Big Disk Energy Post-event Report: Norwalk Havoc December 2018

Big Disk energy went 0-2 for a second event, but this time it was due to me making poor decisions while driving.

I only got 3 hours of sleep before this event because I was working on a 1lb scaled copy of BDE called LDE (little disk energy). With the Norwalk Havoc rule set, multibots are allowed a 1lb weight bonus so with a 3lb robot you can add a 1lb minibot with no weight penalty. LDE was very last-minute and I just used a 28-26 stator I had on hand for its weapon, which was far too fast at 1000kv. I called it at 5AM when it detonated a second weapon ESC. Here is an in-progress picture of LDE


In BDE's first match, I had to go against Nitro Hornet, a wide drum spinner robot. I didn't come into this match with much of a plan other than spin up and hit the side plates of the other bot. About a minute into the fight, my ESC browned out and wanted a low throttle to restart. My trims were too high so low stick on my controller wasn't enough but since I was panicking I didn't realize this. Shortly after Nitro Hornet's weapon also stopped and it became a pushing match. BDE is not made to push robots and I was constantly over-steering so Nitro Hornet won this match with control and aggression.

Immediately after this match I put BDE into the test box to test the weapon. It came back to life as soon as I adjusted the trims.

In BDE's second match, I had to face Squishy. I was worried about this match because I was not sure how the weapon would fare against his vertical module with a wedge. His vertical module was having problems, however and he ended up running his undercutter module. BDE's blade is at the prefect height to go over Squishy's blade and hit his weapon belt so I was confident I could stop his undercutter module.

In this match I had a weapon ESC failure because I pushed it too hard. I think one of the phases either disconnected or completely died on the controller which caused the weapon to jitter. Instead of cutting my weapon throttle and playing it safe after stopping Squishy's weapon, I gave it full throttle and tried to get my weapon to spin up. This caused the ESC to detonate in my robot.

This was just a bad call, I could have turned my weapon off and likely won the match on damage. The only thing that was damaged in this match was my weapon ESC, which is now dust. I had another spare ZTW 40A ESC that I soldered in and BDE was once again ready to fight, but I was out of the bracket.

Between the semifinal and final matches, grudge matches were being allowed to pass the time as the finalists worked on their robots. I brought BDE up but was the only robot ready to fight. After waiting a few minutes to see if any other robots are ready, I asked to fight Brett the Brick, the house robot. Brett's builder accepted my challenge so I fought the house robot.

When BDE's left drive motor stopped, I was worried that I had killed the Botkits motor but actually one of the wires just broke off of my drive ESC. I stopped BDE when the lipos popped out of my top plate. Since BDE was so close on weight, I had to remove one of the top plate screws to make weight. This made it possible for the battery to fall out if BDE accelerated fast enough.

After watching this match I realized that BDE needs to become more stable. Because the weapon isn't perfectly level, quickly turning is enough to gyro the blade into the floor and launch the robot. I also need to drive at a lower weapon speed to minimize gyro-ing and stay calm during matches.