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 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:27 am

knotthed wrote:
Fat Sebastian wrote:I am not sure how much recent discussion is addressing the original concern.
I think there has been some very valuable information come out of this discussion.
I apologize for the miscommunication. Although some discussion seems insightful, some is also hyperbolic and it remains unclear how much of it is usefully addressing the original concern. (Similar insights about rules can be gleaned from other dedicated topics of which I suppose Stan is aware.)
knotthed wrote: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.
:/ Another straw-man? The AWANA race is not subject to Watamalo District rules. Even if some people are willing to recycle ballast, district rules cannot be crafted under an assumption that every racer is willing to dismantle prior work.
knotthed wrote:Wanna make it super easy to reuse....use a Tungsten Canopy!
Is a tungsten canopy always more competitive than using, say, lead? :idk: As mentioned before, regardless of the perceived economic benefits of recycling ballast, there still exists valid (non-economic) reasons for not wanting to force a child to do it.
knotthed wrote:Our track is open the day before the race for at least 3 hours and an hour before the race the next day.
:clap: Great! But... as mentioned before, it is reasonable to assume that many Watamalo units don't allow tuning on the official track and timer before the race.
knotthed wrote:No one is saying that DT is not a valuable resource
:/ Another straw-man? (No one said that someone said that DT is not a valuable resource.)
knotthed wrote:...people in my unit were not doing what you think is so important...
:scratching: I don't believe I qualified my thinking as to its importance, but merely pointed out that some DTers find the technique useful. Thus, it is not outside the realm of possibility that some within the Watamalo District may want to keep their old cars intact for reasons unrelated to economy.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by knotthed » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:19 am

:surrender:

You win FS my head is sore from :wall:



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:43 am

knotthed wrote::surrender:
In the quest for knowledge, the only losers are those who are not there.

Thanks for participating.


Stan
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Darin McGrew
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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Darin McGrew » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:16 pm

knotthed wrote:Like, Uninspectable rules are not worth having beacuse they only favor the unethical.
Or perhaps, larger regional/district/council derbies are not worth having because you don't know all the participants personally and you have to inspect for EVERYTHING, including eBay cars, commercially prepared wheels and axles, reuse of previous championship cars, and even the reuse of parts from past years' cars.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by FatSebastian » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:59 am

Darin McGrew wrote:
knotthed wrote:Like, Uninspectable rules are not worth having beacuse they only favor the unethical.
Or perhaps, larger regional/district/council derbies are not worth having...
I appreciate the sarcasm in Darin's reply, and point others to this topic which is dedicated to various "unenforacable" rules and their purposes (which in turn, points to examples where regional derbies have been cancelled because such have become overly competitive or had issues with rules enforcement).



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Darin McGrew » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:21 am

FatSebastian wrote:
Darin McGrew wrote:Or perhaps, larger regional/district/council derbies are not worth having...
I appreciate the sarcasm in Darin's reply, and point others to this topic which is dedicated to various "unenforacable" rules and their purposes (which in turn, points to examples where regional derbies have been cancelled because such have become overly competitive or had issues with rules enforcement).
Well, to be honest, it's only half sarcasm. Threads like this haven't exactly encouraged me to promote regional derbies. At times, they seem to have as much to do with the True Purpose™ of a derby as the league races do.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:02 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:Threads like this haven't exactly encouraged me to promote regional derbies. At times, they seem to have as much to do with the True Purpose™ of a derby as the league races do.
Interesting comment. Please expound.


(How 'bout those Cardinals?!)


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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Speedster » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:52 pm

If I have my history correct, the Pinewood Derby was patterned after the Soap Box Derby. Get your wheels and axles from Chevrolet, build a car with your team, and Do Your Best to try to win a race coasting down a hill. From all the pictures I've seen so far of the 1st Pinewood Derby all the cars look like the cars that raced in the 1953 Indianapolis 500 race. The same is basically true today. Indy cars and Derby cars are now very sleek and aerodynamic. My scout teams attitude and League racers attitude are the same. We both use knowledge we have acquired and Do Our Best to build the fastest cars we can to try to win a race. Win or Lose, it doesn't matter, we know we've done our best. Congratulations to the scout who does take 1st place. He didn't get there by accident and I'm the first one to congratulate him. League racers are simply men and women enjoying a hobby. I see no difference in that hobby then racing Radio Controlled cars, airplanes, etc. I many times get the feeling League racers are looked down on as though they are evil. What is it they do that is so wrong? I have enjoyed Derbytalk for the past 2 years. Most of the Topics are about making a car go fast and I will be forever thankful for that.
Yours in Going Downhill Fast,
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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:17 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
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.
I've never had to "sacrifice" a car to remove its tungsten. What I have are weight areas that no longer have their cubes or a hole where the canopy was placed, but each car is still nicely packed away in ziploc bags and placed a box, waiting for the days I can give them to the boys when they don't destroy everything they touch. :pray:

To restore any car would be a simple process. To race them all at the same time would indeed be an uncomfortable outlay of cash.
Last edited by TXDerbyDad on Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:46 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
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 that you already have too much of from your purchase anyway.
Given our "new work" rule, reuse is not ethical.
What are the specifics of your new work rule? What other consumables are you requiring people to buy new each race season?

