Need rules for for District race

General race coordinator discussions.
Sylvar
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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Sylvar » Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:55 pm

Randy, Thanks for pointing out the missing "No toxic materials" rule. That was in an earlier version, but I must have pasted something over it.

I had a question about that wording to throw out to the group...."No toxic materials" is vague. It could be read to include lead weight or even some plastics. Should I just specify "No Mercury"? Are there any other toxic substances that deserve to be singled out?

Springs...It is not my intention to specificly ban flex cars, but how do you allow them with out also allowing other suspension systems. I am open to suggestions! I agree that if someone brings a flex car, someone else will surely argue that it is a wooden spring.



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:14 pm

Sylvar wrote:On your last point...I honestly hadn't considered that possible problem as our start pins are taller than the maximum allowable car height. I have no clue how tall the start pins will be on the tracks that will be used at the district race. They might all be different. Any suggestions on how this might be worded to avoid conflict?
In our "must fit the track" rule, we include a maximum overall height (fits under the finish gate) and a maximum height for the nose of the car (below the top of the starting pins). If your starting pins are longer than your maximum height, then the only issue is whether any part of the car projects around the sides of the starting pin, which is less controversial. Perhaps you could just mention that the starting pin is perpendicular to the track surface and centered in the lane.



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:21 pm

Sylvar wrote:Springs...It is not my intention to specificly ban flex cars, but how do you allow them with out also allowing other suspension systems. I am open to suggestions! I agree that if someone brings a flex car, someone else will surely argue that it is a wooden spring.
We deal with it by limiting what can be added to the original kit: adhesives, decorations, weights, and lubricants.

Since they can't reshape the axles or wheels, all that's left is the block. So if they can make a spring (or for that matter, any other starting device, suspension mechanism, propulsion device, etc.) using only the wood block, then it's legal. But it can't rely on any added material, because then that material is no longer an acceptable addition.



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by davekelly » Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:59 pm

Good point that lead may be considered a toxic substance.

You already have a rules that could cover mercury and other such substances if expanded. You already have:

8. Gravity Powered: The car must be freewheeling, with no starting devices. The race car may not be constructed or treated in such a way that the track's starting mechanism imparts momentum to the car. (For instance, this provision disqualifies cars with sticky substances on the front of the car and protrusions which may catch on the starting pin.)

How about.

"Nor can the car included devises or substances that through its movement could impact momentum to the car (ie: mercury, liquid, moving weights etc)."

I would also include magnets to the "track's starting mechanism" clause.


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by davekelly » Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:03 pm

You might also want to consider a rule that would prohibit cars that have wet paint on them.

Although I've never seen a car that showed up with wet paint, I can imagine what kind of mess that could make.

You may want to consider brining one of those heat guns or a high power blow dryer so that if someone has a car with wet paint on race day, it can be addressed and hopefully fixed.


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Sylvar » Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:04 pm

Oh No! Its Official....I am now a Pinehead....Says so beside my name :D

Now back to our regularly scheduled rules discussion....

For now I have decided to just ban Mercury. Here:

8.Decorations and Weights. Details such as the steering wheel, driver, decals, painting, and interior detail are permissible as long as these details do not exceed the maximum length, width, and weight specifications. All All decorations and weights must be securely fastened to the car. All paint must be completely dry. Liquid weights are not permitted (NO MERCURY!)


I think the "Gravity Powered" rule is worded such that magnets are banned on a track with start pins that are ferrous. On with any other start pins all they have done is needlessly added weight to the front. Not to mention how they might effect the car every time you rolled over a screw or nail in the track!


the Spring rule is still a problem. As I was typing this I discussed the spring/flex car problem with my with my wife. We talked about WHAT a spring was and WHAT a suspension system was. We talked about banning metal springs, then banning metal and plastic springs. All the while I am thinking of way around the rule (cellulose sponge as a suspension system in the last case).Finally she said "Is the purpose of using a spring in the car the same as doing that? (pointing to my flex car sketch.) The answer is yes. And she said "Then why is that legal and springs aren't?" I had no answer. Thoughts out there?



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by RMoose » Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:17 pm

Sylvar wrote:6. Springing. The car shall not ride on any type of springs.
I'm not sure this rule as written would actually ban a flex-design. It prohibits the car from riding on a spring, but it doesn't say the car itself can't be a spring. In all the flex designs I have seen the car body itself is the spring mechanism, not something attached between the axles and the car body. Would that interpretation solve the flex car problem for you?

