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Insomniacsloth
10-15-2006, 01:33 AM
Has anybody tried firing something anywhere near the size of a softballs using Vex parts, perhaps in a pitching machine set up (spinning wheels the ball passes between)? Possible at all?

gblake
10-16-2006, 12:23 AM
Has anybody tried firing something anywhere near the size of a softballs using Vex parts, perhaps in a pitching machine set up (spinning wheels the ball passes between)? Possible at all?
FYI - The mass of the Hangin' Around softballs is roughly the same as that of an Aim High Poof Ball. That should give you some idea of what you are up against.

I have no doubt that one can launch them a non-trivial distances at almost fast rates (a few Secs per ball per launcher); but I suspect that the launcher(s) (metal and motors) will have a very short half life.

Blake

Francis-134
10-16-2006, 06:55 AM
Has anybody tried firing something anywhere near the size of a softballs using Vex parts, perhaps in a pitching machine set up (spinning wheels the ball passes between)? Possible at all?

From my experience in shooting things in Vex with the Mini FRC, I have found that the Vex motors do not have enough muscle to them to handle launching much mass at high speeds. We had trouble firing even small poof balls with Vex motors after we tryed many different gear ratios and configurations. On top of that, the motors will shut down if they get too hot (for safety reasons) which tends to happen if they are under a lot of stress, i.e. firing balls under a 15:1 gear ratio.

However, if you have a spare Fischer Price motor and/or Victor 883/4 laying around, you could probably wire that up and get it to launch a softball :).

skimoose
10-16-2006, 06:40 PM
We tried firing racquetballs with vex motors and mid size vex wheels. You just can't apart enough energy to the ball to get reasonable firing distances and have a speedy recovery of shooter RPMs.

Trinity is right, you'd need a victor speed controller and a better motor to launch a softball, and it wouldn't be FVC legal. So if your thoughts are for this year's FVC game, I'd think of alternatives, but it's Vex... experiment for yourself.

thefro526
10-16-2006, 07:52 PM
From my personal experience with shooting racquetballs(15+ feet) you would need to use multiple motors (i used 3) and also some wheels with very little mass (I used omnis). If I were you I would do a bit of experimentation but remember getting hit with a softball hurts like a ***** :D

P.S. stock up on gear kits to shoot a racquetball, I used 1:49 ratio (its really awesome to hear 4 omni wheels spinning a 4000+ rpm) :D

gblake
10-17-2006, 12:55 AM
From my personal experience with shooting racquetballs(15+ feet) you would need to use multiple motors (i used 3) and also some wheels with very little mass (I used omnis). If I were you I would do a bit of experimentation but remember getting hit with a softball hurts like a ***** :D

P.S. stock up on gear kits to shoot a racquetball, I used 1:49 ratio (its really awesome to hear 4 omni wheels spinning a 4000+ rpm) :D
Somewhere between this message and the one from SkiMoose; there is truth to be uncovered.

Another thing to put on my very long list of Things-To-Do-Someday... :-)

Blake

Synergy1848
10-17-2006, 09:26 AM
From my experience in shooting things in Vex with the Mini FRC, I have found that the Vex motors do not have enough muscle to them to handle launching much mass at high speeds. We had trouble firing even small poof balls with Vex motors after we tryed many different gear ratios and configurations. On top of that, the motors will shut down if they get too hot (for safety reasons) which tends to happen if they are under a lot of stress, i.e. firing balls under a 15:1 gear ratio.

However, if you have a spare Fischer Price motor and/or Victor 883/4 laying around, you could probably wire that up and get it to launch a softball :).
I found that the vex motors will work for shooting as long as you have a good gear box with as little friction as possible. here is my shooter, it shoots balls 8' up and 7' out using two motors geared 35:1 my motors never shut down.
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017530.jpg
here is my gear box
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017524.jpg

gblake
10-17-2006, 09:47 AM
I found that the vex motors will work for shooting as long as you have a good gear box with as little friction as possible. here is my shooter, it shoots balls 8' up and 7' out using two motors geared 35:1 my motors never shut down.
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017530.jpg
here is my gear box
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017524.jpg Synergy1848 - How many minutes at a time did you run at those speeds, I would speculate that the black Delrin bearing blocks would get hot pretty fast and that they would wear out after a fairly short career of steady use.

Did you use the launcher a lot of over a day or several days, or was it more of a try it once and then build something else kind of project? - Not doubting you, just curious whether my gut feelings are on target.

Blake

Lil' Lavery
10-17-2006, 04:51 PM
I found that the vex motors will work for shooting as long as you have a good gear box with as little friction as possible. here is my shooter, it shoots balls 8' up and 7' out using two motors geared 35:1 my motors never shut down.
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017530.jpg
here is my gear box
http://pic1.picturetrail.com/VOL1182/3932697/9605655/141017524.jpg
The difference is that those racquet balls are significantly smaller in both volume, surface area, and mass. It will be MUCH harder to shoot a softball any considerable distance, especially over a long duration.

gblake
10-17-2006, 11:29 PM
The difference is that those racquet balls are significantly smaller in both volume, surface area, and mass. It will be MUCH harder to shoot a softball any considerable distance, especially over a long duration. I have a thought. Who wants to bet me that I can't use a Hangin' Around legal robot to heave a softball X horizontal inches and/or Y vertical inches?

Toss out some distances and tell me what you are willing to bet :-) Maybe some C-Channel? Maybe some of those expensive angle gussets?

I give my word of honor that right now I have neither a machine nor a design for one, that can toss a softball any distance at all.

My goal here isn't starting a betting parlor that uses Vex parts for currency; but instead there seem to be two camps here. Give me a fun challenge, some fun stakes to lust for, and let's see what I/we can do....

Any takers?

Blake
PS: Maybe the prize can be a piece of Vex metal that I get to write my name on. It stays mine until someone else beats my distance. Then I have to ship the trophy to them and they get to write their name above mine and cross mine out?

Faith
10-19-2006, 07:34 PM
Right now my team has designed two shooters. The first one was only able to shoot softballs 6" (although the hollow plastic ball went significantly farther). The second one we changed it so we had a "start-up wheel", a wheel going slower then the second wheel but speeding the ball up. I think the first wheel (using smallest VEX wheel) used a 9:1 gearing and the second used a 25:1. I'm not sure how far it shoots, but it is farther then the first one. We are just playing with the shooter, though - we've decided it isn't worth it.

Synergy1848
11-09-2006, 03:59 PM
I kept my shooter together for a long time and it didnt decline at all (until i took it apart). i also built a robot that shot with 2 medium wheels spinning at 1:25 each with only one motor. this robot survived my test and a 1/3 scale FRC competion for FLL kids.

I have made a fvc legal softball launcher that uses a catapult type system. it used the rubber bands and the string allowed for this year and launched softballs completly autonomously (without me touching it). it launched softballs about 3' up and 4' forward. so it could score from about 2' away from the goal.
Unfortunatly I made this in the middle of another project and didn't completly finish it before I took pieces from it. nor did I take pictures of it but im sure i could build it again.