Hovercraft B/C

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby ericlepanda » May 22nd, 2017, 4:26 pm

UltramatrixMan wrote:
ericlepanda wrote:
LittyWap wrote:
No, our track was entirely unaffected. As stated previously on the forums, I make sure to test on a wide variety of surfaces to ensure I can shoot for an accurate time. Using the data I have on melamine, polished stone, tile, plywood, steel, folding tables, etc, I have multiple formulas to predict the time of my vehicle with an accuracy of 1 second. Having scored within 1 second of the target on the first run (90% of the time, I do), I change the resistance to go for the gold.


Does your skirt help with differently sloped tracks? Our hovercraft doesn't have a skirt, so it is greatly affected by any change in slope but isn't affected by track surfaces or track walls.


How does your hovercraft lift without a skirt? I think you can probably figure out what place we got if you dig a little so I'll let you figure that out :). It's amazing that you were able to acquire 8-foot pieces of that many different surfaces LittyWap, and even more so that you were able to create a formula from all of that raw data. Congrats!


Oh we just have a very strong fan (970 pa static pressure I think). Underneath the hovercraft there is a foam edge that wraps around the whole thing, its about one centimeter tall and one centimeter wide, which sorta helps trap the air in but doesn't function like a true flexible skirt. Also, I didn't notice that you're also from Illinois. Congrats on the overall first place finish!
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Ashernoel
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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby Ashernoel » May 22nd, 2017, 4:53 pm

ericlepanda wrote:Oh we just have a very strong fan (970 pa static pressure I think). Underneath the hovercraft there is a foam edge that wraps around the whole thing, its about one centimeter tall and one centimeter wide, which sorta helps trap the air in but doesn't function like a true flexible skirt. Also, I didn't notice that you're also from Illinois. Congrats on the overall first place finish!

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby LittyWap » May 22nd, 2017, 5:55 pm

ericlepanda wrote:
LittyWap wrote:
ericlepanda wrote:
I was actually off by more than that, our time was 20.5 seconds. However, I only missed two problems on the test. :D Was your hovercraft affected in any way by the track, or was the track basically the same as the one you were practicing on?


No, our track was entirely unaffected. As stated previously on the forums, I make sure to test on a wide variety of surfaces to ensure I can shoot for an accurate time. Using the data I have on melamine, polished stone, tile, plywood, steel, folding tables, etc, I have multiple formulas to predict the time of my vehicle with an accuracy of 1 second. Having scored within 1 second of the target on the first run (90% of the time, I do), I change the resistance to go for the gold.


Does your skirt help with differently sloped tracks? Our hovercraft doesn't have a skirt, so it is greatly affected by any change in slope but isn't affected by track surfaces or track walls.


Yes, our skirt is essential to our accuracy. Ours can also operate without a skirt, but the skirt, as you mentioned, greatly reduces the number of fluke runs and increases the accuracy. Because my skirt was instrumental to the buildscore of 49.88, I will refuse to provide extensive descriptions, but I will mention that it is neither a wall skirt, not a bag skirt, somewhere inbetween. Our skirt has no issue with sloped tracks, so long as the dip in the middle of the table is less than half an inch.
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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby LittyWap » May 22nd, 2017, 5:59 pm

UltramatrixMan wrote:
ericlepanda wrote:
LittyWap wrote:
No, our track was entirely unaffected. As stated previously on the forums, I make sure to test on a wide variety of surfaces to ensure I can shoot for an accurate time. Using the data I have on melamine, polished stone, tile, plywood, steel, folding tables, etc, I have multiple formulas to predict the time of my vehicle with an accuracy of 1 second. Having scored within 1 second of the target on the first run (90% of the time, I do), I change the resistance to go for the gold.


Does your skirt help with differently sloped tracks? Our hovercraft doesn't have a skirt, so it is greatly affected by any change in slope but isn't affected by track surfaces or track walls.


How does your hovercraft lift without a skirt? I think you can probably figure out what place we got if you dig a little so I'll let you figure that out :). It's amazing that you were able to acquire 8-foot pieces of that many different surfaces LittyWap, and even more so that you were able to create a formula from all of that raw data. Congrats!



Thank you! I was able to successfully setup a nice track in my basement, and that was pretty key to all the data I had collected. Every day after school, I would go into my basement, get four points of data, plug the batteries back in, and start my afternoon. Luckily for me, I had a large section of melamine covered wood and plywood lying around, I got the "polished surface" data (like the material used at MIT) by running the vehicle on my kitchen counter, and I got the portable table data from a table that was kicking around at my school. Scioly is a daily commitment, and practicing every day makes it that much easier!
Build score of 49.88/50 at Nationals!? Slacker! :evil:

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby UltramatrixMan » May 22nd, 2017, 6:25 pm

LittyWap wrote:
UltramatrixMan wrote:
ericlepanda wrote:
Does your skirt help with differently sloped tracks? Our hovercraft doesn't have a skirt, so it is greatly affected by any change in slope but isn't affected by track surfaces or track walls.


How does your hovercraft lift without a skirt? I think you can probably figure out what place we got if you dig a little so I'll let you figure that out :). It's amazing that you were able to acquire 8-foot pieces of that many different surfaces LittyWap, and even more so that you were able to create a formula from all of that raw data. Congrats!



Thank you! I was able to successfully setup a nice track in my basement, and that was pretty key to all the data I had collected. Every day after school, I would go into my basement, get four points of data, plug the batteries back in, and start my afternoon. Luckily for me, I had a large section of melamine covered wood and plywood lying around, I got the "polished surface" data (like the material used at MIT) by running the vehicle on my kitchen counter, and I got the portable table data from a table that was kicking around at my school. Scioly is a daily commitment, and practicing every day makes it that much easier!


