Random Geekage

I have been swithering on getting my Foundation license for a few years now.

The one time I went to an amateur radio club meeting, the main business was that the name was not representative of the location the club was meeting at. Which you can imagine, was not that exciting.

However, I came across Julian OH8STN's videos which centre around amateur radio as a means for disaster resiliency and that has piqued my interest again. As a result, I picked up a Yaesu FT-817ND from eBay which seems like a solid bit of kit and I have been told it is a decent radio, especially for beginners to the hobby. I haven't used it much, mainly to confirm that it turns on, transmits and receives so more experimentation will need to happen.

In the meantime, it needs charged.

Backpack Pannier

Cycling to work is undeniably a good thing. Sweat on the other hand, is not. My commute is 7.5 miles, a lot of which is uphill. Riding a bike with a backpack full of stuff makes me sweat quite badly and my work doesn't have any sort of showering facilities. Couple that with being required to wear a shirt and tie and you have a recipe for disaster.

My bike has a pannier rack on it so the natural idea is to put a pannier bag or two on. This however would mean transferring stuff between the pannier bag(s) and my EDC backpack irritatingly often and means having extra kit about the place.

The solution then is to put the backpack itself on the bike. A few options were brainstormed. Ratchet straps were tried but ended up being more hassle than they are worth. Using a Greyman Tactical RIP-M panel was attempted but unsatisfactory. What is needed is a way of hooking the backpack straps to the rack.

Way back in the day, I got a Kifaru Paratarp with the peg and pole kit. The kit has basically been retired, got better pegs and hiking poles for that purpose but I kept the poles around for future use. I attached one of the pole segments (basically a bit of aluminium pipe) to the rack with a couple of hose clamps and used a couple pieces of kydex from a previous project to space it out. Hook the straps over the pipe and tighten them down and the bag is securely attached to the bike. Doesn't move an inch.

The major downside to this approach is at low speeds (namely moving off and manoeuvring on foot) the bike is biased to one side which is interesting getting it down the hall at 04:30. At regular cruising speed I don't notice a thing.

Stay The Course

Be a fucking wolf. Be a fucking lion. Take no shit. Set goals, smash them. Eat people's faces off. Be a better person. Show people who the fuck you are. Never apologise for being awesome. Stay the mother fucking course.

EDC 2016-03

  • GR1 26l
  • Field Notes notebook
  • Pack of tissues
  • Sharpie marker
  • 1.2 litre Klean Kanteen
  • Book (Left of Bang by Patrick Van Horne and John A. Riley)
  • Patagonia Houdini jacket (stuffed into its pocket)
  • Goruck foot care kit with added plasters
  • Improvised trauma kit (Combat Application Tourniquet and Quik Clot)
  • Burt's Bees lip balm and hand salve
  • Goruck Wire Dopp
  • 15000mAh power bank
  • Micro USB cable and USB condom
  • 3.5mm audio patch cable (for vehicle radio AUX connections)
  • Headphones
  • Network cable and Thunderbolt adapter
  • Satnav, stupidly long mini USB cable and triple USB power adapter

Stuff

I do stuff. I go places.

31C3 Packing List

I'm headed to Hamburg, Germany for the 31st Chaos Communications Congress, a week filled with hacking, geekery and strange German food. Thought I would make a post detailing the kit I am bringing with me since I have never done one before.

I was going to bring either my Kifaru Express or the E&E for this trip but I decided to get a new pack. The Express is way too big for the short time I'm away for and I have had issues getting it into a plane overhead locker. The E&E is just a bit too small to fit everything I want to take with me.

Enter the Goruck GR0. Plenty of room to fit what I need yet not unwieldy.

  • Clothes in a Kifaru extra large pullout (2 pairs boxer shorts, 2 pairs socks, 2 tshirts, 1 pair sleeping boxers, merino wool thermal top
  • 1.2 litre (40oz) Klean Kanteen
  • Map of Hamburg
  • Notebook, Sharpie and passport
  • book
  • USB battery, mini and micro USB cables
  • Laptop and charger with EU plug (UK one in the photo)
  • Kindle (not shown)
  • Spork
  • Self aid kit
  • Towel, hygiene stuff and tissues

On me:

  • Tshirt, socks, boxers, trousers, hoodie, boots, hat
  • Pen, wallet, phone

Only 2 changes of clothes for a week? Won't you smell? No. The plan is to wash the stuff I wore each day in the shower at the end of the day. Gives me 2 days for everything to dry which is easily doable. Rotate as I go. Trousers can go for a week without being washed though if they get dirty I can wash them and they will be dry in the morning. Gotta love synthetics.

Total pack weight: 10kg. Pack light, go fast.

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