Two Ideas : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Here are three ideas, two of which have been mentioned but I want to push for them:

1) Have the teams build a large mechnical calculator that can add, subtract, and multiply. The first team who's calculator finishes an equation first wins! Babbage did it, why can't Junkyard Wars do it?

2) A Zanboni. I don't know how they work but they should be about to smooth out the ice on a rink. Whoever does a better job of making a smooth icerink wins.

3) A really big record player with variable pitch control and a movable arm. Something that could play records 10 feet on a side would be cool to watch. Building the needle so it can transmit the music would be a pain but it might be possible.

I love the show!! Keep up the good work. Ben

-- Ben (, February 12, 2001


Finding a giant 10' record might be a little hard. I guess they could seed the yard with two huge plastic discs.....Not!!!!

-- John Gap (, February 12, 2001.

Thomas Edison's "Talking Machine" would be something similar to what you are suggesting, and could be built from scrap, using plastic pipe and a speaker or solenoid coil to control the stylus for cutting the record. This would also be needing a microphone and amplifier to make the original recording. The mic can be built, or a speaker can drive an amplifier as well. The quality of the recording would be quite junky, but it would be intresting. A wire recorder would be another way to go, and easier to build and make functional. The competetion day would not be too exciting with this challenge though.

-- Waddy Thompson (, February 12, 2001.

John, I was thinking of having two 10' records made (they got to be able to press out plastic that big) and whoever's recordplayer sounds best -> sounds most like the same record being played off a professional recordplayer.

Don't know how the designs might be different to make the compitition interesting, maybe direct-drive vs. belt-driven and make the design of the needles different.

Cheers, Ben

-- Ben (, February 12, 2001.

I don't know if you have noticed yet, but vinyl records are now museum and thrift store items, gone the way of steam engines. The band that I worked with for 15 years made records and I am familiar with the process. It takes a lot of fancy machinery to make the records. First mastering lathe, which is a sort of turntable that makes a wax positive of the record from a master tape. This is then electroplated with nickel to make a negative plate, called a "mother" and the wax melted out( the "mother" has a ridge instead of a groove.) This is then mounted on a very close tolerance very high powered steam heated and water cooled hydraulic press (about 90 tons for a ten inch record.) A glob of melted virgin vinyl is then injected into the press. The press then squeezes the air out of it, and the groove into it. The cold water cools the press plates and the record, and the press opens to discharge the finished product. It's a little complicated for a ten hour junk bodge.

-- Waddy Thompson (, February 12, 2001.

Waddy, a) I love vinyl now and I'm only just getting into music. Recently I've bought way more vinyl then CDs and I'm not going to change the trend cuz' I'm DJing now and loving it. I know a couple of friends who feel the same way.

b) I was meant that the teams should build a record PLAYER with a variable speed pitch control, not a cutter. It should be up to Junkyard wars to supply the larger then life records. I think the hard part would be to make the pitch control work properly. You can't just use a standard transmission to change the gearing, you'd have to use a good electrical motor which can vary it's speed or get/build a differential transmission. (something which can continuously change it gearing or something like that). Precision more then raw power is important in this contest.

Cheers, Ben

-- Ben (, February 12, 2001.

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