Day 40? Was that a tumbleweed?

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates recently… Work got in the way, and then school again. We have done some stuff though even though there hasn’t been any updates – I’ll try and cover everything.

First off, we’ve taken it for some more test drives and fixed some of the kinks, the major improvement we’ve added is an actual gas pedal. Ian got a bit fancy and created his own accelerator using a 1K potentiometer and some careful calculations. Using solidworks he designed gears to spin the potentiometer when the gas pedal is depressed. After the model was complete, it was printed using a rapid prototyper at the college – yes we -printed- this part. Check it out.

Freshly printed inside the rapid prototyper

Freshly printed inside the rapid prototyper

Closeup

Closeup

Kind of hard to see, but here it is mounted to the gas pedal shaft. When the pedal moves, the large partial gear goes up or down spinning the small full gear which the potentiometer is attached to.

Kind of hard to see, but here it is mounted to the gas pedal shaft. When the pedal moves, the large partial gear goes up or down spinning the small full gear which the potentiometer is attached to.

Took it for a test drive, and the pedal worked great!

…For about the first 20 seconds. Then one of our used batteries died. HOORAY!

I managed to pull it into a nearby parking lot before we lost all momentum. We got out and looked around for the problem – at first we thought it was the accelerator, but after smelling the trunk it became apparent that it was the batteries. Since all the batteries are in series, if one fries, none of them work. Here are some pictures from the adventure.

Checking connections...

Checking connections...

Nothing beats the smell of sulphuric acid in the evening!

Nothing beats the smell of sulphuric acid in the evening!

Solution: Tow it home.

Solution: Tow it home.

With…

Riding lawn mower!

Riding lawn mower!

We received some strange looks and vehicles slowed down to watch our slow tow operation

We received some strange looks and vehicles slowed down to watch our slow tow operation

We were crusing back to the shop at a solid 5km/h!

We were crusing back to the shop at a solid 5km/h!

Other updates include the addition of the automatic brake vacuum pump (turns on whenever the pressure is too low), and fixing the speedometer! It’s top speed tested was 80km/h on half a set of used dead batteries!

More updates coming soon! We may bite the bullet and purchase batteries this week from Interstate Batteries (they offered us a decent discount).

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~ by James on October 20, 2009.

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