challenge idea - electric racing machines? : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

How about a challenge to build electric racing machines?

The power source can be anything (internal combustion engine attached to a generator, batteries, even solar or pedal power!) but the motor driving the wheels must be electric!

What makes it tricky is that an obvious choice for a motor (starter motor off an automobile) wouldnt really work because its not rated for continuous duty. So the teams would need to adapt electric motors off other devices. Other interesting aspects would be how they bodge together generator assemblies from automobile parts, or how they decide to set up battery arrays. It could be very educational and entertaining.

Variations of this challenge could be : the machine has to carry the entire team, the machine has to transport the entire team 1 member at a time from point a to point b, an electric power pullers episode...

(To reply in email replace blort dot invalid with anime dot net)

-- Dan Hollis (goemon@blort.invalid), January 05, 2001


That is a great idea Dan, I really like it.

Another variation would be building a locomotive engine using the same principle, some other source to create power that energizes electric drive motors. Of course, this is how most modern train engines operate - A diesel motor powers generators that drive electric motors.

The challenge could go beyond just carrying the team, they could also be required to pull a pre-defined load. I would love to see this.

-- Terry King (, January 05, 2001.

I like the basic idea. But a starter motor can be pressed into service, just water cool it. (and open up the "motors running under water" debate again)

-- Jeff - The NERDS (, January 05, 2001.

I have built many electric and hybrid vehicles. The cars would have to use DC motors(no seeding of 3-phase inverters/motors, bit expensive), best to use old aircraft generators, stick'em Geo's, Escorts, or Festivas and run'em at 72-96volts. I know a guy who converted a Festiva in 8 hours. Great idea Dan!


-- Satanic Mechanic (, January 06, 2001.

1.I like the locomotive idea. I don't know if it's ever been mentioned, but how about hand powered railcars. All team members would have to travel a course on the same railcar...human power. A time trial which would also test the teams physical endurance.

2. We have always talked about doing human powered dragsters. Each team could use flywheel technology....drop the clutch boys!

-- Duane Flatmo (, January 06, 2001.

A golf cart motor or two and axle assy. would be good for the electric car challenge. A couple of older model truck or car alternators could be bodged to kick out higher voltage by jumping around the regulator directly to the brushes, or by insulating one from the other and running them in series. They will put out 24 to 36 volts for a while at less than rated amperage. Electric fork lifts have full grown electric motors which are rated for continuous duty as well. If you have two DC motors and a battery for field current, one can gen while the other motors. You have a good idea. Waddy "Rusty's" expert

-- Waddy Thompson (, January 06, 2001.

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