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Thread: Electrathon - A Different Kind of "Hotrod"
          
   
   

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  1. #496
    firebird77clone's Avatar
    firebird77clone is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Pulse width modulation. You can feed the motor full power but the bats will see an average which will be under 30 A.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

  2. #497
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    OK, you guys are speaking a foreign language to me. I can design and fabricate almost anything mechanical, but electronics... UGH!! The good news is I have an Electronics Technician in the family. I will pass your suggestions on to him and see if we can implement them. If we can't program this controller to do what we need I'll just have to learn to use a "soft touch" on the throttle and keep an eagle eye on the ammeter when I'm accelerating.
    firebird77clone and rspears like this.
    Jim

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

  3. #498
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    I ran my second race with the Lithium batteries on December 14. It was our annual "Speed Dash" event where we suspend the one-hour race length and go for only 20 minutes. The difference is we don't have to conserve battery power; we can run "balls out" for the duration. The course for this race was the quarter-mile oval (around the football field) at Brandon High School.

    I'm still learning how to program the controller, but it went fairly well this time. I was no competition for Cliff Rassweiler who's been running in Advanced Battery class for a couple of years, but I did manage a second place finish in both races which gave me a second place trophy for the day. I turned 39 laps in the first race and 42 in the second race for a total of 81. The third place car turned 79 laps. I'm learning...
    Dave Severson and 34_40 like this.
    Jim

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

  4. #499
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    Congrats Jim! Always fun to see where you are headed in the Electric car racing world!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  5. #500
    J. Robinson's Avatar
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    I skipped the January 18 race at Wharton High School. I had another obligation that day and I don't like the course there anyway, so missing it didn't really break my heart.

    February 22nd we ran at University of South Florida (Tampa). This race is run every year in conjunction with USF's Engineering Expo and it's one of the oldest Electrathon races in Florida. This year I was looking forward to running the race with my new Lithium batteries. I was thinking that the 63 pound weight reduction (battery weight) would make the car handle better and be much easier on the tires. I was right; the car seemed to be much more nimble and the tire wear in the first race was greatly reduced. However.., the Battery Management System (BMS) built into the Lithium battery would shut the power off every time I would try to accelerate a little too rapidly! Five different times, when I would need a burst of throttle to clear traffic, the stupid thing shut off! By the time I could recycle the system (shut off and back on) I was left behind. I still managed a second place finish behind the Electrocutioners.

    For the second race, Jerry Bristow, my old friend from Indiana, piloted the car. Between races we changed the car over to run my reliable old Optima Yellow Top batteries. Why? Because fighting with the BMS in the Lithium battery pack took all the fun out of the first race. There is no money to made in this type of racing; we do it purely for the fun and bragging rights, so I made the decision to change battery types and put the fun back in. Jerry drove to a second place finish and turned the same number of laps (70) that I did in the first race. We got a second place in Advanced Battery division for the day. The pic below is Jerry negotiating one of the hairpin turns ahead of Mulberry High School, Rodney Schreck, and Plant City High School.

    Next race is at Mulberry High School on the oval March 7th. Hopefully I can figure out how to get along with the BMS in the Lithium batteries before then. If not, I will run my good old Optima Yellow Tops and race in the Standard Battery class. I'll post the outcomes here.
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    Jim

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

  6. #501
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Thanks for the updates Jim, fascinating racing with the E cars!
    glennsexton and stovens like this.
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
    Carroll Shelby

    Learning must be difficult for those who already know it all!!!!

  7. #502
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    Ditto what Dave said - this is a fascinating thread and electric cars are here to stay so why not have fun with them. Your knowledge amazes me Mr. Robinson!
    Dave Severson and stovens like this.
    "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." John Basil Barnhil

  8. #503
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    P.S. - "The 2021 Ford Mach-E electric crossover SUV will have up to 300 miles of driving range, sprint from 0 to 60 mph in mid 3-second range, and have all-wheel drive—although not all in the same car." Can you say fast.... very fast.
    34_40 and stovens like this.
    "Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty." John Basil Barnhil

  9. #504
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    My wife and I had a 2013 Chevy Volt for a couple of years. It's not considered a "performance car" by any means, but the acceleration was amazing. We loved the way it drove and rode, but it was tough on my wife's back getting in and out of such a low slung ride, so we got an SUV. My son had a Volt also, and he blew the doors off a new Camaro one day. It was a V-8 Camaro, not a V-6. They got into a pissing match from stoplight to stoplight and the Volt was out-pulling the Camaro at every launch. When they finally got to a place where the next stoplight was about a half mile down the road, the Camaro finally outran the Volt.

