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Home > About Us > Power Drive > Teams

Elkhorn

  Elkhorn (NE) High and Elkhorn South High Schools – Car A-01 “1957 Chevy”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – April 2013
Advanced Class

April A01

Rally season has arrived!  The weather has still not been very friendly for our practices, but it was not bad enough to cancel any rallies.  At this writing, we’ve run the car at all rallies except the State Championships next week.  The results have been mixed.  Here is some of how we’ve done and what we’ve learned:

New sponsor – We gained Valmont as a large sponsor.  Thank you to Valmont and the Bill and Coleen Black family who helped make it happen!!  (See the photo for the new trailer we purchased using their contribution.)
Finishing the car – The car is tuned and painted.  We’ve made a few changes to improve driver fit and visibility.  We added a second brake pedal for a taller driver.

Lincoln – The body bumped the external kill switch to the “off” position, and cost us a couple of laps as we got it reset.  We changed the body near the switch to prevent it in the future.  We threw a chain after a team member did not tighten a sprocket set screw.  Pre-race procedures have been fixed to include checking it.

Hastings – We took second place!  There was still plenty of power in the batteries, so we should have geared a little faster.
Grand Island – We learned a hard lesson in how to take corners when we collided with another vehicle on the first lap.  Later we blew a rear tire.  The good news is that our Pit Crew did very well to get the car back in the rally quickly.  Documentation was turned in, so we can breathe a sigh of relief (until next year).

West Point – The car and the driver worked very well and we took second place.  We experimented with using front and rear cameras on the car, and saw some interesting things that will make the annual Bloopers video.

Next up is to practice for the other Power Drive events.  We’re looking forward to showing off our vision of the past.  Come see the A-01 “1957 Chevy” perform in 2013!!!


Elkhorn (NE) High and Elkhorn South High Schools – Car A-01 “1957 Chevy”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – March 2013
Advanced Class
March A01 body shot

We have painted the A-01 1957 Chevy Bel-Air a purple base color with white and gray stripes on the “tail fins” that are painted on.  (See the attached photo.)  We just submitted an order to get decals made which will complete the car’s good looks.  We even found a free downloadable font that closely resembles the lettering on the original 1957 Chevy.  That will complete the body work on the A-01.

We are planning on track testing the car the first week of April.  Weather problems have caused us to delay it this long.  Everything else is ready to go on the car.  Besides the body work, the major changes to the car from last year’s version are to alter the shape and position of the roll cage, and to make multiple changes within the cockpit to fit the new drivers for the car this year.  Those changes were done early in the year.

Capacity testing of all of our batteries is also now complete.  Our primary “race day” batteries appear to have kept their capacities well since last year.  Now we’re working on calculations for what gears should be used for each of the rally sites.

With some test track time, the car, its drivers, and the Pit Crew will be ready to go.  This “blast from the past” is ready take up where it left off last year…at the front of the pack and “cruising the loop” at the Power Drive rally tracks!


Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car A-01 “1957 Chevy”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – February 2013
Advanced Class

A01 February 2013

As mentioned last month, the car is already drivable.  The biggest job remaining is the new paint job that will show our theme of “1957 Chevy.”  We are still deciding what this will look like.  It will be strongly influenced by the leftover paint colors we have available.  (We don’t want to buy much new paint this year.)  Likely designs are to use a dark purple, like the real 1957 Chevy that will appear in our marketing video.  (Just whetting your appetite for our Documentation entry…)  We may also paint a few small details that look like door handles, trim, etc.
We would like to take the car on the test track, but winter weather doesn’t allow much of that.  So while we wait for good weather, we’ve been putting the car on display at our concession stand fundraisers (see the photo).  We had a very big audience on Valentine’s Day when our vehicle team hosted the concession stand for the Elkhorn South at Elkhorn High basketball games.  The gym was full, the place was rocking (the boys varsity game went to overtime), and the concession stand was constantly busy.  We placed our car next to the stand, and showed it off to everyone who passed by.  (See the photo of a future Power Driver checking out the car.)  It was a huge hit, and generated lots of interest all evening.  We made a great profit on the stand too!
So except for a new paint job, and some test track time, the car is ready to go for the first rally on April 6th in Lincoln.  The excitement is building as we look to the future to run a car out of the past…

Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car A-01 “1957 Chevy”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – January 2013
Advanced Class

