+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Thread: FSAE Australasia 2018

  1. #1

    FSAE Australasia 2018

    It's being held at Winton this year, and in years to come I believe.
    I don't have any information as yet, I just wanted to start a place holder thread for the event.

  2. #2
    This thread is what I was hoping to find when logging in today. I got some random pieces of info coming through Facespace, but I would love first-hand updates from people attending. Was really hoping to be there this year, but life had other plans, so please keep us updated!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,685
    Harry,

    Ok, one more time, just for you.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    New Venue.
    =========
    Winton Racetrack, which is near the Victorian country town of Benalla (about 200 km NE of Melbourne).

    Most teams are camping right next to the racetrack, some others in motels in Benalla. Locals are very friendly (typical country folk) and a large part of the volunteer workforce for this FSAE-A-2018 comes from local area.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Weather Report.
    ============
    Thursday - stinking hot, ~36 degree C.
    Friday (today) - even hotter, 38+C.
    Saturday, Sunday, Monday (= driver-swap day) - predicted to be merely very hot, maybe ~33C ... with possibility of thunderstorms.

    The Winton track is in the middle of a topographic bowl (think frying-pan), with much black bitumen, so I would guess the air temps just above the track, and hence going into radiators, will be pushing 50C.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    First Impression of this FSAE-A-2018's Organisation.
    =================================
    Much talk of great possibilities with this new venue, but so far it is the same old, same-old. Another missed opportunity!

    Honestly, if I was judging this comp's organisation in the same way as judging an FSAE team for "Concept, Integration & Management", then I would have to award them a big, fat, duck-egg!
    NO clear statement of high-level goals.
    NO trickle-down from high-level goals to lower-level goals.
    NO possible OBJECTIVE measure of success or failure of meeting any of these (non-existent) goals.
    Just people metaphorically wandering around, bumping into things.

    Three Suggestions to FSAE-Australasia Organising Committee:

    1. Highest-level goal - "To help produce the most well-rounded and skillful Mechanical and Electrical Engineers in the world.". Or something like that.

    2. Objective measure of above - Number of Australian teams in the top 10 (or 20 or 50) of the FS/FSAE world rankings. Check FSG website for current list, and see that Oz-teams are going the same way as the Oz Cricket and Rugby Union teams. Namely, south! (Thank God I follow Rugby League, where the Kangaroos rule supreme!)

    3. Process required to achieve above - Hold "Concept" seminars at beginning of year, to help teams set best direction for success. Hold many "Craftmanship" seminars throughout year, to make sure each team's concept will actually work. Hold the Competition "seminar" at end of year (ie. the actual comp), and reward successful teams with pat-on-back (well, maybe a small trophy), and UN-successful teams with a huge bollocking! So, carrot AND stick. This shown to work well everywhere else, forever.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Further to above, the highest-level goal is easiest achieved if more teams come to Oz-comps. This will only happen if many of the students already here are enjoying themselves, thus encouraging even more students to put in the effort to build a car and come along. So, in short, the organisers should aim to PUT ON A GOOD PARTY.

    The very first step here is ADVERTISING! The event must be talked-up. The "vibe" must be kick-started. Quite obviously no one comes if no one knows it is on. And an event like this SHOULD be pulling in thousands of mums, dads, and their high-school aged kids who are wondering what to study at Uni. The potential is here for a hugely enjoyable weekend of Educational-Engineering stuff, with lots of other cool stuff to also look at...

    In previous year's posts I spelled out the three essential ingredients needed for such a good party, assuming the advertising had done its job of pulling in the punters. To repeat, there MUST BE:

    1. An "attractive" Focal-Point, to draw everyone together. At normal parties this is often a big bonfire. But at these events this Focal-Point is obviously pit-lane, with all the smoking-hot cars on show there. All other activities should radiate out from the F-P. So track-events are held to one side of the F-P (but reasonably close), engineering recruitment-tents/displays++ are in another direction, jumping-castle is over there, and so on.

    2. Somewhere comfortable to sit and enjoy reasonable fare and beverages, and chat with people you have never met before. This MUST BE IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT to the Focal-Point.

    3. MUSIC! This interspersed with an MC talking up the show, namely what is happening next, who's done what to whom, and spreading general gossip. (And for the record, I am very liberal in my musical tastes. I would accept BOTH types of music. Yep, both Country AND Western.)

    Just to be clear, point 3 really does make a huge difference. I am not joking. Combine background music with some food and interesting cars to look at, and "the vibe" goes through the roof.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    But so far, NONE OF THE ABOVE!

