Siege World Championship Chunk 2006 - Mista Ballista

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World Championship Chunk 2006 - Mista Ballista      
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Mista Ballista left it's mark on the Chunkin field with two throws over 600 feet, but getting there wasn't easy. Our first two days were plagued with bundle winding problems. On the bright side, we made it through the year without breaking the arms, or any other major throwing component of the machine. Huzzah!

Setting Up Mr. B

Mr. B arrives on the chunkin field. We left Framingham MA at about 1am and arrived on the field at perhaps 9:30am.

First things first. Both modes of starting on our hydraulic pump failed. Jeff scavenged bits off of a different snowblower of similar vintage and grafted them onto our setup to get it working so the most basic elements of setup could begin.

Jeff uses the big chain hoist to tip the rope bundles into place.

Hoist the long transverse regulae into place.

Kevin investigates using Dave's leaf spring arm-stopping mechanism to help cushion the blow on the outer stanchions. Eventually we decided to put off their use until we wound up the bundles much tighter.

Mista Ballista, testing our winch hole to see how far we can raise the engine in the air.

We then tightened the rope bundles late into the night. It takes a looooong time to get this machine tightened up. At this point everyone was operating on about 2 hours of sleep from the past 2 days.

We start the tightening process using come-a-longs. They have a much longer throw than the hydraulic cylinders and speed things up some for the first few winds.

Torsioning Failure

The next day, we added a quarter turn, and on the last bundle end, the torsioning arm let go.

The pins on this arm fit into the pin holes of the modiolus. Our hydraulic tensioning system ripped this right off the machine, bending three 1" pins, and shearing a 1/2 inch grade 8 bolt.

The bottom unwound so fast, it tightened itself in the opposite direction and prevented the arm from drooping.

Fortunately, we have two such torsioning arms. We investigated, and discovered that our backup had a loose pin! We were apparently mere moments from an unrecoverable failure here too. Dave repaired the backup arm, and added even more weld to it for good measure.

As we tightened that bundle back up to it's previous tension, the cause of the original problem became apparent. The torsion arms bolt into threaded holes on the modiolus. Two years ago when we made those holes, the epizygis was much longer, and there was a wide space where there were no holes. The arm had to be positioned sticking way out the side.

The hydraulic system then pulled at an inconvenient angle, and this caused the failure.

To solve the problem Dave pulled out his magnetic base drill press (sweet, huh?) and we bored and tapped new holes so we could tighten more effectively. This rescued us from not chunkin' at all this weekend.

Bolt on the new torsion arm with the new hole. It worked!

Huzzah! A big thanks to Dave for his hard work and ingenuity.

Chunkin Punkins!

At long last, Mr. B got to start chunkin stuff!

Loading a punkin into Roger's new throwing pouch.

This is our third generation splicing style. Roger spent many hours on the phone with helpful folks from New England Ropes (who sold us the Vectran) attempting to devise the ultimate splice design for our use.

Thanks New England Ropes!

In addition, Amy knitted us a new sling. The more we shoot stuff, the smaller we discover our throwing pouch needs to be.

Putting the new system under tension.

And check out the new signs Kevin made for us. Huzzah!

When the Association says "8 to 10 pound punkins" they mean it. Measuring our 8 lb 10oz pumpkin for our 3rd place 670 foot shot.

Mr. B getting ready to launch. 2800 lbs of measured tension is sitting at the trigger!

That's approximately 22700 foot pounds at the base of the arm, compared to 26800 foot pounds at the point where we had a catastrophic failure last year.

To put in that tension, we had about 7000 lbs exerted by the hydraulic ram which was running around 800psi at the pump when the previous torsion arm broke.


Thanks Jim Goodwin for these two great pictures.

Team Tormentum worked hard all weekend and it paid off. Thanks guys!

And with that, the 3rd place trophy was ours!


An animation of Mr. B firing our 1st competition shot. These 16 frames represent about 1/2 a second of real time.

Mouse Step Animator: Press Play or drag the Slider to switch frames.

00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


Google Video Service
Mista Ballista Highspeed

Highspeed video of Mista Ballista at the 2006 World Championship Punkin Chunk. Taken Saturday during free fire using a modified pumpkin that contains an electronic speaker to be used for doppler testing. During the launch the electronics came out of the pumpkin and can be seen impacting the PVC pipe at the front of the machine.
11 sec - Nov 7, 2006

Google Video Service -- Mista Ballista First Shot 2006

First shot for Mista Ballista at thd 2006 World Championship Punkin Chunk. When Jeff says just under 3000 he means 3000 lbs of pullback. The distance was 607\'
2 min - Nov 8, 2006

Additional Pages for Punkin Chunk 2006
World Championship Chunk 2006 The 2006 World Championship Punkin Chunk was a great year for both Mista Ballista, and the entire Torsion Class. Records were broken (Congrat's Marc and the Chucky team) and Mr. B broke all team records for distance!
World Championship Chunk 2006 - Mista Ballista Mista Ballista left it's mark on the Chunkin field with two throws over 600 feet, but getting there wasn't easy. Our first two days were plagued with bundle winding problems. On the bright side, we made it through the year without breaking the arms, or any other major throwing component of the machine. Huzzah!
World Championship Chunk 2006 - Torsion When Adam (of team Chucky) stands up on stage and says "TORSION RULES", he means it. Chucky II of the torsion class out threw all other catapults on the field with an amazing throw of over 2000 feet. Wow!
World Championship Chunk 2006 - Various Various other pictures from the chunk.

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