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My New Project CB250N Superdream

I decided I needed a project bike as the XJ is getting tired and I didnt want to do it up as it is a bit heavy for me as I have a back injury (From a stack at 18 years old on a CX500 shaftie at 186 KPH or about 115 in the old currency) and I wanted a lighter bike.

Today I sealed the deal on a 1980 CB250N for AU $800 and went to pick it up. I got an unregistered vehicle permit to allow me to ride it home, this is a temp permit for moving a vehicle to a new home or to a mechanic etc for repair.

I got 1.5km or about a mile from the sellers house and that was it the needles in the carbies got shit in them and it started flooding, what to do, what to do…. I had my wife following me in the car a Ford Falcon station wagon as she had driven me down to pick it up. I was about an hours ride from home and not going anywhere fast, top speed I could get was about 20kph.

Okay pull the bike on to the verge on the side of the road and drop the few litres of fuel I had put in to ride it home it will evaporate off the road and I didn’t do it on a drain or anything like that, I didn’t want to but had no jerry can to collect it.

Next I had to lift the rear wheel in to the back of the wagon with a snatch strap attached to the rear wheel, the strap was so my wife could pull it from the front while I lifted the bike, with my back I could not lift the dead weight and push it in to the car at the same time. Between dropping the fuel and wrestling the bike we blew an hour on the side of the road.

The tailgate would not quite close so I strapped it closed and set off home but hey I got the bike up to 100kph. better then the 20kph it was doing earlier even if it was in the back of the car.

Well now it is home and out of the car, I forgot to take a photo of it in the car, oh well you can all imagine that. So now it all begins. The bike is not in to bad condition it has an oil weep from the rocker cover, the carbs need work and the muffler weld is cracked at the headers, oh and as I found out it starts in gear so will have to sort that out.

The course of action is to repair the small things I need for a road worthy and get it registered. Then I am going to attack it and I really do mean that…. This is my mock up of what I want to do with the bike.

It may not be exactly the same when finished but I mocked this up as a guide of what I would like it to look like when finished, I am going to do what I call a rolling resto in that I will be riding it and taking it off the road for a week here and there to do it in stages

The first photo is how it was when I picked it up, and the second is the mockup i did

Looking forward to your ideas and input on the project as it moves along

My Swag and Hootchie Shelter

Jo-anne bought me for my Christmas present a New Oz Trail Swag the other day for when I go camping. I wanted to add to my gear and was lucky today. I was at the op shop earlier and got three hootchies (Real army ones not copies) and two aluminium snow skiing poles that i cut the handles off and used as really light weight tent poles. The two auscam hootchies are used for the tent the drab green is the floor, canvas swag with oz trail sleeping bag rated to -5 degrees C a wool blanket, pillow, mattress, nylon mattress cover. I had to buy some pegs and I already had 25m of paracord.

The reason for the extra tent coverage over the swag and extra blankets is I go camping in the Alpine High Country, -2c in November up there

I have also got some other gear for camping as listed below.

So price breakdown is as follows…

Oz Trail Wentworth Swag $100 off bought for $149 (NEW)
Oz Trail -5 degree Jumbo Sleeping Bag 50% off $59 (NEW)
3 Genuine Army Hootchies and small ground sheet $10 (OP Shop)
2 Ski Poles(Tent Poles) $6 (OP Shop)
2 x 2m Ocky Straps $5 (NEW)
10 Meters Para-cord $12.50 (NEW)
Heavy Duty Tent Pegs x 10 $7 (NEW)
Doona Cover to cover mattress $5 (OP Shop)
Wool Blanket $5 (OP Shop)
Pillow (FREE) Already Had
Sleeping Bag Liner $2 (OP Shop)
Genuine Trangia Hiking Spirit Stove Set $2.50 (OP Shop) Retails at $125
Camel back Olive Green Hydration Pack $4 (OP Shop)
Extra Mattress for swag (FREE) Already Had
1 liter Aluminium Bottle for Metho for Stove (FREE) from free box at op shop
Camp Cookware $1 (OP Shop)
1 Army issue Angle Torch (Free) from friend
4 Ever Ready Electric Glow Sticks $8 on special at supermarket
Collapsing Table Lightweight $20 (NEW)
Folding Stool $5 (OP Shop)
Cooking Utensils including 100+ year old carbon steel carving knives

I have a friend building a trailer to go behind my motorbike to carry my camping gear so am well on the way to being mobile and the bike can go most places a 4×4 can go so I will be camping off the beaten track

I also need to get a small (12 inch) chainsaw for firewood collection and a few other bits of kit

My Portable Gadget Collection

So what portable gadgets do you have ? I have a smallish collection of gadgets that I use when out and about as well as at home, I do not take all of them out all of the time it just depends what I am doing, so here are my go to gadgets sort of in the order of most use…

