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The Solar Racer is a Package Containing the Brainchild Solar Engine and a Tomica Bit Racer (Both require assembling)
Converting the "Tomica Bit Racer" to solar energy means you will never needing to charge it again and is fun to learn about solar energy and impress your friends. Simply remove the batteries and attach the motor wires from the assembled Brainchild Solar Engine to the correct leads in the battery compartment on the "Tomica Bit Racer" (See Youtube above). Presto, you have a toy that will work endlessly if sufficient light is available to charge the capacitor.
Soldering is required on the Solar Engine and assembling is required on the BIt Racer. So if you don't know how to solder, you need to learn it.....or you can purchase the completed circuit version but it will cost a little bit more.
Brainchild Solar Engine Package
Tomy Bit Racer
Solar Racer - High Speed Mini Solar Racer
See YouTube clips of the "Converted Tomica Bit Racer" in action.
How does it work?
There are four options for completing the solar circuit on the back of the Brainchild Solar Panel. The package here contain electrical components for the Solar Engine circuit using the Voltage Trigger System.
Voltage Trigger System: When the solar panel has charged the capacitor (a device which stores electricity) to a threshold level of around 4 volts, it will than release the electricity stored during that time to the motor and drive your Bit racer. There is no need to turn the Solar Racer on or off as the charging is continuous and when the threshold is reached the energy is discharged and the cycle than start again.
The main difference with this solar racer as compare with others is that it works both indoor and outdoor, the electronic is designed to accumulate light energy from any light source from its surrounding.
See also the solar Hexbug , A similar toy that we converted to this type of solar charging method.
Solar engine circuit diagram for Solar Racer
The difference with this circuit to others is with our selection of components, they have been experiment and tested to let the voltage charge up to 4-5 volts in the shortest time possible (like a couple of minutes under a 25W desk lamp) without damaging the electronics. To get an idea of the maximum power available from this solar engine see the Side Winder Combat Bot on this website. By the way the Side Winder has 4 more super capacitors than the Solar Racer....
Solar Racer Package contains:
- 1 - Solar panel with proprietary printed circuit on back
- 1 - 3904 NPN Transistor,
- 1 - Diode
- 1 - Voltage Trigger
- 1 - Small capacitor for timing the voltage trigger (Black)
- 1 - Main storage super capacitor (blue)
- 1 - Original Tomica Bit Racer Motor (MICRO B 2.6)
- 1 - Bit Racer Machine Set (3.95:1)
Complete instructions are included.
Solar Car Race
After you have completed the circuit and mounted it on the back of the solar car you would most likely want to have a race. To make a racing circuit, you would need very straight and flat tracks. May I suggest going to your local Ikea store and buy any straight piece of bookshelf (about $50 for a 2meter bookshelf) and modify it by fixing perspex sheets on the two sides. Now you can have a straight road for your solar car to travel without it going all over the place.
Here is an example of what could be like with the solar race in action. You also need a stop watch, electrical tapes to mark the start and finish and an impartial judge.
To improve the performance of a vehicle either with a full size "solar racer" or just a toy solar car, there are a number of standard modifications you can make to the vehicle. These are:
1) Reduce the weight of the vehicle because this will allow the energy of your motor to concentrate on speeding up and not moving the weight of the vehicle.
2) Reduce friction in all the parts that waste energy of your motor.
3) Increase the power of your motor. In this case you can't do that unless you get another voltage trigger which release at a higher voltage but this could burn out the motor without futher testing.
4) Reduce the traction of the wheels which take away some of the energy produced by the motor.
5) Improve stability when the vehicle when is in motion. This will reduce unnecessary energy lost.
6) Reduce the air drag by mounting a more streamline outer shell. (In this Solar Toy Car race, I would safely say that the speed the toy car is travelling will not have much effect on the air drag hence I would ignore this modification and emphasize on the other points above)
Because you are given a small TOMICA Racer to assemble you might think there are little room for improvement with the above points. Here are some of the things that we have done that you can try to alter its performance on the Solar Race Track:
· You can take out all the unnecessary parts on the car to lighten it up. Be careful not take way too many parts which will make the car stick around the edges when it has to glide around curves which is what this toy is design to do.
· You can try front wheel drive and back wheel drive to see what difference does it make.
· There is a small T bar below the front wheels which adjust the stability of the car depending on the terrain of the track you need to race on.
· Finally you can try the advance electronic package from our company to play around with the timing capacitor and the other electronic parts sold seperatly.
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