In 2016 I found out about Splendid Teapot Racing. I'm not sure quite how I found out about it, as usually I find out about awesome things a few days before or soon after the event, leaving me no time to create something worthy. Anyway, an extract from the 'Organiser's guide to Splendid teapot racing' to explain what its about:
Splendid Teapot Racing involves radio-controlled teapots negotiating an obstacle course within a set time. The vehicle is simply a teapot of the entrants’ choice attached to a radio-controlled car or truck and embellished to taste.
Having spent a few years as a teenager mucking around with radio control planes, cars, airboats and the ill-fated balsa hovercraft, this seemed a natural next step in the world of radio controlled vehicles.
I'd never seen these racing before and I only had a few pics on the net to go by, there are some size restrictions, but no limits such as motor size, running gear, RC, etc.
The small course meant that it would need to be:
- very manoeuvrable,
- low CG (center of gravity),
- ideally a wide wheel base,
- and biggish wheels (to go up obstacles).
Two teapot racers I've built
2016 - Motus Infundere Assamica
Tracked teapot racer based on a tank chassis. A bit slow, had some quirks with the transmitter, and a bit top heavy. However, I did use a few of the extra channels (from the unused gun turrent) to engage another motor for the the spinning teaspoon. Also had the sugar-cube dispenser, that drops sugar cubes. I spend a fair bit of time with the leather trim, and learning how hard it is drilling stainless steel.
It also had a ridicoulus TX controller, there was some sort of 'memory' mode, that with one played back approx 5 seconds of recorded button presses. This caused havoc often while sheep dog trialling and got some strange 'dance moves' going on.
2017 - Ateapotosaurus wellingtonia
Another tracked racer, severe hacking of a Nikko Velocitrax. I got this on flybuys cheap, I have to say the control out of the box of this thing was terrible. It only had one speed setting, which made it crap to drive. I ripped out the electrics, chucked in a FM radio unit I had, added 2x brushed ESCs and built it up from there. I thought I was getting ESCs without a brake, but alas they had brakes, this means that you have to 'centre' the transmitter sticks to change from forward to reverse and vice-versa. Next year I'll replace them and will get better driveability from them.
It was a bit overkill but the RC unit I had around was an old Futuba set from the 1980s. It looked more steampunk than the other 90s TX's I had. I removed the ratchet on the throttle and added a rubber band to have both sticks vertically controlling each motor/ESC.
Teapot Sheepdog Trials
This is a recent adaptation that involves two racers attempting to push/shove/bulldoze soft toy sheep into a 'pen' and closing the gate. Sounds easy? Its not, and its a free for all. Not quite battlebots but still pretty fun, tracked vehicles are pretty good for this, however both years I've had issues with the fenders I've attached for the event.
2016 Teapot Racer - Motus Infundere Assamica
Ready to herd some sheep (2016)
Some of the other racers at Race time - CupaDupa Festival 2017