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  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
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    7

    University Rocket Club Level 2 Rocket Recommendations?

    Hi there,

    My name is Steph and I'm the VP of the Society of Aeronautics and Rocketry at the University of South Florida. Last Spring semester, we started a Tripoli Rocket Association Level 1 Certification Class, and we currently have 13 members certified. We were not expecting such a large interest, but we are really happy with the way everything is going.

    Now several of them would like to be Level 2 certified! Before we started the Level 1 program, we did a lot of research into which rocket would be good to use, and settled on the LOC Precision Hi-Tech. It has worked out really well for us. So, now I am trying to get some recommendations on rocket kits that would be suitable for a class on Level 2 certification. These classes are as much about teaching our members construction methods as it is their certification. They will then use these skills to contribute to our larger rocket projects.

    For our purposes, the rocket should meet a few criteria:

    1. Be fiberglass - we want them to work with the materials we use on our larger rockets
    2. Be relatively easy to construct so that the instructor can manage several students at a time
    3. But be complex enough that the students learn new construction techniques
    4. Of course, mount a J, K, or L motor (preferably a J to keep costs down)
    5. Be cost effective, since we will be buying several of them

    Thanks in advance!

    Steph


  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
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    Rhode Island
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    1,137

    University Rocket Club Level 2 Rocket Recommendations?

    Id recommend any 3 kit from Wildman. The Punisher is probably the easiest to construct, and they will be on sale this weekend. You will need to buy 1/4 Kevlar for the harness, motor retainer, and a chute separately. And invest in some Rocketpoxy. Thats probably the best stiff for putting it all together.

    You should also start thinking about how to control the recovery. The simplest method is probably to buy one or two Jolly Logic Chute Releases. They could easily be transferred from one rocket to another if everyone plans to do a cert flight on the same day.

    I also recommend taking the L2 test before the day of the cert flight. That will just give you one less thing to worry about on the day of the flights.


    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum

    Last edited by BDB; 22nd November 2017 at 05:35 PM.
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  3. #3
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,137

    University Rocket Club Level 2 Rocket Recommendations?

    ....
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  4. #4
    Join Date
    12th April 2015
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    293
    The only downside of the Punisher is that Head End Deployment can be tricky for a first timer, and it also means you can't mount an additional bay in the nosecone for e.g. a GPS tracker.

    But I'd agree a 3" from Wildman would be a good choice, although he doesn't seem to advertise anything else at 3".

    I'd recommend the Madcow Dual Deploy Twitch - at $179, it's an inexpensive option for a J-capable fiberglass rocket in a relatively complete kit. Then again that only mounts a 38mm motor, limiting you to Js - Madcow might be able to get you a 54mm mount (I know he made a batch of Twitches with them) and maybe even a deal if you order in bulk.

    So that's probably best for keeping cost down, but it's worth considering that if you want to do Ks you'll want a 54mm mount, and for Ls a 75mm mount, which would put you at at least a 4" bird realistically.
    I aim at the stars. But sometimes I hit London.

    NAR #99868
    L1: MDRM on CTI H175, 7/26/2015 @ NARAM 57
    L2: "Flugel der Freiheit", AT J420R, 11/4/2017 @ GHS Memorial

  5. #5
    Join Date
    21st September 2017
    Location
    NY/NJ
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    214
    You forgot to mention the two most critical constraints:
    (1). What is your field's FAA waiver ?
    (2). What is your budget?

    If you are planning to go high (and your launch site has FAA waiver to match your ambitions), north of 5-6K feet, you will be going out of sight.
    So you will need to invest into GPS trackers as well. Add that to your budget. Once you have the remainder, then we know what you can afford to buy.

