ASC 2014 Day 7 (La Crosse, WI)

Posted on July 27, 2014 by Toni Carlstrom.


With a little over four hours of driving, we made it from Waverly, IA to La Crosse, WI. It was a quite a short day! We drove through some more corn fields and then turned up along the Mississippi River. We drove along the east side of the river all the way to La Crosse, and were shaded by the trees and the bluffs to our right. Despite the shading of our array, we had plenty of power from our evening and morning charges. The river was beautiful and it was a pleasant drive!

The weather was marginal, with a very sunny morning which turned into partly and then mostly cloudy weather along the middle of the route. We even got sprinkled on as we drove into La Crosse, but the sun came out and stayed out from behind the clouds for our end-of-day charge. We did not expect the sun to be out; La Crosse was supposed to be rainy. Every team got a lot of power from the sun this evening, and it is forecast to be sunny and clear in the morning, so it will be a fast-paced dash to the finish line in Minneapolis. We finished the stage in second. We have a solid hold on second place! Wish us luck on the final stage, we hope to see you at the finish line!

 Team member John Theisen prepares for a morning tire change.

Team member John Theisen prepares for a morning tire change.

 Team member Mason Trang prepares for a morning tire change.

Team member Mason Trang prepares for a morning tire change.

Our sponsor of the day is Phoenix Contact, who provided our electrical connectors and cabling just in time to complete our vehicle. Prior to using cables from Phoenix, the team hand-made all cables using wires twisted with a drill, soap for lubrication, and heat shrink. The ability to create custom-length cables was useful, but errors in making the cables sometimes created electrical issues. This year, the team received cables from Phoenix Contact in the proper lengths for their use and with screw-on connectors for extra security on the road. In the past, some of our connectors disconnected on the road due to vibrations in our car. In addition to this, the cables were shielded, which reduced issues from EMI. They performed well on the race, and we were very thankful to have these cables and connectors from Phoenix Contact!

 Team member Alex Nelson wipes down the solar array before our morning charge in Waverly, IA.

Team member Alex Nelson wipes down the solar array before our morning charge in Waverly, IA.

Team Highlights:

Luci enjoyed hot dogs from the University of Michigan team at the end of the day.

Mason and John enjoyed the truck and trailer key exchange. A last-minute race crew change resulted in the truck keys being in the lead vehicle. When we realized this, the solar car was already in caravan, so the lead vehicle threw the keys out the window. Scout then picked up the keys from the side of the road and brought them back to truck and trailer. It actually worked very well, but we will avoid this in the future!

Graham enjoyed driving the solar car along the bluffs and the river into La Crosse.

Bryan enjoyed taking his first nap of the race.

Toni and Arlo enjoyed carrot cupcakes from a local co-op.

And finally, we would like to wish Stephanie Wilson a happy birthday! :)

Stay tuned for more updates!