UW-Madison Bucky Wagon Project

October 12, 2011

Bucky Wagon: Ready for Launch

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , , — markonfire @ 3:03 pm

The Bucky Wagon made the trek back from Appleton on Monday. Now, only some last minute polish is necessary to get it ready for the big debut at the homecoming parade on Friday. Bower and his students had to clean bugs off the Bucky Wagon from its ride home on a trailer, and ride home on a trailer, and every so often a faculty member will stop by the garage to see what the finished wagon looks like with all the lights on at once. Students are still tinkering with things like the programmable message board at the top, and Bucky himself has yet to check out his new ride before the parade. But after a two year journey, the Bucky Wagon will finally be back in action soon.

The Bucky Wagon, with all the lights on high. Note the LED spotlight on the grill, just so Bucky remains visible even during night games.

The Bucky Wagon, with all the lights on high. Note the LED spotlight on the grill, just so Bucky remains visible even during night games.

Pierce Manufacturing didn't just stick this plaque in place in exchange for all their hard work–it's covering a small hold in the original body piece that was no longer necessary.

Pierce Manufacturing did not just stick this plaque in place in exchange for all their hard work–it is covering a small hold in the original body piece that was no longer necessary.

The new steering wheel is smaller, but still easier to handle than the old steering column.

The new steering wheel is smaller, but still easier to handle than the old steering column.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association and the College of Engineering give a huge thanks to Glenn Bower, his students and the corporate donors that all worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.

The Wisconsin Alumni Association and the College of Engineering give a huge thanks to Glenn Bower, his students and the corporate donors that all worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.

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September 26, 2011

Building the Bucky Wagon: Same Classic Siren

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , — markonfire @ 3:08 pm

The Bucky Wagon’s siren has been cleaned and polished to a new shine, but it’s still the same siren the wagon sounded in Camp Randall in 1973. Not only does it maintain the look of the wagon, the siren–along with the old headlights, which also are cleaned up originals–are some of the most valuable parts of the wagon, fetching several thousand dollars apiece when up for sale. Unfortunately, engineers designing fire engines in the 1930s weren’t all that concerned about electricity use, so the siren is a huge power draw. If left unchecked, that power draw could spell trouble for an all-electric vehicle, so Bower and his team have worked around the siren’s limitations: A controller will prevent the siren from wailing for too long or too often, depending on battery levels. A few short bursts might be kind of a bummer—but that’s certainly better than forcing the Spirit Squad to push the Bucky Wagon the rest of the way to its destination.

The siren has been cleaned up, but otherwise it will function the same as ever, flaws and all.

The siren has been cleaned up, but otherwise it will function the same as ever, flaws and all.

Mascot Bucky Badger and cheerleaders from the UW Spirit Squad drive along Regent Street in the Bucky Wagon before the Wisconsin vs. Penn State University football game at Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Oct. 11, 2008. Note the same siren on the hood.

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