Motorama 05
Motorama 2006
2006 Nationals
Motorama 2007
Carolina Combat
Franklin 07
Wreck the Halls
Motorama 2008
Robot Rumble 2009
Motorama 2010

Motorama 2004

CheepShot 2.0

Xhilarating impaX

Friday, 20 Feb. 2004

This was our first trip to Motorama, NERCs indoor event at the end of Febuary. As no heavyweights were allowed and we would not be able to attend the antweight event on the Friday  we were taking just two bots with us. Both were brand new and although we had done some test driving we did not know how they would stand up to combat.

Xhilerating impaX was my sons new bot and over a year in the  design and building. It is a 4WD Wedge/Pushy bot with 1/4" 6061 Aluminium armour and powered by two A-Pack motors running at 12v.

CheepShot 2.0, in contrast, was designed in a couple of days and was a 2WD Wedge  powered by two Harbor Freight 12v drill motor/gearboxes using mtroniks ESCs at 12v.  Armour was again 1/4" 6061 Aluminium.

I picked my son up early from his school at 12 noon and together we set of on the 7 hour  drive up to Harrisburg PA. We stopped only once for a walk about just south of Washington. My Son was unusually subdued during this trip and it turned out he had a bit of a stomach upset. Weather was fine the entire way  and apart from a little delay around Washington (Thank goodness for HOV lanes!) we made it to our Hotel, the Hampton Inn on Union Deposit road, at about 7.00pm.

After checking in we set off for the venue, the PA Farm  Show grounds.   We found this easily enough and soon were pushing our trolley load of bots etc. into the pit area. The Ant event was just finishing and they were carrying out the safetys for the next days  competition. We seeked out Tony from Team Radicus who as promised lent us a Futuba RX and Channel 84 Xtals for use in CheepShot (WE had planned to use our Novak XXTra but found it was not working shortly before setting  off for PA.) We gave him a small pack of Blueberry Morning Coffee, his favourite, in thanks.

With bots all ready to go we headed to Safety where both passed. We had been a little worried about the weights but  Xhilerating impaX weighed in at exactly 30lbs and CheepShot 2.0 hovering between 11.5 and 12 lbs. The other worry was that Xhilarating impaX would not completely shut down when the failsafes cut in. Fortunately this  test was done with the wheels on the ground in the area and the very low power on fail-safe would not move the bot. so we passed. It was also our first chance to drive them on a metal arena floor and both proved harder  to handle than on the concrete and black top back home.

The competition was being held in the "Small Arena" with some of the pits beside it and more through a door in a corner of a very large hall. There was an  incredible amount of other stuff going on on the Site. There were hundreds of Motorcycles, Quad Bikes, midget racers etc. and the show is worth going to just to them and all the racing in the bigger arenas.

Through  Safety we headed back to the hotel, stopping of at the Denny's across the road for a bite to eat. My son still wasn't feeling to great and this came to head when he was sick when we got back to our room. Fortunately he  had a good aim for the toilet! He felt much better afterwards and after a good nights sleep was his usual bouncy self again.



The Toad Tank

Picture from Team EMF

We had been told to arrive in time for the Team Captains meeting at 9.00am with the competition starting promptly at 9.30am. To make sure we were not late we set of  early, grabbing a doughnut from the Hotels Buffet and arrived at about 8am. The first thing we noticed was that lots of folks hadn't arrived yet and most of those that had were busy building their bots. It  was not until 11.30 that we actually got started with the competition. We were pitted next to Team Spike with "Grue" a neat 30lb Razor-like bot, Team Neubot with "Dark Thunder II and  a team from  Toronto University among others.

CheepShot 2.0 was the first to fight, drawn against "Penalty Box" a 4WD pushy bot. To be honest I can't remember much about this fight other than I had problems driving,  neither bot could make much progress trying to push each other and I did carry him around on top of CheepShot a couple of times. I felt at the time there was no clear winner but was pleased when it was a  unanimous decision for CheepShot 2.0. Our first win in the US! and our first Pog!

Andrews first fight with Xhilarating impaX was against "Interloper". This was a slightly strange looking bot with a  lawnmower spinner blade.   

Penalty box


We were confident that our armour was a match for any Lawnmower blade and in the event when the fight started it didn't spin up and Andrew was able to push Interloper  easily around the Arena. Luckily for Interloper, Andrews driving needed a lot more practice as well and he escaped with not much more damage than a bent leg. He tapped out, our second win! Two fights, two  Pogs, maybe our luck had changed.

We did not get to fight again till late Saturday when CheepShot came up against "Catch 22". This was a Horizontal bar spinner. We had seem him fight earlier and felt this  should be an easy draw. His blade looked quite effective but he was having terrible mobility problems so with our armour and good power I thought we could win.

The fight went as planned until the last 30  seconds. He Spun up and gave CheepShot 2.0 one good hit on the front wedge making a nice gouge but then his blade stopped and I spent the rest of the time pushing him about the arena. I pushed him into one  corner and then managed to highside myself on  a big piece of debris from a previous fight. Both drive wheels were off the ground and I was stuck. Catch 22 got the win. 

This was the gash caused by Catch 22s Blade.

