Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trip to the CHP! I passed!

So today was very stressful because I had to take the Twike on a 20+ mile round trip.  The way there was fairly easy, all downhill.  I wasn't smart and started off with only 379V, but I haven't seen the 420 charge since my initial trickle charge and the other day at 401V starting out I caused an "Overcharge Fault" by using the regenerative breaks in the driveway!  (just causes the system to restart - lock you out of being able to use the throttle for 10 seconds*)

Back to my journey!  So the DMV couldn't find the engine # so they referred me to the Highway Patrol. Unfortunately, the nearest office is 10 miles from my house and I didn't plug in early enough so I had an estimated 17.5 mile range!   I set out anyways peddling like crazy!  Google maps now shows bike lanes so I planned my trip using those and keeping my top speed around 25mph to cut down on energy use.  The officer was really helpful and even printed off some internet references so the DMV could complete my application.

So heading home I knew it'd be a close call (I had 355V leaving the CHP) so I pulled into a Whole Foods parking lot and found a nice empty plug behind a soda machine.  I had to park in the Fire Lane since I couldn't get the Twike up on the curb.  No one seemed to mind and of course people were taking pics and asking lots of questions.  Luckily, I have been getting great advice from another USA Twike owner Matt.  He let me know about the soda machine trick and also about hitting the JOG button to fast forward directly to the charge cycle and bump it up to 10Amps.  So I put in about 30Vs while eating some grains, fueled both of us up!

I figured before I attracted too much more attention it was time to split!  I made it safely home and the battery light went on as I was powering up the hill.  I think I could have just about made it w/o the stop at Whole Foods, but it was a lot less stressful.  Next post should be my license plates!

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