Adjustable Spoilers Part 1

I have mentioned in some random postings on the internet of the need to have malleable aerodynamic surfaces to reduce drag in different driving conditions.  In fact has mentioned this as a stumbling block in automotive design advances.  Articles such as this one has given me ideas about changing the effect of rear roof spoilers from just providing small down-force and drag to actually help reducing wakes.

Good spoilers

Spoilers to reduce wake meant for big profile vehicles such as MPVs and SUVs


Since I mentioned about Arduino in my last post, I have actually bought one from RS Online Catalog.  I have the Starter Kit for Arduino Uno which comes with lots of bits and pieces.  I have mentioned that I had never dealt with electronics before.  The most I have done is fondled with DC circuitry.  Hence an order was given and the money was pumped into the Open Source community. I hope they use it well.  I received the box and was amazed at the amount of things Malaysian Ringgit could buy.  When I say ‘the amount of things’ it is not about the quantity of odds and ends.  Its about reusable components.  This Starter Kit is amazing in terms of what things you can make with it.

It took me yet a few more days before I started fiddling with it.  I blame it on my age.  A child would rummage through it without a second thought.  A teenager would plug it in first and jump for joy to see the yellow LED lit up.  A twenty year old would skip all the pages and build it up with the first drawing.  I am 45 years of age.  I read every single page of the manual and tutorial first.   Even then, I went to the website to have a look at the specifications of the blue thingy that i a permanent resident at the side of my bed.  Its entirely ok.  My wife has her TV/Android phone/ Android Tablet as companion.
I have this.


It started with this

What that thing does is move the servo using a potentiometer.  The LCD shows the angle in degrees from the readout of the servo.  The LCD is meant as part of the development of what I intend to build.  I would use it to adjust the angle while doing testing.  I will adjust the angle of deflection and see the effect on the fuel consumption via the on board FC computer.

Yes that servo is tiny and has a stall torque in oz-in.  It came with the starter kit.  About mid of March I bought a bigger servo from  and its a markedly bigger in size and now I have something that pulls in kg-cm.  The intention is to move a piece of aerodynamic surface as part of my car’s rear spoiler.  I have calculated that for a 1m span, the wind force acting on it at 200km/h would total 1.4Nm2.

A discussion on these sort of spoiler is well documented.  I have to admit that it does not contribute much on the actual down-force required for a front engined front drive car.  In fact, when looking at the profile, it would also provide less drag.  Quite simply when the designers made this, it was never meant to provide much effect other than cosmetics and form rather than function.  Proton now understands to sell it, it need to look nice.  Unfortunately.  In essence, the design and flow of the spoiler is very fluid.  This suggest a high amount of design work was invested in this one piece of fiber.  There is no argument that this part actually sells more of the car than any other body kit.  It is therefore wise to preserve the design as much as I possibly can.



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