Sounds like your house turned into a hovercraft command center much the same as mine XD. I can't say I was quite as faithful to hovercraft as you were with other events and such, but like you said the collection of heaps of data was instrumental to time scores within 1 second. I will say that one time my partner and I had to move one of our tracks from one house to another, and a car was not available so we non-shadily carried it down the street... there were some odd looks thrown at us :D.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby chalker » May 22nd, 2017, 7:45 pm

UltramatrixMan wrote:For Division B, I know that all of the top 12 or so teams had times within a half of a second, and that was all that determined the places.


This is not true at all. Even within the medalists there was a significant time spread.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby chalker » May 22nd, 2017, 7:49 pm

ericlepanda wrote:Did you guys think that the track was level? The event supervisors told me that it was perfectly level but when I measured it with my level it seemed to be sloping up.


I wasn't there the whole time, but I don't think anyone ever said it was 'perfectly' level. It was level within the tolerances of the commercial levels we used (and we had multiple). However keep in mind that all measurement devices, including levels, have tolerances, so it's impossible to get things 'perfect'. Nor is that the intent of the event. Teams are given plenty of opporunities to adjust their vehicles to the variations in the tracks.

As an aside, it looks like there will be some BIG changes to this event next year. The rules committee discussed them at length and everyone seems to like them. Now I just have to actually write up all the details and test them out to make sure we aren't causing unintended issues. Sorry to be cryptic, but nothing is finalized yet, but thought I'd at least indicate the fact we are likely to make significant changes.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby UltramatrixMan » May 22nd, 2017, 7:52 pm

chalker wrote:
UltramatrixMan wrote:For Division B, I know that all of the top 12 or so teams had times within a half of a second, and that was all that determined the places.


This is not true at all. Even within the medalists there was a significant time spread.


Hm, I did talk to the ES and must have misunderstood what he said to me. Can you at least give us some idea of how close the top 10 or so teams' scores were?

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby chalker » May 22nd, 2017, 7:55 pm

EMC314 wrote:They did not announce it, they posted labels on the track that only a few people could see. Div B announced it.

That made it completely unfair. Teams that went later in the day could watch the event and easily get an idea of time and distance. All you had to do was time a run that was called for the 3x max and then divide by 3 to get the time, and you could see and estimate the distance. Those teams could then talk with coaches, etc. to make a strategy. Teams that were in the first block had no idea what they were facing until the moment they stepped up to the track. The rules state the length and time must be announced after impound specifically for that reason!
.


To clarify a bit here. I normally publicly announce to everyone, which is why you saw it publicly posted for Div B. The Div C event supervisor normally doesn't, but rather individually announces it. We debated this a bit and I decided not to push the issue. The wording in the rules is ambiguous enough that what he was doing is within the letter of the rules.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby chalker » May 22nd, 2017, 7:58 pm

UltramatrixMan wrote:The track was just mellamine, so I would guess many of the teams had calibrated on it, between the hints posted on the wikis and it just being a common material easily found in 8-foot sections.


The Div B track actually wasn't "just melamine". Many people didn't notice this, but there was a clear layer of contact paper shelf liner on top of the melamine. This was to allow for a replaceable surface in case of damage, and to ensure no air loss through the joint in the middle where the 2 4' boards abutted each other.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby chalker » May 22nd, 2017, 7:59 pm

LittyWap wrote:No, our track was entirely unaffected. As stated previously on the forums, I make sure to test on a wide variety of surfaces to ensure I can shoot for an accurate time. Using the data I have on melamine, polished stone, tile, plywood, steel, folding tables, etc, I have multiple formulas to predict the time of my vehicle with an accuracy of 1 second. Having scored within 1 second of the target on the first run (90% of the time, I do), I change the resistance to go for the gold.


I am SO excited to hear this! This is exactly the spirit of the event and I'm glad you followed it and it paid off!

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby UltramatrixMan » May 22nd, 2017, 8:29 pm

chalker wrote:
UltramatrixMan wrote:The track was just mellamine, so I would guess many of the teams had calibrated on it, between the hints posted on the wikis and it just being a common material easily found in 8-foot sections.


The Div B track actually wasn't "just melamine". Many people didn't notice this, but there was a clear layer of contact paper shelf liner on top of the melamine. This was to allow for a replaceable surface in case of damage, and to ensure no air loss through the joint in the middle where the 2 4' boards abutted each other.


Wow, you tripped me up then. Thankfully, it didn't impact our hovercraft during our runs.

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby LittyWap » May 22nd, 2017, 8:31 pm

chalker wrote:As an aside, it looks like there will be some BIG changes to this event next year. The rules committee discussed them at length and everyone seems to like them. Now I just have to actually write up all the details and test them out to make sure we aren't causing unintended issues. Sorry to be cryptic, but nothing is finalized yet, but thought I'd at least indicate the fact we are likely to make significant changes.



Any hints?? :P

Is Faster better? Lightest mass wins? More direct rules? No max mass?
Build score of 49.88/50 at Nationals!? Slacker! :evil:

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby LittyWap » May 22nd, 2017, 8:32 pm

I really am praying for fastest wins, I had a design that got under a second!
Build score of 49.88/50 at Nationals!? Slacker! :evil:

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Re: Hovercraft B/C

Postby UltramatrixMan » May 22nd, 2017, 8:41 pm

LittyWap wrote:I really am praying for fastest wins, I had a design that got under a second!
\

I would wager that they will not ever make the competition fastest wins, because Chalker has said multiple times that fast is a safety issue, which was the whole problem with maglev. I also think that he said slower is harder from an engineering stand point too? Correct me if I'm wrong Chalker, which you already have multiple times today XD.


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