Exceed Hyper Speed Design Revisions
Adjustable Hydraulic Shocks
The current design of the car’s suspension system includes a series of four fluid shocks that serve mainly to absorb any shock from uneven terrain and to allow the car to perform competitively off road. Each wheel is attached to a shock, with the rear shocks having less give to support the heavier components located in the rear.
In order to maximize the car’s performance with regard to differing terrains, we recommend installing hydraulic shocks that can be adjusted by the user to raise and lower the vehicle as the user sees fit. This addition would allow the user to lower the car when traveling on road to maximize speed and maneuverability, and also to raise the car when traveling off road to increase the car’s capability of performing on rougher terrain. This can be done by replacing the current shocks on the car with the adjustable hydraulic shocks on both the front and rear tires. A series of tubes would then have to run from the shocks to a small pump which would control the level of the hydraulic shocks. This pump could either be powered by the engine or by a small electric motor that would run off the battery pack that powers the throttle and steering servos. This would be an addition that very few competitors currently offer, and even fewer that are designed for off road purposes. Advantages to this redesign are the ability to adapt to both on and off road conditions, and an increase in the car’s ability to carry a heavier load, as the new shocks could be adjusted to compensate for any added weight. Disadvantages would be an increase in the cost of the car, as more components would be required, and most likely a need to reformat the locations of certain parts of the car, as more room would be required to accommodate for the hydraulic pump and possibly a larger battery pack.
Individual Tire Brakes
An all wheel brake system would be a system level change that would not affect any other system because the brakes are a system of themselves. The current braking system is a single central brake located on the transmission housing. The most basic brake disc is used within two brake pads. This braking system would be removed entirely and individual brakes would be located on every wheel.
With the addition of three brakes, production cost would increase due to the additional components and production time. Changes to other components would also need to take place to account for the new brakes. The addition of these breaks would allow greater maneuverability, allowing the user to lock the wheels and perform slides to take difficult turns during races. Some economic concerns are if this would affect the user in the case when the brakes needed to be fixed or replaced. Since there are more components in the car you could conclude that the repairs would be more costly but this is not the case. The current location of the brakes is in a place where other components will have to be removed in order to get to them, however removal of this system would require no change to the transmission itself. Adding brakes on the wheels would decrease the repair time and thus decrease the price of replacement. Societal concerns are if people will be able to service the product themselves. This is always an option and with the new location of the brakes, self repairs could be made by the user. Environmental concerns include the additional components that need to be manufactured which will add to the strain on the environment. But to counter the addition production we have the less serviceability and possible self repair.
The current design features a nitro engine, which means that the car is hot during operation and slightly after. This can pose a safety risk to children using the car. In addition, the consumer must handle the very flammable fuel and know how to properly work with parts such as glow plugs, pull starts and throttle adjustments. All of these make it difficult for kids to operate the car without adult-supervision. Since the car is rated for kids 14 and older, this may limit the number of consumers willing to buy the product. Switching to an electric motor would simplify the car and make it more socially accepted for kid use, helping to expand the range of the beginner car. This change would also make it the first electric off road RC car made by Exceed RC.
In order to switch from nitro fuel to electricity, the majority of the car would remain the same. In place of the engine would be the brushless DC motor. The exhaust, fuel tank, fuel lines and throttle servo could also be removed which would address an economic factor of production. However, an electric motor would require many more batteries to run. This is not a concern to space or weight because with the engine and other components removed, most of the space of the chassis is freed up. A control module would need to be connected to the RF receiver in the car that controlled the speed of the motor based on signals from the control, essentially replacing the role of the throttle servo. With these add-ons, the car would be much easier to operate, requiring the user only to flip a switch to turn the car on.
This system revision would likely decrease cost and make the product easier to use. With the right motor and batteries, the performance would increase. The user no longer has to deal with fuel or engine maintenance, simple recharge batteries between uses and the car will be ready to run. With the right adjustments to the controller and motor controller, the car would also be able to go in reverse, a feature that is hard to implement on nitro engine attached to a single-gear transmission.
Socially, the hole in the shell where the engine heat sink goes through would no longer be needed increasing the aesthetic appeal of the car. Environmentally, the car would not have the emissions of a nitro-methane engine. Globally, the need for nitro-methane fuel is no longer there; only access to power is needed in order to charge the batteries. Economically, the user would no longer have to replace their fuel and glow plugs, just the batteries when they die. Without the cost of the engine, a servo, the exhaust, the fuel tank and the fuel lines, the car is cheaper to produce since a brushless DC motor is comparable in price to just the servo.