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FSG2016 Early Testing

Monday: The first official day of early testing! We are spending the week at KIT prepping for FSG2016. The truck was picked up while a couple members ensured the car was ready for testing. We also went shopping for food and fluids and chargers and what not, and it was overall a successful outing. The car needed a full shake down and we were out by 17h30 or so, and one of our contacts at Daimler came to visit us while we were in the same country! We were doing basic autoX runs, checking that the setup seemed good (we had new front aero) and checking temps and such. we tested until it got too hot, we stopped, packed up the shop, got some more groceries for dinner, and went home to cook. The Daimler guy came with us which was nice, and we had a great time eating and chatting.

Tuesday: Early start as the track we are using is only open 9-19h. We had to get CO2, which is remarkably hard to get in Germany, and eventually went to KIT campus nord to the firestation where the fire dude filled them up nice. Two more members met up with us and them we went back out on track. We did a few autoX stints with Felix before the drivetrain broke (tripod failure and stubshaft had a crack). After make a trip back to KIT to pickup the drivetrain box, we were still missing a few things necessary, so we decided to head back for the evening to repair. We bled the brakes, as they were giving us some trouble, and there were also some electronics issues. After a night in the shop, we went home, with some electronics investigation to occur at home overnight.

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Wednesday: Another early start that began with more investigation into electronics issues. Sensors were not functioning properly, and there was a potential short somewhere. When it was sufficiently deemed safe, we went out on track and had a wonderful test day. Starting with Felix, we got great hot laps and good data. We made setup changes which worked, and we were able to run all day. Luci took a hop in so Felix could take a look from the outside and make more setup changes. We continued to make changes until Luci was exhausted and went back home to prep the car and pack the car for an early night. We went to the biergarten for dinner, and went home.

Thursday: We went straight to track for an official practice endurance, as the truck was already packed. However, 1/3 into 1st driver, we ran into brakes issues that had been bothering us all week. We had thought it was just kinks in the lines, but it seemed to frequent and repeating to make sense. We decided to swap brake pads and discs, but it started raining and the day was coming to an end so we went back to KIT. Quite a bit of water was on the ground, so we setup for skidpad. We got some good runs in, made some setup changes and dropped into the 5.3-5.4s range on a few runs! Lookin good!

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Friday: We were still having brakes issues and decided that the best course of action would be to replace the master cylinder. Unfortunately the closest place that sells AP Racing parts was a 3 hour drive away. While a couple members when to go buy one (and fresh driver shoes!) the rest of the team got the car ready and did a couple light autocross runs. After the cylinder switch it seems like our issues were fixed and we were able to get some good track time in!

Saturday: Unfortunately our go to testing area was closed for the weekend so we spend the day testing at KIT. We did some more practice endurances while being extremely stringent about cone hits and off-courses. This lead to our drivers pulling some hella clean laps with great times! That evening KAraceing returned from FS Austria and we were able to chat and hangout a bit while they unloaded their stuff!

Sunday: This day was dedicated to straight line aero testing. We headed up to KIT campus nord where they had a nice flat area for us to get some good aero data. Things went quite smoothly and the data looks great!

Monday: Most of the day was spent packing. KIT decided to run a wet skidpad in the evening so we decided to join in. Luckily for us our 2 skidpad drivers had arrived the day before and were able to get the feel of the wet track. We finished packing rather late but everything was ready to get to FSG2016

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Stay tuned for updates on the competition!

Formula North 2016: Days 3&4

The last two days of competition were dedicated to dynamics events. Day 3 is all about Acceleration, Skidpad and Autocross with Day 4 being the big event: endurance.

Day 3:

We started the day with the normal morning fixes then off to fueling and accel. It took a while to get the car ready but we even tally got in all four of our runs with Wilson pulling the fastest time of 4.56s.

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We then went right over to skidpad with Wilson pulling around a 5.5s.

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After lunch it was time to run autocross. We had a couple issues involving fuel and CO2 which took some time to fix so it was a rush to the line. Finally we got all 4 autocross runs in. They were looking pretty fast but I think we accidentally had the cone magnet on because we didn’t manage to put up a clean run.

We then ran back to the pit to get ready for design finals. Had a pep talk and then everyone got suited up. Design finals went really well and I think everyone had a good time showcasing what they know.

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We pulled the car out of the pit and into the parking lot to work on it during the evening/night. We weren’t confident that the fuel pump we were running would be able to get to all the fuel necessary for a full enduro run so we swapped in the hydramat.