I certainly don't agree that reuse of ballast from year to year is unethical. What is the purpose of your new work rule? Ours is to keep Scouts from reusing a car from previous race seasons. While I would balk at reusing previous year's axles and wheels, because work is supposed to be involved in prepping them, I do not feel the same way about ballast. We didn't make the tungsten cubes/canopies. We didn't prep them in any way. If we buy new this season, it will be for all measurable purposes identical to the cubes and canopies we used last season.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:54 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
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.)
There is no guarantee that a car would have the same characteristics over time, unless we've found a way to stop entropy. You can protect against degradation, possibly, but you cannot guarantee.
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.
A child might not be willing to build within the rules either, but we impose those upon them. My kids know up front that if they want to be competitive they will be reusing ballast from last year because we purchased it with the understanding that we'd be amortizing the cost over their Cub Scout careers. They also know that at any time they can build the exact car they want with my blessing and full support, so I don't dictate their design choices beyond teaching them what gives them the best shot at doing their best. I build my own car to perform as well as possible, and they mostly follow my lead, but again that is their choice and not something I tell them to do.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by TXDerbyDad » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:59 pm

FatSebastian wrote:
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.
If we think buying "expensive ballast" is economically prohibitive, which seems to be the purpose for changing the wheelbase rule, building/buying a track to race last year's car against this years car, either a 2 lane without a timer or a single lane with a timer, is a significant cash outlay that exceeds 4 years of tungsten for a car. I'm not sure how this is relevant. :scratching:



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Darin McGrew » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:12 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
Darin McGrew wrote:Threads like this haven't exactly encouraged me to promote regional derbies. At times, they seem to have as much to do with the True Purpose™ of a derby as the league races do.
Interesting comment. Please expound.
To me, the True Purpose™ of a derby is the father-son (or adult-child) relationship, combined with lessons in craftsmanship and sportsmanship. It is not (or at least, it shouldn't be) an exercise in buying the fastest car or in buying the best components.

League races are all about winning, with craftsmanship valued only as it contributes to winning, and no emphasis on the father-son (or adult-child) relationship. And at times, regional derbies seem to be all about winning, too.

Yes, regional derbies can encourage participation in local derbies, and thereby contribute to the True Purpose™ of a derby. And regional derbies can allow fathers and sons in smaller units (i.e., those without their own local derbies) to experience a derby together, and thereby contribute to the True Purpose™ of a derby. And there may be other ways that regional derbies can contribute to the True Purpose™ of a derby.

But it doesn't always look like that when I'm reading threads like this one.
Stan Pope wrote:(How 'bout those Cardinals?!)
I don't really follow the Cardinal, or any of the Cardinals. But my wife says the Sharks are doing well... ;)



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by FatSebastian » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:32 pm

TXDerbyDad wrote:If we think buying "expensive ballast" is economically prohibitive... I'm not sure how this is relevant.
You are correct that the cost of tungsten was not relevant to the point I was making. The degree to which "expensive ballast" is economically prohibitive is an issue I left to others. The price of tungsten has not prohibited us from using it, but that is not to say that tungsten is not cost-prohibitive for somebody else. When crafting regional rules, one must consider a broad range of personal circumstances. My point was that "regardless of the perceived economic benefits of recycling ballast, there still exists valid reasons for not wanting to force a child to do it." That is to say, it seems reasonable for rule-makers to assume that some people cannot / will not dismantle their old cars, regardless of economics.
TXDerbyDad wrote:...a significant cash outlay that exceeds 4 years of tungsten for a car.
Perhaps the expense of a practice track can be justified from money "saved" by not having used "expensive ballast"? Which is to say, people usually have a limited budget on what they can invest in derby-related items, and some will choose to prioritize those expenses differently. (IMO, a family will get a lot more value - and fun - out of derby if limited money is used toward a homemade track.)

Personally, I refuse to salvage previously raced cars as a matter of principle: having competed, the car becomes the child's trophy and it is not mine to suggest dismantling. I respect that others have different feelings, but I also know that we are not alone in this approach. We resisted using tungsten for a long time because of its cost even when we had our own (cheap homemade) practice track; when one is unwilling to recycle, tungsten gets particularly expensive if one has several children competing at the same time.



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Re: Request for Analysis of Proposed Wheel Base Rule Change

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:34 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:But it doesn't always look like that when I'm reading threads like this one.
Is your concern with the idea of considering a different rule set that de-emphasizes design aspects that require expensive materials in order be competitive? Or something in the responses to the idea?

re "Cardinal" (singular) ... as I was typing, they had just finished an upset victory that put them into the Sweet Sixteen. Recalling your association to the school, I had to ask. :)


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