Scrambler B

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Re: Scrambler B

Post by croman74 » May 28th, 2009, 12:34 pm

Everything looks fine, and I don't remember anywhere in the rules that it said it couldn't be parallel. I don't see what you're complaining about.
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Re: Scrambler B

Post by bob3443 » May 29th, 2009, 1:05 pm

Dark Sabre wrote:
fullofit wrote:
bob3443 wrote:so after waiting for... 2 days with no one responding... i have the urge to ask this again. does anyone know ANYTHING about scrambler at nationals?
All I know is that both Scambler and EV were run on a very rough wood floor, with the track parallel to the boards (in violation of the rules). For those who built vehicles with wide wheels it was not much of an issue but for teams who used CDs or hard drive platters it was a disaster. The thin wheel would get caught in a groove and force the vehicle off course. Many people argue that since all the teams had the same issues to deal with it's all a wash but that is simply not true. A team has a right to believe that the event will be run according to the rules. If the rules stated that the scamblers and EVs could be run in the grass or on a paved road, or on a track with large gaps between the boards running parallel to the track, then teams would have built their vehicles to accomodate that, but when you are told in the rules that the track will be a smooth level surface, you build for that specification. We practiced on linoleum, wood gym floors (smooth urethane) and smooth tile, we didn't practice on a floor with grooves that would catch the wheels.


I am afraid that I do not know the scores, I spoke to one team (who just missed medalling) that had a run time of about 3 seconds and a distance/aim error of about 5 cm. That would make it necessary to have done better than 11 to medal, but that is just a rough estimate.
I looked through the rules and didn't see anything about which direction the track had to be in respect to the direction of the floorboards. Could you point out the Section and Letter?

All I see is that in 2)e. it gives tile as an example of a legitimate surface and they appeared to be running the event on square tiles:
1473|1/Scrambler_2009NSO (32).jpg

So...
Looks like a tile floor, not wood.
Can't run the wrong way on square tile floor.
Don't see anything in the rules about direction of the track (please correct me here, if I'm mistaken), not that I see how it would matter on square tiles.
I can't speak to the condition of the tiles, but I imagine it was "relatively smooth"
hm... well if the groves were running parallel to the track, then if your car got stuck in the groves wouldn't the car go perfectly straight and thereby making your car on target?
also what was the distance to the wall?

hehe i have that same shirt
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Re: Scrambler B

Post by Pleiades » May 29th, 2009, 1:56 pm

bob3443 wrote:
hm... well if the groves were running parallel to the track, then if your car got stuck in the groves wouldn't the car go perfectly straight and thereby making your car on target?
also what was the distance to the wall?

hehe i have that same shirt
that doesn't appear to be the kind of flooring that has grooves in it. Sure it looks like there is, but I don't think so. I wasn't there so I don't know for sure.
My teammate won that shirt with my scrambler.

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Re: Scrambler B

Post by fullofit » May 31st, 2009, 4:23 pm

The rule that I was referring to is the one that says that the floor should be smooth and level, not specifically about which direction the illegal grooves were running. I was only suggesting that if they simply couldn't find a better location for the EV event, then at least they could have run across the grooves so that they wouldn't have as much effect ont he EVs direction. As to the idea that grooves running parrallel to the direction the vehilce was travelling in would help the vehicle go straight, think about it some more. If the grooves were spaced exactly the same at your wheels when they were on the centerline of the track, then it might cause the vehicle to stay on the centerline, but a random groove that catches only one wheel (or one end of the vehicle) is going to pull the vehicle off the centerline. I saw a vehicle that was going right down the line, then one of it's rear wheels got caught in a groove that shifted the rear of the vehicle off course. That vehicle ended up only a few cm off course but the team had gotten 199.5 and 200 at their regional and state competitions. I don't know how many of you were actually at the national competition but the floor had large spaces between the gym floor boards at irregular intervals, as opposed to most gym floors which are coated with a thick layer of urethane that fills in all the grooves. It was probably the worst gym floor I have ever seen, hardly what anyone would refer to as "smooth and level". If I remember correctly the gym floor where trajectory was done was much smoother (like a normal gym floor), so they could have simply moved trajectory to the EV gym and EV and Scrambler to the Trajectory gym.

