outbackjoe

a camping trip of ridiculous proportions

Need engineering?

Greetings

Joe here. I’m a process control / electrical / instrumentation engineer involved with mineral processing facilities. If you want to talk engineering then leave me a message. If you want to chat by email then leave your email address in the correct field when submitting a comment. It wont be publicly visible and I can contact you. My experience includes:

• Plant optimisation –  reduce variability, push equipment closer to capacity limits, improve rate, reduce downtime, improve recovery.
• Constraint control – dynamically identify the constraint and run it at its capacity limit.
• Predictive control / model based control – accurately control complex processes where traditional PID controllers perform poorly.
• Improve SCADA operability – reduce response time to poor plant performance or downtime.
• Electrical, instrumentation and control system design and commissioning.

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27 thoughts on “Need engineering?

  1. Joe, this is a fantastic blog. I came across it looking for salmon beach fishing advice. I love the “just the basics” advice! Also you are likely having the time of your lifetime, enjoy! You will not regret such an adventure. Good on ya to find a woman who has sufficient wanderlust to accompany you as well. Good luck!

    • Hey Erik thanks for your comment hope you catch some salmon. I am very lucky indeed to land a wife that will do the rough stuff with me. Will make sure she reads this. Really lucky I am.

  2. Hi Joe – thanks also for your blog – I’ve just bought a 2002 Hilux SR5 3L diesel and am looking to do something similar to what you’ve done for the ute tub – great to have your advice and pics!

  3. Need engineering? …… as a matter of fact I do !!

    Quick give us call mate mate iv’e got a job going that suit your expertise in Stacking Shelves perfectly ….

    Jimbo

    • Big bad Jimmy Jimbo. Good to hear from ya. Do you know if the shelves are high or low? Trying to stick to low shelves these days due to my advanced age. I’ll just email ya to seek the details. Sounds like an exciting opportunity!

  4. Hi Joe its Hoffy…How are things going? Yes we are in the need for a good Control Systems Engineer so please let us know if your interested.

    On another note…We have been following your OUTBACKJOE adventures with great detail and interst…We love evey minute of it…We (Meaning the Commissioning Crew in Port Hedland) have all taken on the ART of Spatulacraft and the removal of the Beer tops. We do need extra practice but believe we may have made the grade…The problem is the assessment?

    No one in the group can actually assess whether we are a novice or an expert. (Like yourself OUTBACKJOE style) Please provide some further tips on the assement, and if there are any courses that we can attend to complete this very complex, tricky and Elegant procedure.

    Cheers Hoffy and the TEAM at PORT HEDLAND

    • Hey Hoffy how are ya ol’ chap? Good to see someone taking spatulacraft seriously and recognising it for the art form it is. Some people think it’s a big joke.

      Spatulacraft assessment ay. Maybe I need to add a new section in the article.

      I’ll shoot you an email about work. I must be honest and tell you I have a pretty good offer from Jimbo stacking shelves.

  5. Joe..great blog. I am a romance writer writing an outback romance and your descriptions have really helped me with describing the real Top End! I have also shared your praying mantis shot on my FB page! Would you believe it gave me inspiration for a romantic scene!

    • Hi Annie thanks for commenting. Glad I helped with your novel, I must say it’s not what I envisaged when writing or photographing the praying mantis. Will it be credited in the preface?

  6. Hey joe just want to ask you about dual battery systems for my 2012 Toyota hilux 2012. I have purchased the ctek d250s from eBay apparently a great system but I just read the sellers disclaimer and it says that on some models after 2010 the alternator technology had changed to a lower voltage alternator and would not work with the ctek chargers. Is this true I hope not as I just spent $260. Any help would be much appreciated thanks mate

    • Hey Julian I think you are ok with the Hilux, it does have a voltage boost mode and then drops back a bit, but doesn’t completely stop charging like some systems. As far as I’m aware anyway (mine is older). I know the Ford Ranger has some fancy charge profile that can upset electronic chargers but haven’t heard of that on the new Hilux.

  7. Hi Joe
    Great site that i fell over. Very surprised to read your post on tyres to discover my old Suzuki I sold you. Awesome to see you have had years of fun with it just like me.

    I upgraded to a Toyota Prado…a lot less road noise and yes Air conditioning.

    Great site….

    Jonathon (Yanchep, WA)

    • Yo Jonathon what a surprise! That car was the best 2k I’ve ever spent and I don’t think I’ll ever surpass it. Got about 7 years of fun out of it before upgrading. I remember checking it out on your front lawn with all the kangaroo droppings. When I bought the hilux I sold the sierra for 1k to my cousin as his first 4WD which he kept for a year or two and then sold it.

      The sierra took me and my mates up and down the coast of WA a butt load of times. It recovered heaps of other vehicles but never needed recovering itself. Unboggable. What a car. Didn’t have a single mechanical failure for the whole time I owned it. It loved getting dirty and scratched and I didn’t wash it the whole time I owned it but I did have to empty the sand out of it occassionally. It was so good having a cheap fun machine that I didn’t have to worry about. Awesome car. Bikini top was sweet.

      Nice that you dropped by, cheers for leaving a message.

