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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Walking Injuries

It' been a while since last post..sorry. My undertaking is starting to become real and is a bit daunting. Projected departure is Apeil 01, 2010.

The shin splint problem continues to reoccur. Have found it happens when walking my cart, Sam, down steep or long hills. Without proper brakes, I must hold Sam back with brute strength, which over-stresses the foot-lower leg muscles & tendons, resulting in shin splints. To fix the problem, I have taken steps to incorporate drum brakes on the rear wheels of Sam. Sam should be retrofitted ready to go in a week or so. Then we'll see about descending hills without injury.

Have also done some testing on the hub motor drive electrical system; i.e., battery consumption and solar panel recharging capabilities to replace battery pack usage. Battery pack is three 12V-12ah batteries. Hub motor is 36V and consumes about 1/2 volt in 5 - 6 hour motor use. Solar panel charges about 1/4V in 4 hours under very overcast skies (this for one single battery - and I must recharge each battery separately and cannot charge while motor controller is running). Bottom line is solar recharge time will not keep up with motor consumption, especially when climbing hills.

Therefore, am looking into installing a second battery pack...not too desirable from added weight (20#), but will allow solar panel to charge one battery pack while motor uses the other pack. Second battery pack should be ready to go this week. Plan to mount second battery pack next to the front wheel, which will help wheel traction and minimize load on Sam's frame.

As promised, here is a pic of Sam. Sam is a "Chariot" stroller, modified to include the hub motor, solar panel, tent poles, inside lighting, gps, and a few other creature-comfort features. Sam carries:

custom tent w/ double floor erected in any 4 x 8 foot space in under 5 minutes;
butane stove w/table & utinsils;
sleeping bag w/2 air matresses;
auxiliary 12V battery pack (in addition to motor drive system);
inside lighting & headlights (2), taillights (2), sidelights/amber (4);
food, water & clothing (3 pair shoes);
netbook & cellphone;
& a few other goodies.
I know, I know...perhaps an overkill, but is for the moment the way it is.
Next blog will discuss route...thank goodness for Google Map.