Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

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FatSebastian
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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:32 am

Stan Pope wrote:I really dislike the idea that to build a competitive car, one must spend a lot of $.
resullivan wrote:The people that win with your current rules will win with your new one.
IMO, there is a difference between "winning" and building a "competitive car". Competitiveness implies "doing well" rather than coming in first place.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:30 am

resullivan wrote:1) I think there are more advantages to using a more dense material than COM. In other words, I still think using tungsten will give you an advantage.
This is true when racing on straight-ramp tracks with tight transitions, e.g. BestTrack. On curve-ramp tracks, e.g. Cub Scout Leader's HOW TO Book, Piantedosi, and Freedom, the difference gets lost in the noise.
resullivan wrote:2) I don't know what it takes to be competitive in your district, but in ours the $20 of tungsten is the least of our costs.
WOW! What else do your district's best performers buy?
resullivan wrote:3) I am not sure if your intent is to save the people that currently buy tungsten money, or to attempt to make the people that don't use it more competitive. If it is the later, I don't think this rule will help. The people that win with your current rules will win with your new one.
Quite likely, but not because they used tungsten as ballast!
Speedster wrote: I suspect Stan's rule would change nothing. Once a District allows other than a 4 3/8" wheelbase, using slots, a whole lot changes.
I think that it changes the thought process leading up to building. And it changes the "up front" costs for first time racers. It "pulls them into the hobby" more gradually, and makes their entry more about knowledge and less about $.
Speedster wrote:Four ounces of 1/4" tungsten cubes would cost a racer $4.88 per year and that includes shipping. If the racer joined with 4 friends he would get free shipping and it would cost him $3.59 per year. That's a little less then a penny a day. Is it really cost or perhaps disinterest?
First, the cost is "up front". Second, I don't like to sacrifice my car from last year in order to build my car for this year.
Speedster wrote:There was one wafer car in our District races this year and it appeared in the Tiger class. Yes, he won. All the other cars, other then the cars of my 2 scouts, had lots of wood. No matter what was used for weight they were limited on the amount that could be added. My scouts had an advantage before the pin dropped - OK, except for the one little Hot Rod that beat us since we all raced the Bear class.
That advantage was partly due to knowledge and effort put into the build (Yay!) and partly due to buying high density (Boo!).
Speedster wrote:Is there really a scout District that allows lathed wheels?
What? The 2.x and 1.x gram wheels that a lot of folks purchase are prepared on a lathe! The "Wheel Shaver" used to true wheels operates on the fundamentals of a lathe. Spinning a wheel using a hand-held drill and holding a block of sandpaper against the tread is a lathe process. All legal in most districts. The results are the same; just the details of how they got that way are changed.

Or are you talking about some of the "fancy tread profiles" that are possible on a lathe?


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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by resullivan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:49 am

Stan Pope wrote: WOW! What else do your district's best performers buy?
Can't speak for all of us, but for me: Drill press, bench sander, scroll saw, files, sand paper, paint, dremel, bits, polishes, oils, graphite, and on and on. You know the first thing I did with the bench sander I bought? I took it to a district work shop at the scout store. It had never even been plugged in. I had to buy a new belt for it before I even got to use it.

Thanks for insinuating that we cheat. It is ok though, I am used to it. We get a lot of people that can't figure out to win themselves, so they call others cheaters and try and come up with crazy rules to "level the playing field."



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:19 am

resullivan wrote:
Stan Pope wrote: WOW! What else do your district's best performers buy?
Can't speak for all of us, but for me: Drill press, bench sander, scroll saw, files, sand paper, paint, dremel, bits, polishes, oils, graphite, and on and on. You know the first thing I did with the bench sander I bought? I took it to a district work shop at the scout store. It had never even been plugged in. I had to buy a new belt for it before I even got to use it.

Thanks for insinuating that we cheat. It is ok though, I am used to it. We get a lot of people that can't figure out to win themselves, so they call others cheaters and try and come up with crazy rules to "level the playing field."
Whoa! No such insinuation is present or intended.

