The Meccano Society of Scotland

Menstrie Meeting 2016

In May 2016 we held our annual Menstrie Meeting and Challange.
The challenge this year is to construct a hamster wheel and a hamster powered by a clockwork motor to run in it. See the Challenge Rules page for more details.

Menstrie Challenge - Report

The competition this year was to construct a wheel in which there was to be a (clockwork motor driven) hamster. The wheel making the greatest number of revolutions in one winding of the motor would be the winner.

As can be seen form the above photograph a large and very number of designs resulted. Everyone favoured a No1 clockwork motor as its running time is much greater for one winding than the Magic motor. However there the similarity in designs largely ended. The entrants had to solve two problems, One was the diameter of the wheel. Obviously the smaller the wheel the more revolutions. As the total distance travelled is πDN where D is the wheel diameter and N is the number of revolutions, minimizing D will maximize N. However as the hamster had to be removeable there were practical difficulties in getting D down. The other major problem was to keep the hamster running smoothly round the wheel without bumping into the sides A small made up wheel had a lot of joints to be negotiated, a large wheel made with Strip Plates had fewer joints.

In the end those who chose to compromise won the day. All three leading entries had a track consisting of two rails formed by the edges of Flanged Rings. In two cases the hamster ran on flanged wheels and was driven by a rubber ringed pulley wheel mounted on the output shaft of the motor and bearing directly on the surface of the ring. These two entries were first and second the difference being

Name Number of revolutions achieved
Bert Hutchings 66.3
Alistair Nicoll 52.8
George Roy 31.5
Gordon Stewart 27.0
Dale Stanford 14.8
Douglas Carson 5.25
Robert Jones 2.0
Bill Jack 1.5

In accepting the trophy Bert Hutchings congratulated Bill Jack on coming up with an imaginative and challenging problem which had given rise to an encouragingly large number of very varied entries.

Pictures from Menstrie 2016

High resolution versions of the photos are also available for download if desired.

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