Last minute addition, an extra gas tank for generator

Primm, NV – Today was relatively easy day, sort of lull before the storm. DARPA rehearsed the launching of bots. The first bot launches at 6:30am Pacific time on Saturday. Subsequent bots are expected to be launched five minutes apart. CB will be launched close to the end, between 8:10 – 8:30am. It could be later if there are any delays or complications in launching.Since there was not much planned today, the day was going pretty slow. Majority of the activities were related to media people interviewing and taking pictures. Scott was interviewed by NBC, and will likely be on the national news tomorrow (Saturday). Wise Man Daro and Scott were interviewed by BBC Radio, for a live broadcast. Pablo interviewed by Toms Hardware. And there was New York Times, German news, Road Trip America, and whole gamut of others milling around.

In this lean time, someone, I do not know who, started a test to see how long our generator could run on a full tank. We are using a Honda EU 2000 generator to produce power for the computers, electronics, and sensors. When the generator dies, the system dies as well, within 45 minutes, the time needed to use up the UPS power.

Turns out the generator could run for only 7.5 hours, or something like that. This was not good news. It essentially meant even if everything behaved perfectly, CB would run out of power and stop before reaching the finishing line.

Finally, there was some energy in the team pit, an area in the parking lot behind Buffalo Bill’s. Someone, in all likelihood Adrian, came up with the idea of yanking the gas tank from an old generator, that recently died on us, and attaching that tank to the existing generator.

In no time the old generator was ripped apart and its gas tank taken out.

Next question. How and where do you mount this additional tank?

There were all kinds of solution floating around, when the Wise Man Daro spoke. He had a crazy, but brilliant solution rooted in Nigerian principles of fastening. His idea was to wrap the gas tank in snow fencing, which we have plenty of, and tie it to the frame of CB. (Snow fencing is large sheet of plastic with holes. It is orange in color.)

In no time, Adrian (or was it Joshua, no I am sure it was Adrian, though I prefer to credit Joshua, but will not this time) and Murali had wrapped up the tank in snow fencing, mounted it on CBs frame with zip ties, and connected its outlet tube into the input cap of the generator.

Now we believe CB has power to run for at least 15 hours, sufficient time to finish the track, if all else holds together.

– Arun Lakhotia

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