Strange derby this year!

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PeterT
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Strange derby this year!

Post by PeterT » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:49 pm

Thought I'd share a few notes from the strangest derby in seven years I've been involved:

This was the FIRST YEAR we had a den where every single cub showed up. We have a fairly big Pack and that's never happened in Pack memory (which admittedly is at best 4-10 years). We had Derby patches left over form a prior year so on the spot made a decision to award them to that entire den for participation!

Our Judge broke for the first time! We had a particularly tall test car which just barely touched the underside of our Judge and snapped the emitter diode off. FYI: I've already been in touch with the company - a) they are willing to fix it very cheaply b) he redesigned the Judge in 2005 so this cannot happen if you have a Judge 2005 or newer (ours is from 1999).

On a related note, Grand Prix Race Manager handled this fantastically well - it was easy to tell it to disregard that one lane and run all of the races with the remaining lanes. Disaster averted!

We had a car show up with WD40 on the wheels (based on that smell yuck). That's a new one to me. We are black graphite only since that is the rule at our district races. Only DQ I ever have done.

First time we had a car with solid axles. Luckily we had spares so they swapped out.

First time we had a car which appeared to be an "eBay" car.

One thing didn't change - we had TONS of very happy cubs! Lots of smiles, and some really great expressions when they won races, design awards, etc.

And as always we had some great designs.



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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by Speedster » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:52 am

PeterT, you make me smile. I Love the guy with the solid axles. He obviously wasn't trying to cheat. There has got to be a great story behind why he used solid axles. Did he have a story?



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PeterT
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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by PeterT » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:57 pm

There was a longer (and slightly sad) story. Ultimately he had to go get a kit and went to a hobby store and got a "Pine Car" kit. I've seen these in stores, and we are clear to parents that they are not allowed, however he was NOT at that meeting and didn't read the rules carefully enough. Based on conversations I truly believe he was trying his best in a challenging situation.

In any event, he claimed those were the axles which came with that Pine Car kit. Since we've never opened one of those kits before I have no idea, but sounded plausible -and the wheels were the open spoke type with "Pine Car" branding. He seemed quite happy and fine with switching to the correct wheels, and I'm not going to begrudge a slightly different base block of wood being used if everything else is normal.

We had a bunch of Boy Scouts helping out, and one of them helped replace the wheels. In the end, it was a great experience for all.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by Darin McGrew » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:06 am

PeterT wrote:In any event, he claimed those were the axles which came with that Pine Car kit. Since we've never opened one of those kits before I have no idea, but sounded plausible -and the wheels were the open spoke type with "Pine Car" branding. He seemed quite happy and fine with switching to the correct wheels, and I'm not going to begrudge a slightly different base block of wood being used if everything else is normal.
That does sound like the Pine Car wheels and axles. I'm not a fan.

But when we've had kids show up with cars made from the wrong kit, we've done pretty much the same thing. We don't worry about the block coming from the wrong kit, but we do hand them a spare set of wheels and axles (we get extras with each box of kits, and have plenty) and direct them to the "pit crew" table for help prepping and installing them.



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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by resullivan » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:11 am

One year we had a scout showed up with those axles. Believe it or not it passed inspection! I pointed it out and helped them change the wheels and axles that I had in my tool box. I am curious about what you did about the suposed ebay car and how well that car did in the race if it did race.



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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by FatSebastian » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:45 am

resullivan wrote:I am curious about what you did about the supposed ebay car...
See this topic.



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PeterT
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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by PeterT » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:34 pm

See other thread: http://www.derbytalk.com/viewtopic.php? ... 335#p71335" target="_blank

It raced, but was damaged (mostly by the parent) in the process of trying to pass inspections. It did not place - even at the den level. However the cub did come away with a den-level second or third place design award.

"Suspected" since we could not find the completed/sold auction, but the dad did admit that neither he nor the Cub were involved in building it. Claimed "his buddy" did it.

Technically it should have failed inspections, however we always try to look for the greater good. Once it became apparent it was unlikely to win anything big in speed, and the parent swapped out the one wheel which was possible to remove, we let it go through. Inspection approval can sometimes be a balancing act.

As stated above this was the only year we 100% disqualified a car - the one with WD40 lubrication. I don't want to experiment with what that would do when mixed with the loose graphite which invariably drops on the track. They were given the opportunity (with Boy Scout assistance) to swap wheels but declined. Oh well, all for the greater good.



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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by TXDerbyDad » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:49 pm

PeterT wrote: Technically it should have failed inspections, however we always try to look for the greater good. Once it became apparent it was unlikely to win anything big in speed, and the parent swapped out the one wheel which was possible to remove, we let it go through. Inspection approval can sometimes be a balancing act.
Good on you, Peter. It is a very fine line. We never want to penalize a boy, because this is supposed to be fun, but we never want to let something that doesn't pass muster race either. We too keep extra supplies on hand for just such occasions.
As stated above this was the only year we 100% disqualified a car - the one with WD40 lubrication. I don't want to experiment with what that would do when mixed with the loose graphite which invariably drops on the track. They were given the opportunity (with Boy Scout assistance) to swap wheels but declined. Oh well, all for the greater good.
That's tough. I wonder why they didn't want to change them out? How did the Cub Scout take it?



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PeterT
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Re: Strange derby this year!

Post by PeterT » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:36 pm

Just to clarify: the Boy Scout helping in the work area was unable to get the existing wheels out and they took off after a few failed tries. There was some clear glue on the axles - I'm guessing epoxy and all four axles were clearly visible through the glue. No adult was given the chance to help before they bailed, and unfortunately I was too distracted by the "suspect" car to catch them before they left the facility. I exchanged emails later that night offering to do the work of swapping the wheels however they gracefully declined.

I didn't get a strong vibe one way or the other from either parent or Cub. I personally do not think they were trying to pull anything.



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