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 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.
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.
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
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.
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