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Sol Reicarnated, what Khanh, Creator, hath wrought.

"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 particular

order 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.

A steel cable reaching through and secured to the fore aft structural frame.

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....

In the first 36,000 miles James of necessity did the Cascade Mountains out west, the Sierra Nevadas  slightly east of that for many months, everything between there and the East Coast, most of the Appalachian Trail on paved roads that parallel the AT closely. Many lessons were painfully learned, the urgent need of regenerative braking, the urgent need for as much torque as possible at very low speed. You may know that Hub motors which is all James had up until now, need to find out from the cyclist where forward is each time starting from a standing stop and when that standing stop is on 15-degree grade with a thousand pound vehicle, depending 100% on the cyclist to initiate forward movement, well, it can get pretty dicey. So extraordinary work has been done to achieve what we think is a vehicle that can handle those situations with much less danger and much less potential for James having a heart attack. Seriously. 

This is required and received brilliant consideration from Khanh, two Cyclone Motors, one the main Drive in the cab, and the other powering the differential axle used in pedicab now in the trailer driving two very beefy 48 spoke, 26-inch pedicab Wheels. 

The Hub motor  is now gone, replaced by a cyclone motor in the. And in the cab this has required substantial change in the critical extremely low tolerance chain line system area. This tensioner inserted is one of the many means of managing that chain. 

What we think is likely to be an extraordinary blessing is the fact that we have needed to go to heavier gauge chain than typical 410 bicycle chain, on both the outbound side of the nuvinci gear, 415, going to the rear wheel on the left side, and 420 chain, motorcycle chain, to the right hand side of the trike wheel from the now internal mid vehicle Cyclone motor.

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.

( 3 motor system, each handling about 275 lb of the payload, easily and automatically regulated by virtue of the cycle analyst with the multi motor shunt that they have, their wiring and controllers.) 

So much storage space, in the back of the elf now with shelving that Khan has made, only some of his refinement shown in this photo, although James is determined to resist putting much weight there to add to the stress already on that rear trike wheel. And to keep the entire payload as light as possible for the joy of experiencing high efficiency, maybe better than the 65 watts Total per mile that it took to move the prior rig, and for the responsibilities of living is likely on Earth as possible. And the wonderful and joyful exercise value of using physiology to contribute to all that mile after mile. The average is about 15 watts per mile.

Grin Technologies now provides a solar shunt that can be integrated through the cycle analyst with the rest of the power management so that read outs  can include contributions from solar integrated with the other energy tracking that the cycle analyst does. But in James case with 10,000 miles or more per year of serious travel every day, he did not want to sacrifice the inessence 30 gear switch activated electrical system that he has by using the AUX port that the grin solar system would occupy. So this $20 meter off of Amazon gives him the real-time and cumulative read out of his solar collection, and he can do the math pretty easily from there.

The forward tray in the elf is extremely useful but infinitely more so with the addition of storage boxes like this. The tray itself and the boxes introduce rattle which is aesthetically pretty unpleasant, but some $4 towels from Walmart or other similar material underneath, inside, and above takes care of the rattling and provides so much more usable area.

Carrying a pair of fire extinguishing canisters like this, the fire alarm under the tray, and another on the inside lid of the trailer, are among the many many many steps that have been taken to remove the likelihood of an undetected fire, or any fire generated by the vehicle. It will never be known if arson was the reason that the first Incarnation went up in smoke. But there were other things that could be not be removed from possibility and the vast majority if not all AR now removed by steps like this.

You might notice the 12v USB and AC inverter unit on the dash also, so that James ever-present Android navigation and tracking system and voice recorder and voice dictation and reading source that reads him articles and books pretty much every moment of travel doesn't lose power. Recharging camera batteries is convenient. And the occasional low-watt AC Appliance. Quite easily wired into the elf power bus now. 

A similar unit is in the trailer for devices in the evening and overnight, as well as a 1500 watt inverter for James daily cooking of breakfast and other meals. 

