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Discussion Starter #1
I have been picking my brain really hard to find ways to get the average Joe drag racer and fans involved in EV drag racing.

I love the sport of racing with an electric motor, but the quiet launching of a dragster is not very exciting for a spectator. Yes there is tire noise and smoke, but we need something added? Any suggestions?

A supporter requested I install the lights under the car (light strips) and have them glow brighter as the motors rpm's rise. This might work for the kids, but adults we need something to get their attention.

Racing whether its Nascar or NHRA always gets more attention when accidents or close races happen. I watch racing weekly and the internal fighting between competitors always brings in more money and coverage.

ICE racing has us beat with loud exhaust and vibrations from large HP motors, open pipes with flames too. We need to add something to an electric dragster to fire up the audience!

Hopefully, more teams will join the EV Racing World and we can have great rivalry. I know the disagreements between ECEDRA and NEDRA has fired up some racers on both coasts, I think this is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
There is an enormous amount of volts and amps in these EV Dragsters, would be cool to show it "flowing" somehow when your racing down the track. Maybe in the future the motor builders and controller builders can design something that will creat a "Glow" or a "spark" without damaging the equipment.

I'm just shooting in the dark here, looking for ways to promote. :p
 

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Hi Maniac
I intend to use my car on the short drag strips as well as the road,
I want to take advantage of the fact that I don't have a noisy IC engine - by controlling the noise I make
I want to be able to sound like;
A big steam engine
A jet turbine
The rattliest old 4 banger that still goes
A Ferrari F1 engine

So I need some form of selectable engine sound that varies with motor rpm and throttle position

I am a mechanical engineer - I have no idea how to make my noise machine
It would be good fun at the strip!
 

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The problem with most of the ideas that are tossed around is perception. EVs already have the stigma of sounding like huge electric drills. I have seen and heard this comment from both electric and ICE enthusiasts, and it is usually not meant to be complimentary. Even when the electric fans say it, it's tongue-in-cheek; not with the same awe as you hear people describe an ICE race vehicle being pushed (i.e. a Ferrari, F1 car, or Americna muscle car).

If you attach some type of device to create the sound or illusion of power, it's going to be dismissed as a gimmick. It will do more to discredit and demean EVs than make people excited about them. The main sound you hear from an ICE is the actual sound of power being made - controlled explosions. It's a real consequence, that we naturally interpret as appealing because of what it represents.

Not all ICE exhaust notes are appealing. Even for the ones that are, a lot of work goes into tuning that sound to be more appealing to the human ear. If you really want to make electric propulsion more appealing concentrate on making what's there more appealing. With an ICE, mufflers are engineered to cancel undesirable sound waves, and (in performance cases) amplify the favorable ones. It would likely need to be more high-tech, but the same basic approach can be taken with an electric drive system. The sounds are already there - good and bad.

I am doing this with my project, because "sound" is such a crucial element of hot rodding. I am placing the majority of my focus on the forced-air cooling system (for my DC motor). The sound of compressing air, via turbo and superchargers, has always been viewed favorably. To balance the high-pitched scream of the motor/controller (under power), I am trying to develop a lower resonance frequency for the blower itself. My end goal is something reminiscent of the F1 car sound. I'm also working on a fairly sophisticated control system for the (electrically driven) blower that will allow it to produce the familiar rise and fall "rev" characteristics of ICE racing.

If you put a mechanic's stethoscope on an electric motor you will also find a lot of racket going on in there. Some of that can possibly be magnified to lend a more familiar mechanical sound to the equation. I would advise against the temptation to use microphones and speakers. A recording of a big-block Chevy's exhaust through a pair of 4-inch, original 40-series, Flowmasters will never capture the sensation of standing next to it. Okay, maybe if you have 4-5 figure audio system designed and tuned for the task, but it would still be viewed as a gimmick in racing circles.

