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EVguru
10-30-2009, 12:18 PM
On Scrapheap Challenge series 8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zok1i1i7UM&feature=player_embedded#

The Beasts of Bodmin, a great bunch of guys!

Glad to have helped them through to the next round and therefore on to the final where they only narrowly (and slightly controversially) lost.

lazlo
10-30-2009, 12:55 PM
Great job Paul! I didn't know they were still running the Junkyard Wars program -- same hosts, different name?

I'd like to do one of those Junkyard War challenges :)

Black_Moons
10-30-2009, 01:49 PM
What on earth do those relays pictured do anyway?

tdkkart
10-30-2009, 02:38 PM
Great job Paul! I didn't know they were still running the Junkyard Wars program -- same hosts, different name?


I suspect that JunkYard ws was another victim of being too technically challenging for average Americans.

That, couple with the fact that the main characters in the show never yell at eac other makes it a sorry loser in the American TV market,

EVguru
10-30-2009, 02:42 PM
Scrapheap Challenge is the original version.

The first few series of Junkyard Wars were made by the British production
team back-to-back with Scrapheap Challenge with both being filmed in the
US. When broadcast in the USA, Scrapheap Challenge was also re-titled
Junkyard Wars because Americans apparently didn't understand what a
Scrapheap was (I actually found this to be true during my trips to the US!)
and they thought that 'challenge' was too namby pamby.

After a few series, Discovery bought the rights to JW and took over
production. The presentation style gradually became more agressive and
teams encouraged to bad mouth each other. Veiwing figures declined and the
programme was eventually cancelled along with the importation of SC.

Scrapheap Challenge 'propper' contined to Series 10 with various specials
and the Scrapheap Roadshow with home builds being brought along to compete
against the house team. The Current series now follows that format and is
nowhere near as good. Talking to the production team when I was involved, I
know it was quite an expensive programme and Channel 4 had a rather strange
attitude to it, never announcing or trailing a new series and one year even
stopping half way through and broadcasting the remaining episodes about six
months later. The new format is much cheaper to make.

Black_Moons
10-30-2009, 02:49 PM
A show about roaming around a junkyard and making stuff is expensive? What did they do, buy the junkyard? Or just start off with an empty lot and fill it with new stuff? lol.

EVguru
10-30-2009, 03:01 PM
What on earth do those relays pictured do anyway?

You did catch the fact that these were battery powered vehicles didn't you?

They're the main contactors in the RecTactor control system.

There were six 12volt Optima YellowTop batteries (I actually got the sponsorship deal set up) arranged as three groups of 24volt. These three groups were then connected in parallel with diodes (salvaged from an engine driven welder). When the first contactor was closed you got low speed. Closing the second contactor connected two of the groups in series (reverse biasing the diodes) giving you 48 volt. Closing the final contactor gave you 72 volt. All the batteris are always in circuit but the 48 volt step is unbalanced. If I'd been allowed to go to 4 groups I could have gone 24,48,96 or you could alternate the pairs in the 48volt step to keep all the batteries at the same state of discharge. The contactor sequencing was done by a cam timer with the throttle cable connected in place of the synchronous motor. In combination with the clutch and gearbox this actually gave very smooth control.

I've driven worse converions on the road.

EVguru
10-30-2009, 03:20 PM
A show about roaming around a junkyard and making stuff is expensive? What did they do, buy the junkyard? Or just start off with an empty lot and fill it with new stuff? lol.

For the series I was in, yes they did exactly that. The scrapyard always had to be a controlled area, so it couldn't be a 'real' working yard. In the early series they used a fenced off section of a working yard, but there were problems with sound quality, vehicle movements and the lack of a covered build area (The production crew don't like getting wet and it's not good for the cameras). They rented an area on a Military base with a pair of vehicle workshops and bought in suitable salvage, but that wasn't a large part of the costs.

Expense is relative, but they had five camera men, one less than in the previous year and sometimes we had to do stuff over for the camera, or wait until someone was available. The sound/comms setup was one of the most complicated ever used for a TV program, with crew radios, team radios and microphones, etc. Some of the edditing was done almost live on site to keep the time it took down and that was an impressive setup with quite a few operators.

If you haven't been involved with the making of a TV program, you'd probably be surprised at the number of people involved, many of them with apparently nothing to do. Later you'd see them rushing around like a 5 year old dosed up on Tartrazine.

