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Saturday, November 27, 2010

GETTING INTO SHAPE

Thanksgiving Day it snowed until mid afternoon. By yesterday morning, overnight wind and rain removed nearly all traces of snow. On-again off-again drizzles have been with us since.

Today, Saturday, was a mild - mid 40s - sunny day with scattered clouds and NO wind. The perfect day to begin again with SAM on our daily walks.

We walked this morning for 9 miles...and this afternoon another 5 miles. Had no idea how out of shape I have become...and in so short a time.

SAM had to have one battery - in her 12 amp hour RED set - changed out. Last Winter She had a massive fire which destroyed ALL her wiring and two of her three batteries. Now the third battery, which was also badly burned in the fire, does not hold a charge. So, yesterday She received a new 12 volt 12 ah battery. (SAM carries a fire extinguisher - She is rather sophisticated).

I foolishly did not fully charge the new battery before SAM & ME walked this morning. The RED battery pack drove Her Hub Motor for 2.5 hours just fine, but the low voltage light kept coming on while climbing hills. Her "controller" automatically shuts down the electrical system in Low-Voltage conditions to protect Her Hub Motor from burning out. (As I said, SAM is quite sophisticated).

SAM has an accelerator...just like a car. To climb hills, the accelerator must be "floored" or nearly so. Flooring is accomplished by turning up the thumb switch I built for Her electrical control system. Flooring the thumb switch quickly drains the battery pack...just like a car engine slurps up gas when floored.

SAM receives 7 - 8 hours of normal running time. Up hills, this is reduced by half; i.e., to about 4 hours running time.

RED battery pack will receive a full charge tomorrow...then we shall tackle some hills and see how it performs.

Today was the first real test of SAM since She received the upgrades of the past couple weeks. SAM is stronger, easier to steer, and quieter.

Our next major test will be fully loaded - as She will be when We finally once again head for Key West -. She will weigh in at about 175 pounds. Next week I plan to drive her to the Peace Arch and back to Bellingham. It is 30 miles one way, so it will also be an overnight camp-out experience.

It will be bitter cold as the Peace Arch is only a hundred yards or so from Salt Water (The Salish Sea) where Canada's Straits Of Georgia end their uninterrupted and unprotected 150 mile run from Queen Charlotte Sound near Alaska . I will ask the Port Authority for permission to set up our tent on Blaine Marina property to get a bit of protection.

It looks more and more that SAM & ME will set our departure date from the Peace Arch for Christmas Day. We could leave sooner, but two "functions" have been scheduled which I would like to attend.

I have been "mentally" beat upon the past few days for some of my recent Blog comments. I have, therefore, decided to try mightily to keep this Blog strictly business; i.e. about SAM & ME and our walk. If I slip up and sneak in a controversial comment or two, I apologize here now in advance. So, please grant this Senior Citizen a little wiggle room on that score.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog..