If you're into cars, then at some point you've checked out various automotive websites to see which contain the information you want. There are any number of auto-buff sites, where you can find new and used parts and connect with others who have similar interests. At www.partsdealer.com, you can find domestic and foreign auto parts, information on leasing, car signs (who would want them?), and links to sites where you can buy cars. But, if you're more interested in technical information, there are better sites to visit. Among them:
This is the site for the 84,000-member Society of Automotive Engineers, and, as you would expect, it's packed with information on technology, publications, seminars, and conferences. The next conference is the Commercial Vehicle Engineering Conference, planned for October 25. The SAE site offers another plus: Since the organization also covers aerospace engineering, you can get information on that field too.
NHTSA is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. On that site, you'll find statistics, information on safety issues, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and more.
This a true buff site-if you happen to be interested in steam engines for cars. Systems Programmer Andy Patterson, of Ludlow, MO, created the site about ten years ago. He has a passion for steam engines and has filled his site with solid technical information on such topics as the thermodynamics of steam power, Wankel-type steam engines, and a Rankine Cycle Steam Calculator (the site says the Rankine Cycle is the ideal prototype of steam engines in use today), as well as information on antique steam autos, among other things. He also has a section on frequently asked questions where you can learn such tidbits, if you didn't already know, as the fact that steam engines can run on kerosene, fuel oil, diesel fuel, and soybean distillate. Andy is even building a steam engine now. His goal is to have a microcomputer-controlled steam engine at some point in the future.
If you visit Andy's site, your next stop should be www.steamautomobile.com, the website for the Steam Automobile Club of America. There you'll find discussion groups, literature, and a list of chapters.
And these are just a few of the hundreds of websites you can visit to indulge your interest about cars. Let me know of others you find that you think are interesting.
Something I'm sure you will find interesting-and informative-is theDesign NewsE2E Online Conference on Motion Control and Automation. It will be broadcast on October 19, and it's free. You may even qualify to win a Swiss Army Knife with built-in USB flash drive, or a 17-inch color progressive scan LCD TV.
Engineers will be discussing the latest technology and trends-as well as some basic technical information-on network communications, drives, soft motion, and motor selection. There will also be a virtual library of technical information.
The keynote speaker will be Dick Morley, inventor of the PLC. Always an entertaining and controversial speaker, he'll give his insights on manufacturing in the year 2020. You can register at www.designnews.com/E2E.
Reach Teague at [email protected].