RLC Off-Road Training Day

Shez talked me into having a go at some off-road training as I am still a little rusty after my road accident. So I joined him on one of the Royal Logistics Core''s (RLC) training days held at Abingdon Air Base.
One cold very frosty morning I got up and scraped the snow and ice from my van and loaded the TTR250 onto the trailer. My Dad had decided to come along with me for the day. I expect just so he could laugh at me falling off all the time.
I set off for the first area and only got a short way around the course before my chain broke and I had to push the bike back to the van and borrow kit from people to get the chain back on. After that I set off to catch the second area which was a very hilly motocross track, I gradually built up my confidence but I was still very slow. Then onto the next and this track was much flatter but was quite stony I had the most fun on this one, I even kept some riders behind me for almost a lap. The last area was a enduro course and I met up with Darren Wheeler who I know from photographing Midwest events, I did not get to far before heading back to my van because by then I was getting tired and I also didn''t enjoy the enduro course.
I gave my Dad my camera and he managed to get these shots of one of the RLC's riders showing the rest of us how to fall off correctly.

I was unaware of how unfit I was for this kind of stuff so I called it a day at the lunch break and headed home. As I was already getting cramp I let my Dad drive home, it was fun to see him trying to change gear in my automatic when we got to roundabouts.
It was a great days riding if not a little frozen.


Amber Flashers Pt1

Category: Electronics

As some of you may noticed I am a bit of a geek. I have been thinking I need to have an electronics project. Mostly to have an excuse to buy a Raspberry PI. We a short while back I bought some 10w Amber LEDs, now I am thinking of a project to make my own set of amber flashy lights. I know at the end of the day the bought kits are going to be better and cheaper but I want to learn. I have since ruled out the PI for this task as the time to boot it would mean time that the lights are not working. So it looks like a Arduino which looks interesting. It is simpler and does what you ask it to do. Now I just need to learn about electronics and how to program a Arduino and all will be fine. Would like to have a programmable set of flash patterns which I can add to as time goes on. Big issue atm is working out the best way to drive the 10w LED lights. Which is 0.83A at 12V so I guess I would need to use a transistor to power this as a relay would just break down from the constant switching. Now how do you work out the transistor needed. Some of my friends have kindly suggested a Arduino UNO and to use MOSFETS so I am currently reading up on a handy tutorial from hobbytronics.co.uk on how to use the UNO to power high power items. The other option is to use a full size Arduino and a 'shield' designed for controlling motors etc., there are plenty around, often with screw terminals for connecting the power and loads.

Re-Wiring of my accessories

Category: Disco 2 2003

Damn this has been a long time since I posted anything on here. Well I have added a few accessories to the Land Rover over the past few years. Bits like a LED Amber Lightbar, CB Radio, Amateur Radio, Phone charger, On-Board Camera, Rear Work Lights, and Driving Lights. These I have wired in one by one but now after several years of abuse I think I need to look at wiring up the stuff properly. Partly as my job working in the calibration industry means I get to see how the professionals wire up stuff. First stage was to purchase and fit a extra battery mount. This isn''t a necessary requirement but its a nice to have feature as with the correct wiring I won''t run down the starter battery if I happen to leave the rear work lamps on for a few hours. Now the battery mount I bought was a excellent kit from a chap called Ryan Wild (W1LDR). This has been fitted for best part of a year but due to a lack of funds I never got around to fitting a Leisure battery. The Battery, Well the best battery to fit in this place is a leisure battery as they are better for discharging and re-charging. They have less Amp output but they deal with running stuff far better. Now the battery tray measures 240mm (w) x 170mm (d) x 200mm (h) which is a damn annoying size to find for a battery so for the time being I have fitted a Yuassa 50Ah 63 type battery which is a bit small in the space I have but its not overly expensive of a battery but it does allow me to get started on this project. Charging the Battery, From looking around I decided I wanted a 16A Smart Relay Charging Unit from eBay for £15. What this does it allows me to charge the second battery once the main starting battery has been charged up. Some people will just wire the batteries together but remember that means you get the combined power of two batteries but once you discharge them both will be out of power plus you have to ensure that both batteries are of the same power output otherwise one will always be trying to over charge the other.

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