TORNADO - The Team with the Comedy Flying Cow


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1/10/02 - Started preparing for the Hardwick event in the evening - found all our old RC cars, batteries etc.

2/10/02 - More work on the chassis.

3/10/02 - Continued welding, grinding and repairing the chassis.

4/10/02 - Finished welding and repairing the chassis. Managed to find time to repaint it too...

5/10/02 - Rebuilt the Tornado into the newly repainted chassis in the morning. Found a big problem - the main disc module doesn't fit now, as the chassis repairs have moved a few bars about a bit! So we fitted the scoop instead. Took Tornado along to Hardwick Community Primary School near Cambridge in the afternoon. Spent the evening back at Daves dissassembling Tornado to sort out the chain tension problem that we think allowed the chain to come off earlier in the day.

6/10/02 - Fixed the disc module fitting problem - ground a chunk out of the wheel upright that was in the way! Worked on the wheels, side bars and Anti Crusher Weapon. Replaced the chain that gave up yesterday - and sorted its tension too (by cutting and moving the front wheel supports). Repainted the chassis again.

9/10/02 - Weighted the rolling chassis, and found somehow we have lost about 3kg of weight - not that we are complaining of course... Started repairing the side bar damaged in Series 6.

11/10/02 - Finished fixing the damaged side bar, and painted it also. Bryan spent the afternoon visiting a steel supplier near Norwich, the only place we could find vaguely locally that had 7/8" steel tube! We put the tube to use working on the ACW frame, cutting up the old and rebuilding a new frame. We spent the evening testing our linear actuators to decide which is the best to build a lifter with.

12/10/02 - It looks like the new motor position for the ACW will work - many thanks to Callum McCormick for giving me the idea! We welded the motor and disc mounts into place, and weighed the weapon as it is so far. The hardening oven got some further improvements (increasing its capacity and efficiency) and we hardened the disc teeth and fixed spike. It looks like we overdid the improvements to the oven, because it melted the end of the fixed spike!

13/10/02 - Finished the last few jobs on the ACW - fitted spikes to the rear bars and welded in the supports for the front frame. Bryan re-sealed the few still leaking tyres, although the improvement was not great. Started work on the lifter, getting most of the chassis mounts made, and the hinge for the lifter itself.

14/10/02 - Decided that we're not going to get the lifter finished in the little time we have remaining. Therefore took the time to build and test the chassis and ACW. Built it all up and loaded it into my car (an experience in itself with the front half of the weapon fitted!) and drove to our normal truckstop testing area - but it was dark by now and full of trucks. So we drove to a little industrial estate beside the old A1 - which was perfect! We found a little bit of smooth road with earth banks either side that was well lit, and we were able to test undisturbed and in reasonable safety. The weapon worked as well as expected (knocking a few kart tyres around), and the newly tensioned chains stayed in place.

16/10/02 - Sorted the welding gas during lunch. Spent the evening rebuilding Tornado; tested the running gear, weighed it and packed everything ready for Extreme 2. Also Ed and Andy from Storm brought along their brilliant new machine Storm 2, plus their featherweight Force 4. Managed to help the Storm guys a bit in between our packing, and did a bit of welding on Storm 2.

18/10/02 - Bryan spent the morning off work getting the 101 from storage. We all loaded it in the afternoon and set off for the studio at RAF Newton, near Nottingham. We filmed our pre-fight interview for the All Stars that evening. We went back to the hotel fairly early in the evening - but we missed the junction on the A52 and so continued into Derby and found food and then went on to the cinema. The hotel seemed OK once we got back, although a bit noisy (right next to the M1) and quite a way from RAF Newton...

19/10/02 - First day of Extreme 2 filming. It was bitterly cold, both outside and inside the studio, and in the catering tent. We started the morning with breakfast, and things couldn't have started worse - Bryan left his laptop computer in the catering tent, and when he went back for it, it had gone - not a good start at all.
The drive back to the hotel in the evening was interesting - Dave's car is a Citroen Xantia, boring you'd think but it's one of the rarer Activa models, with a 2 litre turbo engine and active suspension. Firstly a BMW driver had a go at the lights, then Dave surprised a Peugeot 205 GTI, and then we overtook a V6 Passat, which gave chase... As we got closer to the hotel, and we were both still going the same way, we started to wonder who they were, and once we reached the hotel and followed them into the car park we found out - it was the Kan Opener team! What was left of the night was spent in the hotel bar, with the Mini Morg guys drinking yards of ale - and Neil Charlwood from Mentorn had a go too, well done to Neil for finishing it, because he's half the size of those Morg guys!

