Day 7: The Loooooonnngggg Weekend

Rafael working on BMS with our new, awesome Toshiba laptop

Hi all,

Thank you parents, friends, and strangers for giving us so much positive feedback and support in the past few days!  We will keep up with the blogging as much as we can, and we are going to seriously miss internet so much after we head into the Outback…

We have been working on Impulse since we arrived.  There is lots of work that needs to be done, and the team is not wasting any time. We have also decided to stay in Port Augusta for the next two days to concentrate on getting the car up and running with the new system.

Day 6: Horde of (Happy) Fools

G’day mates,

CalSol with Vern from Rangeview Caravan Park

Last night in Port Pirie, we stayed at the Rangeview Caravan Park.  The owner Vern was very kind to us; besides offering us a discount for the night and letting us check out late (for us to work on getting Impulse ready for the road), he is also storing our huge fiber glass loading ramps for us! We used the ramps to load up our container back in the States (donated by the guys at the RFS), and because we were not sure on how the (un)loading process would be here in Australia, we brought them over as well.   They have been very difficult to drag around mainly because they are huge and not very flat, not to mention they are heavy and worsen the fuel economy of the Amarok. We are so grateful for Vern’s help and accommodation; thank you Vern and Rangeview Caravan Park!!

Day 5: Here Comes the Sun…and Outback

Here Comes the Sun

Hiya, it’s Marc and Jessica again!

It seems like the team hasn’t had very good internet connection since we have been the only ones posting.  After separating from the rest of the team for three days, we have finally reunited today in Adelaide and are now resting together up by Port Pirie.

The weather was touch and go for most of the day, full of a mix of hit-and-run rain showers, sunshine, and of course our personal favorite, sunshine-showers.  We were getting a bit frustrated, with having to flick our windshield wipers on-and-off every couple of minutes as we leaped frogged from rain patch to rain patch, but fortunately for us Captain BlueBear had a trick up his sleeve. Our Volkswagen vehicles have this nice feature which detects water on the windshield and will automatically trigger the wiping mode to clear it off. It even will vary the rate to match the quanity of water being deposited (Win!).

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.

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!).

Bon Voyage, Impulse

Ed wrapping things up in the container
The container is all packed!

This Thursday, 8/25, Impulse will be officially sailing across the Pacific Ocean to the other side of the world.  In the past couple days, we have been dealing with logistical nightmares and trying to coordinate packing, loading and all that jazz.  We are very relieved to say that as of this morning on 8/23, Impulse has successfully taken off to the Oakland port and been ready for Australia!

Fundraising $34,000 for 2011 World Solar Challenge

http://calsol.berkeley.edu/donate

As WSC fast approaching and Impulse being completed, we are now shifting our focus.  In order to participate in the competition while keeping our team out of the red, CalSol would like to ask for your support and help us raise $34,000 to cover the cost of the race.

CalSol Visits ERL

Team talking to ERL employees about Impulse

July 12th was a very exciting day for CalSol in many ways.  Since we were coming down to the Peninsula to wrap up our registration, we decided to swing by Belmont to visit our awesome platinum sponsor, Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab!

We Got a License Plate!

As of yesterday, July 12, Impulse is now legally registered with the DMV!  How exciting!  In this picture, you can sort of see the VIN sticker that CHP issued us yesterday too!

Here I would like to especially thank Redwood City CHP for making the registration process quick and painless.  With the sparkling new license plate, it won’t take long to see Impulse on the public road!  It will also help us finalize our shipping logistics soon.  More exciting updates to come, stay tuned!