Robot Show at Brighton on 14th Feb 2004

The Brighton show was a well attended event with 20- 30 robots coming and going over the weekend. The space was a bit tight and I had to share a table with the Spawn Again team on the Saturday.

The arena being built at Brighton
Nasty spikes surrounding the inside of the arena

The show ran from Friday to Sunday but I could only make the weekend slots. Because of the number of radio controlled models being exhibited at the show the organisers had to carefully schedule the bouts so that we didn't clash with the frequencies used by the other exhibitors. This meant that we had well defined time slots in which the battles would take place. So that we didn't waste too much time opening and closing the arena doors, as many robots as possible entered the arena and parked themselves around the inner perimeter, waiting for their turn to do battle.

About five robots at a time would fight while the others stayed parked at the ring side. It was then a fairly quick task at the end of each battle for some robots to be disarmed while the next ones were armed. After the first days battles I had a number of bent panels and struts, but more worryingly I had lost control of one drive motor. This was accompanied by that all too familiar smell of burning electronics. I was keen to participate in the Sunday battles so opted to take the Hog back home to repair it overnight.

Removing the burnt out motor controller

Once I had it back home I discovered that I had burnt out some of the motor controller power MOSFETs, which took me until 2.30am to replace. Unfortunately there was still something wrong with the Controller because I only had forward control on one side, but by this time I was not in any fit state to continue working, so decided that forward motion was good enough to battle with, and went to bed.

After two days battling at Brighton

Sunday's battles followed in the same way as Saturday's, which were a melee of about five robots per battle. In the first I was overturned, but couldn't self right because I had forgotten to reconnect one of the pneumatic pipes I had removed during the motor controller rebuild. (just my luck!) Such are the consequences of working late into the morning! I did better in the remaining three battles, but ended up loosing control of the transmission in the last battle when a chain jumped off, and a drive sprocket pin sheared.

All in all, it was a good event, and I probably learnt more in these last two days battling than I had done taking part in Series 6 and 7 over the last two years. My thanks must go to Mike Lambert and Gary who yet again did a magnificent job of organising the day.

Lessons learnt

This event highlighted a number of improvements that I could make; some as a result of comments made during the tech-check' and others from the battle injuries sustained throughout the event.

The things I will concentrate on immediately will be:

  • Gas bottle protection
  • Gas bottle access flap
  • More panel fixing bolts
  • Allen key panel fixing bolts
  • 24volt motors, not over-run
  • Smaller drive sprockets on wheel axles
  • Battery capacity
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Last updated 16th March 2004