Doug is finally able to wrestle some time in his hectic life to take V-Boost to the next level. This blog will follow the development.
April 08 - "Away" preparing to adapt, now coming back to V-Boost
Over the past 6 months I have continued to use my Prius PHEV V-Boost system (to the extent possible in the cold and seemingly endless winter that we just had in Montreal), and solved with the kind help of Norm of Hybrid Interfaces, some electrical noise interference problems with the CANview V3 system that I use for control and display. During this time, I have been pulled away from further development of the V-Boost by other projects and concerns. Chief among them has been the situation Mike referred to in his recent home page update (Is it too late?): Peak oil and the accompanying and inter-related problems of food scarcity, climate change, peak water, peak soil, peak phosphate .... "The Long Emergency" as James Kunstler wrote, or "Peak Everything", as discussed by Richard Heinberg. I felt I had to put some time and borrowed money into some preparations, researching, printing and filing in binders, reading, learning, trying, and acquiring useful supplies and tools. I now feel better informed and able to understand and face the challenging times ahead, and ready to return to working on the V-Boost project.
As to Mike's Question: "Is it too late?" YES, so far as maintaining and living in the world of abundance as we have known it, for much longer. I think that we have already started a process of collapse, as those who have been personally effected already can attest. We have been living in a "Golden Age" lasting only about ten years out of thousands of years of human civilization. Imagine that! For this brief instant in time, we are fortunate to have in the developed world, plenty of food to eat at a cost of typically less than 20% of our income, the equivalent of hundreds of "energy slaves" to do our work, computers, communications and entertainment devices at low cost that were the dreams of science fiction just 30 years ago, the internet where we can see, read, learn and order (for delivery a day or two later by Fed Ex or UPS), any of these above mentioned wonders and almost anything we need or want at low cost. And still we have the ability to hop in a Prius or Insight and travel hundreds of miles on vacation for about the same fuel cost as back in the 60's, (in terms of hours worked to pay for the smaller amount of fuel used at higher MPG), in more comfort, and generally with cleaner air on better roads, and with no worries of fuel availability or line-ups like in the 70's. But I fear, not for much longer. Basics, like food and water are going to demand our attention and effort, as you may have noticed in the news in many areas of the world. In addition to the physical and natural world, even the financial sphere is no longer what it was just a year ago, and impacting elsewhere.
NO, its not too late to adapt and take action to mitigate the effects for us and those close to us. Enjoy and appreciate what we have and can do now; learn and prepare for tomorrow. But hurry, because shortages and the deterioration of our super efficient (but not redundant or robust or well maintained) systems will start to impact our ability to do what we could do, buy or build easily, just a year or two before.
Below are some web sites for information that I have been reading and saving for reference, that you may find helpful:
For a good introduction to Peak Oil and its consequences: Life After the Oil Crash site: Main page: LATOC website
Survival Acres site: This was my source for some Mountain House freeze dried food, where I bought my Country Living grain mill and where I have found lots of good articles and blogs: Survival Acres
This is a direct link to his blogs: Survival Acres blog Scroll down and check out the March 3 "Warning to the World" for a good summary:
a good source of all kinds of preparation and survival info: Survivalblog
Also, I recommend Rawles' graphic and detailed novel: "Patriots" for information about working in a group to prepare, build and defend a retreat, to survive hungry and desperate times. It seems very heavy on guns and violence to my (Canadian) experience, but that might be the way it will be, and better to be facing and considering it first in the pages of a book.
James Kunstler: Kunstlers blog Check out his Blog every Monday, and there are also lots of recent ones worth reading
My first EV project was a 1980 Kawasaki 250 converted to electric over the winter of 2001-2002, using an E-tek motor. Due to extensive use of plastic from cut-up Rubbermaid Roughneck storage containers, it was nicknamed "The Rubberneck" on its EV Album posting. By the spring of 2002 I was experimenting with building a compact generator to make this in to a hybrid (my first "plug-in hybrid"!). This led me to an association with eCycle, starting from using their compact and efficient MG series brushless DC motors to make a DC generator at the battery pack voltage. By June this hybrid EV motorbike existed no more, put back to its original gasoline configuration. Why? I had advised the SAAQ (DMV of Quebec province) that I had converted the bike to electric. They responded that I must get it inspected. I would soon bring a Skoda electric car I had bought in Ontario, in for inspection at the same place (required as being an out-of-province used vehicle) and I was concerned that some home-made aspects of the bike, (like the brake pedal made of bent threaded rod, to make room for a battery, and a frying pan used as a chain guard), would cause the inspector to be leery of me and the Skoda car and give me a hard time. Also, since I had recently bought a Honda 400 in order to convert it to a better electric motorcycle, I decided to end the short but fun life of the Rubberneck electic.