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Thread: Electrathon - A Different Kind of "Hotrod"
          
   
   

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  1. #451
    Dave Severson is online now CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Congrats Jim, another great outing! Will the electric cars that resemble F-1 cars be running someplace where you can get to watch them, or have you seen them run already? I doubt they'll be running anywhere close here, maybe the F-1 track in Dallas? Haven't checked their schedule for this year, but I sure would like to watch them sometime! You mentioned an 'advanced battery' class, wondering how those are different from what you run---they sound more expensive! lol
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  2. #452
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    I run in Open Standard Battery class where the batteries are Gel Cell or AGM spill proof lead-acid type and we are limited to 73 pounds of batteries. In my car (and many others in this class) I use Optima Yellow Top (deep cycle) batteries. Two of them is 73 pounds and I use them wired in series for 24 volts. There are other batteries in use with combinations up to 48 volts, but the 24 volt Optima system has worked well for me.

    The Advanced Battery class is for Lithium Polymer, Lithium Ion, Nickel Metal Hydride, and other experimental types of batteries. Since they all have different power and discharge curves, they run in a separate class where their battery weight is regulated differently (generally much lighter). For example, Lithium Ion batteries are limited to only 15 pounds; Nickel metal Hydride is 41 pounds. The objective of Electrathon America is to keep everyone limited to approximately 1 kilowatt hour of power. The advanced battery cars, because of their different discharge curve and lighter battery weight, generally run just a bit faster than the Standard Battery cars.

    When I first started in Electrathon, Lithium and other advanced batteries were very expensive. In just the last two or three years the cost has come way down and now may actually be cheaper! I am still running in the Open Standard Battery class because I already have a thousand dollars worth of batteries and a $300+ charger. I am seriously looking at moving to Lithium now.

    I have only seen Formula E on television, but I find it very interesting. As battery technology advances, electric transportation will become more common. I owned a 2013 Chevy Volt for about 3 years and loved it. We traded it off for a SUV because it sat so low that my wife and I had difficulty getting in and out of it (she has a bad back and I have arthritic knees). Hyundai now has an electric version of their Kona SUV that has a 285 mile range! I urge anyone who has never ridden in an electric vehicle to do so - the acceleration will surprise you.
    Dave Severson and stovens like this.
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  3. #453
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    I understand they accellerate very fast with instant torque curve!
    Dave Severson likes this.
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  4. #454
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Yes, Steve. My son had a 2012 Chevy Volt. If he put it in Sport Mode and turned off the traction control it would spin the front wheels! He blew the doors off a Camaro one day from stoplight to stoplight. The Camaro would run him down on longer runs, but the Volt was very quick from 0 to 50. My 2013 was quick, too; I just never raced anyone with it, but I was always impressed with how it could push me back in the seat from a dead stop.

    Even my Electrathon cars will go from a dead stop to full speed very quickly if I slam the throttle suddenly wide open. It took me a long time to understand the difference. An internal combustion engine has to rev up into its "power curve" to develop maximum torque. An Electric motor is capable of max' torque as soon as the armature moves! Interestingly, the electric motor only makes big power when it needs to. The Etek motor in my Electrathon car is rated at 3.5 hp continuous (on 24 volts), but it will develop up to 8 hp under load. Of course, when it makes big horsepower under load it eats battery power. The Chevy Volt did the same; drive it conservatively and it had a 40 mile range before the engine started. Stomp the throttle at every chance and it would use the battery reserve in about half that.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  5. #455
    Dave Severson is online now CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    At the Winternationals this year, Chevy's electric Camaro was making passes in the low 10's! Just a prototype, but electric cars are progressing quite well in their performance and range.
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  6. #456
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    Jim thanks for the explaination I figured there was a reason just didn't know Y
    I'LL KEEP MY PROPERTY, MY MONEY, MY FREEDOM, AND MY GUNS, AND YOU CAN KEEP THE CHANGE------ THE PROBLEM WITH LIBERALISM IS SOONER OR LATER YOU RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES MONEY margaret thacher 1984

  7. #457
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    Another outing and another first place on Saturday (4-6-19)... Ok, that's a little over simplified. This past Saturday was our annual "Speed Event" where the races are shortened to 20 minutes instead of 1 hour. The shortened time allows us to gear the cars up and run much faster because we don't have to conserve battery power. Instead of cruising around watching the ammeter we accelerate off the corners and go as fast as we feel comfortable in the turns. We run this event on a flat quarter-mile oval around a football field. We had a lot of fun, as usual, and I managed to take first place, but it was a close battle. My good friend and unofficial teammate, Rodney Schreck from Miami, was nipping at my tail in both races and finished right behind me both times. When our total laps and race times were added up at the end we both ran 79 laps. I had a total time of 40:00.036, Rodney had a total time of 40:00.040.

