Fauxrarri Is The PPPRS Champion

The Power Racing Series (PPPRS) is an electric vehicle competition with a $500 price ceiling. This is Fauxarri, the 2012 Champion. It was built by members of Sector67, a Madison, WI hackerspace. To our delight, they’ve posted an expose on the how the thing was built.

It should come as no surprise that the guys behind the advance electric racer aren’t doing this sort of thing for the first time. A couple of them were involved in Formula Hybrid Racing at the University of Wisconsin. That experience shows in the custom motor controller built as an Arduino shield. It includes control over acceleration rate, throttle response, and regenerative braking. But you can’t get by on a controller alone. The motors they used are some special electric garden tractor motors to which they added their own water cooling system.

If you want to get a good look at how fast and powerful this thing is head on over to the post about the KC leg of PPPRS (it’s the one towing a second vehicle and still passing the competition by).

Hackaday Links: August 12, 2012

License plate tablet rack

[Hunter Davis] used an old license plate as a tablet stand. It loops around the leg of his laptop table and has a cutout for the power cord of the tablet.

More power power wheels

It may look stock, but this power wheels is hiding a new frame, motors, and tires. You won’t see it in the Power Wheels Racing Series, but it is a ton of fun for this lucky kid.

Surveillance camera chess

Want to play a game? A yellow briefcase hijacks surveillance camera feeds and lets those monitoring them play chess via text message.

ATX bench supply looks like a bench supply

Here’s another rendition of an ATX bench supply. [Ast] rolled in a voltmeter for the variable voltage plug, and an ammeter to finish off the hack.

Lync auto-responder to fool the bossman

In a move reminiscent of [Ferris Bueller], [Sepehr] coded a Lync auto responder to answer the boss when he sends an IM.

MakerFaire K.C.: Power Wheels Racing

This section of the MakerFaire almost deserves an entire event of its own. I know I would happily attend a monthly match of the power racing series in my home town. To compete, you must have a modded Power Wheel. Yes, those electric kids vehicles that go really slowly across your lawn, those power wheels. You tear it apart, soup it up, and race it.

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Turning A Pedal-powered Tractor Into A Power Wheels

A while back, [Stefan] bought a pedal-powered tractor for his son. It was a fun toy, but what it really needed was an electric motor. After a fair bit of tinkering, [Stefan] turned a pedal-powered tractor into a battery-powered Power Wheels.

Before turning his son’s pedal tractor into a battery-powered ride, [Stefan] ordered a 250 Watt motor and a Pololu motor controller. After tearing out the pedal parts, the motor was attached to the tractor with a few bits of wood (giving the tractor running boards), and a bike chain was run between the rear axle and motor. A pair of small 12 Volt batteries provide all the power and a Hall effect sensor in the handlebars provides the throttle.

Right now, [Stefan] has his son’s new battery-powered tractor set to a top speed of 5 km/h, or just a little bit faster than walking speed. [Stefan] says the tractor has a top speed of about 15 km/h, or about 10 mph; much too fast for a kid’s toy. After the break there’s a video of the tractor rolling along, and [Stefan]’s son having a great time.

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Power Wheels Jeep Makes An Awesome R/C Car

powerwheels-remote-control

[Will] from RevoltLab wrote in to share part one of a cool project he is working on right now, a remote-controlled mobile rocket launcher. Before you run off and call the Department of Homeland Security, he says that the launcher will be used for personal hobby rockets, which are typically considered mostly harmless.

The first part of the build is mostly concerned with obtaining a Power Wheels car and tweaking it to be driven remotely. After stripping out most of the odds and ends out of a Barbie Jeep he found via Craigslist, he added a small hobby servo under the dashboard to actuate the pedal. A larger (and much more expensive) servo was attached to the Jeep’s steering bar, allowing [Will] to easily turn the wheels with the flick of a switch.

With the mechanical bits out of the way, he installed an R/C receiver and took to the streets lawn with his creation.

The car seems to handle pretty well, and although the price of the components quickly start to add up, we’d be more than happy to spend that kind of cash for an R/C car that size!

Continue reading to watch a short video of the Jeep in action, and be sure to check Revolt Labs’ site often to follow [Will’s] progress.

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Improving A Motorized Toy

[Dan Fruzzetti’s] daughter was delighted to get a motorized vehicle from her Grandparents, but [Dan] was unimpressed with the stock features. The lead-acid battery supplied remarkable life between charges, but the vehicle only had one feature: a go button that routed juice to the bipolar motor. After the break we’ll look at his improvements to the drive train, steering, and cosmetics.

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Remotely Control Your Crappy Car (dangerously)

Here’s one that brings back that giddy feeling we got when the original episodes of thebroken were posted all those years ago. The lunatics over at Waterloo Labs have altered a beat-up Oldsmobile for remote control via laptop, iPhone, and…. wait for it… Power Wheels.

Brake and gas pedals are actuated using a wrench connected to a motor bolted to the floorboards of the car. The steering wheel has been replaced with a gear and connected to a motor using a motorcycle chain. Much like the van we saw last month, an iPhone app has been written to wirelessly control the car of doom. This leads to some car surfing and ghost riding the whip in the video after the break.

To our delight, they’ve also implement the most unorthodox automotive interface yet, Power Wheels. A chain has been added to measure the orientation of the toy steering wheel, and an optical encoder is used to measure the speed of the tiny electric vehicle. It looks like it doesn’t do the best job of translating to a full size vehicle, but it maxes out their style points.

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