Saturday, November 20, 2010


Took the Herald for a blast the other day. As it lives in a small town and the next settlement is 70km away, most trips are only to the supermarket or hardware shop. That's not far enough to warm it properly, so every week or so I take it out of town and make damned sure it is warmed properly! In overdrive it'll do 90mph, at which point the handling gets light and wobbly. Hypothetically, officer...

When we went out last week we got caught in a rain shower, the first time it's seen rain in a while. I noticed that the wipers were two-speed, which seemed funny because they're not. Every minute or so they started flapping much faster, sadly not always timed to moments of heavier downpour. Eventually I thought to look at the voltmeter and sure enough, when the wipers speed up the meter reads 15V; when they slow to normal speed the volts are back to 12V or so.

So it looks like the alternator's regulator is on the way out. Pity, it's an A115 off my old Range Rover, and copes with two electric fans plus 100W high beam headlights. I'll see what state the GT6's alternator is in, but it won't have the same output.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another perspective

A common way of spanning the huge distances of rural Australia is to fly - a trip that could take all day by car can be made in a couple of hours by air. One of my friends used to work on Thursday Island, off the tip of Cape York, and this week, one of his old "TI" mates dropped in for a beer. And as he happened to drop in by Cessna, he offered us a ride the next day, to have a look at our coal project from the air.

Our project, Eagle Downs, lies just east of BMA's huge Peak Downs mine. It takes about twenty minutes to drive past Peak Downs, and from the air it's even bigger.

We buzzed one of our drill rigs - these drill down several hundred metres to produce samples of the coal seams for testing, and make sure they're where they're supposed to be. The driller spotted us, but his offsiders were busy chin-wagging.

Karl gave Dave a lesson in lining up on the runway - it's not as easy as it looks with a cross-wind!