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Playing catch up …

It’s been a busy week settling into my new roll as a red van driver, remembering the 3 new routes and absolutely loving it! Scanning the pavement is much more enjoyable than staring at pixels for a living, as I had done previously for 26 years as a compositor at the Mercury.

During one of my short breaks between runs, I tried to create a mind map as part of the course requirements. This is as far as I got before work duty intervened – but it’s an attempt for now at least.
MindMap1

I took the photo below while turning around in a tight spot on one of my runs. On the left, the old Mercury building, on the right, the Hobart GPO – for me an ironic link between my past work life and my new employment.
For many of my 26 years at the Merc, my only view of the world from my desk was across this laneway from the window above the steel landing, the highlight of the day (other than escaping at lunch time) was when the sun would briefly hit the opposite wall casting long shadows from the bricks.
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A huge contrast to the ever changing scene in my new “office” below. Not a very good selfie, but one I’ll thow in here and on my personal Facebook account, it was taken while sitting in traffic with the smaller rear facing phone camera and is heavily backlit.
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Another hat I wear is that of Gingerbread Man – My wife and I own Tasmanian Gingerbread (tasgingerbread.com).
Christmas is of course the busiest time for us, I deliver products and pick up ingredients during the week and help out at our Saturday Salamanca Market stall. My wife does all the cooking and at this time of year we employ three people in our commercial kitchen at Kingston.
Of course, this week our oven decided to break!! Luckily all Christmas orders have been filled and we have a little bit of Christmas stock left.
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I was trying to catch up on the Uni Course notes at Salamanca and to escape disruption so I could concentrate, I went and lay on the grass with my phone. I haven’t done this for way too long and it brought back fond childhood memories of lying on the primary school oval watching the clouds roll overhead at lunchtimes with my friend Joanne Bates – and inspration for another selfie for Project 1.
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I didn’t get very far with the course notes, I’m still a few weeks behind.
I have a Family Christmas gathering today (Sunday) and back on the road again tomorrow.

I headed down to my lair one night during the week and finally had a play with my new camera gimbal for the F550 UAV or “Drone”, as they unfortunatly are often referred to. I don’t like the link to military Predator drones and the implications of spying and what-not that some people assume.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m considering using this as project 2. Below is a photo of the parts layed out ready for assembly to give you an idea of what’s involved. There’s not only the physical side of assembling and balancing the hardware below and all the wiring (which I started threading through the gimbal already), but also setting up the software, gimbal callibration for smoothness, remote transmitter controls for both gimbal and camera and the live video feed. It’s quite complex and involved but the improved image quality should be well worth the effort.
Gimbal1
I’ve done this previously on a smaller scale with my current setup on the F550 but this system is different, so I have many new things to learn. I currently use a much smaller GoPro sized Xiaomi Yi camera on a modified Walkera G-3D gimbal with HDMI to AVI video converter pictured below.
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The gimbal is mounted on two “rails” and counter balanced with the weight of the battery to move it forward so as to avoid propellers in the shot and also flickering shadow from them.
In any case, I will document this project and it will become a part of my tasview.com website and blog in the hope I can help others out who wish to attempt this. Since starting the tasview site in October 2014, it’s had more than 15,000 visitors and over 40,000 views.

Anyway, off to the family function … until next time.

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