    I have been attending these Oz-comps for many years now, but in the weeks prior to the event I had next to no idea who was coming, or what "special events" were planned, or what music, or what jumping-castle? There was a brochure available on the SAE-A website sometime mid-year with some hints at what was planned, but also many empty pages with the bold-letters "TBA". And nothing since. I was seriously thinking "Why bother?".

    As for layout of this event, the 600+ km drive from Sydney to Winton was a breeze compared with the hike from pit-lane to the only cafeteria open on Thursday and Friday. Maybe tomorrow the small kiosk nearer to the pits will open? Or maybe not? But still no music, no jumping-castle, nor anything resembling a "vibe".
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Enough helpful suggestions. They will probably fall on deaf-ears anyway.

    Z

    More coming...
    Last edited by Z; 12-07-2018 at 06:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,685
    FSAE-Oz-2018 - Teams and Cars
    =======================
    Sorry, not enough time to do a full report, so just some highlights.

    (And did I mention that NO PROGRAM has been printed?!!! That is, no magazine-sized program with a half-page on each car, showing a photo or two, all important specs, etc. I found a one-page flyer with a timetable of events and a list of the teams attending, and their pit-number. Nothing more.)
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Anyway, without doubt, the most outstanding, highest-highlight, is ...

    #E31 - TU-Fast Munchen.
    ===================
    WOW!!!

    This is currently THE FASTEST FS/FSAE CAR IN THE WORLD, err, ... that has never won a competition. Well, not yet.

    The briefest spec-list tells why it is "fastest". Namely, 4WD E-car, with a mass of ... ~157kg!!! And also best-in-world aero, with ClA = ~6.7 m^2 and CdA = 1.7 m^2.

    Longer explanation needed for why "no wins", yet. This year they went to FSUK, they were very fast, but a gear-box in one of the in-wheel-motors seized and they had to limp home with 3-wheel-drive. At FSG they were faster than all others (I recall mention of ~4 seconds per ~60 s lap faster than next car), but after seemingly winning Enduro they were DQ'd for some software error in one of their many different software "maps". See their FB page for full details. And at FS-Spain they were again fastest, but some tiny oil-seepage (with NO spillage) from a wheel-gearbox again saw them DQ'd.

    So, LOOK OUT all Oz-Teams!

    Actually, this is the type of team we need more of down here, in the hope that some of their talent and work-ethic rubs off.

    I should also mention that after a long, and at times animated, chat with them, I found them all to be very friendly and open with their information. I had suggested that after their misfortunes in Europe they must have been very "annoyed", so they looked at the FS/FSAE-World-Map to find the last remaining competition of the year where they could finally avenge Cruel Fortune, even if that meant going to the ends of the Earth. But, no, apparently they had planned this Oz trip over a year ago. A few of the team members have just graduated, or will soon, so this is as much a holiday for them as it is a serious competition.

    Nevertheless, Munchen are clearly hot favourites for outright win. I wish them good luck on track, and an enjoyable stay down-under.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    #07 - Edith Cowan University.
    =====================
    Didn't make it to Oz-comp last year, and went to Europe this year instead (see their FB). A "minimalist" and very interesting car, but glitches have got in their way so far.

    One of the very few teams in FS/FSAE history that make really significant modifications to their engines, to the point that their engines are effectively "bespoke". This year they have the desmo-heads, barrels, and crank-assembly from a Dukati 695 cc V-twin, sitting on a bespoke crankcase-final-drive unit with a SINGLE GEAR-RATIO. A modified (or aftermarket?) clutch is used, with clutch held in (= disengaged) for "neutral". They also have student designed "Rzeppa"-(= "six-ball")-CVs on the driveshafts. The inner-races of the CVs are actually machined on the ends of the drive-shafts.

    For reference, VW-Beetle sized CVs are typical on a host of the smaller/older Formula cars, such as F-Ford. (And note that the first nine generations of Hewland racing gearboxes, used on countless F1 cars through 1960s-70s, were essentially beefed-up Beetle-boxes.) The standard Beetle-CVs are 90 mm OD, and use balls of 5/8" (~16 mm) diameter. The ECU CVs are scaled-down versions of these, about 50+ mm OD, with 12 mm diameter balls.

    Car mass is ~187 kg. Engine is ~51 kW @ ~9 krpm, at differential. Current overall gear-ratio, which can be changed with internal swap-gears, is ~8:1, giving 95 kph at 9.5 krpm.

