Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hacking and Living on Lanzarote: Day -2 and -1

B3pnrhaIMAEsitLThe last two days were pretty “straightforward”, so this is just a mini update. Packed my bags and I’m pretty sure I missed several important things. I’m sitting in the train heading for Frankfurt, where I have to switch trains to Frankfurt Airport. I’ll arive there approx 1:30 AM so I should have plenty of time for baggage check in – flight departures at 4:45 AM. Unfortunately my estimate for the baggage weight was too optimistic, so I had to leave a few things at home, including the solar battery, the panel, my multimeter and several minor stuff. As I’m heading for the congress on Dec 23rd, I should be able to bring the other stuff as well if I decide to continue with the Lanzarote adventure.

I expect that there will be some minor trouble at the airport regarding the electronics stuff and the Li-Ion batteries for my E-Cigarette as well as weight issues as my body scale isn’t that accurate. I pretty much maxed out the weight restrictions (20kg for the main bag and 6kg for the carry-on baggage. I also noticed that it’s pretty hard to follow all guidelines to put what item in which bag and I’m seriously thinking about creating a web app where you choose your bag contents and the app guides you what to put where, especially for potentially dangerous goods like Lead-Gel batteries as well as medicine. They are allowed on most airlines, but you might need to contact your airline before your flight and supply material safety datasheets. I know that there are websites where you can look stuff up, but it’s much easier to simply specify an item and get recommendations on what to do. For Lead-Gel batteries it’s important to protect the contacts against accidential shorts. Also I noticed that there’s no “how to ship stuff cheap from A to B” web app which guides you through the cheapest logistics company, otherwise I would have simply shipped the panel and batteries via a logistics carrier. Did you know that you can ship “letters” in a box format up to 500 grams pretty cheaply from Germany to almost anywhere in the world for about 3,45 Euro and up to 1 kg for 7 Euro? Maybe two interesting projects to realize.

Hacking and Living on Lanzarote: Day -3

I travelled from Berlin to my home town in order to pick up stuff for the Lanzarote trip. When I stepped out of the bus in Mannheim, my depression almost immediately kicked in. For me, this is a definite sign that the environment is not suitable for my further progress.

I was not sure if it would be a good idea to tell my mother that I’ll be on Lanzarote, but I eventually called her up. She’s for holiday on Fuerteventura, and was understandably confused about my plans. What’s not understandable is the immediate negative vibe she communicated to me. Instead of: “Sounds interesting, what are you doing there?” and wishing me good luck, she covered me with negative aspects of the idea, including missing medical treatment on Lanzarote (which is not true), that I should see my therapist before leaving and so on. I am pretty much sure that she will read this blog post sometime near in the future, but I’m not scared anymore. From every person I’ve told about the Lanzarote plans, I only got positive feedback so far, which confirms that I am on the right track.

What I failed to communicate to my mother is that hackers and nerds are different. We care for each other, and even due to the fact that I had to leave the hacker-hippie-flat in Berlin doesn’t mean that I’m mad with my former flatmates. The essence of us hackers is that we try new things, we explore and make the impossible possible. We communicate mostly open-minded and find new approaches and solutions. We build up huge camps with fast internet and 3000+ people camp every 2 years in the middle of nowhere. We organize the yearly Chaos Communication Congress for 4000+ people. We enable people to get internet access for free using the Freifunk project. We share our inventions, our procedures, our projects and our knowledge.

We are crossing the boundaries for the greater good. We are changing the world. Together. One small step at a time.

If you like to call that crazy, then I guess we are crazy. But it’s more likely that we have a different mind set.

Hacking and Living on Lanzarote – Day -4

My stomach wasn’t that well today, and my mood wasn’t either. I had some doubts if Lanzarote is really the right choice in case something happens to my health. On the other side, I’ve been surviving with those symptoms for the past 5 years and probably some outdoor stuff will do no harm.

I had to order a trekking backpack and trekking shoes which I don’t own. My luggage is split:

Personal Stuff: Everything I need while we seek for the location of the CHT base

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Trekking Backpack
  • Camelbak
  • Clothes including Rain Coat
  • Regular Shoes
  • Power Banks, Laptop
  • Cat Ears and Skirt (yes, I love to wear those)
  • Sun Protection
  • Sun glasses and replacement glasses
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Power Banks
  • Mobile Phone and replacement phone
  • Medicine
  • Paracord
  • Hat
  • Camera + Charger to document stuff
  • Pillow
  • Flashlight and Headlamp

Stuff I can put into storage and fetch later when needed for setting up the base

  • 20W+40W Solar Cells
  • Charge Controller
  • Lead-Acid Batteries (if possible to transport by plane)
  • 12V to 230V Inverter
  • Unifi UAP and Unifi EdgeRouter Lite
  • Mechanical Tools like Screwdrivers
  • Cables for wiring up the solar cells, Wago Clamps
  • Spade
  • Replacement notebook
  • Multimeter, Wire strippers, pliers etc
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Network Cables
  • Soldering Iron, Soldering Wire
  • LED Lighting
  • Duct Tape
  • Alligator Clips


David confirmed that they’ll pick me up at the airport. Sounds like quite an adventure, but I’m optimistic that things will go nice. My bus from Berlin is leaving tomorrow morning. Hope I didn’t forgot to include anything important to this list. I always carry my ID and stuff with me, so no, that’s not included to the list.

Stay tuned!

Hacking and Living on Lanzarote – Day -5

I’m going to Lanzarote for working, hacking and a hopefully life-changing experience. If you’re following me on Twitter, you probably know about the awkward situation I’m in. I suffer from depression, I have left my family and I’m semi-homeless since two months and staying with friends since then. I had much time to think about my situation and came to several conclusions. I’m not going to list them except for one:

Don’t do what logic and society dictates – do what feels right.

I’ve listened to too many people giving too many false advices, simply because they believe that their lifestyle fits me. I mostly followed their advice without using my own brain. And believe me – that felt very very wrong. I was raised to follow other peoples advice, and I’m changing that since 2010 – since I joined RaumZeitLabor. I learned to accept that I am an individual, a thinker, maker and hacker. I also learned that I need to ask for help and to communicate with people to find creative solutions to problems.

As it’s hard to host people for extended periods of time, I have to move out of my hosts in Berlin. One solution would be to continue couchsurfing, but thanks to Sam, I learned about projects which hosts hackers to hack, work and colaborate on projects and get new views on life and the future of humanity.

One of those projects is and the CHT, who hosts a hacker community on Lanzarote. The upcoming season consists of building up an entire community, preferably off-the-grid with own power generators and a water treatment plant. This might sound quite as an adventure, and you’re right: It will be. But I’m not scared anymore, and I want to learn on how to deal with new situations and challenges.

Right now I’m looking for flights and planning what I need to bring, including medication, clothes, solar panels and inverters etc. The flight costs somewhere between 60€ and 100€. The cost for CHT is estimated to be around 400€ per month, which can probably be reduced. If you are able to financially support the project, please donate here.

Stay tuned for hopefully regular updates.