On the subject of mercury, our rules ban all liquid metals, although I can't think of any other readily available ones!


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by davekelly » Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:47 pm

Good point. The car is the spring, no springs are added. Another thought would be to say that the axles must be rigidly attached to the car body. Thus, you can add all the metal springs you wanted to and it wouldn't make a difference. This would also prevent an axle from accidently working its way out of a car and ruining a good heat for that car. A flex car design would still be allowed.

I just noticed that I'm a pinehead too!!!!! I knew this would happen!!!!! Why isn't there a warning on this site!!!!!!

Seriously. I can't tell everyone here enough how much I've learned from reading the posts here. What is really cool, though is how many of you get the biggest enjoyment in this hobby/sport from working with the boys, either yours or others and giving them not only your wisdom of how to build a car, but also teaching them things like fairness, doing the right thing, sportsmanship, pride in a job well done etc etc. You know . . . the important things in life!


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Sylvar » Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:49 am

Ok, so how about we drop the springing rule and insert a clause in the Wheels ans axles section that says Axles must be firmly mounted into the wood of the body?



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:14 am

You might find the approach that I took to be useful ... My district's rules include specs for the cars, for the tracks, and for the competition. They are supplemented by a suggested inspection procedure (which is what the district inspectors will follow), and by a Q&A document that is not frozen ... new questions and answers are added as they are asked and answered, right up to race day.

THe rules and inspection procedure are "locked in" early.

The value of the inspection and Q&A is that they tell how the rules are interpreted. You can see last year's stuff at http://www.wotamalo.org/pwderby.htm. With the internet available at most public libraries, there is little excuse for anyone to not see "the latest."


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by davekelly » Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:20 am

As always, excellent work Stan. Although the rules don't match the one's we use, your rules are very complete and leave little open for debate. I like your idea of having a FAQ section on your website.


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Sylvar » Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:50 am

Stan,
I did find your approach most useful! If you read through the rule set I posted you will find many a well crafted turn of phrase that I lifted from your rules. Thanks for pointing me towards your FAQ's. The last one directly relates to the flex car question I have been trying to answer.



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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by gpraceman » Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:52 am

Adding material (other than glue and solid passive weight) to the wood of the body to increase damping is not permitted.
Stan,

I have got to wonder about this prohibition. A simple use of double sided foam tape would be a readily available means for any racer to provide a little weight dampening. The graduated lead strip weights we have used come with this type of tape already affixed. You can easliy cut off just how much you need, peel and stick. The adhesive is really strong, so the weights will not fall off.

This solution takes little skill and is something that is readily available (the foam tape itself or the lead graduated weights with the foam tape) to racers, so I cannot see a reason to prohibit it.


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Stan Pope
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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Oct 14, 2004 12:18 pm

gpraceman wrote:
Adding material (other than glue and solid passive weight) to the wood of the body to increase damping is not permitted.
Stan,

I have got to wonder about this prohibition. A simple use of double sided foam tape would be a readily available means for any racer to provide a little weight dampening. The graduated lead strip weights we have used come with this type of tape already affixed. You can easliy cut off just how much you need, peel and stick. The adhesive is really strong, so the weights will not fall off.

This solution takes little skill and is something that is readily available (the foam tape itself or the lead graduated weights with the foam tape) to racers, so I cannot see a reason to prohibit it.
IIRC, this arises from prohibition of "taping on" the weights.

"Good scouts" would not even consider applying such a weight to a car after the weigh in or during the racing, and the rule protects them against the "bad apple" who might. (Our scouts are the only ones to hendle their cars between inspection and completion of racing.)

Another aspect is that the inspection judges should not have to evalutate whether a specific tape choice is secure enough or not. Insecure attachments create a hazard for the other cars on the track. The inspection team is pushed pretty hard as it is, getting through 300 to 400 cars during the morning. :)

I think that foam tape would probably be okay in our rules if the weight were otherwise constrained, e.g. a hole through the weight with a screw through the hole in a way that the screw does not touch the weight unless the adhesive were to give way.

I think that in other racing environments, such foam tape might well be okay.


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Re: Need rules for for District race

Post by brownboy » Thu Jan 13, 2005 1:56 pm

Hey Stan with you approval I plan on using your Districts rules as a template for making some long overdue changes to my own districts mostly unwritten rules. I would be happy to credit your district if you so desire.



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