I ride into the small town of Bracketville, tired, damp, needing to charge. Older towns with older facilities- especially brick ones- can present a little charging challenge. But I find a park with outlets and plug in. The batteries began to charge but at a very slow rate. Why?
Can’t focus- frustration builds: Light rain is falling. Chigger and mosquito bites itch all over, especially where I can’t scratch in public. Mosquitoes swarm me when I stop. I am damp and flypaper sticky and my tent is soaked. I smell skanky. I’m hungry. My bike’s tires and wheels have been problematic. Fixed now? Maybe, maybe not. I want a fast charge, my bike charges slowly. Why? Another annoyance. What to do?
I call my friend Mike. “Mike, I am thinking about renting a van and coming home and repairing and starting agin. But I am afraid that if I come home I may not start again.”
Mike has good advice. “Shawn, find a hotel room. Rest for a few days. Eat a lot of good food, drink three beers and call me in the morning.”
I don’t want to hear it, I want to come home. I want this trip to end now. But I called for advise and I got it. I follow it.
I find a campsite just a few miles away in Fort Clark. I take a hot shower. dry my tent, and start feeling better. I have a hobby room to work in, a pavillion to camp in, a kitchen to cook in, and people to talk to. Diane the manager brings me Skin So Soft and Anti Itch cream. OMG, what a relief.
Relaxing, I begin work on the battery problem. The BMS is shutting off because the battery is not balanced properly, several cells are too high. I wire it in parallel to balance it, all indoors with AC!
I use the DPDT switches in front to wire BMS bypasses. If they start acting up, like not accepting a charge, or not letting current flow when it is fully charged, I can bypass those little troublemakers.
I look for better ways to avoid BMS’s, devise three wiring schemes, then hit apon a way to ditch the BMS and use a hobby charger. It will simplify the pack and give me better control over charging. But to do it elegantly I will need my shop with all it’s resources.
I’ve told myself many times over the last few weeks that this is what this trip is about; to see what breaks and figure out how to build it better.
I’m about halfway through the first of the four tiers. I have to pay my dues. I may be one day away from a month of trouble free joyous cycling.
It’s adventure, not Disneyland.