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THE VECTOR


Because the Voltswagen had shown such potential, George and I had decided to design the Vector more along the lines of a conventional tether car. We looked back at previous cars we had done such as the Ramrunner, and the Ramrod. From the Ramrunner, the plaster mold method of casting was chosen as the choice for the Vector pan. The Ramrod is a 10cc gas engine packed into a pan that is a size that would fit a 5cc car. The gearbox in the Ramrod is exceptionally narrow, so it’s design was modified slightly, and became the gearbox for the Vector. Other aspects of the Ramrod, like the motor mounting, and the front wheel assembly had significant influence in designing their counterparts for the Vector.

The heart of the Vector is the Neu 1530 motor. This motor is capable of extreme horsepower for it’s size, as long as it is fed with enough battery power to support it, and it’s acceleration is kept under control. The Vector uses an on-board throttle control circuit that was designed by my brother, George. This unit mounts in the rear of the car and wires to the ESC through connections on the Vector Power Bar. It is programmable by throwing switches on the pc board, and can be set to different acceleration rates to accommodate different track conditions. Additional program parameters can be altered using a laptop computer.

A Castle Ice 160HV motor controller (ESC) was chosen due to the company’s reputation for building the highest quality, reliable products. This unit has built in “data logging” which gives us the opportunity to review different aspects of a run after it is complete. Motor RPM, battery voltage, amperage draw, wattage produced & power output are all displayed verses time in a graph format. This information is extremely useful in troubleshooting the run, and in determining changes necessary to improve the speed of the car.

In a gas powered tether car the fuel contains the same energy during the high speed laps, as it does during the rest of the run. This is not the case in an electric car. As an electric car comes up to speed, the batteries are coming down in voltage, and therefore, their ability to support the power that the motor is calling for is diminished. Since the race is based on the average speed recorded over eight consecutive laps, one of the biggest challenges in racing an electric tether car is going to be pushing the timer button at exactly the right time to get the best eight lap average.

For now, the Vector has accomplished a top speed of 202 mph, and as can be seen in the video, it did so for about ten consecutive laps. Due to it’s weight, and having done this speed, we are required by safety rules to switch over to a heavier tether cable (.085 dia.). Next season, this will provide a challenge for us to get the speed back over the 200 mph mark. Can’t wait!

Vector Specifications

Motor
Controller
Batteries
Throttle control
Chassis
Body 
Machined parts
Gears
Dimensions
Weight
1530 Series Neu motor
Castle ICE HV 160
Thunder Power 12s 2250MaH
On-board, custom built – programmable
Cast A357 Aluminum - Machined
Vacuum molded Carbon Fiber
7075 aluminum, and steel
Steel Bevel – ratio 2:1 Coated
24” L x 2.25” W x 5” H
8.5 lbs.

 
3D Model Drawings

Early Concept
 

Body Pattern
 

Pan Machining
 

Pan Machining
 

Photo of the First Pan & Body



 Aluminum Pan Casting

 
 
The Vector pan casting is manufactured using a process called
plaster mold casting. This process is capable of extreme accuracy
and repeatability. The material used is premium grade A357 aircraft
alloy, and the casting is heat treated to obtain ultimate strength.
 



44.4 Volt Removeable Power Bar
A unique design feature of the Vector is the removeable Power Bar. It serves to connect the four individual LIPO packs together to provide 44.4 volts to run the Vector's powerful motor. A custom manufactured printed circuit board ( lower right ) can carry more than 150 amps of battery power. The entire Power Bar can be changed in only a few minutes and allows you to charge the depleted Power Bar, while continuing to race with a charged spare.



 Throttle Control Circuit
In the United States, and according to AMRCA rules, the use of
external radio control is not permitted in tether racing. With an electric car, the power applied to the motor must be controlled so that, under acceleration, it does not just spin the tires. The design of the Vector addresses this problem through the use of a proprietary onboard microprocessor based throttle control circuit. The unit is programmable through the use of a switch mounted on the circuit board that alters it's operating parameters. This allows a certain amount of flexibility of the car's operation, at the track. More extensive program changes can be made by connection to a laptop computer. Essentially, the throttle control circuit, serves as the Vector's "brain".
 



 Production Parts

First Run of Pans
 

Upper Power Bar Circuit Boards
 

Nickel Boron Nitride Coated Gears
 

Nickel Boron Nitride Coated Pinions
 

Miscellaneous Parts

Gearbox Parts


 Early Assembly Photos

Basic Car Assembly & Vacuum Molded Carbon Fiber Top
 


 Ready to go at the New York Track!

202 MPH Vector
 

Here She is Topless!
 

The AMRCA is working on establishing a set of rules and classes governing the running of electric tether cars, and it is expected that they will be in place sometime during the 2014 racing season.
 
A limited number of Vector race cars will be available for purchase sometime after the 2014 AMRCA Nationals, which are scheduled for August, in New York. We are planning to run three Vectors in that race. Vector Race Cars will be built to order, and sold complete, and ready to run. The anticipated top speed should be approximately 200mph. Pricing, and delivery are not yet determined.
 
George and I are interested in helping to promote tether car racing, and the running of electric powered tether cars. Please feel free to contact us concerning any help we may be able to offer in building an electric tether car.