Open Wide

Underwater Kinetics Aqualite

July 11, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

I’ve been looking for a portable, off the shelf light suitable for shooting GoPro for a few years now and never quite found the right thing until now.

GoPro’s themselves have improved a lot (although there’s still haters out there) and to be fair they have still got a long way to go as far as low light/no light video is concerned but the Hero 3+ Black IS quite good.

For lighting I’ve tried those 64 LED ‘Photo Light’ things, sometimes using four at a time, various expensive alleged ‘wide angle’ flashlights but nothing worked out. Kept looking at these neat Dive Lights but nearly all will go up in smoke out of water due to lack of thermal cooling but then Underwater Kinetics, whose stuff I’ve been using for 20 years brought out the Aqualite. It’s designed specifically with GoPro in mind as a lighting source on Dive Trays and they partnered up with UK Pro (different company….I think) who designed a mount for it called the UKPro Flex Grip.

You can buy various heads for the Aqualite but as I wanted WIDE I opted for the 90 degree head. The light is powered by 18650 cells which I immediately binned for higher capacity (3400 mAh). Their specs say 1.6hr@600 Lumen so with the 3400’s I should get quite a bit more and I usually take two or three out with me anyway. Colour temperature is also neutral as its already at 5000k so no blue washed out shit that needs post to remove it 🙂

Here’s a few cameraphone shots of the rig and I will shortly post up some video clips in a local culvert that suggested this light is VERY nice indeed.

Aqualite with UK Pro Flex Grip

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Even More Magic…

July 2, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

This a continuation of THIS POST and THIS POST and there will probably be one last post with the remaining pix to follow…

Upper Level: Female WCs

 

Upper Level: Female WCs

 

Decontamination

 

Hatch from Personnel Equipment Lobby into Small Equipment Decontamination.

Small Equipment Decontamination

Personnel Main Entrance

Overpressure/Blast Valves

Overpressure Valve detail

Personnel Main Entrance

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More Magic

June 26, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Three years ago I said I would post up some more pix of this place so here’s Part 1 of maybe a 3 part set of shots (depends how many I decide to use).

Apart from some damp coming in here and there this place is more or less good to go, although you wouldn’t want to pay the generator bill. As previously mentioned it cost $39 million to build and was only in use for a matter of months, ever since then nobody has figured out what to do with it.

When you look at the amount of work that went into it it’s incredible. Take the roof slab for example, there’s 1500mm of reinforced concrete covered with 2000mm of earth, on top of this is a 1050mm Burster Slab followed by another 750mm of earth. On with the pix…

 

Clean Plant Room

 

Lower level Front escape shaft hatchway

Lower level: (Room 4) ComSec Maintenence with door to the Frame Room behind

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More Lost and Found – RGHQ 9.2

March 11, 2014 | Posted in 4Sevens, arches, Bunker, Civil Defence, laser, MoD, Nuclear, Quark RGB, secret bunker, Shadow Factory, Underground, vent shaft | By

Got stuff spread around a bit at the moment due to ‘storage issues’ so often forget I have squirreled things away on various portable hard drives…found these three from early 2013 on yet another visit to Drakelow RGHQ 9.2

We’d seen all there was to see so spent time pissing about with a Quark RGB and one of those shitty cheap Chinese Green Lasers, don’t think it looks that great but here it is anyway, along with an ok Roadway shot that made itself to a calendar page this year…

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Tosser

December 31, 2013 | Posted in ARP, Bunker, Fail, Lazy, Loser, Meh, moron, probably on Facebook | By

If you run a website or Blog you will know that all sorts of stats are logged…this just found in the December 2013 search keywords report…asshole!!

If this was you, get off your ass and look and if you still can’t find it look again…

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Incoming – Zebralight SC600

December 27, 2013 | Posted in 18650, flashlights, LED, SC600, VP1, XTAR, zebralight | By

Having been accused of ‘doing people a service by writing the garbage you did and putting it on the net..’ by a keyboard warrior who didn’t leave his own name on comments to THIS POST I thought I would take the recommendation and splash for a Zebralight SC600 Mk II 18650 XM-L.

This is the slightly older 900 lumen version and not the 1020 lumen SC600w Mk II L2 18650 XM-L2 that was recently released.

