Tuesday, 19 June 2018

T-Max CVT issue

Back in about July last year I got myself another T-Max, and its been an interesting time with it so far. It's been quite reliable and hasn't missed a beat, but since getting it I've noted that it rev'ed higher than my older one for the same speed. I expected that there was something worn, but decided that as I was getting really good fuel economy I'd leave it alone till belt inspection light came on.

So the belt inspection light came on a little while back and I got around to pulling off the cover and having a look.

Well ... I'm sure there's a story to this:


I'm sure someone noticed that when it happened.

Interestingly when revved the outside of the belt doesn't get past that black line, and it should.

Here is a quick video showing that more clearly where that gets to:


So I've bought new front sheave sides and in anticipation of wear (or worse) new weights. The sliders looked good to go.

I'll keep you posted

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fireplaces in Australia

Australia seems to have a long tradition of building fireplaces which are stupid beyond belief. I can only assume its because most people (not just Australians) don't and perhaps can't think.

Lets take this old abandoned farm cottage as an example.


In this, the vast majority of the benefits of the fireplace are wasted. Sure it may be cosy to actually have the fire going in the evening, but you'll only get a tiny portion of the benefit from it; the direct radiation from the fire. This of  course only warms when the fire is still burning.

In contrast the back and sides of the (quite substantial thermal mass) fire place will probably remain warm for most of the night. And people wonder why their dogs and cats snuggle up to it when tossed outside for the night.

Now people will argue that they build them like this because of the fire hazard; more evidence of a complete lack of the capacity for thinking ... which side will most likely cause a fiire hazard the stones of the back and sides or the actual burning fire?

FFS ...

In Finland (and from what I saw the rest of Scandinavia) they build them more like this:


Note that the entire thing covered in tin sheet is essentially the stack of bricks in the Australian one, and note that its in the middle of the house (so that it can uniformly warm the entire place). The door to the right is the bedroom (its a small cottage) and so the back wall of that fireplace is right by the bed.

As well that steel door is an oven as well as where you build the fire. So you can put stuff in there to cook and "voila" no cooking fumes in the house!

Because its an enormous thermal mass the outside remains warm for pretty much the whole day, and at night after dinner till the next morning. The smaller doors at the bottom are for getting out the ash that's left behind and the top doors for heating smaller things.

That this one is covered in tin is just to cover the surface of the bricks as its nearly 50 years old and the original paint is flaking and the edges of the bricks cause a little dust. Tin was just the quick fix to make it look neater cheaply. Tin is not an insulator so it then just radiates out into the house.

Here is another one in a log cottage under construction, this one will be rendered with a covering and also tiled to look nicer.


in front of it is the kitchen and behind it is the living room.

Smart use of energy ... using your brain I'd say.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Camera Sensor technology has Plateaued

I was looking at a mates G80 and thinking wow, this is nice ... although its funny how its just come back to exactly the same form factor as the GH1 (and G1) originally had.

Naturally the G80 offers 4K video and a plethora of other groovy stuff like IBIS which is just "fuckDatsGood" (beyond belief).

However as a stills guy I keep feeling that even since the 2009 release of the GH1 that fucking not much has happened except tweak the tuning parameters, squeeze more pixels in (without fucking things up) and way better JPG engines in the cameras.

Now you may or may not agree with DxO Mark's measurements, but they are a ball park to start from. Myself I've compared my GH1 do a mates OM-D EM5 Mk1  as well as the Mk2 and found that I couldn't see much of any difference in RAW, but the JPG engines were ahead (but then as I prefer to just shoot RAW and process on Computer they are neck and neck.
The following examination of DxO measurement data seems to support this.
I compared these three cameras. Lets keep in mind that the GH1 was released in about July 2009.




those coloured blobs match in with the graphs, first lets looks at what ISO you get when you dial in a number



so the GH1 actually gives you a higher shutter speed (by virtue of its under-rated setting) for the same camera set ISO (because the actual ISO is higher than you think).


Ok, next dynamic range:



GX8@measured 109 ISO (dial setting 100) = 12.52 EV
GH1@measured 137 ISO (dial setting 100) = 11.63 EV

well for sure the newer cameras are doing better at 100ISO, but man it sure becomes closer at ISO 800 (where I do often work to get shutter speed) ...and none of those differences are likely ball breaking differences in real shooting.

Tonal range



Talk about your linear relationship. If this isn't showing that way back in 2009 sensors were at the edge of the plateau I don't know what does.

So to me, this supports my view that camera sensors plateaued, nearly 10 years ago.

Something to think about when justifying that camera upgrade ... and I can still get used GH1's in good condition for under US$180 pretty much every day of the week over at KEH.

Food for thought if you're a broke student looking to get into a system.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Canberra War Memorial

To me a visit to Canberra (rare for me) is not complete without a visit to the War Memorial. The place is often filled with school students who are (hopefully) learning about what it all actually means to have died in service of your country and perhaps given some sense of what that sacrifice means for those left behind.


Inside the place is divided into the various major wars with many exhibits of what people went through in the form of dioramas depicting some of the battles


some actual artifacts



as well as some equipment and machines


One of my personal interests is (of course) the Japanese mini-submarine which was destroyed while in Sydney Harbour (link of interest here)




This has now been brought in from being outside (way back when they had far less room) and restored to original paint. This set of shots depicts clearly the destruction wrought by the depth charge which took it out. Clearly the poor bastard inside would have been killed by the compression blast of that explosion from below.



Its tragic that the Japanese so favored veritable suicide missions which highlights

  • how little they valued their people
  • why there were quickly so few experienced soldiers, airmen and navy personnel
  • their desperation (which proved unfounded)
There is a lot of very interesting stuff there and I fully recommend a reflective couple of days (in short sessions of under 3 hours) to appreciate it. 

To me nothing summarized the bravery and oft futility of war more than this statue from WW1 in the "Hall of Valour" depicting one more soldier leaving the trenches to face the machine guns.




Lest We Forget