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Team Urban Siege Drops to Third




This year has been a bad year for pumpkins. Today we destroyed one on our competition shot. The pumpkin was turned into a fine mist of bits similar to only how torsion machines and air cannons do to them. We are pulling massive g-forces with this new machine and the weak pumpkins this year are having trouble keeping together. We did take two test shots this evening and the first one bombed out there very nicely, albeit at a high trajectory. The second one was a weak-looking pumpkin and we blew that one to smithereens as well. The "good news" is that we are simply blowing up weak pumpkins. We have some 300 fps video of our shots clearly showing the pumpkin leaving the sling intact and then blowing up shortly thereafter, suggesting the pumpkins are failing due to a rebounding effect of the rind. More investigation is in order this off-season. We are looking for the best possible pumpkin for tomorrow's round 3 shot.





Team Urban Siege Joins the 2000-foot Club!




You heard it here! Team Urban Siege's new mystery trebuchet shot a nearly 9-pound pumpkin a whopping 2017 feet today! With a trebuchet field littered with misfires and pies, that placed us in second place after day 1. American Chucker edged us out with a 2032' shot, 2 feet shy of Yankee Siege's "World Record" mark of 2034'. Congratulations to those guys indeed. Our shot was somewhat high in trajectory, but nevertheless we became only the 3rd trebuchet IN THE WORLD to clear 2000 feet in competition. We have more in the tank, and we are gunning for a bigger mark tomorrow!





Field is Ready for the Chunk




The field is mostly filled now for the 2011 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. We fired a total of 4 times today. All went forward, though the first two broke small chunks off of the punkin. We discovered a small issue with our sling, fixed that, and the last 2 shots went out cleanly. Unfortunately, on the second shot of the day we slightly bent our counterweight axle (we had added more counterweight), but we solved that with the addition of a couple of strips of wood for the boxes to land on instead of bending the axle so bad. Things looked no worse on the last 2 shots. Those shots were a bit high in trajectory, but not terribly, and we shall see what tomorrow brings.





Team Urban Siege On Field and Firing




Team Urban Siege's new machine made it down to the field in Delaware for the 26th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin this morning around 9AM. Unlike Medieval Postal Service, this new machine only took us a couple hours to set up, and this was the first time we did a full set up on it straight through. It promises to get even easier in the years to come. We were inspected and ready to fire by early afternoon, but a hold on firing kept us from firing until late in the afternoon. We only had 2 shots all-time with this machine at this point, though both were terrific 1600-1700 foot shots (we didn't find one, the other was slightly downhill so getting a realistic distance is hard).





Team Urban Siege Ready for Chunkin!




That's right folks. Chunkin time is here! Team Urban Siege finally finished work on our new trebuchet to the point where we could fire it. Last Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2PM we pulled the trigger for the first time on this new machine. And it fired perfectly! We broke a strap on our old and very worn pouch that we'd been using for 3 years (and in hindsight it did get hung up pretty bad on the last chunk of 2010), but the punkin flew out beautifully. We then moved the machine (mostly assembled) to a more suitable location for hurling (that first shot was taken right next to the shop we were working out of) at Wendel's Poultry Farm. The second shot came roughly an hour later than the first, and with the backup pouch, we got a near carbon-copy of the first shot. Tuning was beautiful for both shots! And best of all, the machine was operating smoothly and nothing major was broken. Only one small feature was found to be a bit weak, and by the time of this post, the issue has long been rebuilt in a much more sturdy way.





New Machine Forthcoming




That's right! Team Urban Siege has gone ahead with building a new competition-level trebuchet. We are nearly done with it as of this writing, and hope to be getting our first shots off with it within a week. Just in time too, as the 2011 World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin' are fast approaching (November 4, 5, and 6). As with Medieval Postal Service, we will not be releasing many details or pictures until after the chunk, but rest assured, it is another cool-looking machine.





Updated Videos, New Trebuchet




Lots of video-related news. First of all, Google has "encouraged" everyone with videos on the old Google Video service to transition to YouTube. This was something that we saw coming a couple years ago when Google bought YouTube, which is why our last several years' worth of videos have been uploaded onto YouTube. Now Google is looking to close down the old service, and we had a dozen or so of our old videos on there. Luckily, Google made an easy way to switch the videos over, which we did a month ago. All embed code on the Team Urban Siege website is now running YouTube code.





All-New Plans Available for Download!




That's right, we have actually released plans that we created! The plans will enable you to build and even tune a small desktop-sized Hinged Counterweight Trebuchet (HCW) that will throw a small rubber ball 20 feet! Begin war today on your cubicle neighbors! See the page here: Mini-HCW Plans.





Imagine RIT in One Month




For the second year in a row, Team Urban Siege will be exhibiting some of our trebuchets at the Imagine RIT festival on Saturday May 7, 2011. We will be bringing the Melon Felon, Janus, and possibly a FAT Whipper which operates very similarly to Janus. Hopefully this time Janus will be firing all afternoon, as it is a VERY impressive machine when it fires, easily topping 100 miles per hour at launch with only 100 pounds of counterweight. If you are in the Rochester, NY area, feel free to stop by the festival, it is free and open to the public. We are exhibit 198, and there will apparently be a rocket exhibit right next to us!





TeamUrbanSiege.com Massive Update!




Team Urban Siege has (once again) updated the website. Hopefully this is the last major update for a long time. The visual changes are obvious to those familiar with the site before. We have hopefully made the site much less cluttered while still maintaining an easy navigation. All of the original pages are still here, but most have been renamed.







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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!!!