I also had a good look round on CandlePowerForums and pulled the trigger on an XTAR VP1 Li-ion Battery Charger from LED Fire Torches

Only arrived today but will be going out on the next underground trip probably for some test shots…

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RNCF Holton Heath (Portland Part 3)

December 27, 2013 | Posted in ARE, Cordite, DERA, DRA, DSTL, ExploreMobile, Holton Heath, MoD, portland, Qinetiq, RAE, Red Bull, Reservoir, RNCF, Royal Navy, RSRE, Underground, water, WW1, WW2 | By

It was six in the evening and I was hanging, I’d been awake for 2 days and no amount of Red Bull or caffeine was going to improve the situation. My synapses were popping slowly and muffled, as if in the distance….in my brain everything was going 5 frames a second instead of 40 and I think I piloted the ExploreMobile the 30 miles to the final site using Jedi Power alone.

 

We parked up in a layby carpeted with broken glass waiting for Newage’s crew to arrive, eating anything and everything we had left to try and boost the energy reserves. I really really needed to go home and sleep but we were here and home was a solid 4-5 hour drive. ‘Here’ was RNCF Holton Heath with the sole purpose of exploring the 3.5 million gallon underground reservoir in the middle of this vast complex. The RNCF was setup during WW1 to manufacture cordite for the Royal Navy, it then closed briefly but was brought back into service during WW2 and then after the war the explosives manufacturing areas were shut down and the remainder of the site used by the Admiralty Research Establishment in the 1980’s. The Admiralty Research Establishment (ARE) then became the DRA (Defence Research Agency) and eventually in the late 1990’s the entire site closed down.
Unrelated for this site but of possible interest is that the DRA, which also contained the RAE, A&AEE, RARDE, RSRE became the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 1995 (with other agencies) who in turn evolved into DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and Qinetiq.

A massive amount of the RNCF site still survives with many interesting structures still standing but this visit was just a quickie, maybe one day we will return.


We fought our way through gorse and other thick undergrowth to spend and hour shooting the pair of resi’s, both curiously of slightly different design before staggering back to the ExploreMobile and pointing it north, finally getting home just before midnight.

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Portland CEW R1 ROTOR & 3 Group AAOR (Portland Part 2)

December 16, 2013 | Posted in AAOR, Bunker, CEW, early warning, kelvin hughes, MoD, portland, R1, radar, RAF, relay, ROTOR, Royal Navy, Transmitter, Troposcotter, warning | By

Already cold and pissed off watching seagulls and early morning dog walkers I waited for Winch and the rest of the world to wake up before meeting upwithNewage, Fluffy and Godzilla for a look inanR1 ROTOR Bunker.Portland CEWR1 ROTOR wasbuilt in 1951 and operational by 1953 and was a single story operation block accessed by an unusual guardhouse. In later years the site was taken over by the USAF who added a microwave relay station (to form part ofTroposcotter relay). In 1969 the underground bunker was badly damaged by fire and in 2001 the MoD stripped out the lift and (for some unknown reason) all the wooden flooring prior to the site going to sale by auction.As a result of the MoD ‘work’ and the fire this ROTOR bunker is in a very trashed state and as a result not a particularly inspiring place to explore. These days its in poor state suffering from serious damp problems and the Kelvin Hughes Projector room is flooded virtually to the top.

I didn’t bother getting very many pictures as my enthusiasm was running low and the shots I got are quite lame if I’m honest:

After leaving the R1 we dragged our tired asses up to Ridgeway Hill 3 Group AAOR stopping to cram copious amounts of food, Red Bull and Coffee before entering.

The AAOR looks fantastic from the outside, a nice two story blockhouse, semi-sunken in places and in great condition. Inside too its in excellent condition with lots of original features from both its RAF and Royal Navy days BUT sadly 95% of it cannot be seen due to thousands of boxes of cheap chinese toys (modern day use is a ‘warehouse’).

I’ll be honest, I’m not good when I’ve been awake for 30 hours so lets just say I didn’t stay long and the camera didn’t even come out of my bag so I sat outside sucking on caffeine waiting for Winch.

The day then started to get more interesting with Newage trying to tempt me with another juicy underground site that had potential to be better than all the previous locations (all I really wanted though was more food and loads of sleep). Seeing as we were in the area, everyone else was ganging up on me and the ExploreMobile still had good fuel stocks what was the harm in visiting one more place?

