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Smartphone vs Dedicated Hand GPS, Photo Catalog Off-Road Trail,

Normally, you don't want to use a smartphone's GPS to produce data for the public's consumption.  A dedicated hand GPS is a simpler device.  It's power is only committed (for the most part) to one function.  But a smartphone has a CPU, random access memory, internal and perhaps external storage.  It has an antenna for calling, text and data.  Then it has hardware for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a much larger screen and then it's GPS antenna.  The smartphone's power is more diverted than a dedicated hand GPS.  In comparison, it's as energy efficient as the dedicated device can be.  And with all this stuff being "crammed" in one form, it's likely that any given hand GPS has a larger antenna?  On the internal side of things, that alone goes a long way to making tracks and waypoints more accurate. 

The other considerations are usually atmospheric.  For instance, the sky needs to be partly sunny or better in order to accurately record GPS positions.  And very best time to record these is at night under a clear sky.  This is because the sun is not out causing interference in the upper atmosphere with the satellite reception.  However, that' not usually an option with distance trail volunteers.  On-road, you might not want to be caught "lurking around" while trying to get a fix on a location.  And night hiking is slow, more strenuous and there are plenty of tripping hazards.

Hikers, really don't need to worry about this.  With a 15,000mAh power bank, they can extend the length of their smartphone usage by as much as 9 days on airplane mode.  But the power banks are known to be heavy, so there's a trade off that should be theirs to consider.

I started photo cataloging the Road Fork and Whipple Sections of the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent).  It's a project that's output would mostly be consumed internally.  The photos are geotagged, which means that when you use 3rd party software, it produces a waypoint in Google Earth with the pictures embedded in them.  And those waypoints are positioned according to the global coordinates that were recorded by the camera.  Smartphone's have the capability.  First the "locater" must be enabled for GPS functions.  Then as a safety, it has to be enabled in the camera's settings as well.

Considering the volunteerism that I've done with this project so far, I can say that the battery in my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950U will last for 3 miles one way on hilly and curvy trail if a picture was taken at every blaze.  I have a 5,000mAh power bank that should get me 3 miles out and back.  Then today, I remembered that my laptop has a USB port that is always on.  I don't know if it's always on on battery mode, but if it is and I get an anti-static sealing bag for it, I might be able to "steal," or transfer power from it's battery to the smartphone's?

The last one that I did was 2.2 miles in one direction and I took 204 geotagged photos at 16:9 picture ratio, which is at about 9.1 megabytes per file.  The total project is estimated to be about 3,340 photos and be 29 gigabytes in hard disk size.  Right now, I'm having concerns about the thumbnails used in Google Earth.  That application can only handle 400 megabytes of data at once.  So with the data being broken down between map points, the total file size can't be more than 200 megabytes.  Seeing to this, while keeping the photos at adequate at quality might be challenging?  But actually being out and doing this was actually easier than I originally thought.

I am a volunteer with the Buckeye Trail Association.  I volunteer with a functions under the executive staff.  I'm a non-voting member of the Trail Management Team.  And I'm volunteer supervisor of the Whipple Section.  I usually contribute to it's Facebook group daily.

In 3rd party to that, I lead the Adventurer's Project.  We don't have a corp of officers yet.  Things are very new, so most of it is run by me still.  I'm the admin of it's Facebook page and usually contribute to it daily.  With all it's functions combined, my being the only one isn't the way it should be.  Maybe you might call me a "Super Volunteer" because I'm more of an "orange" than an apple.  I want Adventurer's Project's volunteerism to be measured more by them's than me's.  In fact, there's no measurement. 

If you have a moment, please like Adventurer's Project on Facebook.


Oil Valve Manifold and Auxiliary Battery Re-Charge Continued

The Haynes repair manual for my 2008 Chevy HHR LS wanted me to torque the oil valve manifold bolts to 89ft lbs.  I got my torque wrench ready today and as I did this, I snapped two bolts in the engine manifold.  Haynes' torque specifications must be talking out it's behind.  It certainly wasn't that hard to get oil valve manifold off.  In ignorance, I was taking Haynes' word for it, but now I think I should have known better?  It was the first time working with my digital torque adapter.  Now, I'm going to have to get them replaced and find a way to get out what in the engine side holes.

