There was never really any doubt that Monsoon would return for Battlebot 2019 - but who would be in the team? After the last season and following on from his success in China with AU THumper, Tim decided that he wanted to build another hammer bot so he teamed up with Jack Tweedy to build Ragnarök. Sam also decided not to return which left two vacancies, so Rory (brushless motor and electonics genius) and Suvv (Monsoooooooon, but in a Scottish accent) joined the team.
On just a quick glance Monsoon Mk2 looks very similar to Mk1, but in actual fact it's entirely new machine - all apart from one vital piece of kit but we'll get onto that later.
Externally you couldn't see many changes. However Monsoon 2 was wider and the front armour shape was changed slightly to get rid of the text cut outs (these were a catch point in the fight against SOW last year). The bulkheads, chassis and weapon shaft were all made stronger by using thicker materials. We also had more flexibility in the armour set ups, lighter front armour with hardox plates for overhead weapons ( Ragnarok) and then thicker armour (same as last year) for spinners.
For the first time Monsoon 2 featured a powerful new brushless drive train, an optional enormous disc, a massively strengthened chassis and weapon system, and about 100 different armour setups and fork attachments.
The weapon motor was changeable depending on the armour set up we used as the brushed and brushless motors were considerably different in weight. Remember that vital piece of kit mentioned earlier? Well the Etek R was again the main weapon motor. That's not just the same type of motor used by Tauron in Robot Wars, but it's the actual one that was handed over the fence by Team Phantom at Robot Wars filming back in 2016, and was then used in Tauron 1, Tauron 2, Tauron 3/Monsoon 1 and now Monsoon 2 (you can still see the Concussion sticker that Tim put on it at RW filming)! It just keeps on going!! However this time we also had the LEM 170 and RV-160 brushless as backup in case we were overweight in alternative set ups.
For drive we switched from NPCs to brushless drive giving us more pushing power and speed. Luckily Rory is a wizard of brushless magic and so was able to upgrade the drive from very heavy NPC motors that were around 5kg each to brushless systems that only weighed in at 2.5 kg each. Even then Monsoon was constantly sat right on the weight limit as we always set up for the opponent differently. Sometimes this meant thinner armour pannels for more weapon power, and other times we went on the defensive with thicker armour.
Although we didn't start to build Monsoon 2 until after the 2019 season was confirmed, we actually fixed up Monsoon 1's chassis and weapon section to test out Monsoon 2's brushless drive. We fought with this setup at Extreme Robots in Cheltenham 2018 under the Tauron name (due to contractual reasons we couldn't then fight under the Monsoon name at this event) and it proved to be very successful once we'd got a few electronic glitches ironed out - have a look at the YouTube video below of one of our fights. Oops, sorry SMIDSY - but at least the weapon was only running at half speed!!
The single tooth bar this year was much stronger, in fact we had three different weapons with us this time round!
We planned to use the single tooth for robots that we need to deliver the biggest hits to, or horizontals, as this minimises the chance of them catching it side on. The double ended bar is best for robots that we really need to keep on hitting reliably or if we're hitting too hard (the two ends reduce engagement). It's also used when the single tooth bar gets bent...!
It really didn't seem long until we were packing up again (much bigger crate this year - more sponsors meant we could afford more spare parts!) and Monsoon Mk2 was off to Long Beach.