Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 22:44:57 -0800
Reply-To: Wayne Hagan <waynehagan@MAC.COM>
Sender: Vanagon Mailing List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Wayne Hagan <waynehagan@MAC.COM>
Subject: Re: online in the van, (digital van darkroom)
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I just returned from a solo trip from the Southwest outback in my Syncro
Westy, the focus of my trip was doing a Digital Darkroom thing on wheels. I
used a digital camera, (with film backup) Epson photo EX printer and
internet an connection through my cell phone. If your interested, my site is
at http://homepage.mac.com/waynehagan/haganph.htm It was great to go
through the whole process of creating an image when your out in the field. I
run a Mac PowerBook that runs for about 5 hours on dual internal batteries
with average hard drive use and med. screen brightness. If you run your
applications from RAM and turn down the screen brightness you can go even
longer. I've watched a full DVD on one battery. I did a few evenings of
computer work and never ran out of juice.
For the last 2 years I have used my cell phone as a modem to log into net
when on the road, ranging from Washington state to NY. Availability is
limited to areas that have not only digital, but a special digital signal
that carries the modem signal. Unfortunately, they have no maps on were this
is. The I-5 corridor works well on the west coast, otherwise it's spotty
coverage unless your in large metropolitan areas. Connection speed is 14000
so you need to be extra conservative in your compression settings. There is
one phone set that Verizon points out that will also work in analog mode,
but that speed is 9600. I use Verizon as my carrier because they have the
best coverage for where I find myself. Plain phone coverage works in some of
the remotest parts of Utah. I use a Motorola StarTac Phone, the set up works
well and will work fine on PC's too. I have an exide Orbital deep cycle
auxiliary battery (Optima equivalent) and one of those $30.00 200 watt
inverters for assesories. Word of caution about the inverter, some computer
power supplies don't like the square wave AC juice these cheap things put
out. One of my power bricks fried plugged into it, it ran fine for about 10
hours, but I noticed it was warmer than usual. I now use a direct car
adapter for my computer. You can get true sine wave inverters at marine
supplies but they start at around $650.00.
An added conveniance of the computer is I use it as my music library, my
computer plugs into an aux port on my van stereo and I have about 50 CD's
worth of music stored in it. No fumbling with CD's and the free program
(iTunes) automaticaly catalogs all the songs on a CD from an on line
database, so you never type a thing. I mounted my side table behind the Pass
seat so I keep the laptop there were I can get at it.
Digital darkroom, backwoods apartment, 2000 lbs wood pellet hauler, river
boat(see web), no question about it, these vans are great.
> Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 18:59:47 -0800
> From: Brian and Carol Megas <bmegas@ISLAND.NET>
> Subject: Re: online in the van
> Entity Max wrote:
> "Anybody managed to get online in a mobile way?
> Some wireless service?
> wouldn't it be awesome to be on the road and surf the vanagon archive?"
> I, too, have wondered about the possibility of this. We are hoping to do
> the road/ferry loop from Vancouver Island to Alaska, back through Bella
> Coola to the Island next summer and had thought it would be great to be able
> to use the digital camera en-route, saving/posting exceptional pictures to
> friends/family and the home computer. The concern was whether there would
> be problems with the power supply to the laptop or exceptional drain on the
> battery - obviously I know nothing about how all this works, I just want
> someone to tell me it's possible and how best to go about it.
> Anybody thoughts?
> Brian, Carol, Thea, Deverelle and Kelsey Megas
> Box 1051, Chemainus, BC,Canada, V0R 1K0