I know there are differing feeling here about the appropriate part that random chance should play in the outcome of events. We all know that Egg-O Naut (and bottle rocket) are hugely effected by weather that is simply out of the control of the competitors. Trajectory and Storm the Castle are also effected by winds when they are run out doors (or indoors with the A/C running, as in Augusta). Balloon race was so dramatically effected by the slightest winds that at most competitions it was virtually entirely random chance who won (at some National competitions they built an enclosure that helped a lot to keep drafts out). My personal oppinion is that random chance should play virtually no part in a science experiment (or science competition). If the event cannot practially be run so that the random errors in environmental factors, scoring, etc. aren't large enough to effect the outcome, then the event needs to be changed or dropped. If we know that the falling time of an Egg-O Naut capsule can be effected by more than the difference between first and second place then the event is not actually working. You can't design an Egg-O Naut that isn't effected by up or down drafts, it's simply physically impossible, so how can we say that the guy who launched when there was a large updraft is the winner, when the next best device, luanched in zero wind conditions (or with a down draft) only scored a second or two less?

In EV, where the winner is typically decided by a few 1/10s of a point (a few mm of aiming error) how can we say that a track that introduces errors of CMs is a reasonable venue?

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Re: Scrambler B

Post by rocketman1555 » May 31st, 2009, 4:59 pm

so what you are saying is that we shouldn't have building events at all because its possible that something could be outside the control of judges or competitors, so they shouldn't do it because it is all random chance. for that thing they shouldn't do any lab events because the experiments might not be something listed in the rules for physics or chem lab, and they shouldn't do testing events because they might include something not listed in the rules and it could be random chance that one team could know it and another might not. So if you think that random chance is a factor that needs to be eliminated you need to get your head out of your ass and be realistic about this. It is impossible to eliminate random chance out of any building event, there will always be an uncontrollable factor, and that is true science, and what makes events like rocket and trajectory fun. If you want to complain about an event being random go complain about Pentathlon along with everyone else who wants to end events like it which are actually annoying and can cause problems because they are completely random.
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Re: Scrambler B

Post by gh » May 31st, 2009, 5:07 pm

fullofit wrote:I saw a vehicle that was going right down the line ... the team had gotten 199.5 and 200 at their regional and state competitions.
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Re: Scrambler B

Post by sachleen » June 5th, 2009, 7:14 pm

fullofit wrote:I saw a vehicle that was going right down the line, then one of it's rear wheels got caught in a groove that shifted the rear of the vehicle off course. That vehicle ended up only a few cm off course but the team had gotten 199.5 and 200 at their regional and state competitions.

In EV, where the winner is typically decided by a few 1/10s of a point (a few mm of aiming error) how can we say that a track that introduces errors of CMs is a reasonable venue?
Dude, sh*t happens. Deal with it. Seriously, everyone else faces the same challenge as you do, it could have been anybody's vehicle, or nobody's, it just happened to be yours. My understanding of the level floor rule was not that the floor has to be perfectly level and smooth, but that, in general, it shouldn't have any weird bumps or anything. You could have made the tires on your car wider, that would have helped in this situation.

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Re: Scrambler B

Post by rjm » June 6th, 2009, 4:43 pm

These are engineering events, not scientific experiments. It should not be surprising that there are elements of the competition beyond the control of the ES, the tournament directors, or the competitors. As with most engineering solutions, the device should be sufficiently robust, and the imagination of the designers sufficiently broad, to anticipate reasonable variations in the venue. When rules are written, conditions of testing cannot be completely nailed down and will always vary from place to place, and so we put conditions in general terms, like "smooth, level, hard surface". We don't bother to call out a surface finish or a tolerance on the level grade of the floor. Builders of devices know we don't function in a perfect world, and things they will design and develop in their adult careers also will be expected to work well even if conditions aren't perfect.

If an event is so imprecise and subject to random variance that the "noise" in the measurements overwhelms any valid results, then the event does need to change. There are some events that I don't like either. EV and Scrambler are not that way; in my opinion none of the technology events are that weak. The key is that events should test the device, not the venue, and everyone should compete under the same conditions.

I was in EDS all day during competition at Nats, I was on stage with the EB event. The floor where EV was run was an ordinary gym floor. It was not illegal, and it was not an unexpected surface. The room was plenty hot and humid, but I don't think that had much affect on the vehicles. I can't speak for Scrambler, I didn't make it to see any of that competition. I am certain the floor there was fine also.