Elkhorn A51

Our work on this year’s car began immediately after the Wayne rally last October.  Our approach is to make changes to the cockpit to fit a new driver.  We also discussed many possible themes and ideas to improve our documentation from last season before deciding on the “1957 Chevy” theme.  We chose this because it lets us show differences between modern day technology and body with a “classic” car.
Through many designs and many ideas, we chose which systems to change.  Since the new driver is shorter than last year’s driver, we concentrated on changes that would make that driver more comfortable in the car and better able to use the controls.  The changes are the following:
* Steering: Moved the steering wheel higher and made it detachable
* Braking: Made the brake pedal closer to the driver
* Frame:  Altered the front roll cage bracing to allow for more shoulder room
These changes have all now been made.  The car itself is ready for testing.  All that remains is for the car to get a new paint job.  We have not yet designed that paint, but we would like to include some ways to make it look like a 1957 Chevy.
We’re making repairs and improvements in our battery testing equipment.  When that is finished, we’ll test some batteries, and then, since the weather gets better, we’ll take the car for a spin.  Maybe we’ll “cruise the loop” like our grand-parents tell us they used to do back in the fifties.
In the meantime, we’ve been putting the car on display at our concession stand fundraisers (see the photo).  We want to generate more interest in our team and the Power Drive program.  Now if the instructors would let us put the batteries in, the car would be perfect for a little drag racing down the hallways!

Elkhorn (NE) and Elkhorn South High Schools – Car S-04 “Forbidden”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – April 2013
Standard Clas

April S04

Here we are with four rallies under our belt and only the Big One yet to come next week at Werner Park.  We’ve learned a lot, and hope that lets us do better than we have so far this season.  The car has been finished, but has needed several changes and repairs since the first rally.  (See the photo for its finished look.)

Lincoln – We found our batteries were weaker than testing had shown.  The car finished the heat, but was slow.  We immediately purchased new batteries and began preparing them with a few discharges before “race day” use.  Also, we began using two-way radios again after a long absence.
Hastings – When the green flag dropped, we had no power.  We had connected the cables in reverse.  That has now been fixed by a change in our pre-race checklist.  We made a minor change in mounting the gauges so the driver could see them better.

Grand Island – This was a bad day for our car.  We neglected to use the radio, and it hurt us when communicating for pit stops and problems.  We had multiple bumps and brushes with other cars, one of which resulted in a bent steering rod.  We also had a flat rear tire.  We did not finish the heat.
West Point – We had a problem with the body hitting the external kill switch and turning it off.  A large piece of tape stopped the problem for the rest of the heat, but we’ll need to fix it next week.  Otherwise the car was running very well until near the end when it dropped in power a lot.  We’re now testing to find out why.

This week, we need to fix the power problem and also practice for the other Power Drive events – Braking, Maneuverability, and Design Judging.  Documentation was turned in on time at the Grand Island rally, so that event is now in the Judges’ hands.

We gained a new sponsor in Valmont, who has contributed to our team in a big way.  We now have an enclosed trailer that is so much better to use than our old open trailer.  We are grateful for their support, and will start planning soon how to return the favor.  We also want to thank the Black family, Coleen and Bill, for their work in connecting us with the people at Valmont.  Thank you very much!  Contributions to the S-04 “Forbidden” are not forbidden!!!

Elkhorn (NE) and Elkhorn South High Schools – Car S-04 “Forbidden”

Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – March 2013
Standard Class

March S04 Bulge


March S04 Crack
At the start of March, we took a big hit to our car work.  We had made a Fiberglass body, similar to last year with our Standard Class car.  This year, we tried to improve that work by making the Fiberglass body even lighter than before.  It weighed only 20 pounds.  But it turns out that the body was too thin.  It cracked in places and would not keep its shape very well.  (See the two photos of these problems, showing a crack near the windshield opening, and the other showing a bulge in the roof.)  When we attached the body to the frame, the body bulged out in places, and messed up the aerodynamics.
After some attempts to fix the shape, we gave up on using that body.  Fortunately, we had saved the body from our Exhibition Class car last year (E-05).  The two cars were very similar in shape, so we made some changes to mount the E-05 body on the S-04 car frame.  It took a lot of work to shape it, and to move the attach points, but it worked.
It took most of the month, but now almost everything is done but the body paint job.  Decals have been ordered, and we know what we want to do for the paint.  That should all be done the first week of April.  Other things we did during March were to install the brakes, brake light, and brake pedal.  We also finished wiring the throttle and the gauge.  The last wiring task was to calibrate the gauge so the readings were correct.
We still have to align the wheels, and then we’ll be ready for a test drive.  That is scheduled for the first week of April, weather permitting.  There may be a few more changes for driver fit, but we spent a lot of time testing this in the shop.  At least, we know the drivers will be able to see out the windshield!  Our biggest worry is whether the car will lose much of its aerodynamics by using the old body.  We’ll know soon…

Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car S-04 “Forbidden”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – February 2013
Standard Class


