Maker Faire Orlando 2019

I was able to pair up a family trip to Disney with a side trip to the Orlando Maker Faire. My parents who had previous plans to take the Amtrak Auto Train from DC to Florida were gracious enough to let me pack my power racing series go kart into the back of their van for the ride down to Orlando. This allowed me the good fortune to participate in the final and grand finale race of the PRS season. (Not that I had any chance of winning anything, I’m still towards the back of the pack. It’s hard to describe how much fun it is to race in these events though).

Black and Yellow Tubs!

The race organizers for this location decided to skip the traditional orange and yellow jersey barriers and tried out a track border consisting solely of water filled Stanley Tool tubs. The corners and turns of the track were plated with plywood shielding to deaden impacts.

This Stanley tool tub track border setup had pros and cons. The tubs sit lower to the ground and allow greater visibility of the entire track for the spectators and the drivers, but when you crash into the Stanley tool tubs they spill a lot of water onto the track making it a mess while racing. This phenomena also creates a negative cascading effect as the track got more slippery more track border impacts occurred. I was soaked after every race (but it was FUN!).

Ooogah Horn!

The only mod to my vehicle for this PRS race was the addition of a Harbor Freight oogah horn. I added a small momentary switch button to the steering wheel and mounted the horn to the exterior of the electronics enclosure. This is the first time I’ve raced with a horn and found it comes in handy when passing slower cars on the corners.

Robot Ruckus: Combat Robotics

Maker Faire Orlando was also hosting a combat robotics event called Robot Ruckus this weekend. This was my family’s first exposure to combat robotics and I think my son was hooked on this event after watching the larger robots battle it out in the big arena. I ordered a battle bots 101 book when I returned home for some future research.

Ideal Farms Maker Festival

I hauled my Power Racing Series car RhomBUS up to the 2019 Ideal Farms Maker fest at I

Ideal Farm and garden center in Lafayette, NJ.

This was my third year attending this event and it has grown considerably year over year. The event this year hosted a blacksmith, educational tech talks on a variety of topics, and my favorite – pumpkin trebuchets!

It’s my hunch that the race here this year served as a geographical proxy for the abruptly cancelled New York Maker Faire for many teams. Many of the individuals I spoke with mentioned the extreme disappointment upon hearing NY World MakerFaire was cancelled. There were 12 working teams in attendance. The track is unlike the others – it’s on dirt, grass and gravel and the drifting was superb in this environment. Who doesn’t enjoy a little cart drifting?


I added a 48V to 12V buck converter to my power series race car and used this to power a brushless 12V electronics fan in order to cool the speed controller which had overheated inside the ammo box at the Atlanta race. (An attachment fastener is missing in this video clip)


The new brushless motor setup combined with the cooling fan worked excellent. My car was finally starting to be quasi competitive. I occasionally pass a racer or two! The first race I had transponder issues but believe I came in fourth or fifth place. Much to my surprise I came in 3rd on the second race of the day and got my first legit podium appearance! For the third race of the day I had two collisions on the track and my speed controller was acting abnormally and I was unable to finish the race.

Maker Faire Atlanta 2019

Friday Arrival and Setup

After a long days drive from New Jersey I rolled into Georgia State Stadium for MakerFaire Atlanta for the Power Racing Series. My mini electric vehicle named RhomBUS (pun intended thank you) did not perform well at MakerFaire Detroit and I’ve been hungry for redemption. Current improvements include a more firmly mounted seat, a 12S (48V) battery pack – (actually two modules of Nissan Leaf battery cells wired for separate 6S charging, and then daisy chained into series for 12S – 48V) a new the MY1020 motor and a 200amp Kelley controller.

The Atlanta Venue in the stadium grounds is excellent and I was especially impressed when the organizer informed me Maker Faire Atlanta is free entry for all to enable accessibility of STEM events to all young adults regardless of their financial situation. Very Cool!



I cooked my DC brushed motor on Saturday. Fortunately a team member from the Lazy Gecko team was able to allow me to acquire a brushless DC motor and motor controller at market price. With the new motor and controller installed my car was back in business and ran noticeably faster.