Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Electric Miata donated to our program!

Today we took delivery of a 1991 72 volt electric Mazda Miata conversion.  The car has 12 miles on the conversion and the overall mileage is only 105,000!  The car, converted by local businessman Irving Smith, will be used as a rolling learning platform for troubleshooting and project development for the EV class.  Mr. Smith and some of his friends converted the Miata "just to see if they could do it".  After the successful conversion, Mr. Smith decided to donate it to the Topsail Electric Vehicle class so it could go to a good cause and a worthy recipient.
  We will now begin planning the future of the car as a learning tool for the EV class and others interested in electric vehicle conversions.  We are very grateful to Mr. Smith for the donation and promised him the car would become an integral part of our program.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Extreme Makeover, Electric Edition!

Seems like a good time to show the before and after pictures of our newest conversion.  There is some confusion about this truck.  First of all, it is a new conversion.  This truck is not the old Ranger without stickers, we sold that truck last spring.  Yep, "Roscoe" is a newly converted 2001 Ford Ranger Edge.

Below is a picture of our previous 1996 Ranger we owned for 8 years.

Seven time National Champions!

The EV class traveled to Raleigh this weekend and emerged victorious again.  We collected 11 trophies including first and third overall.  This was the seventh year in a row that we have won first overall in the SMARTT Challenge competition against high schools from as far away as Iowa and Miami.
  The new Ford Ranger conversion took top honors.  We finished the truck just two days before the competition and really felt this was our best effort to date.  Being our fifth conversion, we used our knowledge from the past to help us to make the very best conversion we could do with the budget we had.  All of our hard work paid off with a $1000 check for first place!
  The Toyota MR2 placed third and brought home first place in the Autocross competition, a feat we had not yet achieved. We also earned $500 for third place

Our Overall trophies were:  
1st Overall (Ranger truck
3rd Overall (MR2)
2nd School initiative
1st Website

Our Truck team:
1st Range (Josh Parmeley, Jeff Harris)  53 miles
3rd Troubleshooting (Josh Parmeley, Ryan Stone)
3rd Oral presentation (Aaron Hackett, Sean Bullock)
1st Vehicle Design
2nd Autocross (Ryan Stone, Josh Parmeley, Aaron Hackett)

Our MR2 team:
1st Range (Aaron Hackett, Marissa Ruehle) 32 miles, could have gone 50, but we had already won)
6th Troubleshooting (Ashley Counts, Dakota Adcock)
4th Oral presentation (Arik Jones, Adam Markley)
4th Vehicle Design
1st Autocross (Dakota Adcock)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Its' alive!!

"Roscoe" the Ford Ranger electric conversion rolled out of the garage on its' own today for the first time.  Plenty of tweaking to do before the final event competition this weekend.  Details to come, stay tuned.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Open house and raffle drawing

Today, we held our first ever open house for the EV program.  The turn-out was more than we expected.  Many students, parents and interested community members showed up to inquire about the vehicles and also to watch as we drew for the fundraising raffle.  Several of our sponsors made an appearance, including Mrs.Castoro of Hampstead Furniture and Ms.Adcock of Modren Woodmen. There were speeches from both showing just how valuable the community is to our program, We couldn't do it without you guys!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Battery wiring and bed prop

Today, we continued working on wiring the main battery pack.  Most of the batteries are wired and loomed.  We still have to finish the wiring as it moves to the controller.  We also finally got some gas charged struts that help to assist the bed lifting experience.  For years, with our old truck, we had to hold the bed up and place a prop rod in the right place in order to hold the bed in position.  Now the assist is a very nice feature to have and it also makes the lifting experience much safer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday battery install

This morning, five students got up early in order to get a bit ahead on the Ranger conversion.  It is definitely crunch time and every bit of time we can spend on the truck is that much closer we are to the goal of completion with a truck entry at the SMARTT Challenge final event on May 14th.  Several items needed to be done in order to install the batteries so everyone jumped in and worked as a team to get the job done.  The front battery box was installed, foam insulation was measured, cut and installed and finally, the batteries were lowered into place.  Everything went perfectly and now, let the wiring begin!