Free Trials

Download a free trial to find out which Altium software best suits your needs

How to Buy

Contact your local sales office to get started on improving your design environment

Downloads

Download the latest in PCB design and EDA software

  • PCB DESIGN SOFTWARE
  • Altium Designer

    Complete Environment for Schematic + Layout

  • CircuitStudio

    Entry Level, Professional PCB Design Tool

  • CircuitMaker

    Community Based PCB Design Tool

  • NEXUS

    Agile PCB Design For Teams

  • CLOUD PLATFORM
  • Altium 365

    Connecting PCB Design to the Manufacturing Floor

  • COMPONENT MANAGEMENT
  • Altium Concord Pro

    Complete Solution for Library Management

  • Octopart

    Extensive, Easy-to-Use Component Database

  • PRODUCT EXTENSIONS
  • PDN Analyzer

    Natural and Effortless Power Distribution Network Analysis

  • See All Extensions
  • EMBEDDED
  • TASKING

    World-Renowned Technology for Embedded Systems Development

  • TRAININGS
  • Live Courses

    Learn best practices with instructional training available worldwide

  • On-Demand Courses

    Gain comprehensive knowledge without leaving your home or office

  • ONLINE VIEWER
  • Altium 365 Viewer

    View & Share electronic designs in your browser

  • Altium Designer 20

    The most powerful, modern and easy-to-use PCB design tool for professional use

    ALTIUMLIVE

    Annual PCB Design Summit

    • Forum

      Where Altium users and enthusiasts can interact with each other

    • Blog

      Our blog about things that interest us and hopefully you too

    • Ideas

      Submit ideas and vote for new features you want in Altium tools

    • Bug Crunch

      Help make the software better by submitting bugs and voting on what's important

    • Wall

      A stream of events on AltiumLive you follow by participating in or subscribing to

    • Beta Program

      Information about participating in our Beta program and getting early access to Altium tools

    All Resources

    Explore the latest content from blog posts to social media and technical white papers gathered together for your convenience

    Downloads

    Take a look at what download options are available to best suit your needs

    How to Buy

    Contact your local sales office to get started improving your design environment

    • Documentation

      The documentation area is where you can find extensive, versioned information about our software online, for free.

    • Training & Events

      View the schedule and register for training events all around the world and online

    • Design Content

      Browse our vast library of free design content including components, templates and reference designs

    • Webinars

      Attend a live webinar online or get instant access to our on demand series of webinars

    • Support

      Get your questions answered with our variety of direct support and self-service options

    • Technical Papers

      Stay up to date with the latest technology and industry trends with our complete collection of technical white papers.

    • Video Library

      Quick and to-the-point video tutorials to get you started with Altium Designer

    Princeton Racing Electrical Team and the Formula Hybrid Competition

    Judy Warner
    |  January 8, 2018

    PRE racing team car

    Judy Warner: It is a pleasure to meet you both. Jasper, let’s begin with you. Will you please share what the Princeton Racing Electric team does, how the team was formed, and in what year?

    Jasper Gebhardt: Princeton Racing Electric is a team of students who design, build, and race single-seat electric race cars. We compete in the Formula SAE collegiate design competitions, in particular, the Formula Hybrid competition. The team was founded by three mechanical engineering students in 2013 who noticed a lack of hands-on engineering groups at Princeton. It took a while to lay the groundwork for building a race car, and it wasn’t until 2015 that we entered a competition.  

    PRE car in the shop
    Work in progress

    Warner: How many students are on the team currently and are they largely undergrads, grads or a mix?

    Gebhardt: We currently have around 40 team members, all of them undergrads. They come from majors ranging from mechanical and electrical engineering to astrophysics and biology.

    Warner: How is the team funded and what types of tools are available to the team on campus?

    Gebhardt: We are funded through a combination of corporate sponsorships, individual donations, and University support. We have a small garage on campus where we work on and assemble the race car. We also have access to various University facilities, such as the machine shop where we make nearly every part of the vehicle. The software we use to design everything comes from both the University and from companies like Altium.

    working on race car
    Working on race car

    Warner: What accomplishments would you say the team is most proud of, and what are your aspirations for the future?

    Gebhardt: We’re definitely proud of how quickly we have advanced, even past larger teams with more experience and funding. This past season, we placed 2nd in the electric division at Formula Hybrid. Looking towards the future, we want to keep building up our knowledge base, improving the design and production of our race cars, and expanding our reach to more challenges and competitions.

    Warner: Congratulations on your electrical division win, that is very exciting! Ryoto, you are the electrical team lead which must make you proud. How many members do you have on your sub-team, what is your major at Princeton, and how far are you in your studies?

    PRE team
    Princeton Electrical Team

    Ryoto Sekine: We have a team of 11 working on the electrical system this year. Roughly half of us work on the high voltage system (that’s the batteries, BMS, motor controllers, etc.), and the other half work on the low voltage system (startup, shutdown, and many of the safety regulating feedback systems). This year I’m the electrical team leader. I’m a junior majoring in electrical engineering and physics.

    Warner: What are the major or unique challenges the electrical team faces in designing circuit boards and electrical systems for an electric car?

    Sekine: Robustness. Our electrical system is designed to cope with the host of accidents that the car might face, such as AMS (Accumulator Management System), IMD (Isolation Monitoring Device), brake over-travel fault … the list is endless. This sometimes means making compromises of complexity vs. stability. Once our car passes inspection at the competition, it is our own team members who will be driving the car. This is an added incentive for us to make the car as fool-proof and safe as possible.

    Warner: How many different types of circuit boards have been designed by the electrical team?

    Sekine: To be honest, I don’t know. We go through so many designs. In last year’s car we started using PCBs for our precharge, discharge, tractive system status monitoring, and IMD and AMS regulating circuitry. Each board was tested thoroughly; many ended up on our “Wall of Shame” and were subsequently improved upon.

    Warner: Even professional engineers and designers end up with board revisions on the scrap-pile, so you’re in good company there. Jasper, where and when is this year's competition?

    Gebhardt: The Formula Hybrid competition is held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a race track which also hosts NASCAR and motorcycle races. It’s held every year at the beginning of May; this year it’s from April 30 to May 3.

    race car driver up close
    Race car driver

    Warner: I’d like to ask both of you, how do you think this experience will help you in future careers?

    Sekine: My current plan after Princeton is to go to graduate school for Solid State Physics with Quantum Computing applications. Many of the devices we fabricate in this field are on a chip that we connect to external circuitry. More often than not it is necessary to design these special external circuits on our own. Designing circuits and being exposed to powerful tools like Altium at PRE is a great way to prepare myself for this task.

    Gebhardt: The experience and connections we’ve gained through PRE have led to countless opportunities, from internships at Formula One teams to careers at SpaceX and more. Students on PRE are in control of every step of the process, from designing and manufacturing to budgeting and fundraising. It’s an incredible experience to be able to see the progress in every aspect that turns our ideas into a vehicle that we actually drive, then to go back and improve on everything again the next year.

    race car driver
    Proud teammates

    Warner: It sounds like a rich and rewarding experience that will indeed equip you for great careers ahead! Any final thoughts?

    Gebhart: If your readers are interested in what we do, they are welcome to check out our website at princetonracing.com and find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

    Warner: Thank you both for your time. The entire Altium team (myself included) will certainly be watching your progress in 2018 and rooting for you all the way, so best of luck!

    All photos credited to raylego.com

    About Author

    About Author

    Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

    She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

    most recent articles

    Back to Home