Two Islands – UK & IOM: Electronics & Navigation

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 in Electronics

This is the electronic equipment I used for the Isle of Man trip.  For additional details about this trip, check out this project.

Overlook - photo - Rob Vandermark

My electronics system has become fairly stable.  The primary differences from my standard bikepacking setup were that I was not on my Evergreen with a generator hub so I had more backup batteries than I may have really needed.  And, the daylight hours go from about 5am to 10pm in the UK at this time of year so we didn’t have too many hours of nighttime on this trip.

  • Light System, Battery Operated:
  • Navigation:  Garmin 1000.  Garmin 800 and 810 as backups.
  • Heart rate monitor:  Chest strap, Garmin.  And a spare.  I am a slave to my heart rate, particularly when I’m out of shape – which is always.
  • Phone:  Sony Xperia.  This is also my backup camera.
  • Camera:  Sony RX 100 III.  And a backup Sony Sony RX 100 II.
  • Video:  Garmin Virb.  Many of the images on this site are from the Virb.  I try to indicate which images are video stills and which are photos.  The lower resolution images are video.
  • Video:  GoPro Hero 4 Black.  Compared to the VIRB:  Better video quality but much less user friendly and significantly worse battery life.
  • Power Supply, External:  5,600mAh external battery x2.  12,000mAh external charger x2.
  • Cables:  2x micro usb.  2x mini usb.

New Items and Tests:

  • Tablet:  iPad Air 2.  This is the first time I’ve ever traveled with an iPad.  Typically I’ll carry my phone as the only ‘computer.’  In this case my phone wasn’t working at all so I decided at the last minute to bring the iPad because it has cell service.  It ended up being a waste of time because we couldn’t get wifi or cell service more than about 0.5% of the time.  I gave up on the search pretty early on.
  • Maps:  I spent more time working with paper maps on this trip than I’ve done in the past.  It’s a long story as to why.  I had routes about 90% mapped before heading to the airport.  Routing all worked out well but it was stressful – particularly so because I couldn’t get cell or wifi access during the trip in order to map routes in mornings or evenings.  I ended up working with paper maps more than I’ve ever done before; that was fun and interesting.  Since my brain is wired in pictures, physical maps fit pretty well.  Normally I do all mapping on my computer using about twenty mapping programs in various ways to determine routes in remote locations.  This time I used paper maps to develop two of the routes; I then transferred them manually into the Garmin unit.

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