Here are some advise, tips and hints as to how to have a great time at a solar car race!!
Getting to the RaceEdit
1.) At the end the day, clean out each of the vehicles by taking out trash and personal items. This will help keep the clutter down, and it's essential to do this to avoid headaches and loss of items. 2.) Everyone *must* have their cell phones on them, and have the ringer on loud, and phone must be fully charged at the beginning of each day. This is a safety thing - people need to be able to find you, and you must be able to reach the team.
2b.) Keep your cell phones charging at all possible times - plug them into phone chargers that should be in each car. A dead phone is safety hazard.
2c.) Make sure to get extra USB cables for charging your phone! Micro USB cables break all the time!
1.) It is vital that everyone have a positive attitude! People who can't go for a month-long trip with a group and keep a positive attitude should not attend this!
2.) The solar car race begins when you leave Corvallis. The journey down, the inspections, the qualifying race, the road race and the drive back will all tax your physical, emotional and intellectural endurance. As much as the competition is an endurance race for the car, it is also an endurance race for the people.
Scrutineering and FSGPEdit
1.) Help out other teams as soon as you pass scrutineering! This is super important! We have a great reputation for helping out other teams!!
2.) Download "SunSurveyor Pro" from the Android Play Store or the iOS store - it's an extremely useful piece of software that will tell you the position of the sun for different times of day. The full version (which is the useful version) has an "HUD" display option (called AR camera) that overlays the sun's trajectory for different times of day (http://www.sunsurveyor.com/wp-content/themes/sunsurveyor/images/screenshots/android/and_ar_sun.jpg). This will allow you to place your solar array in the right spot for charging and let you know if you're going to have an obstruction hit your array while charging! We won in part because of this app - we didn't get shaded during one day of charging, and some of the other cars behind us did.
3.) Make sure the brake housing for the rear caliper brake does not come out of the housing seat on the brake pedal cluster. If the brake housing comes out, the rear brakes will scrub! Anne - can you show them what I'm talking about? All drivers needs to be aware of this!
4.) For braking test: make sure you put your foot over the brake pedal, and almost press it down a bit, when the flag reaches horizontal. Ignore the inspectors when they say "maintain speed" when the flag's horizontal - your car will maintain speed while coasting and you do not need to accelerate at all. This will help you shave maybe around a second off your stopping time, which is significant in the face of a 2 to 3 second requirement! Also, try not to go over 30 mph at all during the braking test.
5.) You don't have to "compete" in the FSGP if you don't want to after you qualify. Many teams choose to not "race" in the FSGP after they qualify to save time, energy and to give the team a break before the grueling week long road race!! If you do choose to compete, then you might get a really good placing, though. Use your judgement!!
6.) Make sure you find out the minimum number of laps needed to qualify each driver for the FSGP, and swap drivers as soon as each driver is qualified!! Do not wait!!! Else, you might not have a qualified driver for the road race!! (this happened to us in 2008)
7.) Get a weather app (e.g. The Weather Channel) that has radar images that display both cloud and rain!! This will be your *best friend* for planning how fast to drive!!
8.) Our car has a 4kW pack when charged to 100%. Under a good day, we can recover about 50% SOC in the morning and evening (combined). Use this to plan for how fast you drive.
9.) To top off the batteries, charge the car until the contactors open!! 100% doesn't mean always 100%, as you guys know by now!
10.) Find the "backup" plug in modules for the body control module - Dave: we're on "E" right now. Help them find the rest of the MicroChip plug in modules, and make sure they're in the caravan!
11.) Remember to drink water lightly in the caravan while driving - many times, people don't stop to pee or eat lunch for the entire day. You might have eat in the car, and pee in a bottle (not even kidding). We won the last race by one lap...if the race is close, you guys will *not* want to stop to pee, and you need options!
12.) Remember to use the "chase car in the middle of the street" maneuver if necessary. Andy S. - remember that intersection where we couldn't turn for 30 minutes, and the cops had to help us? Remember what Adem and Greg Thompson said about how to use your chase vehicles + flags?