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A lesson in Cable technology

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  • A lesson in Cable technology

    If you think this post is related to the other posts about Toyota and the "new wave" that most all other car manufacturers are riding with the "drive by wire" systems you guessed correctly, I actually was going to post this when the topic was hotter but now will agree with others that the photobucket site has something very strange going on as it shut down my computer for awhile, I fixed it - went back today and felt like I just got out of there with my ass intact,

    Anyhow, There appears to be two kinds of people (with a few on the fence) when talking about the "new technology" of how a car should be driven, ones that believe things should be kept in a more "pure" form of delivering either braking/accelerating/steering and those that believe we should take the needed mechanical motion input (meaning You an I) and then convert it into electricity and then in many cases convert it back into mechanical (by means of a servo, solenoid or motor of some type) to then power the final mechanical apparatus that actually either brakes or steers the Vehicle, It is my opinion that this is a huge mistake - and it is also my opinion that we will also be seeing much more fatalities because of it, For whenever we introduce other systems of conversion we inadvertently increase risk factors across the board, this is not some "guess" of mine, this is a rock solid engineering law of physics.

    I make exceptions with braking a hybrid car with synergy drive,

    but I do not believe drive by wire steering should ever be used - period, I could give a rats ass what jet fighter has it for its controls, we don't need to go to those kind of extremes with a typical vehicle that has its mechanical braking and steering layout within reach of everything we do, period.

    In fact the biggest argument that one can muster in the defense of DBWire is the throttle due to some vehicles now being totally electronic in their fuel delivery and not needing to worry about the air intake (direct injection gas)

    But - Direct injection gas can be designed to utilize a throttle plate and therefore return the mechanical failsafe back where it belongs (and extend air filter replacement intervals by triple)


    The following photo is of my Mt. bicycle brake cable,
    Take a good look at the photo and try to guess what makes this cable special...
    See if you guessed correctly before reading the writing below the photo...







    Note how the cable "shines" back at you almost as if its one solid piece - its not of course because that would make it lose its flexibility yet this cable by design is actually more flexible than that of standard,
    This cable is built to high quality standards and then ran through a die that compresses its structure inside and out --- the outer parts of the previous round sections are all flattened out - while the insides are flattened into each other (instead of radius touching radius)
    The company also sells teflon lined Kevlar casing and due to the cable now having an almost uninterrupted linear outer surface it sells seals that go on the casing ends, The cable then can be ran in some very nice silky feeling silicone grease that gives it the added frictional qualities (due to it running so freely that it doesn't have much of its own)
    My point to all of this is EVERY system can be subject to some kind of failure - its the nature of the physical world - but you would be hard pressed to come up with one that can exceed the most basic and pure form of not only mechanical motion but mechanical motion with solid design and materials.
    FACT; There are throttle return springs that are being built that will never wear out, sealed cables like this could rack on a million miles+, there is no reason to heap potentially dangerous failsafe on top of failsafe if youv removed the error of failure to begin with.

    Now - what would you rather have? a cable like this controlling a throttle plate and potentiometer under the hood,

    Or some sticky friction pedal who's only link is electrically to a power plant that is fully electronically controlled and the air intake is in the full bore wide open position at all times (just add fuel)
    Ever wonder about when the voltage regulator shoots craps and system goes 18V+? What about those little fuel shut off vacuum diaphragms when they spring a leak and the vacuum line now turns into a fuel line?
    Like I say --- I could give a rats ass - I have one of those cave man cables hooked to a throttle plate...
    Just some simple observations from a master mechanic.

  • #2
    Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
    whenever we introduce other systems of conversion we inadvertently increase risk factors across the board, this is not some "guess" of mine, this is a rock solid engineering law of physics.
    Progress is a bitch

    Anti-lock brakes and traction control are forms of drive by wire -- we should take them out too

    As I pointed out in the other thread, electronic throttles have been in use in consumer vehicles for 22 years, and the recent Toyota recall is the first serious safety issue.
    They didn't do their homework, and they're paying for it.
    Last edited by lazlo; 02-17-2010, 12:35 PM.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

    Comment


    • #3
      I would take a cable any day over electronics!


      ABS is for idiots as well. Our group of car guys just did a test of ABS in snow and ice against non ABS braking. Lets just say that the ABS system fails. On the ice ABS was so incredibly horrible that stopping distances from 40mph were increased more than double using ABS.
      Andy

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      • #4
        Yup - there's even a caution in the owners manual about that...

        The system might half ass work for people who don't have a clue, sadly - that's most of the populous..

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by vpt
          ABS is for idiots as well.
          And yet, you can't be competitive in F1 racing without traction control and launch control, which controls the F1 racer's electronic throttle

          Anti-lock brakes were outlawed in Formula 1 along with active suspension in the Fly-By-Wire era (late 90's) as an unfair advantage.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

          Comment


          • #6
            Thats just sad. Like someone mentioned before. There should be a more demanding driving test to get a drivers license. Cars shouldn't be compromised for everyone just so a few more idiots can survive in certain conditions. Survival of the fittest is a natural thing.
            Andy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by vpt
              here should be a more demanding driving test to get a drivers license. Cars shouldn't be compromised for everyone just so a few more idiots can survive in certain conditions.
              Drive-by-wire is a performance enhancement, not a means for an "idiot to survive certain conditions."

              All modern sports cars, race cars, and race bikes are full of drive-by-wire systems, because they allow the ECU to optimize the throttle, fuel injection, suspension, traction control, brakes, depending on the current conditions.

              Same reason why almost all modern fighter aircraft, and most modern commercial airliners, are fly-by-wire -- they provide a level of control not achievable with ancient cable and hydraulic systems.

