A few of us worked on a car for The Power Racing Series and somehow we got it done at 3:15am on Thursday night after about a week of intensive nights cutting wood, and trying to weld metal, and scrounging for batteries. We then took it to Maker Faire Detroit and raced it.
The car is modeled after Noah’s Ark, supposedly dimensionally accurate, scaled down, of course. It runs at 24 volts and uses one 250 watt hub motor meant for a bicycle. It was not fast. It drives like a boat, maybe because it is one.
We didn’t break down until the last few minutes of the Endurance Race when we popped a tire, so we just kept going on the rim. (Our qualifying lap was 40.40 seconds. Also our car is #40. Amazing!)
We built this in about a week, and made a lot of compromises to get it done on time. Originally we were going to use two 250 watt hub motors for the rear wheels, but… compromises.
The good news is you can spin around in a super-tight radius by turning the wheel 90 degrees and then going full throttle. The bad news is, you might puke afterwards.
Anyway, we’d love to see more people build cars for The Power Racing Series event that will be happening at Maker Faire Milwaukee. If you start now, you’ve got 60 days, and since we built this in about 6 days (and rested on the 7th) it should be totally doable.
Remember, you don’t have to be fast if you’re awesome. You do need to go, and stop, and not take it too seriously. If you can do those things, we’ll see you at the races!
There’s less than 6 days until Maker Faire Detroit and the next event for the Power Racing Series…
Will Milwaukee Makerspace have a functioning car? Will there be a RAGE BUILD today, and every day this week? Will we pull it off at the last minute and continue our long-standing tradition of racing in Detroit?
Only time will tell…
Our Power Racing Series team is back for 2015! But, well.. we’re a little smaller. Right now it’s just Ed C. and me (Pete!)
But as you can see from the photo above, we have a body mostly primed. It’s actually been painted a bit more since this photo from two days ago. It’ll be ready to go for Maker Faire Kansas City in (less than) two weeks!
I can hear you saying “Yeah, a body is a great, but where’s the frame, the motors, wheels, controller, brakes, and all that jazz!?”
I present you with this CAD drawing. Everyone knows designing a thing is 95% of building a thing. So we’ve completed 95% of the work… now we have (less than) two weeks left to put it all together. Easy!
See you in Kansas City!
There’s no denying we had fun at Maker Faire Milwaukee, but we did have one sour note during the weekend… Our oldest still functional Power Racing Series car disappeared!
We hauled Baby Burrito to the fairgrounds to tool around on during the event, and race it if needed. Tom managed to get a flat tire (!?) and left it somewhere (!?) and the next day when he went back to get it, it was gone. (!?!?!)
Be on the lookout for this slow moving vehicle. Also, it has no brakes, though you can “fire the retro-rockets” to stop it, which involves hitting the reverse button quickly to stop the forward motion.
If you know the whereabouts of Baby Burrito, please let us know. We aren’t out to prosecute anyone, we just want our silly car back.
You may remember it from such events as the South Shore Frolics 2014 parade. (Though you won’t see it in the video, because I was driving it and had the camera on my helmet!)
Whew! We had quite a weekend! Somehow we managed to cram both Lotusaurus Wrecks and Iron Rose into the back of a minivan and haul them to Maker Faire Detroit. Luckily a second car followed us with all the tools and batteries.
It was a wonderful weekend of racing tiny electric cars. What’s that? You don’t know about the Power Racing Series? We take those Power Wheels cars that you buy for your kids, get them for free or super-cheap from craigslist, and then rebuild them as electric race cars for adults… for less that $500. Yes, it’s a little ridiculous, but it’s also a lot of real engineering. Some of these cars will impress the crap out of you!
So how did we do? Well, the cars held up, even through a few crashes, so that’s good. Audrey drove Lotusaurus Wrecks to victory in one race, and Iron Rose proved a dedicated mid-fielder throughout the weekend. All in all, it was pretty awesome.
Note: We know you want to see this crazy racing yourself… well, you’re in luck! We’ll be holding a race at Maker Faire Milwaukee happening September 27th & 28th, 2014. Join us for the madness!