The NSU Three Amigos

Team Information

A picture of our car, Speedy

Car Name: Speedy
Team Name: NSU Three Amigos
School Name: NSU University School
Team Members Names:
Jack T, Max S, and Joseph S

Design Documentation

Side View #2
Back View
Front View
Special features of car: Long comb guide helps keeps car straight, bendable wire to adjust the angle of the solar panel.

Project Log

DateHoursTasks / Work DoneObstacles EncounteredModifications to Car
8/23/20231We drew a design of the car on a piece of paper. Then we made a ping pong ball holder by using a water bottle cap, rubber band, and a plastic cup.
8/30/20231We made a base from balsa wood and put together front wheels by using a metal axle, plastic straws and wheels.
9/6/20231We made the back wheels by using a metal axel, plastic straws, a large white gear, and wheels.
9/13/20231We cut out a place for the gear to go through the car body. We glued the front and back wheels and axels to the car body.The back and front wheels and axels are on the car body
9/20/20241We added a Solar Made Motor (3V). We added this motor by using hot glue and attaching the motor to the base. We took off the motor in the
end because the axel wasn’t lined up.
9/27/20231Today we added the motor back then we added the back wheels and lined up the back wheel gear to the motor.Wheels and motor
10/18/20231We attached a Solar Made Solar Panel (3V) onto the platform using Velcro and a bendy copper wire to secure the panel. Then we ran the car. The car is slowAdded the solar panel and Readjusted the ball holder
10/25/20231We ran the car unfortunately the run was still slow. The car is still slowNo adjustments made
11/15/20231We tested the carStill running slowNo adjustments made
11/29/20231We ran the car but the motor was not in contact with the gear so we fixed it. The motor was not touching the gear but we fixed itReadjusted the gear
12/13//20231The car was not running straight so we adjusted the axel to keep it from turning right. Keeps turning right have not figured out how to solve this issue.axel
2/2/20241We worked on our turning issue. We also decided to try to change it to make it go faster. We decided to change the gear ratio and make the gear on the axel medium sized instead of large sized.Getting it to go straight has been difficult. Changing the gear ratio means melting off the old axle and adding a new axel.
2/8/20241Today we decided to change the gear ratio. We worked to remove the original gear from the axel and replace it with a smaller gear to change the gear ratio.Did not finish replacing the gear. Removed back axel
3/6/20241Continuing to work on the replacement of the gear on the axelDid not finish the fixing the gearcontinued modifications to gear on the back axel
3/11/20240.5Removed the motor to help attach new gearDid not finish replacing the gear. Remove motor
3/12/20242Finish the gear changes, reattached the motor and ran the carTested and Unfortunately the new gear ratio did not really change anything finished reassembling the car with new gear and tested
3/15/20241We ran car but the glue fell off on the straw holding the axel we fixed it by reattaching the glue. Glue fell off so the axle came loose.Fixed the glue so axle is back on
3/16/20241Ran the car but it was slow. Car was turning left. Car was running slow. Changed batteries and adjusted the axel.
3/17/20241Ran the car. Car ran straight. We need to increase the speed. We are thinking of trying out different angles with the solar panel.Need to increase speed
3/20/20241Worked on the journal Need to finish website
3/21/20241Worked on journal and wrote video script.
Created the solar car diagrams.
Need to finish website
3/22/20241Worked on journal entry and filmed video with group members. Created the electrical schematic drawings.Will work on editing
4/3/20241.5Added a place to put the race number. Put adult hot glue where kid glue is so that it will not melt in the sun on race day.Added wood pieces for race number.

Design Documentation

Design Drawings

Design Drawing: Top View (with out panel)

Design Drawing: Side View

Final Car Specifications

Car Size with PanelLength: 30 cmWidth: 10 cmHeight: 12 cm
Weight with Panel 285.2 g
Wheel SizeFront: 3 1/2 cmBack: 3 1/2 cm
Gear Ratiomotor gear: axel gear
= 4:15

Materials Used

ItemApprox. Cost
electric wire 0.10
Solar Made Solar Panel (3V)28.00
Small white gears, wheels, and axels3.99
Solar Made Motor (3V)5.25
Balsa Wood4.00
Straw pieces for spacers 0.25
Battery pack with switch1.25
Copper colored aluminum easily bendable wire1.00
Piece of black binder comb to hold guide wire0.07
Alligator clips (2)0.28
hot glue
Recycled materials:
Bottle cap
Rubber band
plastic cup that holds the ping-pong ball
Total Cost: 43.19

Test Results / Trial Runs

Test Runs 1 – date: 3/12/24

Weather conditions: cloudy
Ran on panel or battery? battery

Observations of results: veered or straight, etc: It went straight

Any recommendations for improvements: the car did this and we think this. For in Improvement we should make the track longer to see how to improve the car

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S

Test Runs 2 – date: 3/12/24

Weather conditions: very cloudy
Ran on panel or battery? battery

Observations of results: veered or straight, etc: It was very slow because of the bumpy surface

Any recommendations for improvements: the car did this and we think this.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S

Test Runs 3 – date: 3/16/24

Weather conditions: sunny
Ran on panel or battery? Battery

Observations of results: Unfortunately the car was turning left and we think the car had bad batteries.

Any recommendations for improvements: Adjusted the axel and changed batteries

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S

Test Runs 4 – date: 3/16/24

Weather conditions: sunny
Ran on panel or battery? Panel

Observations of results: Unfortunately the car was turning left.

Any recommendations for improvements: We have to adjusted the axel.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S

Test Runs 5 – date: 3/17/24

Weather conditions: Sunny with intermittent clouds
Ran on panel or battery? Panel

Observations of results: We saw nothing different from a normal run. Car ran straight.

Any recommendations for improvements: Normal run but need to increase speed.

AttemptTime, S (seconds)Distance, M (meters)Speed, M/S

Video of Our Car Running

Car Features Video

Additional Information

Electrical Schematic: This is our schematic of the electrical circuits. It is the same Solar Made Motor motor in both drawings.

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