Galaxy SIII in pebble blue 16GB with 16GB Memory card

Plantronics Discovery 975 bluetooth headset for phone calls with my Galaxy SIII

Kindle Keyboard WiFi version with 3GB of storage

Yaesu VX-6R VHF/UHF 5watt Handheld HAM radio

Galaxy TAB 10.1 Ver 2 16GB WiFi with 32GB Memory Card

Bluetooth Keyboard/Stand/Cover for Galaxy Tab 10.1

Nokia Stereo Bluetooth Headset for music

Varta V Man 3 USB lithium battery pack to charge phone etc on the go

Pentax K100D DSLR this is in a waterproof tough case with heaps of lenses and  other stuff
including Memory Cards, Batteries, Filters, Remote’s, Time lapse controller etc
Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar panel with AA USB battery pack/charger for
solar charging  of phones and other devices

Well I have had my Pentax Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR) for a few weeks now and finally have my work flow down pat… This is the process I take to get from subject to final image…

 1. Photograph the subject in raw mode and usually take three photos of the same subject at different exposures so I can pick the best. One at normal exposure, one 1 stop underexposed and one 1 stop over exposed. This also allows me to create High Dynamic Range images If I want to however for HDR you need to use a tripod so the camera does not move.

When I take the photo I am only shooting at 6.1 Mega-pixels as that is all the K100D does. I take the data in RAW mode not Jpeg and that takes about 22 Megabytes per image so over 60 Meg for the three images. The 6.1 Mega-pixel image from the DSLR is far better in quality and colour reproduction then my AUD $60 14 Mega-pixel cheapish point and shoot. This is mainly due to the real lenses in front of the sensor rather then a small lens. That and the size of the CCD sensor.

 2. Transfer the images to my computer still in RAW mode with photo management software called DigiKam for Linux.

 3. Convert the RAW image to loss less PNG format with no other effects or editing, this means I can edit in PNG and not lose any of the image due to the compression used in Jpeg images. I the delete the RAW images to free up drive space. Each image is now around 8-10 Megabytes instead of 22.

 4. Rename the images so I have sequential numbering of ALL my photos stored on the computer. I have a 320 Gigabyte external drive just for photos.

 5. Create a thumbnail image of the photo say image 0000534.png to a file of 200 pixels wide with a filen ame of _thb_0000534.png. This is for my gallery of Unedited pics I have on my home server so I am not loading the full image from the server unless I need to.

 6. Copy the original image and the thumbnail image to the file server inside the house, I now have 2 copies of the image one on my external hard drive and one on the server as well as the thumbnail.

 7. Edit, crop, adjust colours etc and add my watermark in the Gimp for Linux and save to a directory called final edit and create another thumbnail of the final picture.

 8. Upload the final thumb and photo to the home server in full resolution still around 8 megabytes.

 9. Upload the image to my Flickr account at 1024×768 and post it to my blog or facebook. All of the renaming, RAW to PNG conversion and thumbnail creation is done in batch processing within DigiKam and is fully automatic once it is running so that is pretty easy.

I also do not delete any images as you never know what you will need. I am also working on a long term photography project the requires 1000’s of images of flowers but that will take a while although I took nearly 100 photos on this afternoons walk and about 80 of the would have been of flowers so I am getting there… Here is a final image I did for Jo-anne (Blossy)


I just got my new (secondhand)  Digital SLR Camera in the mail today. It is an older model and is only 6MP but with decent lenses and having it set to shoot in raw mode it should be better then my cheap AUD65 point and shoot compact from ALDI. The cheapie is a traveler DC140 it is 14MP but has pretty cheap optics, a great little ‘disposable’ camera to carry on the motorbike in my EDC bag when I am out.
Traveler DC10
The DSLR is a Pentax K100D that came with a Sigma 28-80 Aspherical Lens that has a  Macro setting. The lens is a fairly cheap lens but being Aspherical with plastic body makes it small and light and is a great little everyday lens. 
K100D and Sigma Lens
I also got a set of batteries (4xAA Used but enough charge to test it out) a battery case and a really nice camera bag from Case logic that was not included in the original listing but he included anyway. Needless to say the seller on eBay got a great positive feedback review from me and I may buy some lenses from him in the future.
Case Logic SLR Bag
A week or so ago a mate from my HAM radio club gave me an old Pentax film SLR camera, this is what led me to get a Pentax DSLR as he gave me a heap of M42 (Metric 42mm Screw thread) lenses with it in an aluminium hard carry case. I got an adaptor for the M42 lenses to convert them to K-mount which is what the K100D takes. This allows me to use all the older lenses. 
M42 to K mount adaptor ring
They even still make M42’s in Russia and you can buy them really cheaply on eBay. So I have a total of 6 lenses for the DSLR now but 5 are the old M42’s so are manual everything, aperture  and focus but that just adds to the ‘old school’ feel of using an SLR.
Hardcase with DSLR and lenses
I also crafted a mount for the DLSR to fit my microscope.. It is flaring the image a bit at the moment as you can see in the picture below but I will play with it and see if I can make the image any better. This was the first image I took with the microscope so I have a bit of tweaking left to do yet.
A logo from a small PCB
I call this one “Pacman The Small Maze”

And finally to round it all off here is a photo I took of a daisy, It was taken with the sigma lens in macro mode in raw mode. The only post processing was to blur the background a little more, it was already out of focus due to the narrow depth of field when using Macro anyway.

“Lone Daisy”