A team from the University of Minnesota’s mechanical engineering program geared up for the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Project, a series of competitions that were open to students across the globe and featured student design and development of small formula-style racecars built to rigid safety and performance specifications. Neutrik provided XLR Chassis Connector to assist in the competitions. Competing vehicles were judged in three different categories: engineering design, solo performance trails and high-performance track endurance.
Information generated by the data recorder is vital to the safety of each driver, as the reaction of the car differs depending upon the driver that is behind the wheel. Knowing how the car will react to a specific driver enables the team to make modifications prior to the competition. During test-runs, the data recorder measures the acceleration, lateral G’s, oil pressure, temperature, steering wheel motion and linear motion detectors. Team-members then download the information to an on-site laptop computer to immediately analyze the cars performance and make any necessary changes.
According to Patrick Starr, professor of mechanical engineering and advisor to University of Minnesota Vehicle Projects, “This is a team-building project that utilizes technology that is unfamiliar to many of the students. In order to succeed, the students must work closely and cooperatively to quickly get up to speed. It’s not about the cars: It’s about the product development process. In this case, the product just happens to be a car. The Neutrik XLR Chassis Connector has been pivotal to our team’s success. The ability to download the information immediately has allowed us to make instantaneous on-site changes, giving us an edge on our competition.”
The University of Minnesota’s Formula SAE vehicle uses the Neutrik XLR Chassis Connector with a P/N NC5FDM3-L-1 five pole female receptacle for downloading data from the car’s Motec engine management system. The team’s most recent entry was the 2003 Formula SAE event where it finished in the coveted Top 10 with a seventh place out of 140 entries.
“We’re currently building a new car for the 2005 season and we’ll definitely continue to use the Neutrik XLR Chassis Connector in conjunction with our data recorder,” Starr stated: “Every penny we spend is a penny that has been donated to the project, as there is no University budget for the Formula SAE program. We can continue to offer the project because of the generous in-kind sponsorships that supply most of the components to construct and operate these vehicles, such as this donation by Neutrik.”
Neutrik manufactures a wide array of XLR connectors and receptacles, jacks and plugs, speaker connectors and accessories for the professional audio industry. For more information about this and other Neutrik products and news, go to their Website: www.neutrikusa.com.