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MAX designer requests car forum "invitation"
  • "This is an invitation only forum for prototyping and
    testing GVCS tools up to Full Product Release. To request an invitation, please
    email the respective moderator."

    Hello crank, I don't have an email address for you--I don't
    even know who you are--but I'm requesting an invitation to your forum. My only
    area of competence is the Open Source Car, so I'm not asking for invitation to
    other forums. My name may not ring a bell to you, but I've shared enough email
    and phone conversations with Marcin that he can verify (should he care to) that I
    have real world experience in open source car design, and that I've built an open source DIY car
    that meets most of the goals stated on your Car_Concept_Design wiki (two seats,
    low cost, high efficiency, long range, and runs on biofuel), and
    is lacking only the Power Cube, hydraulic hybridization, and wheel count to
    match the wiki's specs completely (though that said, MAX gets over 100 miles per
    gallon on the highway so the gains from meeting those specs may be minimal).

    In brief, many of your Open Source Car design challenges are
    challenges I've had to meet for my own designs, so I may be able to save you
    some time.

    When do you intend to begin the Open Source Car project? I
    know it's one of the First 50, but where does that put it on the OSE calendar?

  • 9 Comments sorted by
  • I love this idea :D

    What do you think about, rather than a "car chassis" and "truck chassis", creating a system of subassemblies that go together to make a mission-specific vehicle? 
  • Thanks Matt, I'm glad you love the double-dip suspension idea, but it's a solution to a problem found on race tracks and not in the real world--I doubt it will apply to the Open Source Car.

    I think many of the subassemblies could adapt to various vehicles, but think the chassis itself is an example of a mission-specific subassembly. For one thing, a three wheeled vehicle is a particularly poor choice for a truck, due to center of gravity shifting with load (and thus roll resistance will vary with load).

    Man, I wish I'd been a fly on the wall when the Open Source Car team chose the constraints for this project (one rear wheel, side-by-side seating, single wheel drive and a PowerCube). I'm not arguing, I just wish I knew how they decided that was the way to go.
  • Yeah...I doubt it was really the focus of a lot of discussions. Seems like the car/truck is going to be one of the things that isn't worth worrying about until after there's a full machine shop, at a minimum. My guess is a full machine shop AND a full fuel lifecycle.

    As for the reverse trike layout, I suspect that was just because they wanted it to be fuel efficient, which means aerodynamic, which means teardrop shaped. It's not a great idea from a standpoint of fabrication or maintenance. 

    My personal impression of what the open source car/truck concept should be is a system of systems, just like the GVCS. What's the point of making a single design open source? Anyone who wants to build a car can just buy a $25 book or google around long enough. The designs are already out there for free or nearly for free. And anyone who's so mechanically disinclined they can't figure out how a box frame works on their own is probably just going to hire a machinist to build the thing, which means it's the machinist who really needs to know the plans and he probably already understands enough to just design his own car. Modest performance isn't hard to achieve. So, it seems like the way to add value is to redesign the entire vehicle construction concept from scratch and from the point of view of someone who has already committed to the GVCS as a lifestyle. That means interchangeable power units, extreme modularity, utility as opposed to entertainment, etc. 

    I mean, why buy a power plant capable of moving 3000lbs at 65mph and then only use it for 1 hour per day? Why let it sit in the garage for 23 hours? Why not use it to heat your house while you're home and move your car when you're not? With the interchangeable power unit concept you can get that kind of synergy. In the same way, why buy two vehicles and let one sit around when you're not using it? Why not get a bunch of Lego-like parts and put them together into the vehicle you want? Someone living with the GVCS already has a bunch of hydraulics hanging around, so rearranging +100lb parts won't be all that big a deal, and using hybrid hydraulics means you don't have to worry about dropping the transmission or meshing gears or anything like that. Hell, you could use the power cube to assemble the parts into a vehicle then use the same power cube to drive the thing down the road, rather than let the engine sit in a box. The power cube could even move itself as the last step.

    To me, that idea seems to imply a little more creativity than just designing yet another high-mileage car.

    Also, it seems like the car should be practical for doing farm work, or at least handling rough/muddy roads. You know, something spartan and practical. The whole point of the GVCS is that you don't NEED to go anywhere. Everything is sourced locally. So a car that gets 100mpg at highway speeds isn't all that practical because if you do decide to drive that far it's probably a once-in-a-while thing and you could just rent a fuel efficient compact for the day. 
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    December 2011
    Another reason for the 3-wheel design (as I understand it) is that it puts it into the category of motorcycles which have far fewer regulations to make them street-legal.

    - Mark

  • That is an excellent reason, Mark. For example, all 50 states require that a car windshield be made of safety glass and have a windshield wiper, where motorcycle windshield material is undefined and they needn't have wipers. The lessened regulations have drawn many vehicle designer to three wheels, there's a long history of that motive--at least 100 years; Morgan built three wheelers to avoid "car tax" in 1911.

    The reasons given on the Open Source Car wiki--weight, cost, streamlining--seem to me more like rationalizations than reasons. Thus I'd like to know how the parameters were established. And I'm curious who the "they" are that established them. Is that information available via radical transparency?
  • Vote Up0Vote Down December 2011
    It'd be available if radical transparency had buy-in with Marcin, and the information that implies had been posted.  I don't even know of the former's status, and I doubt anybody has taken the time to post the results.
  • To be fair, all the open source projects I've seen have a big problem with documentation. This one isn't unique just because they vocalize that it's a good idea and then fail at it. Par for the course. The sort of people who do this sort of thing are not the sort of people who spend their time obsessively crafting instructions to the lowest common denominator. They tend to figure that anyone who can't keep up and fill in the gaps on their own isn't worth explaining things to anyway. Or they just have better/more interesting things to do.

    Anywho...that car/motorcycle distinction is a good one. Thanks for reminding me of it. 

    The legal angle isn't one I was considering before. Now it is starting to look like quite an interesting challenge. My original idea about building the vehicle(s) out of a set of modular parts is looking less valuable. If you need to get it on the road then it's going to have to be paperworked as a single vehicle. If you take it apart and build a new vehicle that will most likely require you to go through all the paperwork again. Although, you might just be able to claim that you built it out of the frame of the originally titled "vehicle" so you don't need ALL new paperwork.

    You an do whatever you want vehicle-wise on your own land, so farm/industry machinery that won't leave the geographic location of the farm/village would still be a good application. That was most of the point anyway, so this only takes away a little value. Additionally, it would be possible to tow or carry many other vehicles if necessary. Or just pay to have them shipped.

    Actually...the legal issue will probably crop up numerous times as the GVCS progresses. 
  • Vote Up0Vote Down
    December 2011
    Most of the original discussions about many of the GVCS has been lost because of the old forums being discarded & replaced by this new forum/website.  I don't even remember all of the discussion regarding all of the early projects, and although I'd requested access to the old forums to clean out the spam so they could be an archive resource for all, that never went anywhere, I never got any response on it, and I'd bet that they no longer exist...

    There was some lively discussion on there that might prove useful if it could be dug up
  • When I started helping OSE, I tried to get the admin password of the old forums so that I could export the discussions, but I was not able to get it, unfortunately.

    To avoid problems like this in the future, all current passwords are kept in an encrypted KeePass database. See

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