First of all a big thanks to the folks at 1726 for posting some video of their trackball launcher last weekend. We had spent the previous week doing tests, mock-ups and calculations and were pretty darn sure we could launch the ball successfully… but still had a few doubts. When we saw their video we KNEW we were on the right path.
We are using four 1.5" x 8" cylinders, with about 2" of preload, backed by a couple of clippard tanks at 60psi downstream of the valve. The launcher starts out just slightly “over centre”, so it locks itself in position until triggered… on the final version by a small cylinder, here by a medium to large sized human.
The 2x4’s, placed on the railing to simulate an overpass are actually at 7’6". And we clear them by… oh… 18" or so (technically somewhat short of the “mile” somewhat over-enthusiasticly reported in the third video). No data on air consumption yet, other than to say that we still have some R&D to do on that… and then there is the whole electronics and programming thing to get finished, and we have to make sure we can still load the ball by nailing it into a wall with our front end. But here’s some clips of the “fun stuff”.
If only we hadn’t spent the first two weeks trying to design an arm that would fit in the 80" cylinder… this is actually one of the simpler “primary scoring mechanisms” we have built for FRC in the past five years.