My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

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Snickers   10 mW

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Snickers » Jun 16 2018 4:50pm

At Chambéry (FR)
Last edited by Snickers on Jun 18 2018 4:33pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by teklektik » Jun 16 2018 5:29pm

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by made_in_the_alps_legacy » Jun 18 2018 11:31am

Snickers wrote:
Jun 16 2018 4:50pm
At Chamonix (FR)
hummm... It was "Chambéry" actually.
I met them both this morning at Chamonix and this was great! such inspiring persons...
tomorrow morning starts the real trip : may the sun shine along your journey as much as your smiles on your faces !
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Re: Solar CA Firmware

Post by the e wind » Jun 18 2018 4:04pm

teklektik wrote:
Jun 14 2018 5:50pm
Yep. The firmware that JLE linked in above is really an in-house development version of early Sun Trip Solar DataBox firmware. After the Sun Trip that version will evolve a bit to become a production release so 'the state of the art' will get polished up and change a trifle.
Great. I put in an order for one of the remaining solar shunts and the new digi-aux up-down buttons. With this, I should be able to adapt my CA-DP 3.1 for use with the solar shunt. But in order to feed my GPS signal (like you guys did with the Sun Trip data loggers) directly into the CA, and get the GPS+time, etc. info on the CA screen itself, I'll need to break into my Analogger w/GPS and make a few adjustments inside.

Ok I think I get it. I'll get everything setup with the solar shunt first and then look for more info about modifying the analogger. Thanks for the info so far, and yes, I look forwad to seeing what happens with this system once the trip is over.
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Re: Solar CA Firmware

Post by teklektik » Jun 18 2018 6:39pm

the e wind wrote:
Jun 18 2018 4:04pm
I'll get everything setup with the solar shunt first and then look for more info about modifying the analogger.
JLE wanted to post that stuff up, but it looks like the Sun Tour may be a little more all-consuming than he foresaw. If he doesn't get the post up and your other solar tasks are complete, post up here and I'll put up a quickie How-To. It's a super easy mod. Also -that experimental FW will run fine without the GPS input, so you can load it up and the solar features will work anyhow.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jun 18 2018 11:16pm

Hey everyone, yeah this event is pretty much the definition of insanity. The last week has had the wildest blitz of stuff going on, from sorting Iranian visas, loosing and then finding my passport, receiving and rebuilding the entire trike and then joining in with the Suntrip team in Lyon from last thursday. The combination of getting our own setup thoroughly rebuilt and tested / vetted while also helping out with the Suntrip crew to install the logging databoxes on each bike has meant zero time at all to keep friends at home up to speed.

Official race departure from Charmonix starts in 4 hours so I'm going to just upload some photos in a pinch that might shed some light.

Here's the entire crew of suntrip riders and "friends of the suntrip" who have solar bikes from previous years and want to show support for the event by joining in for a few days.
EpicSolarRoofs.jpg
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The bikes and trikes are built in many flavours, some looking really refined and slick:
TrikeInspections.jpg
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Others totally and wonderfully homemade from scratch,
SpaceFrame.jpg
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There were large media events both in Lyon at the departure and here in Charmonix, and actually quite a few ES lurkers and active posters showed up to say hi which was awesome. That includes Silicium who posted earlier, and made-in-the-alps even showed up with several kilos of swiss chocolate which made AnSo's day. At the rate of caloric burning we'll be going through in the coming mountain climbs, this won't last long:
MadeInAlps.jpg
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We had our first mechanical failure on the first significant leg out of Lyon. There was a 1000 meter climb which was going well when suddenly the string on the rowing rig wouldn't pull back. The freewheel mechanism on the crank coupling was rough and on opening it up later we found the culprit, one of the spings holding a pair of pawls in place had snapped and was getting jammed. We pulled these out and it spins fine now, with just 4 of the 6 pawls in place to keep things rolling.
FreewheelPawls.jpg
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Luckily this wasn't an early showstopper and we were able to continue the camping/riding routine with the team.
SolarCamping.jpg
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Others had other early issues to iron out, and it was wise of the organizers to have so many large climbs on the initial group ride. Here's what happens when you have 80 phase amps flowing through a motor with just a single set of andersons on them for a 1000 meter climb.
WasAndersons.jpg
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It's the kind of setup that in normal use would hold up fine, but these more exceptional loads it pushes beyond the limit. Luckily for this rider the electrical connection stayed in tact and he was able use the motor all the way to the campsite. And I had a ton of short spare lengths of silicone wire with andersons on them from trimming my LiGo battery leads down which made it easy to double the connectors up for the rest of the trip.
BetterAndersons.jpg
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The next big leg was getting from this campsite above to the departure down of Charmonix. On the maps it was only like 110-120km. Mix of sun and cloud. Should be no problem. And for the first 60km it was just like that. We had negative net watt-hours / km at the midpoint, so we couldn't use up the solar energy as fast as it was coming in. It was just the weirdest thing to be riding for hours and hours and see the battery voltage gradually climb the entire while. And a bit annoying too, as there were periods when our regen current was limited by the batteries being fully charged and so we had to resort to mechanical braking (ugg!)

