General Questions

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jazzy009
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General Questions

Post by jazzy009 » August 11th, 2009, 8:23 am

Is MP a 3 person event?

Also, anyone who has done the event before, how did you create more surface area on your device? Just add boards vertical or horizontal?
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Re: General Questions

Post by Dark Sabre » August 11th, 2009, 12:51 pm

Historically, yes.

I guess you probably know what I did if you've looked around the gallery, but my box was pretty typical.
Some people just had a base.
Lots of people had a 3 or 4-piece box.
A few people had things like:
356|22/Science Olypmiad Nationals 019.jpg

The year before I started building, the rules had a 50cm^3 box and the people who did ours had trouble reaching in to fix things because it was all packed so closely together (theirs was tiered like the above one). I've always favored the 3-piece box because of that. The two walls and floor gave me enough real estate, but my boxes were all in 75X50X50 years, I think. One of the years might have been 100x50x50 or something, since I remember having to cut my box once. I guess I'll look those up when I have my desktop set up (just got internet today, after moving to new digs).

When you do get around to building your box, whatever design you use, make the base a thick'ish piece of solid wood if you can. I say this for a few reasons:
1) You don't want your base to bend when you pick it up, which could throw things out of alignment.
2) You need something solid to screw things into and to support the sides, so heavy things don't tear loose during transport.
3) You will spill things on the base. Water, vinegar, whatever...I'd avoid composites and particle boards for the base, since they are likely to absorb spills if left overnight, swell, and warp.

I used plywood for the two sides since it is pretty light and reasonably stiff.

You'll see people using pegboard for their sides:
344|22/Science Olypmiad 015.jpg
Would have made me nervous, since you can see it bending even without a ton of stuff on there. :?
Super convenient for attaching stuff though.

In 2004, I did use a second tier to store my RCXs and mounted it on a hinge so I could still access the stuff under it easily:
448|29/DarkSabreMission 2004 (17).JPG 454|29/DarkSabreMission 2004 (23).jpg
Wasn't my favorite solution, so I just kept more floor space clear in 2005.

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Re: General Questions

Post by inycepoo » August 17th, 2009, 1:27 pm

I'm a new building guy at my school, all the engineering seniors graduated this year, so I think I'm pretty screwed for this event.
That said....how do/did you even start to get ideas for how to build this thing? I've been trying to make some sense out of the gallery pictures, but they all look so complicated that I can't make anything out of anything. Any suggestions as to how to start? i get the gist of it, with the energy transfers and whatnot, but I have no idea where or how to start.
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Re: General Questions

Post by Dark Sabre » August 17th, 2009, 5:44 pm

:lol:
You won't really be at any disadvantage...none of the current competitors have built an MPC before (the ones who did MPC during their 8th grade year should have just graduated, I think) and it is so different from any of the other building events (including Mission B, historically) that experience only sorta carries over.

I just put this up on the wiki: 2005 DarkSabre MPC Wiki
I formatted my Energy Transfer List for the wiki and then annotated it with images and comments. If you want to take a look at that, it will probably help explain what all the stuff in my 2005 machine was doing.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about that machine (or the 2003 or 2004 ones). If you still wonder what something is, just link to a picture and I'll try to explain. I'll probably do a similar wiki entry for the 2004 machine, since I have enough pictures of it, but not tonight. I only have a couple of the 2003 machine, so I just added comments in the gallery and called it a day.

As for how to start getting ideas...you really can't until you know what the rules are going to ask you to do and what they will prohibit. :|

Do you have some basic understanding of electrical circuits? Like how to wire a switch to turn things on and off?

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Re: General Questions

Post by Dark Sabre » August 18th, 2009, 1:14 pm

I finished the ETL walkthrough + pics and descriptions for the 2004 machine.
2004 DarkSabre MPC Wiki

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Re: General Questions

Post by jazzy009 » August 18th, 2009, 1:21 pm

Beautiful, DS. I'm looking forward to how complex this will get. Some of the national bonuses looked pretty tough.
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Re: General Questions

Post by Paradox21 » August 18th, 2009, 1:27 pm

DS, I remember reading about the 2005 shoelace bonus in an archived thread, but could you explain how exactly you did it? Didn't it require that the shoelace have nothing above or below it or something? I had trouble following the description in the wiki thing.
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Re: General Questions

Post by binary010101 » August 18th, 2009, 1:56 pm

It's a Div C event this year?
Dark Sabre wrote:<SNIP> You won't really be at any disadvantage...none of the current competitors have built an MPC before (the ones who did MPC during their 8th grade year should have just graduated, I think).
Also, the last MPC was three years ago, and there are going to be people who've done it before who are sophomores or juniors.
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Re: General Questions

Post by boomtech » August 18th, 2009, 2:23 pm

Are revised draft rules out?
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Re: General Questions

Post by jazzy009 » August 18th, 2009, 2:24 pm

It replaces JYC this year in Div C. New rules and a different division make it a totally new event. However the experience they have will help a bit at first.

I don't think a revise is out, but I haven't seen the draft either. Official rules come out September 10th.
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