20/10/02 - Second day of Extreme 2 filming. Storm 2 arrived, but they had problems with their electronics before their tech check - it turned out that they had two faults; some dodgy connections between their interface board and 4QDs, and a dodgy interface board with a fault on one channel.
We spent the evening in the bar with Storm, Spin Doctor, Roobarb, Hells Teeth, Kat 3 and a few others from various teams.

21/10/02 - Day three of the Extreme 2 filming, and a day off for us. Dave and I went along to Anchor Supplies (ex-military surplus company) in Nottingham to get metal ammunition boxes to replace the crappy plastic ones that we use to transport everything to events, and that we keep on breaking!
At the studio, the Iron Maidens fights (ladies driving robots normally driven by guys) were being filmed, and the european and commonwealth teams arrived and set up their robots. The draw for the European Championship took place in the evening - there were labelled bolts in a tin, the same tin that the definately non-eco friendly Sump Thing team had used to store their whale blubber earlier!

22/10/02 - Fourth day of Extreme 2.

23/10/02 - Fifth and final day of the Extreme 2 filming. We stayed around until the very end, so much so that we had to rush to pack all our stuff away and leave - the pits were pretty much deserted! We went back to the hotel for a few drinks and some food, given it was too late to drive back home.

24/10/02 - Woke late and had breakfast at the hotel. Returned home and unloaded, returning as much stuff as we could be bothered to the right places. Dave's garage is a bit of a mess now...

25/10/02 - Thought up more weapons ideas, based on what happened at Extreme 2.

3/11/02 - Got donated an old wheelchair by my friend Neil's family. Also Technogames information arrived, it looks like the Sumo and Tug of War won't be happening this year, but the Football and Assault Course will be going ahead.

6/11/02 - Took the wheelchair over to Daves and investigated it - it has an electric seat on it, standard wheelchair motors (the same as on the old wheelchair we had before) and some linear actuators to lift the chair up. Spent the rest of the evening working on Tornado. Removed the side armour and fixed the chain that had come off at Extreme 2 - it was stretched and the intermediate gear had moved on its carrier. Bryan fixed the intermediate, while I added a polycarb chain tensioner block as we couldn't be bothered replacing the chain! There was no other serious damage that we could see... Tidied the garage a bit.

9/11/02 - Post Extreme 2 fireworks party with the Storm team in Ipswich. John Reid had his Battlebots machine Beta running (held down with fencing stakes - which it still pulled out of the ground!) and attempted to smash the old Storm prototype chassis with it - however all Beta managed was to hammer it into Eds lawn! Dave had his Tesla Coil running (third time in anger), and for the first time managed sparks of 5 feet - he's met his target already! Ed and George (Chaos) set off loads of fireworks in Eds front garden - even a Policeman stopped to watch! ;)

12/11/02 - The first issue of the new Robot Wars magazine is out now. Compared to the previous comic, it's an excellent magazine, although we did find a few inaccuracies...

14/11/02 - Found out late in the evening today that the school in Louth is expecting us to be there at lunchtime tomorrow - we were expecting to arrive towards the evening! I headed round to Daves tonight therefore, to pack and prepare for the War In The Wolds event this weekend...

15/11/02 - Dave and I left early from work (many thanks to our managers at NXT for allowing us to do so) in order to get to the school on time. This was the preview day to the War In The Wolds event, see our event report.

16/11/02 - First day of the War In The Wolds event in Louth, Linconshire.

17/11/02 - Day two of the War In The Wolds event - see our event report.

23/11/02 - Our cheque for Extreme 2 arrived from Mentorn. Today was the annual roboteers Christmas party at Oundle, see our event report.

26/11/02 - Transferred the robot to Dave's car at work - it had still been in Bryans since Oundle at the weekend - and in the evening put it back in Daves garage.

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