Thoughts? (on rule points)

DeltaHat
Member
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: June 1st, 2001, 4:36 pm
Division: Grad
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by DeltaHat » November 19th, 2009, 5:30 pm

My guess is that the clarification person realized after the fact that a photovoltaic cell will not provide enough voltage/amperage to perform any meaningful action on its own in a typical competition setting. Thus, the complete 180 degree turn from photovoltaic cells only to light dependent resistors only.

This brings up two HUGE problems.
1. The rules as written specify photovoltaic cells (photocells) exclusively, but the official clarification specifies light dependent resisters exclusively, effectively banning photovoltaic cells from the event ex post facto. Will teams that use the wrong type of light detection automatically be relegated to 2nd tier?

2. From my judging experience, neither students nor judges (especially at the regional level) consistently read the national clarifications. In fact, I have met many less seasoned judges who are not even aware that the official clarifications exist! What if the judge does not read the clarification and penalizes the teams who do the right thing according the the website? I foresee much angst and gnashing of teeth over this one.
National Event Supervisor - Mission Possible

Flavorflav
Member
Member
Posts: 1376
Joined: February 5th, 2006, 7:06 am
Division: Grad
State: NY
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by Flavorflav » November 20th, 2009, 6:10 am

DeltaHat wrote:My guess is that the clarification person realized after the fact that a photovoltaic cell will not provide enough voltage/amperage to perform any meaningful action on its own in a typical competition setting. Thus, the complete 180 degree turn from photovoltaic cells only to light dependent resistors only.

This brings up two HUGE problems.
1. The rules as written specify photovoltaic cells (photocells) exclusively, but the official clarification specifies light dependent resisters exclusively, effectively banning photovoltaic cells from the event ex post facto. Will teams that use the wrong type of light detection automatically be relegated to 2nd tier?

2. From my judging experience, neither students nor judges (especially at the regional level) consistently read the national clarifications. In fact, I have met many less seasoned judges who are not even aware that the official clarifications exist! What if the judge does not read the clarification and penalizes the teams who do the right thing according the the website? I foresee much angst and gnashing of teeth over this one.
It makes me feel better that you say "photovoltaic cells (photocells)" as if they are the same, doing the same thing that I did. Apparently, the term "photocell" does not mean photovoltaic cell, and the original rule (whether intentionally or not) specified light-dependent resistors. Since this is bound to be a very common confusion, I think the only reasonable thing to do at this point is to allow both photocells and photovoltaic cells.

BTW, I haven't experimented with it because I didn't want to buy equipment until this whole controversy is settled, but I'm not sure you are correct that a photovoltaic cell would not have enough juice to perform a meaningful action. It does have to turn a motor, but the motor could do something as simple as throw a switch or open a gate. It doesn't have to have much power. You really think room light would not turn a pager motor?

DeltaHat
Member
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: June 1st, 2001, 4:36 pm
Division: Grad
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by DeltaHat » November 20th, 2009, 9:24 am

Good point. I think part of the confusion is that photocell is a colloquial word with an imprecise definition. A little googleing shows that photocell can be either a light dependent resistor or a photovoltaic cell depending on who is doing the defining. Without the necessary linguistic precision, confusion will continue.

There is still the problem of interpretation mismatch between students and judges, and the national clarification only adds to this.
National Event Supervisor - Mission Possible

fleet130
Staff Emeritus
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 433
Joined: November 10th, 2001, 3:06 pm
Location: Mare Tranquillitatis
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by fleet130 » November 20th, 2009, 2:51 pm

Taken literally, the clarification allows only "cadmium sulfide (CdS) cell, photoresistors or light dependent resistors".

i.e is an abbreviation for the Latin "id est" ("that is" in English)) and includes only those items specifically listed. The abbreviation e.g. {"exempli gratia" in Latin) means "example given" or "for example" in English). Items listed are only examples and do not exclude other items. I really think the author meant to use e.g .

Regardless of what the author meant, most judges have only the rules (as clarified?) to base decisions on. Many, in an attempt to be fair, follow them "to the letter". Others, to be fair, adopt more liberal interpretations. Contestants are presented with the dilemma: If they follow the rules "to the letter", they may be at a distinct disadvantage (in effect "penalized") if judges allow more liberal interpretations. On the other hand, if they follow a more liberal interpretation, they may be penalized for not following the rules "to the letter".

The only safe practice is to question the judges at each tournament. This puts at risk only those who don't realize there may be more than one interpretation. They have no reason to "ask" so their fate is left to the "luck of the draw".

Note added: I have several small "solar powered" cars with motors similar to pager motors and they will not work indoors in ambient light.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

DeltaHat
Member
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: June 1st, 2001, 4:36 pm
Division: Grad
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by DeltaHat » November 20th, 2009, 3:58 pm

In an attempt to clarify, things have only gotten muddier.
National Event Supervisor - Mission Possible

SerMSYS
Member
Member
Posts: 1
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 12:44 am
Division: C
State: NY
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by SerMSYS » December 12th, 2009, 5:53 am

Dark Sabre wrote:So you can 100% use lightbulbs, LEDs, and photoresistors now :D
Are regular semiconductor diodes allowed? Given that LEDs are allowed I don't see why not...

fleet130
Staff Emeritus
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 433
Joined: November 10th, 2001, 3:06 pm
Location: Mare Tranquillitatis
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by fleet130 » December 12th, 2009, 8:09 am

DeltaHat wrote:In an attempt to clarify, things have only gotten muddier.
On further checking, I discovered they really mean to allow photo resistors only, as specified in the official clarification. Whether or not local judges will have the same interpretation can only be found out by asking each individual. Ask them as early as possible so they can give the question proper consideration.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

fleet130
Staff Emeritus
Staff Emeritus
Posts: 433
Joined: November 10th, 2001, 3:06 pm
Location: Mare Tranquillitatis
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by fleet130 » December 12th, 2009, 8:14 am

fleet130 wrote:
DeltaHat wrote:In an attempt to clarify, things have only gotten muddier.
On further checking, I discovered they really mean to allow photo resistors only, as specified in the official clarification. Whether or not local judges will have the same interpretation can only be found out by asking each individual. Ask them as early as possible so they can give the question proper consideration.
Are regular semiconductor diodes allowed? Given that LEDs are allowed I don't see why not...
LEDs, light bulbs and photo resistors all involve light. Regular diodes do not. They are also not on the list of allowed devices. My best guess it they would not be allowed.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

cypressfalls Robert
Exalted Member
Exalted Member
Posts: 499
Joined: January 6th, 2009, 7:54 pm
Division: Grad
State: TX
Location: डार्क सब्रे के पीछे O.o
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Contact:

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by cypressfalls Robert » December 12th, 2009, 8:30 am

e. Liquids (except for water)......
According to this rule the only liquid that we can use is water.

So would carbonated water would be okay to use?

rockhound
Member
Member
Posts: 109
Joined: February 14th, 2009, 11:00 pm
Division: Grad
State: FL
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by rockhound » December 12th, 2009, 8:51 am

cypressfalls_Robert wrote:
e. Liquids (except for water)......
According to this rule the only liquid that we can use is water.

So would carbonated water would be okay to use?
I don't see why not. The carbonated part of carbonated water is not a liquid.

Locked

Return to “Mission Possible C”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests