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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Leeming SHS: Leeming Car Keeps Solaring.

What a sensational couple of days. After starting at 8 AM Thur after waiting for other solar cars still under solar power the Hammerhead headed from Alice. After a nervous start with the controller having a little hiccup on the start line the car starts to behave.

We cruise out of Alice a little tentatively but as the day progresses the car keeps going without showing any signs of fault. We have enough Telemetry to know what we are putting to the road but rely on the driver to relay current output from the array. We discover that on a good flat surface the car can travel at about 55kph on solar power alone. We are all pleased.

Toward the end of Thursday we have travelled approx 406km but batteries are low. We camp 45km north of Marla and charge the batteries. Willetton are just down the road but are having battery and array issues. They say they can manage about 70km per day. The Esteban team from Canada drop into the camp and we assist them to pump up tyres they too are having problems and say that they restarted from Alice too. I mention that we are ahead of them. The laugh and wish us well.

Friday morning a few of us drive to Marla to pump up the motor wheel. We can't get the bead to seat with our small pump. We head off 40 min late after serving a short time penalty for stopping late the previous evening.

The day progresses well, the car performs beautifully under the near perfect conditions. We targeted 275km to get to Coober Pedy. We have a forced half hour stop at Cadney Control stop and an unscheduled 18 min stop to change a tyre on the troopy and to repair the windscreen which was dislodged by the windblast from a large oncoming truck. Tom said the experience was interesting!

We pass Coober Pedy at 3PM and decide to drain the Batteries by going hard and then choosing to stop and charge. The car continues to travel exceptionally well and beyond expectations and we manage another 57 km beyond our Target Coober Pedy. We stop at 4:10pm and charge till dusk.

Meanwhile support has head for accommodation at Coober Pedy and when the car crew returns we head out for pizza which I highly recommend.

Targets reached:

Two Full days of Solaring.

Ahead of 2005 total.

Solaring complete distant between two control stops.

Cheers for now

John Beattie