    Oh, and they also have a "soft warp" suspension, done with "hydraulic-longitudinal-Z-bars", for those who understand this stuff.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    #15 - ADFA (AusDefenceForceAcademy).
    =============================
    Our boys in khaki always have something of interest to show, and this year they probably have the most powerful engine at comp. Same engine as last year, a turboed-and-intercooled KTM 510 cc single, but this year DETUNED from ~78 hp to ~72 hp, but with a wider (better) torque-curve. This figure is "at the wheels" (ie. on a "chassis-dyno"), so probably 72 kW "at the crank", given the usual losses through the tyres. Suprising how many students still DO NOT understand this, namely the difference between "crank-hp" and "wheel-hp".

    The rest of car is a very similar to last year's, being rather large, 221 kg, and only ~50%R-weight (which explains why its rear tyres would light-up most everywhere on track last year!). But this year's car is claimed to be much better tested, so some improved lap times expected. Not likely to win, but moving in the right direction.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    #41 - University of Queensland.
    =======================
    Another team always bringing interesting cars, in recent years. Last year they only had an E-car, which comes back this year somewhat improved. But this year they also have a C-car, named "Simples" (from the "meerkat" adverts?). I didn't have time to write down the major specs, but think of Auckland's last C-car in 2015, which could have won OUTRIGHT if they didn't shoot themselves in the foot by using a solenoid-operated-gear-shifter! (See my rants back in 2015.)

    Anyway, major specs are (?) smallish-single engine, sub-160 kg mass, rear-beam-axle, DASDs, and everything else very "simples".

    BUT (!), for some reason their school has prevented them from testing both cars, and may possibly even stop them from competing at this competition, all because of some perceived "insurance" codswallop!

    Aaaarghhh!!! How can Australian teams ever "climb the ladder" when there is this sort of nonsense going on?
    ~~~o0o~~~

    More tomorrow, if I have time. Can also try to answer specific questions about specific teams, if anyone is still reading this.

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 12-07-2018 at 07:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Great updates as always Z; needless to say I am eager for more. Hope to be there next year

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY USA
    Posts
    310
    Hi Z, good to see you back here.

    For anyone that didn't get the "both Country AND Western" gag, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS-zEH8YmiM a truly classic comedy, but perhaps one not seen by the current generation? Instead of music at night, The Blues Brothers could be projected on the side of a white building?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,685
    Doug,

    Hey, I was serious!

    In fact, I am so liberal I would love listening to some Country, some Western, AND The Blues Brothers, live. Especially the Rawhide theme song, complete with flying beer-bottles!
    ~~~o0o~~~

    SATURDAY UPDATE.
    =================
    Some results below, but first some ranting.
    ~o0o~

    "The FESTIVAL of FSAE-Oz".
    ======================
    Yesterday I said that this show has the potential to attract thousands of mums, dads, and their teenage kids, all of whom might be interested in seeing some "cool engineery stuff". I took it as read that those thousands of interested onlookers would each spend a few tens of dollars while at the show. But to spell it out fully, this show has the potential to generate many tens of thousands of dollars of income, possibly even into the hundreds of thousand$.

    Of course, this income should not be taken as pure profit, but should instead be reinvested into a bigger and better show next year. To repeat, the main goal should be to attract as many of the teenagers out there who are thinking about going into the "STEM" subjects at Uni, but are not yet sure if STEM is for them.

    So at lunchtime I was sitting out front of the cafeteria (remember, the one that is several days' camel-ride from the pits) and I overheard two middle-aged men, with two teenage boys in tow, talking about "where is it...", and "when is it starting...". Sure enough, they were locals (well, from Wangarratta, ~50 kms away) who read something in the local paper about "Uni-students building small race cars", and they wanted to have a look.

    Long story short, there are NO signs showing where the FSAE pits/events are located, NO music or jumping-castles to act as attractors or landmarks, and NO possible way that these quite keen spectators could easily learn about this whole "FSAE-thing".

    So I gave them directions to the pits, they thought a bit about the distance to walk, then got into their cars and drove off in that general direction. I hope they enjoyed looking at the cars and talking to the students. If they ever found them.
    ~o0o~

    The Escher Staircase of Design Feedback.
    =============================
    For as long as I have been coming to these events there has been some sort of public Design Feedback session.

    Today's feedback session was remarkably similar to all others. The most common feedback, EACH YEAR, is along the lines of,
    "Well, I'm happy to say that this year's cars are so much better [or "10/20/50% better"] than previous year's cars. And, most importantly, you students seem to be getting a much better UNDERSTANDING of [blah, blah...]"