You've posted before that you have 20+ years of experience in ICE drag racing. I am about three decades into it. You should understand how important sound is to racing enthusiasts, and how gimmicks would be perceived. You're better off with almost no sound than something artificial.

Even for the general, mild performance oriented, consumer tuning the sounds that reach their ears is crucial for the perception of performance. Most people find Ferarris ripping through the gears to be appealing, many like the sound of American muscle cars with duals and performance mufflers, but I'd bet that if you put the average person anywhere in the vicinity of a running Top Fuel car they run in disgust. Even though that sound means it can reach 300+ mph, and travel 1320ft, in less than four seconds, and even though that sound means there's 8000hp on tap, I'd bet it would be the most God-awful sound they've ever experienced. Make sense?
 

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Hang with me for a moment on this one! Most gears have are have mathematically irrational ratios. This varies which teeth mesh with a given tooth, so a chip or burr gets polished off over many teeth, rather than hitting the same ones over and over.

The Segway did 2:1 gears, with is unusual, but I read that gives it a more pleasant sound. So anyway, a thought from left field, rational gear ratios might sound better.

When I rented EV-1s (drove them about 500 miles), I thought it had a neat Jetsons-like whirring sound to it. My Chevy V8 makes a slight whirring sound, I don't know what it's from, but I think that's a neat sound (some folks think it's supercharged, but it's not).

I always thought the gear noise of large old trucks sounded neat.

Much of the "motor" noise on the 240Z was actually the cooling fan, likewise on many larger diesels.

I agree with toddshotrods that adding noise to a race car is gimmicky. A show-and-shine or sound-off car would be a different story.

Here's a completely different idea: Have the taillights dim, but the headlights grow brighter as the car goes down the track, to make it look like it is receding or approaching faster than it is.

Final idea: show the brush area so the sparks are visible.
The problem with most of the ideas that are tossed around is perception. EVs already have the stigma of sounding like huge electric drills. I have seen and heard this comment from both electric and ICE enthusiasts, and it is usually not meant to be complimentary. Even when the electric fans say it, it's tongue-in-cheek; not with the same awe as you hear people describe an ICE race vehicle being pushed (i.e. a Ferrari, F1 car, or Americna muscle car).

If you attach some type of device to create the sound or illusion of power, it's going to be dismissed as a gimmick. It will do more to discredit and demean EVs than make people excited about them. The main sound you hear from an ICE is the actual sound of power being made - controlled explosions. It's a real consequence, that we naturally interpret as appealing because of what it represents.

Not all ICE exhaust notes are appealing. Even for the ones that are, a lot of work goes into tuning that sound to be more appealing to the human ear. If you really want to make electric propulsion more appealing concentrate on making what's there more appealing. With an ICE, mufflers are engineered to cancel undesirable sound waves, and (in performance cases) amplify the favorable ones. It would likely need to be more high-tech, but the same basic approach can be taken with an electric drive system. The sounds are already there - good and bad.

I am doing this with my project, because "sound" is such a crucial element of hot rodding. I am placing the majority of my focus on the forced-air cooling system (for my DC motor). The sound of compressing air, via turbo and superchargers, has always been viewed favorably. To balance the high-pitched scream of the motor/controller (under power), I am trying to develop a lower resonance frequency for the blower itself. My end goal is something reminiscent of the F1 car sound. I'm also working on a fairly sophisticated control system for the (electrically driven) blower that will allow it to produce the familiar rise and fall "rev" characteristics of ICE racing.

If you put a mechanic's stethoscope on an electric motor you will also find a lot of racket going on in there. Some of that can possibly be magnified to lend a more familiar mechanical sound to the equation. I would advise against the temptation to use microphones and speakers. A recording of a big-block Chevy's exhaust through a pair of 4-inch, original 40-series, Flowmasters will never capture the sensation of standing next to it. Okay, maybe if you have 4-5 figure audio system designed and tuned for the task, but it would still be viewed as a gimmick in racing circles.

