Follow Impulse’s Journey through Australia!

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Hi, this is Devan, checking in from the exotic city of … Berkeley, California. Not everyone in CalSol is off exploring the land down under. CalSol members back at home are excitedly following updates from the Australia crew as they come in. There’s just one thing – I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly well versed with Australia’s geography. To help put things in perspective, we’ll be maintaining a KML overlay for Google Maps with the location of each blog post.

If you click on the highlighted route, it’ll take you to the corresponding blog post for that leg of the journey. We’ll also be updating Impulse’s position every morning so that you can see how far they’ve traveled.

Day 4: The Aussies Say – Drowsy Drivers Die

Australia has some very interesting signs.

Hi all, this is Jessica! We have finally arrived in Adelaide and acquired a driving permit for Impulse.  Thank you South Australia Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure for making this process so smooth and painless!

After having a comfortable night sleeping in Captain BlueBear, Marc and I continued driving towards South Australia (SA) for our driving-permit-acquisition mission.  We left at around 7am this morning and Marc drove nonstop for two hours until we arrived in Bordertown, SA where we stopped to have a little stretch break.

Day 3: Sleeping in the Belly of a Bear

Jessica Driving Captain BlueBear

Quick update from Jessica and Marc here.

We took Captain BlueBear (aka the blue VW Golf Wagon TDI) and headed out towards South Australia intending to get Impulse registered to drive on SA roads and scouting out the drive to Adelaide for the rest of the team.

Day 2: It’s Raining Cars (and Water too)

Captain BlueBear aka VW Golf Wagon

Just a quick update from the land across the sea. We had an extremely eventful day today. First, we picked up the awesome caravan of vehicles provided to us by Volkswagen. These included a Amarok Ultimate with 4 Motion(4WD), a TDI320 Caddy Maxi Life with 4 Motion, a second TDI320 Caddy Maxi Life, a T5 Crewvan LWB 2.0 TDI, and finally (my personal favorite) a blue Golf Wagon 103TDI DSG. Look forward to a more detailed post about the vehicles later, but for now all I will say are that these cars are amazing. Through-out the day they perfectly filled our needs, be it towing a trailer or carrying a huge load of supplies from Costco, and were a lot of fun to drive.

New Technology in a New Decade

We are very pleased to announce that Toshiba is back on our sponsor list in this exciting decade of CalSol!

Toshiba once donated a wonderful desktop back in the late 90’s that we used heavily to CAD our mechanical parts. This time, Toshiba has generously given us two ultralight Portege laptops, two THRiVE tablets, and a pair of rugged, waterproof Camileo BW10 camcorders to take Down Under. Toshiba has also equipped us with two DX120-ST4N23 All-in-Ones desktops to keep at our work station for CADing, PCB routing, media editing, or anything you can possibly think of! In addition to all the wonderful electronics aforementioned, Toshiba has given us a ton of accessories to go with all these exciting devices and a couple portable external hard drives(Canvio 3.0) to backup files on. I am currently typing up this blog on one of the fabulous Portege laptops; it is so light, so fast, and so powerful! We have installed most of our programs and have been testing out the computers; they have been so great! We simply cannot wait to use these babies on the road!

Here at CalSol, we would like to offer our most sincere gratitude and warmest welcome to our newest Gold Sponsor—thank you so much for your support and welcome aboard!

Day 1: The Team Has Arrived in the Wondrous Oz!

G’day mates! Today, on 9/27, the team has finally gathered up in Melbourne and is ready to begin our month-long adventure in this strange continent called Australia. Despite all the hard work we have put into logistics this past whole month, there are still many details that need to be figured out. As we are slowly getting acquainted with this new country and new culture, we are not forgetting our friends back in the States and we would like to pop in and say a quick hello (Hello!).

Safety First!

As our members get ready to leave for Australia, we are making final preparations to ensure that the team will be safe during the trip. Thanks to help from our partners at Fastenal, our friends at the RFS, Carlos Miller (a bay-area firefighter), and UC Berkeley’s EH&S, we have our bases covered.

CalSol wants HAM!*

Like the voracious, magical semi-human fish creature from Disney’s Ponyo, CalSol loves HAM. No I am not talking about the meat product from a pig’s leg, I am talking about Amateur Radio. For those unfamiliar with it , Amateur Radio, aka Ham radio, is the use of various forms of radio communications(voice, image, text and data) over a wide range of frequencies by licensed operators for recreational and educational purposes(Feel free to check out the wikipedia page on the subject for more info). To put it in perspective, Ham radio is similar to CB radio just like a smart phone is similar to the cell-phone brick you used to carry around in the 90s.

Accelerating Sustainable Performance Summit

Accelerating Sustainable Performance 2011
Accelerating Sustainable Performance 2011

Green energy and competition collide at Infineon Raceway. We had the honor of attending Accelerating Sustainable Performance 2011, “A Summit for Industry Leaders in Sustainability and Performance”. The day-long event featured speakers from the racing industry, advocates for green energy, and representatives from corporations who share a common goal of making the racing industry sustainable while pushing the limits of vehicle technology. You may think that NASCAR racing and alternative energy come from industries that don’t mix, but this forum showed that we can push the limits and keep it green too. From energy generation, storage, and distribution to marketing and policy, the conversation traversed the entire entire spectrum of energy sustainability.