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38mm CTI vs Loki

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EXPjawa

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I recently completed a MAC Performance Scorpion (SD), which means that I need to consider a 38mm reload system. For the time being, I can fly on H & I sized 29mm motors with an adapter, but at some point I'll want to buy into 38mm hardware. Especially since I can foresee building another MAC 3" kit this next year.

Up till now, I've only used CTI reload hardware, and there is a lot of appeal to staying with CTI. I appreciate the clean, easy set up, and I already have the delay grain tool. On the other hand, the recent shortages of CTI reloads has given me pause. We all hope, of course, that its temporary - but it has made buying a lot of preferred loads onsite more difficult this past season. The Loki reloads' lack of hazmat (at least in the sizes I'd buy) is also appealing, since I don't have to pick from what the onsite vendor has. However, I don't know enough about how Loki hardware is set up to gauge the differences.

So, can someone walk me though the pros/cons of CTI vs Loki in the 38mm size? FWIW, I'm just L1 and don't anticipate moving up any time soon, so I's the limit for me...
 

djs

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I've flown both, although definitely the "volume" preference is towards CTI. For me, I like to decide on the field what I want to fly, so I tend to go with what my onsite vendor is selling (also to make sure his business is supported). If you're looking for something "different", then Loki is a good option. While it's a little more complex than the CTI reloads, I would say it's less fiddly (at least to me) than AT loads, which I also fly.
 

Danh

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I would buy Loki now since you can buy reloads now and then in the future when cti gets back on their feet buy a 38 starter set .
 

sharkbait

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I would buy Loki now since you can buy reloads now and then in the future when cti gets back on their feet buy a 38 starter set .
Spot on.

You can also fly some AeroTech DMS motors if you want, no hardware required
 

MikeyDSlagle

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I'll go ahead and do Aerotech as well. I have only flown AT but from my research and discussions I have learned a few things. I'm sure I will get something wrong, feel free to correct me.

Loki reloads are generally cheaper than CTI and Aerotech (AT). But seems like you can find more sales on AT.
CTI and AT have more dealers than Loki, so you have a better chance of having an onsite vendor for those two.
CTI generally has more offerings per case than any of the other, with perhaps the exception of the AT 38/360 case, it has H's and I's in most of their propellants. Next would be AT, then Loki.
Loki reloads below 740 ship HAZMAT free, except for the I430 Blue in the 38-480.
All CTI loads ship with HAZMAT.
AT has 3(?) 38mm loads that ship HAZMAT free.
Motor wise, AT is the most expensive per (complete) motor, then Loki, then CTI. But you can buy 1 set of closures for AT and multiple cases that share those closures.
Loki nozzles will eventually wear out and have to be replaced, so I have been told. You get a nozzle per motor, whereas with AT and CTI you get a nozzle with every reload.
Loki doesn't come with starters/lighters. So that adds to their price.
Loki and CTI use the same adjustment tool.
AT and CTI uses a spacer system to fly multiple size loads in one case, Loki does not.
Loki requires tools to assemble.
Loki has no black smokies.
AT is the only one that offers a Green in G,H,I loads.

So...
CTI -
cheap cases
more variey of loads per case
pricey reloads
hazmat
loads are getting scarce
toolless

Loki -
somewhat pricey cases
not many loads per case
cheap reloads
no hazmat
not many vendors
requires pliers
no starter included
consumable nozzle
can't buy in California?


Like I say, I have only flown Aerotech. All my hardware except the 29/40-120 I bought used from folks on here for less than half price. I do have a CTI Pro38 1G that I have never flown. No reason to fly it when a larger AT load costs less. I have 3 AT 38mm cases but only one set of closures. So I have lots of 38mm options, but have to go through the whole song and dance of reloading. I have never flown Loki but I am itching to try. If I would quit blowing money on altimeters and kits I could buy me a Loki motor. The no HAZMAT is what is drawing me to them, but the limited number of loads per case is what gives me pause. We can't fly sparkies at our field, so that limits the motors I can use - in all of my cases. AT is not difficult to assemble. Read the instructions as you go and there's nothing to it. By my third one, I didn't even read the assembly instructions, just laid the parts out where they go. But you are not interested in AT...

I would suggest go with Loki. Decent priced loads with cheap shipping. Buy you a 38/240 motor and try it out. If you don't like it, it will sale scary fast here. Heck, send me a PM and I'll buy it from you. Knock 10 or 15 bucks off and free shipping and I will send you the money and toss in my unused Pro38 1G case as well. :smile:

Branch out to Aerotech with the 38/360 case and a spacer system and you'll have 19 loads to choose from, readily available loads.