              The B2 bomber is inherently unstable (by design), and it impossible for a human to fly without active controls.

              In other words, get used to it.
              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

              Comment


              • #8
                But he doesn't give a rat's ass about that!

                The automakers do, however, because it's cheaper to build, install, and maintain.

                Remember the old vacuum servo cruise controls? Much simplified with DBW.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lazlo
                  And yet, you can't be competitive in F1 racing without traction control
                  Traction control was banned a year ago.. ...power steering can only be used if hydraulic based with no electronics..

                  One of the primary reasons why F1 has gone black box..is because the black boxes are made by a McLaren subsidiary for all F1 teams..This give total control of code to the FIA..no cheating allowed..If you look close at the stearing wheels over the last two years..they are now all using the same instrumentation display and very similar controls.

                  Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MrSleepy
                    Traction control was banned a year ago.. ...power steering can only be used if hydraulic based with no electronics..
                    Right, beginning of the 2008 season. As you know, the problem is/was that the team ECU's and fly-by-wire systems were getting so sophisticated, it was impossible to tell if they were cheating. It was very controversial, just like the active suspension wars of the 90's, and was supposedly triggered by the McLaren/Ferrari spy scandal

                    http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2008/0/517.html

                    AFAIK, traction control is still very popular in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

                    Point being though, that these are high-performance features on race cars and bikes that are pushing the limits of physics.
                    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I like the traction control on my car.

                      When the roads were covered in ice recently it was nearly impossible to provoke wheelspin,floored the throttle,but the wheels didn't spin and only let me accelerate to the limit of grip.

                      Allan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most of my demands with a personal vehicle are not extravagant "options"
                        but more so good solid basic design without added failsafes, I want my throttle to operate a cable that controls a throttle plate and pot. --- I want a duel master cylinder brake unit that is mechanically linked to my brake pedal - power assist is OK - I prefer a rack and pinon steering unit - power assist is OK - and what Lazlo would probably consider a strange request - I want my parking brake in the middle of my front bucket seats with a handy thumb cancel knob --- I do not want anti-lock brakes or traction control as it would be a safety disadvantage for the way I drive, I could give a rats ass what formula 1 racing does as there's no comparison to what I do on colorado dirt roads when I get in over my head around a turn and the Car which is front engine and trans is into its understeer mode I immediately toss some hefty oversteer into it with a calculated pulse on the parking brake, cant tell you how many times that ones saved my ass as it goes from a hopeless situation to not only immediate recovery - but very cool looking power on recovery - Sweet, and also something I might add that all the anti-lock braking and traction control in the world cannot do for me the way I do it, which by the way is not only flawless but keeps a eye on the road in all directions...

                        If Lazlo gets his wish we will all have duel and side airbags/anti-lock brakes/traction control/throttle override/air restraint seat belts/
                        and don't forget anti-crash brake systems that "sense" the road up ahead (yippie --- more time to talk on the cell) (Question - what if I NEED to hit someone?)
                        And also don't forget the new anti-fall asleep failsafe that has a plethora of crap like infrared sensors constantly scanning your face and "driving habit monitors"
                        What a joke -- Be careful or you might breed a nation full of victims, ooops - too late.

                        I got an Idea, instead of all that crap how about a big sticker in the middle of the steering wheel that states "attention all imbeciles" all the above stuff is not on the car and you need to first learn how to drive and then apply it every time you get behind the wheel...

                        What a bunch of pathetic sheep.

                        Geeze -- if this next wave of "safety features" becomes mandatory what the hell is the future move to create a situation that removes us even further from the task at hand - U know - remember - what we were talking about --- driving...

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                        • #13
                          I have just realised that the only throttle cable car I've owned since 1986 was my very first one...a 3 litre v6 Capri.. I followed that with a vauxhall that had Bosch motronic 2.5...and then on to audi's and VWs.
                          Never had a throttle stick although I've had matts up there a few times.

                          The work vans I drove were all throttle cabled (montegos,maestros,fords,etc) and they were dire.

                          Rob

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lazlo
                            Drive-by-wire is a performance enhancement, not a means for an "idiot to survive certain conditions."

                            All modern sports cars, race cars, and race bikes are full of drive-by-wire systems, because they allow the ECU to optimize the throttle, fuel injection, suspension, traction control, brakes, depending on the current conditions.


                            I race every weekend with allot of different people and different cars.

                            not one of them like or use electronic aid. The ones with the newer vettes complain about slow throttle response with the electronic throttle. Absolutely not one guy at the track likes or uses ABS. Traction control users at the track are laughed at.


                            *edit* sorry I should add that some do use electronic aid. Some use stutter boxs for spooling up turbos, no lift to shift so you don't have to let off the gas peddle to shift, cam timing software, etc.

                            The video guy of the racing group has a website with some of the racing we do here www.boostedfilms.com
                            Last edited by vpt; 02-17-2010, 03:10 PM.
                            Andy

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                            • #15
                              Baring the old VW's (poor design and extremely long distance)
                              Iv been at it for over 34 years and never had one in the shop to fix for sticking, Iv replaced probably hundreds of the old volkswagons - But I cannot remember ever replacing one on anything else, (maybe some very old british cars)

                              I have replaced many on motorcycles but most of that is due to them sitting out in the elements...
                              Iv had them stick on personal cars (again old volks) but never anything else,
                              All in all I would have to say a properly designed throttle actuated by cable is one of the most dependable things iv seen on a vehicle, Not something you stand at your shops garage door rubbing your hands together waiting for people to show up...

                              aint gonna happen.

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