Thursday, August 23, 2007

UPDATE: August 23, 2007

After working so hard to get "Sparky" operational, it now seems like ... "Is that all there is?" I still have a couple of wiring issues to solve: The first issue is the rear battery box venting fan does not operate when charging the batteries, as it should, without me putting a jumper wire from a relay terminal to the positive terminal of the auxillary battery. I need to sort that problem out.

Before the cold weather arrives, I need to get a heater system worked out, since there is no hot water for the normal car heater. Some people have simply used 115-volt hair dryers! I guess that would work, but it doesn't seem too "elegant." What I plan to do is install one of the small 5" square "Cube-type" ceramic heaters that you can commonly buy at Wal-Mart. I will mount it in the housing the old hot water radiator and air conditioning unit was in. Then, retaining the original VW heater fan, I can operate the heater just about the way it was before. With the appropriate electrical switches, relays and safety thermostats, it should work very well.

I have gradually stretched the mileage I've driven, the last few trips. Although I have not tried to conserve power at all, so far, a thirty mile trip is no problem. Yesterday, while day-dreaming and driving to Spokane in my Nissan pickup, (77 miles) I figured out a way to drive Sparky from Pullman to Spokane. I could drive to a rest stop, which is about midway, recharge for four hours, then proceed on to Spokane. Even if I started to run short of power on the 45-mile legs, there are a couple of small towns where I could easily get a small "sip" of power to keep me going. I think it would be a fun challange and a way to demonstrate that longer trips are possible, even if inconvenient ... and for LESS than ONE DOLLAR of electrical power. ("Green" power, incidentially, generated by hydro-electric means.)

"Stay Tuned" and watch the progress on these ideas.

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