The battery charger that I'm using is a Carquest CQ-80CR.  From yesterday's log, this morning, it read an error code of FO5.  Last night, I had both deep cycle marine batteries hooked up to simultaneously charge.  I'm not sure if my little 8amp charger can really handle the load?


Oil Valve Manifold Gasket, Seals Grommets and Auxiliary Battery Recharging

When the 5th leak happened in the motorhome, it was right above the kitchen table where I had the laptop.  It was leaking from the plastic surrounding the front roof hatch.  So, I place the laptop on a towel with the keyboard upside down because that was what got wet.  Shortly then after, a second leak from the roof hatch started pelting down on the table where near where the laptop was and got its underside wet.  So, I not only had to keep in on the towel for 24 hours... no, I put it on a towel in an unaffected area for 48 because I had to change it's resting position to make sure that any water inside the laptop either left out through the keyboard, or on its side through the CPU's breathing gills.

Suffice to say that I tested all the keys except for the "F" ones.  I couldn't test the F keys because I'd probably have to go through about 5 different applications just to test them.

I just replaced the oil valve gaskets and I'm in the middle of finishing up the gromets.  My tool kits contain just about everything that has ever been needed for my 2008 Chevy HHR LS.  And I don't usually miss not having a small, thin, flat screw driver.  But today, I was having to use a razor blade to cut the old gromets off, then fitting the new ones around some flanges with my fingers.  There are  15 of these and they have given my hands a workout.

The coil for spark plug #4 is showing a little antifreeze.  It looks like I'll be doing a cylinder head gasket replacement in the near future?  But tearing down the oil valve cover wasn't a big deal, it just took the better part of today and this was my first time doing one.  I've looked at the procedure regarding the cylinder head gasket and I'm comfortable now with doing it myself.

With certainty, I'm sure that my clutch master cylinder is gone.  My clutch pedal goes to the floor and doesn't come back.  That might have been one of the leaks that I observed when I changed the car's oil about a week ago?  And I also noted proper brake pedal pressure, which is something I haven't had in a long time. 

When I last did the oil change about a week ago, I used a couple ounces of sea foam to try and solve some idle problems.  But I wasn't getting a dip stick reading after I turned the car on.  I had it up on ramps and when I saw it spitting what I thought was oil, I immediately shut it off and waited about a week, which is today.  The problem is that I'm not sure what the Seafoam has done with it sitting.  I was using it to temporarily seal my gaskets.  It really hasn't gone through the system, so, I'm going to replace the oil again just to be on the safe side.

If I just had an hour more, I could have finished the job.  I got a late start today because I had a medical appointment this morning.  My AC powered battery charger has not been up to the task of charging my motorhome's auxiliary batteries, which are dual marine deep cycles.  So, I did what I've done before, which is hook them up to jumper cables, attach those to the motorhome's cab batteries and run it for about 90 minutes.  I had ever breaker on my converter switched off and my interior lights came on using the batteries.

My car has a 50amp fuse for my batteries and it's alternator is smaller.  But seeing if the motorhome's amperage is similar, my AC charger only puts out 8amps.  Currently, it's charging both deep cycles and is reading as "LO" or low.  I'm content to leave it connected to the marine batteries over night and see what it does?

It wouldn't do them when they were dead.  All it read overnight was a moving "8," which is when the unit is initializing.  But with them jumped, the charging light is on.

All in all, everything that's going on alright.  Even if I have to do a Oil Valve, Cylinder Head Gaskets, and a clutch, it's just things that have been put off since my back was messed up.  But my therapy ended 3 weeks ago and after a day of working on it now, I feel great.


5th Leak - Motorhome

The motorhome just took on its 5th leak today. The laptop got some of it. I have its keyboard upside down on a towel for the next 24 hours as is standard proceedure.  I also went up on top of the roof and used a broom to get the pooling rain water swept off. There was quite a bit near the front roof hatch where the new leak is.

Two days ago, I adjusted the level in under the rear right of the motorhome. I barely increased the height back there. That might have been what caused the water to pool at the front hatch.

Assuming that it rains when its colder in the day before, I'm just waiting for a string of 70°F days to reseal the roof.