Sunday, June 20, 2010


I guess it's way past due for an update.

The 2010 California Formula SAE competition has just finished yesterday. It was one crazy ride. So intense but so much fun. It is also so refreshing and interesting to see the other cars from schools all over the world.

I took some pictures but didn't opt to bring my camera, so they're crappy camera phone pics, for better pics search for "Cal Racing" on facebook, but our historian hasn't uploaded any pictures/videos at the time of this writing (he's probably on his way back home right now).

While I wanted to get involved in a number of things on the team, I ended up doing wiring. I started with some chassis fabrication (tube grindin'!), and general tasks during engine dyno testing. I've always enjoyed wiring, but have never focused this much on making a safe, reliable, and attractive final product. I have learned so effing much about automotive wiring, but I'm still a rookie and there is much more. I really do wish I could get into other disciplines like chassis, suspension, engine, composites, at least a little bit with the little time I have left on this team.

I regret so much not joining immediately freshman year. I have never worked this hard for anything in my life, and my job isn't even that hard.

Auto Club Speedway

Some of my wiring

University of Illinois - Urbana

University of Oklahoma

UC Berkeley getting worked on

Vellore Institute of Technology [India] (University of Leeds members shown also)

University of Leeds [UK] (Vellore Institute of Technology members shown also)

Montana State University - Bozeman

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (University of Alberta 2009 car visible on right)

University of Saskatchewan [Canada]- Tech Inspection (UC Davis visible in background)

Universidad Autonoma Estado Mexico - Tech Inspection
Crazy bodywork!

Chitkara Institute of Engineering and Technology [India]- Tech Inspection

Monday, February 15, 2010

SPEAKER update

Here is the LM386 referred to in the last post, hastily hacked together

I think I will remount it, perhaps on the top? back?

And here is a sneak preview of the PORTRAIT OF A KROGAN my roommate painted in its incomplete form. Once I mount this badass speaker/portrait, and once my other roommate, the photographer, takes some good shots of it, I'll post the finished version.

I wish I had 4 more for a "hidden" 5.1 setup.

Mass Effect is so much fun. I simply must resist buying Mass Effect 2 until Spring Break, I MUST!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


WOW it's been quite a while. I suppose that's okay, last semester was pretty busy. No one reads this anyway.

Well, I recently picked up a Gakken "Learning for Adults" (or was it "Science for Adults"? I don't remember, it was in Japanese) magazine with a kit to build a 7 cm fullrange SPEAKER! I'm not talking about build a speaker box and throw in a driver, I actually assembled the driver! It was mostly gluing but there was some careful positioning involved too.

I had been wanting to get some fullrange drivers and try my hand at making some interesting speaker cabinets that help get the best sound from single drivers.

I was too excited to take pics during the build stage, so here are some pics of the finished product (courtesy of David). I built a total of three speaker enclosures out of CARDBOARD. It's uncanny how you can modify sound from enclosure design. (Box 1 omitted because it really was just cutting a hole in a box and throwing the driver in, these were built piece by piece).

Box 2
I've decided I don't like gum tape on speakers (not messy like this anyway).

Box 3 (Design taken from the magazine)

Look at that maze of a speaker! Really helped the bass.


I also threw together an amp with an LM386 low-power speaker opamp I had laying around as well as other parts I also just had laying around. It's still in breadboard form if you can't tell from the pics. Sounds pretty good for cardboard and batteries!

On the note of sound quality; I thought I had been exposed to 90% of what Hi-Fi had to offer. I've listened to most of the top headphones from the top companies, and I've demoed a vinyl/tube amp/loudspeaker setup complete with actively-shielded cables at a Hi-Fi store that one could sell to buy a pretty nice car, we're talking baby supercar. The room was even set up with diffusers and bass traps, the works. Yet there's something about this single driver, especially in the MIDS on vocals, that is just brand new to my ears, like nothing I've heard before. I don't believe I've ever heard vocals so true.

Frequency response was a bit off, however. There seems to be a region in the spectrum missing from the speakers, somewhere in the low mids or high bass. This is probably a consequence of speaker design, material (CARDBOARD, I need to start working with MDF), the driver (<3", most fullrange cabinets I see are for 4" fullranges), etc.

I think I've stumbled upon the subject for my Spring project...

Oh and maybe an amp too, since there always has to be something electronic.