Team 1108 used a ratcheting winch in 2017 at Rocket City and now I have a precautionary (but sad) tale to tell you all regarding it.
We had gone 5-5 during quals and hence we were ‘on the bubble’ to be picked or not but throughout the season both in KC and in Rocket City we had a commendable climb percentage…not 100 but really good.
Alliance selection saw us not picked in the first pass, saw the picking return, then we we lucky enough to be picked (last) by the number one alliance, headed by Robotz Garage 4451. Amazing guys. If you’re reading, thanks we love you guys.
Our alliance lost the first QF match by 22 points, so when the second QF match came up, it was important.
Close score, all three red robots need to climb to tie the score and keep us alive. 1108’s bot, “Amelia” takes off up the rope and gets to the top, to light! Then for the first time ever, before the match has ended, she starts to slide back down the rope backdriving the motor. The ratchet has slipped unintentionally from up to down. We can’t climb back up against it. Our season is over. We’ve lost it for our alliance.
If you want to watch, here it is. Still really painful.
I’m the guy that bought that Chinese box-end ratchet wrench. I’m the guy that said 'we need a ratchet on the climber" and plucked it from the tool box and handed it to the lead builder to be installed on the 'bot.
The moral of the story? We went to off-season events with a USA-made box-end ratchet on the climber and never had that problem again.