Monthly Archives: April 2016

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Are student activities important to academics?

Category : Uncategorized

We believe student activities play an important role in the growth of an individual’s education. We encourage students to come down to the design center and start working on projects as freshmen to not only be book smart, but to also be to “real-world” smart. Our team activities take students from classroom reality to real life situations.

We make students well rounded by introducing them to 3 keys of education: professionalism, technical skills, and critical thinking.

Be believe professionalism is an important quality for students to learn. We want our students to become professional workers in their chosen fields. We facilitate this growth by holding students to deadlines and expecting a strong work ethic and good communication skills.

Next we introduce skills tailored to the profession the student is going into. Examples include PCB design and soldering for EEs and CAD and machine training for MEs. We also cross train students to be familiar with both the basics of both disciplines so that they may be more well-rounded.

Last, and most important, we emphasize the development of critical thinking skills. We want the students to problem solve as much as possible to fix issues as they arise. This is what we believe truly prepares our students to be engineers.

We welcome team members from any major. Our only wish is for a student to want to learn. It is amazing how a student who wants to learn can grow. There is no end in sight to their potential.

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Why do we open source?

Category : Uncategorized

Our team is open to sharing, surprisingly!  Every year we release our hardware to public repositories, and our software is always available as well.

We do this because we have had a lot of help over the years and want to give back. Some of us started our programming careers with Arduino way back in high school. Ever since, the team feels that we should give back in the way the community gave to us.

We have some juicy things in our repos.  Currently we have battery management systems, telemetry systems, and soon we will be posting our designs for a two-way intercom!

Our software is written in C with MP labX and Eagle. This makes our software and hardware accessible to everyone.

Download and enjoy! 🙂

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Wow, so much to do and so little time :)

Category : Uncategorized

We have about 28 days till our first competition of the year and still have a lot to do! Currently, the frame is about to go out to be painted. The electrical systems are assembled and moved to testing, and the software is in first round testing. We have a lot going on! Wooo!!!

Again, none of this would be possible without our sponsors. Thanks, CadSoft, for PCB software; thanks, Weber, for mechanical manufacturing support; thanks, Advanced Circuits, for making our great BMS boards and back plane board.

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Starting Newsletter!

Category : News , Uncategorized

Hi Guys,

We started a weekly newsletter so our sponsors can follow our progress. Stay tuned for updates.



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Battery Management Boards

Category : News

We got our stack of boards done tonight and are almost ready to get installed in the car. We have come up with some innovative new designs and can’t wait to show them off!



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Making some parts!

Category : News

We are in the Design Center printing some parts for the car. Mark, our team captain from last year, is allowing us to use his 3D printer. Thanks Mark!


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April Update

Category : News

The car is beginning to take on the form of an actual race car! After a few setbacks, tabs are finally being welded to the frame. The projected finish date, for the frame, is April 30. We would like to give a big shout-out to Will-Burt for sponsoring most of the welding on the frame. We have been very impressed with their work. Matheson Gas also deserves recognition for their donation of welding supplies.

75% of the suspension A-arms have been welded, and the remainder should be done tomorrow. The rocker profiles have been cut, thanks to WardJet, and are being machined down to the final specification. All of the push/pull rods and toe links are finished and ready to be painted. We’re just waiting for tabs to be welded onto the frame before big progress is seen with respect to the suspension, but when it happens…

The rack and pinion is finished and the steering shaft is done. We’re waiting for tabs to be welded onto the frame (hopefully tomorrow) so we can verify fit and check off that sub-system. We’re still working on the steering wheel as of now. 3D printed replicas are looking promising and getting the team excited to race!

All the uprights have been finished and are assembled, leaving them to simply be bolted onto the suspension A-arms. The diff mounts have been manufactured and have been installed on the diff. The motor mounts have also been cut, and their fit has been verified. The drivetrain section is coming along nicely.

We received the radiators today and the team is verifying their mounting in preparation for assembly. Coolant lines and fans are still on their way. New quick connectors donated from CPC will hopefully make the cooling system much easier to install.

Most of the boards have been ordered and should be here in the next week or two. Wire for the wiring harness is on order too, as well as most of the components to populate the boards. When everything arrives, the EE’s will be busy soldering the nearly 7,500 components to the boards. That’ll be so much fun to debug! Connectors have been slowly collecting in the cabinet in preparation for the great wire harness.

We’re reaching the last iterations of our custom PCB housings and are ready to start production. An article about our prototypes has been written by Tom Hammond at the 3D printing lab at the University of Akron’s Wayne College branch. Click Here for a link to that article.

The accumulator is taking shape and slowly gaining weight. Since we ordered more batteries last year than we need this year, we’re going to test the cells and select the best ones to put in this year’s accumulator. Hopefully we can test a batch of batteries later this week. Overall though, the battery box is working out nicely. There’s still a lot to do though.

Our composites group has also been gearing up to install the floor panels and paint the frame. The color scheme is so hard to decide though… Bright pink with green details or black with gold details. Or there’s blue and gold. We are going to pick up the body panels from, a local sponsor who thermoformed our front side panels and hood. I think that with some hydrographics, we could have very cheap carbon fiber body panels :).

This is kind of a long post, but it’s a pretty good view of where we’re at on the car. We appreciate all the support we have been shown and we hope to make you proud!

Until next time,

Trevin Hartzler – Zips Electric Racing Team Manager (and Lead Accumulator Engineer)