I am in Mechatronics at school and our project involes a little electric go kart type vehicle that me and my other team member are making. I am COMPLETELY new to this and we are having huge problems understanding steering systems, the difference between 12V and 24V batteries, ect. Any help and advice? THANKS
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Not sure what "level" of school you're in, but if I was going to build something, I would study the somethings that have already been built. Go look at a bunch of gokarts and move the steering wheel and see how it's all connected to the front axles/wheels. It's basic geometry. I think if you play with it a few minutes, you'll understand it easily. I'd also suggest that everyone on the team do internet searches for basic dc electricity, dc motors, and batteries. Then, get together and discuss/share what each of you has learned. I'd suggest you understand the terms: volts, amps, watts, amphours, and what each one means and how they are related. There are a lot of interesting and fun things to learn. I hope you all enjoy the process!
When you get going on the project, come back here with pics and specific questions, and we'll do our best to help.
When does it need to be completed? What design parameters were you given?
Q: Why do I feel I'm about to get sucked into doing all your research for you? Lindsay Technical Books: How to Build Midget Racers
You'll find parts at Nortern Tool.
You were hoping to just be told how to slap something together. Build Your Own Go-Kart - A Step-by-Step Guide This is a terribly exciting opportunity for you. I think you should dive in and go through the REAL process. The Cap Kart (v2.0) Show THAT to your teacher. Think of the HOMEWORK that can be cultivated from that site. . . . (Hell, I'm even doing course design for the teacher now.)
While it might be good to look at lots and lots of plans, http://diygokartplans.com/ both past and present, Vintage Projects: Go Kart Plans and Golf Cart Plans, and Snowmobile Plans you're gont to have to decide on something. That's where DIY Go Karts comes in, there's this forum that WAS there, people for you to disucss it with and everything. http://www.diygokarts.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8113
Well, I think I was quite restrained about the whole thing. Just think of what I might put up if I DIDN'T think you should do at least some poking your nose around without me. And since I've already moved you forward far more than you deserved, I'm going to make one huge requirement of you to make you feel like a failure if you don't AT LEAST build more than just some go kart. You should build a cyclekart. An Introduction to Cyclekarting
Lindsay Technical Books: Practtical Sheet Metal Work Automobile & Sheet Metal Boats
A: Because I'm obsessive about doing things. I have a Friday night class om Vacuum Infusion, can you believe? I totally tanked my midterm tonight, I'll bet I'm under 95%.
So why don't you go to school Monday and get up in front of the class and explain the Ackerman Principle in steering. It begins with Erasumus Darwin, grandfather of both Francis Galton and Charles Darwin. His many inventions include the rocket engine, but we are most impacted by his concern oover the fact that the inside wheel of a carriage that is turning will travel a smaller circle than the outside wheel, therefore it needs to turn in tighter than the outside wheel. It was such an amazing invention, others stole it from him. Most famous was Rudolph Ackerman, who patented it in England about 100 years after Darwin invented it. Erasmus Darwin's Improved Design for Steering Carriages Of all things, an excellent explanation of the Ackerman Principle can be found on a radio control site. RC Tek: Ackerman Steering Principle
Get up in front of the class on Monday and explain Ackerman and you'll be a bigshot for a short time. You can keep coming up with other things to stay on top, if you try.
WHo dares, WINS!!!!
Learning about Volts, Amps, amp hours, watts and watt hours is excellent advice, a necessity I'd say. The following articles are a good place to start:
I was also planning to recommend looking for existing Go Kart Plans.
For some examples of the electric components I'd look at existing builds on the EVAlbum (with a 179 examples to choose from you should be able to find a build (or a combination of builds) that are close to what you want to build):
Let's turn the safesearch off and get some really DANGEROUS kart designs.
One place you might look for a motor.
Since the 'Radio Flyer' replica has been so popular lately, (You see the news story a few days ago of the elderly Alaskan couple that built one?) maybe you could slap one together. I've heard so many people claim they electrified their little wagon way back when, let's see you get the adult sized version juiced.
Here's the one that was on 'Home Improvement' some years back. This one is on the kitcar 1923 Ford chassis.
WHo dares, WINS!!!!