It's nice to know this was a safety issue. The actual FAQ says this it's a spirit of the rules issue though, which is why I thought it was considered unfair. Can that wording be adjusted?chalker wrote:This one isn't so much an issue with it being 'cheap' or 'unfair', more as potentially causing a safety issue. 3.l talks about a stopping system that stops motion or shuts the motor off. If we allow systems that temporarily stop the motor, then start it back up again after some fixed time, that opens up a huge safety issue. Ditto for if it just slows down for a little while to essentially a non-effective rotational speed. Also technically note that 5.b.ix. mentions failing to move after 3 seconds, but doesn't explicitly say that's at the start of the run. That could easily be interpreted to be if it stops for move than 3 seconds midway.
I personally don't think it's much of a safety issue considering we shroud the motor and start it safely ourselves but yeah that's for soinc to decide. Also, rule 5.ix says if it fails to move for 3 seconds, competitors are allowed (not required) to restart their vehicle.
Ok, yeah I saw that Mission Possible thread. I was worried because I wasn't sure why general rule #2 was needed to clarify that question, as if it was implied that some usage of those components would violate the spirit of the problem. I just realized that gen rule 2 also says anything not explicitly disallowed is allowed so that explains it! This just sets my mind easier when making circuits.chalker wrote:We have a general philosophy in SO events of disallowing ICs / computers, but allowing virtually any other electrical component. I've explained the reasoning for this in depth in the Mission Possible thread, so refer you there if you want to know more about it.
I was extrapolating the side magnet question to lead to an application where side magnets are used to vary the strength along the track. For instance, side magnets could be installed outside the track at the event to create a favorable magnetic field that helps the maglev down the track. I think this would be disallowed sorta strangely by the description in the rules though, saying the maglev is "self-propelled," right?chalker wrote:I'm not following this at all. The FAQ says magnets are allowed outside the track walls. Can you explain how this related to varying magnet strength?
The last two sorta lead into the other problems I've had. At last week's state competition I got a construction violation on the basis that my discrete components soldered onto a pcb counted as an integrated circuit. The definition of IC used was based off the wikipedia definition which actually states that ICs are circuits fabricated on a small chip of semiconductor material. Since this didn't match up I tried appealing but I was rejected because the other arbitrators found a different IC definition my pcb fit under. Regardless I'll be submitting an faq question about it to actually clear it up. The other problem was me putting a magnet on the end of the track to give a little starting boost to the car but I can see now how the description disallows that. I guess these weren't blocked under spirit of the rules but those new FAQ's that use spirit of the rules as justification just made me uncertain.
About the "have a heavy vehicle that can achieve a wide range of run times," I implied that from how the event is scored, which essentially defines the problem we have to find the best solution to. We're scored for heaviest vehicle and getting close to a variety of times. I and perhaps several others just assumed we would have to achieve that with one vehicle, but yeah the rules never disallow scores from separate runs. Explicit would be nice but I'm glad that's clarified now.