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  1. #381
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Thanked: 1984

    Default Re: You never know what's out there

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Newnham View Post
    Ian, I wasn’t going to say anything in case I jinxed things but...

    My 5th tonsil tickling COVID19 swab came back negative this morning, in just over 35 hours.

    Really impressed with Pathlabs, especially when you think the swab was taken at 15:00 Tuesday in Springbok and then couriered down to Cape Town.

    For the last week I’ve also had to record my temperature on a daily basis. Averaged out at 36.3

    All this means that tomorrow at 08:00 I get to enter De Beers mine in Kleinzee and finally after 3 years of trying, deploy some camera traps at the seal colony.

    Right about now, life is pretty good out here on the Wes Kus.

    Juno is just over 6 months old now. She had her “operation” on Tuesday and is now fully recovered and being a typical hooligan puppy😁

    I’ll post an update over the weekend on how tomorrow went. Also some feedback on an impromptu test on a couple of cameras and hopefully some nice images after moving a pasting in front of one of the cameras. I don’t think that counts as baiting 😁
    And a picture of Juno please.

    2015 Suzuki Grand Vitara Summit M/T

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  3. #382
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Port Nolloth
    Thanked: 568

    Default Re: You never know what's out there

    Old habits die hard. I see in my last post I said I would update this thread over the weekend. Luckily for me, after 40 odd years of working in IT service delivery, I have mastered the art of saying sorry about the delayed return of the system, network, server ... I never said which weekend :-)

    Friday I returned to Kleinzee seal colony (KSC) to check on the 3 cameras deployed.

    I was concerned after two of the units produced some not too clever results while being tested. One managed to fire off 20k images over a 3 day period, filling up the SD card and flattening a new set of batteries. Not for the first time I spent too long looking expectantly through this tsunami of images in the vain hope that something other than a blank would turn up.

    No such luck.

    Unit was bought home and, along with two others destined for KSC, subjected to a series of tests in the dunes outside my back gate. The offending unit has a facility to set PIR responsiveness to high, normal or low. It had been deployed set to normal. However a combination of reflected heat from the sand as well as some vegetation movement proved to be too tempting for it. At least I found this out before deploying to KSC.

    It's now out there and, after a week with its PIR set to low, behaving normally. At least I think it is. The down side is that by setting responsiveness to low I always have in the back of my mind the thought that it might now miss a valid trigger. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

    To get to KSC I have to travel along one of the Northern Capes infamous dirt roads. This one links the R382 from Port Nolloth to Kleinzee. Over the last 4 or so years I gotten used to being bounced about like a frog in a blender but this road takes it to a new level. It gets graded one in a while. If you are lucky enough to catch it soon after its been graded it's a real pleasure to drive. However, it soon degrades in 40 kms of corrugations that vary from mildly teeth chattering to full on my vehicle is going to fall to pieces if this keep up much longer.

    On this last trip Jaeger Defender showed his displeasure at being subject to it two week in a row. Skimming across the corrugations at a sedate 70 kph when without any warning or for that matter any need, bang!, traction control kicks in. Not a very pleasant experience.

    I suspect that one of the sensors has decided to give up. At least I'm hoping that's all it is. A little experimentation resulted in two choices. Carry on at under 30kph or pop the 30 amp fuse and carry on without traction control or ABS. 30 kph was not an attractive option.

    A test earlier today on the salt pan confirmed that the problem hadn't magically fixed itself overnight. No problem until the speedo hits 30 kph and then it kicks in. Probably just as well. I would rather have a hard fault and a confirmed fix than the possibility of traction control kicking in again at speed.

    One of the motivations I put forward to DEFF when applying for the research permit was that I have a limited budget and an even small number of cameras. If Brownies are to be found it makes sense that I increase the probability of detecting them with a limited number of cameras placed in a smaller area.

    It sounded good on paper but standing there the first day looking around, the phrase "We need a bigger boat" from Jaws came to mind. Only its camera numbers not boat size that weighs on me

    SWAMBO bought herself a new toy, a Brother embroidery machine. She says it keeps her occupied when I'm out chasing Brownies. Never one to miss an opportunity I told her I've just ordered another camera Hopefully my new toy, a Reconyx, will arrive in time for my next visit to KSC in April.

    Species tally after 7 days is Black Backed Jackal, Ostrich and an as yet unidentified bird. De Beers security raised my hopes when they spoke about Brownie sightings last year. Not down at the seal colony but in the general area. Make a note. You need even more cameras Keith

    Access roads within the mine are in good shape considering no mining activity to talk of has taken place for a number of years, although the road down the colony is slowing being taken over by drifting sand. Embarrassed to say that I managed to stall crossing a short patch of hot, soft sand. Getting used to this now, reverse, select the right gear and pay attention. Fixes it most times.

    Juno. What can I say.

    After the loss of Eos, SWAMBO convinced me that pure bred GSD's are high maintenance and that we really don't need the expenses associated with them at this stage of our lives. Reluctantly I had agreed but early last year while getting SWAMBO's sewing machine serviced I got talking to the mechanic.

    He had his female GSD sitting along side him. She's just had pups. Had an accident. I'm told dad was a "lassie" sheepdog.

    Now the GSD had already captured my attention and so when a handful of wriggly pups were put into my arms you can guess it was a done deal. SWAMBO agreed, at least there's something else mixed in so the pups should grow up to be healthy hardy Wes Kus dogs.

    Well, I'm sure of one thing. There is definitely some GSD in Juno but there sure as heck isn't any "lassie" there. In fact I would put money or a bit of terrier and a bit of something else.

    Juno definitely has a split personality.

    Out on a walk, a confident out going adventurous little lass until she see something she doesn't recognize. Initially this was another person walking in the dunes. That took a number of encounters to overcome the flight to home reaction. Then it was bakkies and tractors on the dirt road.

    Although she is slowly getting used to the idea that there's more to this world than her, dad and big brother Aesir anything new, like putting on a harness or a flea collar results in frantic wriggling while she tries to escape mine and SWAMBO efforts. This is accompanied by copious amounts of pee being directed at my feet.

    She was spayed 10 days ago, the vet said he had only put in a couple of stitches and that I could easily pull them out after the 12th day. Juno is not going to let that happen. I can see a 300 km round trip to the vet and a bill for anesthetizing while stitches are removed.

    But, these are minor distractions. She is a delight and really quiet intelligent. She has me well trained. If a toy or a bone goes under the coffee table or couch she now knows that a series of barks followed by a hefty helping of puppy dogs eyes results in dad crawling around to retrieve the missing object

    Till next time. Keep safe
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    Last edited by Keith Newnham; 2021/02/13 at 09:24 PM.
    2004 Facelift Disco 2 - Raine - sold
    2006 Defender 110 csw - Jaeger

    "Land Rovers don't get stuck, people do, so always look before you leap and if you're unsure, don't do it" Chris Horne

    Too busy searching for brownies to go anywhere, but some of the places these guys hide are as good as a holiday

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