Fitting Car Stereos…..and Haggs (??)

When you get your first car the most important thing in the world is the stereo, not because the audiophile in you seeks acoustic perfection but because the four wheeled coffin in which you’ve chosen to commence your driving experience needs to somehow be upgraded to the status of ‘cool’ – It’s also required to be ‘a girl magnet’ and most importantly the stereo needs to cover up the weaknesses of the cars pitiful bodywork, erratic smoke emissions, the smell of wet dog and 300 years of tobacco stains in the roof lining from the previous owner….

The first thing I did in any car I owned when I was younger was chuck out the old stereo, chuck in a power amp, roll in the ridiculous speakers and then kick back and wait for the girls to come flocking…..When they didn’t I would drive somewhere else and try the same…..And again, ad-infinatum……Perhaps I should have got some spotlights but needless to say, the cars got worse and the stereo’s got bigger, the worst of which was a Vauxhall (Holden to you Aussies) Astra station wagon which had a pair of 600 watt nightclub bass bins in the rear with 22″ cones in each cabinet, each cab was about the size of a large washing machine and needed two people to help lift the speakers in and out each time….And when I say lift them out we did, I had them on extra long cables so you could drive to the park, get the speakers out of the boot, turn up the amp and upset everyone with 1200watts of drum ‘N’ bass………Then spend the night asleep in the park because the battery had run flat…

I cringe now at the thought of all that time spent ‘underachieving’ during the early 90’s when I could have made better use of my time and ability – I think the only use the obnoxious stereo really served was to pre-warn any girls I was interested in that I was only 800 meters from their house and approaching, thus giving them enough time to switch off the lights and pretend to not be home….

Today however!….(!!!) Finally, after 40 years of being on planet earth my wasted youth proved to be of a mild use in the workplace….

Having pretty much finished the commissioning of our ‘blue boxes’ we were asked to fit out a pair of Utes with a GME VHF radio, each ready to be shipped down South with us when we sail in October. Now I won’t pretend for one minute that this was commissioned in a timely manner (or is even complete as we speak) but it does look good and we’re happy that the installation is as professional as we’d like it to be given the circumstances…Bit disappointing that it only comes with a 5 watt speaker though, how on Earth am I supposed to impress girls with that?? 🙂

Whilst ‘hanging around’ the engineering department at AAD today I got to have a look at a few of the specialist Haggs that are used by AAD – Hägglunds are a Swedish made over-snow vehicle which can carry up to four passengers, they have two ‘sections’ that are built with fibreglass cabs on top, evidently they float which is where they come into their own. When travelling across frozen sea ice it can crack and break up so having a floating vehicle is certainly better than disappearing into a frozen abyss without a trace!  I believe there are four of them at Davis station where I’ll be, a minimum thickness of 50 cm of hard ice is required before a Hägglunds can be driven across sea ice.

I’m certainly looking forward to getting to drive one of these when I get down on station….



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