    FAA waiver limits may dictate rocket weight and diameter, if you need to stay under certain height.
    If waiver it's not a binding constraint (e.g.: you are cleared upto 18K), then do you want to go high on a light narrow diameter rocket, or low and heavy?

    a
    __
    Radrocketeers.org NAR L2

  6. #6
    Join Date
    13th June 2014
    Location
    Cocoa Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,551
    Wildman 3 Darkstar is a great L2 flyer and should be deeply discounted during his sale. It comes with just about everything you need!
    Tim
    L3 NAR 98225

  7. #7
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
    Posts
    7
    Our FAA waiver is up to 12,000 feet, so there are not any primary altitude concerns. I'd like to make sure it goes about a mile, just because the level 1 rocket they made goes up to about 3,000, and it would just be anti-climactic to launch a bigger rocket to the same altitude. As for budget, I think $200 would be the max we should spend on the kit. $150-170 is pretty reasonable. Obviously, retainer and motor are added to that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
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    7
    What do you think of the Patriot? I can't tell if it's dual deploy or not. https://www.wildmanrocketry.com/Prod...x?product=8209.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    5th February 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qweebec
    Posts
    3,399
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L1
    www.CRMRC.org
    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    22nd August 2015
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    Rhode Island
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    1,137
    Quote Originally Posted by dr wogz View Post
    Madcow just ran a deal on the Dominator earlier this month. It would have been perfect for this. You may want to contact them to see if they would be open to extending the deal to your program.
    NAR #100940, RIMRA & CMASS
    L1 - 4/17/16, Tyrannosaur (by Binder Design), Loki H144
    L2 - 8/19/17, Terrordactyl (by Binder Design), CTI J250

  11. #11
    Join Date
    11th December 2010
    Location
    N. Cent. OK.
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    289
    These are students, not avid flyers. I myself would get a MadCow Formula 75 if wanting a single deploy 38mm motor mount fg kit. Chose your color, epoxy, pigment, recovery gear, follow safe fiberglass prep protocols, build and fly. ($150+) However the F 75 is currently out of stock though. And a couple of Jolly Logic Chute Releases as recommended.
    Or the minimum dia. Giant Leap T-Bolt which has everything you need for $125 except epoxy and paint. It also looks to be a very easy build.
    Tony E.
    NAR #92953 L1 Expired
    TRA #14098 L1 Good for another year
    SEMROC SAM #0431

  12. #12
    Join Date
    14th March 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,239
    I am in a club that sees a fair number of university students certify L1 and L2. The local students use parts bought in bulk by the university and are required to design and build their own rocket; kits are specifically prohibited for certification rockets. Something you might want to consider.
    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2017: 1,493.8 N/s Flights: 56
    2017: 1/2A:0, A:6, B:11, C:2, D:12, E:4, F:1, G: I have NEVER launched a G motor, H:1, I:1

  13. #13
    Join Date
    12th April 2015
    Location
    Arizona
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    293
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus-cat View Post
    kits are specifically prohibited for certification rockets.
    To be clear, that's a policy specifically for your program, right? Kits are very much allowed for certification generally speaking, as long as the certifying flyer was the builder.

    I'll throw in that if you really want to go a mile high, and you want to do it cheap, the Wildman Juniors will go 6k-7k ft on a "baby J" (e.g. the J350W). Those almost always go on sale for <$100 at the Wildman Black Saturday sale, and come with basically everything you need except parachute, shock cords, motor retention, and alt bay rods/sled.
    I aim at the stars. But sometimes I hit London.

    NAR #99868
    L1: MDRM on CTI H175, 7/26/2015 @ NARAM 57
    L2: "Flugel der Freiheit", AT J420R, 11/4/2017 @ GHS Memorial

  14. #14
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus-cat View Post
    I am in a club that sees a fair number of university students certify L1 and L2. The local students use parts bought in bulk by the university and are required to design and build their own rocket; kits are specifically prohibited for certification rockets. Something you might want to consider.
    This will be great once we get more depth in our ranks. Our club is only a few years old, and there's not a lot of knowledge base at the moment.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    21st September 2017
    Location
    NY/NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus-cat View Post
    I am in a club that sees a fair number of university students certify L1 and L2. The local students use parts bought in bulk by the university and are required to design and build their own rocket; kits are specifically prohibited for certification rockets. Something you might want to consider.
    We see a fair number of HS student certification flights in our club as well. All of them bring assembled kits.
    A few are even painted.
    Most fly straight and true.
    A few aim for the horizon right off the pad, never to be seen again.

