The Awesome Rat Trap Car!
11-4-08 11/05/2008
 

On the day of 11-4-08, we had a really dramatic day. First we replaced the duck tape role with one that had less weight. Then we tested it and guess what??? What? you don't have a guess? Common! Fine! I will just tell you.... IT WAS A SUCCESS!!! BUT unfortunately, we did not record our progress. Then we tried it a second time...AND WOWZA! It went 8- let me repeat that- 8 INCHES! After this, we went to tell our "scientific expert" and she couldn't believe it! Then we tried it again....OF COARSE!!! It didn't work.....At first we were puzzled. So again we went to our "Scientific expert". She suggested we put the duck tape on a stick, but instead of setting the rat trap all the way, she just held it barely out of place and released it....And it worked- maybe not a meter, or 8 inches, but it was something, we got at the very LEAST an inch. So with that, we closed our session and were good to go.=]

 
 

    Sorry, but this post is just a little late from the date, but we were having computer issues. Just to let you know the post will be shorter than the average post.

    Okay, just to let you know, we started off normally. We started out with adding minor adjustments with weight. At first we tested the wooden paddles again, but with no avail. Then we progressed to the hammer. (Give us a break we had no other ideas...) Well, as you have probably guessed, the hammer doesn't work at all, it doesn't move.

   As we have told before our 'scientific expert' couldn't figure out anything else, even though her ideas were good, the car wasn't cooperating. As we grew more and more desperate, a brilliant idea was born. Duct tape. You may be wondering how this helps, but consider it a 5th wheel. That's right, we attached the wheel by yarn to the long stick to add more weight. Well, as brilliant as this was, it didn't work as well.

   Sure there was no hop, but it wouldn't move. It actually flipped backwards, which is quiet a feat if you think about it. We continued the testing with more or less the same result. Then we tried it backwards just so the car would move forward and once again... no victory.


 
 

      Today is Halloween and luckily the cat is far too busy entertaining guests to check in on the mouse so we we're free to practice today. Still, the problem remains that who is here to give us candy? Well, the mouse had a good idea, but that would include escaping from here, so until then, there would be no trick-or-treating for us. What disappointment surrounds us.     
  
    Another morning has come and gone and we still can't figure out and grasp the problem. As we began to experiment we realized that the mobile had a mind of its own. Instead of wishing to help the mouse it was desperate for candy. The car thought that if it was dressed up as something it would get some sort of treat and it chose to be a bunny. Why? Well, it hopped more than moving forward. Actually, I don't think it moved forward more than a centimeter. Speaking of a bunny, it doesn't look any different from the cannon it looked like the other day so have no worries about that.
     

    The more we tried to test it, the more stubborn it got. It got to the point when the rat trap would hardly go off until we tapped the stick from the back. Ridiculous? The car didn't get the message. We tried many things, making the string long, then short and shorter still. Winding it the both ways with the same result... well kind of the outcome would be in different directions. It didn't go more than an inch though and what's more annoying than that... it went 4 INCHES the other day.
   
  
    Throughout the whole process we pretty much had our 'scientific expert' on speed dial and she came back with good ideas. None of them worked well though, sadly. One of them was adding more weight at the back, but it only resulted in less bounce. We put wooden spoons on the bottom and at last it was dressed up. It looked more like a dragon than anything else, but it could also pass for a turbo-speed-wannabe. Now she's fresh out of ideas and then mentioned a 'math expert.'We haven't looked for his advice yet, but we all, the Cookie Monsters, yearn for progress and answers. No such luck yet.
Spooked out enough for three,Cookie Monsters

 
 

    I'm sure you noticed the date, and yes it is the day before Halloween. But kept in a room or isolated as the evil cat would proclaim, we don't have much to do. We did dress up the mouse with a small hat though, seasons greetings?!? Besides that matter however, we have come with another modification. Instead of a nice rectangular box below the rat trap that shows the back axles we have a pulley. (Thanks Mr. Ditton! We appreciate your help immensely!) We hope this works.

We didn't record while testing like the past days. Instead we're just going off what we remember so be patient. It's well noted that there are no intrusions involving a cat, but sadly our 'practicing arena' has a been cluttered so we had to take small tests. Mostly we just dealt with taping a long stick on the rat trap so that the sting would pull out further. Before we did this though, we would like you to know that our car... bounced. It hopped and you would have thought it was a bunny mobile, but never mind that. After the wooden stick was on, it looked like a cannon. That's right, us Cookie Monsters are diabolical. (The mouse may have to re-think trusting us...) Well, thinking this would work... it didn't. No matter how much help we gathered from our 'scientific expert' it only moved a couple of inches.

