How a Contest Became a Hobby

I’m going to seriously nerd out here today and admit to a hobby of mine; racing RC cars. It’s not what you would exactly call a popular hobby. There’s no much of a community in most areas of the nation but somehow we’ve managed to establish something of our own here. It started from our local HackerSpace promoting a challenge online for interested individuals to build their own RC car for a one mile race around a local gym’s track. They had even bought race car scales to weigh each of the cars as the challenge had set out to build something under 2 pounds.

Building an RC car under 2 pounds is a challenge in of itself and they even had to clarify that it must have wheels of some sort after one contestant came in with a unique hovercraft design that would have completely wrecked the rest of us. From that first challenge the community grew. More and challenges soon followed in the same vein and we were soon building our own Battle Bots RC cars. We were allowed to weaponize them in order to take out the competition. I managed to build a RC jamming device which disrupted signals to a vehicle which allowed me to win but was soon banned from the races.

When I first discovered the posting online asking for entries into their challenge I never thought that I would get so into it. The winner got to take home a new MakerBot 3D printer – which was graciously given to the HackerSpace so that we would all be able to take advantage of it when building our new cars. It’s been a ton of fun and has helped me learn more about electronics and motors, radio frequencies and proper design methodologies. It’s more about building under the rules of a challenge rather than winning a race.

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