View Full Version : Desert driving

03/07/2005, 01:16 PM
This article might be of interest to the forum readers, it describes the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge course and points out the difficulties of desert driving for those unfamiliar:



03/07/2005, 04:59 PM
Just a quick note about the VX and possible water crossings. The alternator is located in a low position and may be vulnerable. We had a meet a while back where 3 out of 7 VX's experienced a failed alternator during water crossings. Apparently this was due to improperly sealed voltage regulators, which are internal on the VX alternator.

03/07/2005, 08:07 PM
Water is NOT the problem but rather conductive particles like mud. It is in a less than ideal location for sure.

03/07/2005, 08:42 PM
I had an "incident" this weekend involving 2 feet of water and some poor judgement.

My TOD freaked out a few hours later (after a good pressure washing). I believe that some of the sensors/connectors under the vehicle got soaked. I'll be waterproofing these connections before my next lapse of sense.

This might be something worth addressing for you as well.

03/09/2005, 02:56 PM
Thank you! These are great words of wisdom... we will work on sealing and testing. We will have two alternators, the original for vehicle battery/electrical and another for our stuff (actuators/sensors/computers). The second alternator is massive, and will be mounted on a special bracket on top of the engine (mods required to the hood).

03/09/2005, 07:15 PM
What's the history of the project vehicle? Is someone on the development team the original owner or not? It would be some kinda cool to find out you were the previous owner of this particular VX!

03/09/2005, 08:32 PM
Our VX was purchased from a Honda dealer in Houston in late December. They had it on their lot for 3 months. Don't know who the previous owner was, but it was very well taken care of.