The Power Tool Drag Races. May 2006
Ace Auto Dismantlers aka (ACE International Speedway)
2255 Mc Kinnion. San Francisco, California.
Building the track and cleaning the yard (not a small task, for sure)
Asembling the the optical timing switches in the track guide rails.
Folks hard at work watching other folks work on the track.
At the begining of the track the racers trigger an optical
switch at the end another switch stops the eleapsed time (ET) clock.
To get the speed of the racers a second set of optical switches was added at a shorter measured distance.
A Lap Top Computer reads these switches when the racers breaks the light beam and calculates the speed of the racers in MPH at the end of the track.
The two 75 ft tracks are constructed with OSB sheeting
and two by fours for guide rails.
Each section was mounted to even more two by fours.
The track was elevated above the ground and leveled.
This took a lot of work and a lot of screwing as well.
Four by four blocks were used to keep the side rails vertical and properly spaced at 12 inches apart on the inside walls.
It should also be mentioned that way before the track
was set up.
The entire yard was cleaned by a lot of hard working folks.
This happy little task took about a week.
Charlie was geeting sort of worn out after moving a lot of the heavy stuff.
In this photo you can actually see that the workout actually short'nd one of his legs a bit.
You can see that this yard is actually getting really
Charlie told me when I was sweeping up,that we need to get the yard surface clean enough to eat off of.
Well, we got it pretty clean.....
But I would have to be REALL REALLY REALLY HUNGRY, to
want to eat something off of this surface. Even with the 5 second dropped
food rule in effect.
I wouldn't retrieve a dropped Hot Dog.
But I might ponder dusting off a rack of barbcued baby back ribs.
It looks like Charlie found a Treasure can...
One thing I learned while working in the Yard Is (The
Junkyard will provide.)
It is truely amazing what you can find around here. This yard not only recycles automobiles but computers, printers, copy machines and even an airplane part or two.
Pouneh shows up early Sunday morning wearing a lovely
sun dress and a big fluffy hat.
Pouneh and Charlie
They work together running the (Box Shop ) (home of The Flaming Lotus Girls).
Jim Mason seen assembling the fire control panel and High voltage and High current wiring system used to power the electric racers.
Jim runs (The Shipyard)
in Berekly. The Shipyard like the Box Shop provides a large collection
of shipping containers for artists to store their tools and project in.
The ship yard also has a large machine shop and a welding shop. The electrical
power used in this industrial scaled location is provided OFF the Grid.
That is, it is powered by solar and other unique means using mostly recycled
and surplus equiptment.
Inside of the fire control system. This magic box provides both 120 VAC and 220 VAC to the racers.
Jim had the panel ALL WIRED UP and working pefectly Saturday
He really did.... I was there when he tested it.....
On Sunday morning, The entire left side Died before the
Someone found me in the pits getting ready for the races and said "Hey Steve the launch control panel is broken!"
Can you fix it?" "We cant start the event without it"
Gah! No pressure and stuff...
I opened up the panel with a borrowed screwdriver and said UHH, look at all the pretty red wires!!
I yelled, "Does anybody have a Multi meter"?
Do do, Do do, Do do, Do do
Picture if you will, a fat technition, staring into a maze of red and white wires. Created by an industrial artist with a flair for being more than fashonably late for events. I could almost hear Rod Sterling whispering in my ear....
Theres no sign post up ahead and you have entered The MASON ZONE....
To make a short story long, someone had a multimeter and with (some poking and probing), We found that we were missing one leg from the 220 VAC input so we rewired one of the switches taped off the bad switch with duct tape and the 120 VAC power split was restored.
Boy, getting into the mind of Jim Mason scared me a bit.
Even though the problem was solved sorta quickly. I felt weakened and my
knees became wobbly and I think I fried a frontal lobe in my brain. ;)
This Cool Industrial SUV was provided by the Nimby
Space (another industrial artistic workshop) located in West
Oakland and it was used as the anouncer and Judging stand. I believe it
is a 1965 vintage army truck sporting a 400 pound steel coffin that is
actually a barbecue and it is acessorized with a aircraft drop tank and
a nifty flame job.
Judge Dave Calkins (Robotics
Society of America) and (Combots)...
Hell and Dr.
The announcers (as usual) provided several hours of jokes,
put downs, vulgaritys and commentary. This is one of the more interesting
and fun parts of this event.
The races ran all day and into the night. But these guys
never ran out of things to say.
The Thimble man. (Need name)
A lot more pictures
More Super Stock.