Thursday, January 26, 2012

XXX mpg = Way more mpg than the average car

I'm posting a link to the most recent trial run of our Super Mileage Vehicle. This actually took place this morning in the West Stadium Parking Lot. It gives us the most room to practice. I'm not reporting the mpg we got because of a bet that has been placed. Earlier this week, we had a design review where our review claimed that he did not think we could reach 350 mpg by March 22, 2012, let alone 1800mpg, which is the day our final car should be fully assembled with the monocoque fuselage and tuned engine. He said if we could do it, he'd buy all of us ice cream. So, in the spirit of that challenge, we are not publicly reporting any mpg numbers for our car until March 22, 2012. But I will have you all know, that I feel insulted and belittled by this challenge and am prepared to knock it out of the park. AND WE WILL KNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK.

Anyway, enjoy the video!
-For help understanding the video, just before it started recording, I had just turned off the engine to coast, and I restart the engine as I drive past Kevin (you can hear it as I drive by).
-We didn't actually drive the full 9 miles. We drove 1.912, which is when we ran out of gas (its in a little buret so that we can take readings in mL of how much fuel we have used, so it holds hardly any). We are working on a new way of holding the fuel and measuring it so that we can drive the full 9 mile distance of the race.
-This was our only good test for the day because on the next two tests, the engine struggled to start every time. Come to find out, the wheels kick up a lot of gravel from the parking lot and a grain-of-sand sized piece of asphalt clogged the buret tip and kept the engine from being supplied with fuel. Again, something that we will fix and move forward with.

 There is also a link to our first drive of the car after the video. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

110 mpg = "5.1 Times the Average Mid-size Car"

That's right. 110 mpg, and that was on our first try. A really poor try at that. This morning, our Capstone Team was able to collect data from a coast around a course set-up in the west stadium parking lot. Despite many setbacks including a flat tire, dead battery, and an unforeseen pothole, one good run was recorded, calculated, and put us on the chart. Literally.
Our coach, Dr. Bowman, has a chart in his office with a list of all of the schools that competed in last year's competition with their best mpg for the competition day. All last semester, we were constantly reminded that "you have not posted an mpg; therefore, you have an mpg of 0 and are in last place at the bottom of my chart". Today we received the following email,

       "110 mpg sounds great to me.  This is better than Hawaii and UCLA.  The next school to beat is University of Houston.  They achieved 125 mpg.  I know you can do it.  I’ve moved your marker off the bottom of the list.  I am ready to move it higher."

If you have taken a look at the chart on the left, you will notice that while we did beat the mpg of two schools with our first run, both of them did not actually get a chance to race since their cars never got assembled at the competition. BUT, we have a working car!

The next step is to recharge the battery, remember to check the tire pressure before leaving the workshop, and develop our start-stop method of drive-coasting. 1800mpg, you don't stand a chance.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Sports, and Old Books

Happy New Year! And what a great year it will be! For starters, I will be a part-time student; took too many classes this last semester, so I don't have enough left to be full-time, :). One of these few classes will provide a big step forward in progressing towards my life as a wealthy gentleman- skiing. No, skiing will not provide me with wealth, or make me a gentleman. It will, however, give me one of the skills that wealthy gentlemen have. I believe that there are three sports that a wealthy gentleman must be proficient at; namely, Golf, Tennis, and Skiing. These are the three sports that I associate with extravagant vacations and luxurious living, so they are the sports I will learn. And I'm doing alright at learning them, too! I have golf clubs... not very good with them, but I have them; I have a tennis racquet and tennis balls, but as for winning matches... well, just don't ask Blair about it.

As for skiing, last season was the first winter that I went skiing more than once. I could keep up with my friends, but only because they would stop and wait while I clipped back into my skis, so, actually, no. I did not keep up with my friends. That picture above IS of me, but it was also taken just before I became, in the words of my cousin, "A Snow Cone". My goal is to make it down the mountain without falling, and when I can do that, I will get my own pair of skis.

This year will also be great because of the awesome resolutions I have made. Unfortunately, I will not be sharing those on this blog as I saw a video recently from TED that discouraged me from doing so. Apparently, as you can see from the video, sharing my resolutions will lower my chances of actually achieving them. I will let everyone know that I will continue reading many books to enrich my life and broaden my perspectives. And along with that, I would like to give a list of the books I read and am still currently reading from this past year, and a short critique of each.

1. Pride and Prejudice -Even better than the movies. I highly recommend it to all who are fans of chick-flicks.

2. The Art of War - A bit of a difficult read, mostly because of the commentary inserted after each line. Interesting read, but is probably better read a few lines at a time, instead of all at once.

3. Shakespeare's Sonnets - Boring. Found a few sonnets I liked, though. Numbers 17, 18, and 47.

4. Common Sense - A must read for anyone who considers themselves an American. I would have fought for a revolution after reading it, too.

5. The Hunger Games - A thrilling tale that immediately had my full attention. A fast read. It does have an addicting affect though, and you WILL have to read the other two.

6. A Christmas Carol - Read it at President Monson's recommendation. Great read for the holidays.

7. The Mansion - Another of President Monson's holiday recommendations. Definitely gave me a more charitable spirit during Christmas and made me rethink why I do the things I do.

8. Catching Fire (Hunger Games II) - Same as the first, thrilling and addicting. Also a fast read.

9. Mocking Jay (Hunger Games II) - I told you, "You WILL have to read the other two".


10. Les Miserables - Wow. It is a long book. I am reading the unabridged version, but perhaps should have picked a condensed one. Compelling story, but lots of side stories for unneeded background.

11. The Natural Navigator - A very interesting book on the ways of finding your location and bearings from signs and patterns in nature. Good for those who don't like GPS, like me.

Well, that's it for now. Again, Happy New Year everyone!