Any Big-Gun clubs in Northern California??

Discussion in 'Independents' started by Ironbeard, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    First, let me say thanks to Gary Powell for his words of encouragement. That means a lot to me.

    To Johnny: Every new member we've landed through our efforts at Maker Faire has been a keeper. They tend to be innovators and creative engineering types. One of the best examples is Jeff Krolik (BigGunJeff in this thread) who has just about perfected a 3D printed, rotating, negative pressure cannon that I truly believe will revolutionize and revitalize the Big Gun sector of this hobby. I'll put together a build thread on this project, after Maker Faire. The goal right now is to test three of the 3D triples in a Roma at the event.

    Here's the proof-of-concept test firing of the prototype 1.0:
    [​IMG]


    OK, I see that I have been remiss in sharing information with the wider RC Warship Combat community. I apologize for that. I will start a thread or album or some sort of permanent area, assuming Nick agrees, on the concept of RC Warship Combat as a spectator sport. Maker Faire would be one subcategory of that topic, at least in my mind.

    So, here's the question of the hour: RC Warship Combat aside, name one RC-related competitive hobby that doesn't have a strong spectator element.

    Without spectators, there's no media coverage. Without media coverage, there is no value to a sponsor. Without sponsorship, there are no funds beyond our own pockets. Left to our own devices, we go off in the boonies somewhere, and play with our friends. Nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't put food on the table for the few vendors who try to produce parts and equipment for this hobby.

    That's my piece. Maybe somebody else will come up with a concept that blows our Maker Faire Battle Pond out of the water, and maybe it will be less expensive and require fewer human resources. I would love to see that happen!

    Rob
     
  2. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rob! I am looking forward to your information. I am still curious about the overall effect the Make Faire has had on your group. You mentioned Jeff, is he the only guy you were able to retain? Does he battle? Anyone else?

    I know @Bob has mentioned the 1/10/100/1000 rule (I may be wrong on it.. he can correct me) .. for every 1000 guys that are interested.. 100 may buy a boat, 10 of those guys will ever make it to a battle, and only 1 of those guys will ever make it to the water.

    I am curious just how strong of an effect the Maker Faire has made on your group overall especially considering the time invested.

    Thanks

    Johnny
     
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  3. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Also do you guys have a facebook page? Share it to the group: Model Warship Combat | Facebook and it will go out to a growing group of modeling enthusiasts.

    If you don't have a facebook page for the event/group then tell me which website you want me to reference and I will share it from that group.

    Thanks

    J
     
  4. Bob

    Bob Well-Known Member

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    100 people will show interest and may even come to local battles.
    10 may even buy a ship and battle some.
    1 will stick with it and travel to events.
     
  5. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    Jeff Krolik is not only an inventor and engineer, he is a hard-working, hard-battling captain.

    WWCC currently has 32 members, half of whom attend pretty much every event, and most of the 2nd half attend at least some events. Virtually every member participates in Maker Faire, and most of those participate every day. In the past 5 years or so, 100% of our members have come through our efforts at Maker Faire, either directly (by starting as spectators), or indirectly (watching videos, or hearing about us on various Maker Faire related websites, forums and FB pages). 100% of the members who joined via one of these Maker Faire connections has remained a member, and all have built ships, and all are fierce competitors.

    In terms of the cost/benefit ratio, I will say that the Battle Pond can't be looked at solely as a recruiting tool. The number one consideration is that it is a BLAST to battle for two solid days in that environment. 10 battles in 2 days is a major challenge for any captain. One of the other attractions is that it's an intense proving ground for new technologies, new ships, and new captains.

    In addition, we team up with the San Francisco Model Yacht Club (SFMYC), whose members teach people how to sail sailboats and power boats in between battles, and help set up the pond before the event, and help take it down after the event. SFMYC members also teach the volunteer captains how to run the cargo ships that decide the outcome of the battles, and keep those cargo ships operating. Virtually all of them sink 10 times in 2 days. Some of the SFMYC members have crossed over, and have joined WWCC.

    We also team up with the Mare Island SubCommittee. These guys teach spectators how to operate submarines in between battles, and also help set up and take down the pond at the end of the event.

    Finally, members of local NAMBA clubs volunteer to help set up and take down the pond, and display race boats during the event. Our reaching out to the NAMBA race community has resulted in joint events, beyond Maker Faire, and recently led to a joint project to build a combat beach at a local resort outside Sacramento. WWCC literally now has our own beach, made by our own hands, paid for out of our own funds, where no beach existed before.

    When the fun factor is high, the recruiting aspect is secondary. That's as it should be. Recruiting without an emphasis on fun is not going to work very well.

    When we talk about the ratio Bob listed, I can only say that it's easy to sling numbers around, but I would need to see some serious survey results before I would buy it. I also would have to say that long-term follow up efforts make a real difference. Simply letting it happen, and hoping people will eventually invest in this hobby, is probably not going to have much of a net gain. Reaching out to people, putting them on an email list, making sure they get notified of upcoming events and build days, and also going to visit them to help them with their own builds and technical issues, increases the ratio of bodies to active members.

    Here's the result of all of those folks working together at Maker Faire:
    [​IMG]

    Rob
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  6. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for the answers. I am very impressed to hear that you recruited 31 new members (I didn't count you as you were around long before the Maker Faire) as a result of the Maker Faire. That is much more than I would have thought and Kudos to you and your group for the great job you are doing.

    I cant put recruiting secondary...we don't have enough guys to battle so for me recruiting is critical. We have started using Facebook to get the word out and with the help of the local parks and rec dept. it should eventually bring in a few interested people.

    I hope to one day do something similar and with the number of new recruits you are retaining it sounds like a good thing.

