Tuesday 24 May.
A pleasant surprise today when the Awning people came to quote for construction of our new awning. After looking at others the same people constructed over the past two years, each at a cost of $1500.00, and considering ours is larger and involves a roof as well I was expecting something between $2000-$2500. The surprise came with a quote of $1750.00, so no need to say that they got the job and it saves me looking any further. They are to return tomorrow to do the measuring and suggested they would return mid next week to fit it: I am quite overcome with the prompt service.
Sunday 29 May.
I will retract some of my rapturous ideas about the awning builders, as they have not yet turned up to do the measuring. They have been flat out building an awning for a long-term tenant a couple of rows down from us, even putting in all day Saturday, and they have been coming over and telling me times when they should arrive, but have still not yet turned up. I am not over worried about it so long as they can still come good by the deadline they arrived at, or close to it. I must admit I am now looking forward to having the new awning, as it has been a bit cold the last few evenings.
More on the wireless aircard: A revisit to Telstra revealed that the Mini Max in fact does not support an external aerial so I asked a few more questions about the air card. The local accessory shop has some coming in over the next few days so I will be able to get a look at one. The accessory shop in Brisbane indicates, in a reply to an email I sent them, that the patch cable for the air card does have a different connector and places like Dick Smith would have an adapter to suit my requirements. Hopefully some answers will be forthcoming over the next few days and a decision can be made as to if I purchase the new unit.
More electronic woes: Our VCR chucked it in recently so I have been looking at some sort of replacement for it. I have been looking at a DVD recorder with a built in large hard drive for recording on and found what would be an ideal unit, only it didn’t have an analogue tuner, but the price of $1100.00 didn’t appeal to me. It also seems a basic recorder with the hard drive still costs in the $800.00 mark and this would be a lot more expensive than I would intend to spend, so it is starting to look like a replacement of something very similar to the old VCR, but will have a combo DVD player fitted as well.
Winter on the Sunshine Coast.
Thursday 19 May 2005, (Maroochydore).
We are now on the Sunshine Coast for the winter spell. We are planning on being here until the middle of September or so and then decide which way we will go back down south, apart for a visit to Brisbane while Matt and family visit.
I have a fair bit to do while here, like buy a new awning and chase up a new Internet devise with external aerial possibilities, being the Sierra air card.
Today was spent pursuing the aerial for the Sierra air card and I went to a mobile accessory shop. Would you believe that they didn’t even know that this device supported an external aerial? Anyway they ended up finding out where to get one from. In the meantime I went to the Telstra shop to get them to also find out and they informed me that the unit I already have, a Mini-Max, would also support an external aerial, so they were asked by me to find out more about them. They did suggest that the aerial on the unit simply pulls out, somehow, and the external one insert in its place, but when I got home and checked it out it seems that the existing aerial will not remove from the unit. Perhaps there is a trick to removing it, and I hope this is the case as it would be a much cheaper option.
Sunday 22 May, (Maroochydore).
Well as expected I haven’t heard anything from the Telstra shop about the external aerial for the mini-max. I will wait another couple of days and go back in.
I have been working on the details for the construction of our new awning. I have also downloaded a list of makers to get quotes from. Today I was introduced to a couple of vanners that had awnings built over the last couple of years and used the same builder, and liked what I saw so I will give him first choice and if he comes up with a good price I might just give him the job. He, apparently, comes to the van park to make all transactions, so that would be a big bonus.
I bought myself another bike a couple of days ago and after building and adjusting it I have found that it is a much better bike than the last one I had and it was cheaper. I now find I am a little stiff after my first bit of riding so today was a rest day and I will see how things go over the next day or so.
Thursday 19th May 2005, (Maroochydore).
We enjoyed out time at Bargara tremendously, but it was time to move on and we decided that we would go straight on to Maroochydore instead of via Rainbow Beach. This was nothing unusual for us as we do generally change our mind and have a long trip to somewhere we are looking forward to getting to.
This would be a good time to start a new chapter.
Friday 13th May 2005, (Bargara-Bundaberg).
Nothing much has been done for the past few days as we have been rained in. Constant rain all day yesterday saw a complete day inside the caravan.
We went for a touristy drive today to a little north of Bundaberg with a couple of places in mind. One being Sharon Gorge, was not what I would call a gorge, but it did offer a nature walk through a rainforest. The second was called the Mystery Craters: These were a different story, being an eye opener. We did not know what to expect and were quite surprised with what we did see. In the middle of a flat area of land was a rocky outcrop no higher than the surrounding land that contained 30 or so craters. Many geologists have inspected these craters and stories have it that none can explain how they were formed.
