FAQ

What is the WIKISPEED project?

WIKISPEED grew out of Joe Justice’s passion for cars, and the Automotive X Prize competition.
The WIKISPEED 100 mpg car project :
– is an Open Source design
– is a Modular vehicle (it’s a car right now, but variations are possible)
– car that can be built without specialized equipment
– is light weight
– does not specify the drive train. That is a module, and it can be switched. There is an existing Gas motor module that uses a Honda R18a motor and automatic transmission from a 2006 – 2011 Honda Civic, a prototype DC Electric motor module that uses a Netgain Motor and a Honda Manual transmission, a proposed AC Electric motor module that uses a Siemens motor, an Open Source Controller, and a Honda Manual transmission, a proposed diesel motor module, a prototype hybrid module – Diesel/electric I think?
– is run by volunteers
– is organized using Agile, Lean and Scrum tools and methods, using what Joe has coined eXtreme Manufacturing or XM.

How is the project organised?

The tasks are organized around Shops. There are ‘full’ shops in Lynnwood, WA; Boulder, CO; Burleston, TX. By that, I mean that there is a shop area that is available to volunteers who have signed the Team Member form. The shop is available for use 24 hours per day with a swipe card; that the shop includes as a minimum a SCRUM board with priorized tasks, a safety shelf where safety equipment is stored, and a snack shelf where refreshments and snacks are stored.

Each shop, plus the distributed team, has a backlog. There is a regularly scheduled build party. So far, most have been scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, but whatever is worked out with the members is fine.
Tasks are moved from ‘Backlog’ to ‘Doing’ to ‘Verify’ to ‘Done’. Other columns are added as required to show blocks, or rework, or split out tasks for interns, etc.

The tasks are described on a sticky note, either a physical one or a virtual one as part of a software package.
CAD is done in 3D system’s Geomagic. WIKISPEED has several licenses that were generously donated for our use. The output to the Waterjet cutter, or CNC system, or 3D printer … they are all pretty much STL files. But the source is kept in Geomagic.

CAD files are stored in DropBox. The idea was to keep each area to be shared under 2 Gb, which is what you get for ‘free’ when you sign up with Dropbox. This has caused some problems for us in the past. Other solutions are being investigated.

How do I find out what tasks need doing and how do I get involved?

When you become a member of WIKISPEED, there is (or will be soon) a link to each of the Scrum boards in Trello. Trello is the software package we are presently using to track our SCUM boards. There is also a SLACK channel – WIKISPEED – and you can sign up for one or more boards. Whenever a card is added, or updated, you will be notified with a trello message.

Who can I ask for help?

If you post your question to the WIKISPEED google group – email to TeamWIKISPEED@googlegroups.com – you will likely see an email within a day or two.

I have seen email responses within minutes … if it takes more than a couple of days, the question may be too vague or it may require some extra information.

I’ve had a great idea, who do I tell?

If the idea can be communicated via email, the google group is a good way.

If you need to use some sketches, or perhaps picture or video, the weekly meeting on Thursday at 6 pm pacific is a good place. After the weekly SCRUM ceremony, there is cross talk and discussions about things in general. I would suggest that this is your best forum for more complex ideas or suggestions.

What websites / forums should I know about?

The google group – TeamWIKISPEED

Dropbox – you’ll need an invite. If you would like access, please post a message to the google group

Trello – you can sign up using the link that is (or will be soon) in the welcome package. If you are already on trello, you will still need to follow the link to request access

Slack – you can sign up using the link that is (or will be soon) in the welcome package. If you are already on slack, you will still need to follow the link to request access

Youtube – the channel is WIKSIPEED. Joe Justice also has a bunch keynotes, some training videos, and general information on the project. If you search for WIKISPEED as the topic, several members have their own videos that do not follow the guidelines for WIKISPEED videos – 3 minutes or less – but are related to WIKISPEED

What technical information is available and where do I find it?

The current technical information is on the CAD or in the latest videos on the subject. For example, the CAD for suspension V31 is on Dropbox. There are videos showing the suspensions being shipped, and several views of what they look like on the car frame. The latest video for installing the suspension may be V29 instead of V31, but the bolts go on the same way, in the same places.

The ‘contract’ between the car frame and the suspension module is the same. 8 bolts, 3/8 diameter, grade 8, fine thread, from the suspension module to the frame. Access to the bolts to tighten or remove them. Access for the CV axle to drive the wheel (rear). Connections for the brake lines. Access for the steering linkage to connect to the A arm (front).

There needs to be more documentation on the ‘contract’ between the modules. Where should THAT be stored?

The ‘contracts’ change slightly every once in a while as things are added or no longer required. Most of the modules are compatible back to V1. But there are exceptions!

The google group is the most reliable and searchable repository for information on WHY things are the way that they are. Design changes are often, but sadly not always, discussed on the forum. Most of the time things that are discussed end up being BETTER when everyone has a look at it with different perspectives and picks holes in a design change, or has suggestions that also address other backlog items at the same time.

How is version control of the design maintained?

Version control is something done by whoever gets the CAD drawn up.

The CAD files are how the versions are tracked, and it is up to the person doing the CAD to determine if this is a minor change (no increase in version number, append a letter if there is none, or increase from A to B) or a major change (change version number and create a new directory)

Software has not been as much of an issue, but it will be. SourceForge is used … so is another version control .. I can’t remember right now.

Is there any software / versions that are preferred?

The latest geomagic for CAD

Arduino and it’s IDE in general for software – open source, cheap, and very well supported

There is software to convert CAD to STL files, but I think it comes with geomagic.

There is a project to do an Open Source ECU for the Honda engine – I don’t know what it is written in, but I’d guess C or C++.

I’ve found a problem, how do I log it?

Posting to the Google group would be the first step

If there are no solutions forthcoming, add it to the backlog of the team that can deal with it – distributed, Lynnwood, or the others. If no one volunteers to deal with it, add it to SOME backlog so we can deal with it when someone knowledgeable is available.

I want to build a physical car, where can I go for help?

That’s a good question!

You can buy modules from WIKISPEED, and have them shipped to you. That costs money, but you will be getting the modules from people who have seen them go together before. It also takes time – since we are a volunteer organization … it may be MONTHS before you receive the modules!

Building them yourself from the CAD files is the other extreme. You can cut the parts yourself, but that is very labor intensive. A faster way is to find a local waterjet service to cut the parts. There are a lot of ‘common’ car parts that are not fabricated but are purchased – brakes, brake pads, master cylinders, steering linkage, wheels, tires … come from various suppliers like Summit Racing. Or your local custom car shops, or even the local auto wrecker for some things. Than you need to put it all together.

Somewhere between is what has been done most often. For example, purchase the suspension modules and pedal plate from WIKISPEED, buy the GORGEOUS carbon fiber aero shell and interior from Rob Mohrbacher, build the aluminum frame yourself by having the aluminum cut (or cut it yourself), drilled (or drill it yourself) and bolt it together yourself. Then you still need to connect up the steering, brakes, wire the car for street legal lights, build an engine module of your choosing, and get everything connected and working.

I’m based in country XXX, how do I find out if there are other members near me?

One of the items of information on the signup form is what country you are in. Many people have filled that in, but we have not tracked that information well. It would be great to have someone go through the files and pull that information out, so we could make that information available to all of our members.

That is a backlog item that can be addressed by anyone who is interested!

What you can do now is post to the google group that you are a new member and live in XXXX – is there a shop near me, or anyone near me that wants to get together and create a shop.