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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Eric Cioe, Dec 27, 2003.

  1. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    My buddy, his grandfather (doctorate in engineering), and I built a model for a trebuchet this week. It's very cool. I'll get pics up soon, but I'll give you the story.

    I read here a while back that someone built a treb. Seemed like a great idea, so I suggested it to my friend as something to do over spring break. He told me about his grandfather, and we decided to build a scale model of the real thing, to test the principles.

    The throwing arm is about 4 feet long, and the counterweight is 20 pounds. We launched golf balls to a distance of 150 feet. It's very accurate. He lives on the lake, so we took it out on his dock and launched it onto the ice too. We thought it would bust the ice, but instead they bounced about 20 feet. Very, very cool. I'll get some pics up tonight.
  2. I remember reading once about the possibility of using a series of trebuchets as a way of getting stuff into orbit. It was unclear as to how they were supposed to be supported in midair.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    you too?

    Blisshead built one not too long ago.
  4. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Good Luck! We ( Dan and I) have no formal engineering education, but we did drink a few beers before we started. We are planning a huge trebuchet in the near future.
  5. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    You'll shoot your eye out! :spit:
  6. anyone rembmer the trbuchets of Minas Tirith from ROTK? Those were super
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    OMG!!!!!11!!!11!1!!! *** IZ A TREBUCHET, N008??????/?? LOL!
  8. via satellite

    via satellite

    Sep 16, 2003
    I built a trebuchet in high school physics class...we were in teams; I designed it, and then we had this contest to throw things and hit a target. The arm was 10' long, the counterweight was 100 lbs. In the pic, my team's trebuchet is in the foreground. We were the only ones to hit the target, but we'd used really crappy wood and on that last shot, the trebuchet self-destructed. Totally awesome. :bassist:
  9. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Sounds kind of like you're thinking of tethers? Not quite a trebuchet, but just a long cartwheeling "rope" in orbit, with "hooks" on either end. Just cartwheels around, then once in a while grabs a satellite from low earth orbit, then at the top of the spin lets go and throws it up to geosynch orbit.

    One could also be used to essentially pick up / drop off things on the surface of the moon. At periodic points around the circumferance, the tether would basically drop down out of the sky, you hook the payload on before it zips back up again. Because of the lack of atmosphere, you could basically have this thing come down to within feet of the surface. I think they figure it would take three tethers to get fairly decent sized packages from LEO to the moon (leo->geo, geo->moon orbit, moon orbit->surface).

    The mass of the tether is usually enough on its own, up to a given payload size. Because they lose a little energy for each payload, periodic "kicks" can be given (at least for those in Earth orbit) by sending currents through the tether, interacting w/ the Earth's magnetic field.

    There's a company not far from here, Tethers Unlimited, which is working on this. I called them up a few years ago, but they didn't need software engineers at the time. :(

  10. Ah, hey, that's what I was thinking of, Taylor. Thanks.

    It does seem like a good idea, if a bit loopy. It doesn't solve the problem of how to get stuff from the ground to LEO, though. :(
  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Yeah. That's what the Space Elevator is for. :D
  12. why schools today, suck.
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Your school is excellent.
  14. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I made this joke last time, but you know a trebuchet is a weapon of mass destruction right? :p
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Can you guys bring this thing to my house? I have some stuff I gotta get rid of that the garbageman won't take.
  16. via satellite

    via satellite

    Sep 16, 2003
    I think that particular teacher tried to engage us by letting us destroy stuff...the "let's use concave mirrors to burn stuff" lab was also very popular.

    As far as trebuchets for garbage, I guess there are a few dudes who made big ones to throw pianos and old PC's. We were only allowed to throw tennis balls, so we filled them with pennies for that extra 'je ne sais quoi...'


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    trebuchets are awesome! when i go back to school (only a week left in break =[) we start the new semester and i have physics honors. i love physics (planning on majoring in it, maybe with a double major in jazz studies) and i know this class is gonna be great. one of the projects is to construct a trebuchet or catapault that have to be able to hurl small objects a certain distance. i cant wait! :)

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