"Never manage anything you don't love." An anonymous quote I saw decades ago in a cubicle in a large high-tech Corporation where I was working. If Khanh Dam didn't love this project, then I have no clue what was going on here. If he didn't have some love for this mission, then I have no clue what's going on here, and it's entirely possible that I don't have a clue what's going on here, but maybe I do.
I was ready to roll on weeks ago. Khanh wouldn't have it. It wasn't right yet. It wasn't what he wanted it to be yet. Maybe it's not what he wanted the mission to have yet. It's still isn't, another day or so, but oh my goodness what loving brilliant Relentless creation.
And I know I, and I think we both, wanted to do our part of helping people see, better than they might already, the possibilities of extremely sustainable, relatively low cost of build, replicable, prototype, of a way of moving, of being, and in James Case, of living as this is his 365 day, near all terrain, all but the most extreme climates, home, again. We're now starting toward our mile 37000 approximately. One and a half times around the earth so far, as Justin, the founder and CEO and chief technologist at grin Technologies in Vancouver told me not long ago. And such an example was the original Sol, created by Rex Litwiller, not to forget the founding role of Rob Cotter with his Visionary, inspirational, World informing elf.
In no particularorder although starting with the front of the vehicle here are some of the creative crucial aspects of this wonderful miraculous vehicle for purposes of functionality, high torque at low RPM, safety against fire, livability, easy replication with relatively low Tech tools...:
Maintainability is nice, but when you have almost no funds, and no one should have more than a bare amount of funds, the rest should go to needier siblings of the non-biological kind, and one gets great joy from living that way, maintainability isn't just nice, it can be life and death for the operator, and for those whizzing by. Maintainability not only means quick repair or quicker in the event of a problem, quicker diagnosis, but one less excuse for procrastination. A stitch in time, indeed, saves 9.
So one of the many things toward that end, Khanh said, well James, let's make the front part of the vehicle maintainable, and let's make the electronics busbar much more accessible, and let's replace the lithium-ion battery which is a wonderful technology but a thousand times more likely to go unstable and Catch Fire than like before, let's rework that whole front end. And among other things you see here the 50-amp, lifepo4, thermal protected insulated against winter cold damage, really quite easy to assemble battery at half the cost of the Lithium-ion batteries James has been buying. If you have a heart attack looking at the wiring I think you should not, it actually is quite structurally well-supported tho time will tell.
O oh, and what do you do when your Elf needs to be towed? Especially an elf has a trailer and combined with stuff inside it's probably 600-lb? Especially if you have insurance from the extremely honorable Veloinsurance, with a three times a year 30 mile Towing feature? How do you get a hook onto the main part of the frame without destroying the whole front end? This is Khanh's answer.
So far it is impossible for me to perceive that for anyone that has gone so far as having an elf that does more than sit in their garage, that their enjoyment of the vehicle let alone their ability to encourage others, would not increase by several fold by having a grin Technologies cycle analyst, integrated with a torque sensor quite easily put in the bottom bracket of the crank system, so that it not only makes it like a bicycle, you don't use the throttle, the system gives you as many watts for each one you generate as you've asked for, and all the real time metrics every day of how much work you do in terms of human watts, and how much you've asked from the system, electrical Watts. From there you can begin to accurately and easily understand how much energy you're expending, that's encouraging and empowering, the efficiency of the vehicle, room for improvement....
Hundreds and probably thousands of dollars in damage over the years and so much lost time do to chain that stretched that were not tensioned in time and well enough, that skipped off and ripped out wires and destroyed Motors and other stuff. Some or all of that may be a thing of the past now.
I might not have the terminology correct, but I believe that Khanh laid out this initial trailer design with the software available on the 80-20 website? But he implemented it using his techniques, and much more affordable and lightweight but structurally very strong aluminum tubing of various Dimensions much of it using the so-called bolts, pound nuts, and other structures , and gallons, lol, Anyway, a lot, of Loctite to hold it all together. The floor siding and roof of the trailer are polycarbonate, very strong, light, providing nice insulation against extreme temperatures.