The Datsun 240Z at the SVGS Awards Picnic

The team traveled to the Frontier Culture Museum with the Datsun on May 16 for the SVGS Awards Picnic. At the picnic, team members were able to show off the car to fellow students and their family members. Alongside the Datsun, the Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School’s robotics team’s robot made an appearance as members of the robotics team shared information about their competitive and successful season. At the picnic, senior team members Ben and Emily received the awards for Best Electric Vehicle Team Members.


This Week in EV 10/18 – 10/24

On Sunday, the team met from 6:00 to 8:30. We continued charging batteries and connected the peripheral cells in the Datsun to the Orion BMS. We tested the new cell configuration and designed a new mount for the BMS. On Wednesday, the team met from 6:00 to 7:30. We began installing the new mount and rewired the BMS wiring harness to accommodate the new mount. On Thursday, the team met during the school day to write up goals for the upcoming month.

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This Week in EV 10/11 – 10/17

The team did not meet on Sunday due to the excitement and exhaustion of the EV Neat Rally. On Wednesday, the team met from 6-9. One of the team members brought along her Romanian exchange student and we were able to show her the cars and allow her to participate in our evening’s work. We had a large turnout of students as well as a visitation from a member of the team a few years back who worked on the display system in our Datsun. The battery management system in the Datsun was the main focus of the night. New members were taught how to strip wires and make connections using crimping tools and heat shrink. We got all of the wires of the battery management system prepared with ring terminals to be hooked up at a later date.

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This Week in EV 10/4 – 10/10

The meeting on Sunday was rescheduled to Monday due to possible inclement weather. On Monday, the team met from 6-9. While charging the Porsche, the teachers passed out permission forms and legal waivers to the members going on the trip and went over what to pack, the schedule, and general expectations. We replaced the low auxiliary cell with a fully charged one and decided on what hardware we would use to mount the BMS in the Datsun. On Wednesday, the team met from 6-9 and broke into three groups to work on various tasks. One group worked on fixing the connections on the batteries to ensure that the wires would be under any stress when the batteries were held down for racing, the second team worked on charging batteries, and the third team worked on getting timing equipment to work for the races at the competition. Friend of the team, Mark Bartosik, joined us for most of the evening to see that everything was running smoothly and if we needed any help. The team added an extra meeting on Thursday to load the vehicle, supplies, and tools needed for the competition.┬áThe team decided to only bring the Porsche because of the high number of students with prior commitments and because the Datsun was not entirely ready to race. On Friday, the team met at 4:30 am and headed to North Carolina for the EV Neat Rally. Click here to read more about the competition at it’s dedicated post.

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All About Our Cars: The Datsun 240Z

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The 1971 Datsun 240Z was donated to the EV team in November of 1993. Since then, the Datsun has advanced through many wiring configurations with each passing wave of students. The vehicle currently runs on 156 V of lithium ion batteries, a student-built IGBT controller, and a 35 HP series wound DC motor. The team’s vision for the future of the Datsun includes increasing the number of batteries and overall voltage, getting a passenger seat, and implementing a data acquisition system.

This Week in EV 9/20 – 9/26

On Sunday, the team met from 6-9. We had a big turnout with new members and we were able to show them around the shop, give them safety lessons, and teach them about the cars. The team traveled to David Waterman’s (one of our sponsors) house to pick the battery pack that he loans to us every year for our Datsun 240Z. We got to look over his electric lawnmower, one of the fastest in the world, and pick up some scrap metal for various projects. When we returned to our shop we placed the 200 lbs pack in the back of the Datsun and worked on coming up with a wiring design to implement at the next meeting.

On Wednesday, the team met from 6-9. We worked on charging batteries for the Porsche, charging batteries for the Datsun, and filing through documentation on the Porsche. The senior members drew up new wiring diagrams and schematics for the Datsun so that new members could understand the wiring of the cars.

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This Week in EV 9/13 – 9/19

On Sunday the team met from 6-8:30. We began the meeting by looking at a hybrid electric vehicle owned by a member of the community named Katie. We then showed her our cars and discussed a wide range of electric vehicle topics with her. A new member, Nathaniel, showed up and was able to see the cars and get a safety walk through from Byron. We continued charging batteries and preparing for the Porsche conversion. David Waterman, one of our teams sponsors, will be bringing back his lithium ion pack that we borrow from his lawn mower (the fastest zero-turn Dixie Chopper in the US) to be put in our Datsun again. With all immediate work done on the Porsche, the team turned to the Datsun. The Datsun’s wiring was the main focus of last year’s team; all the wiring was taken out and completely redone partly as a learning opportunity and partly out of necessity. The team checked to ensure all auxiliary factors were working properly and charged up the auxiliary battery. After that, the team discussed the possibility of going out to a local business later in the week to try to get tire donations for the Porsche.

On Wednesday, the team met from 6-7:30. We wired a switch to turn on and off the auxiliary battery to prevent it from discharging on its own.

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