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Sunday, December 5, 2010


For four hours SAM & ME toured the environs and back roads of Bellingham.

It was a bit cold...just above freezing...overcast but NOT windy. Another good day to check out SAMs systems.

Before leaving SAM's Place, checked all Her batteries. GREEN Pack was at 38.8 volts. RED pack was at 38.2 volts (RED has the one-year-old batteries). AUXILIARY BATTERY checked in at 12.80 volts.

So, GREEN was selected to drive SAM's Hub Motor today.

RED was fed power from SAM's Solar Panels...for 4 hours under cloudy skies.

Was going to head for FERNDALE - 12 miles North of Bellingham - but 12 miles = 3 hours one way and had only 5 hours of daylight remaining; so, opted to stay close to home and find some steep hills for SAM to climb.

We Walked & Rolled down to Bellingham's Harbor...mostly down hill. Then we cut South by South East to Downtown Bellingham. Rolled SAM through the middle of town...causing lots of heads to turn and stare. We kept rolling along Bellingham Bay, past row after row of million dollar condominiums lining the shoreline.

Around 1:00 pm (noon), stopped in at Haggens Fairhaven Market...had to tinkle and was hungry. Thank goodness it was not Federal Way, where transients are not welcome to tinkle.
Haggens Deli Counter had some yummie HOT Chili Con Carne (Italian = With Meat) and a Tuna Wrap which set very well with Me.

SAM & ME then continued South out of Ferndale down Chuckanut Drive South. Went a couple miles down that stunning road, turned around and hung a right onto Old Samish Way Road for a few miles. Then turned North by North West towards Western Washington University...then back to SAM's Place.

The entire outing was 4 hours...with 15 minutes out for Chili & Tuna. We climbed some prodigious hills, SAM & ME. Her GREEN battery was given a real challenge. Me, however, pushed SAM probably 70 % of the time. So Me got a real challenge too.

A couple times, RED got her Solar Panel wires switched around. RED has three batteries and only two Solar Panels to charge them...EACH BATTERY MUST BE CHARGED ONE AT A TIME FROM THE 12-volt SOLAR PANELS. So, had to switch the Solar Panel wires around from time to time to get all three batteries charged somewhat equally.

Arriving at SAM's Place, discovered:

RED Pack checked in at 38.8 volts. Therefore, it received 0.6 volts per battery in 4 hours under very overcast skies...(so, 90 Watt Solar Panel put out about 0.2 volts per hour; whereas 20 Watt Solar Panel only put out about 0.15 volts per hour). I would like to check the Amperage, but that instrument costs $500.00...a bit beyond my budget.

GREEN Pack checked in at 36.8 volts. Therefore, it used up 2.0 volts during the Walk and Roll.

The Motor Controller allows electrical flow until a battery pack reaches the low of 35.5 volts. It then interrupts power to the Hub Motor to prevent low-voltage damage.

Therefore, SAM had another 2 or so hours of service remaining within GREEN Pack.

Me must then PUSH, or switch from GREEN to RED battery packs. At that point, the Solar Panels begin to recharge GREEN Pack.

Starting to get a reasonable understanding of how SAM consumes electrical power in various conditions. Also, am starting to understand Solar Panel charging under various skies.

Today confirmed that ME is not in good shape. Feet are sore, but no blisters or muscle pulls. Upper leg muscles complained when holding SAM back going down steep hills...did NOT use SAM's brakes, although should have on a few of those hills. Very easy to suffer a shin splint going down hills.

Am certainly in no condition to resume our Walk to Key West just yet. Will need a few more weeks of walking with SAM before being ready to take off.

Returned from Oklahoma just a few short weeks ago. Shocking how quickly one gets out of shape.

No new pics today.

p.s.: SAM still has a "Pull" to the left. Today, I figured out why. Simple, and quite stupid of Me to not see it long ago...but guess that is the "learning curve" for an under-educated old man. Will tackle the "fix" and report in a few days...Yes, it can be fixed, but requires "rebuilding" a good part of SAM's Superstructure...a 2-person job...but then, there is no second person hanging around...and so it goes.

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