2008 1000 foot challenge?

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Post by sporter2k5 »

Are the rules for the 1000 foot challenge going to be the same this year as last? I think nobody got close because it's too hard they way you have it set up. If you don't mind, I would like to propose some changes if you're going to reboot the contest. Thank you.
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Post by WRA2 »

The rules are the same this year as last for the 1000 foot challenge. You are welcome to post your ideas for any changes and the other teams can have a discussion about them.

We are always open to suggestions on how to make the competitions better for all.

Welcome to the WRA2.
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Post by sporter2k5 »

WRA2 wrote:The rules are the same this year as last for the 1000 foot challenge. You are welcome to post your ideas for any changes and the other teams can have a discussion about them.

We are always open to suggestions on how to make the competitions better for all.

Welcome to the WRA2.
Well, I have some suggestions for the rules which I think could make the competitions closer for everyone and will make it easier for more people to compete. Right now it's just too expensive with all of the requirements that it's not fair to the little guy. I just don't want to step on anybody's toes.

If I do have ideas to suggest, who do I send them to?
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Post by Mark Chen »

Oh Boy. Here we go again! :lol:
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Post by WRA2 »

sporter2k5 wrote: Well, I have some suggestions for the rules which I think could make the competitions closer for everyone and will make it easier for more people to compete. Right now it's just too expensive with all of the requirements that it's not fair to the little guy. I just don't want to step on anybody's toes.

If I do have ideas to suggest, who do I send them to?
You may post them here in this forum where the membership will have a discussion about them.
Lisa Walker,
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Post by sporter2k5 »

WRA2 wrote:
sporter2k5 wrote: Well, I have some suggestions for the rules which I think could make the competitions closer for everyone and will make it easier for more people to compete. Right now it's just too expensive with all of the requirements that it's not fair to the little guy. I just don't want to step on anybody's toes.

If I do have ideas to suggest, who do I send them to?
You may post them here in this forum where the membership will have a discussion about them.
Thanks for hearing me out, Lisa. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the comments earlier. Perhaps I was getting the wrong impression.

A couple of talking points come to mind on how you could improve your rules and get more people involved. The first thing I would suggest is that you add a few more classes that people could compete in. I think you need one more advanced than your "C class" and maybe a set of rules for a "distance" competition. I've done a couple contests which the object is to shoot the rocket the farthest or shoot it so it lands the closest to a target. I think this kind of competition would be a lot easier for me to sell to teachers because the kids will not have to use fancy electronics. The teachers are actually more intimidated by this than the students, but the students don't have much say in what the teachers pick for activities.

On the subject of electronics, I concede that this altimeters are going to be the only reliable way to get an altitude reading from a rocket. I don't know of any other method which isn't subject to human error, but I really don't understand how you can calculate the altitude of a picture when you don't know the focal length of the lens used and don't have a known ground reference object for reference. Without this information you cannot calculate the altitude so how does the camera help? It's just dead weight in my opinion, and could be eliminated.

Another thing that can be eliminated is the compressor. I think there are a lot of people who would join your ranks if they didn't have to buy or build a high powered compressor. Your arguments for using a compressor are not very convincing to me because there are ways to make sure people are using breathable air and ways to restrict the flow so they do not make an air cannon launcher.

I know I had a few other ideas when I read your rules but I didn't jot them down. I'll go back and see if I can recreate my original list.

I respect that you already have a lot of competitors who may have already invested in designs following your rules and so I can see why people are defensive about changing them, but I think it would be a good thing for everyone if more people were involved and if you alter your rules to appeal to a wider audience then you get bigger dividends in the long term.

Thanks for listening to my points.
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Post by Tim Chen »

sporter2k5 wrote: but I really don't understand how you can calculate the altitude of a picture when you don't know the focal length of the lens used and don't have a known ground reference object for reference. Without this information you cannot calculate the altitude so how does the camera help? It's just dead weight in my opinion, and could be eliminated.
Who is it that keeps telling everyone that the camera is used as an altimeter? That's just plain wrong!
sporter2k5 wrote: there are ways to make sure people are using breathable air and ways to restrict the flow so they do not make an air cannon launcher.
What are you going to do? Pay some "Witness" to sniff the gas and sign an affidavit that he smelled air? Or so we have to make every team buy a gas chromatagraph reading of the gas in the rocket? Come on.