      Joe

  8. Hey, good reading.

    First question; any thoughts on the hiclone? http://www.hicloneqld.com/

    Second question; I am sure you would have an opinion on choice of durable useful 4wd – for the second hand budget. I have a 2000 Troopie that is roughly kitted out for camping. It has the benefit of a normally aspirated engine with low km for what it is, I can fix a lot of things myself and its been unstoppable so far (apart from cracking the larger back door in the corner above the hinge after a not especially rough trip) but the downside of being sluggish, heavy on fuel, no airbags and long narrow wheelbase ideal for rolling (not in the fuel efficient sense) on the highway… I keep wondering if there is something better. Any thoughts?
    Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne

      No Hiclones don’t work. If there was a cheap, simple and effective way of improving fuel efficiency it would already be in your engine. The manufactuer spends millions desiging and optimising their vehicles – they will exploit any solution that is cheap, simple and effective (apart from new technology / design methodology that isn’t available at the time of design. A bent piece of metal (hiclone) does not satisfy this condition). If an aftermarket fuel saving device is cheap and simple then with a high degree if certainty you can assume it is not effective. Another way of putting it – if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Any fuel saving device that claims “more complete burn” you can immediately dismiss. Search the internet for fuel saving devices, there’s plenty of info on it. Also check out my article on design compromise.

      For you’re second question yes I have an opinion and it’s biased – Hilux all the way. Read my article https://outbackjoe.com/macho-divertissement/macho-articles/why-a-ute-why-toyota-hilux/. If, like me, you want to work less and camp more then you want a maximum of 4 cylinders. And something light, simple, tough and fuel efficient. Toyota Hilux is a good choice but there’s plenty of other reasonable alternatives.

  9. Interesting reading Joe. Your words, well, the meaning contained therein, make sense. You have a knack of cutting through the humbug and laying out the facts, the truth, even acknowledging bias (which we all have – e.g. in place of Hilux manual, i put Amarok 8 speed auto). There is one thing that does perplex me somewhat, and that is your claim that wide tyres are not beneficial in sand. The logic that the greater the surface area a mass is distibuted over reduces sand surface depression, cannot be challenged, yes? Assume, for example, that there were 10 wheels on each axel, or a tyre with width of 1 metre on each of the 4 wheels – would that not reduce sand surface depression and therefore bogability? Wide tyres were once a fad, like the low profile tyres are now, and i would agree the advantage to be gained is small (especially as compared to air pressure changes), and when one takes into account the extra bulk (carrying spare tyres/wheels), and mass of the extra rubber and rim, and the cost, the case for more normal sized tyres is made. Thanks for your thoroughness, and honesty. Good luck in your endeavours. HD

    • Hey Heinz thanks for your nice feedback mate. You are 100% correct with the statement “greater the surface area a mass is distibuted over reduces sand surface depression”. The thing is the surface area is governed by the air pressure and not the shape of the tyre. It’s all explained in the article https://outbackjoe.com/macho-divertissement/macho-articles/why-wide-tyres-dont-help-in-sand/. The very wide tyre would deflect less to yield the same contact patch as a narrow tyre. This is a pretty good approximation for normal sized tyres and loads. Yes the tyres are not perfectly flexible and the sand is not ridged – deflection of the sand, the deflection of the rubber in the tyre tread, and contribution from the tyre side walls – they all have an effect. But the dominating effect is tyre pressure.

  10. Great blog Joe, I really enjoyed reading it. Can I ask where you got the formula for the reliability versus overfuelling (performance chips) came from? I have a legal action against a garage ongoing and I would like to use this formula for my case but I need to verify it’s valid, was it published somewhere? Short version is the engine blew up at 71000 miles because it was chipped…! Very expensive replacement and the dealer is being threatening and bullish and totally out of order. Any help would be appreciated!
    Cheers Mate
    Alan

    • Hey Alan. You mean the cubic relationship calculation? That calculation is VERY rough, more as an indicator to demonstrate that significant increase in load = significant increase in failure rate. I think I got it from bearing failure rates, something like this:

      http://www.epi-eng.com/mechanical_engineering_basics/durability_of_rolling_element_bearings.htm

      I am not a reliability engineer. I have understanding of general principals, like significant increase in load = significant increase in failure rate. But I don’t have training or expertise in actually predicting failure in specific applications. You’ll need a specialist for that.

      Would be interesting to know more details of the case if you’re allowed to say (without naming names). Real court cases can teach us a lot about the risks of this type of thing. Would benefit the wider community.

  11. Can I put an inquiry to about a Solar setup I intend installing on our van. Hope it falls within your expertise.

    Ta.
    Mark

  12. High joe, love your no BS attitude mate keep it up, I have a 2015 sr5 that I’m considering having the ECU re-maped, air intake and exhaust you know the drill. As your know doubt aware there are plenty of naysayers and yaysayers on this subject and I am aware of your own personal position on the subject of weather to do or not to do, but what I would like to have your opinion on is how much extra wear my d4d would incur as a percentage of KW gained? If that makes any sense as I work in mining as well and have a college who is a guru mechanic who I trust due to his inability to tell a lie, his opinion is that is minimal as long as it is done right

  13. hey mate this is the best site i have found so far to get information that is straight to the point and doesn’t run off in other direction half way through to sell you something thank you Chris kinka beach

  14. Hi Joe,

    Been reading through a few of your blogs and articles! Awesome work mate! Plenty of great info in there and no BS…especially RE: Dual Batteries which is my next mod in 3-4 weeks. I have a 2013 TD Hilux (with the variable voltage alternator).

    I’d love to have a talk about the setup I want and the best way to achieve it…I’m not one who believes all the marketing crap from Redarc/Ctek etc so expert advice would be great!

    My Setup:

    Basically I want a dual battery to run a 60L Engel Fridge with the option of an fixed 80W mono solar panel connected in there somewhere to either re-charge the batteries or directly power the fridge when possible (no sure of the pros v cons of the solar options).

    Any help would be unreal!

    • Hey Nick a VSR will do the job for ya, with a solar regulator for your panel, provided your alternator doesn’t stick around at a low voltage. I think 2013 hilux should be ok. There is no point separating the panel to directly run the fridge. Hook it up to your battery. When your fridge is running the panel will charge your battery and supply the fridge. When the fridge is stopped the panel will keep charging your battery.

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