SWMC 2017 Scrapheap Challenge
Objective - To launch a projectile, to land on a target 12 feet away with the greatest (repeatable) accuracy.
Target - The target will consist of 3 concentric circles placed flat on the floor, on a blanket. These circles would be of approximate diameters 7" (bulls-eye) and 15" (middle ring) and 25" (outer ring) - one inside the other, giving a bulls-eye with two rings around it. The rings will be made from flexible strips, and/or flexible plates rolled into circles and mounted on edge, giving 'circular walls' to each ring which will hopefully contain the projectiles as they land.
Projectile - The projectile will be a 1" motor tyre (part 142c) mounted on a 1" brass pulley without boss (part 22a). All competitors will use the same projectile.
Launcher - The launcher must be 100% genuine Meccano with no exceptions at all and parts can come from any period. The launcher cannot be motorised and it must sit on the floor when operated. Beyond this the choice is yours - a catapult, a trebuchet, a ballista - whatever you like. You can use springs or gravity or any combination of energy sources provided there is no use of a motor and provided it is 100% Meccano. The more innovative the solution, the better!
1 A 'firing line' will be marked on the floor with tape and the launcher must be placed on the floor, entirely behind this line when fired (it is acknowledged that a launcher may jolt forward when launched but it must be behind the line when triggered).
2 The firing line will be 12 feet from the centre point of the concentric rings which form the target (my very simple prototype launcher can achieve this distance or slightly further).
3 When it is their turn to compete, each competitor would set up their launcher on the floor, behind the line and (in their own time) have three attempts. Their best attempt only will be counted.
4 Competitors will take turns, completing their go before the next competitor begins.
The design of the target should prevent most shots from bouncing out but spotters will watch closely to see where each projectile first hits the floor and will return it to that point if it bounces out of the target ring in which it first lands - ie we will only count the actual point of impact.
5 All competitors will compete in the first round. All those scoring a bulls-eye (or whatever the best score happens to be if nobody scores a bulls-eye) would then compete again and so on.
6 In the case of a dead-heat the firing distance will not be extended (because launchers will be calibrated to fire exactly 12 feet). Instead, the competitors involved would each go again, but this time with just one shot each. This would continue until a winner is identified.
7 It is of course possible, that the very first round will determine our overall winner and in this unlikely eventuality the competition will continue to decide second and third places.