It has been a few months since the last post. I am excited to say lots of things have happened since then. I made a trip to Indianapolis to attend the PRI show where I had the opportunity to speak with several vendors. We have since started filling the BME shopping mall with circle track racing related items. I was originally going to focus the store on only dirt late model related products, but after speaking with several people at PRI, I have been convinced to expand the scope to include dirt modifieds and dirt street stock related items as well. Bringing the storefront online has been a daunting task. One doesn't realize how much goes into putting together a project like this. There are lots of little details that you don't think about in the beginning that have to be planned and accounted for. The hard work has paid off, and we now have a fully functioning shopping mall with, at the time of this blog, just over 600 items. That may not seem like a lot compared to some other sites, but you have to remember that one of my objectives is to keep the site clean and focused on dirt racing related items only. I don't want the user to have to fish through thousands of items to find what they are looking for. We have incorporated some handy filter tools to help with this. For example, I added some filters based off of what class of racing you are in. If you are a modified racer, you can filter out late model and street stock items. You want only late model stuff, filter out the modified and street stock items. I am adding new products nearly every day, so over time, the store will grow. If you don't see what you are looking for, send me an email and I will add it to the site as quickly as I can.

We have also brought a few simulation tools online. The virtual spring smasher is online and available for use. We also added a front 3D geometry tool used to evaluate a short-long arm front suspension. This tool will tell the user many of the important front suspension characteristics that are important when designing a front end. Instant center and roll center locations are provided as well as camber and caster. Three dimensional suspension data points are also provided. The user must blueprint their front end, and the simulation is then a function of the left and right shock heim-to-heim lengths. We are in the process of setting the simulation site up so that the user can build and store multiple cars, but for now, the user is limited to only one. We also added a set of virtual scales. This tool allows the user to simulate the process of scaling their car with a set of four point scales. To use the simulation tools, simply create an account and log in. The site is intuitive and easy to use; however, suggestions for improvements are always welcome. The addition of future simulations have been put on hold until the shopping mall is finalized, then we will shift focus back to the simulation tools. The rear suspension geometry will be the next simulation to come on line. This tool will allow you to evaluate the rear suspension of a fully decoupled four link rear end (i.e. with birdcages) with a floating fifth arm utilizing a side link or a fixed fifth arm constrained to the axle via a gusset tube. The simulation will also allow the user to evaluate a three link suspension.  The rear simulation will provide outputs such as rear steer, birdcage indexing, and left/right drive angles to name a few.

This is going to be a busy summer, and I am looking forward to what it has in store.

Joe