cannot move the bot. If you use a radio that’s doesn’t
bind to a specific receiver, you must be in possession of
the frequency clip for the frequency you are using. A
new rule for this year was that all LiPo batteries must be
charged outside of the bot and inside a suitable fire
resistant container like a LipoSack. There is always a
driver’s meeting just before the fights start; make sure
you attend this as there will be last minute rule and
procedure changes, and there is usually a last check to
make sure everybody who thinks they are competing
are correctly entered into the brackets.
The actual fights didn’t start until well after 11:00
am, so we had a couple of hours to get our pit table
fully set up and the batteries on charge.
Lesson 3. It’s best to have at
least a couple sets of batteries
ready at any one time.
carefully in advance to make sure you meet all the
requirements. If you are in doubt about anything, check
with the EO. Safety requirements for Motorama consist of a
weight check; a check that you have a method of safely
disconnecting electrical power; that any weapon can be
mechanically locked; a check to see if all sharp corners are
covered; and finally, a test of the bot’s functions and fail
safes. That last one can be the most problematic.
You spin your bot (or power up your weapon) on the
spot and then while it is spinning, you turn off the TX. The
drivetrain and weapon must power-down on their own
within a few seconds for you to pass. If you have the right
type of TX, RX, and ESCs, then this is pretty easy to
achieve. However, it’s not something you want to be
working on to correct as the deadline rapidly approaches.
Our three passed without incident.
This is a good place to add a reminder about bot
safety. All weapon testing must be carried out in the test
arena and all drive train testing must be either in the test
arena or with the bot up on blocks so that its wheels
You are guaranteed at least 20 minutes between
fights, but a LiPo pack typically takes at least an hour to
charge. NiCd, NiMH, and LiFe (A123) packs can be charged
quicker, but if a pack is still hot from a previous fight it can
easily be damaged if you try to charge it too fast. Our
Beetles both use the same size of LiPo, so we had four of
those; the 12 lber uses an A123 pack that we also use in
our Bot Hockey bots so we had six of those.
44 SERVO 05.2010