Random successes and failures


. The build went smoothly with the exception of a couple of wayward nuts that went awol.
. The new panel setup is perfect, thank you Brent!
. Met great folk in both campgrounds so far.
. The wildlife here is evident and abundant – rowdy birds and kangaroos in particular.
. Free WIFI has been available in every town I have been through so far.
. I have been getting far more encouraging toots than angry honks.
. Light rain with thin cloud still gets me about 30w which surprised me for some reason.
. Surprise support from folk who I hadn’t heard from in years getting in contact after reading the HBToday publicity as I left NZ.
. Leaving Melbourne and heading west rather than dallying in the Southeast where the weather is even more solar harvesting unfriendly has been a good call. Not that I have an agenda but feel I have a week to get my ship in order before getting underway properly and quietly heading west as I sort these bugs out keeps me ahead of the game.
. Being able to play Wordle and Quordle with Amy, Hamish and Imogen every day as I have had WIFI connectivity.


. Sleeping mat failed (which I thought might happen as it has patches on patches ๐Ÿ™‚ ) so have purchased a new one today plus a closed cell foam mat to go under it to protect it and supply an extra bit of comfort. As a secondary use it will be used to wrap the bike when it flies again ๐Ÿ™‚
. Losing my powerbank through customs due to me mistakenly leaving it in my checked in bags instead of carryon.
. USB outlet failed – sending a trickle charge out which was sufficient to drive my small blinkies on the trailer but not enough juice for radar tail light or phone charging. At night I need to be able to charge my watch (displays radar info), my InReach, headphones and torch. I am hopeful that I can find an auto electrician to fix/replace this today.
Update at days end: after drying out the outlet, securing all the cables securely and housing the outlet in the battery waterproof ‘handlebar bag’ which is attached to the lower side rack – it all seems to function as advertised again – Yay. I have purchased a battery bank (to replace the one customs now have) as a backup charging solution if the system barfs on me again. The auto sparky smiled indulgently when I described my problem – seems getting from 36v down to 5v is not a common problem with a common fix :0
. Side stand failed – replaced by an extendable walking pole which I purchased today which works fantastically, providing a much more secure resting position for the bike as the pivot point changes from the lowest part of the bike to just under the solar panel. The pole retracts and hangs to a position I can reach while seated so I can extend it before alighting.
. Weather has been completely unsuitable for solar harvesting ๐Ÿ™ In full sunlight directly overhead I consistently harvest 400w. Yesterday my peak harvesting was 95w for a brief period in the middle of the day but most of the day was around 50w. Any uphill at all and I need to use minimum 50w (500w or more if it is a steep climb) to keep moving.
. I’m thinking I should have brought the plug in charger rather than purely relying on solar. I will continue to see if I can keep going autonomously just using the solar before making that call.
. Assuming that completely empty fuel bottles would be fine in checked in baggage. I stall can’t understand why these are any different to any other empty vessel. This has been an expensive assumption as the pump for the stove was in one of the bottles so have had to purchase a new stove just to get the pump ๐Ÿ™

Picture of my new bike stand and (completely hidden) USB charging system ๐Ÿ™‚

A new addition that I purchased today was a padlock that captures the handles of the panniers onto the crossbar of the rear rack. Now instead of just pulling on the handle to release the pannier there is going to have to be a knife involved.

Ballarat has been a great place to hang out. Friendly helpful folk everywhere and the sun shone for much of the day so I have juice in the tank to continue the ride tomorrow. The forecast is for light winds and cloud for the next couple of days then fining up over the weekend for the area between here and Adelaide. A more pleasing forecast for solar harvesting than HB is offering at present ๐Ÿ˜‰

2 responses to “Random successes and failures”

  1. Tac Avatar

    Brilliant father, all teething problems in the big picture. Ballarat is a cool town, hung out there way back in Bush fire days.
    Aussies like the eccentric – you’ll get loads of support. Tac.

    1. Shaun Gilbert Avatar

      Eccentric!!!! Yep – all teething problems indeed and nice to sort early before they become major headaches as I head inland.

      Presumably you have started your South Island mission to stop the school children getting squashed by now. Hope it is going well and that Traffic Management is not proving too much of a headache…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Made Horsham today which seems to be about 1/2 way between Melbourne and Adelaide so things are ticking along.
      The Grampians were a cool place to have a ride through.