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Hi from Sydney


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oricle



Joined: 31 Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney


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Hi from Sydney

Hey all, new here, interested in getting involved in some bot building/battling, is there any regular meets/battles or easy to find details on happenings in Sydney? I have tried going through the site but so far having trouble finding much current looking things? :S

cheers,

-Aaron

Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:20 am 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11745
Location: Sydney, NSW


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Hi Aaron! You missed the recent event at the Vivid festival, the next event is in Canberra next weekend and after that, we have the Sportsman event up in Queensland. I don't think we have anything else scheduled in Sydney for the rest of the year.
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Post Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:53 am 
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oricle



Joined: 31 Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney


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hm, thats a little disappointing, thought for sure there would be heaps of people doing some sort of monthly get-together and building/battling locally??

Is there not enough people interested or just nothing around like it to do that sort of stuff? I wouldn't want to tread on any toes but if there was interest in doing something local on a regular basis, i'd be interested in helping out, it is a hobby i'd like to get into but if there is no events or community around it to use the bots we build...

I had a play and a look at some of the ones that were at the Maker faire on the weekend, surely that small Antweight scale could be quite popular and competitive for a mini-series or something?

Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:31 am 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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Location: Sydney, NSW


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Back in the day, we had up to eight featherweight events per year in Sydney, including a big interstate championship. Over the years, the bots became more & more destructive and expensive, plus repair times were longer. It got so that people with jobs or school (basically everyone) couldn't afford the time and / or money to keep that many events going.

We also lost access to the permanent arena and building a new portable arena plus a trailer to move it is a huge cost. The smaller ant and beetle class bots are a fraction of the cost and an ant sized arena can be packed in a van or SUV. Most of the Sydney builders seem to have moved on from the smaller size bots and we don't quite have enough smaller bots to hold a proper event.

After the championship event this weekend, perhaps we should look at the smaller bots again - with our collective CAD, CNC and 3d printing abilities all advancing, we should be able to come up with some interesting and easy to make ants.
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Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:15 pm 
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oricle



Joined: 31 Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney


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Hmm I could imagine people would want to grow and grow in terms of bot size but then it becomes those with the deepest pockets and best resources wins Razz I would like to do it as a hobby Smile

But yeah I reckon the small ones would be good as long as they can be competitive, then large number of bots + competition = sponsor interest to then head to bigger bots/arenas etc Razz

Maybe a solution could be a sort of mid sized restricted class, that impose some sort of resonable size and weight restriction as well as either a number of standardised parts available at the events or even limited build materials say only non-ferrous or a collection of pre-made weapons that can be implemented on any design.

Something like that could be re-cut/made quickly, bots could then be easier to destruct and cheap to replace/repair yet still gives alot of freedom on design

That way they can be destructive, while relatively easy to repair, and if you are using materials like acrylic, plastics or fiberglass etc, you would have to get creative on weapons and defense/strengh of design as well as they would be pretty spectacular when they explode Razz

Just a thought Razz

Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11745
Location: Sydney, NSW


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One thing we found out the hard way is that more bot classes meant LESS competitions - there is only so much time and money available and when the resources are spread further, there are less bots in each class. Having an event with 2 or 3 bots registered in each class is much less exciting than having nine bots in one class.

The sportsman and feather classes co-exist well because they are so similar. You can quite easily evolve a sportsman into a feather or run the same bot in both classes with the right design.

Sponsorship is a non-starter in Australia. Sponsors are in it for advertising and while big events like Vivid can get an audience of around 10K, frequent events are usually backyard affairs with just the builders. Sponsors in other R/C sports tend to be the manufacturers and sellers of the R/C equipment in question, while our home-built approach means there are very few suppliers that would be interested.

One idea we should really look at is (mostly) 3D printed ants. Not everyone has a 3D printer but they are quite common in the bot community and its easy to send an STL file and get back parts for a small cost - even with 100% infill, a spool of filament will go a long way! The guys in SA are doing well with ants and they are well worth another try in Sydney.
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Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:25 pm 
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oricle



Joined: 31 Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney


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Yeah for sure, even 10-15 similar bots in a weekly/fortnightly round robin/elimination would be good fun! Smile

i am just about to run off a couple of the botbitz antz 3d files myself as soon as my new thermistor for my printer arrives (hopefully today), also have a laser cutter too so if I can adapt any of the parts to be cut and assembled with the 3d parts to save weight/time i may do that too, would have to be a hybrid as acryic can be brittle on its own...

but yeah, im sure there is enough 3d printers could quite easily print off enough bits pretty quickly Smile

Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:39 pm 
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marto
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Location: Brisbane, QLD


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Featherweights (13.6kg) are sort of where we have settled due to this. It balances cost with destruction. Sportsman is good for me with the exhibition matches as they tend to last for longer.

Anything smaller = Toy. At the national competition few years ago we had people who were not moving to come watch the ants and just waiting for next feather fight.

3D printed ants are really good as they are easy to make and can have really fast turn around.
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Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:00 pm 
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oricle



Joined: 31 Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney


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Mmm, yeah i agree, that's why I was thinking the Ants are a good start but also a bit small for entertaining contest and keeping people interested in building them, making many mods etc.

At the same time I don't have the machine tools in my garage I would like to use to build something of featherweight scale, and while I have access to all the equipment, not everyone does/knows how etc, and really, I don't want to put that much $ into it just start out Razz

Something sort of half way in-between with a few kg of room to customise and with cheaper required parts i could just reprint or recut and easy to repair after a battle would surely get more interest and still be fun in a larger scale?

Its the same with quads, would love to play around racing FPV, and its not too expensive, but again there is no big community and not allowed to use them in many places etc.

:/

Post Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:26 pm 
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Ondray



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 125
Location: Newcastle


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You don't need fancy engineering equipment to build a featherweight (although it appears to help). I've been struggling along pretty well with a bunch of hand power tools, drop saw and a mini drill press. You just have to take your construction capabilities into account for your design, see what other people have done and get good at finding random parts on the internet Smile

That being said this weekend will be my second comp, so we'll really see how much can be done with little tools...

Post Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:36 pm 
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