Duke University Motorsports is a student group that designs and builds open wheel, single seat race cars to compete in the Formula SAE competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The team consists of Duke students from both Pratt and Trinity, in all classes. The purpose of the team is to provide students with a way to gain practical design and manufacturing experience in a fun and challenging setting.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What a day...

Yesterday was an... interesting day.  Lots of things went wrong - first, the torch for the welder broke (the threads for the back cap gave out).  Next, the mill broke - it won't boot up any more.  Finally, we found more clearance issues with the drivetrain and had to cut out the rear frame tubes (again) and replace them.

I have no idea what we're going to do about the mill yet, but it's not going to be a cheap or quick fix.  It's not a great time for the mill to break, but it's not the worst time either.  We don't have too many CNC parts left to do, so we can probably ask for a few favors to get back on track.  But the dent it's going to put in our budget really worries me.

The welder torch I fixed temporarily by swapping ends of the collet body and back cap.  The torch is angled all funny now, but it worked well enough for all the welding I did yesterday.  A replacement torch will be ordered ASAP.

The mill broke very... gradually.  First, it wouldn't read the program from the disk, then it wouldn't recognize the disk at all, and then it wouldn't boot up.  We tried swapping the floppy drives (the mill has two floppy drives, one for the operating system and one for programs) to see if the floppy drive had failed, but no dice.  It seems that the computer (which is based off a 486 processor as we found out) has failed, and that's not something that we can fix.  I will call Southwest Industries Monday to see if there is anything that we can do short of replacing the unit.

The third issue was drivetrain clearances.  Turns out the frame fix we made wasn't enough- the rotor and caliper still had an interference issue with the frame.  Not really sure why we didn't realize this sooner, but we had to cut the frame tubes out again and weld new ones in.  A little bit more difficult this time now that I can't flip the frame around every which way, so let's just say it was a long night.  However, things went smootly, all things considered.

Nope, doesn't fit with the frame tube there.  D'oh.

If JP is wearing safety glasses, you know that it's serious

New tubes in.  Not a huge visual change, but it's been moved almost half an inch.
New tubes in.  The weird placement of the small tube is to give clearance for the ARB

What we did get accomplished this week:

Case for the fan controller

Fan controller case, back side.  There is a thermal pad between the PCB (which sinks heat through the tab of the MOSFET) and case.  The case acts as a heatsink.

Milling the brake pedal
First side done

The brake pedal

Fuel tank welding is done. 

I'm almost done welding aluminum for the year...

The car as it sat a few days ago

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