Goppingen, Germany-Think about going from 0 to 60 mph in less than two seconds. That's just what an 18-inch long locomotive called the "Faulhaber Flash" did to take 1st place honors from among many other industrial companies, including Porsche, in the World Model Train Racing Championship sponsored by Marklin & Cie GmbH. MicroMo Electronics (Clearwater, FL) and its Germany-based sister company Faulhaber GmbH built the Faulhaber Flash that raced along a straight, 50m length of track with a catch bucket at the end of the line.
Accelerating with a 20% traction-control tolerance achieves maximum speed in approximately 25m, then reversing motor poles, using the same amount of wheel slip, stops train in roughly 10m.
"It zipped right by," says Steve O'Neil, VP of Advanced Research and Planning at MicroMo Electronics Inc., describing the Flash's race-winning run. "Zero to 60 in 1.5 seconds, scaled up is almost 2,000 mph."
Faulhaber estimates it took the nine-member team 150 hours to complete the project. "In actual competition we ran an astonishing 3,682W/94A/60V," says O'Neil. "When I consider the current and voltage going through the brushes, I can hardly believe it. That's almost 5 hp from a 1.5-inch diameter motor."
"Our train was the only one that didn't end up in the catch bucket," says O'Neil. "And to show off our programming skills, we backed the train right back to its starting point."
Check out the world's fastest electric model locomotive on display in Design News' booth at the 2000 National Design Engineering Show in Chicago this March.
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