Comments Off on Reaching a Big Landmark Before Competition

These past few days have been quite a whirlwind of progress and setbacks for our team. Despite the setbacks, our team kept pushing forward and found ways of overcoming our obstacles.

Early morning of Thursday, March 22nd, our team laid carbon fiber to set in the windshield into the cutout of HotRod’s hatch. When checking on it later that day, the team realized that the resin in the carbon fiber was not drying, which means the carbon fiber was not hardening. The night before the carbon fiber and resin were applied, a cold front came through. We have also recognized that our resin is older. The same resin had been used to apply the carbon fiber on the cars earlier this year and worked just fine. We are unsure if the drastic drop in temperature caused the resin to not harden or if it simply because of the older resin. Regardless of the cause, our team found a solution and finished inserting the windshield into place.

On the 23rd of March, our team put ThunderDawg on the small engine Dyno. The small engine Dyno is used to diagnose and tune our engines. The team was working on tuning the air to fuel ratio. This is essential for our engine to perform well. With tuning, we have control over the amount of fuel injected into the engine with each burn.

Though a week behind schedule, on March 24th, the team sent off HotRod for its final prime. This means that it will be sent to paint either tonight or the following day. Another big landmark that our team reached was taking ThunderDawg for its first official practice run. It was great to finally be able to see how everything we have worked so hard on performs. From this practice run, we discovered issues with our steering and batteries. Our steering is comprised of two cables that must be kept evenly in tension in order to steer. We recognized that the two cables must be tied off together so that it will be easier to keep an even tension in the two cables when steering. We also realized that our batters were dropping below 12Volts, which is too low to turn the engine over. We will be brainstorming for alternative ideas and solutions to this problem tonight.

Overall, we have had a very productive few days. We have really been able to utilize our engineering and analytical skills by finding a problem, brainstorming, and coming up with a solution. We are very proud of our team for handling all of these bumps in the road so greatly and for continuing to push on with our ultimate goal of winning always in mind.