Thursday, January 15, 2009

Garmin Zumo 660 Announced

I noticed that a new Garmin Zumo has been announced - Zumo 660. Looks like it finally gets a larger, higher-resolution screen, like the Nuvi. The screen was my biggest complaint with the Zumo 550.

Press Release

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pentax Optio W60 - Initial Impressions

Pentax Optio W60 was announced in May. It is a compact waterproof and dustproof camera. I bought one, intending to mount it on my motorcycle to take pictures while riding. I received it last night from Amazon, but haven't had a chance to play with it or even turn it on yet.

The camera is light and does not feel very rugged, but I'll reserve that judgement until I've used it for a while. The black plastic on top and on the front is rough to keep your fingers from slipping, and makes it easy to hold the camera.

One disappointment so far is the location of the tripod mount. Instead of being in the center of the camera, it's all the way on the right side. This will cause more vibration when mounted on a motorcycle. Some kind of an adapter plate may need to be made to reduce vibrations.

The battery compartment door has a black rubber seal on it to keep the water out. The small connector inside that looks like USB is actually not standard USB. Pentax includes 2 cables that plug in there, one of which is USB on the other end, and the other one is video.

The charger uses a cable instead of plugging right into the wall socket. This means one more thing to carry on trips.

While the battery was charging, I also unpacked the 16 GB SanDisk SDHC card that I got.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What's In a Toolkit?

People always ask what should be in their motorcycle toolkits, so I'm going to show what's in mine. I'm sure that I'm missing things too, so feel free to comment on what else is useful. Everything I'm going to show is on my motorcycle at all times, no matter where I ride. Thankfully, the BMW R1200 GS has plenty of carrying capacity, especially with the Jesse Odyssey cases.

Let's start with the right sidecase:

In this sidecase I keep my tire pump, small tripod, a bungee net and a rag.

The pump is a BestRest CyclePump:

I also have a gauge with the tire pump:

The tripod (Joby Gorillapod) can be used as a normal tripod:

or wrapped around some object:

Now, on to the left sidecase:

The left sidecase contains my tools, a flashlight, a locking cable for my gear and some paper towels:

The flashlight has 9 LED's and 3 brightness levels, and can be either handheld, or stand on the built-in tripod:

I carry a pen-type multimeter in case I have to debug an electrical problem:

The toolkit contains almost everything needed to completely disassemble my motorcycle and put it back together (though I don't carry a torque wrench, it loses its calibration from all the bumps and vibration):

There's a ratchet and Torx sockets (everything on the motorcycle is Torx), wrenches, pliers and other tools:

I keep more essentials in the small compartment under the top box:

There are some zip ties, the owner's manual, the original BMW toolkit, a medikit and a tire plug kit:


Tire plug kit:

The original BMW toolkit: