It was a busy day at Wharton HS with robots in the gym and the Electrathoners with their big boy toys on the drivers ed. range all competing at the same time.
The track was smooth and fast on the drivers ed. range as eleven teams prepared for the races. Weather was cold/cool early with lots of sun and light winds.
We were missing Brandon HS and the Electracutioners but were happy to see Cliff form ProEV back with us.
Cliff is the mad scientist of the Electrathon community. His pit looked like an electronics lab with all the equipment he had plugged into his 39 car with the experimental batteries. He did well in the first race after a slight delay at the start. In the second race he had questions about his batteries and withdrew part way through rather than risk damaging them. Watch out for him at USF next month with his regeneration setup on the twisting course.
The home team, Wharton HS, had a good day taking 3rd in the first race and taking a 1st in the second race for third overall for the day with 200 laps..
The up and coming Foundation CHS team was back with a whole pit full of workers and two drivers. They drove the 194 car to a 2nd and 3rd for the day with 205 laps and 2nd overall in HS Class
TBT with the 242 car took a 1st and 2nd for the day to finish on top with 220 laps in the HS class.
Middleton and Strawberry Crest rounded out the High School class in 4th and 5th respectively. Strawberry Crest is still battling that battery problem. Their car is a twin to the Wharton car so it they can get the battery problem sorted out they should be a contender.
In the Open Class HCC was going for a record for blowing out tires which left them down in the standings.
USF had a good day with no problems. This should be a good warm up for the next race where they are the home team at the USF Engineering Expo on Feb 14th.
Rodney in the 4 car and the Robinson Silver Bullet Racing teams 13 and 94 cars battled it out over both races with scant parts of a second separating the three cars in the first race.
Rodney took the first race with a time of 1hr .06 sec. followed by the Silver Bullet 13 car at 1hr .21 sec and the Sliver Bullet 94 car at 1hr .22 sec. All had 126 laps.
In the second race the 4 car took second with a time of 1hr .25 sec. and the 94 car took first with 1hr .07 sec. both with 128 laps.
After two hours of racing the time difference between the 4 car and the 94 car was 2 sec. With Jim Robinson in the 94 car edging out Rodney in the 4 car. 2 sec. over two hours is hard to fathom. Thats like two blinks of and eye.
Upgrading Your Car
The Robinson Racing built cars, the 13, 94 and 194 cars, are the class of the field. Check out the State Coordinators Corner on the left hand bar of our home page. The plans for a complete build are posted. The frame is made out of EMT tubing. The tube you put electrical wiring in. It costs less than $3 per 10′ pipe at Home Depot. Its strong and very light and it can be MIG welded. a MIG welder and a tubing bender are the two main items to build one of those cars.
Check the Stat Sheets heading for updated stats for all races this season.
ETO Parts and Equipment
ETO has just about exhausted our supply of spare parts and equipment. We have quite a bit loaned out. Except for a bunch of heavy duty tubes at $5.00 each. We also have a new Five Point Harness that we will raffle off at the USF race. Monies raised go right back into the ETO treasury, which is rather low, to help us put on the races. Tickets are $10.00 each or 3 for $20.00
After several years of racing on the big parking lot at Middleton it was not available this year. But Ken Fiallos came through with a real good replacement. While I am not a big fan of drivers ed courses Ken put together a fast course that drew praise from all the drivers.
The Middleton race drew the largest field we have had in a while with 15 cars taking the grid for the first race. We were missing Drew Jet but had three new cars and two new schools. We also had an inquiry from Brook DeBartolo Charter School about getting involved.
We want to welcome back the USF Engineers and their old 132 car. We also want to welcome Foundation Christian High School to our group. They are driving one of Robinson Racings old but fast cars. TBT fielded its second car the #133.
Brandon HS had their first full time female driver in the #14 car and HCC had a female driver in the second race, more on that later. Foundation CHS had a small team for their first Electrathon adventure and she took fourth place overall in the High School Class.
During the course of both races many places were decided by scant seconds over the course of one hour of racing.
The pit area, the course infield, was a beehive of activity prior to the first race. So much so that the start of the first race was pushed back 15 min. As is the custom in the pits many teams were helping their arch rivals get ready to race. Foundation CHS only had two members on their team so several teams pitched in to help them get ready. They were 20 min. late starting the first race and then had a tire go down. Even with all those problems they still had 45 laps in the first race and had 86 in the second race. Their drive got many compliments on her driving ability.
In the first Open Class race the usual suspects were at it again with Tiger Racing ahead by two laps at the end with Robinson Racing taking 2nd and third with the 94 ahead of the 13 by 4 sec. The Electrocutioners in 90 car beat out HCC for 4th by 10 sec.
HS Class First Race 1st TBT #242, 2nd BHS #9, 3rd MHS, 4th TBT #133, 5th BHS #14, 6th Foundation, 7th SCHS, 8th WHS
Open Class First Race 1st Tiger, 2nd Robinson #94, 3rd Robinson #13, 4th Electrocutioners #90. 5th HCC, 6th USF. 7th Killer Watts
The second race had a little excitement when the HCC car got into it with the Electrocutioners and wound up in the infield all busted up. Only sheet metal damaged and the driver was OK.
HS Class 2nd Race 1st BHS #9, 2nd TBT #242, 3rd WHS, 4th Foundation CHS, 5th TBT #133, 6th MHS, 7th WHS, 8thSCHS
Open Class 2nd Race 1st Robinson #13 2nd Electrocutioners #90, 3rd Tiger, 4th USF, 5th Robinson #94, 6th HCC
Overall HS 1st TBT #242, 2nd BHS #9, 3rd TBT #133, 4th Foundation, 5th BHS #14, 6th MHS, 7th WHS, 8th SCHS
Overall Open 1st Robinson #13, 2nd Tiger, 3rdElectrocutioners #90, 4th USF, 5th Robinson #94, 6th HCC, 7th Killer Watts
After two hours of racing The TBT 242 car beat the TBT 9 car by 1 lap in the High School and Robinson #13 beat Rodney by 1 lap in the Open Class
CHECK OUT THE STAT SHEET HEADING ON THE TOP TOOL BAR FOR COMPLETE STATS, LAPS, POINTS ETC.
Not the singing group but a whole bunch of new teams. The Middleton, Strawberry Crest and Wharton High School teams are all stocked with new drivers and pit crews this year.
All the new teams had good a day on the track at the HCC Brandon Campus. Other than the normal flat tires there were no problems other than when three cars were trying to fit into the space for two cars and Middleton took out some of the cones.
Race day was a question mark with the weather looking rather questionable early. The first race was delayed for 30 min. for conditions to improve.
The Brandon #9 was all set to start to defend its 2013-2014 Championship against its Tampa Bay Tech #242 nemesis. During the first race things were close till midway through the race when Brandons #9 lost power and finished in last place. Turns out that the motor control computer was not set up properly with the under volts cut off set to high. They didn’t have their laptop to reprogram the controller so the #9 was out of contention for both races.
TBT ran two strong races taking first in both and 1st place overall in the High School class. A good start for their Senior driver Brady. TBT should have a second car ready by the next race. The Science Club will be running one of the old USF cars by then.
The Brandon #14 car finished a close second in both races and 2nd overall in the High School class.
Now for the New Kids On The Block. The surprise of the day was Middleton. With the redesign of their car they finished a strong 3rd in the first race with 85 laps. With brand new drivers and a redesigned car they will be a team to look out for. In the second race the battery bug bit them and they finished last. They were passed by a snail on the last lap but were able to complete the hour. They only have one set of old batteries and couldn’t get them fully recharged between races. Better batteries and look out.
Strawberry Crest and Wharton both had all new drivers and pit crews. Both ran steady races with both teams getting bit by the tire Monster.
Strawberry Crest also had a great pit stop area set up with burgers and drinks for all during the break between races. It was much appreciated by all.
The Wharton pit crew did a fantastic job on a tire change. The worst tire to blow is the drive wheel because you have to dismount it from the chain and fork then readjust everything.
In the Open Class Tiger Racing with Rodney at the wheel took up where he left off last year, winning it all. The Electrocutioners #90 took second overall for the day.
The HCC team with a lot of new members ran two strong races. They were just two laps out of second place in the first race. They got bit by the Tire Monster too in the second race and finished off the pace. HCC is looking good for the start of the year.
The Electrocutioners #8 running Lithium Ion batteries is in a class by itself, literally. Drew had the top lap count in the first race but had steering problems in he second race and had to withdraw.
Tiger Racing and the Electrocutioners #90 battled it out in a fairly close second race finish. After one hour of racing the margin of victory was 1.25 seconds in favor Electrocutioners #90. A blink and you missed it.
The next race is Nov. 1st at Strawberry Crest High School. Weather should not be a worry so we look forward to more teams competing.
Stats to follow
As the start of the new school year is upon us here is some exciting and important information.
The SkillsUSA State Championships will be held at the Lakeland Center in April. Dates are not set but it will be held over two days. We will hold races both days. The regional competition will be held locally at Tampa Bay Tech, Middleton High School and Erwin Technical Center. The skills competition, our races, will be on the first day. Dates are not set but it will be early February.
SkillsUSA competitions are held during the week so no weekend racing.
When talking with Dale Fasenmeyer, the District Rep for SkillsUSA, we talked about requirements for Electrathon Clubs to participate. The take away from the meeting is SkillsUSA = S.T.E.M. = Electrathon. That means just about any program with an electrathon car is eligible. High School and Post Secondary
Electrathon Of Tampabay will be holding a meeting in August and the regional SkillsUSA will hold an organizational meeting in Sept. I will be at both meetings so stand by for more detailed information.
Vic. Nieves ETO Program Director
Electrathon of Tampa Bay Organization (ETO) was formed in 2008 as a Florida Nonprofit Corporation to promote and strengthen interest in Engineering in the (7) County TBARTA Service Area plus neighboring Polk County. We are an umbrella organization (9) Electrathon Car Clubs and (21) Junior Solar Sprint Clubs (JSS). Our Board is comprised of Educators, Engineers, Physicists and Community Business Leaders who have a demonstrated passion and a solid track record of providing our student teams with hands-on accessible learning opportunities related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This all volunteer group of visionary and strategic thinking adults are welded together by a common vision of improving the future of our students, our families and our Country through competitive engineering endeavors and real world learning projects open and accessible to all. We are the only such organization in the Southeastern United States.
ETO’s Vision is to contribute to the laying of a foundation for a green, vibrant, low carbon future full of possibilities and opportunities for tomorrow’s children throughout Florida. It is ETO’s Mission to make this contribution by promoting Electrathon Racing and Solar and other Alternative Fuels Technologies involved in Junior Sprint Racing, endeavors full of technological entrepreneurial challenges and adventure.
ETO’s Management Operations are characterized by cooperativeness, inclusivity and streamlined flexible decision making. All of ETO’s Management Operations are fully transparent with periodic accountability reviews/mechanisms prescribed by our Corporate Bylaws. Given our present situation of imminent growth, there are a number of antecedent business needs and goals that must be met to insure that ETO’s Management Operations continue to be well managed as we pursue our growth plans.
ETO’s Competitive Technological Events and Educational Programs are unique when compared to other related programs such as Robotics Programs because of their accessibility to a wider student academic base and because of their ongoing cost advantages. Our Event Operations conform to the requirements of Electrathon America (EA) the national sanctioning body for Electrathon Racing while our Junior Sprint Division Operations conform to the guidelines of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). While our Competitive Racing Events, Electrathon Program and our Educational Projects have demonstrably spurred student academic interest and attainment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) there are needs for event equipment, project funding and logistics.
ETO’s (4) Year Operational Goals and Outreach stand at the doorway of a soaring future with an eagerly anticipated ETO Electrathon Program Certification in August 2011 by SkillsUSA, a federal nationwide technical educational organization. This certification, together with several developing and supportive relationships with professional technical groups such as the IEEE Tampa Bay RAS, the Florida Solar Energy Center and Gulf Power Engineering Society when coupled with the solid interest expressed by school systems across Florida and Georgia, puts ETO in a solid position to expand statewide into the six Florida SkillsUSA Regions and potentially across the Southeast and beyond.
ETO’ s (4) Year Projections and Financial Statement cover the next four school years and solidly undergirds our nascent and ambitious expansion plans. Our expansion plans are already coalescing. However while ETO has demonstrated its self be a dynamic and agile organization capable of responding quickly and adapting to change and while we are confident in our abilities to expand, we are presently resource constrained and thus offer a huge opportunities for meaningful and productive partnerships and sponsorships. One unknown in our financial projections is the potential for team funding access provided by our affiliation with SkillsUSA. ETO has no doubt that our SkillsUSA imprimatur will result in some alternate sources of funding for individual teams and perhaps ETO as well.