Adventures in falling over on film

I bought a go-pro hero3 HD black edition, or whatever other combination of additional names should be added to the tiny camera to make it sound more slinky.

It comes with some of the toys like a wireless iPhone app that can preview video from it and change its settings which is a bit easier than pratting about with morse code on the poor thing’s three buttons. It also has a wifi keyfob for starting and stopping filming which I managed to stuff up so it’s not talking anymore. Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. The camera isn’t *trivial* to get going, but it does make nice pictures.

They ship on a little plate guy like this:


The accuracy nutters amongst my readership will note that that’s a Hero2 but I couldn’t find a decent picture of a 3 so you’ll have to deal. I ruined my base plate before I took a photo of it.

I wanted to play with low and mean shots from my snowboard looking backwards, hoping to catch rooster tails of snow on turns. I’d read that suction mounts are useless on flex boards and that the sticky feet tended to suffer a little in the extreme cold and could pop off, again because of the flex in the boards. The helmet mounts are sold because the lid doesn’t bend all the time.

So, after some thought about options, I remembered that this thing shipped on a nice wide panel… It survived shipping so it can’t have been too flimsy in there. So… 5 mins with the duct tape that all drummers should have within reach at all times and you have this:

Ghetto gopro mount system

I snuck out onto the snow at the dome, a bit nervous that I’d get told off for an experimental mounting system or for running a camera in a private space; bolted up the lift, banged record and went off the top. This is my first run of the evening, so it’s not fast, it’s not wild, it’s not airborn and actually it looks *crap*, but it proves the concept. the board was out in the dome for 20 mins before the camera came off, and it was damned hard work to peel it up. I guess it bonds good!

gopro board mount test from armyofcaitlin on Vimeo.

Hurrah. I think I might trust that on a mountain for a day. I’ll leash the camera to my binding so that if it *does* come unstuck it’ll at least bounce along with me.

bonus rare video of my face sneaking into shot there too.

Sports fitness…

…what the hell is it?

Now, I’m a pretty standard unfit person. I drive a desk 8 hours a day, walk to and from the train when I use it, I run upstairs and stuff but Y’know, I get out of breath doing it.

When I started snowboarding, I was rubbish. I went really slowly and sat down a lot. In fact the first improvement I noticed in my body from snowboarding was that I grew triceps! You do a lot of pushups when you’re learning to snowboard 😛

I kind of have been incredibly fit in the past, I used to do up to 3 paper routes a day, kicking off at the illegally early for an under-16 5am, and covering up to 15 miles of loops around the village I grew up in which spread itself in the area around a dam system. Consequently you had to start at the top of one side of the gully the dam was in and then ride up the other side. If you were lucky you could swoosh down one side and swoosh back up the other, unless you had to deliver to that *FUCKING* house at the bottom of the dip. Anyway, long story short, all that biking meant that I didn’t really notice anything other than the inconvenience of sports, or the time it took to get to a friends house.

Sadly I’d cracked on with anorexia at 12 or so, before I’d even got near a decent biking routine; so I survived it, getting out with aerobic fitness but the absolute minimum muscle to get the job done.

At school I was a signed up nerd, with only my awesome drumming to keep me out of the gutter of the terminally uncool. Consequenty sports passed me by entirely, I never once took part in sports day and believed that physical stuff for fun just wasn’t allowed for me.

Since I left school, I’ve done a bit of skiing, I did trampolining up to an almost competitive level which is how I got my broken spine and I’ve finally got into snowboarding which is the first time I’ve felt like I had a sport I could call *mine*, that I connected with and wanted to do just for me, just for the feeling.

Over the last two years I’ve got fairly decent, in fact I’m just waiting for the next available course to have a go at qualifying at being an instructor. But the *fitness* to really improve entirely eludes me.

As I got better, I found I could wear less and still feel warmer, riding aggressively keeps you toasty, but now I’ve reached the level of freestyle and longer riding hours I’ve hit a wall. And it’s a solid one. I don’t have the first idea how to keep the fitness I need to ride and extend it. If I take a week off riding, it takes three weeks to get back into it and it’s soul crushing.


Raspberry Pi GPS tinkery

I’m playing with making a vehicle position and tracking logger for various reasons, not least if I forget where I left a vehicle it’d be fun to ask it where it is and have my phone tell me how to get back to it.

So I’m messing around with the bu-303 GPS mouse from my car pc project of a million years ago, a raspberry pi and an orphaned sony ericsson phone which as yet doesn’t have a sim but I know can eat AT commands up its usb hole.

So far I’ve found that the rasperian distro is a bit stroppy with the gps out of the gate. It’ll start gpsd on boot and on insertion of the bu-303, but although gpsmon is quite happy to talk to that arrangement, some of the other tools are less happy.

I’m currently looking at xgps x-forwarded to my mac after killing the autorun gpsd and manually running it as root with:

gpsd /dev/ttyUSB0

This lets cgps and xgps get at the data. It may of course be a horrible security problem, but the gpds has come up as running as nobody looking like:

gpsd /dev/ttyUSB0

rather than:

gpsd -F /var/run/gpsd.sock

I’ll go init script hunting for trying to make that work right on insertion. I just wanted to leave this here in case anyone else gets similarly a bit stuck.

More to come later, perhaps.