The bulk of 12-volt is provided by a heavy duty 12 volt step-down converter in the cab and another in the trailer, probably overbuilt, but lesser versions have failed in the past for unknown reasons.

With the Hub motor now gone the clearance under the elf is a good 2 or 4 in higher. James does not go looking for off-roading but there are times when just a 100 yd diversion off the paved roads would provide a beautiful camping spot for the night but such roads generally have some rocks and Ruts. We are much better able to access such places now.

This rear trike wheel it's so incredibly crucial to the advanced functionality of this solar micro RV ebike. Traveling down the Six Mile probably 6-16% grade Siskiyou Pass with only disc caliper brakes is  something James would rather not ever do no matter how many lives he's given. So aesthetically and environmentally miserable, so damaging to the equipment all that heat, and so aesthetically miserable. All that energy to get up there, all that kinetic energy lost. 

With regenerative braking James has seen as high as 60% energy recovery in such situations tho on average is much much lower. With regenerative 98% of his breaking in all situations is done regenerative, no wear and tear, energy back in the battery. 

But on the elf that requires making the gears on both sides of the rear trike wheel immovable and that is a challenge. The simplest solution probably is getting a gas bike attachment that holds an external gear on the right hand side but that requires a asymmetrical Hub not the concave Hub that the elf provides. So primarily to have a large housing that could accept bolts to keep the free wheel from turning, and secondarily to contribute possibly 20% assist that the Hub motor will provide, we decided to go the heavy bolt route and took our implementation to the next level. 

On the right hand side welding an attachment fixture on to the outside of the housing, on the left hand side removing the motor lid, so that proper length grade 8 bolts could be threaded into the housing and then further weather seal protected with silicon. We anticipate this will be an extremely secure way of providing regenerative supports to the electrical system. You might also notice the heavy gauge 415 chain on the left hand drive side, and the extremely heavy gauge right hand chain 420. You might also notice the loving care that has been taken to Bevel the sprocket to inset the bolts on the left hand side so that the Hub motor cable is infinitely less likely to be guillotined by wizzing barrel head bolts.

As you may see so far this two months build and Design is more than a simple days project. It has constantly evolved, some trial-and-error, much thought, much planning. We've used a Google spreadsheet to try and retain some sanity and structure to this project, and to avoid  simple  costly and time-consuming errors, simply adding punch list items as they emerge, changing the relative priority based on sequencing and parts availability and other considerations, priority of course. Yesterday the list went past 200.

To my knowledge Rob Cotter did not Design This vehicle, the cab, the elf, to pull a 300 lb trailer payload for a projected 30 or 50 thousand miles now. Please don't tell him. He probably doesn't need such nightmares. But with the first Incarnation we did 20,000 miles that way, the first 16000 I had a infinitely Light trailer. Rex litwiller changed that thank God.

And maybe not a lot of people use the vehicle even disregarding the trailer, as heavily as James does, 12000 miles per year of extreme terrain often. In any case a lot of work has been done to minimize failure rates, maximize longevity, minimize stress. 3 Motors to spread the stress of the vehicle across the entire structure. Steel plates welded between the aluminum sliders and the rear trike axle assembly, that assembly being so crucial and taking so much stress. Just one example of so many things that khanh has done to increase structural integrity. 

And James bears and enjoys the ongoing responsibility of minimizing the stress on the vehicle. I suppose at some level he'd like to travel at 20 miles an hour and easily this vehicle could be geared to easily do that. But these roads, these American roads. Many of them are horrible for tens of Miles. Some are really good until all of a sudden they're disaster. 

And in the beginning James was averaging 20 miles an hour, then 15, then 13, then 12, now 10. Why? Tired of breaking things on these American roads, and the travel that we all need to be doing sisters and brothers, is not at 700 miles an hour at 36,000 feet like James did for his first 27 years as an adult, or at 80 miles an hour in electric 4000 pound cars, 4000 pounds of material that Mother Earth doesn't have to give us anymore... but at 10 miles an hour, twice as fast as the man Jesus walked, trying to re enliven souls of our fellow brothers and sisters while there is still any future left to be saved on Earth. 

