Nov 16

November 16, 2005

Charging panel, HID headlight, landing gear hatch, cockpit layout.


I built this panel to organize all of the various electrical power requirements for the CP1. The HID light runs for 2 hours, 10 minutes on a rechargeable 16 volt, 7200 mAh lithium polymer battery. This single 3" diameter light puts out more lumins than TWO typical car headlights! I have three 7200 batteries and they can each be recharged in 1.5 hours. So, while one is running in the vehicle, the second is being charged and a third should be fully charged as a back-up.

I made a silicon edge to seal-up and smoothen air flow over the headlight. Ideally, I wanted to have the headlight recessed into the nose of the fairing and covered with a window, but my attempts at forming a plastic cover for the hole all melted due to the heat from the HID light. It would probably take a 1/8" to 1/4" thick piece of Lexan, but I didn't have time to source the Lexan and play around with heat forming it and making a way to seal it to both fairing halves.


We had to rebuild the landing gear hatch door for the third time!

It is important that the door fit properly and doesn't allow air to leak into the fairing. We (Ben) ended up heat forming a piece of Sintra, then reinforcing it with carbon.


I am concerned about seeing clearly out of the PETG canopy bubble after dark because of possible fogging due to the average low temperature of only 2 degrees C in Alabama at the end of November. For this reason, my back-up plan is to run at night without the canopy bubble. There will be an aerodynamic drag penalty, but I can mitigate that by using my aerohelmet and a skirt that covers over the hole between my neck and the fairing opening. I'll run tests on Thursday at the track to quantify the exact drag cost.


This is what the cockpit looks like now. Not shown is the landing gear extension cable - a brake cable that I pull and the landing gear telescopes out and locks into place. Also, there is a separate cord that I pull with my left hand to close the landing gear hatch tightly. I can reach down with my left hand and pull the HID headlight lithium battery out of it's holder to hand it to a crew member for replacement without having to open up the entire fairing.

I picked up these cool new headphones for my iPod that also plug into any cel phone. When you get a phone call, the headphones cut off the music and allow you to take the phone call. There is a small microphone attached to the headphone cable.


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