Bob, I am impressed with your ability to track down and resolve this problem. I was especially amused at your early solution, though. The idea of using a hand vacuum pump to keep the truck going at idle was great. The things we will do to keep moving.
"It appeared the steel gear and shaft were becoming magnetized by the wiping action from the camshaft and caused the Hall Effect sensor to get false readings"
Bob, these problems occurs with Hall Effect sensors. When I had done some experiments with Hall Effect sensors, I found that any magnetic field near to the Sensor will be interpreted as signal. This will lead to the malfunction of system, where sensor o/p is served as the input to the system. I had faced similar problem in Brushless DC motor drive, where Hall Effect sensors are using to drive the circuits.
Festo's BionicKangaroo combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology, plus very precise controls and condition monitoring. Like a real kangaroo, the BionicKangaroo robot harvests the kinetic energy of each takeoff and immediately uses it to power the next jump.
Design News and Digi-Key presents: Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX, a crash course that will look at defining a project, selecting a target processor, blocking code, defining tasks, completing code, and debugging.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.