Science Olympiad – Div C – Maglev

By | March 5, 2013

The reason for the maglev track and the photo gates was actually to test vehicles for the Science Olympiad Division C – Maglev event. Unfortunately, in San Joaquin County, this was a closed event, so I don’t have a video of the actual run.

But below is a video of the winning vehicle later in our living room. The event distance was set at 70 cm, so that’s the distance in the video as well. The vehicle took 0.54 seconds for that run, but that was one of the slower ones. Test runs were as fast as 0.49 seconds for the 70 cm distance. The weight of the vehicle as run is 523 grams.

That would have been a Vehicle Score of 969 in an official run.

The official run last Saturday helped our son a lot to win the first place in this event. But Maglev is a dual-event, which has a exam/test and the build/run part which are weighted equally.

Front View Back ViewUpdate: Comments below asked for some close-up pictures. The vehicle does not exist any longer. But the motor mount is now part of an experimental hovercraft setup. I took some photos of that, the motor box is still the same. A box out of model-grade plywood (LxHxW: 25mm x 150mm x 67mm) with holes for the fans and two smaller holes to bring the cables forward. The fans are hold in place by those blue rubber bands in the back.  One picture shows the difference between the original intake (top fan) and the cut intake to make the EDF conform to the requirements.

The box was screwed to the vehicle base (another piece of plywood) with two M4 screws, similar to the base it’s on now without the servo & steering setup;-) The battery was sitting on the front part of the base, secured by one of those removable 3M hook strips. So we could experiment with it before deciding on the best spot (balance, …).

So I hope that helps;-)

Update: There is now a new post about the 2014 experience: 2014 Maglev Event

10 thoughts on “Science Olympiad – Div C – Maglev

  1. andrew Lee

    i think i left a comment on youtube about this stuff can you answer my question?

  2. admin Post author

    Sorry, did not see your question earlier. I hope I answered it completely;-)

    Here the answer from the youtube page as well:

    I’m just the dad;-)

    But I can answer your questions as well. The battery was a LiPo 2cell 2200 mAh Zippy. The EDFs are pretty much the only ones still using brushed motors, GWS GW/EDF55-300H’s with the inlets cut to the 60mm max diameter.

    Have fun.

  3. Ajay Jain

    What was the C rating on the Zippy battery?

  4. admin Post author

    That is a 2cell (7.4V), 2200mAh, 20C battery. The motors are rated 4.3A (@7.2V) – 5.3A (@8.4V). So two of them for the very short running time (like 20 seconds with turning on & off) should not be a big problem.

  5. Ajay Jain

    Thanks. Also, do you know where I could buy the motor or one like it, since the motor has now been discontinued?

  6. admin Post author

    Not really:-( We got two times two motors/EDFs from different web sites. But I checked today and both mark them as `back ordered’. So search and maybe even try to use the old style phone;-)

  7. Ajay Jain

    Could you provide some close up pictures of the car, specifically the motor and battery area? Thanks!

  8. admin Post author

    I added two pics to the original post above. I hope that helps.

  9. Ajay Jain

    Can you show how the motor is connected to the zippy?

  10. admin Post author

    ? Just with a little switch in the positive lead. Since those are brushed motors, they have two leads. So one goes to battery (+) via the switch and the other to battery (-) directly. You just have to make sure, that the motor turns in the right direction;-) Otherwise just switch the two leads on the motor[s].

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.