How do these troublemakers keep getting in here?
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Post by sporter2k5 »

Tim,

I can respect that you've put time and effort and perhaps even some money into your rockets to comply with the rules as they stand. I'm not a "troublemaker" as you imply. I gather from what I've seen in your history pages and other things I've picked up that there's been a lot of strife in the past, so I have empathy for the way you may feel but I honestly want to work with everyone to make things better for everyone without forcing anyone to discard their work or redesign anything. Please bear with me and I think we can work things out.

To start off, if I misunderstand the reason behind the camera for onboard video then by all means please enlighten me as to the true purpose. If I misunderstand then forgive me but it may mean the way the rule is described is not clear? I'd be happy to help contribute to improving the writing if that could help.

I hope you will see my side and we can work together to make things better.
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Post by Drag_Racer408a »

sporter2k5,
Tim means no hard fealings. It just the compressor/presuisation method that reallt gets us all worked up here.
Because we get new rocketiers that think the will just come in here and own us all until they realize that tanks aren't allowed. Then they usually just keep complaning and coming up with half arse reasons why tanks should be legal.

Its nothing personally against you, but most new people try to come in here and try to makes tanks legal and start a big disscusion on them.

But about the camera. They are required so there is proof that the launch actually looks like it reached the claimed height. Someone could easily shoot a water rocket that got 600 feet up or so and record it. Then take a big pyro rocket and throw an altimeter in it and get a insane height. So thats why...
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Post by sporter2k5 »

Drag_Racer408a wrote:sporter2k5,
Tim means no hard fealings. It just the compressor/presuisation method that reallt gets us all worked up here.
Because we get new rocketiers that think the will just come in here and own us all until they realize that tanks aren't allowed. Then they usually just keep complaning and coming up with half arse reasons why tanks should be legal.

Its nothing personally against you, but most new people try to come in here and try to makes tanks legal and start a big disscusion on them.

But about the camera. They are required so there is proof that the launch actually looks like it reached the claimed height. Someone could easily shoot a water rocket that got 600 feet up or so and record it. Then take a big pyro rocket and throw an altimeter in it and get a insane height. So thats why...
Drag_Racer408a,

Thanks for the clarification. I think I can see your position. I still don't think you need a camera for verifying your flight. I don't see other rocket world records with this requirement. What I mean is, say, you were to take your rocket to a WRA2 sanctioned event and the flight was observed by an WRA2 official; would that not be sufficient proof?

I can see your stand on gas cylinders seems more like a way to keep everyone new to the group competing with the same restrictions as everyone already uses. I strongly feel that requiring an expensive compressor may be intimidating and frightening off new people who could be assets to the WRA2. If the group is willing to listen then I would be pleased to discuss some of the ideas I have for keeping people from using gas cylinders to gain an advantage.

I think there's a middle ground where everyone can be happy.
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Post by Drag_Racer408a »

Well if there were events then it would solve all the problems with the tanks and verification. But there isn't any WRA2 events because most of use are spred around the country and some are overseas.

The tank is more of a saftey thing than it is a thing to make it harder/more complex. Someone could easily get a tank on hand and hook it up to a pressure system or a rocket that can't handle the high pressures the tanks can put out. Resulting in someone getting hurt or killed.

My dad knows someone who had a car tire pop only at 30 psi and they got pretty hurt. And that was only 30 psi, how about 1000 psi?

I feel with tanks the hobby would evovle into who could put more pressure into a rocket, rather than haveing multipile chalanges of attaning such high flights with certian restrictions. Then people would just build high pressure rockets and really would have to worry about weight or aerodynamic issues, just add more pressure...
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Post by Tim Chen »

Steve,

Sorry about my remark earlier. I hope you understand that there's been a history of trolls trying to be disruptive here.

There's a couple of crackpots out there who had been trying to set the world record for years and years and they went off the deep end when a newcomer was the first to break the long standing record they were gunnin' for.

When they found out that the record was set using the WRA2 rules they seemed to just completely wig out. Now these guys are obsessed with complaining and whining about the camera and the compressor. Every few months one of them signs up under an assumed name and starts attacking the rules. I hope you can see why I assumed you were just the latest incarnation of these malcontents and their harassment.

I may have overreacted so please accept my apology.
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Post by sporter2k5 »

Tim Chen wrote:Steve,

Sorry about my remark earlier. I hope you understand that there's been a history of trolls trying to be disruptive here.

There's a couple of crackpots out there who had been trying to set the world record for years and years and they went off the deep end when a newcomer was the first to break the long standing record they were gunnin' for.

When they found out that the record was set using the WRA2 rules they seemed to just completely wig out. Now these guys are obsessed with complaining and whining about the camera and the compressor. Every few months one of them signs up under an assumed name and starts attacking the rules. I hope you can see why I assumed you were just the latest incarnation of these malcontents and their harassment.

I may have overreacted so please accept my apology.
Hi Tim,

Apology accepted. No hard feelings.

I'd like for someone to do me a favor and talk me through the reasons why we shouldn't make some of the changes I propose. I feel that if we back off on the strict requirements then it will be a lot easier for people to compete and make the competition more attractive to new competitors. I'm not asking to make changes or cram anything down your craw here, I'd like someone to explain things to me. Just pretend like you can convince me I'm wrong and who knows, maybe you will. :D

Peace, out!
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Post by WRA2 Admin »

Hello Steve,

We have been operating under the same rules for just under 5 years now. The rules were created to insure that people competing were comparing "apples to apples" as the saying goes.

It was decided from the outset that requiring a compressor was ideal for such a competition because the compressor eliminates several opportunities that using bottled gas opens up for dishonesty. By requiring an air compressor we also eliminated a lot of extra rules and regulations which would be needed to verify the gasses used and to handicap entries based on the gas used. A side benefit from this is that it eliminates the safety hazards related to storing and transporting high pressure gasses.

We have several different class levels to make the competition accessible to everyone. We have the Class C which is our entry level competition where only manual air pumps are allowed. While competing in the Class C the competitor learns how to build reliable deploy systems, camera control and operating within the basic WRA2 rule set while keeping costs low (no expensive pressure systems, exotic materials or altimeters required or needed).

The next class is the 1000 foot challenge which is our intermediate competition. This competition requires the altimeter and the camera but an expensive pressure system and exotic materials are not needed. Several individuals have proven years ago that this is an obtainable goal with unreinforced bottles and FTC rockets.

Our class A and B are the advanced competitions and should be only attempted after successful completion of the class C or 1000 foot challenge. It's not a requirement by any means, but it's the most logical progression.

The rules require onboard cameras only to verify that the flights occurred. We compare the onboard videos to the altimeter data and ground videos and determine that the flights were really flown. The exact indications we use to validate the videos I will not discuss because it could tip off someone trying to fake a record launch.

As far a "people on the ground" being "witnesses" It is too difficult to determine whether or not the "witnesses" are cooperating with a competitor in submitting a fraudulent record claim. A clever competitor could also very easily mislead witnesses into believing they saw something they did not. For example, to the untrained eye a 500 foot flight from the ground looks impressively high (by virtue of the optical illusion known as the "moon illusion") so a witness to your 500 foot flight could be shown altimeter data from a pyro rocket or another source, and they would bear witness to a false record and still would pass any truth test you could dream up. By requiring the onboard camera the rules are greatly simplified because the burden of validating witnesses testimony is eliminated.

As you see, the rules were created to make things simple and fair for everyone and to insure that the rules are not overcomplicated by all the unnecessary burdens involved when you leave open doors that lead to more and more opportunities to cheat. The rules for any competition should always be reduced down to the simplest form that they can, so the loopholes are minimized. Historically, those who deride our strict rules simply do so because they don't wish to compete fairly because they cannot win in a fair competition. Those that say the rules make it impossible to compete need only look at our present competitors to see proof it is possible, and always has been.

We have no problems with listening to suggestions on how to improve the WRA2 and to grow the WRA2 even faster. This is a relatively new sport but we expect it to continue to grow as environmental and safety concerns continue to restrict pyro rocketry further and further. Thanks for your understanding and your efforts to improve the WRA2. We appreciate your candid responses and respect your opinions.
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Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 »

Hi Steve,

We do appreciate the efforts you are making to promote water rocketry, but do you really think that it is fair to people who have put a lot of work into being compliant with the current rules? Without a doubt every team that has advocated tanks in this competition has been doing so because they wish to give themselves an advantage. In addition to the advantages mentioned by David, there's also the potential for someone to build what we term a "stomp rocket". This type of rocket can take on different forms but the principal is that the rocket does not need to withstand the pressures required to set a record and the rocket is propelled by a huge volume of air released into the launcher from the tank. Preventing someone from abusing a tank in this way seems like an impossible task.

Ignoring the advantages that tanks offer for a moment, we should focus on their dangers as well. From what we have seen on the various water rocket forums, very few people show the proper respect for the danger of these tanks. You can see everything from illegally modified regulators to allowing toddlers to fill and launch from high pressure tanks. Much of what we see is very frightening.

If you have ideas on how to overcome these obstacles, then we'd be interested in hearing them. While we don't agree on everything, we're still on the same side. We just have different ideas on how to promote this sport.
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