The items in your list that are not in line with the cost of the kit are tools that are multiple use and shareable. As you show, access to these tools does not require buying them. Absent organized workshops, these are usually also available through friends.

To rephrase the question: What else do your district's best performers buy that gets consumed in the current year's build? (Keep in mind the "new work" provision present in most district's rule set.)


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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by resullivan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:28 am

Speaking for myself the list includes:

Tungsten (lasts multiple years)
4 kits
Ink Jet decal paper (lasts multiple years)
Clear for the decal paper (lasts multiple years)
Clear for the car
paint
Oil for outlaw, graphite for scout (lasts multiple years)
Axle polishing kit (lasts multiple years)
Special polishes for axles (lasts multiple years)
Special polishes for wheels (lasts multiple years)
Balsa
Birchwood



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Speedster » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:31 am

2nd place finisher - Tungsten. 3rd place finisher - Lead Rod.
I truly did not know any scout District allowed lathed wheels. I'm referring to lightened wheels, flat tread, outer step removed. I see Topspin. D's pack apparently allows them. Does your District allow purchased 1 gram wheels in your scout race? Vendors wheels, axles, tungsten. Those are some very expensive cars.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by resullivan » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:46 am

Our district does not allow parts resold by 3rd parties; however, how do you inspect for that? Our rules only say that the tread has to be flat (no U or V cut wheels) and that the decrotive beads must remain visible.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by knotthed » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:50 am

Stan Pope wrote:Second, I don't like to sacrifice my car from last year in order to build my car for this year.
Stan, if you would change your building techniques, you would not have to sacrifice your car. You would merely be using just a little more tape that you already have too much of from your purchase anyway.



For everyone else, I would not put too much stock in purchased wheels unless you can inspect them. They are not all created equal. I purchased a name brand set of wheels and the runout was worse than some out of the box wheels. Name brand wheels had up to .0035" runout on them - pitiful in my opinion.

I have purchased other brands of wheels that were substantially better. We have turned our own and had very good results, much better than the bought ones listed above.

I have inspected out of the box wheels with less than .00075" runout - pretty darn good with the purchased wheels mentioned above being 4x worse. Those purchased wheels are so bad, that I intend to contact the manufacturer and request an exchange or refund.

As with most things in life, if you want it done right and you have the proper tools for the job - do it yourself!

I sure wish you would consider my suggestion of not modifying the axles or wheels, because that stock class would really cut down on our build times. We could just slap it together.

If you are serious about making this change, I would suggest that you explain why you want to add the rule and poll each and every pack in your district, for a yes or no. Then let the chips fall where they may.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:43 pm

resullivan wrote:Speaking for myself the list includes:

Tungsten (lasts multiple years)
4 kits
Ink Jet decal paper (lasts multiple years)
...
Birchwood
Your original statement re "I don't know what it takes to be competitive in your district, but in ours the $20 of tungsten is the least of our costs." led me to believe that others in your district were putting large $ into other consumables, too.
Of the items you list, I don't think any prorate to nearly the cost of 4 oz of tungsten.

Our rules do prohibit reuse of parts from prior years ... the common "new work" provision. With the teams that ask for my help, I abide by that rule... new wood, new wheels, new axles, new ballast. But I don't know how to inspect for that on race day. If your rules permit reuse of parts, then you can, indeed, cut your long-term costs ethically by pulling ballast, wheels, and axles from last year's cars to be part of the current year's build.

The "new work" provision is an aspect of our rules that I have not (yet) tried to get revised.
Speedster wrote:2nd place finisher - Tungsten. 3rd place finisher - Lead Rod.
I truly did not know any scout District allowed lathed wheels. I'm referring to lightened wheels, flat tread, outer step removed. I see Topspin. D's pack apparently allows them. Does your District allow purchased 1 gram wheels in your scout race? Vendors wheels, axles, tungsten. Those are some very expensive cars.
The term "lathed wheels" is misleading, then. Few, to my knowledge, allow "lightened" wheels, but Wotamalo does not try to define "lightened". Instead, we specify what wheel surfaces can be worked and, in the case of tread, the depth (by reference to the "decorative bead" and shape. The result is that the only 3rd party wheels that pass have minimal tread removal. Legal wheels will weigh in the neighborhood of 2.4 or 2.5 grams.
resullivan wrote:Our district does not allow parts resold by 3rd parties; however, how do you inspect for that? Our rules only say that the tread has to be flat (no U or V cut wheels) and that the decrotive beads must remain visible.
Wotamalo rules include the same specs, but no mention of 3rd party product, since we don't know how to inspect for that either.


