Thoughts? (on rule points)

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Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by sean9keenan » September 26th, 2009, 10:47 am

Bonjour,

I figured that I'd post some of the rule clarifications that we're sending in... and would like to hear what you think of them. While I realize that some of them are a stretch, I'd rather hear an answer then have to wander into planning without clarifications. I know that you guys can't make anything official, and we are sending them in, I was just wondering what your thoughts on these were. Note that I know that a lot of this isn't properly formatted for a clarification... and on a whole I think that some are definitely more critical then other clarifications, I also added comments below some of them.

1) As specified in the rules, points are granted for only whole seconds, is this true for point deductions, is it only a point off for a full second over(ie at regionals is 60.0 the same as 60.9)? Also for the second tie breaker, is this time measured only to full seconds? To then be broken by the third tie breaker? Or is it otherwise measured to the most accurate time measurement available?

2) Are Laser pointers that follow the specifications pointed out on the soinc.org website allowed on the device? More specifically are they one of the allowed electronics, and are they allowed to be powered?
Laser pointers and Lightbulbs are disallowed in section 3d, but lightbulbs are almost allowed in section 3g (see below clarification). They could be banned under the hazardous materials clause in 3e, but the soinc site says that they aren't hazardous if they are class II. Mainly, I like lasers... :D

3) Are lightbulbs allowed?
They aren't under the allowed list of electronics, unless you consider a light bulb a "resistor" but then why wouldn't a wire be a "resistor". It does later in the rules give flashlights a specific allowance of sorts (3g)... but flashlights are a combination of specialized resistors and gas, which could be considered a dangerous material.

4) Is the photocell specified in section 4b required to be the sole use of power for the motor? or can it otherwise act as a trigger?
I'm expecting that people will say that it has to be entirely powered, but it's worth a shot...

5) Are Light Dependent Resistors allowed to be used on the device, or are photocells limited to devices that produce a voltage?
I like LDR's (and they are cheap) but alas are not on the list of specified electronics, they would also be easier/cheaper to use then photocells for many of the same tasks

6)What are the specifications on "switches" are only certain types allowed, such as SPST, or limit switches?
The reason for this question is that technically some digital electronics might be considered switches (such as a schmitt trigger) but are clearly digital, while other mechanical implementations of a simple switch might not be allowed, because they are not "just switches" whatever that might mean. Personally I'm least worried about this one, but better to air on the side of being too safe then getting DQ'ed

Who's ready for mission!

-Sean Keenan
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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by Dark Sabre » September 26th, 2009, 11:23 am

1) Very valid question, I think.

2) I think lasers would be a stretch given the stringent limitations on electronics. I'd expect a "no" if you ask.

3) I sent one in asking the same thing. :)

4) Should be asked, but I have the same feeling you do. I hope the answer is otherwise though.

5) As the rules read to me, even if you said that a Cds cell was a type of photocell, they would not be capable of "providing the power" to operate a motor. I dunno...I did always lump Cds cells in with photocells. Might as well ask.

6) It seems safe to assume that they are talking about mechanically actuated switches. I'm not sure what you would want to use that wouldn't be pure and simple mechanical switch :?

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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by sean9keenan » September 26th, 2009, 3:19 pm

Thanks DS

1) I was most worried about how that tie breaker will be broken

2) Yeah... especially since they are diodes, and could probably be used as such, but I sure do love lasers.

3) The fact that there were no light bulbs allowed explicitly sort of surprised me

4) Agreed

5) I wasn't planning on powering the motor, but in some cases they could be useful, even unrelated to the sections where it specifies that you must power the device with the photocell.

6) That's what I figured as well, they probably meant mechanically actuated switches, we didn't really want to use something digital here, but with their stringent wording as to the allowed electronics we didn't want to have to worry about a limit switch when some event supervisor was expecting a light switch or something.

Thanks again, were there any other rule clarifications that you sent in?

