Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring Is In The Air

Lately it seemed as though spring would never arrive, at least spring in every sense of the word, meaning that you don't need your winter coat while being outside! Then guess warmed up, and its just what we were waiting for.

I have been out and about with my cameras a lot lately, and I have been enjoying my time behind the lens immensely, as I have shot some pleasing images, at least in my mind, and that's why I shoot photos, that being for my own enjoyment and well being.
While I have been out traipsing around the countryside, I took time to run tests on some modifications that I recently made to my vehicle, or in terminology that my fellow hams mobile.

Here I am checking out some of the modifications that I have made to my mobile lately.You can see where the DC Powerpack that I designed and built resides when I am mobile, and the powerpack is mounted securely, so that it cannot move. It only takes a few moments to remove it if I wish to use it away from my mobile.
In this photo, the powerpack AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery is being charged by the crystalline solar panel mounted on the rear deck of my mobile.The mount for the solar panel is adjustable, allowing the panel to be positioned for the optimum angle with the sun.The powerpack is providing power for the Kenwood D72, as well as the computer running APRSIS, while the AGM batteries that reside within the powerpack are being charged by the solar panel.The solar panel is connected to a charge controller, that is regulating the charge being provided to the DC Powerpack.
If I prefer to charge the powerpack from my mobile, its as simple as connecting the powerpack to the circuit I installed, that allows the DC powerpack to be connected in parallel with the crank battery of my mobile, allowing the powerpack to be charged by the vehicle alternator. If for some reason the crank battery for my mobile has been allowed to be discharged to the point that I cannot start the engine, its as simple as carrying the powerpack around to the front, and with the accessory cables that I made up for this purpose, jump start the vehicle.
So the testing continues, with everything proceeding as I designed it to, gotta love that, and besides....its all about emergency preparedness.

The other thing on my mind lately are smartphones, as I have pretty much reached the end of the road with my existing Blackberry, being its getting long in the tooth. Now those of you that know me, know that I research everything to death before making a decision, and in this case, as to which new smartphone that will best meet my needs.
Several months ago, when I began doing my research on new smartphones, I was sure that I was moving away from a Blackberry to a smartphone with a different operating system, probably the Samsung Galaxy S4 that uses the Android operating system from Google, and the replacement for the S3. Well guess what, after analyzing all the smartphones that suited my requirements, I am thinking seriously of purchasing the new Blackberry Q10 coming out on May 1st. It seems like every phone that I looked at, had some kind of issue or another, that turned me away from it. My short list has come down to the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, and the Blackberry Q10.

I watched the streaming video for the Samsung Galaxy S4 when it was announced, and I agree with the reviewers, that it is nothing more than a jazzed up S3 with a lot of extra fluff added, that contaminates the pure Android operating system buried within the phone. This is why any of the phones that use Google's Android operating system, are always a step behind the latest Google Nexus 4 smartphone, with its pure Android OS, as updates are not available as soon as Google releases them, being that companies like Samsung and any of the other companies building smartphones running the Android OS, have too first modify the newest OS, to allow it too play nice with their own smartphones, to which they have added a lot of extra fluff. 
Of course, there is more to it than that, as to why I am leaning towards a BB Q10, and a big reason for me is the fact that the Q10 has the best keyboard bar none on any smartphone on the market. Blackberry has two new releases in a smartphone, one being the new Z10, a conventional smartphone with a on screen keyboard, which has the best on screen keyboard of any phone out there, and then there is the Q10 arriving on May 1st, a phone with a real physical keyboard. I have test driven all the new phones, and I do not like on screen keyboards, its that simple. Just so you know, I do a lot of emailing and texting on my phone, being away from home a big part of my day, and a lot of it comes from the traffic on my website. At the moment I am averaging 25,000 visits a month, and I get a lot of email, and I respond from my phone for the most part.
So it comes down to this, if you use your smartphone to download and watch movies or stream video as well as play games for the most part, go with a conventional full screen smartphone.
If you mainly use your smartphone for email, texting, and working on files, then go for the....well there is only one,  the Blackberry Q10 with a conventional keyboard.
Also, I like how secure a Blackberry is, and that even goes further with the latest BB Z10, and the BB Q10. These latest BB phones even have encrypted texting amongst BB users, as they use the Blackberry unique pin number as a contact number instead of the phone number! They also have two on board cameras, allowing for BB video chatting, and at the same time, allowing the person on the other end to see what is on your screen at that moment. This makes it extremely easy to share photos, files, and whatnot instantly.
Sorry for putting you to sleep with my pillow talk on smartphones, but I am close to pulling the trigger on a new phone, and it's going to be the new........stay tuned!

On another note, but related to smartphones, one of my nieces who is in Australia at the moment, clued me in to the fact that there is a way to communicate from any country worldwide, and this means texting, emailing, and sending photos instantly without occurring any charges, and it works great. How cool is that! Thanks Tegan.

All my photos in this post expand, and do visit my website!i=2479918593&k=xWV54WQ

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