    Thanks

    Johnny
     
  7. Cid

    Cid Member

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    I had the opportunity to attend the Maker Faire a couple of years ago and watch your combat. It was very interesting. I had the chance to talk to a few of your members, they let me look inside of their boats, it was a very informative. Your members were all very friendly and helpful. I left there and joined a fast gun club that was closest to me then when it folded, I joined pacific. I have had a blast ever since. However the thing I remember most about the Maker Faire were the very long lines, the long waits, being very crowded having to park several miles away at a local JC and being bused in and out.
     
  8. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    Don't forget about the food. Way overpriced.

    Jadfer. There is a Pacific Model Warship Combat Club Face Book page that I started. Mostly I post the schedule there and pictures. I think I'm the only one on Face Book from our membership and that's why not very active.
     
  9. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    So like all fair food ever then
     
  10. jadfer

    jadfer Well-Known Member

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    Yes go for it. Its a community page, non-format specific
     
  11. Union Scum

    Union Scum RIP

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    Yes Nick. Better served food at ball parks then this. Pack your own lunch
     
  12. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    There is all sorts of excellent food available at Maker Faire. It continues to improve, along with every other aspect of the Faire. As I mentioned, this is our 8th annual Maker Faire combat event, so I'm speaking from experience. There are also ways of getting around long lines, and one way is to volunteer to help us at the Battle Pond. There is still time to volunteer to run a ship, help with crowd control, help to set up and take down the pond, and to properly dispose of the water after the event. Our volunteers bypass the long lines and get free tickets, but I need those names ASAP. Contact me directly if you want to participate.

    One innovation for this year: We are using recycled water in the Battle Pond, provided by the City of Redwood City, California. The water will then be recycled a 3rd time after the event, and not be discharged into the storm drain system. We're showing the world that RC warship combat enthusiasts are concerned about the environment, concerned about the drought, and willing to put our money where are mouth is, so-to-speak.

    Rob
     
  13. NickMyers

    NickMyers Admin RCWC Staff

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    Neat!
    Is the water trucked in via tanks and then pumped back out?

    How are you planning to communicate this to the crowds?
     
  14. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    The water will be trucked into the pond by a 3,800 gal. tanker in 5 loads, starting at Noon on Thursday, May 14th. The pond holds approximately 18,500 gallons, since the frame is constructed of a single run of 2 x 12 Douglas fir. Luckily, the recycled water fire hydrant is only 6 miles from the Battle Pond, so this is not a major challenge. For those of you who think we need more than 10 1/2" of water to have fun sinking each other, let me assure you that that's not the case.

    The information about how this water is being recycled not once, not twice, but three times, will be on posters throughout the arena, both inside and out - particularly along the external walls where the spectators wait in line to get into the stands for each battle. In addition, I will explain it over the PA system in the opening remarks prior to each battle. The media is going to want to do stories about this, so we will grant interviews. Finally, the Regional Director of the California Water Service (the agency that provides the water to the fairgrounds) is going to address the crowd at the opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

    By the way, someone in San Jose has been contacting every conceivable governmental agency having anything to do with water, and "blowing the whistle" on our event, trying to get us kicked out of Maker Faire. He's been disseminating misinformation, whether deliberately or not, telling people that we are going to dump 36,000 gallons of potable water into the storm drain. If anybody hears this misinformation, and wants to hear the actual truth, please fill out this form: Contact Us - California Water Service Company

    Best regards,

    Rob
     
  15. ish311

    ish311 Active Member

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    if maker fair wasn't in California i would be interested in going but.... california
     
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  16. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    I saw someone posting something to that effect, but I don't know what happened to the post. Glad to hear that it's thrice-recycled water in these drought-y times...
     
  17. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    I've traveled to every state in the Union, and lived on both coasts and in Eastern Washington state. I was born at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, grew up in Virginia and North Carolina, and have lived in California for the past 33 years. It's as good - if not better - a place than any other. They all have their good and bad aspects, with plenty of stuff in between. Would it permanently harm you to visit the San Francisco Bay Area for a few days?

    Rob
     
  18. Rob Wood

    Rob Wood NAMBA Rep

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    That post was removed before I ever saw it. Here's the thing: We all come from different places, and we're all - let's face it - competitive and opinionated. It comes with the territory of this crazy hobby. We don't have to like each other, but we can respect those who work hard for this hobby, regardless of our personal opinions of given individuals.

    [SOAPBOX] What I think is absolute garbage is people in our community who are willing to harm entire clubs - and the hobby itself - just to punish a single individual or two that they have a disagreement with. And to do it anonymously is the height of cowardice. To lie at the same time is inexcusable and pathetically small. If someone has a bone to pick with me, let's get it out in the open, and deal with it man-to-man. Here's my phone number: 650-678-2478. Here's my email address: rwood@hypergold.com

    If not, then please move on. Find something fun to do. I guarantee that every attempt at killing Western Warship Combat Club only makes us stronger. Every attempt to get us kicked out of Maker Faire will fail, and make us look like heroes. Whoever is doing this anonymous crap is getting us deeper and deeper into the local government, and the more he lies and pisses people off, the more foolish he appears. [/SOAPBOX]

    Rob
     
  19. ish311

    ish311 Active Member

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    not had a good time any of the three times i went to california. also tend to be around there in the middle of a wildfire so that is why i tend not to like california.

    need to clarify that i tend to go to northern cali not southern near SF
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  20. Cid

    Cid Member

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    Rob,

    I have to agree that SF is am awesome city. I love visiting it. But for me, having been to the Maker Faire, once was more than enough. True there is a lot of very interesting things there, but I found the crowd was so large, I could not really enjoy it. There is so many sites to see and enjoy in SF and the bay area, I highly recommend people visit it and enjoy it.
     
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