I believe that we should all live a balanced life, so in the interest of trying to stay balanced, here is a summary of some of my other interests !
Some of my other interests include:
Photography, both still and video. I enjoy taking photos and videos in nature, this combines well with hiking/biking and QRP portable operations. Processing the photos and videos digitally afterwards is also interesting and it is amazing what can be done with a good PC and the right hardware and software. Have a look at my Photography page !
All my photography is now digital, I believe this is the only way these days !. I am currently using a Sony DSC-V1 as a every day take along camera that is small and compact but is still very capable of taking outstanding photos. For more professional work I currently use a Canon EOS 1Dmk2, 20D and 10D, 300D as backup. I also own a Fuji S2Pro and a few Nikon lenses. The Canons are matched with various lenses including the following: Canon EFS 18-55mm, 70-200L f2.8 IS, 100-400L IS, Sigma 24-135 F2.8, 28-200mm, 70-300mm, 50-500mm and Sigma 105 EX macro. All these lenses can also be used with a 1.4x or 2x converter.
Most of my photography is nature related including flowers, birds and animals as well as landscapes. I also enjoy photographing aircraft, both full size and models. Model Portfolios are also becoming quite popular as well as special events.Flying (I have build 2 Home build aircraft, a KR1 and KR2 in the past) I am hoping to start building a new plane in the not to distant future (twin with at least 4 seats, I must just find the time !, maybe I will have to wait till I retire.....) It will be based on the basic KR design as I have found it easy to build (it still took my 5 years !)and it flies very well (that is if you are a REAL pilot and fly tail-draggers !). I suppose I will have to admit that the twin would be better as a tricycle !. I have now started with the plans for this plane, collecting equipment and bits and pieces and doing calculations. I am still trying to decide what would be the best power plants for this plane, converted auto engine (cheap to acquire and maintain) or dedicated (expensive) aircraft engines ?. I will build a 33% radio controlled model of the plane to test out a few options and as a prove of concept before I start construction of the 100% version.
The business end of the KR2 (ZU-AMV), and yes, it was equipped with a TS-50. On HF a trailing wire, with a small electric winch was used with a tuner (60m long). I have received lots of great signal reports with this setup.
Kenwood TS-50 "installed" on seat next to pilot !
One of the reasons why flying is special, photo taken
from a Rutan Long-eze....
Turbine powered Mig 17 on finals, it even sounds like the real thing !
My Yacht Vespera being taken out of the water for painting and anti fouling.
Motor Cycles, After almost 20 years of not riding a motor cycle I recently started again. I am more interested in slow cruising/touring and enjoying the trip and the sights rather than the actual destination. It is also nice to be able to take someone (XYL) along for the trip so it must not be scary (fast)! I am currently riding a Suzuki Intruder VS800. I also own a Suzuki GS1100G that I am in the process of rebuilding and converting to a muscle cruiser and a BMW R100S that I am restoring to its original splendor !. NO, I have not tried cycle mobile (yet)!. I have started planning a Iron butt 1000 (you have to do 1000 miles, 1600 km, in 24 hours on a motorcycle to qualify for this) certification ride. I want to ride from Pretoria to Capetown via the long route down the East coast of South Africa. Currently the planned date for this will be sometime towards the end of October 2003. I have not made a final decision on the bike to use but at this stage the Yamaha FJ1200 seems the best choice for the job. It is a great bike on the open road !. I will be setting up a web page for the restoration of the BMW soon, watch this space !
Suzuki Intruder VS800, a great bike to take for a slow cruise to enjoy nature and the open road.
Suzuki GS1100G, something with a bit more muscle for when the need for speed grabs you.
BMW R100S, great for long distance touring, this bike can sit at cruising speed all day and is very comfortable.
Yamaha FJ1200, a real powerhouse sport-tourer, perfect for long distance riding
Astronomy, I have build a 10" telescope and radio astronomy is a field I am very keen on. I am hoping to start a new telescope project in the near future. I would like to build a large reflector telescope but I must first finish my motorcycle restoring projects !.Computers, hardware and Software and integrating it with my other hobbies. Recent areas of interest include computer based DSP and weak signal detection, something that links in with SETI nicely.
Image Processing, also tying in with Astronomy. With modern digital cameras it has become so easy to take photos to process, I have modified a Samsung digital camera to allow me to take very long exposure photos through the telescope, these can then be enhanced with digital image processing to provide images that was impossible unless you had access to huge telescopes a few years ago. I have written some software (written in C and running on a X-windows based Linux system) that can enhance images to bring out detail that was not visible on the original image.
SETI, we are NOT ALONE !!. I am currently in the top 1 % of Seti@home contributors worldwide running more than 20 systems including a couple of HP and Sun RISC systems.