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Browsing: Technical

Words & pictures by Kerry Fraser & Michael Barton The hard-working gearbox in our ‘06 Ford Ranger 2.5-litre, with about 98 000 km on the clock, was replaced in ‘09. The fifth gear of the original gearbox had failed, damaging the internal parts of the transmission and transfer box, which were then replaced. Since then, the newly transplanted gearbox has been treated with kid gloves. My partner, Michael, has obstinately refused to tow anything with the bakkie, so as to prevent undue strain on the gearbox. He also gears down when climbing up hills, and he always engages the gear

Words and pictures by Jess Fogarty. Every nation pays homage to something: England – the Queen, America – Hollywood, and Australia… ummm, the boomerang. Okay, that’s a bad example, but the point that we’re getting at, is that (as South Africans), we pay homage to the braai. What other nation boasts a national braai day? Or several million cookbooks dedicated to barbecuing? We’re a pretty special nation and we take great pride in our braai skills. So, without further ado, here’s a list of several braai grid stands that are sure to get you fired up. BRAAI CUBE Possibly the

Words by Grant Spolander Pictures by Grant Spolander & Andrew Middleton A few years back, we did a comparison test between a Ford Ranger 3.0 TDCI and a Hilux 3.0 D-4D. I was hugely excited about the shootout and was expecting big results. But, shortly after hitting our test trail (Klein Tafelberg), I was miserably disappointed. It seemed that, no matter what the obstacle, both bakkies were on par with each another. Sure, they had unique engines and torque curves, and as a result we used different gears for each bakkie, but, aside from that, both vehicles performed equally well

It feels like just the other day that we were raving about HID auxiliary lights and their new technology. But, in no time at all, these powerful beams were comparatively dimmed as the limelight fell on another new lighting technology: LEDs. Initially, LED spotlights were hugely expensive. Commonly marketed as NASA technology, it seemed that the only people who could afford LED spotlights were NASA themselves. But, as the technology became commonplace, their prices dropped. For example, a Road Rage LED light bar, with as much as 3 520 Lumens, can be purchased for as little as R3 895 (recommended

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander. Product shootout: LED versus fluorescent camp lights. Technophobia is the term used to describe a fear of advanced technology. Although I’m often described as a technophobe, it’s more a resentment issue for me – I don’t like the assumption that we’re better off with something, just because it’s new. Smartphones are a great example; apparently they make life easier, but I’m not convinced. I’ve been similarly suspicious of LEDs: they’re bright, efficient and last forever, but they’re hard on the eyes and their colour is cold and harsh. Every time I turn on an

Improve your photography The last few years has seen an explosion of star photographs, made possible by ever-improving DSLR cameras able to operate at high ISOs; but capturing an eye-catching image requires the right equipment, a good deal of preparation and the ideal location, as well as the correct technique. What do I need? A tripod is essential, as is a cable release – just the action of pressing the shutter button will be enough movement to render the shot useless. You can buy a cheap generic cable which plugs into your camera, or splash out on a fancy remote

Words and pictures by James Gifford. Landscapes Patience is a Virtue Perhaps more than any other genre, landscape photography requires an artistic eye to create the best composition; but having the technical knowledge at your fingertips is equally vital, as is having the patience to wait for the perfect light. Some professional landscape photographers might spend several days at one location, waiting for the optimum combination of soft light and dramatic sky which can elevate a good composition into an award-winning photograph. But, for enthusiasts with less time on their hands, there are several tips worth bearing in mind. Think

Words and pictures by James Gifford. Take control Probably one of the least understood and under-used aspects of a DSLR camera is its metering ability; but it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Grasping how to use it can ensure that your photographs come out exactly as you intended. If you read my column on Aperture and Shutter Speeds in the April issue, you’ll remember that if you switch to Aperture Priority shooting mode (A or Av), once you’ve chosen the aperture, the camera selects the appropriate shutter speed to ensure that the picture is correctly exposed – and similarly

Words by Keith Duffield. A guide to licence-free 2-way radios Until the mid 70s, private radios weren’t available to the general public. Then CB (citizen band) radios became legal, and SA went crazy – we now had CB radios just like in the movies. If you didn’t have a 3 m stainless steel whip on your vehicle, you weren’t part of the scene. But it wasn’t long before the novelty wore off; and as the years went by, CB radios all but died out as a means of private communication and as a hobby. Fast forward nearly forty years, and

Words and pictures by Dave Miles. I drive an ’07 Hilux DC. After years of deliberation, I still couldn’t decide how best to kit out my Hilux. The problem was that every arrangement had its pros and cons, but I was stuck on the most basic question: Where should I sleep? At first, I thought a canopy with a rooftop tent would be a good idea, but then I got to thinking that a ground tent might be best, or perhaps the tent should be mounted on the Hilux’s roof. Fortunately, my uncertainty came to an end when I joined

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