    There is no point to over-complicating the certification challenge by forcing kids to design and build their own scratch kits. That only increases probability of complications, delays, problems, and oversight overhead for whomever is administering the program. It's borderline hazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
    Kits are very much allowed for certification generally speaking, as long as the certifying flyer was the builder.
    Exactly !

    a
    __
    Radrocketeers.org NAR L2

  16. #16
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
    To be clear, that's a policy specifically for your program, right? Kits are very much allowed for certification generally speaking, as long as the certifying flyer was the builder.

    I'll throw in that if you really want to go a mile high, and you want to do it cheap, the Wildman Juniors will go 6k-7k ft on a "baby J" (e.g. the J350W). Those almost always go on sale for <$100 at the Wildman Black Saturday sale, and come with basically everything you need except parachute, shock cords, motor retention, and alt bay rods/sled.
    I was looking at that one. Seems a bit more expensive than many rockets that have a larger motor range. Unfortunately, we can't often take advantage of sale pricing, as we have to order through student government funds, and we never know how long it will take them to process. I do like that it has a two-stage kit available, though.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    5th February 2009
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    Montreal, Qweebec
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    3,399
    Do talk to Mike at Madcow (or Tim at WM). I'm sure a "bulk deal" can be worked out, and he (the supplier) can get a tax credit..

    (do you guys have tax credits for school work / working with schools / students?!)
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L1
    www.CRMRC.org
    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  18. #18
    Join Date
    10th July 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    1,267
    Maybe consider a 75mm motor mount, but 54mm will take L motors from CTI (my most used motors!). If you want to fly with a 12k' waiver you would break it too easily with a 54mm airframe.

    Without getting too specific on a rocket I would think something around 4" airframe with 54mm motor mount. Choose something with fins that don't hang out the back too much for a more robust rocket that survives sub-optimal recoveries (up is easy, down is more difficult ). Through-the-wall fins help with the strength too. Size the length of the airframe and MMT to take the longest motors available.

    You can fly it on the smaller motors (shorter 54mm motors, or even 38mm with some savage propellant) with adapters if you want, or you can fit a nice L and drive it up to 11k'.

    You might want to consider ease of transport when picking the length of the rocket, especially if you like to have it prepped before you drive to the launch site. That's what I do and it makes for a much more relaxing and social launch day.
    TRA 13430, Level 3

    "Everybody's simulation model is guilty until proven innocent" (Thomas H. Lawrence 1994)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
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    7
    Quote Originally Posted by dr wogz View Post
    (do you guys have tax credits for school work / working with schools / students?!)
    Right now we do not. Our university is set up with a foundation account that we can initiate and access, but the first donation has to be at least $1000 cash. Only after we have that account can we hand out tax exempt certificates.

  20. #20
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    5th February 2009
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    Montreal, Qweebec
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    Actually, I was thinking about the supplier, if he makes you a deal, does he get some "government incentive" for helping out an educational institution..
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L1
    www.CRMRC.org
    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  21. #21
    Join Date
    21st November 2017
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    7
    Quote Originally Posted by dr wogz View Post
    Actually, I was thinking about the supplier, if he makes you a deal, does he get some "government incentive" for helping out an educational institution..
    That's what I mean. His discount would be a donation in kind.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    27th December 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    809
    If you want to fly J, K, and L to a 12,000 foot waiver, I'd suggest any 4" rocket with a 54mm motor mount. That will go to a couple thousand feet on a small J and 5000 or so on a smallish K (eg CTI 4-grain). It's also a nice size that's easy to work on since you can get your whole arm inside without being a spider monkey. You also don't have to work very hard to get the AV bay all nice and working for when you want to do dual deploy. 3" is a little harder to make all of that work although not impossible. 3" will also get you closer to your waiver, especially if you build light. Whatever size you get, I would suggest an AV bay. Even if you don't do dual deploy, assembling a recording AV sled is a useful skill.