Quit whining.

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Re: Scrambler B

Post by fmtiger124 » June 7th, 2009, 10:54 am

rjm wrote:These are engineering events, not scientific experiments. It should not be surprising that there are elements of the competition beyond the control of the ES, the tournament directors, or the competitors. As with most engineering solutions, the device should be sufficiently robust, and the imagination of the designers sufficiently broad, to anticipate reasonable variations in the venue. When rules are written, conditions of testing cannot be completely nailed down and will always vary from place to place, and so we put conditions in general terms, like "smooth, level, hard surface". We don't bother to call out a surface finish or a tolerance on the level grade of the floor. Builders of devices know we don't function in a perfect world, and things they will design and develop in their adult careers also will be expected to work well even if conditions aren't perfect.

If an event is so imprecise and subject to random variance that the "noise" in the measurements overwhelms any valid results, then the event does need to change. There are some events that I don't like either. EV and Scrambler are not that way; in my opinion none of the technology events are that weak. The key is that events should test the device, not the venue, and everyone should compete under the same conditions.

I was in EDS all day during competition at Nats, I was on stage with the EB event. The floor where EV was run was an ordinary gym floor. It was not illegal, and it was not an unexpected surface. The room was plenty hot and humid, but I don't think that had much affect on the vehicles. I can't speak for Scrambler, I didn't make it to see any of that competition. I am certain the floor there was fine also.

Quit whining.

Bob Monetza
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Re: Scrambler B

Post by penclspinner » June 21st, 2009, 7:35 am

fullofit wrote:The rule that I was referring to is the one that says that the floor should be smooth and level, not specifically about which direction the illegal grooves were running. I was only suggesting that if they simply couldn't find a better location for the EV event, then at least they could have run across the grooves so that they wouldn't have as much effect ont he EVs direction. As to the idea that grooves running parrallel to the direction the vehilce was travelling in would help the vehicle go straight, think about it some more. If the grooves were spaced exactly the same at your wheels when they were on the centerline of the track, then it might cause the vehicle to stay on the centerline, but a random groove that catches only one wheel (or one end of the vehicle) is going to pull the vehicle off the centerline. I saw a vehicle that was going right down the line, then one of it's rear wheels got caught in a groove that shifted the rear of the vehicle off course. That vehicle ended up only a few cm off course but the team had gotten 199.5 and 200 at their regional and state competitions. I don't know how many of you were actually at the national competition but the floor had large spaces between the gym floor boards at irregular intervals, as opposed to most gym floors which are coated with a thick layer of urethane that fills in all the grooves. It was probably the worst gym floor I have ever seen, hardly what anyone would refer to as "smooth and level". If I remember correctly the gym floor where trajectory was done was much smoother (like a normal gym floor), so they could have simply moved trajectory to the EV gym and EV and Scrambler to the Trajectory gym.

I know there are differing feeling here about the appropriate part that random chance should play in the outcome of events. We all know that Egg-O Naut (and bottle rocket) are hugely effected by weather that is simply out of the control of the competitors. Trajectory and Storm the Castle are also effected by winds when they are run out doors (or indoors with the A/C running, as in Augusta). Balloon race was so dramatically effected by the slightest winds that at most competitions it was virtually entirely random chance who won (at some National competitions they built an enclosure that helped a lot to keep drafts out). My personal oppinion is that random chance should play virtually no part in a science experiment (or science competition). If the event cannot practially be run so that the random errors in environmental factors, scoring, etc. aren't large enough to effect the outcome, then the event needs to be changed or dropped. If we know that the falling time of an Egg-O Naut capsule can be effected by more than the difference between first and second place then the event is not actually working. You can't design an Egg-O Naut that isn't effected by up or down drafts, it's simply physically impossible, so how can we say that the guy who launched when there was a large updraft is the winner, when the next best device, luanched in zero wind conditions (or with a down draft) only scored a second or two less?

In EV, where the winner is typically decided by a few 1/10s of a point (a few mm of aiming error) how can we say that a track that introduces errors of CMs is a reasonable venue?

Wait, so what event are we talking about here? Is this a complaint for EV or Scrambler?
Because from the pictures it looks like Scrambler was run on a tile floor, not a gym floor.
Don't know about EV.

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