An evening outside with a Samsung Q1b.

The new tent has arrived, the bike baggage, and finally, some warmer weather so I’m taking the chance to test things out in the garden. My daughter is nearly asleep in the tent and I’m perched outside with the Samsung Q1b and organizer pack resting on one of my panniers, a clip-on LED lamp a paraffin lamp and a bottle of Germanys best beer!

This is the perfect time to be writing because its dark and you only need the minimum of backlight on the UMPC. As I write this with WiFi on, I’m taking between 6.5 and 8.5W on the UMPC. Its also wonderfully quiet.

Behind me, in the spare bedroom, I have started to lay out everything I need for the tour. I’ve written the pack list and there are only a few more things to buy before I’m ready to go. I hope it all fits into the panniers I bought for the bike which, incidentally, is going to be the blue Kronan.

A few things that haven’t turned up yet are the Lead-Acid battery and the solar panel. They should be here on Monday which will allow me to build the frame that the panel and battery will sit in on the back of the bike. I’ve ordered a could of panel meters too because I want to see what sort of drain each component puts on the panel.

One thing I was a little disappointed to find out tonight is that in theory, DC-DC conversion will cost at least 25% of my energy. That’s rather a lot to be wasting just to transfer energy, especially if I charge the Li-Ion battery from the 12V lead acid battery. I could lose an hours computing time just in that process.

I’ll finalise the packlist (V1.0) in the next few days and post it up. I’m also planning to do a video overview of all the equipment I’m taking, a picture-set of the bike and the charging setup and as many other images as I have time to take. The 9-day forecast is looking OK (not perfect, but OK) and so I’m quite confident that the tour will start at some point next weekend.