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Mid-Summer Update – Powering Up and Strapping In for FSGP 2015!

It’s just three weeks until the Formula Sun Gran Prix at the Circuit of the Americas race track in Austin, Texas, and the CalSol team is looking forward to driving with and competing against the rest of the solar car community! We haven’t posted in a while, and there haven’t been core design changes lately, but the excellent state of this car and this team has us feeling optimistic for FSGP. Addressing potential bugs (mechanical, electrical, and code), implementing optimizations to squeeze out every watt we can, and testing the systems has kept us plenty busy lately, so check out some photos of the work!

 

Tidying up the wires and securing connections in the all-important battery box
Tidying up the wires and securing connections in the all-important battery box
Reinstalling sturdy enclosures to hold up and protect the various boards on the underside of the top shell
Reinstalling sturdy enclosures to hold up and protect the various boards on the underside of the top shell
Revising boards to include additional safeties (gotta love capacitors) and power routing optimizations
Revising boards to include additional safeties (gotta love capacitors) and power routing optimizations. Shout out to Bay Area Circuits for all their help with the PCB’s!
Building the solar array for an off-site "electrical test bed": a scaled-down version of the electrical system!
Building the solar array for an off-site “electrical test bed”: a scaled-down version of the electrical system!
And with a mini solar array comes an equally adorable mini battery box
And with a mini solar array comes an equally adorable mini battery box
Mechanical folks contemplating life. CalSol is life.
Mechanical folks contemplating life. CalSol is life.
Installing an improved hinged fairing door mechanism
Installing an improved hinged fairing door mechanism with a carbon-fiber axle
Road-testing Zephyr, which now has a few hundred miles on it, brings us admirers of all ages
Road-testing Zephyr, which now has a few hundred miles on it, brings us admirers of all ages
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We’ll be sending out updates during the race, or post another photo gallery at the very least. See you all then!

By Viswanath Chatterjee

Hello! I'm Vish, and I've been part of CalSol since Fall 2013, the start of my freshman year. My main focus is electrical, but I have a good deal of mechanical experience (I've had a job at a machine shop, and have built plenty of personal projects since I was little), and should be able to help you out if you need anything technical. I also have experience communicating with companies, so let me know if you'd like help securing donations, finding contacts, etc. If you'd like to contact me, I respond to my e-mail fairly quickly.

Work hard, and have fun!