    4" will be visible to about 5000 feet in most good weather. I'd want a tracker on a 4" going to anything above about 4000, even on a crystal clear day. 3" will be a little lower than that. Definitely use a Chute Release or dual deploy to keep recovery walks shorter.

    4" airframe kits run around $150+ per the Madcow website, and I'd expect Wildman is similar. If you want something a little cheaper than 3" or 4", a 2.6" thin wall fiberglass kit with a 38mm motor mount will get you to around 4000 feet on a baby J and will teach the same construction techniques as a bigger rocket. The downside is that it's a little harder to work on because of smaller tubes.

    I'd recommend Aerotech DMS or CTI motors for the cert flights, especially if you can get a cert special on the CTI hardware. Not having to deal with as much motor assembly will make the day go faster and higher chances of success. Whatever you use, build and prep the motors a day ahead if you can so you have less assembly on the field.

    Finally, Wildman has had L1 specials that included kit, casing, and motor. You might see what he can do for you, especially with a bulk buy.
    NAR L1 "Cheeto Dust", scratch 54mm, H54R (before it became a G54), Mansfield, WA
    L2 "Arc Light", Madcow 2.6" Arcas, J285CL, Mansfield, WA, recovery by snowshoe

  23. #23
    Join Date
    14th March 2009
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    Ohio
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    3,239
    The no kit requirement is from a local university and their program. These students are working on one of the current NASA student initiatives so having them build their own L1 and L2 rockets is not that much of a burden. They have to follow these certification rockets with the one that will attempt to fulfill the NASA requirements which usually are to go as close to a mile high and then deploy something that must do a specific task. Like TARC, the specific task changes every year.
    Zeus-cat
    NAR# 92125 L1
    Total Impulse for 2017: 1,493.8 N/s Flights: 56
    2017: 1/2A:0, A:6, B:11, C:2, D:12, E:4, F:1, G: I have NEVER launched a G motor, H:1, I:1

  24. #24
    Join Date
    23rd July 2011
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    Butte, MT
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    University Rocket Club Level 2 Rocket Recommendations?

    While not a certification requirement, a scratch built L2 rocket should be no problem for anyone who is ready for L2.


    Steve Shannon
    Steve Shannon
    L3CC, TAP, Director, Tripoli Rocketry Association

  25. #25
    Join Date
    22nd September 2017
    Posts
    627
    For University Tennessee Chattanooga, we started a rocketry club, for SEDS competition using L-1 motors in multi stages, and the professor teaching a senior design class built a kit and certified to handle motor purchases. I also attempted a certification for fun as we were going to launch sites out of state. One of our competition rockets flew under an L-3 RSO when the professor called in sick. The other project launch flew under the professor's certificate. Any students that wanted could build a rocket and certify also. We had scratch built , designed, and flew two multi stages by end of semester for the design class and comp. It was expensive enough to meet the competition requirements for a university starting a program.

    Any student certs should be optional as the NASA student launch project, course objectives, and other course loads are rather time consuming. They could bulk order 38mm tubing FG and scratch build if needed if you are dead set on everyone certifying. This sounds like a nightmare trying to get every member L-2 certified and completing the NASA student launch.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    22nd September 2017
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    627
    Quote Originally Posted by brinraeven View Post
    Only after we have that account can we hand out tax exempt certificates.
    The SGA and university executives are generally a mother-f***ing nightmare to deal with even for a professor seeking a tax identification number for research grant applications. It took us three months to get one tax number. They want students to pay tuition but when it's about the university funding a project, kiss your tail bye bye. My uni kicked in $2,500 out of department mechanical engineering because the executives wouldn't clear anything higher. The rest was student funded by corporate internships. Our prof couldn't get a tax ID to apply to several hundred thousand dollar grants for months and we were all mad like doesn't the idiot school want free money.... When we did well in competition and placed third not having done this before, they chipped in another $3,000 in travel costs and hotels. Universities are full of snarky bureaucrats that will tie your hands and the prof's hands with funding.

