nxtscholar wrote:I was just wondering how other E/C interpreted rule 2g, where it states teams have to use a pencil to "actuate a release mechanism". I saw a team build a hammer launcher and use the pencil itself as the release mechanism, in the sense that rather than lift the hammer into it's start position with their hands, they used the pencil with a dowel attached to move the hammer.
I, too, would declare that illegal. For me, a legal release mech would be similar to a Gravity Vehicle's release mech; the contraption has a release mech independent of the pencil and must also be stable (ie it doesn't require any people to hold a part up, etc). Personally, we built a mount for the weight around 97cm and that did the trick for us. Then, all we had to do was push the mass off using the pencil.
Our states finished on Saturday. A lot of teams were tiered down for not following the "mass can't hit the ground" rule. In fact, the team which placed 8th (which is respectable in any state) was tiered down. I don't know for sure, but 6-7th place might also have had a violation. Oh, and we were also allowed to clean the track with water, despite the rules stating that the track must be kept dry. These things are simple, but even the top teams may overlook them, so be sure to read all the clarifications and triple-check your measurements! Ask the ES for any clarifications because they give the ultimate decision!
As for us, we finished 4th
The distance was 10.2m, our time score was around 2.7 seconds, and the distance score was around 80cm. 1st place had a time of around 5 seconds but finished within an estimated 5-18cm of the wall (dunno for sure though, so take my estimates with a grain of salt). It's interesting that distance plays the bigger role on scoring, because upon looking at the scoring formula there's a 5:1 ratio between the time and distance scores. For every 0.01 seconds, the time is multiplied by 5 but the distance is a 1cm:1 point ratio, so we assumed time would be determining factor between the top few places. We soon realized, however, that most vehicles will have a similar speed, so the distance score becomes increasingly imperative.
Just something to keep in mind.