Sunday, September 16, 2012

Atascadero to Solvang

(Apologies for these late entries - My main internet access tool, my phone died and was not resuscitated until near the finish). I will supply more pictures later. Atascadero to Solvang saw a big shift in my mileage and cost. The day warmed up and the Solvang charger was a fee based charger. The temperature when I arrived in Atascadero was 55 degrees. When I left after the charging was completed, it was up to 74. This is when I started using a truck to part the air for me (but not really going for a draft where I would be dangerously riding the truck's bumper), but following at a comfortable distance. This shot up my mileage efficiency from 3.4 kWh per mile to 3.5 kWh to 5.0 kWh per mile.The range estimator shot up my range from 85 to 90 miles to 130 miles. When I arrived in Solvang with 38% state of charge remaining, this meant less than a 4 hour charge I originally estimated.
This was helpful to drop my overall energy usage. Solvang charges $1.25/hr and I would up using $3.57 worth of electricity. With the tourist trade abundant in Solvang, the car received its most attention while on route. I was surprised how many Europeans were in Solvang too, but they all had great questions. Solvang had plenty of restaurants and gift shops, but lacked the modern amenities in the other stops. E.g. when I saw a bunch of freshly adobe painted stucco structures in Atascadero, I knew a Starbucks must be near (which there was) within 2 blocks of the Rabobank charger.In Solvang, there were no Starbucks, or chain stores, so it would be hit or miss to find a store that offered WiFi. I did use a  WiFi hunting application on my Kindle Fire to find a provider and was able to use for a little while, but then one of my biggest issues of the trip occurred, my phone died.
There are two issues that I have with my Android phone (or as I call it, my German iPhone Nein) is that some OS/App updates make once good applications into poor applications. The other is there is no warning when you have applications drawing more power than they are producing. SO even though I had my phone on a USB connection to the car to draw power, it was not really net charging and the phone eventually quit. With my Droid Bionic, once you have gone into a full depletion, it is just about impossible to get it to build up enough of a charge to start without an AC wall plug connection, so the only internet device I had with a full charge was my Kindle Fire, that only really worked with a WiFi connection. Also apps are limited on this device since it is pretty much controlled by Amazon, so my ability to do much to verify my next charger in Thousand Oaks would be an issue.

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