2022 Challenge

The Challenge for April 2022 (deferred from April 2020) is to send a ping-pong ball through the air from a launcher to land in a ring 10 feet away. Apparently these balls vary in weight and diameter so entrants may prefer to bring their own with which they have calibrated their launchers.

  • All parts of the launcher (apart from string if used) must be constructed from Meccano (genuine or reproduction).
  • The launcher shall be powered by gravity only, no springs/elastic bands/electric or any other power source.
  • The distance shall be measured horizontally, from a vertical line off the part of the mechanism nearest the ring, to the centre of the ring. (So no, you can’t build a tower and just drop it in!)
  • The target shall start with a large circle comprising 5½ inch curved strips for the heats, then reducing to a flanged ring, part no. 167b. It will be supported with its centre 12 inches above the floor, and set at 45° to the horizontal (flange down for 167b).
  • Members who are not entering the challenge shall be invited to judge whether the ball has passed through the ring.
  • Each entrant shall be allowed 5 shots, and the number that go through the ring will be counted. The winner is the one who has the greatest number of shots passing through the ring.
  • In the event that more than one entrant achieves the same highest score, the ring shall be reduced to a flanged ring part 167b (on the same centre as the large ring) for the final round, which shall again consist of 5 shots each.
  • If more than one entrant achieves a score of 5, the entrants shall fire in turn until one misses, at which point that entrant drops out. Whoever survives this “sudden death” playoff is the winner.

This year there were only three entrants - Sam, David M and Steve (whose model was operated in his absence by Chris B). There was some discussion as to the rules which had changed slightly from the original rules set out in 2020. As such it is possible that this challenge will be re-run sometime in the future.