Day 4:

We didn’t find out that we were running 3rd for endurance until the morning when we woke up. This caused a scramble to pack up and get to track. We were all feeling kinda down about being so early but everyone pushed through and came together to get-er-done.
Because we were going to be running so early, all hands were on deck getting the car ready to go. We also got bumped up to running first because the Ecars that were supposed to go before us were given time to charge their batteries. Thankfully for us the track opened late so we had an extra half our or so to warm up before the race.
Our endurance run ended up looking pretty good – still hit a lot of cones but definitely less than during autocross.
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The rest of the afternoon was spent making sure the car wasn’t hemorrhaging fluids and watching the other teams do endurance.
In the evening we had design review and the awards.We ended up getting 2nd in Design and finishing 6th overall!
Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting the team – stay tuned for pre-fsg updates!
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Formula North 2016: Day 2

Day 2 at Formula North is all about static events: Design, Cost and Business. We didn’t have the best schedule with cost at 10:40 and then design at 1:30 – too much time between to just prep and chill but not quite enough to get much done. We ended up pushing pretty hard in the morning to get about half an hour of time in the practice area

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We then brought the car back for cost which went pretty well (we came in 15th even with a 3/40 for the relative cost of vehicle score). The next couple hours was spent prepping for design – last minute studying and making the car look shiny for the judges.Design was right after the lunch break. The team felt that it went pretty smoothly but they weren’t able to go as in depth as they would have wanted because there wasn’t enough judges. Business also went well with Simon doing it for his first time with Matt (they came in 7th)!

For the rest of the evening we went back out to the practice area to get ready for the dynamic events on Day 3

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We found out the next morning that we made design finals! That meant that Day 3 was going to be jam-packed: Acceleration, Skidpad, Autocross and Design Finals!

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Formula North 2016: Day 1

Formula North 2016 has officially started! The goal for day one was to get through all of tech: srcutineering, tilt, noise and brakes. The team started the day off by finishing up a couple of last minute things to make sure the car was one hundred percent tech-ready. We then rolled off to the tech bay. Everything went very well with only one minor fix to perform (reinforcing the headrest). By 2 PM we were all done with scrutineering and on to dynamic tech!

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Next up was to fuel and go through tilt. Tilt was no issue and we passed first try!

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After tilt comes the dreaded noise. We had some issues (like always) with pops being too loud and throwing off our reading. A quick switch of the muffler set up managed to do the trick and we were through the hardest part (for most teams) of tech!

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Last up was brakes. We had time to spare so Tim ran brakes for his first time ever. It took a couple tries but eventually he nailed it! We had passed tech with time to prep the car and make it pretty for the static events on day 2.

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Plan for Day 2: Get through Design, Cost, and Business as well as get some practice time in. Stay tuned!

FSAE Michigan 2016

The team left bright and early for Michigan Monday morning to get in a bit of testing time and have time to spend a day with our industry adviser.  We arrived late afternoon with the first destination being an empty track, where the team was able to unload the car after the journey and make sure systems were acting properly. The issue that the team had been diagnosing for a few days was still occurring, so more troubleshooting was on the agenda, and the problem was finally narrowed down and found to be regarding the coils. An accidental short in the following inspection meant that the loom had to be taken out, inspected, and repaired over night.

Tuesday we spent with our industry advisor, Shaun Day, touring around special locations and meeting extraordinary people. We ended the day in a similar manner as last season, at Watson Racing, where we were able to continue the rebuild of the car and crank it up. There were no visible issues. At the end of the evening, we packed it up and went outside for some noise testing, and (we thought) we were able to pass noise at both points!
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FSAEM Day 1 (Wednesday):
After coming home late at night post noise-testing, it was a bright and early morning to get the trailer into the paddocks. We set up, got into tech take-a-number line, and starting prepping for tech. Our eventual number was pretty high, so we took the extra time to double and triple check the tech inspection sheet, and prepare for static events, including design at 8:30 Thursday morning.
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We were able to roll into tech inspection at around 5:30, and everything was going well. At the end of the session, we had passed on all but two things, one minor and one major. The major change involves welding reinforcement on the main hoop bracings, which happened late Wednesday night.
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FSAEM Day 2 (Thursday):
Design was at 8:30, so we needed to weigh in. Our eventual weight with half a tank of fuel was 361 pounds, with 46% front and 51% left.
We went straight to design from the scales, and from the comments in our design debrief, it seemed to have gone well. For our first time together doing design as a group, we were able to keep the judges more than busy in addition to adequately answering most of their questions. Unfortunately, we did not make design finals, but we congratulate those who did, especially our friends at Zips and ETS.
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After design, we didn’t have events that needed the car until cost at 4, so we got straight to work. We did our weld fix on the main hoop bracing in addition to addressing other minor tech changes. We got a new set of slicks, re-teched the car, and went through quickly. During this time Matt headed out to give the business presentation. Later on we went off to fuel and then tilt, passing in no problem. As we were attempting noise, we had a fuel incident that required some cleaning before returning. After getting to attempt noise the first time, we were found too loud at idle, which was confusing to us. We had to leave to go to cost, which did not take too long. Afterwards, we headed back to noise and warmed up the car. Unfortunately, thunderstorms started coming so they closed all of the events, and eventually closed site early.

