April 2002

Monday 1st April 2002

I did a bit more driving practice and used the new CO2 gas bottle to fill the Hog's tank. This made a lot of difference, and I could get a load of flips in before needed to recharge the tank. The CO2 regulator too seemed to be behaving itself and I didn't have to fiddle with it at all.

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Thursday 4th April 2002

I received a package from Shark Motor Sport containing eight treaded go-kart tyres. I had sent out a few grovelling letters a few weeks ago explaining that I had some old go-kart tyres, but these tended to go flat regularly, and what I wanted was a set of new ones. Shark Motor Sport had kindly donated not just four, but eight tyres, which was a real bonus! One of eight donated new go-kart tyres from Shark Motor Sport

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Sunday 7th April 2002

I received the new rules for the forthcoming series 6 events via email. There were no dates yet for the competitions, but they said your robot should be ready for battle come June. The rules didn't look too bad, but there were quite a few changes concerning pneumatic equipment. In particular the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) had imposed some "none negotiable" requirements on the type of pressurised cylinders you could use. It appeared that my brand new paint ball cylinder may not be acceptable because it was approved to US standards not UK standards. Apart from this, the other rules didn't give me too many concerns (yet).

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Tuesday 9th April 2002

Pyroflex tube fire extinguisher I received a fire extinguisher tube from Firetrace, a company I sent a grovelling email to recently. The extinguisher was one that quite a few of the well known robots used, and is a plastic tube type (Pyroflex tube)with high-pressure fluid inside that ruptures when the temperature gets high enough. If it works as well as it says on their website, it will be a useful and light gadget to have should I be roasted over the flame pit.

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Thursday 11th April 2002

I rang Derrick Foxell at Robot wars to check if my paint ball cylinder was okay to use. Unfortunately he said no, so I will have to look at obtaining another one that is approved. Apart from the approval side, the bottles that would be allowed would be larger and heavier that my existing one, so the weight limit is still going to be a challenge to keep under control.

In the evening I mounted the two tusks on the robot. They looked okay, but I felt their presence was more cosmetic than functional. However, if it ran into your ankles it could give you a sever injury, so I will have to be careful now when walking around the Hog in the garage.

A side view of the Hog's tusks Top view of the two tusks

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Friday 12th April 2002

I dropped my application form for series 6 into Robot Wars while in London today.

I put one of the new treaded go-kart tyres on the robot wheel hubs. It took quite a while just to get the old tyre off the hub, so I will have to tackle the other side another day.

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Sunday 14th April 2002

I swapped the second tyre with the new treaded one kindly donated to me by Shark Motor Services. When I had finally got both tyres on the robot I realised two things. The first was that putting on new tyres is a whole lot harder than ones that have seen a few miles and are soft. The new tyres are so stiff that it is very hard to get them on the hubs, and then even harder to inflate because catching a good seal on the stiff seams is very difficult.

The second thing is that even though the tyres are new and have a lot of tread on them, the were actually slightly smaller that the older slicks I had. This meant that the already small ground clearance of the wheel drive sprockets was even smaller, and the driving chain was even more likely to catch on stones and uneven ground.

I also put on a couple of protective plates. One on the underside of the Hog to cover the batteries, and one on the top to protect the motor controller. The plates were donated by a kind neighbour who was walking past the house at the time, and said he had some bullet proof plates doing nothing in his garage! He worked for a bank and had recovered several protective bulletproof plates that were being thrown away during the bank's refurbishment. These were 6mm thick and made of layers of fibreglass cloth. They were slightly lighter than the 6mm aluminium plate I was going to put on, so I was quite pleased to have a suitably strong and light replacement.

Bullet proof plate protecting the underside of the batteries
Battery protective plate
Bullet proof plate protecting the motor controller
Motor controller protective plate
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Last updated 19th April 2002