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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:14 pm

knotthed wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Second, I don't like to sacrifice my car from last year in order to build my car for this year.
Stan, if you would change your building techniques, you would not have to sacrifice your car. You would merely be using just a little more tape that you already have too much of from your purchase anyway.
Given our "new work" rule, reuse is not ethical.
knotthed wrote:For everyone else, I would not put too much stock in purchased wheels unless you can inspect them. They are not all created equal. I purchased a name brand set of wheels and the runout was worse than some out of the box wheels. Name brand wheels had up to .0035" runout on them - pitiful in my opinion.

I have purchased other brands of wheels that were substantially better. We have turned our own and had very good results, much better than the bought ones listed above.

I have inspected out of the box wheels with less than .00075" runout - pretty darn good with the purchased wheels mentioned above being 4x worse. Those purchased wheels are so bad, that I intend to contact the manufacturer and request an exchange or refund.

As with most things in life, if you want it done right and you have the proper tools for the job - do it yourself!
I have measured only a few sets of 3rd party wheels over the years. About 20 years ago, I looked in detail at a set of Hodge's wheels that satisfied our wheel rules and found them to have excellent run-out, i.e. much less than 0.001" (no observable deflection of a 0.001" gage needle. Sadly, when I purchased various sets of 3rd party wheels a few years ago for our inspectors to use as reference, I did not take time to measure them.
knotthed wrote:I sure wish you would consider my suggestion of not modifying the axles or wheels, because that stock class would really cut down on our build times. We could just slap it together.
I think that is for another thread.
knotthed wrote: If you are serious about making this change, I would suggest that you explain why you want to add the rule and poll each and every pack in your district, for a yes or no. Then let the chips fall where they may.
... which is why I bring it idea to this august panel first! :)


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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:22 pm

knotthed wrote:Stan, if you would change your building techniques, you would not have to sacrifice your car. You would merely be using just a little more tape...
It depends on how one defines "sacrifice". If the ballast is removed, the car becomes a decorative shell, useless for competition. Certainly one could not race last year's car against this year's car, which is useful for gauging improvement. (And if one tried to replace the ballast later, there is no guarantee that the car would have the same race characteristics.)

Ultimately, it is the child's car, not Stan's, or the adult's. It may not be reasonable to presume that the design choices of children always promote the easy transfer of ballast, or that every child would be willing to render last year's car defunct.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by knotthed » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:20 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Our rules do prohibit reuse of parts from prior years ... the common "new work" provision. With the teams that ask for my help, I abide by that rule... new wood, new wheels, new axles, new ballast. But I don't know how to inspect for that on race day. If your rules permit reuse of parts, then you can, indeed, cut your long-term costs ethically by pulling ballast, wheels, and axles from last year's cars to be part of the current year's build.

The "new work" provision is an aspect of our rules that I have not (yet) tried to get revised.

Stan Pope wrote:Given our "new work" rule, reuse is not ethical.
I find it hard to believe that re-using the "weight/ballast/Tungsten" would qualify as a breach of the "new work" provision. :wall: If it does, you should immediately change that rule or interpretation. No wonder - you thought you had to buy 20 ounces of Tungsten to get a scout thru the PWD............. :scratching:

Using the same body or wheels or axles would however qualify in my book as a violation of the "new work" policy.

Are you mining your lead from a local gun range and processing it? For it to be considered work? :thinking: Cmon.

Now with that being said..............................................................
Stan Pope wrote:I abide by that rule... new wood, new wheels, new axles, new ballast. But I don't know how to inspect for that on race day.
This is what get's my goat Stan! You may remember my comment from an earlier response............There should not be uninspectable rules! Period!

Uninspectable rules typically favor the unethical........................A great reason not to have them in the first place!



