Solar Miner VII LIVES!!!!

SC5:5DSC_1000.jpgLike the mythical Phoenix bird, the Miners have risen from the ashes of their own funeral pyre!
Here’s how things worked out late yesterday:
The team started calling Indy-area machine shops right around closing time, hoping to find anybody who could help. The first firm to even consider helping out (after quitting time, remember?) was Rayco Machine Engineering Group, Inc., a small family-run operation. Owner Greg Cox listened to the pitiful tales of woe, and said, “Sure! Come on over. It shouldn’t take but an hour, and will only cost X.”
CoxDSC_0979.jpgAfter double- and triple-checking the price Richard Dalton and Dan Leafblad arrived at on Rayco’s doorstep around 6 p.m. to show Greg the dilemma. Greg and design engineer Mark Bendit even came up with a better way to rebuild the kingpin spindle, using higher-grade steel and eliminating the need for welds. The resulting parts were easier to make, stronger, and best of all, done. During all of this redesign effort Greg’s wife Angi said “I’m going out for dinner.” What she didn’t say that she was bringing food back for the whole crew, including Dan and Richard. The Cox family not only salvaged S&T’s solar car race, and treated our guys to dinner in the process, but they wrapped all this up around 1 a.m.
Greg obviously enjoys working in the shop, was extraordinarily professional (and friendly) and produced an assembly many times better than the original.
Now that’s the way to get life-long admiration!
Back to the car, a bleary-eyed crew had the car back together around 3:00 a.m., and was back in dynamic testing only five hours later!SC5:5SUN_9940.jpg
They still have to modify Solar Miner VII to improve braking, and late this morning a power supply problem raised its ugly head, so they’ll re-tackle dynamic testing this evening and be ready to hit the track in the morning.


  1. Very nice. Saw pics of it almost flipping around a corner. Who’s that new guy on the team holding the wheel?