What's the secret
Calculate lever arm length
If you have extra space on your car, then you should use that room to increase the size of your lever arm, right? Not necessarily.
The best way to go about determining the size your lever arm needs to be is to simply calculate it and then add some breathing room. Here’s how:
Necessary Lever Arm Length = Maximum Distance Needed to Travel / (Drive Wheel Circumference / Drive Axle Diameter)
It is best to add some breathing room to your lever arm (3-5cm extra) to make sure that your vehicle will travel to the distance you want it to.
Find the most powerful mousetrap
Many new builders simply take a trip to their local hardware store and purchase a pack of Vector mousetraps. However, what they don’t realize is that Vector mousetraps loose their effective power quickly over time and don’t have the same power capacity as other mousetraps.
So how do you find the best mousetrap? You want to find the lightest mousetrap possible, even if it is only by 1g. Also, standard 1 spring mousetraps don’t contain the same level of power as a dual spring mousetrap.
Here are some examples:
Compound Lever Arm
Many new builders simply attach a thin brass rod or wooden dowel to their mousetrap hoping to achieve the best results. However, a more complex approach to designing the best lever arm, a compound lever arm, can both increase the speed and distance of your vehicle with the same lever arm length as a standard one.
So how does a compound lever arm work? A compound lever arm is essentially a train of one arm pulling a series of other arms that guide the drive string to the drive axle. By doing so, the compound lever arm increases the length of string that is pulled within a specific time-frame, in turn, increasing both the speed a distance that your vehicle can travel. See compound lever arms in Action:
Look for a post in the near future that will guide you through the process of making a compound lever arm system.