I knew having two electric-powered vehicles in the garage would initially present some charging problems. We have a garage fridge and an air compressor that already like to trip the circuit breaker when both are running full-tilt. Charging two vehicles from that same 120V circuit was going to be tricky.

Offset Charging Schedules

Until we could add a dedicated 240V circuit, the first thing I did was set charging schedules for both vehicles. I set the Bolt to charge from Midnight to 4PM. Because I work from home, I tend to drive my car (usually to rehearsal) after work.

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We had a 1:24 scale Christmas last year, which was fun to set up under the tree. While the SCX24 RC crawler is small, the G-scale trains are decidedly big once you factor in the layout. Iโ€™ve always loved model trains and had a layout as a kid, but in my home it would be impossible to dedicate a room to model trains. Why not go outside? Large scale trains are popular for garden railways, and I had a section of yard that was completely unused. But it wonโ€™t be for just trains โ€“ I want it to be a multi-modal play area: trains, crawlers, maybe even a landing pad for an RC helicopter ๐Ÿš‚๐Ÿš™๐Ÿš This site isnโ€™t transforming into a model railroad blog (at least not permanently), but the next few posts will be about the train setup as groundwork before the crawler course is installed. Hopefully you can enjoy it all under the guise of RC and Trail & Scale ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Garden Bed & Trains

For the area, I purchased some Vita 4โ€™x4โ€™x11โ€ณ vinyl garden beds from Costco. They came as a 2-pack that you can combine to make a 8โ€™x8โ€ฒ area. I bought two of those packs which let me combine them to make a 12โ€™x20โ€ฒ area. Before I did any digging, I loosely fit the vinyl bed parts together in the yard to make sure I knew that the space would be appropriate
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There’s a terrible article from the Detroit Free Press making its rounds – claiming to be a “study” comparing EV charging costs to gas costs. It has been picked up by USA Today and other news outlets. There have also been several rebuttals, most notably one from Car and Driver.

I took a road trip earlier this year in my new Chevy Bolt. While it’s not a study, I hope you’ll find my personal story and anecdotal evidence compelling.

TL;DR? I drove from Minneapolis to Chicago and back, and it cost me $45.90 in energy for the whole trip.

  1. $11.15 – Tomah, WI
  2. $14.62 – Rockford, IL
  3. $5 – Hotel
  4. $9.31 – Madison, WI
  5. $5.82 – Eau Claire, WI

Here are all of the details…

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I was really getting to love my Fitbit Charge 4. It ticked all the boxes I needed:

All seemed great, until it wasn’t. I did a ride with a friend in April and it inexplicably dropped GPS signal after 5 miles.

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned
My Fitbit stopped recording for some reason (said it lost GPS signal ๐Ÿ˜–). Actually went 16 miles, see https://www.strava.com/activities/5186103344 We went down Chicago to 38th. Continued south on Chicago then east on 46th to Sift. Then took the creek trail back to the river, then back the way we came.
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My wife bought a pontoon this summer and while I’m not an avid angler, it has given us more opportunities to go fishing. If you’re out on the lake, why not drop a line in? ๐ŸŽฃ

I’m normally one of those guys that buys the waterproof lake map to keep in the boat:

From an eBay Listing

These Minnesota-made lakemaps are no longer produced and considered “vintage” – but you can still get them at bait shops around the state. What about something a little more high tech, but not too expensive? I went to eBay looking for an old multi-mode Garmin GPS and got a nรผvi 500 that has modes for driving, hiking, biking and boating.

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