InDetail: KERS Cable and Connectors

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When looking at the installation of any Hybrid or Electric racing car, the bright orange cabling is a trademark feature, taking the high currents between the battery, inverter and eMotor. With light weight, reliability and rapid disassembly all factors in the cabling installation, the cable choice and the connector technology are critical and often unappreciated by the fans. I’ve recently purchased some Ex-F1 DC connectors\cables which give us some appreciation of the tech involved here. These are both Red Bull RB8 (2012) parts, taken from the DC (battery to inverter) bus. Rather than simply being big fat copper cables with two pin connectors, they are remarkably complex in their design.

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InDetail: RBR KERS Battery case

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During the F1 KERS era (2009-2013), Red Bull Racing adopted a unique battery set up. Rather than in a recess under the monocoque\fuel tank, the battery is split up into three separate units around the gearbox. I’ve explained the KERS installation in previous posts (LINK), but I’ve recently acquired a 3D printed mockup of one of the side mounted battery cases. This gives us some unique insight into the battery case’s dimensions and layout.

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W-Duct: FIA move to ban wastegate based Drag Reduction Devices

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It’s been discovered the FIA have issued a Technical Directive in response to a team’s request for clarification on potential exhaust aero interaction with the 2016 exhaust tailpipe rules.
In September last year, the FIA confirmed the change in the exhaust tailpipe regulations that separates the pipework for the wastegate\s from the turbo. This move was made in order to add to the sound, previously muted by having both devices blowing through the same tailpipe. To prevent any obvious aero trickery with blown effects from the extra tailpipe\s, the rules fix the pipe’s exit in the same area as the current tailpipe. However, opening up the exhaust outlets could still bring some potential exhaust interaction with the aero, along the lines of the F-Duct or Drag Reduction Duct. This new FIA TD bans any interaction between the exhausts and fluidic switches.

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Project Controller: Using a Car as a Games Controller!

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Back in November I was invited to Sweden to see a unique project, where Nissan Sweden have sought to turn an entire car into a games controller with their leftfield ‘Project Controller’. They have connected a Nissan Qashqai to a Sony Playstation4 in order to play football games via the steering wheel and pedals. With their lab set up the game is easily played with steering to direct the players, the pedals to kick and the steering buttons for other functions. The key to the trick is how they have hacked into both the car and games console, without wrecking either of them.

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InDetail: Mercedes W06 – Walkaround

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Mercedes AMG’s W06-Hybrid dominated the season this year. I’ve been lucky enough to get close to it and find out lots about its design and details. So I’ve put together a comprehensive ‘walk-around’ the car, from my camera phone pictures taking whilst being in the pit lane over race weekends.

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F1 2D Rear Wing Profile

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Like any aero surface, rear wing profiles used on F1 cars are a closely guarded secret. Teams will constantly develop their own profiles and not base the designs on the commonly available NASA profiles or similar. While complete and recent F1 rear wings will appear on the market, they are expensive and leaves the technical fan unable to gain any data from them. However, the simple rear wing slot gap separator, mandated to deter the teams from flexing their rear wing profiles for an aero-elastic stalling effect, are ideal for gaining basic 2D geometries. I have just such a component from a Red Bull RB6.

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DRS Mechanism Analysed

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The Drag Reduction System, DRS, was introduced to F1 in 2011. It’s a system to open the rear wing flap for reduced drag to boost top speed. Over the subsequent years DRS operating mechanisms have evolved and converged on the same set up, with a wing mounted pod containing a high pressure hydraulic actuator to pull the wing open. This is an opportunity to see the mechanism in detail and explain how the set up works.

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Jordan – Active Brake Bias Pedal

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Active and driver aid technologies were banned in 1993, however the use of hydraulic controls was not fully outlawed. Exposed by Peter Wright’s excellent book on the 2000 Ferrari, teams were still using a hydraulic brake bias control post 1993.

As an avid collector of F1 car parts (have you got any for sale?) I noticed a Japanese Collector selling a Jordan 197 brake pedal, I could immediately tell it wasn’t any ordinary pedal, as the bias mechanism had hydraulic lines hanging from it.

Once purchased for my collection, I was able to inspect and research the item. It was an electronically controlly brake bias mechanism.  Gary Anderson was understated about the item, simply replying to me “you’d be surprised what technology we had at Jordan in those days” but other people behind the scenes told me a lot more about this hydraulic bias mechanism.

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