-Sean Keenan
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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by Paradox21 » September 27th, 2009, 6:21 pm

On the MPC Wiki it talks about black boxes not being allowed. Is that in this year's rules, or is it just against the spirit of the event, or is it actually allowed? I suppose this year all of the tasks are more specific so it would be kind of tough to have black boxes.
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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by gh » September 28th, 2009, 6:24 am

There's really more in a laser module or laser pointer than just a a diode; it's got voltage regulation and sometimes current limiting thingamajigs too.
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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by sean9keenan » September 28th, 2009, 8:02 am

gh wrote:There's really more in a laser module or laser pointer than just a a diode; it's got voltage regulation and sometimes current limiting thingamajigs too.
That's true, I forgot about that. Something to note though, is that some Mechanical Relays have diodes in them, would these mechanical relays be allowed? Would I be able to use the diode from that to construct a crude voltage regulator? Once again that comes to a sort of "black box" device, must we get clear mechanical relays? Sean smells a rule clarification, at least on the first point about diodes.

But at the very least even if I didn't have a current/voltage regulator I could carefully control the batteries voltage (it would be a pain what with load vs. non load voltages) and at least get some sort of laser effect. Of course you can get just about the same thing with a flashlight and a hole/magnifier, which is quite possibly what I'll end up doing. But even then, they need to first allow lightbulbs.

Personally, I think that we'll be allowed lightbulbs, and maybe we can't open relays? I mean, if you do some research, there was a guy who made an entire COMPUTER out of all mechanical relays, while this would be beyond the ability of any of us (and would break the "no computer" rule) it does beg some interesting questions.

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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by Dark Sabre » September 29th, 2009, 7:10 am

Paradox21 wrote:On the MPC Wiki it talks about black boxes not being allowed. Is that in this year's rules, or is it just against the spirit of the event, or is it actually allowed? I suppose this year all of the tasks are more specific so it would be kind of tough to have black boxes.
The black boxes thing was really just a scoring thing. You were allowed to have them in the mission (lots of this are black boxes in this sense...like batteries), you just don't claim points for the 'invisible' transfers that happen inside the black box.

Yeah, the whole thing matters a lot less since you don't have to meet a quota for 5 chemical transfers or 5 heat transfers or whatever. I was reading the wiki definition and I thought it was kinda wordy, so another example:
A commercial battery is a black box. You can't claim the internal chemical --> electrical transfer.
A homemade battery is not a black box. You can claim the chemical --> electrical transfer.

or restating the wiki's example:
A commercial relay is a black box. You can't claim the internal electrical (electromagnet) --> mechanical (physical switch closing) --> electrical (circuit compelted). In years past, it would have been listed just as Electrical --> Electrical since those are the starting and ending energy forms.
A homemade relay is not a black box. You could do the "turn off homemade electromagnet..." bonus and drop something that completes a circuit, which would be a crude relay. You can claim all the transfers (just the bonus this year), since you made them all.

But as you mentioned, this is all pretty moot this year. There's probably some product out there that would be a real black box for the pneumatics/hydraulics bonus, but I can't think of one right now. Can't see how any other the other transfers could have one either at the moment.

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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by 9enigma6 » October 14th, 2009, 1:02 pm

Our team hasn't gotten the rule books yet, but I did look at the power-point on the soinc website. It said as part of things you can't include in your device is liquids except for water. Does anybody know if that is actually the case? Also, would it be legal to put something into the water (i.e. as part of a chemical reaction) to form an aqueous solution for a reaction? Just wondering since It wouldn't be just water anymore due to products from the reaction and anything else left in the in the water...

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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by binary010101 » October 14th, 2009, 1:27 pm

Would an electrolyte solution be allowed? Technically it counts as "water," and it can be used as a trigger via a wet cell.
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Re: Thoughts? (on rule points)

Post by 9enigma6 » October 14th, 2009, 1:45 pm

binary010101 wrote:Would an electrolyte solution be allowed? Technically it counts as "water," and it can be used as a trigger via a wet cell.
Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking along the lines of...like I said though, it would help quite if I had the actual rule book and not the limited resources on soinc.

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