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Browsing: Technical

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander. Why turbochargers fail, and how to prevent this from happening to your engine. In this final part of our two-part turbo feature, our Technical Editor, Grant Spolander, investigates common causes of turbo failure and how to prevent them, and what to look out for when purchasing a used turbo-diesel vehicle. In last month’s issue we dealt with the basic principles of turbocharger operation. We also touched on the subject of reliability, highlighting the fact that these high-speed units demand optimal running conditions. Generally speaking, turbochargers are dependent on two lifelines: lubrication and cooling. The

Words and pictures by James Gifford. Black and white photography. It’s a familiar scenario for every aspiring photographer: you’re sitting in front of the monitor, wading through the thousand-odd images you took on your last trip and trying to cull them to a more manageable number. You know that the image in front of you shouldn’t make the cut, but instead of deleting it, you think, ‘Maybe I can rescue it by converting it into black and white.’ Don’t fall into the trap! Although a quality monochrome image will look better in black and white than it would in colour,

James Gifford On Your Doorstep! With the bounty of big game opportunities spread across southern Africa, it’s easy for wildlife photography enthusiasts to forget that there’s a fascinating miniature world, with an infinite supply of photogenic subjects, right on their doorstep. Not only is staying home cheaper than travelling to a national park or private concession, but you also don’t have to spend hours traipsing around in search of a suitable subject, only to find that it’s sleeping or in terrible light. Animal, Vegetable or Mineral It‘s amazing how many eligible subjects you find lurking around every corner as soon

Words by Grant Spolander Pictures by Grant Spolander and Jess Fogarty. On its release in 2010, the Amarok pioneered several technological developments within the double-cab market. As the climax of this evolution, VW has now launched an Amarok in automatic guise; a vehicle that will once again stir the pot of progression. Our Technical Editor pitted this model against the highly acclaimed Ranger 3.2 AT. When we first heard of the new Amarok and its 8-speed automatic transmission, we had a sneaking suspicion that it would make a great tow vehicle. But the only way to know for sure was

Words and pictures by James Gifford. Confused? When you buy your first DSLR camera, all its functions can seem pretty daunting; a fact which is not helped by an instruction manual which appears to be written in a different language. The temptation is to switch everything to automatic or – if you’re feeling really adventurous – choose the ‘stick-figure’ running man on your mode dial. While you might end up with some reasonable images, an understanding of the concepts of aperture and shutter speed will allow you to choose how to portray the scene, and dramatically improve your photographs. It’s

Words by Peter Levey The case for using a standardised GPS co-ordinate format Now that GPSs are in common use, directions to destinations are frequently given using GPS co-ordinates. Unfortunately, there are three main GPS formats in use today, which leads to confusion as to what format is in use, especially when errors in the use of the formats are so common. Examples of the errors are the use of commas instead of points, and points that are missing altogether. The various formats of giving out a position are all accurate to one degree or another, but there are convincing

Words and pictures by Peter Breitenstein Seven 4x4s, eleven people, one trail, 12 kilometres, 24 hours… No survivors. Overlanders are constantly trying to develop new ways to maximise their vehicle’s packing space. With this in mind, I recently came up with an idea that may interest fellow readers. In short, it’s a compact beverage-can holder / dispenser that makes the most of small storage areas that would otherwise go unused. When I kitted out my Mitsubishi Delica as a 4×4 camper, I was left with a narrow gap across the width of the vehicle. This cavity was about 80 x

Originality is Key. Every professional photographer strives for originality. Commercially, it’s essential that your images stand out from the competition, but it’s also important from an artistic point of view: photographers want to create something that reflects their personal style rather than imitating others. There are two ways to achieve this: through the content of the image, or through your interpretation But, in wildlife photography, finding original subject matter is very difficult and will normally require many hours in the field and a large slice of luck. Consequently, you’re often forced to think creatively to produce an unusual image from

Words and pictures by James Gifford. Compose yourself It’s happened to all of us – you have an amazing wildlife sighting, fire off hundreds of photos, but then when you get back home, your images don’t look as good as you’d expected. Or, that beautiful landscape scene you spent hours over has somehow turned into a very ordinary photograph. Composition is probably the single most important element of photography, but it requires an artistic eye that is almost impossible to teach. Some people instinctively just ‘get it’; but, luckily, most of us will be able to improve our photography dramatically

Words and pictures by Grant Spolander. Let there be light If you’ve ever bought yourself a set of spotlights, you’ll know the first question that people ask you: “How many lumens does it have?” This is often followed by the next leading question, “How far does it shine?” You’ll seldom hear any queries about build quality, design or construction, which is kinda strange when you consider the high prices of some of these units. After spending R15k on a spotlight you’d think the most logical question would be, “Will it last?” Despite the fact that many spotlights are priced at

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