    The real nerve-rattling episode of the day, however, was during the sponsor's race. Once a year at this event, the event hosts, team sponsors, and mentors borrow cars from different teams and have a race. One of the visiting dignitaries was offered a ride in the USF car which he gladly accepted. The USF car normally runs in the Experimental Battery class, is lithium battery powered, and is one of the two fastest cars in Florida. The new rookie guest driver jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag and accelerated to what we guess was about 40 mph down the backstretch. He hit turn 3 at full throttle, bicycled up on two wheels, hooked the outside chain-link fence, and did two violent rolls! He came to rest right-side up and was not injured (thankfully!), but the car was severely damaged. I have attached pics below. The first one is the car as I delivered it to the USF team last summer. The next two are as it was brought to me for repair. What a mess..! The good news is the roll cage did its job and kept the driver safe.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  8. #458
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    Maybe a licensing exam should be a prerequisite.
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    Ken Thomas
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  9. #459
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    Do you have to let them use your car or is it by choice? In an event like this who is responsible to pay for the damages? I'd be hesitant to let anyone I didn't know or trust on any vehicle I own. They have a similar thing for some of the professional racing schools like Skip Barber. My friend teaches at one of their schools. Years ago they were sponsored by Dodge and every once in a while the execs got to drive on the track or their buddies. I guess they dreaded those days as their are always a few types who push the limits but lack the brain power to deal with bad choices he'd tell me about the vipers and a few other vehicles that Dodge would bring to the event. Very powerful fast cars, but stock not very well designed brakes for the track.....after the cars were pushed for a short period of time they would experience stock brake failures!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  10. #460
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    No, we are not required to let anyone use our cars. This was done completely voluntarily. This guy supposedly had previous experience in Motocross and sports cars. If that was true he should have known that you always take it easy in a car you are not familiar with. My opinion - he was showing off, got himself in trouble, and panicked. Two things have come from this: (1) USF will never again loan their car to an inexperienced driver and (2) the race organizers have ruled that guest drivers will not be allowed to drive Experimental Battery class cars.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  11. #461
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    Good to hear the second part and sad that a car was damaged. I take it you repair cars for others? Very cool cockpit canopy design! Was a mean looking vehicle all in black, bet it gets a bit hot out in the florida sunshine!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  12. #462
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    The car was brought to me Sunday afternoon shortly after 1:00 PM. The big rush is because the USF team members all either work or were having exams this week and they are scheduled to leave Friday for two big races in Alabama (next Saturday and Monday).

    The canopy (shown in the first "before wreck" picture) got about the rear 1/3 broken off when the body was pushed up. There isn't time to order a new one from Oregon, so we cut the back off straight and sanded the edge.

    Ditto on the rear body panels - not time enough to make new ones, so we took the remains off and cut off the support tubing underneath. the big mess was the upper frame tubes and the front axle. We used a hydraulic jack to push the upper frame rail back out where it was crushed in near the front axle right side. Fortunately none of the lower frame tubes were bent or twisted. I used a piece of 1 x 4 lumber and a 2-pound Compothane hammer to straighten the upper rails; they were pushed out slightly.

    Finally, I cut the right end of the axle off, fabricated a new section and grafted it on. The original spindle and brake were not damaged, so we were able to reuse them.

    It took three of us about 5 hours to make all the repairs. It ain't as pretty as it once was, but at least it's raceable again.
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    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  13. #463
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    Yes, Steve, I make repairs for fellow racers sometimes. I got tagged to do this job because they needed it done quickly and I built this car originally. I'm familiar with it's details. Since I got involved with Electrathon in 2003 I have built 17 cars (number 18 and 19 are under construction in my shop right now). Whenever I go to a race here in Florida I usually am racing against a field of cars that may be over 50% built by me. At the March race there were 9 cars in the starting lineup - I built 8 of them!
    Jim

    Racing! - Because football, basketball, baseball, and golf require only ONE BALL!

  14. #464
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    Nice! And good for you expediting the USF car repairs even if it means they are a bit lighter minus the body panels and the rear part of the canopy! Who knows might just be the edge to blow the competition out of the water... turning adversity to advantage!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  15. #465
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    I think the end result looks fine.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

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