Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Survivorman" speaker

I'm a big fan of "Survivorman." I like Les Stroud's low-key, Canadian sense of humor, and I appreciate the way he doesn't gloss over or romanticize how tough what he's doing is. Les is resourceful as well and manages to come up with some pretty devices with the odds and ends of gear he has with him or finds upon the way.

I had my own "Survivorman" moment a few days ago. I was setting up camp while doing a three-day bike camping tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. I had a small sports radio with me that I sometimes listen to with headphones when I'm in my tent, but while puttering around camp, setting up the tent, building a fire and the like, I wanted to listen to some music -- without having to stick the headphones on.

Scouting around the campsite, I quickly discovered a discarded plastic bottle. Out came the Swiss Army knife, and with a quick cut, I'd built a simple cone amplifier. It's the same principle as the horn on the old wind-up gramophone. I stuck the headphones in and I had a clearly audible signal to listen to.

Les would be proud.


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