Thursday, 3 July 2008

Batteries!!

WE fight an ongoing battle with power on the game drive vehicle. And recently we have been loosing that battle, but hopefully the tide has turned in our favour.
You see, its not that we forget to take spare batteries for the camera (as many of you think) because its not the camera that is running out of batteries. The camera is the simplest and least energy consumptive part of our transmission system. In order to get the video signal from the game drive vehicle back to the Final Control WE encode the video then modulate that data and finally amplify and transmit that modulated signal. This requires three large energy intensive systems that all run on 220 volt AC current, which is supplied by an inverter. The inverter is powered by 5 x 110 amp hour batteries (each one about twice the power and size of your car battery). These five batteries are cycled twice per day in order that WE can do two game drives, this cycle just happens to be absolutely the worst timing for battery health, but there is nothing we can do about it. As a result we destroy batteries every few months.
This morning we swapped the five batteries and filled them with distilled water. If we are lucky this will do the trick and we'll get another few weeks out of them. Sorry for the inconvenience and irritation.
On another note Marco is going on leave tomorrow for two weeks. He has worked super hard during his first tour at WildEarth and WE are very grateful for his effort. Have a great holiday and we will see you in two weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this information! I am sure that most people have no idea what is happening with how you get the video out to the rest of the world! And I know you struggle with power outages at times out in the bush! I am still in awe of the fact that I can sit in the comfort of my home in the USA and still feel like I am riding through the African bush and seeing all of this within a fraction of a second from the time it is happening there! Thanks for keeping us informed and for your dedication in making this happen! Ann in MN, USA