In practice we are seeing significant performance variation in shooting “well used” boulders vs newer ones. Our first regional is next week so we’re looking for some feedback from those of you who have competed re: how consistent/new/used/banged up are the boulders at a competition. Are they getting worse week by week, are they starting with new ones… any feedback appreciated. Thanks
There’s some that stay perfect, even into elims. Others are so banged up that they’re visibly smaller than the others, even from the stands.
Boulders get more torn up than I ever expected before they are removed. More than once I was given a boulder with a chunk missing from it to pre-load for autonomous. Boulders get under robots, into mechanisms, jammed in defenses, lots of opportunity for them to become jammed.
For a wheeled shooter, getting consistency is quite tricky, and I would start by increasing compression as much as you can. It seems the more you squeeze a ball, the more consistent the shot from ball to ball. Your mileage may vary.
We ran into some problems with boulders worn differently than were expected. We had 3 different wear boulders we tested our shooter with, however, none of them were torn. Many of the boulders (at orlando at least) would remain in play even with 7-8 inch gashes in them and at least 1 cubic inch holes of missing material. It took sifting through almost every ball on the field to find one that I would be comfortable preloading each match.
If the boulders were significantly damaged they would duct tape them back together. They held together but between the gashes and the different surface material many of our shots ended up missing low.
We’ve got a heavily damaged ball now to see if there’s a way we can adjust for rocket city but it made shooting in Orlando much more difficult than anticipated.
Do they start with a fresh set at each regional, or are they progressively getting worse?
Hope your shooter has variable compression. We ran into boulders with tape towards the end of quals.