Hope that helps,

Mikey D
 

Handeman

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I started with AT hardware up through 54/1706 because CTI wasn't available when I started buying it. I've stuck with it because the reloads are cheaper and after you've done a few AT loads, they really are pretty quick and simple. Drilling delays is the hardest part and you have to do that with any of them. The snap ring cases are like AT, they get quick and easy once you've done a few of them. As for the nozzles, they do erode a little over time, but that just gives you slightly less Ns and altitude. It isn't like you have to replace them if you're willing to accept a little less performance.

As for reliability, I think they are all about the same. There is always the chance of user errors that will cause a problem, but can happen on all of them, and believe me, CTI isn't exempt from that, especially in 38mm.

I would say, check with the vendor at your local field and get whatever he stocks the most of. You can mail order your motors, but when you happen upon that perfect windless day and want to fly something you don't have, you want to be able to get it on-site. That also applies to those bad windy days when you need to keep it low. If you don't have a small enough motor, the vendor can save your day for you.
 

EXPjawa

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Thanks, all, for the input. For the moment, I decided to take advantage of Wildman's sale and purchased a 4 grain CTI casing and two spacers. This will allow me to use all of the H reloads, and the majority of the I's if I choose to. It won't allow me to use single-grain motors, but I can't see the use of a 38mm G-motor. There are a handful of I motors that I'd need a 5-grain case for, but I can deal with that later. This is enough to get me started, and I can expand from there as needed...
 

DGBrown

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If you want to try out Loki, I have both the 240 and 480 cases. I go to most of the launches in Potter, just shoot me a pm ahead of time.
 

Loki Research

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I haven't hear anyone mention performance yet. The USPS shipable 38's from Loki Research typically always offer the higher thrust at ignition (when you need it the most) than the CTI or AT counterparts. Rockets fly straighter and come back closer to home more often then not when they launch strait up with plenty of thrust. If your fleet consists of a lot of fiberglass air-frames, you would be wise to consider the performance advantage of these Loki motors.

Example...
Loki I-405-LW $40


CTI I-540 WT $56


Having enough propellant flavors is good, but having a Baskin Robins selection is more often just a lot of expensive "fluff" for dealers. How many of you regularly buy more than 2 different ice cream flavors for the freezer at home??? Ehhh??? :) Loki Research offers five excellent motor selections in every 38mm case size except for the 38/740, for which there are four excellent selections.

Replacement Nozzles............. They will be paid for by the $$$ you save on reloads long before they wear out. Using the reloads above and their corresponding hardware, you purchase 5 reloads and purchase a spare nozzle and break even within $2 of five I-540's. By the time you hit 12 reloads you have spent the same money for only 10 of the I-540's and you still have 2 nozzles and ~$14.65 in your pocket.


Reliability is another big one. If you have a failure with any brand, you can throw its cost right out the window, maybe along with your rocket. I can count on one hand how many reloads I have replaced on warranty claims from 38 thru 98mm for 2016. If local vendors don't carry what people want, please ask them to consider doing so, or invite a vendor to your launches who does. If that fails then you can always order them and ship without hazmat. Reloads and hardware can always be easily replaced, but there are many other expensive items that are often destroyed that those warranties do not cover. That is the value of a reliable reloadable rocket motor, the value of Loki Research.


One more thing, I am ALL FOR buying from your local dealer. Unfortunately, if everyone only bought from their local dealer, it would be extremely difficult for new manufacturers to grow their products and product lines with new customers. If local vendors don't carry what you all want, please ask them to consider doing so, or invite a vendor to your launches who does. If that fails then you can always order them and ship without hazmat. These are the people who help expand the local hobby. They are the first to try new products and bring them to the fields for others to see. Given enough positive response from fellow fliers, more people purchase the product until one day it is offered by one of the local launch vendors. Now everyone has more choices to choose from.

I am looking for new local dealers all the time who support their local fields. They don't have to be a big time dealer, just someone who understands that products do not sell themselves. People sell products, and I need people who are willing to actively do that and not just take orders when they come in. If you know of someone with some money to invest with Loki Research and their local club, have them get in touch with me.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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Luckily my on site vendor is Chris Short, he carries all of em.

I didn't mean the nozzles were one and done items, guess I should have stated as much.

Scott
I couldn't comment on performance or reliability because I have yet to fly Loki. I am new to HPR and relatively new to reloads so I haven't looked at all the thrust profiles. But you are absolutely right on lots of flavors, good point. I was just stating the obvious that others offer more flavors. No trying to take away from your offerings.

I will fly Loki in the future. I've hinted to Chris to offer me a "certify special" but no dice. Lol. I shopped all the Black _ _ _ _day sales looking for a special on Loki hardware. Didn't find any. No need to comment on that, I'm not asking why there weren't any sales. No issues there.

Having to buy starters separately is an extra step (that I'm likely to forget lol) and an added cost, 3 to 4 bucks a pop. Especially if you have to source them from another vendor online. Not sure if all your vendors carry them or not.