I've heard that the new format costs about half as much an episode to produce.

Peter.
10-30-2009, 04:13 PM
I don't like the new format at all. Inundated with chav & pikey families who can barely utter a coherent word. It's more crapheap than scrapheap now.

Doc Nickel
10-30-2009, 04:36 PM
A show about roaming around a junkyard and making stuff is expensive?

-Besides what EV noted, also think of the insurance. :D

Look at some of the early JW episodes. Remember the gliders? One was two old wings nailed together, with a guy sitting on top and being dragged by the launching winch.

Drag racers, off-road trucks, amphibious vehicles, I seem to recall some submarines... Then there were the air cannons and gunpowder rifles... All of which is built in the short term, with virtually no testing, out of junk and leftovers.

I'm actually kind of surprised they managed to get it insured in the US in the first place.

Doc.

EVguru
10-30-2009, 08:17 PM
My favorite SC was one of the 'specials', the international mega-challenge celebrating the Wright brother's first manned, powered, and heavier than air flight.

Two day (20 hour) build, three way challenge between American, British, and French teams; Construct an aircraft using only hand tools. The teams were given Rotax aero engines.

The American team chose to build a replica of a Waldon 9 for which only photographs existed.

The French built a Bleriot replica.

The British team built a freeform biplane.

The Waldon 9 suffered from COG problems and a rigging fault that caused one wing tip to curl under, preventing takeoff on the test run. The Bleriot took off and flew straight and true about 10 feet off the ground. The British design took off, soared into the sky and appeared to be heading for the next state!

The American team eventually got their machine into the air, but it was difficult to fly due to the foreplane elevator being in the pilot's eyeline. The Bleriot flew a nice conservative course and the Brittish entry appeared ready for a sheduled service!

BTW Doc, have you seen; http://www.rebelhome.net/scaledtanks.html

Doc Nickel
10-30-2009, 08:39 PM
BTW Doc, have you seen; http://www.rebelhome.net/scaledtanks.html

-I had not. I've seen any number of "mini tank" builds on places like YouTube, ranging from rebodied golf carts to pretty-near authentic-looking from-scratch jobbies, but I didn't know there was a site devoted to 'em.

Some of the larger "scenario" games- paintballers 'roleplaying' a game, anything from WW2 battles to Star Trek "Federation vs. Klingon" stuff- tend to bring out the tanks. Most of the hosting companies have rules for their use, too- "small arms" (IE, regular paintball guns) fire don't affect them, you have to use "grenades" (yes, we have them, but they're uniformly poor and largely ineffectual) or "rocket launchers" (some people use air cannons to toss those mortar-round-shaped Nerf footballs) to take them out- in, of course, sort of a 'touch football" manner.

Doc.

boslab
10-30-2009, 11:18 PM
i used to like it but to be honest it reminded me of going to work too much, i think half my spares come out of a dumpster, the rest of the time is cannibalisation, employers dont like buying spares, thank god the steel industry dont build aeroplanes or youd end up trying to fix your own plane halfway across the atlantic.
Some of the junkyard idea are novel to say the least [some appear ridiculous too] also some of the maths reminds me of Mythbusters! [esp percentages lol]
still its entertainment, well done.
mark

RKW
10-30-2009, 11:19 PM
I suspect that JunkYard ws was another victim of being too technically challenging for average Americans.

That, couple with the fact that the main characters in the show never yell at eac other makes it a sorry loser in the American TV market,

So true ... its a wonder that MythBusters is still on.

Doc Nickel
10-31-2009, 02:56 AM
So true ... its a wonder that MythBusters is still on.

-No it's not. Look at how often Mythbusters blows something up, sets it on fire, runs it over with a truck, or shoots it with a machine gun. :D

The original premise had promise, but nowadays it's pretty much just a thinly-veiled excuse to play with explosives.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. :D

JYW started to taper off in popularity when there became less "kludging" and more "inter-team rivalry" drama. It's the same complaint people have (or had) against Monster Garage and similar shows. The mechanics and shopwork is left secondary (if not tertiary) to the arguing, tool-throwing "drama" and artificial 'deadlines'.

Battlebots was basically the same problem: virtually everyone that tuned in just wanted to see 'bot-on-'bot carnage (reference the Mythbusters note, above.) But Comedy central insisted on having cute-but-legally-brain-dead Carmen Electra and a couple of has-been football jocks as announcers, and only showing four to six fights per episode.

