Motorcycle Charger for the iPhone

Powerlet iPhone Charger
Charging my iPhone from the motorcycle battery
More goodies in the mail yesterday after receiving my Powerlet inline charging kit for the iPhone from BlueRim Australia. Due to GPS applications being renowned for chewing through the battery on an iPhone, I knew I needed to get something so I can charge the iPhone while on the road. Plus it will help if I forget to charge the iPhone overnight – can’t have an eight hour day on the bike without tunes!

The kit was incredibly simple to install, just hook the charger up to the correct battery terminals, loop the line so it isn’t going to be crushed by the seat anywhere, and it is good to go.

Now all I have to do when I need to charge the phone is to get the cable from under the seat and hook it up to the iPhone and start chewing away the miles. You will notice the cable at the business end is springy and coiled, this will be handy when I get off the bike and forget I have myself hooked up, hopefully preventing any damage to the iPhone, charger or my battery.

The team at BlueRim Australia were really helpful and gave me a lot of good advice. They also have other Powerlet charging systems available that feature cigarette lighter adapters plus they sell Autocom motorcycle intercom units too.

Bluetooth Keyboard

This will be a short post as I am doing it for no other reason than to test out a bluetooth keyboard I have bought for my iPhone. Since OS4 was released for the iphone they now have the ability to use bluetooth keyboards I have been very keen to try this out due to finding that writing a lot of text on the touchscreen can be quite fiddly. Due to the small size of this bluetooth keyboard it is feeling quite fiddly too however I can at least see the iPhone’s full screen while I am typing which does make for easier reviewing. And I do apologize for any typos that appear as the keyboard does seem to cancel the iPhones autocomplete function. So enough of that and I’ll add a couple of photos to show you what it looks like. Oh and if you’re interested I got this keyboard off eBay – searches for bluetooth keyboard iphone will get you what you are after. See the pictures by clicking the link  Continue reading Bluetooth Keyboard

Testing iPhone Apps on a Motorcycle

Short update today. I’m off for a run with the boys from Melbourne during the long weekend starting tomorrow. I’ll be riding from Canberra to Kevington, a small dot on the map just north of Melbourne. During this ride of three days I am going to try out some things with my iPhone as a practice run for October.

First I am going to try the MotionX iPhone application which I will use to automatically log location updates to my Twitter and Facebook account every 15 minutes. Unfortunately I have been advised that most GPS apps for the iPhone absolutely chew through the battery life, so I will only use this feature for the first hour and a half – Canberra to Gundagai. After Gundagai I plan to manually push updates from any townships I stop at. If you happen to be available to see the auto updates in action, I plan to leave shortly after 8am East Australia Standard Time.

Now MotionX is not a GPS navigator, well not for my purpose anyway. For navigating I am looking at Navigon or maybe TomTom, but due to concerns of battery life and the fact I haven’t hooked up any form of charging system on the Road Star I will give it a miss for this particular trip.

So what else? Well, I also plan to try and keep a small diary log and photos pushing up to WordPress and Twitter when appropriate. Might be pretty light-on Saturday, but hopefully with a full charge on Sunday and some nice roads coming our way I’ll see how I go. Hopefully it will mean people can follow updates either via this blog, my Twitter feed, or my FaceBook account – whatever flavour takes your fancy really.

Have a nice long weekend!

Glenn “Toasty” Martin

A test on a slow speed network

Sitting in a little cafe at the moment and have noticed I am not getting 3g access on my iPhone. So this is a quick post with a bit of text to see how long it will take to upload and if it is any good. As an example I tried browsing the Borders books website and it took an atrociously long time to load. Was it just the site or is the non 3g just not cutting the mustard.

This post will be deleted, maybe.

edit: later in the evening I updated this post. The transfer over the slow wire seemed to go good enough, but there are some pretty high doubts as to posting images over a similar link. I’ll leave these posts instead of deleting as originally stated as other iPhone WordPress bloggers might find the information of some use (don’t be scared to leave a comment if you do).

p.s. I’ll try to keep these testing posts to a minimum.

