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Author Topic: Biking the USA  (Read 3271 times)
KI4JGT
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Posts: 114




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« on: November 30, 2011, 08:54:45 AM »

Hey guys,
In order to bring a spark to my boring life, I'm wanting to bike across the USA (from Kentucky to California and several stops in between; Niagra falls, Mount Rushmore, Twin Towers Memorial, Grand Canyon, Beverly Hills, White House) I'm looking for sponsors/employers who would hire me to take photos on my journey. I'm wanting to upload them to a blog so readers may enjoy a weekly update.

Here's what I'm planning to take with me: (Haven't bought it yet)
Bicycle (obviously)
Archos 43 tablet (it has wifi and a camera and it runs on Android)
2M Radio (I don't know what mounting supplies I'll need)
$500 (probably on a paypal account card for safety reasons)
Bluetooth GPS device for the Archos 43 (So I know where I am)

I'm planning on practicing in the country (steep hills and curvy roads) all Winter and then to take off on the first day of Spring. If you guys know of anything else I would need to add to this list or anything else I would need to take into consideration, please let me know. I also need some places to stay or crash while doing this if anyone is up for it or knows of anywhere. This would be my first time doing something like this (I bike all the time) so some advice on mounting my radio and some general dos and don'ts would very much be appreciated. Thanks for the support. 73 DE KI4JGT
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 11:10:56 AM »

Didn't you get the answer you wanted when you posted this on QRZ?
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KI4JGT
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Posts: 114




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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 11:15:16 AM »

Trying to get more heads together. Two heads are better than one they say.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 11:24:55 AM »

I do remember a fellow here in California a couple of years ago who did the bike ride across the USA, and he had a small trailer he pulled behind the bike.  he did have ham radio along, and If I remember he has a solar panel on the trailer to give him power ( charged a battery)  but I remember he also had to coordinate with local law enforcement, as you can't bike down the freeway.  It is a doable task. but you need to try some  "local" trips to get through then problems.  He  did take pictures and would usually get on every evening on hf to  update the web page.  I think he also found sponsors, but any how. good luck
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AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 11:44:28 AM »

You might want to have someone with spare bike parts following not too far away. It wouldn't be good to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a blown tire or sitting on the top of a mountain with no brakes  Shocked
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KI4JGT
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 12:51:13 PM »

I do remember a fellow here in California a couple of years ago who did the bike ride across the USA, and he had a small trailer he pulled behind the bike.  he did have ham radio along, and If I remember he has a solar panel on the trailer to give him power ( charged a battery)  but I remember he also had to coordinate with local law enforcement, as you can't bike down the freeway.  It is a doable task. but you need to try some  "local" trips to get through then problems.  He  did take pictures and would usually get on every evening on hf to  update the web page.  I think he also found sponsors, but any how. good luck

Thank you soo much. I was hoping to get something attached to my wheel to generate power. I don't know if I could pull a trailor or not LOL. Anyone know a radio dealer who might lend me a 2M radio and means of power for the trip? I'm not going to be asking my sponsors to chip in until I actually plan the trip (which will be in the Summer) I just want to be prepared.
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AC4RD
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 03:46:29 PM »

Trying to get more heads together. Two heads are better than one they say.

Two heads are going to SIGNIFICANTLY increase the drag on that bicycle.  If you've got to go with two heads on the bike, do 'em fore-and-aft, and not side-by-side. 
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W6RMK
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Posts: 648




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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2011, 04:17:42 PM »

http://microship.com/

"This is the playground of Steven Roberts, N4RVE, who skipped out of midwest suburbia in 1983 aboard a "computerized recumbent bicycle" and never looked back"

17k miles, APRS, trailer, lots of radios, etc...
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VE3XKD
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2011, 04:30:47 PM »

Hi

I bicycle over 9000 kms every year, including the Canadian winter. I've operated VHF mobile from my bike many times. I have used several radios but like the VX3R for its light weight and small size. The longest trip i have done in a single day with my radio is 400 kms over two days. You will need a 'better than the stock' whip.  I have not Tried recharging the radio from the bike I only carried extra lithium batteries and recharged them over night though I know of several hams who used a generator to recharge a ni-cad on the bike and then ran the radio and lights from the ni-cad.

