In preparation.

The plan to head south as far as Fortrose and park up for the winter was all set.  I was getting stuff  together and prepping the trailer.  I had looked at but not booked the ferry and was waiting for the man who was building the box to go on the trailer.  The idea was to protect the bike and other stuff from the weather and prying eyes.  It seemed a simple task, just a frame and some sheet alloy with a tarp for the roof.  4 weeks he recons but could do it in less.  Anyway I rang him over a week ago, we have had three short weeks, Easter and Anzac and something else, cant remember. so no box for the trailer.  I had set myself  today as the start day for the trip [10/05/17].  just as well I did not book a ferry.  I have been waiting for an MRI scan to try and see if they can find out what’s up with right eye after the cold I caught on the plane coming back from Dubai.  This was November.  Talk about slow. it took until February for the CT scan to be done then another 6 weeks to tell me they could not find anything so I need aa MRI.  Lo and behold they sent me a letter last Monday giving me an appointment for the 16 of May.  Close on 6 months and I am still no nearer to resolving the issue. So the trip is now scheduled for the 17th or 18th of May,  I feel pretty sure that it will take the hospital months to get the results and unless it life threating I am sure any consultation can be done over the phone or on skype,  so I am going.

Still not heard about the trailer but that should be this week. Then all I have to do is pack and set off.  The ferry booking can be done as I get near Wellington.  As I don’t have a particular arrival date I can get whatever ferry is available.

I have ben having trouble with my laptop for some time now.  Its an ASUS and about as much use as a chocolate tea pot.  I bought it a couple of years ago because it was small.  I should have done more research.  Yes its small but it also has the smallest memory, just big enough to run the operating system.  Add anything else and it just cannot cope.  Streaming video is just about impossible.  It charges through a USB port but for some reason will not charge from the USB outlets on the bus, only the If its plugged in to the mains.  As I am off grid all the time this means I have to use the inverter which knocks hell out of the house batteries at night. I think I mentioned that I had signed up for Wireless Nation Urban Broard Band in the last post.  After initial hiccups it seems to be working well although it is yet to be proven out in the Wop Wops,  Having invested in this program I thought we need to do something about my computer.  Now in a flash of brilliance or maybe not.  I though, Hey! we live on a bus.  I have loads of space tucked away in the back of cupboards, under the bed or under seats.  Why not go down to RS components or PB Tech and buy the bits to build my own PC and secrete it around the bus.  If it was all Bluetooth then the bits could be scattered around the bus.  As space was not a concern then this could be a super computer, may be even do a bit of Bitcoin mining.

With this in mind, off I pop to PB Tech in Manakua.  Now the problem starts with the power supply.  I have endless amounts of 12 volt DC. so first thing I have to establish and obtain would be a transformer that will bring my 12 volt, up or down to meet the PC requirements..  Lovely guy asked if I needed some help but he couldn’t  grasp the concept.  All PC run on DC power but usually have a transformer where the main 240 volt AC plugs in..  I am looking to get 12 DC to whatever, 7v,15, 5v. I have no idea?  “Why don’t you just buy a laptop and charge it through the cigarette lighter port.”  think he was missing the point.  Anyway to cut a long story short.  he said “how about one of these. A compute stick by Intel. Plug it in to the HDMI port on your telly power it from the USB port on the telly.  You will need a Bluetooth or wireless keyboard and mouse and Bobs you uncle.

The spec was good and the memory could be expanded with an SD card.  Not in stock right now but can get it too you in 5 working days.  So went away to think about it.  Did a lot of research and ordered it on line.  Acquired a wireless keyboard and mouse and bought a set top camera for skype.

Anyway it all arrived as promised but not quiet as the  man said. It plugs in to the HDMI port and there is a handy link cable for the stick.  The stick is about 110mm long 10mm thick and 40mm wide and using the cable, can be plugged in without blocking other ports on the telly.  The power was were it went wrong. It was not a conventional mini USB port but a special which plugged in to a power adaptor, which incidentally also had two extra USB ports, one for the keyboard/mouse dongle and one for the camera or a USB hub..

Other than having to still use the inverter but at least it is only on while I am using the computer not all night trying to charge some manky old laptop., it works fine.  set up was painless and the SD card meant I could transfare my photos, music and files across. It takes up no space at all but there are cables everywhere.  and when its not connected, what do you do with all this stuff.  Biuld a cupboard to put it in under the telly.  so that’s what we did.  All neat and tidy like.





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