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Homework Help: GPE cars help!

  1. Feb 14, 2006 #1
    i have to build a vehicle "powered soely by gravitational potential energy that will travel at least a linewar distance of 5 meters under its own power. no elastic potential energy (such as a mousetrap) allowed"

    i was wondering if anyone out there had any idea on where to start or knew of a website that would provide blueprints of some sort.


    thanks a million!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2006 #2

    Tide

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    What ideas have you come up with so far?
     
  4. Feb 14, 2006 #3
    well, we have to create our own wheels and axle system... like we cant use anything that was made for a wheel or an axle, so i was thinking i would use dowel rods for the axel, and depending on how heavy it was, i would use cds or pvc endcaps for the wheels... and then maybe lead fishing sinkers for the weight? i just dont know where to start...
     
  5. Feb 14, 2006 #4

    Tide

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    There are lots of possibilities. How about a pulley arrangement where a falling lead weight (attached to the pulley) turns your axle to propel the car?
     
  6. Feb 15, 2006 #5

    andrevdh

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    The pulley system could also incorporate a flywheel in order to keep going after the weight has reached the bottom (one could maybe also start the motion of the vehicle only after the weight dropped - engage drive mechanism - after the flywheel have build up speed)

    Another idea - use a water steam coming from the bottom of a container to drive the vehicle.
     
  7. Feb 18, 2006 #6
    tide, what you said is exactly what i was thinking... but where do i start? and how do i get the string not to catch anywhere on the car? like, do i need a plastic piece of some sort?
     
  8. Feb 18, 2006 #7

    Tide

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    Start by making a sketch followed by a prototype to help discover design flaws - such as string getting caught. You may need guide grooves or holes or some kind of guard such as plastic or screening material.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Feb 20, 2006 #8
    thanks for your help!
     
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