    Playing with these Electrathon cars has been a real education for me. I raced stock cars for years; big horsepower and torque were always generated at high RPM. In electric motors, maximum torque is available as soon as the armature moves - it took me a long time to get used to that. Also, screaming high RPMs aren't always the most powerful or most efficient range of an electric motor. It's all weird science to me, but fun to play with. It's also the cheapest racing I've ever done. If you build your own car you can be racing for $1200 - $1500. In the course of a season I will use two sets of tires (6 tires at $29 ea) and maybe use $20 worth of electricity to recharge my batteries 10 or 12 times. All that totaled together wouldn't freshen the engine in my old sportsman Camaro...
    Jim

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

  10. #505
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    OK, as I said previously, if I didn't get the Lithium battery to perform to suit me I would switch back to Open Standard Battery class and run my trusty old Optima Yellow Tops... and that's exactly what happened.

    I spent the week leading up to the March 7th race experimenting with some big capacitors in parallel with the Lithium battery. The idea was to fool the Battery Management System (BMS) into not reading the amperage spike when accelerating. It didn't work.

    So, the day before the race I changed the gear ratio and disconnected the capacitors. On Saturday, March 7 we ran the Optima batteries in the Open Standard Battery class. All was well at first; I was running steadily at 28 mph and leaving the other cars in Open class behind. It seems I guessed wrong on the gear ratio, though, because with about 10 minutes remaining the car started slowing as the batteries were expended. It was a cold day and I had not considered the effect on the batteries. With 2 minutes remaining I was basically crawling - my speed had dropped to 8 mph. The only good news was both of my Open class competitors had problems of their own and dropped out shortly before the end and I won the first race.

    Between races we changed the gear ratio (from 3.33:1 to 3.64:1) to hopefully allow the car to perform better in the second race. It was a good guess because Jerry Bristow drove the car to another first place and it was still running a brisk pace at the finish. At the end of the day we brought home the first place trophy.

    Our next race and season finale was supposed to be April 25th, but it has since been cancelled due to the damned Corona Virus. Anyway, I ran 5 races this season; I got one 3rd place and two 2nd places in Advanced Battery class and two 1st places in Open Standard Battery class.

    In the pic below, Jerry Bristow is driving my purple car, leading the Open class. The white/orange car is the 2nd place open class car of Rodney Schreck. The blue car is the winning (Mulberry High) High School class car, and the black car (barely visible) is the winning Advanced Battery class car from USF. I took this picture because I built all four cars!
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    Jim

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

  11. #506
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    A lot of topics to be proud of in that post Jim. Congrats on the win and the winning season!

    Didn't Jerry use to post on this "board".. I remember his name, but I'm unsure if he had a rod... But tell'im we said HELLO !
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  12. #507
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    No, Jerry has never posted on this site. He is an old rodder who had several nice cars over the years, but sold his last true hot rod several years ago. The only "collectible" he owns now is a 1986 IROC-Z Camaro that is in beautiful mint condition. Anyway, I have mentioned him in several previous posts when he has driven my Electrathon cars; maybe that's why the name seems familiar to you...
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    Jim

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

  13. #508
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Robinson View Post
    Anyway, I have mentioned him in several previous posts when he has driven my Electrathon cars; maybe that's why the name seems familiar to you...
    Perhaps. Tell'im we said hello anyway! LOL 8-)

  14. #509
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Congrats on another great season!
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
    Carroll Shelby

    Learning must be difficult for those who already know it all!!!!

  15. #510
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    We're baaaaack! The 2019-20 Electrathon season ended after the March 7th race at Mulberry High School because of the pandemic. Many of us wondered if there would be a season for 2020-21 because of delayed school openings and other restrictions. Fortunately, our Florida Electrathon CEO, Charlie Harrison, worked some magic and we have opened our new season on time with a race at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) on Saturday, September 19th. We were instructed to wear our masks except when we were driving our race cars (they don't fit well under a full face helmet) and only minimum necessary team members were allowed to attend (no unnecessary personnel and no spectators).

    Having still not worked out my issues with the Lithium batteries, I elected to run my trusty lead-acid Optima Yellowtops in the Open Standard class. I turned 103 laps in each race and won both of them. Rodney Schreck from Hialeah, FL turned 97 laps in the first race and discovered one of his batteries had a dead cell afterwards. In the second race he turned 101 laps. His total for the day was good enough for second place. Todd Thuma, the teacher/sponsor from Mulberry High School brought their car, but no students. They are restricted from traveling outside their county during the Covid pandemic, so Todd drove the Mulberry car himself in Open Standard class and took third place. He turned 102 laps in the first race but had mechanical difficulties in the second race which sidelined him for 6 or 8 laps. If not for that, he may have been a serious challenger to my apparent domination. The fourth car in our Open Standard class was the entrant from HCC. I didn't get the driver's name, but they had mechanical difficulties all day and were many laps down at the end.

    So, my season has started off with a win and no issues with my car. I hope that's a good omen. Stay tuned and I'll report here. If I get any pictures from someone I'll post them here, too. I didn't shoot any myself; I was busy driving.
    Jim

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

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