Project update with random thoughts

I received word the other day that my controller is finished being built and is being shipped out. I have also narrowed down who I will be ordering my WarP 9 from and should get that coming soon. Can’t wait to see what a $2,000 controller feels and looks like, and ditto with the $1,700 motor.

I need to either learn cad quickly and draw up some plans for my adapter plate so I can have it CNC’d at UNI, or plan on making the plate myself the old fashioned way. I would prefer to have it CNC’d since it is likely more precise and I won’t have to do the actual dirty work, but I am not sure how much of a learning curve there is in cad. I also may be able to coerce a few friends I know into helping me with the program.

I need to get my hands on a thick steel tube around 4 inches in diameter so I can attach the bottom of my Stealth’s strut mount to and set in the Thunderbird’s spring perch. I plan to use the Stealth’s factory spring and strut and bolt the steel tube to the lower control arm. If I need extra shock absorption, I can use the Thunderbirds factory shocks or struts which mount in front of the wheel. I may need to do this anyway if I have any wheel hop. I may also need to add helper springs if the factory ones are not strong enough, but I think I should be able to fix that with where I mount the bottom of the strut.

Soon I will also need to finish up deciding on what battery to go with and order it. The Optima 31T is still my top choice, but I if I can get a better deal with the Exide Orbitals, I’d go with them.

I have been toying with the idea of using what people are calling a “carputer” to have an in car computer that can program, diagnose, and log data from my Zilla controller and also run a touch screen and use a lcd panel as gauges. This is all dependent on if I can find suitable hardware to run in the temperature extremes that we get in Iowa. I plan to put Windows XP embedded on it and make my own programs to run everything. I have read and sent data on a serial port before, so this shouldn’t be too much harder. This will probably be one of the last things I do though, because I need the car running and ready to go for graduation in May 2008 and it this is not an absolutely necessary thing.

I also need to start trying to talk to more places about possible sponsors since it is my school project. I have been able to keep up so far with buying the parts, but soon I will be going into the red and will be drawing on my loan that I have set up.