To be continued…

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Verne High Angle Battery & Forbidden City (Portland Part 1)

December 6, 2013 | Posted in 1892, Anti-Aircraft Battery, cctv, coastal defences, D-Day, east weare, forbidden city, harbour, nubiles, pissed, portland, Quarry, RML Guns, road trip, Royal Navy, sea defences, verne, victorian forts, vomit | By

Gotta love agoodroadtrip and this certainly fell into that category. Already having not slept for 24 hours I collect Winch at 03:00am driving through a town full of pissedup18 yearoldnubiles sprawled across the streets in their own piss and vomit on the way before hitting the motorways for a 4 hour non stop blast to the South Coast and the Isle Of Portland where we hit one place after another before a 4 hour return journey eventually getting home at 23:30 on the following day.Winch’s estimations of ‘loads of holiday traffic’ proved unfounded and we rocked up at some stupid time of the morning when only the gulls were awake. He managed to catch someZZZ’s but I couldn’t so went for a mooch around Verne High Angle Battery.For those that don’t know its a derelict fort built in 1892 as part of our coastal defences. Originally it had six gun pits for 9″ RML guns (Mk VI high-angle muzzle loading gun) set at 70 degree angles but not long after two more pits were built. The guns could spin through 360 degrees and the shells were stored in two tunnel magazines fed by rail.

During WW2 it was used as an Anti-Aircraft Battery and to store ammo in preparation for D-Day. It’s very tucked away and easily missed being down in the base of an old Portland Stone quarry and at stupid O’Clock in the morning was nice and chilled.

I’ll be brutally honest though and say it didn’t really do it for me, as historically significant as it is and it being the best preserved Battery of its type in the UK I just can’t get excited about this sort of stuff so feel free to call me a neophyte or even a heathen…

But I was there, had nothing else to do and a camera so please enjoy some pix. If you want to read about this place in more detail (and with far more enthusiasm than me) take a look at the excellent work by David Moore at Victorian Forts  and in particular the following PDF: http://victorianforts.co.uk/pdf/datasheets/verneha.pdf

Later on we fought through thick undergrowth and comedy pallisade squeezes, past the many rumoured (non-existant) ‘CCTV cameras’ reported by some paranoid explorers we came across, to visit the curiously named Forbidden City AKA East Weare Battery.

It’s not Forbidden and its not a City, both of which set you up for a serious anticlimax.

East Weare Battery to use it’s correct name is another Coastal Battery built between 1862 and 1869 on the west of Portland Harbour. Unlike Verne High Angle Battery this one is virtually at sea level at the base of the Verne cliffs. It was designed with six batteries (A-F) mounting an intended total of 27 guns which were a mixture of 9 and 10 inch Breach Loaders. Amongst the battery’s are a mixture of other buildings – Detention Barracks, Gunners House, Artillery Stores, a redoubt, Battery Observation Post, Lamp Room etc. In 1915 the disused Battery D was handed over to the Navy for explosives storage in the magazine and much later during WW2 some of the gun pits were roofed over. In recent times both A and B Battery were used for Fire Training by the Navy and as a result are very damaged.

As previously stated, for more detailed info please checkout: http://www.victorianforts.co.uk/pdf/datasheets/eastweare.pdf

More from our Portland Road Trip coming soon…

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Evolution…

November 12, 2013 | Posted in Cetacea Basic Coil Lanyard, CSO, flashlights, Lenser, P7.2, Tripod, Underground, water | By

P7.2, 320 lumen…nuff said 🙂

For all the Fenix waving Lenser hat0rz out there every single underground shot on this blog is either partially or exclusively lit with a Lenser P7.

I’ve owned many, some are at the bottom of mines and mysterious shafts where they will lay for eternity (yes I feel super guilty about those decaying batteries), some have been lent to people and never returned, some were submerged for months, assumed MIA and then found (working) months later and the surviving ones ones are permanently attached to Cetacea Coil Landyards to prevent anymore waist deep *PLOP* “Oh Shit!!!” moments 🙂

(Need solution for tripod now as last *PLOP* “Shit!!!” moment involved a CSO and a pricey tripod….)

So Lenser released this updated version, this guy is 320 lumen instead of standard 200 lumen so should make some big improvements, he will be coming out on the next underground trip for some testing. 

Never buy one of anything ;-p

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