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

Read More...

Hunting Morclocks in The Time Machine

August 31, 2013 | Posted in 4Gas, calcite, Cetacea Basic Coil Lanyard, chesty, clock, CSO, culvert, drain, fish, GoPro Hero, GoPro Hero2, morlocks, pike, sewer, three arches, time machine, turds, Underground, wad0rs, waders | By

“Are fish ginger?”
“No!”
“Hmmm, that must be a turd then…”

And so it came to pass that God gave Winch and me a day off, so we climbed aboard the trusty ExplorMobile and headed out into the countryside of middle England to look for Morlocks in the Time Machine…

We never did see a Morlock in the drain but we did find Mountain Bikes, Monster energy cans, big fish (including a laid back Pike who was over 2 feet long), fanny plasters, Golden Nuggets (of the turd variety) and some nice brick porn.In the 1850’s they drained the local Holme Fen which dropped the water levels locally and in 1852 they started work on the culverts to divert Bury Brook under the town, finally finishing in 1854. At the outfall Bury Brook joins High Lode which forms part of the Middle Level Navigation which eventually joins the OldRiverNene after a mile.The main reason for the trip was the actual junction of the tunnels and the remaining underground workings of the water powered town clock. The clock is still there but in 1920 was converted to run on electricity.The main tunnel carries Bury Brook (clean-ish) water and the side tunnels are stinky CSO’s. For anyone who says otherwise then don’t believe them!

If you are planning on doing the whole culvert and reaching the outfall (approx 700m) then be a smart boy like Winch was and wear Chest Waders, lazy boy here wore Thigh Waders and suffered wad0r breach halfway through, never a good thing when you are surrounded by floaters and are over 1000 meters from dry land. I poured several gallons of shitty/pissy water out each wader when we got back to the car, much to the amusement of the bemused locals who were probably wondering why two blokes were walking down the high street in 26 degree heat dressed in black rubber ;-p

I’d like to go back when there’s a LOT more water going through, the shots would be better and all the turds will have been flushed out…

Props to Dsankt, Otter & Loops for finding this place back in 2008

 

The ‘Money Shot’, in fact there’s two angles here cos I can’t decide which one I like the most, the first one is neat because of the water and the second one neat because of the arches.
 

Outfall
 

Looking for Morlocks…

Read More...

Eye Eye Captain…

August 9, 2013 | Posted in 1080p, calcite, chesty, culvert, DSLR, EOS, GoPro Hero2, great northern railway, LED, rail, Railway, sync below, Tunnel, Underground, victorian | By

Been trying to find the perfect lighting rig for the GoPro Hero2 for months and never found anything I was happy with so this was a visit to a short but sweet local culvert to try something else out…

4 x 64 LED lights on a handheld frame running at a supposed 5500K (doesn’t look like 5500K if you ask me) and the GoPro was mounted on the Chesty harness.

This is a lot of light in a small space but the Hero2 still struggles to keep up so its reached the end of the line, he’s going on FleaBay very soon and I’ll drop some shekels on a Hero3 Black Edition 🙂

There’s a handful of stills at the bottom shot on the Canon on the way back through, check the pesky flies that quite artistically fooked the long exposure shots up :-p

Flies ignore long exposures…

Read More...

Short & Sweet

July 8, 2013 | Posted in 1080p, chesty, culvert, GoPro Hero, GoPro Hero2, POV, sync below | By

Been out week after week trying to trace an outfall so not done any actual exploring for a little while, have got some backlog trips to post up soon though.This damn outfall is proving elusive, have tried various techniques from wading up and down a river (waderless!!) to doing a full blown dye test and still nada.

On a separate note I took the GoPro Chesty out a few weeks ago in some very short culverts, quite pleased with the output (better than head mounted in my opinion).

This little video was shot in 1080p/Wide, might have been better on 1080/Medium as it starts to fisheye a bit in places.

Read More...

