Final Competition + Reflections

Final Competition Day

See Charles’ blog post 🙂

Photocred to shewu and charles!

IMG_8434 IMG_8427 IMG_8426 IMG_8420 2014-05-03 01.37.54 2014-05-02 20.10.30


Riding Phoenixkart around was exhilarating. The main thing to notice, though, was the instability. Being a 3-wheeled kart that torqued heavily and also rode low to the ground meant that I did a fair bit of scrubbing the ground with the back edge of the kart. A few reflections.

1) The chain fell off twice :(, both times while going full speed around corners. That still needs debugging

2) The tensioner got loose a few times, which helped the chain to fall off. It was very hard to tighten as well. If I were to re-design this, I’d make the sprocket/chain system much more modular and accessible.

3) The motor got (understandably) hot, but thankfully, there was no smoke. The lawn tractor seat was comfortable, the kart accelerated nicely, and it rode smoothly (8 inch wheels were fine, though a bit bumpy on the parking lot).


If I were to design this kart again, I would…

  • Make a 4-wheeled vehicle. There’s better stability, and 2 motors is more power!
  • Not buy a 130A Kelly controller when there are 40A fuses on the bateris ^-^
  • Make a smaller go-kart. We aimed to do that, but we ended up having a pretty nice, comfortable kart in the end. It could have been smaller though, but this complaint is just nitpicky.
  • Have the kill-power switch in a slightly more accessible spot. I mean, reaching behind you to cut power isn’t the most intuitive.

What I learned:

  • This class is awesome! I came in knowing nothing about go-karts, and I left with the resources on how to build things that I didn’t know how to build. Now, when I want to build something new, I’ll know where to find blogs, people, and resources that will teach me how to build things. I’m also more confident in my ability to design large things – I’d only previously designed small robots in MASLAB, and designing something that is able to support my weight and move quickly is different.
  • Finding where to buy things. Charles makes us choose where to buy everything for the go-kart, which means that we learn the best sites to buy hardware. It’s a pretty important skill to learn to spec items of mcmaster,buy them on ebay or harbor freight, etc.
  • Everything is machinable (with the right tools, of course. Please use the right tools).
  • CADing is great, but check with actual parts.



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