Motorama 05
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2006 Nationals
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Robot Rumble 2009
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Picture Courtesy of SECR

Robot Assault is usually held in Hendersonville, North Carolina, but with Arena already in place in Huntsville and no suitable indoor venue located as yet in Hendersonville it was  decided that the Labor Day event would be held in Alabama.

We had entered three Bots for this competition. Mark Harrison was had rebuilt Man O War to use A-Pack Motors to replace his tired Bosch 750's and some addition armour. Andrew would  be driving Xhilarating impaX with its new S7 Armour and RS80D ESC and I would have an unchanged CheepShot 2.0.

Man O War

Xhilarating impaX

CheepShot 2.0

For a team that started off with a Heavyweight spinner we've gone a tad wedgy......

Friday Sept 3, 2004

It was just Mark, Andrew and myself traveling this time and we couldn't get going until after we picked Andrew up from school at 12:30.

Mark arrived at my House about 11.45 and we  got all his and our stuff packed into the Windstar including the TV/Video for Andrews "in-flight" Entertainment.  When I went to start the van the battery was flat. Strange, since it had been fine earlier in the  morning. I checked the battery and found the negative terminal all covered in Blue "fur". So much for the $350 60,000 mile service two days before! I got it cleaned up and after a boost from Marks Pickup it started and  ran fine.

We picked up Andrew just about on time, filled up with petrol at BJ's and headed west. The drive was pretty uneventful. We stopped at a McDonalds somewhere south of Chattanooga for a quick meal and to top up  the tank and got to Huntsville about 9:00 Central time. We checked into the Extended Stay America then headed for the venue.

We were allocated a Pit table and got the bots ready for safety. Mark had left his radio at  the Hotel so Man O War would have to wait till the morning. CheepShot weighed in exactly on 12lbs as usual and Xhilarating impaX at 29.5lbs (spare weight!) and both passed safety without issues. With that done we headed  back to the hotel for the night

Saturday 4 Sept., 2004

Got going in the morning about 7.25 and headed for Denny's for Breakfast. A couple of Grand Slams for Mark and I and a glass of milk for Andrew (He's not a "Breakfast" person!).

 First task on arriving back at the venue was to get Marks Bot though safety. It easily passed the weight part at just over 100lbs but failed to move when placed in the arena.

After some investigation it appeared that the mixer had died. With it removed the bot would move but Mark would need to do the mixing in his head.

Man O War v Wambulance

Marks first fight was against Wambulance. Mark did better than I expected and managed to control Man O War reasonably well against Wambulance. There were some rather nice sparks  when Wambulances blade hit Marks Ti Wedge. The fight came to a premature end when Wambulance stopped moving.

Our first Pog of the day and a good start.

CheepShot 2.0 v FlightRisk

My first fight was to be against the powerful ICE powered blade spinner. I reckoned that CheepShot had little chance of winning and a good chance of being destroyed!

CheepShot 2.0  had been designed in to much of a hurry and its weaknesses had shown up in Motorama and RCRA already. I'm already working on a replacement so I wasn't worried how it would do as I thought that at least it will go out in  a blaze of glory!


I took off the yellow side wings on CheepShot as I felt they would be a hindrance against a horizontal spinner.

The fight started well for me as FlightRisks weapon seemed to make  little impression on CheepShot with the wedge deflecting his blade up harmlessly. I carefully tried to keep the wedge towards him and started to get the advantage over him until one side of the drive started to act up.  It would work fine for a few seconds and then only allow me to spin in circles. During one of the working moments I got a good pin on FlightRisk against the wall and around that time his blade stopped working (Belt came  off its pulley). We danced around together for the rest of the fight and it went to judges decision.

CheepShot had won!        It could have gone either way but I was pleased with  the win.      5MB video of the Fight            

Xhilarating impaX  v  Totally Offensive

We had fought an earlier version of Totally offensive at RCRA in June and lost after our RX had failed after a hit which had almost disabled him as well. T.O. had been  rebuilt . Xhilarating impaX  too had been improved with a new hardened S7 Steel wedge and a new RS80D controller.

The fight went very well. Andrew from the start aggressively went after his opponent. Xhilarating impaX shrug off some hits from T.O.s Blade, the impact throwing T.O. up  into the air and then one final hit in the far corner caused T.O. to ricochet across the arena ending upside down in the middle. T.O. was counted out for a knockout win for Xhilarating impaX. The new armour  showed only a few scuffs from blows that were cutting through 1/4" Al on other bots. The Hardened S7 has moved the advantage back to the wedges!

2.5MB video of the fight

Man O War  v  Kobotsu

Marks second fight was against Kobotsu, a Bot he had beaten once before  at Southern Assault.

The fight went reasonably well with Man O Wars wedge dealing with  Kobotsus drum. It became apparent that the A Packs were overgeared as the bot was not as "pushy" as it had been in its Bosch 750 days. Luckily one of Kobotsus drive motors failed and he tapped out shortly  after they got locked together.

Two wins for Mark.     5MB video of the fight 

After the fight the A-Packs were VERY hot. We cooled them off with the fan and when Mark could touch them again he stripped one down to checkout the brushes as  I had seen a puff of smoke during the fight and they certainly smelled of magic smoke. The brushes looked a little toasted but seemed OK and the windings looked fine. You can see how Mark has rewired them to  allow one Victor ESC for two brushes and another for the second set. He runs four Victors in total.

That was our last fight of the day and we headed for TGI Fridays for dinner happy with how things had gone. Four Fights - four pogs.