    I sincerely hope your experience is better than ours.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    22nd September 2017
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    627
    I got to talk with an executive afterwards. It's literally a small mountain of paperwork filling a room for a university to approve funding within itself. It gets more complicated as the funds go out to local businesses as there isn't always a formal process in place for fund transfers. It gets absurd with how a donation is treated to a university project. Denso could find Baja at a university. Then the denso funds could be spent on vehicles or accessories to help the team yet that money could not be spent on the actual Baja vehicles. So they were buying Baja vehicle transporters and support/machinery equipment.

    And I'm just a lowly confused student. The processes are complex. As students we would buy then file for reimbursing with our department rather than deal with the mountain of papers and bureaucrats.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    24th April 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Shannon View Post
    While not a certification requirement, a scratch built L2 rocket should be no problem for anyone who is ready for L2.


    Steve Shannon

    I think it's great when young people (anyone under 30) are interested in high power rocketry.
    Many folks decide to get going on L2 certification before the ink is dry on their L1 paperwork. The fact that you are the proud holder of Level 1 certification is not justification (by itself) to attempt Level 2.

    For your group of enthusiastic college students, I recommend each candidate pass the L2 written test first, before they try to select a kit or scratch build.

    My personal opinion - If the L2 candidate is unable or unwilling to do the appropriate research on-their-own to select a kit/motor combination that will work for their budget and their field/wavier, they may need to reconsider their motivation for obtaining L2 certification.
    -Scott Sager
    NAR 91621 L2
    TRA 15982 L2
    Woosh #558
    KC9WQK

  29. #29
    Join Date
    21st April 2010
    Location
    So central WI, USA
    Posts
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    if the students/ participants have built more than one L1 rockets that fly well, then building an L2 bird is fairly straight forward. all you really need as a mentor are an example or two to show the techniques of fiberglass construction, a motor mount and a couple of fins would suffice. biggest problem is getting folks used to using design software(and getting them to accept the fact that a stability margin of only one caliber is not a good idea ).
    Rex
    L2-competitor 3, AT J350W, 8/27/2016, Bong, 2557'
    my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0gB...?feature=watch

  30. #30
    Join Date
    6th September 2009
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    1,648
    Quote Originally Posted by brinraeven View Post

    1. Be fiberglass - we want them to work with the materials we use on our larger rockets
    2. Be relatively easy to construct so that the instructor can manage several students at a time
    3. But be complex enough that the students learn new construction techniques
    4. Of course, mount a J, K, or L motor (preferably a J to keep costs down)
    5. Be cost effective, since we will be buying several of them
    In the spirit of "teach a man to fish"....

    1. OK, fiberglass it is. Done.
    2. and 3. Infinite loop.
    4. Run simulations.
    5. Go shopping. Wildman or Madcow.

    You need to put some numerical constraints on your problem - cost, altitude waiver, 38/54/76 motor hardware, dual/single deploy, etc - then pick something that meets your more quantitative criteria.

    Quote Originally Posted by scsager View Post

    My personal opinion - If the L2 candidate is unable or unwilling to do the appropriate research on-their-own to select a kit/motor combination that will work for their budget and their field/wavier, they may need to reconsider their motivation for obtaining L2 certification.
    Here, here. By L2-time, you should have decent rocket design skills to meet a flight plan. Hopefully the L2 motivation is more than just receiving a new membership card, an ugly lapel pin, and another line in your sig.


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