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by knotthed » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:21 pm

Fat Sebastian wrote:It depends on how one defines "sacrifice". If the ballast is removed, the car becomes a decorative shell, useless for competition. Certainly one could not race last year's car against this year's car, which is useful for gauging improvement. (And if one tried to replace the ballast later, there is no guarantee that the car would have the same race characteristics.)

Ultimately, it is the child's car, not Stan's, or the adult's. It may not be reasonable to presume that the design choices of children always promote the easy transfer of ballast, or that every child would be willing to render last year's car defunct.
As the race coordinator for the last 3 years, I have yet to have any scout or parent race last years car against their current year. A great exercise for them though if they are interested. I do however keep track of and make sure that the overall group is improving from year to year and 90+ percent of them are - even without racing against their last years car. We use a timer and GPRM.

Reusing ballast would be a great way to help enforce the "new work" rule.

Fat Sebastian wrote:Ultimately, it is the child's car, not Stan's, or the adult's. It may not be reasonable to presume that the design choices of children always promote the easy transfer of ballast, or that every child would be willing to render last year's car defunct.
Isn' this where the mentoring part comes in from the adult? :scratching: A child may want to design a car that exceeds the length limit, wouldn't you tell them that they cannot do that because................and offer some other possibilities?



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by FatSebastian » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:27 pm

knotthed wrote:As the race coordinator for the last 3 years, I have yet to have any scout or parent race last years car against their current year.
DT is a valuable resource because its collective information greatly exceeds what any individual might experience first hand, even after years of experience. One can find lots of examples of DTers racing their old cars against their new cars to get a sense of how much they are improving, especially people with their own test tracks lacking a timer... from this post by NSF just two days ago, to the way Sporty operated five years ago.
knotthed wrote:I do however keep track of and make sure that the overall group is improving from year to year...
:clap: Great! But... I was referring to children as individuals and not the "the overall group". Individual information about last year's track performance would not benefit the individual builder this year unless that individual was granted access to the Pack's track and timer during the build process for tuning purposes, and many units simply don't allow tuning on the official track and timer before the race.
knotthed wrote:A child may want to design a car that exceeds the length limit, wouldn't you tell them that they cannot...?
:roll: Because removable ballast is not required to pass inspection, this hypothetical seems like a straw-man. Regardless of the perceived economic benefits of recycling ballast, there still exists valid reasons for not wanting to force a child to do it.

Stan's original motivation was "to avoid suggesting something that would reduce participation." This was posed more than one year ago, and revived only recently. I am not sure how much recent discussion is addressing the original concern.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by knotthed » Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:37 am

Fat Sebastian wrote:I am not sure how much recent discussion is addressing the original concern.
FS, all of the rules are interrelated as the system(the car) has to work together to perform it's best.

I think there has been some very valuable information come out of this discussion.

Like, Uninspectable rules are not worth having beacuse they only favor the unethical.

Unclear or ambiguous rules without clear inspection procedures only benefit the risk takers or those "in the know".

The consensus seems to be that the race outcomes will still be the same.

Does reusing weight violate the "new work" clause?
I helped a family(from work) that participated in Awana race at their church, I reccommended Tungsten and various other plans of attack. They were reluctant of tungsten due to the cost, but in the end came up with a design and plan that they could reuse it and so they did for 2 or 3 years, winning all of those years.

Maybe people in Stans district are shying away from Tungsten because they think they have to buy it every year? Wanna make it super easy to reuse....use a Tungsten Canopy! You drill one hole in the car for it and add a little cloth carpet tape - you will need some sort of prybar to remove it.

Sorry all for the digresion away from Stan's original topic below here, but I feel like I need to respond to FS's comments.
For the record, everyone(Children as Individuals - aka the group) are given the race results information with their times(or at least their parents get it). Our track is open the day before the race for at least 3 hours and an hour before the race the next day.

No one is saying that DT is not a valuable resource, I was merely stating that people in my unit were not doing what you think is so important(keeping the ballast in last years car for comparison testing). If we did not have a timer, we would likely use that approach. That said....timers can and will vary with track setup.



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