Raco Euro Challenge

Thursday 2005-12-22
If you have anything going for RC model car racing, come to the Raco Euro Challenge, either as spectator or as competitor. For more info click the banner:

I will not be driving there, but I am definetely planning on viewing some races!
See you there!


Where’s North again?

Monday 2005-10-03

Lately, I’ve been collecting race circuit locations using Google Earth. It’s really nice to see the sometimes very detailed satelite images of race circuits. You can actually see the seperate kerbstone blocks of silverstone, and see how many cars there were parked at the time the picture was taken. You should try it.

What really started to catch my interest is the fact that the maps of circuits as they are used in logo’s or (worse) “how to get there”-maps are almost never of the “north pointing up” type. An example:
The circuit “Road America”, which is located a few miles north-east of Atlanta, Georgia, has a web-site which shows you a detailed map of the circuit, as well as pointers to the nearest highways. I have grabbed an image (because they only have these stupid noise making flash movie thingied nobody is interersted in after the second visit). It looks like this:

So, in my quest to find this circuit using Google Earth, I found the circuit to be along the 53, halfway from the I85 to the I985, just like the directions stated. But, the circuit seemed to be “turned around:

I have noticed this with a lot of ciruits. I understand the need of turning and simplifying the circuit to make a nice logo, but when the circuit is depicted next to driving directions, I would make the map “north side up” so nobody gets confused. In the first image, the I85 apears to be west of the circuit, while it is actually east of the circuit.

Google Earth location of Road America (so you can check for yourselves):

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<kml xmlns=”http://earth.google.com/kml/2.0″&gt;
<Style id=”khStyle662″>
<IconStyle id=”khIconStyle664″>
<name>Road Atlanta</name>

Drag Racing Season 2005 Calendar

Saturday 2004-12-11

As usual at the end of august, in 2005 there will be another edition of the Nitro OlympX. Aside from being a great entertainment-for-the-family weekend, it is also round 5 of the FIM/UEM EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR:

Round Venue Date
1 Santa Pod, England
(Main Event)
May 27-30
2 Alastaro, Finland
(FHRA Nitro Nationals)
July 1-3
3 Mantorp Park, Sweden
(Veidec Nitro Festival)
July 28-31
4 Gardermoen, Norway
(Drag Challenge)
August 5-7
5 Hockenheim, Germany
August 19-21
6 Santa Pod, England
(European Finals)
September 8-11
(Dragracing Festival)
November 9-11

Please note that the dates may be subject to change.

More information can be found at Monique’s Top Fuel Drag Racing Site (it’s also the place where I got the schedule from :-), thanks Monique!.

Have a great 2005 season and may the best bike win! (like it did last year 😛 )

Milling aluminum housing

Sunday 2004-11-14

Today I found the first good use for the milling machine. I had this cast aluminum housing for an electronics project, with ridges on the inside. I made a hole for a connector in it, but I never got the nut on the inside flat to the surface because of the ridges on the inside of the housing. I decided to use the mill to flatten the surface on the inside of the housing. The housing did not fit in the clamp, so I had to find a way to get it attached to the bed of the mill in a different way. I took a piece of wood, drilled two holes in it and bolted that to the bed of the mill. Then, I used long plywood screws and another piece of wood to hold the housing. In the picture on the right you can see this construction. I used a test indicator to align the house to the X-axis of the bed.

Since I only needed a plane large enough to place a ring and nut on, I roughly adjusted the 6mm mill to just not touch the bottom of the housing. I milled down to the point where the ridges were not visible. The image on the left is the result of the work. The mill is a very nice tool to adjust ready-made electronics housing to your likings.