On prob. 2, how closely do I have to follow the block diagram in the book?
The block diagram in Fig. 3.1 is only meant to demonstrate the flow of information in the abstract sense through the system, not to guide your simulation down to the details.
If you're concerned about exactly where the variables v and u enter the equations, the punch line is equation 3.3 in the book. How you split this up in your implementation is up to you. In order to satisfy any issues with where the saturated signal u connects in, just put it into the Torque and Engine block along with v, and simply use the Gears and Wheels block to scale by the gear ratio. As long as it's clear you have an understanding of how the system fits together, we don't particularly care exactly where specific inputs go. Just be explicit in the description that you turn in for part (a).
Don't lose sight of the high-level purpose of these problem sets, which is to gain an intuition for system modeling and simulation, and not necessarily to follow a cookbook recipe of equation interactions.
-Hines 18:28, 15 October 2007 (PDT)