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Arm Yourself With Knowledge...

"The important thing is not to stop questioning".
- Albert Einstein

There are no tricks, no secrets, no magic elixirs or proprietary voodoo that will get you to the winner's circle. It's all about understanding the rules and design constraints of your race and applying craftsmanship and your knowledge of physics and natural law to exploit them to your benefit. That's why the two most powerful tools in your arsenal are knowledge and elbow grease.

“When gravity is your engine, physics is your fuel.” —Jerry jerry

There is a lot of very good information out there. There is also a lot of useless fluff. I have seen both (much more of the latter). It's my goal to provide quality products and 'Fluff Free" knowledge to give you the only true winning edge.

Recommended *****Dr. John Jobe, author of "The Physics of the Pinewood Derby", has conducted extensive research and hands-on experimentation with regards to the application of physics to the pinewood derby. Here's an excerpt - "The days are over for tips, hints, old wives' tales, and all the other rumors that accompany the popular pinewood derby racing scenario. Rather than superstition and hearsay, we can now share facts with our kids based on physics and natural laws. The large library-quality simulated leather-bound Physics of the Pinewood Derby book captures 15 years of professional research and development on the dynamics of gravity- driven model race cars. The equations of motion have been solved for various types of tracks and cars, even large gravity-driven cars with drivers. And practical designs are presented based on subjects that range from friction studies, wind tunnel testing, and statistical analyses."

This book, and other tools are available on his web site

There are also a series of lectures that are published on his site that are a based on his experimentation. These are well worth a click

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
—Thomas Alva EdisonlittleEdison

Lecture 1a - Lets Put Car Weight in Proper Perspective - Part 1

Lecture 1b - Lets Put Car Weight in Proper Perspective - Part 2

Lecture 2 - Friction 101

Lecture 3 - Experiments with Hodges' Nickel Plated Axles

Lecture 4 - Do Smaller Axles Really Go Faster?

Lecture 5 - How To Calculate the Moment of Inertia of a Wheel

Lecture 6 - Testing Hodges Wheels

Lecture 7 - Center of Mass (CM) Effect

Lecture 8 - Air Drag 101

Lecture 9 - The Effects of Air Drag on PWD Race Times

Lecture 10 - Using the Virtual Race to Make Design Decisions

Lecture 11 - Debunking Another Friction Myth

Lecture 12 - Data on Standard Wheel Bores

Lecture 13- Lubrication Breakthrough

Lecture 14- Building the Simple But Fast (SBF) Car-Part1

Lecture 15- Building the Simple But Fast (SBF) Car-Part2

Lecture 16- Car Lubrication Part 1 - Axles

Lecture 17- Car Lubrication Part 2 - Wheel Bores

Lecture 18- Video Showing the Finger Spin Graphite Friction Test

Lecture 19- Oil vs Rules

Lecture 20- Pushing the Speed Limit

Lecture 21- Speed Loss from Wheel Bumps

Lecture 22- Data on Standard Wheel Roundness

Lecture 23- Sam Houston Area Council PWD Rules - National?

Lecture 24 - Virtual Racing II - Real Time Race Simulator

Lecture 25 - Are 3 Wheels Rolling Really Faster than 4 Rolling?

Lecture 26 - Examining the New BSA Wheels and Wheel History

Think about this for a moment... Wouldn't it be great if you had a list of just 12 critical measurements and a software simulator to virtually tweak you car to peak performance before you even touch the track?

Then you gotta check this out!

Measuring Parameters for the Virtual Race was created by Dr. John Jobe as a companion to his Virtual Racing and Gravity Driven Car Design software CD. Theinformation and software tools will teach you about the 12 critical measures and how to apply them to the Software. Each measure is just one piece of a rather complex puzzle. And this program will show how changing just one parameter can affect the rest. Like we've been saying, "There isn't any one magic bullet that will put you over the top. It's the understanding of a combination of many measures and their interactions". Make no mistake - This is a very sophisticated yet easy to use analytical tool that applies 15 years of research into a "fill-in-the-blank" format that will perform all of the calculations and let you tweak to your hearts content with a the click of a mouse. Explore and Learn.

Check back for more...


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This was written to help leaders plan their derbies and help parents know how a derby should be run. It provides detailed information on setting up committees, finding supplies, deciding on rules and evaluating the results. One of the most important chapters deals with the rules - the rationale behind them, their necessity and suggests a rather complete set of rules for both derbies. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book! Included are plans for a pine wood derby track - a copy of the official Scout 3 lane track plans - and a simple backyard two lane test track. Order one for yourself, or order two and give one to your group leader. Good idea.


Item #H30


February 16, 2014

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