But the 2nd half was a totally different. Thick clouds and evening brought the solar production down to 60-100 watts, and then google maps cycle route suggestions threw us down all kinds of ridiculous paths and effective dead ends. On one of these we hit a diagonal ledge on a trail and flipped the trike on it's side.
FirstWipeout.jpg
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AnSo broke a fingernail but that's it. The roof and trike structure held up pretty well, still lots of cursing.

The predicted cycle route was basically mountain bike paths. The only paved roads into Charmonix from this direction went up an extra 600 meters more elevation than we were expecting, and our batteries were already down to about 30% charge levels. We had to limit the motor power to 200 watts while climbing a double digit grade as night was falling. I was rowing on the back like we in a river current about to take us over a waterfall. Have not worked my arms like that ever before I don't think.

Our conservation budget was pretty precise though. Battery was at 30 volts when we reached the summit
Dang Vaudagn.jpg
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We got a fair bit of regen on the way down and then milked that the remaining 10km to the hostel in Charmonix. The battery BMS tripped completely exactly 200m before we got there. And oh my did arriving feel good:
Jesus.jpg
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Previously competed in the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver learning to be a dad with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with GMAC 10T rear hub motor, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah EM3EV pack
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Cowardlyduck » Jun 19 2018 1:38am

WOW! An epic adventure and your only just getting started. I'm guessing you will have many more times where you are glad you packed so many spare parts!

Very interesting to see you able to have negative power draw. I bet you wish you could carry more batteries!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by guelao78 » Jun 19 2018 2:09am

Hi Justin,
I'm the one that brought you two those two small chocolates in AnSo's right hand. Yesterday, going back home to Switzerland through the 'Cold de la Forclaz' at around noon (by car...), I realized there's practically no shadows on the road (like >95% sun on the road). On the other hand, it's quite a climb. Good luck and all the best! Enjoy!
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by e-beach » Jun 19 2018 9:16pm

Yep, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. However you are going to be a better man from the experience. Besides, the every day workout will get you in such good shape that at the end of it you will be ready and wanting a lot more of it.

Wishing you both the best of adventures on this trip!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Limezy » Jun 20 2018 2:14am

Hi Justin,
Thanks for this great insight !
This solar race is really crazy, the only thing I regret is the lack of information we get from the runners !

If you have time, I would be very interested to know how you (and more generally speaking other suntripers including the best performers such as Bernard Cauqil, Eric Morel...) manage the routing process ?

I believe it has a great impact on the overall performances. At your high travelling speeds, a small mistake of 4-5 hours can lead to hundreds of kilometers losts on competitors ! Also, the road choosen has to be the result of a very complex mix : less kilometers, more sun, less vertical drop, big and flat road vs small but harsh path, risk taken on the mechanics... Please tell us more !

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by liveforphysics » Jun 20 2018 3:48am

Congratulations my friend and I wish you well on all future adventures in the trip!!
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by StuRat » Jun 20 2018 6:29am

If you two are still engaged after a month of this, then your marriage will survive anything!!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by silicium » Jun 20 2018 7:53am

Hello Justin et AnSo !
J'ai été très heureux de pouvoir discuter un peu avec toi à Lyon !
Il est sur que cette aventure aura plein de petites difficultées qu'il faudra surmonter !
Tu as les ressources pour cela et je suis sur que ce voyage va être un super souvenir pour tout les deux !
La photo avec le trike renversée est superbe... heureusement sans casse !
Très bon voyage pleins d'imprévus !

I was very happy to be able to talk a little with you in Lyon!
He is sure that this adventure will have many small difficulties that will have to overcome!
You have the resources for that and I'm sure this trip will be a great memory for both!
The photo with the inverted trike is superb ... fortunately without breaking!
Very good trip full of unforeseen!
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by quantumcloud509 » Jun 20 2018 11:16am

Great story line! Youre doing AWESOME!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 20 2018 12:53pm

Not sure if this link was posted or not. It wasn't an obvious find from the Sun Trip website.

http://race.thesuntrip.com/en/
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by StuRat » Jun 20 2018 5:39pm

wturber wrote:
Jun 20 2018 12:53pm
Not sure if this link was posted or not. It wasn't an obvious find from the Sun Trip website.

http://race.thesuntrip.com/en/
That live map is awesome!
Looks like they are in fourth place within the group taking the southern route.

Are you camping Justin? Or hostels?
Looks like you're in a park for the night??

