Thoughts on rule interpretation....

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Gtdhw
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Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Gtdhw » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:36 am

Had an interesting chat with our Scoutmaster at this weeks meeting. 2 things I found very interesting to say the least...

1) How would you interpret this rule pertaining to an extended wheelbase & axle holes? Turns out, our SM saw some of my FB pics of my tiger building his car this year. He gave me a slight look away, with a "yeah, about that..." comment. He noted that our "extended wheelbase" wasn't exactly rule compliant. I was shocked! I was like "What? We've built our cars this way for the last two years (same pack), and it's completely within the rules, from what I read, and I've read them over and over." He points to the handout paper, and says "da, da, da,.....then points to the url on the page under "full rules can be found here". I immediately go the url/rule page, and below is the complete rule. After reading/showing him the rule, the SM and his assistant agree, that "Well, we figured it was pretty clear that we meant that the original axle slots have to be used". I read the rule, as it's written, word for word. I see no mention of the word "slots", and I also see the mention of the word "holes", which there are no "axle holes" unless we put them in. I really thought that it was rather obvious that the rule allowed for extended wheelbase and axle "holes", and pointed out that we've built the last two year's cars like this. He replies with "Yeah, we kinda looked the other way on those.". I'm mildly upset underneath by this time, and feel like we were considered cheaters, all while priding ourselves in being/building 100% rule compliant. What's your guys' thoughts/How do you read it?

2) We had a conversation about this as well. It was the same meeting where they passsed out the cars to the scouts. I point out the no RR rule, along with the bent axle rule. They confirm that there will be no "Rail Riding" of any sort (no center rail track). Since we are all very friendly towards each other, I point out the issue in this rule, and tell them our intentions. I poured out the contents of our bsa box, and show them that there are two "not straight" axles. I tell them that we plan on using the "worst" of the factory axles that we can, for the front wheels, and that we are going to tune the car with those axles to get the best steering that we can. I get told flat out "yeah, there is no steering or RR'ing allowed, at all". I point out that we could take the time to straighten all axles, and do our best to tune "straight as possible", but the scout next to us, who just put his car together, could luck into a car that steers into an outer rail, purely by chance, and we are instantly at a dis-advantage. I asked what would happen in that case (scoutmaster helper was also in convo, and is the official starter every year). His reply was "well, if I see a competitive car, I will be watching for it riding a rail. If it does, then we will take some pliers and turn the front axles, until it doesn't" ( this was immediately after he made a comment/suggestion about rubbing the outer rails with graphite to help raise the track speeds). I'm still quite not sure what to make of this, and am really at a loss on what to do. I mean, naturally, we will be tuning for 100% straight now, but I'm not liking it one bit.



4. Wheels and Axles: The wheel width and diameter must remain the same. Minor truing to the outside of the wheel is acceptable as long as the overall wheel profile is not changed. In other words, you may lightly sand the wheels to get rid of plastic imperfections, but do not alter the wheel’s overall profile. The same applies to the axles. Modifying the wheel base is acceptable as long the original wood is used for the axle holes. The axles may not be bent. All four wheels must touch the track evenly and turn freely. Rail-riding is not permitted.


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whodathunkit
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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:54 am

Here is a thought!
1956-1977 kit type cars.
Use the block issued by cutting the block in half. . Thinner on the bottom where the axle notches are.
Use the top half to relocate the axles
Like the older kit types.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:54 am

I'm just gonna say it: Those are bad rules.

I have never understood the mindset of race organizers that feel the need to put artificial constraints onto builder creativity. The idea of a race official bending the axle of a car just because it was riding into the rail is, frankly, horrifying to me. I can't help but think of that story by Ray Bradbury in which everybody in society had to be made equal, so the strong people were forced to wear heavy weights, and the smart people were forced to wear headphones that constantly disrupted their thoughts.

Also, rubbing the outer rails with graphite? Like, deliberately getting graphite onto the track? Whyyyyy? :(

So much stuff that's wrong with this. Ah well. Build a straight runner. Focus on rear alignment, weight placement and wheel/axle prep, and that'll carry your team far.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by gpraceman » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:06 am

Maybe I'm not understanding things correctly, but if the track has no center rails, only outer rails, then you would not want to rail ride at all. Doing so would just be pushing the wheels into the body of the car, slowing it down.


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:37 am

gpraceman wrote:Maybe I'm not understanding things correctly, but if the track has no center rails, only outer rails, then you would not want to rail ride at all. Doing so would just be pushing the wheels into the body of the car, slowing it down.
I have heard of designs to rail ride on outer rails. The idea is that you reverse your DFW and cant it negatively, as opposed to positively, and steer away from the center of the car, as opposed to towards it. Might need to do something to bring the rears in a little, too.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Gtdhw » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:01 am

Vitamin K wrote:I'm just gonna say it: Those are bad rules.
I agree completely.
Vitamin K wrote:
gpraceman wrote:Maybe I'm not understanding things correctly, but if the track has no center rails, only outer rails, then you would not want to rail ride at all. Doing so would just be pushing the wheels into the body of the car, slowing it down.
I have heard of designs to rail ride on outer rails. The idea is that you reverse your DFW and cant it negatively, as opposed to positively, and steer away from the center of the car, as opposed to towards it. Might need to do something to bring the rears in a little, too.
They made that "clear" as well. There is to be NO shortening of the distance between the wheels from side-to-side. No notches/cuts in the car body to move the wheels in closer to the middle of the car, none.

That is exactly what I was trying to do VK. I don't have a test track, or the years of experience that some of you do, so I could be wrong, but I figured that steering into an outer rail with the left front wheel, and riding it down the track (while obviously costing time), would be less costly than letting the car bounce from side-to-side all down track, once it hits the first transition (or whatever that could cause it to stray from dead on straight).

