Division: JSS Blue (7-8)
School: Parkland STEM Club Team Size: 2

The Rovers


Team Information

Speed Racer
Car Name: Speed Racer
Team Name: The Rovers
School Name: Parkland Saturday STEM Club
Team Members Names: Aayush A. and Brock S.

Design Documentation

Front View
Right Side View
Left Side View
Back View
Top View
Inside of Car
Bottom of Car

Project Log

DateHoursTasks PerformedObstacles EncounteredModifications to Car
2/19/20220.5We learned about the competition and looked at pictures of cars from the past competitions.
2/26/20221.5Put design on paper.
Gathered materials.
Chose solar panel.
We cut the balsa wood for the body and marked where the axels will go using a t-square.
Used a volt meter to test different angles to the sun with the solar panel.
Making sure everything would fit on the body. We had to change our idea about using the white solar panel which was lighter because it was too long for the length of our car body.
Cut wood for body
3/5/20221.5Cut pieces out of the body so that the wheels would fit.
Put on front and back wheels/axels/spacers.
The axel that we wanted to use because it was aluminum and lighter was too short for our design. We had to find a new axel choice for both the front and the back.Put on wheels and axels.
3/12/20221.5Worked on circuits today. Put alligator clips on wires from solar panel and wires from the battery.
Put on motor.
Put on battery pack
Was able to run car inside. The car turned to the right. We had to adjust the front wheels.
The car was turning to the right.Put on motor and battery pack.
3/26/20222Made some decisions about the placement of the panel and how that was going to work so that we could make it adjustable. Cut wood to hold up panel. Decided to use a hinge and antenna to make the panel adjustable.The antenna doesn’t hold on its own since we made it shorter. We have to use duct tape to hold it up.
4/2/20221.5Finished adding wooden triangular supports for the panel. Attached hinge to car and solar panel. Attached free end of panel to car and a retractable antennae with velcro. the antennae and hinge combination will allow the panel to be adjustable depending on the sun’s angle. Tested the car in the house on battery power.Because of our panel placement we couldn’t reach the on/off switch on our battery pack. We moved it nearer to the back wheel.Put on support wood for panel, antenna, and hinge. Put on solar panel.
4/9/20221.5We added the guide for the guide wire. And added the holder for the ping pong ball. Tested the car inside.
4/15/20223Ran the car in the sun. It ran OK on battery, but not on solar panel. Made the decision to change the gear ratio because the car was going too slowly and not running well on solar panel even though it was running on battery.The car would not run on solar panel even though it ran well on battery. It was slow on battery, tooChanged the gear ratio to have a smaller gear on the motor and a larger gear on the axel.
4/16/20220.5Put on new solar panel and that seemed to fix the problem of it not running on panel. Replaced the defective solar panel
4/20/20220.5Ran the car on solar panel but in low light.Can’t tell if the panel is working well because the sunlight was so low.
4/23/20224Ran the car in the sun with new panel. We decided that the car still did not go fast enough. We changed the gear ratio to an even smaller gear on the motor. We had to move the motor to the bottom of the car because otherwise the small gear on the motor wouldn’t touch the medium sized gear on the back axel. Raised the height of the car by adding more rubber bands.Car still doesn’t go fast enough on panel. Had to move the motor to the bottom of the car. Then the car was too low and the motor hit the ground. We added rubber bands to the wheels to raise the height of the car.Changed the gear ratio again. This time it is even smaller on the motor. Moved motor to the bottom back of the car. Added extra rubber bands to the back wheels to heighten the car.
4/24/2022.5Ran the car on battery at about 8am then on panel at about 10:00 am.

Design Drawings

Top View
Side View

Finished Car Specifications

Car Size with PanelLength: cmWidth: 10.4 cmHeight: 7.5 cm
Weight with Panel 221.3 g
Wheel sizeFront wheels: 3.5cmBack wheels: 4.0 cm
Gear Ratiomotor gear: axle gear
10:30 =
1:3

Materials Used

Approx. Cost
New:
Pitsco Ray Catcher solar panel38.25
motor5.25
black gears (2 x 0.34)0.68
front wheels with tires and axel (solar made accessory pack)4.50
back wheels with rubber bands0.30
back axel1.25
balsa wood2.31
spacers for bearings0.26
velcro0.10
piece of black binder comb for guide wire0.07
battery pack with switch3.85
hinge0.50
copper wire0.07
Consumables:
duct tape
hot glue
solder
Recycled:
piece of antenna
plastic cup
balsa wood scraps

Test Results / Trial Runs

Test Runs 1 – date: 4/9/2022
Weather conditions: Evening. Not much light (8pm)
It was dark so we had to run on battery.

Observations of results: The car was turning so we had to adjust the wheels several times until it ran straight. We could only run on battery. It would not run on solar panel.
Any recommendations for improvements: We have to check the wires or try a different solar panel
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
18.58151.75
28.06151.86
38.90151.69
48.86151.69
Test Runs 2 – date: 4/15/2022
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
When the sun was out we ran on panel. When it was behind the clouds we ran on battery.

Observations of results: The car was turning so we had to adjust the wheels several times until it ran straight. We could only run on battery. It would not run on solar panel.
Any recommendations for improvements: We have to check the wires or try a different solar panel
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – battery8.50151.76
2 – battery8.86151.69

Test Runs 3 – date: 4/20/2022
Weather conditions: low sun (5:30 pm)
Panel

Observations of results: It was late so the sun was not very strong.
Any recommendations for improvements: After changing out the bad panel, it ran on solar panel successfully for the first time. We wonder if the gear ratio is still not the best, though.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – panel10.28201.95
2 – panel16.34201.22
3 – panel16.9201.18

Test Runs 4 – date: 4/23/2022
Weather conditions: partly cloudy and windy
We ran on panel

Observations of results: It went straight but seemed slow
Any recommendations for improvements: We decided to try to change the gear ratio again to try to make it
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – panel10.87201.84
2 – panel11.34201.76
3 – panel9.25202.16
4 – panel8.75202.29
Test Runs 5 – date: 4/24/2022
Weather conditions: Partly sunny
We ran it on both battery and solar panel


Observations of results: It was sunny when we ran on solar pane. Still trying to figure out why it is running so much slower.
Any recommendations for improvements: We will test with a volt meter this week to see if we can figure out if it is our panel angle. We may not be making the best use of our adjustable panel.
AttemptTime, sDistance, mSpeed, m/s
1 – battery6.72202.98
2 – battery6.65203.01
3 – battery6.97202.87
4 – panel9.75202.05
5 – panel8.53202.34
6 – panel9.01202.22

Vehicle Features Video

Design Video

Additional Information

The Rover electrical schematic

Electrical Schematic of Battery Circuit
Electrical Schematic of Solar Panel Circuit

One thought on “The Rovers

  • April 28, 2022 at 4:36 pm
    Permalink

    Great persistence in engineering, testing and modifications to make the gears work better and car to be faster, awesome explanation in video:)

    Reply

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