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by usertogo » Jun 20 2018 5:53pm

That offer to take on the race from Iran onwards is tempting, but the visa processing alone for all the countries from there to China will probably not be so trivial? Its really sad to think you should not be able to do the entire race yourself because I think you have an a very good chance to make it and probably as the first of the trikes...
In the graph of the progress of today Justin and Anne are the fourth position on the southern route the symbol just past Bergamo heading to the smaller lake (Lago d' Iseo). The graph is from: http://www.sat-view.fr/interface/interf ... 18&map=osm
SuntripState2018-06-20at21h33mEST.jpg
SuntripState2018-06-20at21h33mEST.jpg (177.96 KiB) Viewed 2072 times
Last edited by usertogo on Jun 20 2018 6:00pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 20 2018 5:58pm

StuRat wrote:
Jun 20 2018 5:39pm

Are you camping Justin? Or hostels?
Looks like you're in a park for the night??
If the coordinates are accurate, they are camping here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.6771066 ... 312!8i6656

... across the street from a very nice restaurant.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
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viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by StuRat » Jun 20 2018 6:46pm

They will be in first place soon... those three bikes in front of them are going the wrong way! :mrgreen:

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 21 2018 3:08am

Its hard to tell quite what is happening because the map appears to be updated in fits and spurts. But it looks like they may have stopped to do some shopping.

https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5890356 ... 312!8i6656
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by usertogo » Jun 21 2018 4:36am

I thought the southern racers would automagically count with better weather, but while the temperatures are going down and its going to be very overcast in both routes the southern racers will apparently be washed down tomorrow! The northern scheme seems to be follow the river (Isar and then Danube) in the south they will be crossing many smaller flows between Venice and Trieste, then they will have to stay close to the coast because there is a quite mountainous region between Italy and Slovenia... This is all quite exciting!
Screenshot_2018-06-21-11-31-28SunTrip.jpg
Forecast North and South Race
Last edited by usertogo on Jun 21 2018 5:04am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by StuRat » Jun 21 2018 5:02am

Anyone know how to integrate an altitude graph to the live map so we can see what the terrain is like?

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by usertogo » Jun 21 2018 6:25am

StuRat wrote:
Jun 21 2018 5:02am
Anyone know how to integrate an altitude graph to the live map so we can see what the terrain is like?
Yes that would be so nice - I always look for the rivers... I just notice if you can trust the wind vectors on the graph I posted than that explains why Hulle is flying!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 21 2018 9:59am

StuRat wrote:
Jun 21 2018 5:02am
Anyone know how to integrate an altitude graph to the live map so we can see what the terrain is like?
I've been saving off coordinates off and on when I drop in and peek at their progress. I've then plugged those into Google Maps and it creates "directions" along roads. These may not be the exactly correct roads that they are using, but I'm guessing they are close. You should be able to get altitude info from Google Maps. Gotta head out now so I can't check myself. Here's the map of the last four coordinates. It looks like they are heading into mountains now.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/45.6771 ... e0!5m1!1e4
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by solarEbike » Jun 21 2018 12:27pm

StuRat wrote:
Jun 21 2018 5:02am
Anyone know how to integrate an altitude graph to the live map so we can see what the terrain is like?
How about this? Includes total elevation gain/loss, min/max, etc. You can examine any point along the elevation profile to get a rough slope number and the red arrow shows the location on the map.

Showing-elevation-profile-in-Google-Earth-desktop-using-KML-file.jpg

And here's Raf for comparison:

Raf.jpg

The waypoints in the KML file export don't include elevation data so the elevation shown above is only as good as the Google Maps digital elevation model (DEM). Take it with a grain of salt.
waypoints in KML file without elevation data.png
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Please try this at home!
  1. Get on a Windows, Mac or Linux desktop and download Google Earth. It's free. To my knowledge, the web, iOS and Android version of Google Earth don't have the elevation profile feature we'll be using.
  2. Go to race.thesuntrip.com
  3. Click the chain icon next to your favorite participant and copy KML file link. Justin and AnSo are http://www.sat-view.fr/comptes/suntrip2 ... 17_c24.kml
    KML export file link.png
    KML export file link.png (42.54 KiB) Viewed 1944 times
  4. Open Google Earth and select Add > Network link as shown here. If you don't set the Refresh settings, you will only see the current track but will not get any updates. Set the refresh rate to once every 10 minutes or once every hour. Any shorter time interval will just result in the server getting hammered and ruining the experience for everyone so please be considerate.
    Add_network_link.png
    Add_network_link.png (61.06 KiB) Viewed 1944 times
  5. You should now see your new network link in the Places sidebar on the left. Click the little triangle to expand and find the path icon: three little purple diamonds and no text label. Right-click this icon and select Show Elevation Profile.
    Show elevation profile.png
    Show elevation profile.png (62.77 KiB) Viewed 1944 times
  6. Profit!

Google Earth should poll the KML file link for new data on schedule you've set. I find the official map interface to be a sub-optimal experience in terms of load time and app freezing, not to mention that horrid banner ad blocking half my screen on my smartphone so this might prove to be a major upgrade. You will have to import each participant individually but at least Google Earth will remember your settings if you like to turn some of them off. (To reduce visual clutter, of course. I love all The Sun Trip participants equally.)


I was also able to do this on iOS using Gaia GPS:
Gaia GPS on iOS.jpg
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