Sunday Sept. 5, 2004

We had breakfast at Denny's again on Sunday then popped into the local Super Target and got a new pair of shorts for me as I had spilled BBQ sauce on my other pair at TGIF! We got  the arena in plenty of time for the start of the days fights.

Man O War  v  Greenwave

Greenwave had lost his blade motors in an earlier fight so was reduced to being a wedgebot for this fight. It proved to be a better wedgebot than      Man O  War with superior power, lower wedge and with Mark having to "mix" in his head, better control.   Greenwave deservedly won on points.

It was obvious we needed to do something about the cotrol issue even if  we couldn't fix the gearing issues.

CheepShot 2.0  v Very Bad Thing

Very Bad Thing in an earlier incarnation had met the original RC car based CheepShot at last years RA and thoroughly thrashed it so I was keen for revenge. I almost got  it.....


Photo from Builders database

I had replaced the yellow side wings on CheepShot and they proved an excellent defense against VBTs vertical spinner. He couldn't get close enough at the front for his spinner to  touch the front of CheepShot so I could push him around more or less at will. I managed to turn him over  and was looking good for a win on points when I made a stupid driving error that allowed him to get a good  hit on the back of CheepShot. The shocked knocked out one side of my drive and although I managed to avoid any other hits the damage was enough for me to lose 26 to 19.

It turned out the magnets in one of the Harbor  Freight motors had shattered jamming the motor. I had no more spares so CheepShot was out of the contest.

5MB video of the fight

Xhilarating impaX  v  Eat Hitch - The 30lber semi-finals

Andrews second fight was against "Eat Hitch", a 4WD pushy bot that has a tow ball as a weapon. Eat Hitch has been very successful in the past winning several competitions but we  felt that unless he could get a high speed hit on the side or rear of Xhilarating impaX there would little to fear from him as our wedge would get under the Tow ball at the front.

Picture from Builders database

Andrew drove well and with the wedge getting under the Tow Ball any collisions resulted in Eat Hitch being thrown upwards. Andrew dominated the match and the Judges  agreed giving it to us 30 to 15.    5MB video of the fight    

We were in the finals for the first time!

Eat Hitch dropped to the losers  brackets and faced Totally Offensive for the second place in the finals. Totally Offensive traded hits with Eat hitch with neither getting much  advantage until T.O. got a good strike in against one of the back corners. The side of Eat Hitch was ripped open enough for him to lose one whole wheel and reduced him to a slow crawl. Totally offensive was coming back  for the coup de grace when he lost all power and ground to halt. Eat Hitch was declared the winner.   2.5MB video of the fight.

We didn't really mind who won as we had beaten both fairly convincingly in previous fights. On balance I preferred that it was Eat Hitch we would be  facing in the Final as there was less chance of the one lucky hit taking us out. Another Fight with T.O. would have made a better video though!

Xhilarating impaX  v  Eat Hitch -  The 30lb Finals.

This fight was somewhat anti-climatic with it being a repeat of the first fight until Eat Hitch stopped moving (Apparently the power switch failed, perhaps after damage in the T.O.  fight) so Xhilarating impaX won by a knockout. Andrew was ecstatic with his first Championship and I was very pleased with how the bot had performed. Xhilarating impaX is now force to be reckoned with in the 30lb class.  We still have 0.5lbs weight to play with as well!

2.5Mb video of the fight.  

Man O War  v Nerferious

We had fitted the RX from CheepShot 2.0 to Man O War so that we could mix in my Radio rather than in Marks head. This worked to a degree but it did show up the lack of  power caused by the overgearing of the A-Packs, The old Boschs would have pushed Nerferious all over the arena but the A-Packs have a much higher RPM and so need to be geared down a lot more to be able to  apply their power.  The fight looks closer in the video than the Judges 33 -12 decision but even at the time we had no illusions that we might have won..

5MB video of the fight.

"Fun Fight" - Xhilarating impaX  v Persistent itch

Picture from Builders database


After the high of winning the 30lb finals we were itching for another fight so who better to go against than John Kruses "Persistent itch".  We had often  seen this Thwack Bot before but had never fought him. Andrew had great fun in this fight and again dominated it from the start to the end. It made good entertainment for the crowd and nicely rounded of a  pretty good competition for us.

5MB video of the fight.

Andrew getting his First Place Trophy and prize of a 12v Discharger. Hopefully the first win of many for the Team! Thanks to all at SECR for making a great  event.

I almost forgot! When Mark and I were looking after the Bots, Andrew was filming interviews and did all the ant and beetleweight recording. Hope it turns out  well. Robert Woodhead said his name will be in the credits of the video!

Someone mentioned that the local SuperWalmart had a supply of the coveted 4.8v Handiworks drills. When started out for home we made a small diversion there and  picked up 10 at $7.00 or so each. Marks keeping four whilst we have six. Don't know exactly what we'll do with them yet.......

We stopped at a KFC for a quick bite in Scottsboro (I think) and stayed overnight as planned in Chattanooga before driving back in heavy rain across the Piedmont to Cary. It was so  wet when we got to my place we ended up watching the Nationals DVD we had bought for about an hour before we could unpack Marks stuff to his pickup.

Our next Event will probably be either Motorama or Battle at the  Beach. We intend to make a big push to qualify as many bots as possible next year as for once the Nationals will be in relatively easy reach in Florida so we should be able to go. So expect us at the next RCRA and RA at  least as well!