The radio easily fits in a top tube nylon carrier and a speaker mic is very useful, though at high speeds the noise of wind in your helmet will cause you to turn up he volume onthe HT and then the  mobile flutter on VHF receive will drive you crazy.

If you need power from the bike, a solar panel will be very inconsistent. Most serious Long distance cyclists who need power especially for powering lights for night riding use hub generators like the Shimano for their low drag and steady power. The output is not very clean, as it is meant for lights only, and conditioning and a regulator will be needed to power an HT.

I suggest that you take a bike repair course and learn how to change flats, fix broken spokes and repair broken cables and also chain links.


Good luck, I envy you.


VE3XKD
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1732




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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 03:18:52 PM »

Hey guys,
In order to bring a spark to my boring life, I'm wanting to bike across the USA (from Kentucky to California and several stops in between; Niagra falls, Mount Rushmore, Twin Towers Memorial, Grand Canyon, Beverly Hills, White House) I'm looking for sponsors/employers who would hire me to take photos on my journey. I'm wanting to upload them to a blog so readers may enjoy a weekly update.

Here's what I'm planning to take with me: (Haven't bought it yet)
Bicycle (obviously)
Archos 43 tablet (it has wifi and a camera and it runs on Android)
2M Radio (I don't know what mounting supplies I'll need)
$500 (probably on a paypal account card for safety reasons)
Bluetooth GPS device for the Archos 43 (So I know where I am)

I'm planning on practicing in the country (steep hills and curvy roads) all Winter and then to take off on the first day of Spring. If you guys know of anything else I would need to add to this list or anything else I would need to take into consideration, please let me know. I also need some places to stay or crash while doing this if anyone is up for it or knows of anywhere. This would be my first time doing something like this (I bike all the time) so some advice on mounting my radio and some general dos and don'ts would very much be appreciated. Thanks for the support. 73 DE KI4JGT
   You might just want to carry along a small CB radio.  The truckers could give you real time traffic reports, locations of service stations if you need air, info. about motels or places where you can eat, or help in an emergency if your cell phone is out and you are unable to reach a 2M repeater.
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K0JEG
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Posts: 622




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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2011, 01:05:31 PM »

If you need power from the bike, a solar panel will be very inconsistent. Most serious Long distance cyclists who need power especially for powering lights for night riding use hub generators like the Shimano for their low drag and steady power. The output is not very clean, as it is meant for lights only, and conditioning and a regulator will be needed to power an HT.

VE3XKD

This year I had a wheel built with a Shimano DH-3N80 "dynohub" with the idea of using it to charge my cell phone (which I use as a cyclometer) while I ride. The problem I see with using it for ham radio is most equipment wants to see 12Vdc, while the hubs (and most bike generators) put out 6Vac... and only a measly 3 Watts at that. Of course, they really are alternators, not generators/dynamos.

However, it was fairly easy to build a circuit that rectifies and regulates the extremely variable output to something clean enough to run a cell phone with GPS and display on all day. I also have a 6V/4.5Ah SLA battery connected directly to the rectifier output that is able to get a very good charge. I was thinking of getting another one next year, so if I go camping I could charge one for a few hours, then switch to the other. That way I could get 12VDC at a campsite for a QRP radio.

The nice thing about the dynohubs is that they saturate at about 24MPH. This keeps them from pumping too much power into a battery or circuit. The battery also protects the regulator from surges, etc, and keeps power to the phone while stopped. In fact, even a short ride a few days a week was enough to keep the SLA battery topped off (if starting from a full charge) all summer long. The regulator puts out +5Vdc for the phone, using an old USB connector I salvaged from a computer case.
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KD5PCK
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2011, 06:58:24 AM »

God luck with the preparations and the ride. Let me know when and where I can follow you blog.
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W6ZPC
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Posts: 24




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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 06:09:28 AM »

I haven't done this sort of thing, but I know when driving across the country 2 meter is dead over long stretches. I would think a small HF rig would be needed, especially if something wrong out in the wilderness, if you ventured off the heavily traveled roads, which is probably desirable for a bicyclist.
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