Motorama 2006

Web had three bots ready for the 2006 Motorama competition hosted by NERC.  "CheepShot 3.0" was making its second appearance, Xhilarating impaX 2.0 was at its second competition after a lackluster showing in New Orleans last Year, and finally our new 12lber Bar spinner "Surgical Strike".

We traveled up on the Friday with Robert Woodhead and his son, James. We arrived after an uneventful drive at about 6.00pm and quickly got our Pits set up and readied the bots for Safety.

My Son and chief driver, Andrew, and Robert Woodhead of Team Mad Overlord and owner of the national 30lb champion, "Totally Offensive"

Thanks to Billy Moon of Team Moon for the loan of a second battery charger. It came in very useful.

The arena was almost complete. Its 16' x 16' with 0.25" Lexan with Steel bumpers and a extra 0.25" of Lexan on the bottom couple of feet. It survived the event unscathed. It was a good size for both the 12 and 30 lbers but perhaps a little big for the Beatles.

All our Bots got through safety without major problems. Surgical strike would not move at first but that turned out to be a issue with the Tx not being trimmed properly and tripping the Banebots internal power up safety setting.  Once we worked that out we gave it a quick trial in the Ant arena. 4.4MB Video

We then headed for the "Lone Star" for a good dinner and then to the "Hampton Inn" across the road for the night. I can recommend this Hotel having stayed there for all three trips to Motorama and it now also has free Wireless Internet.

Saturday 18th February.

We arrived back at the arena about 8.30am the next morning and checked out the competition and made sure all the Bots were ready to go. The Event finally got going around Noon. As usual there were the  "build the Bot at the event" folks and a few late arrivals.

Once the fights got going there were good crowds in both sets of Seats and 3 to four  folks deep in the Hallway at the back of the Arena. There were much less people arond on the Sunday and that may have been because the "Daytona 500 was on the same day and I would imagine attract a similar audience.

Fight 1:  CheepShot 3.0 v Skittlebrau

"Skittlebrau" is Eric Nars innovative and powerfull vertical drum spinner. It has a brushless motor actually built into the drum and runs on three Omniwheels so it can drive in any direction it likes.

The fight went well for us with Skittlebrau unable to get a good bite on CheepShots 0.1" Titanium armour and Andrew was able to repeatly take hits and push his apponent about until finally catching Skittlebrau in a turn so that our wedge combined with the Gyro forces flipped  him over. He could not self right and we got our first win.

5.6MB Video

Skittlebrau chewed up CS3s armour but failed to get a good bite.

Fight 2: CheepShot 3.0 v Autodestruct

Skittlebrau.            Picture by Team Cosmos

Autodestruct is a 4WD Bot a wedge at both ends. We had added a set of teeth on top of CS3 to help catch bots from just going over the top of the bot and also a smaller home made Ti wedge running on the mountings from one of the Wedge kits available on my site. CS3 is narrower than the production kits so we needed a different sized Ti panel for the wedge.  CS3 has been long plagued by a pull to the right while driving forward. This does not occur in the kits and I had thought it was due to an error in the original prototypes design but I now think its because of a motor problem on one side. I might even have a 9.6v motor one side and a 12v the other!

The fight did not go well, the wedge did OK but the top teeth were ineffective.  The bot constantly pulling to one side meant we missed many chances to get under and box slam our opponent and the match went to a judges decision with Autodestruct getting the deserved win.

7.8MB Video

Fight 3: Xhilarating impaX 2.0 v Tripolar

Tripolar is a tough steel, full body Spinner. He had however been troubled by RX and motor problems.  Xi2.0 was designed to fight tough spinners so we were confident of the win.

Tripolar only briefly spun up and Andrew quickly took control of the fight and spent the rest of the bout pushing Tripolar about at will. The clock failing half way through this fight added only a little drama.

It went to the judges but it was a clear win for Xi2.0

9.5MB Video

Fight 4: Surgical Strike v One Fierce Bull Dog

Surgical Strike was to fight "Vapor Trail" but they forfeited after being unable get it working on time. That meant that Surgical Strike would go against the highly rated OFBD. The drum spinner with its powerful brushless motor and all round titanium armour could have been a tough first opponent however it quickly became clear that his weapon would not power up.  We had the 14" Blade fitted and it spun up OK but did not seem to reaching full speed. It worked well enough to land some good hits on OFBD and then about half through the fight it could be heard spinning up to its full potential. The hits became much harder and ripped two holes in the 0.040 Ti armour and distorted it enough that it high sided the drive wheels.  They tapped out to give SS its first win.

4.3MB Video

Surgical Strikes 14" Blade did some serious damage to OFBDs armoured skirt.  If its weapon had been working the fight would have been a lot tougher. The strange change in speed of SS's Blade is still unexplained and repeated itself until we replaced the motor when it stopped completely in a later fight. Luckily at $10 each its not a major expense when they fail!

Fight 5: CheepShot 3.0 v Battle Brick

CS3 had easy fight against Battle Brick. Our sloping front panel easily got under his flat faces and allowed us to push him about with ease. Battle brick then lost a wheel retainer and then a wheel (I think CS3s first "Wheelectomy") and he tapped out (knocking down the tap out switch at the same time!).

2.4MB Video

Fight 6: Surgical Strike v Autodestruct

Andrew spotted that Autodestruct had fitted a "keep away" bar to one end of their Bot and section of what looked like carbon fiber angle to the other to help protect their aluminium wedges. We fitted the still sharp 13" blade and raised it as high as possible to help catch their add-on bar.  The Blade was again slow to reach full speed but Autodestruct failed to take advantage and when it finally decided to reach its full potential it quickly bent and removed one of the keep away bars and the other complete wedge and the rear panel of the bot. This last hit also killed the spinners HTI motor so Andrew had to avoid getting trapped and not get into a pushing match we would be unlikely to win.  Autodestruct failed to take advantage of our lack of weapon and the Judges awarded us the fight.  

