Apogee struggling towards Tennant Creek

We won’t make it tonight, but hope to roll in tomorrow morning. The array has only been putting out about 550 watts, so we’ve been cruising at 50 km/h. It’s bad news, but we have a plan to try and fix our issues.

Blowing up a bunch of the tracker circuitry at the race track certainly didn’t help. We’re now running in open loop control, and that’s not exactly good. We have some other hardware in the back of the truck that may help us get some of the data back, but it’s not necessarily going to work.

4 Comments
  • Avatar
    Adem Rudin
    Posted at 23:15h, 25 October

    Tough luck about the power trackers, Sasha. Nearly the same thing happened to us at NASC08; we ended up cobbling together a system with donated trackers (Thanks Principia!) the night before the race began, so I definitely can sympathize. Hopefully you’ll manage to get some of your systems back online!

  • Avatar
    Avery Yuen
    Posted at 16:38h, 26 October

    Sorry to hear about the PPT’s. When our homemade trackers blew up in NASC ’05, Arizona State was nice enough to lend us theirs. Hopefully there will be another team equally nice.

    Good luck guys! When I raced in ’05, your team was definitely one of the coolest and we were lucky to be your pit neighbors in Austin. Still get a kick out of your t-shirt slogan. I wanted ours this year to say ‘cutting it uncomfortably close since 1997’.

    Avery Yuen
    Former Project Manager, McMaster

  • Avatar
    Ben Henderson
    Posted at 08:19h, 30 October

    Ah I’m sorry to hear the bad news as well. I’m a robotics graduate and one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you have to keep pushing through. I remember we had built a bot for the tryouts for “robot wars” in England. It took our team 4 years before we finally got in. Unfortunately, the day of our event, we were crushed as metal shavings shorted out our main board. Anyways, since then we’ve been working on the improvements and have been accepted again. This time I’m confident we will prevail!

    Good luck to you and your team!

  • Avatar
    Sasha Zbrozek
    Posted at 15:57h, 30 October

    We managed to continue running with our existing MPPTs. I rewrote the control algorithm to run without current feedback, and things worked out. Our car made it from coast to coast under its own power with trackers of our own design. It just slowed us down in the beginning.

    Thanks for all the kind works, guys!