Catesby Tunnel, Northamptonshire

February 8, 2011 | Posted in calcite, Canon, catesby, culvert, Portal, Railway, Ruston, Tunnel, vent shaft | By

Abandoned railway tunnels can be a bit dull after you’ve done a few, as a rule they are dark, straight and mostly featurless. I’ve had my fill I suppose and they don’t really ‘blow up my skirt’ anymore, however Catesby presented itself as an opportunity and it was rude to say no…

Catesby Tunnel is a little more interesting than your average tunnel, mainly ‘cos its a big boy. I believe it’s somewhere around the fifth longest, behind stuff like Rhondda, both Woodhead’s, and Standedge.

Interesting features that also set this tunnel aside from many are the culvert that runs the entire length of the tunnel under the tunnel floor, accessed by catchpits (yes I stupidly crawled in there with no waders, up to my waist in freezing water to get the shot below), the three large Rest Cabins built into the up-side wall (one found to contain a sadly ransacked GeoCache) and the five air-shafts that these days spectacularly pour water down into the already flooded tunnel (the north end was knee hight on this visit).

Not many photo’s as I managed to flood my 40D and it packed up for a few hours….

Some history, copyright © Graeme Bickerdike/Forgotten Relics

The 2,997-yard structure was cut by T Oliver & Son of Horsham as part of the Great Central’s ‘London Extension’ construction contract No.4. It passes through the upper beds of the lower Lias and the lower beds of the middle Lias. 27 feet wide and 25 feet 6 inches high, Catesby is straight throughout and on a rising gradient of 1:176 to the south, with the summit of this section reached as daylight resumes.

Its creation demanded round 290,000 cubic yards of mining. Work to sink the first shaft began on 18th February 1895 and the last length was keyed in on 22nd May 1897 – a remarkably quick average rate of 110 yards per month. Progress was greatly accelerated by the use of Ruston steam navvies (cranes).

The tunnel was mostly driven from nine construction shafts, each equipped with wooden headgear which was used to lower materials to the men working beneath. None though was permitted within 500 yards of the north portal due to the landowner’s wish that the privacy of his residence, close to the workings, be maintained. As a result, 264 yards through very heavy ground had to be constructed by means of a 12x10ft bottom heading and break-ups. This proved liable to breakages and one part completely collapsed. The surrounding strata was under significant pressure which resulted in a heavy lining of seven rings in the arch and side walls, with six rings in the invert. These were divided into 10-foot sections.

Cut-and-cover was used for the first 44 yards from the north portal. The length adjoining this had so little ground above it that the two crown bars were laid from a trench on the surface.

The remainder of the tunnel proved relatively light work and was driven full-sized without headings. Here the lining is mostly five rings thick with a four-ring invert, all faced with Staffordshire brindle and built in lime mortar. Around 30 million bricks were swallowed up by the structure.

Very little water ingress was experienced, amounting to around 80 gallons per minute. Chases were built into the back of the brickwork at intervals, leading to pipes built through the side wall at rail level. Water was then discharged into a culvert in the six-foot, accessed via deep catchpits.

Ventilation is provided by five shafts. Four of these are 10 feet in diameter but the northernmost – 1,250 yards from the entrance – is 15 feet wide to provide greater air flow. The landowner did not want his view blighted by rising smoke either! The first belch from coal traffic occurred on 25th July 1898.

Trackworkers were relatively well served with regular refuges provided on both sides and three rest cabins built into the Up side wall. One is located directly opposite the tablet that marks the “half way” point.

Both lines through the tunnel were inspected by the local ganger twice each day. In the winter of 1906, this role was carried out by Joseph Turner, as it had been for the previous 18 months. At about 4:20pm on 4th January he completed an examination of the Down line.

Half-an-hour later, a London-Manchester express with upwards of 50 passengers on board entered the south end of the tunnel at around 60mph. As it approached the fifth shaft, a rail broke beneath the locomotive and all five coaches behind it derailed, ripping up 450 yards of track. The last carriage became detached and came to a stand foul of the adjacent Up line as a goods train was approaching. Only prompt action by the driver, who put down a detonator, and the guard, who sounded the whistle, prevented a collision.

Catesby Tunnel retired from operational service on 3rd September 1966 since which time the permanent way has been removed. Water ingress compounded by a blocked drain just north of the fifth shaft means that, in places, it is flooded to a depth of a foot or more. Calcite makes it presence felt with some extraordinary formations.

Read More...