You've posted before that you have 20+ years of experience in ICE drag racing. I am about three decades into it. You should understand how important sound is to racing enthusiasts, and how gimmicks would be perceived. You're better off with almost no sound than something artificial.

Even for the general, mild performance oriented, consumer tuning the sounds that reach their ears is crucial for the perception of performance. Most people find Ferarris ripping through the gears to be appealing, many like the sound of American muscle cars with duals and performance mufflers, but I'd bet that if you put the average person anywhere in the vicinity of a running Top Fuel car they run in disgust. Even though that sound means it can reach 300+ mph, and travel 1320ft, in less than four seconds, and even though that sound means there's 8000hp on tap, I'd bet it would be the most God-awful sound they've ever experienced. Make sense?
 

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...My Chevy V8 makes a slight whirring sound, I don't know what it's from, but I think that's a neat sound (some folks think it's supercharged, but it's not)...
Sounds like you have a gear-drive timing set (instead of a chain). There are quiet and noisy ones, and the noisy versions sound like superchargers. A lot of guys run them just for this purpose.



...The Segway did 2:1 gears, with is unusual, but I read that gives is a more pleasant sound. So anyway, a thought from left field, rational gear ratios might sound better...
I have to run 2:1 or so on my forced-air blower to get the fan wheel up to speed. I was thinking about running straight-cut gears for a little extra effect. There is also the issue of clearance and how the teeth mesh, along with the design of the actual teeth (straight, helical, etc). The case in any gear drive setup is also a huge part of what you hear; sort of like the body of an acoustic guitar. I have a considerable amount of CAD time in trying to make the cases of my blower as thin as possible for maximum resonance.
 

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I know the disagreements between ECEDRA and NEDRA has fired up some racers on both coasts, I think this is a good thing.
The only thing it has fired up is contempt and dislike towards you. As far as the subject of this thread, I'm sure you will find something and copy and reproduce it without permission just as you did with the written word and drawn image, some of which appears in the little cartoon as the motor (stolen image) in your avatar.

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209702&postcount=15
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Really! You should try getting a life, you lie more than congress! Our logo was designed by a company in Stamford, CT. I have posted this artists info in the past. Again get a life!

The only thing it has fired up is contempt and dislike towards you. As far as the subject of this thread, I'm sure you will find something and copy and reproduce it without permission just as you did with the written word and drawn image, some of which appears in the little cartoon as the motor (stolen image) in your avatar.

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209702&postcount=15
 

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Hi Guys
I hear what you are saying about a noisemaker being a gimmick - but I still want one!

Cooling fan and gear noise could also be called gimmicks because they are unnecessary - well designed systems are silent

The characteristic sound is silence

I still want to be able to sound like - anything!
 

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ToddHotRods: I should have figured you'd already have thought about gear noise stuff!

Duncan: You are right that noise often signals wasted energy -- but not always. Straight cut gears are noisier, but more efficient. Some race cars will use them, they can make an amazing amount of noise. Gears cut at an angle are smoother and quieter, but put side loads on the gear so there is more friction. Even worse is the offset pinion (and angle cut) gears in a differential -- then you get sliding friction also even though they are quiet.

Big trucks don't do fan noise as a gimmick -- they need the cooling air! You are right, though, I think it was a gimmick on the 240Z.
... Cooling fan and gear noise could also be called gimmicks because they are unnecessary - well designed systems are silent
 

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...You really think we need to add something to this?...
These types of things are always very subjective, but yes I do. I don't like the sound of EV motors. I also don't like the sound of Harleys and V8s with straight pipes, or American V8 cars with glasspacks, but there are more people than you can count who do.

It's probably from growing up in construction, working for decades in automotive, and using power tools since I was big enough to hold them, but that sound does not make me think of performance - unless you want to know how fast it can cut a board, drill a hole, or twist a screw.

I'm not trying to knock anyone's pride and joy just explaining what I hear when I watch EV race vehicles.
 
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