Maker Faire San Mateo Check List. BRING YOUR CARS NOAW.

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Jim Burke

May 17, 2013, 7:00:28 PM5/17/13
to Power Racing Series
When you are about to leave your home/hackerspace/shed/insane asylum with your bright and shiny racing machine be sure to take into consideration the following and check that you are prepared. If not, we’ll make fun of you behind your back and tell all the handsome/pretty folks at the dance that you eat glue and snore loudly.

  • Bring tools. If you happen to be in close proximity to the track be sure to bring some extra tools so that those poor punks from 10 hours away can carry less. Always consider that some teams will be able to bring more than others, so at the very least bring a minimum kit. Some teams will have the capacity to bring welders but not everyone. Do be prepared to borrow and exchange things for hugs and candy.
  • Prepare for heat or at least your car overheating. The PPPRS usually operates in sunny/hot as hell conditions. Be prepared for heat if you are fragile or really pale. It is almost certainly going to be warm. If you can fit a cooler please do bring some along. It is also very possible that rain can happen.
  • Things will be hectic. PPPRS is rarely a clean and smooth event. This is both by design and by the sheer spastic nature of my personality (the rest of the event organizers are completely normal and should be given due respect, you can rat on me all you like though)  It is run by volunteers who are all very stretched thin. If you are an old team you're aware. New teams should be ready to expect some sort of crazy series of events that will feel like somebody spiked their punch. It will tingle a bit, you'll feel groggy in the morning but if you take photos you'll easily remember how awesome it was. Just be patient and be ready to improvise on the fly.
  • PPPRS is a competition, but it is also very very amusing. Keep in mind that there is 300 moxie points available each race. Try to entertain the crowd. Tell them who you are between races. Show them what space you are from and why they should all be at hackerspaces. Really well off teams will show up with matching shirts, some of them will even have name tags if they're crazy. Most teams are crazy. Teams are also ambassadors to the maker movement and the public will absolutely adore you in a semi-ironic rockstar status. Embrace this. It'll be odd but totally worth the extra effort.  
  • Have a good time. Lol, u mad? Rules were not in your favor or you feel something is unfair? I will listen to all arguments with careful due objectivity and will address your concerns in a fair manner (its most likely these sort of things are simple oversights, nothing against any one team. There's lots of things we can't predict for. Also we're not the FIA or NASCAR) I take team feedback very seriously, because I want everyone to have a good time and a fair battle. However,  keep in mind we are grown adults racing heavily modified childrens' toys....its kind of not meant to be taken too seriously.
  • Legal? Will I be Banned? Just a simple reminder; if you are unsure if something is legal always ask yourself if this is hilarious or not. Chances are if it is funny for everyone, it'll be legal. Also try not to cheat, unless it is mind-bogglingly epic. I mean, really do your homework on that one. If you can get people to say "I'm not even mad, I'm just impressed" then you've done power wheels justice.
  • Show up Early, show up right now I can't stress this enough. Teams that show up early will be given nice spots in the pit lane, they'll have first dibs on how to arrange their pits and most importantly they'll have time to do this in. When quals starts, your team has to be ready for pre race inspection. Be ready to show up up to 1.5-2 hours before the race is scheduled to start. Especially on Saturday. Qualifying happens on Saturday. Inspection does too. So does any last minute things we need out of you (pit signs, scoreboard signs, waivers signed) So be early. If you show up late you might miss quals and start at the back of the field. It takes a while to setup
  • Charge all batteries before you get here. Assume power is always limited. Obviously for the endurance race you'll be recharging the night before, but do not show up Saturday with a pile of uncharged batteries, you will be hosed. It will not be fun and you'll hate it. Trust us on that one.

    • Numbering and Visibility

  • Car Numbers: Due to our fancy and super serious scoring system it is ABSOLUTELY important to properly label your car number. Make your numbers clear and visible. We want our grandmothers to see your car number from the moon. Also, due to limitations of our stupid official scoring you must make your number to be no more than boring whole-numbered 5 digits. Sorry guys, the clever numbers might end up being on the chopping block in the name of timing and scoring.
  • Team Label for the Moxie Board Since this is a fancy hackerspace event we have a fancy home-brewed arduino controlled moxie points system. We have this giant button board assembled that will be floating around the crowds during the whole race. There are slots for each spot that is roughly 1.75 in x 6in in size for your name, next to a button that patrons can press. We are going to ask you (the teams) to make this label. It's up to you to make it readable and legible. It must contain your car #, Your Team Name and if you want your Hackerspace. Keep in mind the better presented your Label is, the better representation you get. Be creative but understandable.
  • Team Flag and other Ceremonials: If you are a hackerspace, please bring along a flag that you can raise and wave to the crowds. If you are clever enough to be a winning team, you will be able to stand on the podium and wave it to the confused crowd. If we really have our stuff together this year we will display your flag on the very top showing everyone just how awesome you are. We should also have carbonated pink lemonade instead of champagne this year, so you can spray your more favorite or least favorite competitor in the face with the stuff.
    • What to expect on race day
Race day is a magical and mystifying day full of lots of people running around yelling things and eventually getting it together. We at the PPPRS like to pretend that this is not us, but let’s face it, things don’t always go as planned. Scratch that, things almost never go as planned. If you’d like to make the hairs on our organizers less gray try and follow these helpful pre-race steps to be ready for the madness that is a race weekend.

  • Our Track lengths vary from venue to venue and year to year. Kansas City tends to be a smaller track around 600ft while Detroit and Chicago are the largest around 600-800ft. San Mateo is super We hope your car has good acceleration and can stop on a dime or you’ll be getting the Crash and Burn award. Bear in mind there’s only one of those. We can’t all win this.
  • There will be pit stalls and a total of 8 tents comprising pit lane. Expect to share tents with teams, with roughly 16-26 cars showing up.
  • We will be using a very professional and very fancy timing and scoring system this year. It will involve transponders and magic and keep track of all your cars. Please be ready to accommodate the transponder somewhere in the front of the wheels and on the leading edge (or front bumper) of your car. This space for the transponder must have line of sight above you. Do not obscure it. The pylons tracking your laps will be above you and these are infrared, so don’t block it. I don’t want to hear you gabbing about not being clocked because you decided that putting it under the car was the best place. Nope. Not here. Don’t think about it. Write me a story. Cry me a river. Give me a beer cause I’m actually a tad bit thirsty. Whatever. We figure this will be standard enough, and will encourage you not to wreck the crap out of your car.
  • It is very likely we will have to share the track in between races with somebody else. We never know who, or how nice they are, or if they’ll have lots of Mead for us to drink. Just keep this in mind on race day because we don’t want you to randomly drive on the track and get run over by some sort of horse race, run-for-fun or a zebra crossing. They have those. Sure.

So yeah. BRING YOUR CARS NOW. If not get here first thing in the morning tomorrow. 

Thanks. Have some fun tomorrow!

Sharon Mehl

May 17, 2013, 8:34:52 PM5/17/13
Have fun everyone ... I am soooooooo envious!!!  Hopefully you all can make it to the KC event...

I want to see pictures!!!

Duct Tape & Zip Ties Racing Team

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Hal Gottfried

May 17, 2013, 8:50:07 PM5/17/13

Hal Gottfried
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