and a little bit further now

I found a spot further down the road that was ~9000 so I broke camp and moved to the Gunnison San Isabel national forest.

Tall conifers make solar harvest challenging even when it isn’t raining as it is now.

choosing a spot in the forest

The best spot I could find is bifurcated by a line of trees. This means partial shade either in the morning or in the evening. Since lead-chemistry charging demands are heavy in the morning and light in the afternoon I opted for afternoon shade.

One of the benefits of lithium would be not having to think about this; Li charging can happen in drips and drabs, and it can be left at partial state of charge with no ill effect. I am not seriously thinking about Li but I am doing the reading. My flooded GC2 are on day 1,075 and still working well so it would be wasteful to discard them even if I had the money for Li (which I don’t). I think 100Ah would be sufficient for my needs and for my load sizing.

Contenders, if I did happen to find money on the ground:

  • SOK 100Ah - cold temp shutoff, ~$650 shipped. BMS and cells easily accessible and serviced. Will Prowse really likes this one, and drives most of the stock shortages. :-)
  • Ampere Time 100Ah - no cold shutoff., ~$460 shipped. Teardowns look good but not as easily serviced as SOK; case must be destructively opened.
  • Battle Born 100Ah if I win the lottery. ~$950.

I’d set both on warming mats and insulate the sides. The AT’s lack of serviceability isn’t that big a deal. I tend to use my stuff like I want it to last, and lithium responds well to that. Tear it up if there’s a failure and rebuild in a case like a regular DIY pack.

Why not DIY in the beginning? Most of the savings is up near the 300Ah range, and I don’t need that. Building a DIY 100Ah would cost me about as much as the Ampere Time.

If I replace them with flooded the best bang-for-buck appears to be Crown FLA CG2. Trojan’s carbon-doped RE T105s would cost more but might fare better with solar-only charging.

Luckily this isn’t a call I have to make right now, as the existing Duracell (East Penn) GT2 are still meeting my needs.

breakfast and a snack

turkey sausage burritos slow-cooked shortbread

Cooked down 1lb of manager’s special turkey sausage on the Dragonfly then threw in a half-dozen eggs. Wrapped them up in tortillas and added a stripe of Valentina. I forgot I have cheese; will use that will the leftovers tomorrow.

Started a batch of shortbread. Good news: I remembered to set out the butter so it would be softer. Bad news: clouds blew in while I was prepping. Solar harvest was compromised so I cooked them for 3 hours on LO instead of 1.5 hours on HI. Not as good, texture-wise, but edible.


My package came in and I have until the 14th to pick it up. I’m going to drag my feet a bit to give temps a chance to drop a bit more if possible.


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