    I must be going blind. I see the same cars now, as I saw back in 2002. And what is between the students' ears is likewise same-same as before (see below under Skid-Pad). For a graphical representation of this claimed "upwards progress", google "Escher's staircase". The 'Gong car that won in 2002 would be near top-of-ladder this year. Note that there are more cars in the competition in recent years, so the bell-curve is getting wider, but its centre surely ain't budging.

    (Edit: Above paragraph refers to Oz-teams. Munchen, of course, are a lonely outlier on the Oz-bell-curve here.)

    Anyway, if genuine "upwards progress" is wanted, then there must be some HONEST feedback. Which means some UGLY TRUTHS.

    (And for those in attendance today, pay attention to Mitchell's comments on the "...two sub-160 kg cars".)
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Saturday's DYNAMIC EVENTS.
    =========================
    Find all raw times at,
    http://racing.natsoft.com.au/results/
    Click on "Circuit racing" icon, then scroll down.
    ~o0o~

    ACCELERATION EVENT.
    ===================
    I used to kid myself that the old Calder track surface must be very low-grip, hence the poor Oz-team Accel-times. But today most Oz-teams clocked very similar Accel-times to their previous year's times back at Calder (Edit: namely ~4.2 s -> 5++ s). So, clearly I was delusional thinking that Calder is the problem, unless this Winton track is just as bad as Calder.

    Hmmm..., so how to resolve this conundrum (ie: is the problem with the Oz-tracks, or the Oz-teams)? Maybe check what time the Muncheners managed here?

    And it is, ... best time of 3.499 seconds!!! (Check natsoft, it not lie!)

    CONGRATULATIONS MUNCHENERS!

    And shame on all you Oz-teams!

    Now, despite Munchen's record setting Oz-time, I am quite sure some "toothless hillbillies" (wonderful people, very friendly) could knock another half-second off it. Yes, absolutely for sure! I have no doubts they would quickly learn how to "...wrangle them dang'd eee-let-rons" just as well as they can wrangle-the-rubber, and do all the necessary blacksmithery to keep the car together when "the launch" goes really well.

    Similarly, I am sure I could knock a few tenths-of-second, or more, off any of the Oz-team's times, given a weekend with angle-grinder, stick-welder, and access to their car. Really very easy.

    So, come on boys and girls, GO THREES or GO HOME!
    ~o0o~

    SKID-PAD.
    =========
    Similar story, really.

    Munchen best time = 4.614 seconds. More congratulations!

    I was listening to some Monash team-members and this may be very close to a world record, and I guess certainly a record for Oz. Check the FB feeds for more accurate info.

    What to say about the Oz-teams' performances?

    Hmmm... Well... Maybe just for the educational value... How about you try and find a video, or just static pics, of #12 RMIT C-car doing its laps.

    I could give a very long lecture here, but suffice to say I talked to RMIT-Suspension-Guy, he had some reasonable high-level goals, possibly needed a bit more mid-level analysis, and is planning to correct the hardware-level set-up before tomorrow's events. But I fear some parts of the set-up can never be corrected, short of very liberal application of angle-grinders and stick-welders.

    (Methinks a small part of Escher's staircase, the bit near RMIT's workshop, must have fallen into some sort of space-time-discontinuum, and ended up in a very weird alternate universe. No other explanation, really.)
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Autocross tomorrow morning, and a single Enduro after lunch.

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 12-08-2018 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Grammar and splenig.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,685
    Sunday morning - some light rain overnight.

    Z

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    162
    Hi Erik,
    Interesting to see you back :-)

    I thought about driving down, but only got back from the FS Symposium in Hungary on Wednesday evening, so decided to stay at home.
    Your comments about raising money and ploughing it back into FSAEA raises my hackles. Not because of what you said, I totally agree with that, but because of what really happens.
    Sponsorship funds I have been involved with specifically for FSAE have instead gone into SAEA consolidated revenue. There, they decide how much goes to the competition, despite the sponsors directions that the funding was specifically for FSAEA!
    I understand the same thing happens with the SAE in the US.

    FSAE should never be a source of general revenue, but a source of membership. They should play the long game! SAE like most professional associations is struggling to survive in this age of communication. Instead of killing the dairy cow, they should milk it! FSAE is the best SAE recruitment tool ever invented.
    You must be a member to compete at FSAE, but what do the SAE do to retain those student members after graduation? I will leave the answer to your imagination.

    End of rant. I hope you managed to stay dry today.

    Pat
    The trick is... There is no trick

  10. #10
    Thanks for the reports, Z.
    Good to see such a fast car in that 4WD electric beast. More photos please everyone!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts