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Electric Vehicle C

Posted: August 31st, 2008, 3:54 pm
by Jim_R
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EV rules are relatively unchanged in 2009. EVs now have to be shorter and thus less accurate. Mechanical EVs now have slight bonuses, but I believe good electronic EVs are still going to do better. Anyways, I welcome these changes because they level the playing field, and it'll be be easier to find boxes to fit EVs into.

I think I will be using one continuous rotation servo (Vex gearmotors are based off of these) to belt drive a plastic chassis with a steel shafts/ball bearings/CD wheels "drivetrain." I'll probably switch the driving pair of the wheels to pulley/o-ring wheels at some point. I may use a rifle scope to aim, but I find that it's pretty useless.

So, what are your designs going to look like this year? Will you be using Vex or a robot kit or building your own frame? Are you going to use wingnuts, timers or optical encoders? How are you going to aim and brake the vehicle?

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: August 31st, 2008, 5:23 pm
by sachleen
i think I'm going the same way as I did last year. I may build a new frame, or use VEX since it curved predictably anyway.. As for the mechanical cars.. they will be less accurate but really good scrambler people may go that route.

just a random though: i found a box that my EV fits into :P

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: August 31st, 2008, 7:00 pm
by andrewwski
I'll probably go with a timer least for's not the easiest thing to do correctly (vs. microcontroller and servos) but it's a lot cheaper and if you can do it right, it works well.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: August 31st, 2008, 8:14 pm
by adam124218
Gosh, I wish they'd had those mechanical bonuses last year. That's what my partner and I did, because we were both really mad they'd taken away scrambler. It turned out not so good--we got sixth at state, which was disappointing. Then the vehicle got 40th at Nats, which I guess was pretty good considering both me and my partner from regionals and state had conflicts and two new people ran the vehicle. Anyway, we should have gone electronic and just refused to do it. I got so fed up with electric vehicle, I'm switching to Junkyard this year.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 12:35 pm
by captbilly
Is there going to be a bonus for using mechanical rather than electronic braking systems this year? I was wondering how that might work. Would an electronically activated but mechanical brake get the bonus? Would you need some mechanical means of measuring the distance traveled to get the bonus? It seems kind of silly to require the vehicle to be electric but then give a bonus for using non-electric braking and maesuring systems.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 4:32 pm
by Dark Sabre
The "bonus" is for not using electronic devices. The wording of the rules makes it clear that electronic devices are things like chips and diodes and stuff, not motors/switches/etc. It doesn't look like it matters where you use electronics, you would still be excluded from the bonus.

There is not penalty/lack of bonus for building an ELECTRIC vehicle :P. They are just trying to discourage the use of microprocessors and the like to balance the playing field and encourage innovation.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 4:52 pm
by gh
Oops, sorry about not being more descriptive in my OP. The rules themselves are pretty vague about how "electronics" is defined, but I think it's pretty obvious what counts and what doesn't. Electric circuits themselves with only electromechanical components (wire, switches, relays) obviously have to remain legal for the bonus to have any use.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 5:03 pm
by fleet130
There is a distinct difference between "electrical" and "electronic"; however, that distinction is likely to be lost on many event supervisors/judges.

An attempt was made to include language to consider bucking/damping diodes as "electrical" rather than "electronic". I haven't seen the final published rules so I don't know if it was successful.

I've always found it interesting that judges in "real" science events are required to be subject matter specialists, but those for building events often seem to be just "warm bodies" that somebody found on a street cornet.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 9:09 pm
by Uncle Fester
Street cornet? Anyone found on a "street cornet" has got to be pretty small-- heck, I couldn't fit on a street TUBA! Sounds uncomfortable, too. Great typo, Fleet. You're cutting into my territory, though. Bad typing is MY specialty!

Before I noticed the typo, I WAS going to comment on one "street corneR"-- When I moved from the Los Angeles area to Bloomington, Indiana back in '89, I was being shown around town & campus (Indiana University) by a friend. A Friday night, I was amazed that cruising was still a popular activity, and the sidewalks were packed (seriously packed) with HS kids. At one point, we come across a pack of about 30 punks, all in leather, chrome, and sharp objects. Walking past them, I noticed that they were discussing using PC I/O registers for controlling "something".

Pretty sharp street corner.

Re: Electric Vehicle C 2009

Posted: September 2nd, 2008, 10:30 pm
by captbilly
If the final rules actually include a bonus for not using electronics, does anybody understand why they would do this? I always thought that working with microprocessors was one of the main purposes of the electric vehicle event. If the only difference between electric vehicle and wheeled vehicle is the electric motor vs. a rubber band or fishing pole, then it would seem that electric vehicle just become a simpler version of wheeled vehicle. There were wheeled vehicles 2 years ago that could stop within less than 1 mm of the finish line and predict the travel time more accurately than most judges could measure, it would be a shame to let those competitors simply repower those vehicles with electric motors and run them again.

Again, assuming the mechanical bonus really materializes in the final rules, does anyone have any idea how much of a bonus there is?