And even of those, many were the utterly boring teeny lightweight-class pushybots just shoving each other around for the full three minutes. Whereas we only got one or two quick glimpses of the truly monstrous superheavyweights with the big active weapons once or twice a season.

People started tuning out in droves when you had to watch a half hour of nearly-painful interactions between the hosts and the not-all-that-socially-adept geek builders, just to see that one half-second righteous death blow.

Doc.

RKW
10-31-2009, 11:06 AM
I have tried to overlook the "new" Mythbusters and how nearly everything has an over-the-top ending, but it is about all that is left. (Warning: nerd alert) When I went to see the show's hosts Jamie and Adam in Columbus a year or two ago nearly every 10 year old kid had to ask the same question about blowing something up. I bet they enjoy professional wrestling and monster trucks too ...

The team is really quite good with nearly anything they tackle. I often see mistakes in the making that they no doubt see themselves and then realize that I'm watching TV ... some of it is left in intentionally for the potential learning effect.

The secret to television in America will have to be learning by accident, if it happens at all. Educational content has to be secretly embedded within layers of artificial reality to even gain any viewers. Education is so NOT a priority here anymore if ever. I wish this were not true but there are too many examples, TV is just one of them.


-No it's not. Look at how often Mythbusters blows something up, sets it on fire, runs it over with a truck, or shoots it with a machine gun. :D

The original premise had promise, but nowadays it's pretty much just a thinly-veiled excuse to play with explosives.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. :D

JYW started to taper off in popularity when there became less "kludging" and more "inter-team rivalry" drama. It's the same complaint people have (or had) against Monster Garage and similar shows. The mechanics and shopwork is left secondary (if not tertiary) to the arguing, tool-throwing "drama" and artificial 'deadlines'.

Battlebots was basically the same problem: virtually everyone that tuned in just wanted to see 'bot-on-'bot carnage (reference the Mythbusters note, above.) But Comedy central insisted on having cute-but-legally-brain-dead Carmen Electra and a couple of has-been football jocks as announcers, and only showing four to six fights per episode.

And even of those, many were the utterly boring teeny lightweight-class pushybots just shoving each other around for the full three minutes. Whereas we only got one or two quick glimpses of the truly monstrous superheavyweights with the big active weapons once or twice a season.

People started tuning out in droves when you had to watch a half hour of nearly-painful interactions between the hosts and the not-all-that-socially-adept geek builders, just to see that one half-second righteous death blow.

Doc.

Littleleroy38
10-31-2009, 12:03 PM
"chav & pikey families who can barely utter a coherent word." Is that British for what Americans would call "redneck" or "white trash"?

danlb
10-31-2009, 01:39 PM
I really like both the scrapheap challenge and the junkyard wars. SC was shown here for a season or two. It's too bad that you can't download the SC episodes from the BBC web site if you have a US IP address. :(

John Stevenson
10-31-2009, 02:02 PM
I really like both the scrapheap challenge and the junkyard wars. SC was shown here for a season or two. It's too bad that you can't download the SC episodes from the BBC web site if you have a US IP address. :(

I believe it can be done with a proxy server.
Needs someone Stateside to try it and explain it, we have to do it with some of the book downloads from your universities and the US patent sites.

edit,
Good one on IPlayer [ the BBC's replay program ] at the moment, James May's [ nerdy one in Top Gear ] Toy Story. This is where he looks at toys of yesteryear and tries to get kids of today interested. The one on at the moment is scaling an Airfix kit of a Spitfire up to full size and getting some 13 year old's to built the kit, quite interesting.
He's done a full sized Lego house [ had to demolish it - no planning permission :D - true ] and 12" to the foot Meccano, not seen that one yet.

John S

Evan
10-31-2009, 02:05 PM
Try going to

http://anonymouse.org

Peter.
10-31-2009, 02:08 PM
Scrapheap isn't on BBC, it's on channel 4. Up to series 10 is the old format, from 11 onwards is the new programme:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/scrapheap-challenge/4od

EVguru
11-02-2009, 09:32 AM
Of course if you're old enough (and from the UK) you'll remember "The Great Egg Race"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx8peNet8Sg&feature=related

and "Now Get Out Of That"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVml5SQVLc

and of course "Rough Science" although that has definitely been shown overseas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT5dJaZo2IM