As I continue to ride the wave of euphoria of completing the 1200 mile east to west Gadget Road Trip with my lifelong friend Andy. Today I joined BBC Radio Suffolk’s Sarah Lilley on the Sofa in Ipswich and explained how the challenge came about and how it felt to drive 1200 miles in an Electric Car and why I love Gadgets!
I also talked about how I met Vanessa, how I listen to music and an ill fated trip to Tunisia in 1996.
Listen in to the stream, bookmark the site, we have a LOAD of reviews coming up over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
A ‘Gadget Man’ Road Trip would be nothing with a car stacked full of technology, here’s a quick summary of the gear we are rocking for the trip.
This is of course and ‘Electric Challenge’, so we are driving a Tesla Model S 100D. A 4 wheel drive, twin motor electric car, packing a 100 kWh Lithium-ion battery with a projected range between charges of more that 300 miles. We can also take advantage of Tesla’s very own Supercharger network, meaning our charge times will hopefully be under 30 minutes. Enough time for a coffee and meal on our long journey. The car is packed with driver assistance technology and always on 4G connection for maps and music streaming.
We will be taking along a DJI Mavic Pro for aerial shots. The Mavic is an outstanding, foldable 4K drone with a 25 minute flight time. It boasts the most advance stabilisation technology available today, combining GPS, Glonass and Optical stabilisation and obstacle avoidance.
As a backup, we will be taking along a DJI Phantom 3 Standard with 2 batteries.
Our filming will be carried out on a DJI Osmo+ 3 axis stabilised camera with 3.5x optical zoom and 4K video recording. This will be backed up by a GoPro Hero camera, Panasonic Lumia G3 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smart phone.
On board the car, we have a Transcend DrivePro 230s dashcam and hopefully a Samsung Gear 360 (2017).
Editing and Blogging
Our editing will be carried out on a Dell Latitude Rugged with Core i7 and SSD drive, this will be complimented by a Transcend SSD drive and SPS Rugged USB3 1GB Hard drive.
We are looking forward to confirmation that EE will be providing us with 30gb of data and a in car wifi hotspot, to allow us to Live Stream, and Vlog during the journey.
Our trip tracking is being provided by Coderus. Custom built apps on our mobiles will transmit our GPS coordinates to our server in London, this information will be pushed to www.eastwest.thegadgetman.org.uk and www.thegadgetman.org.uk to allow for our friends, families and supporters to view our progress in real time. This is looking to be a fabulous addition to the trip and will encourage interaction with Paul whilst I concentrate on driving.
When I posted a few days back I mentioned that due to a family bereavement, my Dad was now understandably unable to accompany me on the Road Trip to Ardnamurchan and back. Although disappointed. I felt obliged to complete the trip, so set out to look for a new co-driver, or at least some company on the journey.
The electric car challenge is a once in a lifetime trip. I believe through experience that if you are going to do something like this, you simply have to take someone along with you to experience it together. With this in mind, I asked my best friend of 45 years to come along with me and it’s with enormous relief that today I received confirmation that he is able to get leave from his job to join me.
Paul is a great friend and someone who I would consider a brother in all respects. We get on very well and spending four days together in a car should be a very entertaining experience. Paul is a very experienced photographer and I’m really excited about the content that we are going to be able to produce between us.
Support and Potential TV Coverage
Hopefully today I will be getting some news from EE regarding providing support for my comms during the road trip.
I have been speaking to a TV production company about the possibility of including some of our trip in an upcoming programme for national TV. Very exciting if it happens!
More news after the weekend!
With 10 days to go, I was hoping it would be a matter of tying up some loose ends and some additional organisation in the lead up to the challenge…
Sadly at the end of last week, my very dear Uncle, John Porter passed away. Dad, his brother understandably wants to be at home with the family at this time, so he had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from our challenge. Due to the commitments I have already made with a whole host of people over the last couple of months, I will still be embarking on the 1200 miles electric journey.
