General Questions

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maggymay
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Re: General Questions

Post by maggymay » March 16th, 2010, 10:23 am

I'm not sure where to put this, so am asking this stuff in this forum, they all have to do with the Ideal Time...
How are people adjusting for the "Ideal Time"? and Are timers allowed as part of the MP?

Rule 3d says that "Electric components shall be limited to batteries, wires, motors, switches, resistors, capacitors, commercial photocells, and mechanical relays." so that seems to imply that timers would not be allowed BUT would a plug-in timer be street-legal? I just can't seem to figure out how a plan to adjust the machine on the fly so it will run as close to the ideal time as possible.

Oh, just thought of another one, having to do with the TSL...what if you transport the device to the SO site and a task-component breaks during transport or upon arrival? And let's say that you can adjust for this breakage, perhaps even leave out a component-action...If you have to hand in the TSL at impound how - in 30 minutes - are you allowed to write up a new one?

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Re: General Questions

Post by penclspinner » March 16th, 2010, 12:18 pm

maggymay wrote:I'm not sure where to put this, so am asking this stuff in this forum, they all have to do with the Ideal Time...
How are people adjusting for the "Ideal Time"? and Are timers allowed as part of the MP?

Rule 3d says that "Electric components shall be limited to batteries, wires, motors, switches, resistors, capacitors, commercial photocells, and mechanical relays." so that seems to imply that timers would not be allowed BUT would a plug-in timer be street-legal? I just can't seem to figure out how a plan to adjust the machine on the fly so it will run as close to the ideal time as possible.

Oh, just thought of another one, having to do with the TSL...what if you transport the device to the SO site and a task-component breaks during transport or upon arrival? And let's say that you can adjust for this breakage, perhaps even leave out a component-action...If you have to hand in the TSL at impound how - in 30 minutes - are you allowed to write up a new one?

Timers are not allowed as a part of MP as stated in 3d and 3i.

With the TSL it would depend on when your tournament director requests them. If in your case you have to hand in your TSL during impound, you might be able to get away with asking them to kindly let you rewrite it during your set-up time. The best way to find out would be to email your tournament director and ask them specifically.

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Re: General Questions

Post by Balsa Man » March 16th, 2010, 12:52 pm

.....and while timers are not allowed, there is a pretty obvious choice for the device/action to be used as a timer- the motor turning shaft/moving mass. Vary the distance the mass is pulled, you vary the time....
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Re: General Questions

Post by maggymay » March 17th, 2010, 4:56 am

Balsa Man wrote:.....and while timers are not allowed, there is a pretty obvious choice for the device/action to be used as a timer- the motor turning shaft/moving mass. Vary the distance the mass is pulled, you vary the time....
Yeah, that was kind of our adjustment for the "ideal distance" last year with Electric Vehicle, adjusting the brake mechanism on our bolt.

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Re: General Questions

Post by Flavorflav » March 22nd, 2010, 7:08 am

Dark Sabre wrote:fleet beat me to posting :(

Though not called for, the large lantern vs the normal lantern with a 9V for scale:
Image

I don't like Zinc Carbons :evil:
Heads up for those of you who might be as boneheaded as me: I did not listen to Dark Sabre and figured that the 26 Ah in two zinc carbons would be more than enough. I was wrong. Both of them dropped just enough voltage to make virtually every electrical circuit fail during the competition, rendering a device that could have been in medal contention into a nearly useless hunk of junk. We spent more time and money on this event than any other, and it was one of our worst finishes. :cry:

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Re: General Questions

Post by maggymay » March 22nd, 2010, 11:32 am

Flavorflav wrote:
Dark Sabre wrote:fleet beat me to posting :(

Though not called for, the large lantern vs the normal lantern with a 9V for scale:
Image

I don't like Zinc Carbons :evil:
Heads up for those of you who might be as boneheaded as me: I did not listen to Dark Sabre and figured that the 26 Ah in two zinc carbons would be more than enough. I was wrong. Both of them dropped just enough voltage to make virtually every electrical circuit fail during the competition, rendering a device that could have been in medal contention into a nearly useless hunk of junk. We spent more time and money on this event than any other, and it was one of our worst finishes. :cry:
Ok, I admit it...a little confused here... Did you try to power everything in your MP off of two of the bigger batteries? Please 'splain why it failed so a newbie can mebbe understand.

We're going to use Ds or Cs for most of our circuits. One of the motors even has 2 AAs...I really did not want to do a build event this year, but oh well...almost not a choice this time :-).

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Re: General Questions

Post by Flavorflav » March 22nd, 2010, 11:43 am

maggymay wrote:
Flavorflav wrote:
Dark Sabre wrote:fleet beat me to posting :(

Though not called for, the large lantern vs the normal lantern with a 9V for scale:
Image

I don't like Zinc Carbons :evil:
Heads up for those of you who might be as boneheaded as me: I did not listen to Dark Sabre and figured that the 26 Ah in two zinc carbons would be more than enough. I was wrong. Both of them dropped just enough voltage to make virtually every electrical circuit fail during the competition, rendering a device that could have been in medal contention into a nearly useless hunk of junk. We spent more time and money on this event than any other, and it was one of our worst finishes. :cry:
Ok, I admit it...a little confused here... Did you try to power everything in your MP off of two of the bigger batteries? Please 'splain why it failed so a newbie can mebbe understand.

We're going to use Ds or Cs for most of our circuits. One of the motors even has 2 AAs...I really did not want to do a build event this year, but oh well...almost not a choice this time :-).
Yup. There was never more than two things on at a time, so it would have been okay it we just got two new batteries before the competition. Ah well.

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Re: General Questions

Post by gh » March 23rd, 2010, 7:43 pm

Two points I'd like to make clear from the last two pages:
  • Almost all mechanical relays rely on using an electromagnet to close ferromagnetic contacts. If judging, I would unequivocally rule an assembly of a reed switch inside a solenoid legal.
  • AAA and AA batteries are not likely to work well for most of the things you want to do. Nine-volt batteries will not work at all, period. Aim for at least a decent sized lantern battery or a rechargeable pack of decent capacity. For disposable batteries, alkaline is than zinc-carbon. For common rechargeables, NiMH has better energy density than NiCd, but far lower current capacity (power density). If you know what you're doing, some lithium rechargeable batteries are pretty good. LiMnO_2 and LiFePO_4 are the safer ones. Invest in good batteries and good equipment for them and you'll never have to worry about them again (including the next season).
When lead-acid batteries are allowed again, I'll revise my advice.
Last edited by gh on March 23rd, 2010, 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed the part where I told people to use lead acid batteries. Thanks, cypressfalls.
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Re: General Questions

Post by cypressfalls Robert » March 23rd, 2010, 7:46 pm

I thought there were not allowing lead-acid batteries?!?! :!:
Last edited by gh on March 23rd, 2010, 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: removing traces of my original post >.>

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Re: General Questions

Post by gh » March 23rd, 2010, 9:43 pm

Oops, I lied. I've been telling people to get better batteries for so long I forgot about that. Thanks for that.
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