To paraphrase and slightly embellish someone in the elf users group not too long ago, James, you've got this pig on the road, so slow, so inconsiderate, so totally destined to fail, just begging for a rear end Collision.... 

James sees it differently. We are destroying our children and grandchildren future because we think that speed is a virtue. It's a drug. Does anyone really think our quality of life is higher than Native Americans on this planet, on this continent, the year before Columbus arrived with his speed? I don't. And the Native Americans left alone on this continent, these hundreds of years later, would well down the path of extinguishing all life on Earth?

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.

Let me acknowledge the confusing photo placement just above. One picture shows the nearly finished storage area now at the rear of the elf cab fashioned by Khanh with a different type of polycarbonate. 

The other photo features the trailer created by Rex litwiller discussed in the next paragraph. This being the vehicle that went up in flames almost exactly three months ago on January 20th, 2021, late evening in a Pilot parking lot in Meridian Mississippi for reasons that will never be known with any certainty.

The first incarnation of Sol, Rex litwiller's visionary brilliant totally necessary creation was a welders masterpiece. Beautiful intricate design of structurally powerful tubing. And what a brilliant way for some vehicles to be created. 

But another way is much less technically challenging and therefore more accessible as a means for building low-cost housing and transportation structures for a much wider audience.

A safe dry and secure home for the wonderful solar controllers from the great friend of this Mission, Ryan at blue sky energy:

Well, the photos above are just some of the many additional attention to detail the Khan has lovingly provided to this vehicle, and this mission. Anyone reading this that has specific questions if they are thoughtful and meaningful to the individual trying to move forward in a similar Direction James can easily be contacted and will be glad to reply, or Khanh.

Tremendous vigilance and provision of courtesy and consideration is an endless source of joy for James. Other words for loving, which itself is the source of joy. What about that comment not the first time heard, from that elf user, about what a slow dangerous Pig this is? What about the safety of our children and grandchildren with these future Exterminating so-called safe 80 mile an hour 4000 pound resource destroying, body destroying machines we consider virtuous, and waste the young's resources, destroying their resources with endless infrastructure and support?

I may never know with any certainty why Khanh reincarnated Sol. He's never said, I have never felt it was my place or necessity to ask. Somehow I judged that in our initial messenger contact, this individual I've never heard of, knew nothing about, know nothing of what he knows or thinks of me and my work, something in me said, trust this man. He says we're going to do it, we're going to do it. Don't buy that van. Reincarnate Sol. 

And here we are. He's a man of deeds, and few words. Like my dad. 

But maybe maybe maybe maybe I got a slightly more concrete glimmer yesterday. The graphics, which are a fundamental reason for driving this vehicle across and through the country, day after day, year after year, trying to sow seeds of the Creator-like soul that Jesus had take over his life, the graphics arrived weeks ago and have been sitting in a box till Sol was ready. Yesterday Khanh decided that Sol was ready. For the first time we took the graphics all the way out of the box and unfurled them and there was an extra one. Who knows why? 

As we were putting on the last graphic, yet another time when it seems like Khanh's expertise is endless, I had just spoken to him about the most potent and abrupt of the graphics, the one on the nose. That although Jesus didn't say it exactly this way, it's what he meant and I only realized it about a year ago. He said, to us all, you cannot serve two masters, you will love one and HATE the other, or you will adhere to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon, Mammon  being wealth. Anyway some minutes later as we were finalizing the graphics, the one that was extra happens to be the one that states that. 

Well, Khanh said with the most wonderful warm smile, can I put that on the front of my elf? 

Who would want to do that, James is wondering, besides James? It seems he may have an answer, and maybe a little insight into why Khanh did all this. And now my eyes are blurring with emotion, in wonder and awe.

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