Anyone noticing the lack of squishiness in the NBN balls?

I don’t know how to title this without snickering. But has anyone noticed their NBN balls getting much firmer and losing their squishiness? The compression is nowhere near their original plyability.

I don’t know if it is after repeated use through a variety of launchers, or just exposure to air and the chemical reaction continues inside the ball. But we have several balls that are no where near as compress-able as they were on day 1. They are in a room that is generally about 60 degrees Fahrenheit but have been overly loved by a whole slew of robots via flywheels, and punchers and intakes.

We marked the weight in grams on one or two sets of balls when we first opened them. We will weigh a few if we can still see the weight marking to see if it increases or decreased in mass. I have a feeling these were from a set we did not mark. We also have some balls that have not been put into use yet but are of the same age. We’ll dig those out too and report.

This comes back to previous games where the newness of the elements played havoc to some robot designs. Reminds me of Gateway where the slickness of the new elements played a factor when you went to worlds. You may end up with a robot that acts very differently with used elements versus new ones.

Anyone else have Nothing But Net balls not be as squishy after excessive and repeated use?

Most of our balls are actually squishier now. However, I noticed that the balls are a lot harder at competitions now than they were in October.
Maybe they’re affected by seasonal changes :stuck_out_tongue:

Everyone will have to prepare for any and all squishinesses of balls at worlds.

Yes, I meant harder. That initial squish you get from grasping the ball.

If the new forum had polls I would post one.

Some competitions have had some harder feeling ones, but I’m guessing that newer batches of balls from vex might be different because as we can all recall the first batch was very variable in mass, so I’m wondering if they were changed to account for this. We had some problems with feeding into our flywheel because we had a chain fed flywheel and the ball could not get past the top sprocket.

What I have noticed at a competition is that the really squishy ones have been shredded and the hard ones are perfectly fine. Could that be part of the problem?

If you’re using the same balls, they should be getting squishier, meaning less hard. Sometimes the balls are extremely hard because they are brand new.
Anyone know if worlds is gonna supply us with new balls? What about states?

I’m quite certain Worlds would use brand new balls. For State competitions it is up to the folks running the event, but VEX has recommended to use new balls (not required though). I know in Minnesota the plan is to use brand new balls at State.

I have noticed our balls getting squishier but I remember at the start of the season they were all somewhat hard to varying degrees. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

The balls we use also do suffer from this problem… and sometimes it’s so bad that we cannot launch it anymore.

Apart from squishiness, we also experienced wear and tear issues. Once the outer most smooth surface has worn off, the “naked” balls starts to gets damaged real fast. Maybe it’s time to get new balls :stuck_out_tongue:

At one of our tournaments my kids pointed out the light green dust on the playing field. Apparently it was generated by flywheel shooters peeling the surface off the balls.

Ours have gotten a bit softer as well, which is very unfortunate as they started out really soft. We got them at the end of summer, and we designed our intake around the squishiness. When we went to a scrimmage all the balls were quite solid, so we had to rebuild our entire intake system.

Could i ask, how was the intake only designed to intake softer balls and not harder ones?

It was to fit inside a small turret ring so it had to be built in a condensed manner. We used a double side chain lift system, and it was designed to be slightly smaller than 4" thus crushing the balls slightly to help with traction. This was fine with the soft balls, but the hard ones stalled the intake.
Here’s a photo so you can see what I mean:
Of course the intake was in the middle of a very dense robot, and was awful to access.

So did you have to abandon the turret idea too?

No I was stubborn with that, and we got it working that day. The photo was taken during disassembly, and we now have a new turret. Which will hopefully work the solid balls I know are going to be used in our next competition. The balls I am talking about are almost completely solid, unless they have become softer in the last few weeks. I have so far designed the robot to account for “rock spheres” as such. :stuck_out_tongue:

Good luck with your next competition then!