FSAEM Day 3 (Friday) :

Friday we got to the track early, considering our busy schedule. We need to pass noise, brakes, and run acceleration before lunch, and then pass to skidpad in autocross in the afternoon.
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We were able to roll over to noise by 8:30 after doing warming up the car in the paddock. We weren’t able to pass first time (106 at idle) and so we tried playing with the tune before failing again. We realized our sound meter was not working properly (we were reading 98 or so) so we borrowed from Zips while also making muffler changes.  We passed on the next attempt and rushed towards brakes, which we passed on the third try no problem (the first try our engine stalled). We headed over to accel, where we ran into a few electronic/shifting problems, which we were able to delay for accel. Wilson and Tim both clocked runs, with our best run at 4.678seconds.
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From accel, we headed to skidpad, where we had to wait for lunch break. We took advantage to do a quick inspection, put the aero back in downforce mode, and get feedback from the design judges. Overall, they were impressed, but wanted a little bit more correlation of data, validation, and thought in verbal communication. A good starting point!
As skidpad opened, we were able to get two runs in with Tim before we had to head to autocross. Our electronics related to shifting finally broke, and we had to make a rapid surgery to that harness. We fixed it and Felix hopped in for his two autocross runs. He impressed, but got unlucky with an off course, and with Lucien not having time to run (despite staying a long time in line), so we were stuck with a relatively slow time. However, the car looks seriously fast and we are excited for tomorrow and the rest of the summer.
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Friday night we prepared for endurance, which we would be running in the morning, by inspecting the powertrain, permanently fixing the steering wheel, reinforcing a suspension connection, and other minor things.
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FSAEM Day 4 (Saturday):
Saturday morning dawn grey and cold. We set out for the track to finish prepping the car as we were 20th in line to run. It started to drizzle so we ran with our wets. Lucien started out strong with a couple great laps. He headed back in for the driver change with no issues to be found. Felix jumped in and spent the next half of race passing other cars like a maniac. We ended up finishing endurance (and thus all 4 dynamic events) for the first time since 2013!!!
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The rest of the day was spent watching endurance, packing up and attending the award ceremony!
Thanks to everyone for your support – keep checking the twitter (@mcgillfsae) for live updates at comp!

Go Loco For Labo!

Thanks to Circuit Labo for printing us some circuit boards. They provide us with high quality PCBs that we use at the heart of our electronics system and that we know we can trust.  Look at some photos of us soldering and testing some boards! Thanks again to Circuits Labo!

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We’re Nuts about Wesco!

A big thank you to Wesco for sponsoring the Team with NAS fasteners. We use these fasteners absolutely everywhere on the car, without them the car wouldn’t stay together!

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Thank You Watson Racing!

Thanks to our friends at Watson Racing​ for machining our front bell crank mounts. We were in a bind and Watson Racing came to the rescue! Watson is known for their top quality and these parts are no different. Thanks again to Watson Racing for helping us out!

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Thanks to Schaeffler-FAG for rolling with us!

Thanks to FAG for providing us with bearings and bushings for MRT17.  FAG is a part of Schaeffler Group and a major global supplier of bearings with core competencies in ball, taper, cylindrical and spherical bearing products. Find out more about FAG and Schaeffler group here: http://www.schaeffler.ca/content.schaeffler.us/en/index.jsp. Thanks to Schaeffler for “rolling” with us!

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Making a Monocoque

This month, the Team has been working extremely hard to complete the chassis for MRT17. Members from all subteams stepped up to help out and layup the chassis. Special thanks to our sponsors at Stelia for making this possible! Check out the timelapse of our time at Stelia and demoulding the chassis – almost a month of work condensed to just 2 minutes – HERE!

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