I did get them to finally say "Well, since there's plenty of time before the race, I think we'll just do away with the extended wheel base/axle hole rule for this year. But for sure, no moving the wheels closer together from side-to-side.". At least that's something, and we can continue with the build that we started on.


I will know for sure after the race, which way is faster (dead straight vs. riding an outer rail). I built one of my cars this year, exactly like my tigers, except mine is set up to steer left @ 3" over 4'. Should be a great comparison.


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Darin McGrew » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:58 am

Vitamin K wrote:So much stuff that's wrong with this.
Yep. The rules are bad, but that seems to be a symptom of a larger problem.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:07 pm

Well, rule 4 explicitly allow changing the wheelbase. ("Modifying the wheel base is acceptable as long the original wood is used for the axle holes.") Even if the organizer insists that "axle holes" means "original slots", sectioning the block and repositioning the sections that contain the slots leaves the result in compliance.

Axle orientation can be accomplished by bending the axles or by "bending the holes," i.e. drilling the holes off perpendicular. I believe that the drilling method requires more precision of both design and of execution than most teams would possess, but bending the axles is easy to do and easy to align. Why limit construction to methods that only the most skilled can accomplish?

I have now seen the "No rail riding" in several rule sets recently. I am curious about the origins and intent of the rule ... it makes no sense to me. (Maybe address a separate topic?)

I find the organizers willingness to alter a boy's car as totally out of bounds! (Of course, I don't even want the organizers ever to touch the cars ... the boy (owner) should hold the car in orientationss necessary for inspection and place it on the scale for weighing, the boy should place the car on the track and get it set "just so," and the boy should retrieve the car from the finish line.)


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Nelvis » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Well all I can say is I feel really badly for you Gtdhw. No center guide rail and these rules? :doh:
I really feel in these cases that you should buy a few kits and get some of the scouts and pack leaders together. Bring a hammer and have them make a quick car with the raw block, scouts and leaders alike. Then see how many are in compliance with these rules. My bet: All of the axles will be bent to some degree. Tape some weight to the back and nearly all will have a lifted wheel. Send some down the track and probably half will rail ride. I think this would be the only way to get it to sink in.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:23 pm

Stan Pope wrote:I have now seen the "No rail riding" in several rule sets recently. I am curious about the origins and intent of the rule ... it makes no sense to me. (Maybe address a separate topic?)
Maybe related to that "Build a fast Pinewood Derby car with science!" video that made the rounds? Might have introduced the concept of rail riding to a lot of paranoid organizers. :idk:

Just speculation, really.



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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by whodathunkit » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:32 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Well, rule 4 explicitly allow changing the wheelbase. ("Modifying the wheel base is acceptable as long the original wood is used for the axle holes.") Even if the organizer insists that "axle holes" means "original slots", sectioning the block and repositioning the sections that contain the slots leaves the result in compliance.


I find the organizers willingness to alter a boy's car as totally out of bounds! (Of course, I don't even want the organizers ever to touch the cars ... the boy (owner) should hold the car in orientationss necessary for inspection and place it on the scale for weighing, the boy should place the car on the track and get it set "just so," and the boy should retrieve the car from the finish line.)

So the 1956-1977 kit type car style would pass..
As long as it was made from the kit block issued for the race with the axle slots.
And as long as the front wheels don't stick over the starting gate pen.

Stan,
I here you on this one.(Good call Stan!)


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:54 pm

whodathunkit wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Well, rule 4 explicitly allow changing the wheelbase. ("Modifying the wheel base is acceptable as long the original wood is used for the axle holes.") Even if the organizer insists that "axle holes" means "original slots", sectioning the block and repositioning the sections that contain the slots leaves the result in compliance.


I find the organizers willingness to alter a boy's car as totally out of bounds! (Of course, I don't even want the organizers ever to touch the cars ... the boy (owner) should hold the car in orientationss necessary for inspection and place it on the scale for weighing, the boy should place the car on the track and get it set "just so," and the boy should retrieve the car from the finish line.)

So the 1956-1977 kit type car style would pass..
As long as it was made from the kit block issued for the race with the axle slots.
And as long as the front wheels don't stick over the starting gate pen.

Stan,
I here you on this one.(Good call Stan!)

Dunno about mixing old kits with new kits ... they have significantly different inherent limitations. The rule SHOULD call for "current issue" kits. I don't know the full text of the rules from which #4 was quoted, so I can't say yea/nay.


Stan
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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by whodathunkit » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:07 pm

Stan Pope wrote: Even if the organizer insists that "axle holes" means "original slots", sectioning the block and repositioning the sections that contain the slots leaves the result in compliance.
I was talking about using the kit issued for the race.. and turning it into a 56-77 kit style car.
Sectioning the block and re-positioning the sections that contain the original kit issued slots. :D


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Gtdhw » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:29 pm

I tried posting pics of the rules on another thread, and they were too blurry to read, so here is the link to our pack rules...

https://pack3513.files.wordpress.com/20 ... _2015a.pdf

(summery od rules on first page, detailed rules on the following two pages)


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Re: Thoughts on rule interpretation....

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:12 am

whodathunkit wrote:
Stan Pope wrote: Even if the organizer insists that "axle holes" means "original slots", sectioning the block and repositioning the sections that contain the slots leaves the result in compliance.
I was talking about using the kit issued for the race.. and turning it into a 56-77 kit style car.
Sectioning the block and re-positioning the sections that contain the original kit issued slots. :D
You clever rascal! :)


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