How this Power Racing Series Car got on a Plane to WMF

pwrc-on-a-plane

You really should check out the monthly meetings at your local hackerspace. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear the most interesting stories. Like the tale of how the guys from Sector67 got this electric vehicle on the plane with them. Not only did it go up in the air, but they did zero planning ahead of time on how they would actually pull it off.

[Bob Baddeley] posted an album of the PRC experience at World Maker Faire. There are captions that somewhat tell the tale, but we’ll fill you in as best we can on the rest of the story behind this second car from the hackerspace — lovingly known as the Lamebourghini.

The “packing” of the vehicle didn’t start until after the time the Sector67 team planned to leave for the airport. Their main vehicle had been shipped ahead of time, but when that was boxed up this was a still a gleam in the eye of the team members. It was stripped down in a manner that would impress a big-city chop shop. The majority of the body and parts were shoved in a large suitcase by standing on the lid to get the zipper to close all the way.

The remainder of the parts were carried on and sound like an airport security nightmare. You can’t check lithium batteries, but apparently you may carry on as many as you wish with no restriction whatsoever. In addition to the batteries the team carried on the motor, the nose cone of the plastic body, and two jagged chunks of angle iron that just didn’t make it into the luggage.

Assembly was a bit of a challenge — this one is truly hacked together. Realizing it couldn’t be entered without proper brakes a bicycle was purchased in NYC off of Craig’s List as a cheap donor to satisfy the requirement. In the end it was raced alongside the Fauxrarri which let the time three-peat as champions.

If you look closely you’ll spot our own [Brian Benchoff] test driving the winning vehicle.

Comments

  1. Blue Footed Booby says:

    That’s hilarious. I can just imagine the conversation before the flight. “Ok guys, ready to g-oh fuck the TSA is totally going to ream us aren’t they.”

  2. Colecago says:

    There are restrictions on batteries, the cells must be below 100whr I believe. The main designer looked into it and that’s what he found.

  3. XOIIO says:

    I’ve got a good story too, although this was in Canada, I used to turn bug zappers into slightly higher powered shockers that I called “tasers” (based on the real name) and brought one camping. When we flew back, it was in the carry on and needless to say, raised a few eyebrows, but I explained that it A) was broken and B) was just a toy like the shocking pens and they let us through with it lol. It eve had “TASER” on a label on the side.

    • jeffmurchison says:

      Heh, in elementary school we used to take disposable cameras with flash apart and turn them into impromptu tasers. It was as easy as soldering wire to the leads from the capacitor connected to the flash bulb.

  4. AnarKIT says:

    I saw this machine first hand during the race, it truly is a hack, a quite awesome one at that, it is amazing how much power they can pack into those hobby motors, and even more amazing how people can throw these things together and have them work quite reliably with very modest materials and tools!

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    So they basically succeeded despite ignorance.

    Sounds more like a “Homer” to me than a hack.

  6. Tim says:

    …and the TSA throws away my $20 wire strippers because they were a hair too long. In hindsight I should have taken off the rubber grips and probably been let through. I told her to at least take them home to give to someone, but I am sure they were tossed.

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