It seems the video recorder has gone faulty, so it is a good thing we have the digital set top box, so we can still receive good reception. I don’t know what I am going to do to repair it, but there could be some time to spare. It seems it may be the power supply and maybe I will have a go at it one day.
Saturday 14th May, (Bargara-Bundaberg).
Linda has taken to feeding the local Lorikeets while here, nothing surprising but she has lately tried feeding them Wheat-bix with lots of water and covered with some Lorikeet food. Now the birds have become fussy and demand Wheat-bix every time, and they nearly follow her inside while she is making it. They are going to miss her when we leave on Tuesday, or they might pester the new campers that move in, He He.
Tuesday 10th May, (Bagara).
I have found out something with TV cabling that I still can’t fathom: I originally started using AV cables between VCR and TV ages ago to prevent interference with a station being transmitted on the same channel being used from VCR to TV. This should have overcome the problem, but the trouble we were having with analogue Win was that the channel set on VCR was the same as Win and this caused very poor reception. The part I can’t fathom is that we are not even using the coax connection to the TV so I can’t see how this caused this interference. This has now been overcome by changing the allocated channel on the VCR, so this will be something to remember in future.
Still on TV: I have had the idea recently of buying a new aerial, the same phase-link as I already have, but without the built in booster. This would enable me to connect the UHF, new one, into the other booster and hopefully still get a good reception and only use one coax cable into the van instead of the two being presently used. A good idea for today’s mission, but as things turned out there must have been something telling me I shouldn’t bother.
· The first thing to go wrong was Yellow pages wasn’t working, so I couldn’t download information on where to go.
· I first went to Retravision who didn’t have anything, but gave me a card for somebody who, as they said, could help me. After leaving the store I noticed that there was no address on the card so I decided to then check out a caravan yard.
· The caravan yard girl didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted so looked it up on her computer. The good thing for the day was to find out that one could actually buy individual replacement pieces for this type aerial, but she only wanted to sell me another complete aerial at $170.00 odd. I couldn’t seem to convince her of what I actually wanted so I left in disgust.
· I then referred to the card given to me earlier and rang them to get their address. This being given to me I told them I wouldn’t need directions as I find it easier to just follow the map, but when looking up the street given it didn’t appear in my map book.
This is when I got the idea that something was trying to tell me not to bother and leave things as they were while they were working, so I drove home, and things are remaining the same.
Back to touring: we had a river cruise yesterday, up the Burnett River to the mouth, as we decided we needed a treat to something like this. Although the trip was enjoyable enough, and reasonably priced, this particular river didn’t seem to do much for me due to the same scenery as far as the river banks go, all being at the same level with no rise in the land beyond to see, except for the Hummocks. Linda also said it was a little long in duration as well, but all in all it was en enjoyable trip that filled in the day. Another thing was the fact that there were only four of us on the ferry so it made it a lot easier to go wherever we wanted on the boat.
We have decided to stay here for a second week and give Noosa a miss, as it is too expensive there and we decided that we were neither over impressed with it anyway. We will still be going to Rainbow Beach though.
Wednesday 4th May 2005, (Bagara).
We are now at Bundaberg having arrived yesterday. We have chosen a park at Bargara about 14k east of Bundaberg on the coast. This seems a very nice park and we are already talking about staying here for a second week instead of going to Rainbow beach or Noosa, but time will tell. Linda has a reasonably variety of shopping within a few minutes walk, and any type shopping at Bundy.
I am a little disappointed with TV reception here. Transmission comes from Maryborough, a fair way away, but my research indicated signal should be very good. There is a large tree in line with reception that could be affecting it, but one analogue channel is almost non-existing. Digital reception is acceptable with a strong signal level and good quality, but quality intermittently drops to a level to cause distortion, again it may be the trees?
It is very noticeable lately that we are back on the coast with having regular rain. This is a change for us, as we haven’t seen any since we left the far south coast of the big island.
Tuesday 2nd May 2005, (Gladstone).
Here it is a week after getting this machine out to put down a few words, and where has the time gone. We haven’t appeared to do much while here, but we haven’t had any spare time as such. We did have one day’s sightseeing to check out Lake Awoonga about half hour from here. There is a caravan park there that we had heard about that we wanted to have a look at for future reference. The whole area was actually quite impressive, with several very scenic points and many picnic areas. We must stay there when we return to the area, but I did think the caravan park was a little expensive at $22.00 per night.
I finally finished my building of the solar gear and battery dischargers. The solar panel actually turned out quite successful: It is only good for about 50 m/amps, but that will almost suffice for its intended purpose of trickle charging the car battery. It is also very successful as a charger for the cordless drill so I can see it will be used for that regularly.
We are now packed and ready for a move tomorrow to Bundaberg, so more from there.