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Jeckyl Hyde Launch




Today we took out Jeckyl and Hyde once again for some launching as a King Arthur-style trebuchet. The arm had been completely rebuilt after last month's failure, though nothing had been done to smooth out the ribbed secondary release pin. However, it looked early on as if this was not a problem. Once again, we launched baseballs with 50 pounds of counterweight, since we are not willing to up the counterweight until we get a day of good launches were we do not break anything. Only then will we feel comfortable upping the counterweight.





Jeckyl Hyde Launch




Today Jeckyl and Hyde was taken out for some launching in King Arthur configuration. Chris and Jason were not around, but some of Matt's family members helped out, since Jeckyl and Hyde requires two people to operate. Testing, once again, was with a 50 pound counterweight and a standard baseball as the projectile. It was a beautiful day for launching weather-wise, but Jeckyl and Hyde was a bit cranky anyway. The first shot was not much of a shot. In fact, the secondary trigger failed to trigger completely until just after the counterweight smashed into the arm. Damage, however, was minimal as only the pin we used to hold the tip of the arm in the secondary trigger bent, and was fairly easily bent back into a usable position. No other damage was found.





Melon Felon Launch




Melon Felon was taken out today for a good workout. This was actually the first time that we ever fired with the full designed counterweight of 300 pounds, since the last time we had something heavy to launch was last Spring, when we had 6 Olympic weights, which take up more room than the standards. But we got 6 more standards back in March, bringing our total up to 12 plates, each weighing 25 pounds, for a total counterweight of 300 pounds. We also got a 4 pound medicine ball to launch with, as the Melon Felon was initially designed to launch watermelons weighing between 3 and 5 pounds.





Jeckyl Hyde Launch




Jeckyl and Hyde has now fired for real. We got a total of 6 shots off, before time, light, and some design flaws came into play. It seems that Jeckyl and Hyde's base was not made wide enough to fire stably as a King Arthur-style trebuchet. And so, the machine rocked on every single shot. Not too big a deal at first, but it became one.





ASME Watermelon Launch




Today was the day for the Melon Felon's public debut. The Second Annual Watermelon Launch at RIT, sponsored by the RIT ASME chapter was the place. Due to the short time line in which to make a machine and get ready to compete, we got very little testing done.







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Use "common sense" when operating trebuchets and catapults. Even little ones can be dangerous. Do not place anything you are not willing to lose in the plane of the arm rotation (this includes yourself, body parts, car windshields, cameras, etc). These catapults and trebuchets are capable of throwing just as far backwards as forwards, and the use of a backstop of some sort is recommended, though the use of one does not make the region behind it safe.

Also, just because the throw got away safely downrange does not mean the end of the danger. The arm is likely still swinging wildly along with the counterweight, and there is a sling whipping around. One thing many people fail to take into account is this sling; some people put a metal ring on the slip end of the sling and this ring can HURT when whipping around!

Have fun hurling, but please KEEP IT SAFE!!!