7.9MB Video

Fight 7: Surgical Strike v Bubba

Bubba is a 2WD wedge shaped bot with a lifting arm. We fitted a new HTI spinner drive motor to Surgical Strike. This allowed the blade to spin up to full speed to meet Bubba as it crossed the arena. It only took a couple hit for Bubba to lose a wheel and as he tapped out a slightly late hit mangled one side of his lifter.  

2MB Video

The damaged wheel leaning against Bubba and the bent lifter.

That finished the fighting for us for the day.  So far it was going pretty well with CS3 going 2 and 1, Xi2.0 going 1 and 0 and Surgical strike 3 and 0 (4 and 0 including the forfeit).

CheepShot had a good draw next round against  "Raisin Blades" whilst Xi2 faced the prospect of having to beat Totally Offensive to have the pleasure of then facing F Bomb!

We had a good dinner at Dennys and headed for the Hotel.

It's weather forecasts like this that make me glad I live in the south!  Luckily the wind never got as strong as they had been predicting all weekend as it was quite cold enough.........

Sunday, 19th February.

We got back to the event about 9.00am on the Sunday Morning and fights restarted around 11.00am.

Fight 8: CheepShot 3.0 v Raisen Blade

Raisen Blade is a 2WD Thwackbot with large curved metal blades, attached one on each side.

The fight was very one sided with CS3 slamming its opponent a few times until he stopped moving and was counted out.

3MB Video

Raisen Blade    Picture team cosmos

Fight 9: Xhilarating impaX 2.0 v Totally Offensive

Xhilarating impaX had to face Totally Offensive in the next round with the winner then having to face F Bomb.

Xi2.0 was built to fight TO and this was our first chance.  We were pretty sure that the 3/16" S7 hardened steel armour was quite tough enough but the drive train was untested against the big hits it was likely to take.

The fight started well with Andrew taking the fight to TO and causing it to be thrown about.  He missed a couple of chances to pin TO but in one last big hit knocked out the drive train on TO on one side but simultaneously knocked out one side of Xi2 amd also high sided the working side on a piece of debris.  Xi2 was counted out for its first loss.

3.3MB Video

The top and bottom Lexan was badly cracked after the fight. Each crack starting from one sharp corner of the hand cut panels. It is a tribute to the overall slot and Tab design the the Bot held together despite this damage.  The S7 steel armour was only very slightly scuffed and showed that we got the thickness and Hardness (RC50) right. The drive failure turned out to be one of the Victor ESCs.

Fight 10: CheepShot 3.0 v Rants Parts

Rants Pants is a fast and powerful 4WD  wedgebot.  Rants Pants started well with good driving and a slightly lower wedge resulting in a solid pin against the wall. CS3s luck changed when a good hit resulted in Rants Pants being flipped over onto its back. It was invertable but the wedge was not so effective and CS3 got several good slams  whilst Rants Pants got one more Pin in before the fight went to the Judges.  We were sure we had the win but were dismayed to hear it given to Rants Pants........I've watched the video a few more times and still think it a strange decision......CS3 was out of the Competition.

7.8MB Video

Rants Pants after Motorama.                  picture by its owner Aaron Taggart

Aaron says that one of the wheels unscrewed itself and jammed which smoked the motor at the end of the fight.

Fight 11: Xhilarating impaX 2.0 v Shiny Metal Box 2000

I had a terrible struggle getting Xi2 working again for this fight. We postponed once to gain time but it wasn't enough.....

I had thought it was a motor problem and half srip that side down to remove it when I actually checked it and it was OK. I then swaped out one Victor and that fixed that side only to fry the other Victor after dropping a small screw into it.  I swapped it out too and desperately reassembled as much of the bot as possible.

We had to fight without the bottom panel, so ran inverted but it was all in vain.  Even with 4WD we couldn't push SNB2000 (Xi2 is only 23lbs) and the bot just then stopped working entirely.  Xi2.0 was out as well.  We put it back together for a 30lb rumble but again it stopped after only about a minute so something is still wrong somewhere..........

Fight 12: Surgical Strike v Wedgio.  12lber Winners Semi final

Wedgio is a fast wedge/lifter.  The fight was over quite quickly with several good hits by Surgical Strike until one hit flipped us over. SS cannot self right (yet...) so Wedgio won by a knock out putting us into the losers bracklets. (Wedgio had actually had one of its drive motors knocked off).

Wedgio                            picture by Team Cosmos

Fight 13: Surgical Strike v Igoo    12lber Losers Semi final

Igoo is a tough 2WD wedge/brick with a small vertical saw blade. This fight went much like that against Wedgio.  We missed a couple of chance to get his wheels and then got flipped over again.

Surgical Strike was out but had got third place (out of 29 entrants) in its very first event!.

Wedgio went on to win first place in the 12lbers and F Bomb first in the 30s.

1.7MB Video of Totally Offensive v F Bomb

Andrew getting his 12lber third place trophy and prizes.

We won a Ti Joe $50 voucher and a couple of 28mm Banebots Gearmotors. plus a really cool Trophy.....

and a nice pile of red NERC pogs!

We stayed and helped strip down and pack the arena in to rental  truck and then got together with a lot of the other competitors and organizers for a good meal at the Outback Steakhouse.

On Monday we had an uneventful drive home to north Carolina. This had been our best Motorama yet and our first prizes there.  Thanks to all who made the event possible and we will be back next year.