogging down the other side.
The first 42 kms or so wern't to bad... but then well it got exponentially worse.
A lot later, we got to Lake Ada and took another few team photos...
Yes it hurts, it hurts alot. This is near the end, only 10kms or so to go...
Feels good to get to the end tho!

Glad I made it, glad I went too. Be happier when I can walk again tho!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

guiding a while ago

Hmm so none of my posts are in order are they. I think I'll upload a few photo's before they die a horrible death with my computer.
This post is from a day I went to Milford with another separate company from the Hump Ridge and helped guide a group of 30 odd American university students up to Homer Saddle and for a short walk in the Milford.

Hmm and now the internets broke and won't let me upload more photos :-(
Although as you can see it was a wonderful day. Ill post the rest later perhaps.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Up up and away...

I went with my old man up a mountain near Milford Sound a while ago. Heres a few pictures I saved:

Starts off at Homer Hut, on the Gertrude Valley.

Then we got up to 'Black Lake'. I went for a swim in that iceberg ridden lake! The middle pic above is at Gertrude Saddle looking out to Milford.

It got quite steep! The mountain in the background at the sea is Mitre Peak.

At the top! Looking out to milford, and my father overlooking Lake Adelade