I Backed it
My passion for sports and technology got the better of me the other day… I backed a kickstarter project RFLKT+ and now I’m waiting for things to happen.
On the face of it, today, it doesn’t look so good so unless the kickstarter pledge rate accelerates the project may be ditched.
For those of you who don’t know what kickstarter is; its a crowd-funding mechanism that allows entrepreneurs and innovators and artists to find “micro-backers” willing to put up hard cash to fund the development of their “thing”. In this way they can get funding when in any other sense they would not, e.g. artists or companies can test the market and reduce the risk of the development by gauging if real people are willing to buy.
So what is the RFLKT+ that I pledged to buy? It’s a ANT+ bridge and display that when coupled with an iPhone and an App and some sensors will fully instrument a bicycle and it’s rider.
- Heart Rate
- Distance Travelled
- Calories Burned
- Elevation Gained
- Rate of Climb
Am I just a geek? Probably but its fun.
Watch out Garmin hear those TomTom drums
The preview video of TomTom’s new GPS sports watch looks really exciting. The device is targeted at all sports disciplines but will appeal to Triathletes and other multi-sports competitors like adventure racers.
My life seems to be ruled by rechargeable batteries of one sort or another. For a start there’s the iPhone, the MacBook Pro; iPad at least 3 cameras, a GPS unit, or two if you count the Garmin Forerunner Wristwatch GPS thing, a travel razor and there’s probably one or two other things I’ve forgotten about.
Now this normally presents only moderately difficulties while travelling, OK phones run down now and again but I’m heading to somewhere with power or sometimes I’m travelling by car and can charge stuff as I’m travelling. True it is a pain having to cary around several chargers and associated cables but as I said manageable, by and large anyway.
This year I plan to go to Corsica to do the GR20 and this trip presents a whole new set of difficulties. Clearly the main difficulty will be the walking, the GR20 is regarded as one of the most challenging long distance footpaths, but it also entails being away from civilisation (and hence power) for days at a time. I’m planning to take at least one camera and keeping these powered up for five or more days will need something more than a long extension lead from Calvi.
The answer is possibly to take a solar panel / charger with me to re-charge the iPhone and camera batteries while I camp/walk along the route. The research I have done so far has been a little lacking in detail. The products on offer have been limited and the technical information sparse to say the least. That was until I was watching a climbing film at the recent Banff Film Festival event the other week at the Whitley Bay Playhouse. The film about the “Project Dawn Wall” route on El Cap showed the climbers living on the wall for days at a time slung on a porta-ledge and using a solar panel to charge radios and their ubiquitous iPhones. The panel in question was branded “Goal Zero”.
A bit of web research and I’d found the manufacturer and a supplier. The Goal Zero web site is great, there’s loads of technical information and a range of systems of various sizes and power outputs to satisfy my own small needs all the way through to the huge. The latter large enough to provide power for even the biggest of Everest siege attempts.
The Killer USP for me of the system compared to the more established alternatives such as Powermonkey’s Gorilla or the Freeloader; was the power rating and the 12V output. The 12V output means that it can be used with the standard digital camera battery chargers I use which have not just a mains adaptor (in various country styles) but a 12V car adaptor as well. So no mods, no flaky soldering or hacks to any part of the system, no worrying about “have I got the right polarity on the battery connector?”, pretty much plug and go.
I’ve not used in anger yet but when I do I’ll report back on just how efficient it is.
Canon 400D 18-55 Kit
I’m selling my Canon SLR, it’s available on Amazon here Canon 400D 18-55 Kit. Offer includes 2Gb Kingston 133X Compact Flash Card.
This camera has done me well ver the years and is still a fantastic piece of kit, however I seem to have outgrown it and have been using my G10 Compact camera more often than not. So this has to go the money will no doubt be spent on more shiny things or actually to part fill the hole in my bank balance caused by the recent new shiny things.