Xhilarating impaX then drew Mr Freeze, a very good flipper bot. Andrew got in a good hit but Mr Freeze was very well driven and flipped us several times and then  Xhilarating impaX stopped responding and starting spinning on the spot.  Our first runaway bot was easily stopped with one foot but we had lost the fight. We thought maybe the Vantec had failed but when  we got back to the pits it seemed fine. I think 12v is a little low for running a 36E and we need to add Capacitors etc to the motors as we had frequent "glitching" problems throughout the comp. and perhaps  it was just that which had caused the runaway. I would have added Caps. but the design of the A-Packs doesn't make this easy.

It was 10.45pm by the time we headed back to the carpark. It was a long walk in the bitter cold and strong wind. We had a quick meal again at Denny's and headed for bed.  Our first day had gone pretty well with our first wins and the bots performing well.


We got back to the Arena at 8.30am after grabbing a couple of Doughnuts and a Coffee from the Hotel. Things were running better and it was not long until the first  fight. CheepShot was to fight against the excellent Drum bot. "Wardrums".


Picture from www.buildersdb.com

I honestly thought I had little chance against this formidable opponent. I was confident that my armour would hold up reasonably well but knew that if I ran with the  "wings" on CheepShot that allowed it to drive inverted  they would be very vulnerable to his drum and be ripped off so I removed them and hoped he wouldn't flip us. The fight started and I think I  managed one run against him before he started beating us up. After a short time he got behind me and got one big hit in that flipped us over. I tapped out. He simply had the better bot. and he was a better  driver.

The result of one of Wardrums hits. I need more Armour!.

More Wardrum related damage.

We had given Xhilarating impaX a good test run in the Arena before the days fighting started and had great fun playing soccer with a large metal ball. This gave Andrew  much needed practice driving. We were to fight Dark Thunder II next. This was another flippy bot but we hoped to do better this time. Just before we were due to fight I gave the bot a quick test. Nothing,  Zip, Nada!  We had complete failure of the drive. We called our first postponement and headed back to the pits. We tried everything, new Rx, RX battery, checked all the leads, New main Battlepack but  nothing could get it to work. We were being pressed to come and fight so I went and told them that we would have to forfeit. Andrew was bitterly disappointed at not being able to fight again. I decided to  spend some time trying to find out what was wrong. I turned the bot back on and it worked perfectly!

For Andrews sake I decided to ask if we could retract our forfeit. After some discussion it was decided  that if the other team agreed the fight would be back on but that it was up to them. Team Neubots decided that they would give us a chance and the fight was on.

Andrew came straight at Dark Thunder II and  gave it one good smash against the wall and in the ensuing melee got  flipped a couple of times and eventually  ended up balanced nicely on one side to lose the fight. We had added a couple of  rubber bumper onto the sides to make it harder to get balanced on the back and sides but they didn't quite do the trick. Andrew took the loss well and was glad just to have been able to fight. Both bots were  now out of the competition but we still had the rumbles to look forward to.

Dark Thunder II

The rumbles were going to be held in the afternoon so we decided to go off and see some of the others events being held at the show. We went to the main arena where they  were holding motorcycle and Quad bike racing. The course had a series of jumps which made the races pretty exciting to watch. There were races for Kids, Teenagers and Adults but a bad accident in one of the  kids races made me wonder about what kind of Parent would allow their kids to take part in something like that...... 

The 12lbers were divided into two separate Rumbles and CheepShot 2.0 went in the second. I had the wings back on and there were no "killer" bots in the arena so it was  just a great big slam fest and I had great fun just driving about and hitting other bots and pushing them about. By the end of the five minutes CheepShot and a few other bots were still fighting but most of  the others were dead. Somebody was declared the winner but I can't remember who and it didn't really matter as it had been such great fun.

There was just one rumble for the 30lbers and only Grue looked  capable of inflicting real damage to us so with the advice to Andrew not to try to fight it out with him I let him get on with it. He really enjoyed the fight and at one time was pushing around a pile of  three or four other bots. Andrews driving continued to improve and by the end he could more or less make  it do what he wanted. A few bots were still going at the end and while at least one judge  thought Xhilarating impaX was the winner it was decided that everyone was a winner.

One change that would liven up rumbles would be to have a pit. Trying to push everyone into it would make for a more  exciting spectacle.

CheepShot 2.0 had the worst damage having fought two spinners. The Harbor Freight motors, Mtronilk ESCs and the Ghettopacks performed flawlessly.  The Armour took a pounding but the bot held together well.

Xhilarating impaX has only cosmetic damage, most of which came during our game with the red metal ball on Sunday Morning.

Our first Pogs. Hopefully the first of many.

After the 30lber Rumble we tidied up and set of on the 7hr drive back. We stopped a couple of times on the way. The first time at KFC somewhere south of Washington and  again just north of the NC state line for a quick walk about. The drive at first seemed faster than the way up but the last hundred miles or so seemed to take forever. Andrew was kept entertained but  watching movies in the back of the Minivan and slept for the last hour and a half. We got back at around 10.30pm.

Motorama is without doubt the best venue we have been to so far. The indoors arena with  heating and all the other facilities made this our best competition yet. And we won a fight or two!

Other pictures from Motorama.

Unfortunatly we had camera problems at Motorama so we don't have the videos of our fights and nearly as many pictures as we had hoped for. Here are what we have so far.

Start them young!


Setting up



Cosmic Chaos