I won’t be doing it alone though. My new co-driver will be announced this Friday, so stay tuned!!
Drones, Cameras and Dash Cams
Today was quite exciting with the arrival of a DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Osmo+. The Mavic is a 4K foldable drone and the Osmo is a stabilised 3.5x zoom camera. Transcend have also committed to sending a dash cam for the trip which should enable us to record both road and cockpit footage. We are also currently waiting for a Dell ‘ruggedised’ laptop which will be invaluable for the trip especially producing 4k footage from the camera and drones. This will hopefully give me sufficient time to familiarise myself with the equipment and weather permitting (22 mph wind and no rain) I should be able to obtain some stunning footage from Ullswater, Glencoe and Ardnamurchan. Fingers crossed (and crossed again). The DJI Osmo_ is a 3 axis stabilised camera when means I can stagger around uncontrollably and get some excellent footage without worrying about the wind.
The saga of the air beds.
We were unable to find a specific donor for the air beds that are needed for the Camping Pod in Ullswater on Friday and Sunday. This was after contacting practically every single large camping equipment supplier in the UK. Most didn’t reply and unfortunately those that did were unable to provide additional donations above their current budgets.
It was however ‘lucky’ or more likely a result of the multiple cookies on my computer set when I was searching for air beds, that a Groupon deal dropped into my Inbox on Wednesday.
Thus, I was able to purchase two double sized air beds ‘high raised’ with built in pumps for just under £80 meaning that both of us will sleep soundly. We will be taking along sheets, quilts and pillows, so we should feel right at home. I have already tested the inflation and deflation of one of the beds and was surprised at how quickly it inflated, but equally how quickly is deflated in ‘reverse’. It was easy to re-pack and fitted nicely into the included carry bag. Sorted.
Further Support and Sponsorship
I had a long conference call yesterday with a very large potential sponsor/partner. We discussed a whole host of possibilities that will help me and Dad on the trip (particularly on the comms front). Hopefully I will be able to announce something next week when I receive confirmation!
Computers, Phones and Tablets
Having just had my trusty (and smashed) Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge replaced with a brand spanking model, I am now pretty confident I don’t need to be panicking about a super up to date phone for the trip. It has an excellent camera on board and stunning screen. Tablet wise, I have a nVidia Shield K1 for ‘droning’, this extremely fast processor on board and should do nicely for the trip.
I am really, REALLY hopeful that we will receive a 360 camera and a SIM card with a hefty amount of data onboard to enable us where possible to live stream the event as best we can.
We are staying at Hillcroft Park in Ullswater on Friday and Sunday, courtesy of the site owners, which is very generous of them. On Saturday we are staying at Far View in Kilchoan about 8 miles from Ardnamurchan Lighthouse.
That’s for this update, but stay tuned this Friday to find out who will be joining me on our ELECTRIC ADVENTURE!
I haven’t given an update for a while, we have 33 days to until our trip from Ness Point to Ardnamurchan Lighthouse begins.
One (or three) of the most stressful things to get sorted was accommodation. The plan has always been to keep the overheads as low as possible, so we have looked at Camping Pods, these are effectively a camping solution but with the added comfort of solid walls, carpet and heating.
We were very fortunate to have been given some nice press coverage by The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star both online and in their newspapers over the last couple of days. It’s very humbling to have a story picked up by the press, so thank you to them for helping promote our adventure!
This morning I spoke to Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk about the Governments proposed ban on diesel and petrol cars by 2040. Listen to the stream below and find out what I think of them.
It’s all go here in Ipswich as we begin preparing for the road trip of a lifetime!
Tesla have very kindly loaned us a Model S 100D for the duration of the challenge and DJI have also promised us a Mavic Pro and Osmo stabiliser for filming.
We have found 3 over night stays, 2 at Ullswater in the Lake District and 1 at Ardnamurchan in Scotland. Both are basic Pods, costing the smallest amount of money possible.
We plan to stop off at a number of Tesla Superchargers both there and back, more details to follow on this.
New update coming soon!