Building Alice

Bottom-of-chassis-e1422339491857

The Saturday work session this week was quite exciting. With the physical construction of our new car at hand, there's lots of action and opportunity to get one's hands dirty. On that note, let's start with our merry band of MecE's...

It's no secret that the body which decorates the newspapers and posters (and the winners' circle) is the product of the Mechanical Engineering team. They are the ones that design the suspension and braking and many other components of the physical car, and they also have the claims on the aeroshell, which gives us our sleek, dangerous, "you-wish-you-were-this-efficient" look. But underneath it all, how does the car look? This week, we get a very special sneak peek:

The base of the chassis is now fully constructed as the car begins to take shape. Does it look comfortable to sit in for 6 laps around the track, Brandon?

The base of the chassis is now fully constructed as the car begins to take shape. Does it look comfortable to sit in for 6 laps around the track, Brandon?

She might not look like too much at this point, but with a little can-do attitude and some elbow grease Alice will soon be the belle of the ball, the toast of the town, and more cliche's that I can't think of right now. There is sure to be much more work to be done on the chassis and aeroshell, and luckily we get to update the blog in real time so we can see it all the way through.

 

So now that we've seen the flashy stuff, what was up with the EE team? Well, they are in fact constructing too. Fuel Cell team lead Salma has been hard at work getting the Fuel Cell Controller together, and it's starting to look good. Pretty darn good...

Fuel cell controller coming together

The fuel cell controller will make sure that we utilize our new (much bigger and better) fuel cell to its maximum potential. Plus it's quite the handsome setup.

Now at this point you're probably asking yourself, "Darn, does the EcoCar team have wizards working on their boards? Do the boards always look that good?" The answer to those excellent questions is "yes" and "no" respectively. You see what I mean:

I call this picture "The Good, The Bad, and The MacGyvered"

I call this picture "The Good, The Bad, and The MacGyvered"

So even though there's some terrible skeletons in the PCB closet, we've seen that our wizards are pretty swell when they manage to put a board together at the top of their game. Just how good? Good enough to hide the EcoCar logo on every board:

I would make a joke about our wizards getting cocky, but I personally think this is easily the coolest part of the car

I would make a joke about our wizards getting cocky, but I personally think this is easily the coolest part of the car

This sums us up on most of our teams... but what about motors? The motors team has finally received our beautiful controller, compliments of Roboteq. We hooked it up, downloaded the driver software, and broke our trust battery pack to finally see our Rimfire motor spin and... nothing. Through two days of tortuous trial and error the team has yet to see our powerful tempest come to life. I suppose good things take time. You can laugh at their misery here:

I might add at this point that if you think I'm being harsh it should be known that this author is the motors team lead...

I might add at this point that if you think I'm being harsh it should be known that this author is the motors team lead...

So.. Um... Yeah... We'll get back to you next week with some more inspiring news hopefully... *sigh*

 

Stay tuned kids

 

About Mikel Gomes

After completing two years of a Joint Math and Physics major at the University of Northern British Columbia, Mikel transferred into the second year of the Engineering Physics program at the University of Alberta in 2012. He joined the University of Alberta EcoCar team in later 2013 and is currently the Motors Team Lead. Recently, he has been assisting in improving the public and corporate visibility of the EcoCar team.

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