Devil’s Slide – Total Recall

I was reading Robert Scoble’s post about the AT&T-T-Mobile deal (One bad company buying another: AT&T buys TMobile) and he mentioned, “Devil’s Slide (cell service) is non-existent for AT&T and TMobile, but works the entire way on Verizon for me.”

Devil’s Slide is an area of steep cliffs along the Pacific Ocean about five miles south of San Francisco, California. This stretch of Highway 1 can induce acrophobia if you start thinking about driving your car off the road. This is a good piture of it showing the road slicing right across Devil’s Slide. This part of the highway is “remote,” in that the extreme terrain doesn’t allow for much habitability for a few miles on either side. Maybe that’s the reason AT&T and T-Mobile didn’t care about a dead spot for a few miles, though I wouldn’t recommend checking your phone’s signal while driving this stretch of road, especially if you are driving in a sporting manner.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) started building a tunnel in 2005 to bypass the area prone to rock slides so Highway 1 won’t keep getting closed. The tunnel is 4200 feet (1,280 m) long and will be completed in 2011. On October 1, 2010, they punched through one of the tunnels. I just wrote all this because the video reminded me of Total Recall.

Cibie H1

One night, while driving through the grove of Eucalyptus trees on US 101 near San Juan Bautista, California, I realized that the sealed beam headlamps on my Alfetta were inadequate. This is the same road that Scottie Ferguson and Madeleine Elster (Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak) took to Mission San Juan Bautista in the film Vertigo.

Cibie H1 5.75 inch (146 mm) Flat Face Headlamp

A modern car had pulled up next to me in the other lane and I suddenly saw the road ahead. That’s when I realized that I had to improve the lighting on the Alfa Romeo.

Research turned up 5.75 inch (146 mm) Cibie H4 (low beam) and H1 (high beam) headlamps for the quad setup I needed. For the H1 headlamp, I used Osram Silverstar bulbs (NOT Sylvania Silverstar) and for the H4, I used Narva Rangepower High Output Plus 30 bulbs.

This setup is more economical than the Cibie Complex Surface Reflector (CSR) headlamps and I’m only replacing the right side headlamps in my crashed into Alfetta. Osram Sylvania produces a Xenarc HID conversion kit I’ve seen for US$ 588.

I’ve read that installing relays was a good idea for the Alfa, since the factory setup has all the headlight current going through the switch on the steering column. Daniel Stern has covered this and other lighting topics so thoroughly that I didn’t have to look anywhere else.

Comparing the Cibie headlamps to sealed beams is literally like day and night.