The iPhone Wins

Well at the moment this post is coming to you from my new iPhone. That’s right the decision has been made, helped in no small part by the battery dying on my old Samsung mobile.

So this is my first post via the WordPress app for the iPhone and I thought I would post an exciting picture of the new front tyre I had installed last week.

The tyre has relevance as it is a Metzler Marathon ME880 and with a bit of luck it should last until October and make the trip around Australia without needing a change.

First iPhone post, signing out.

edit: Ok so that wasn’t too painless. The typing speed is reasonably fast and I am now able to edit the post after the fact. Unfortunatly the image below which I took with my iPhone is too large, I’ll have to see if there is some kind of thumbnail function. Also don’t seem to have the ability to add meta tags. Still, for blogging on the road I think this should still do quite nicely and the more practice I have the better it should get.

Road Star front wheel with new rubber

Techonology Conundrum – More

It seems the support for blogging tool functionality on an iPhone is a lot stronger than I would have thought (seeing as I am a bit new to this and all).

I’ve found there are various tools available from the Apple App Store to extend blogging functionality to an iPhone – be it the ability of posting to a blog or moderating comments in a blog, such as what this WordPress On The Go article advises.  What particularly interests me about the article is the talk of blogging photos from an iPhone.  I would find that ability very useful as taking lots of photos from the fantastic and varied landscapes Australia has to offer and posting them to this blog is incredibly appealing.

At this stage I would say the balance of my Technology Conundrum battle is:
iphone 2 – netbook 0

Technology Conundrum

What to do, what to take, that’s the question.  So here’s the deal, five weeks on the road will be a long time, and a lot of the days will be looong days.  So I’ll need some music- I’ve got a 2nd generation iPod which has travelled tens of thousands of kilometres with me already, it’s a bit clunky but fits in the vest pocket.  And no doubt I’ll want to take a picture or two along the way – I’ve got an older digital camera that I could have in a pouch off my belt (inconvenient) or in the saddlebags (a hassle to get quickly).  But what I really want to be able to do during this trip is provide updates to this website – even if there is no-one following me it will allow a daily diary of sorts and that would be cool.  Currently I don’t have anything I can do that with.

Does everything, at a cost...

Now what makes the most sense, at the moment, is an iPhone.  It hits every mark in that: it will provide my music, has a built in camera, has email functionality (WordPress allows post via email) and it has internet capability.  Hell, it even has some GPS tech which could come in handy at a pinch, and the 3GS version has a built in compass.  Oh and it’s a phone too… However, with the exception of the music the other features come at a trade-off.  The camera is limited in functionality, the internet plans for iPhones are pretty horrendous ($$), and typing anything for a length of time might be too fiddly for my liking on the very small touchscreen.  But ignoring that, the iPhone will do all the things I want it to do AND fit in my vest pocket taking up less room that my original iPod.

Laptop compared to a netbook
A laptop compared to a netbook

So what about a netbook?  A netbook is a small 10″ laptop, it won’t play music (while I’m riding), doesn’t have a camera and might not survive being rattled around in my saddlebags (unless I upgrade it to a Solid State Drive (SSD)), but I will be able to type much faster on it. Provided I’m not too exhausted at the end of a day’s riding, I would like to write decent commentary about the trip.  Mind you, how many different ways I can wax lyrical about chasing the white line down a black strip of tarmac for 14,000kms remains to be seen…

Well as I type this out the answer to my conundrum is obviously leaning more in favor of an iPhone.  At the end of the day the cost will be much of a muchness – the iPhone will cost about $800 (plus phone plan) and the netbook will cost around the same price with an SSD (and wireless internet plan).  Thankfully there are still seven months until journey start so I have a little while to make my mind up yet.  Decisions, decisions.