After winding it up differently, making the rat trap metal part bend back more, putting the stick on securely, taping the yarn to the pulley, taking scissors to the wheels to make ridges, and then duck taping the wheels we got more or less the same result; little movement. If we could just save the mouse... Well we could, but only if it was one inch away from the exit door, but I don't think that would be much use. Ah, sweet victory would taste pleasantly sweet but all we have is the sour taste of failure... well, we have movement but a couple of inches isn't life saving.

Hoping for hope,
Cookie Monsters.




 
 

      Just to have you know, our car is modified dramatically. Yesterday, if you read, the axles broke... well split, but you know what I mean. That made the car not level and therefore not exactly moving. String was also an issue so we are going to switch yarn to ribbon and the size once again. We made the wheels thinner, but larger and the axles are rounder and no split!

First Test: It has come for the first test of the day... and hopefully it will work well. Ally, as we speak, is setting up the rat trap car and is about to set it off. Movement would be nice. We did have movement, but Ally tells me that it went 2 1/2 inches exactly. We are wondering if a shorter string will work, but only because it will create more tension.

Second Test: Once setting up the yarn, at a new length shorter than the last one. We will measure the differences momentarily so that you will know. The rat trap is set and we are in... motion! The rat trap went farther than before... exactly 4 inches. Shorter string works so once again we will be testing a shorter string. The first size was:19in.  The second size: 11 1/2in. Now the size is: 8 inches.
Third Test: With the new size of string, we are hoping for more movement. That is our hypothesis, for the car to travel more than 4 inches. Perhaps it will work to the greater good. The rat trap is set and we're off. No movement which was devastating to our esteem. We are trying it once more, hopefully it will produce better results. It moved exactly 2 cm. Not good so we are trying 10 inches this time. I hope it works.

Fifth Test: The rat trap is set up, and we are ready to rumble! Before we 'rumble' we should let you know that we made the sting 10in to see if that makes a difference. Then we are going to compare the two sizes once again... ah, the 'rumbling' has come. Slight problem, it was winding the wrong way so we are going to try it again. It moved 3in, so not all that well. Now we are changing the size to 11in.

Sixth Test: With the new size of string, at 11in, we are hoping for more movement. If not, we'll move up to 12in to see if that will work. So, the main inquiry today is string size, maybe tomorrow it will be different, hopefully. It moved 4in, which is decent, but back to the drawing board. Ally is going to see how long the back wheels will turn. They turn for: barely 1.5 seconds.

Seventh Test: Never mind the yawn we're trying a piece of ribbon that is__. We are setting up the rat trap now. It went 3 1/2 inches, but that is all. It's hard to tell whether yarn or ribbon works better. Like a line from a movie that I can't remember, only time can tell.


 
 

      At last the day has come for us to test our contraption... but there is no interference from the horrible and dasturdly cat. Onto our life-saving observations! Before testing we noted that the axles had split so the wheels are crooked and not level. We are guessing that this will affect the vehicle.

First Test- Once giving us some free room in the cluttered room we set the rat trap and set it off. I'm sure you expected movement, and we did too. If you guessed that... you didn't win the lottery. The string broke instead making it impossible for the car to move. It snapped probably because it was very weak, so we tried yarn which is more firm.

Second Test- Once the yarn was firmly in place, we set off the rat trap with high hopes of movement. We are eagerly waiting for movement... maybe fate will be on our side. And yet again... it didn't move. Obviously it isn't our turn for happiness and feeling worthwhile. We set it off again, same set up. Once set off, the wheel spun... but only one. I guess that means the mobile needs to be level... perfect.

Fourth Test- Set it up once more and same affect. There was movement, but only with the same wheel. We have decided that we will have more weight on the sides that aren't level, even though will be re-doing the wheels and axles. As another modification we spun the yarn around the otherway.

Fifth Test- With our modifications made, we are ready to test. We are hoping that the problem with moving is because of the fact that the contraption isn't level. This will prove whether or not that is true. The finding shall wait. Well, for us anyway, but you get the point. And no movement except for a jiggle with the metal coins that we used to make it so that the wheels don't cause us issues... but I don't think that is the problem...


Sixth Test- After talking over coffee with our 'scientific expert' (just kidding =D) We acknowledged that the string may be too long so we are shortening it. Will it be stronger... or be worse? Testing is the only answer. The answer? We have been devastating failured over and over again and again and this concludes the day.