S04 February 2013

Last month, the frame was the main item we worked on for this car.  We got a little ahead of schedule, and were able to raise the steering column and bring it forward for a better driver fit.  The steering column is now detachable too.
This month, S-04 got its motor, battery box, and most of the wiring done.  The primary work we have yet to do is to finish the wiring, to cut and fit the body for the car, and then get a paint job.  The wiring work includes connecting the brake light and brake pedal wires, extending wire into the steering column for the throttle, and connecting the kill switch.
The basic body form (see photo) has already been made out of Fiberglass.  We just started cutting the body’s edges to fit tightly against the car’s frame.  By doing so, we preserve the aerodynamic shape along the frame’s curves.  Following the body work, we will tackle the windshield within the body, and trim the bottom of the body to just below the underside of the frame.
It is currently close to being ready for a test drive, probably in early March.  Driver fit will be very important especially for the windshield height and width.  If we don’t get this right, our driver will be driving blind.   But if we get it right (we will!), it will be a strong improvement over the original S-04, which used a poor-fitting bubble canopy for the driver’s view.  Bad driver vision is “Forbidden” on the S-04!

Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car S-04 “Forbidden”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – January 2013
Standard Class

Elkhorn S04

Our work on this year’s new car began immediately after the Wayne rally last October.  It is being made to fit the same primary driver who drove last year’s A-51 “Mutt” car.  That car was dismantled after running at Wayne, and is having its parts used in the new S-04 car.  After much discussion on themes, we decided to bring back a theme we used on one of our cars back in the 2002 season - “Forbidden.”  Our documentation approach will be to compare the old and new cars, including the safety, aerodynamic, and other features of each car.  “Forbidden” is coming back to the future!
The car will be very similar to last year’s Standard Class car, the S-01 “Last Minute” which won the Class for 2012.  That means it will use rack and pinion steering, an aluminum frame, a fiberglass body, and will be very aerodynamic.  The major difference will be in how we fit the cockpit to the drivers.
So far we have done the following with the S-04 car:
* Frame is complete
* Axles and wheels are mounted
* Built the battery box
* Mounted the controller on an insulated panel
* Basic fiberglass has been done
We are working on steering and electrical right now.  The car is on track for completion in time for the first rally on April 6.  When we get it finished, “Forbidden” will be allowed on the track!

Elkhorn (NE) High and Elkhorn South High School – Car S-05 “Flash”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – March 2013
Standard Class

We have decided not to compete with the S-05 this season.  We don’t have enough time to do it well, so we will postpone this car until next year.
The Flash will have to take his time and wait for next year.

Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car S-05 “Flash”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – February 2013
Standard Class


S05 February 2013
The S-05 car is not as far along as we would like.  The frame is mostly changed (see photo), but neither the roll cage nor the rear axle has been started.  We had a lot of rework to do with the fixed front wheel.  Our initial plan was to have the front wheel both steer and power the car.  However, the existing frame did not allow enough side-to-side room to let the wheel turn as much as it needs to.  So we altered the plan to have the front wheel be fixed and power the car only.  Our two rear wheels will provide the steering.
The motor mount is done, as is the battery box.  Our plans call for reusing the E-05 (last year’s Exhibition Class car) body for this car, since it is already shaped to fit the underlying frame.
The car is definitely not on track (pun intended) to race in the first rally this season.  Time for a higher gear…

Elkhorn (NE) High School – Car S-05 “Flash”
Nebraska Power Drive Monthly Status Report – January 2013
Standard Class

Elkhorn S05

With the S-05 car, we are going through a bunch of “firsts” for our team.  This car will be an experimental one for Elkhorn.  Previously, all of our cars have been two front wheels steering, and one rear drive wheel (see the photo for a zoom of the fixed axle).  We are reversing that with this car, and will have a single fixed wheel in the front to power the car, and steer it with two rear wheels.
Another first for us is that we will reuse an existing frame to build a Standard Class car.  After last October’s Wayne rally, we dismantled the Exhibition Class E-05 car, and began a total rework of its frame to become the S-05.  We sent our plans to Power Drive officials, asking if the amount of change we were making could qualify it to be a Standard Class car.  The answer was yes, so here we are in the Standard Class.
Yet another first is that this is the first time Elkhorn has attempted to build two Standard Class cars in the same season.
The S-05 car is not as far along as we would like.  The frame is mostly changed, but neither the roll cage nor the rear axle has been started.  We had a lot of rework to do with the fixed front wheel.  That is done, and we are working on the motor mount next before tackling the steerable wheels.  Our plans call for reusing the E-05 body again, since it is already shaped to fit the underlying frame.
The car is on track to race this season, but probably not in time for the first rally.  We hope the S-05 will make up for that slow start by acting like “The Flash” (which is the theme for the car) once it gets on the track.
 

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