Like I say, I am not knocking Loki in any way. I am, after all, still outside looking in. I keep finding sales and deals on Aerotech and blow my budget. Then I think "You nearly could've bought a Loki for that". I think that is probably the main reason more folks fly CTI or AT, we just find deals too good to pass up and just stick with what we know. And you rarely see used Loki hardware for sale. That itself speaks to how much folks like em.

So... How about a "try us and you'll be hooked" special? :grin:
 

EXPjawa

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Scott, thanks for the input. I am by no means counting any one brand out. As noted above, I did buy a sort of entry level bit of CTI hardware. But with that said, that doesn't address the short term issue of CTI reload availability, and certainly doesn't preclude Loki from a next wave of 38 mm hardware. There are enough people in the local club that it will be easy to compare, as well as potentially room for both in my box. it's also worth noting that it appears that one of our frequent field vendors carries your stuff (Ken Allen) as well. With regards to your point of initial thrust, that's certainly valid. Though my fleet contains no fiberglass and only one canvas-phenolic airframe, the rest are cardboard. So, that's less of an issue for me. But that could certainly change. So, again, i appreciate your input here.
 
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Loki Research

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Mikey, you are correct on the igniters. It is often something I overlook. I don't currently offer them because it's been very time consuming trying to get a written positive response from the alphabet guys. I'd rather keep asking for written permission rather than begging for forgiveness (while giving a lawyer my life's savings to fight it) if those guys made a beef with me about it. I didn't take anything you said negatively BTW, I was just trying to add to the discussion.

To Rick and everyone else..... save up and purchase some Loki Research hardware and reloads. You won't ever be sorry when you do. Loki Research is growing and if you'd like to be a part of that growth, I'd love to have you come aboard as a customer and share in the excitement and enjoyment of it all.

Thanks Tim "another happy customer" Dixon. :)
 

bill2654

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Rick, no need for any reservations on investing in LOKI. Once you try a Loki product, you will be impressed with their performance and they are very easy to clean up too!
 

ttabbal

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One thing you might consider is making starters. I did a kit a few years back, and still have a big pile of them in the range box.
 

thobin

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Well the biggest deference I would say would have to be performance, you just cant beat the show of a Loki motor. They really are easy to build, easy enough to do on site if you so choose to do so. As for igniters or what ever you are suppose call them these days, you can buy the electric matches on ebay for cheap and I just dip them in on of the many dips that you can buy or make yourself. All for about 25 cents a match, never had one fail me yet.

I have owned AT and CTI great motors all of them, but truth be told I sold them all and only motors I own and fly now are Loki.


TA
 

Handeman

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Having to buy starters separately is an extra step (that I'm likely to forget lol) and an added cost, 3 to 4 bucks a pop. Especially if you have to source them from another vendor online. Not sure if all your vendors carry them or not.
Mike, shoot me a PM. I've been making "motor starters" for Hobbyline through M size for a lot of years. It's a little time consuming, but you can get all the pyrogen materials from Walmart and the rest of the stuff from McMaster-Carr or the hardware store. They come out to about $0.10 a pop so you might find the time worth it.
 

MaxQ

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As for reliability, I think they are all about the same. There is always the chance of user errors that will cause a problem, but can happen on all of them, and believe me, CTI isn't exempt from that, especially in 38mm..
I can vouch for that...(my Raptor at a Red Glare). LOL :lol:
[video=youtube;pbe2Y-jt6lM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbe2Y-jt6lM[/video]
 

blackbrandt

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I gotta put another plug in here for Scott. Not only is he one of the nicest guys I know, but he makes some of the coolest motors out there. How many other vendors have 38mm K motors? (I'll be flying one at LDRS). I got my cases on a special he was having one time. If anyone here is on the fence of whether or not to get Loki, go for it. You won't regret it.

Can't wait to do my L2 on a Loki Sparky ;)
 

BDB

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I have only flown HPR for one year, and I own both CTI and Loki cases. I only fly the Loki no-hazmat loads for now, and I love them. I fly CTI for larger motors since I can get them from my onsite vendor, but I'll probably invest in some 54 mm and/or 76 mm Loki hardware in 2017. I love Loki, but I wish they still had 29 mm reloads, since that is the size that fly best on our small field. I also wish Loki had a spacer system like AT and CTI. I own both the 240 Ns and 480 Ns cases; all of the loads for them are great, but it would have been nice to only have to buy one case to fly all of them.
 

djs

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Better pictures.
maybe- but the video will be cooler! :)

here's my wildman vindicator jr. on a K1127:
[video=youtube;-hTunraVFF4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hTunraVFF4[/video]
 

Dwatkins

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maybe- but the video will be cooler! :)

here's my wildman vindicator jr. on a K1127:
[video=youtube;-hTunraVFF4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hTunraVFF4[/video]
Yep! Just love my Wildman Jr on the k1127! Right around 12,000' every time. One of my all time favorites to fly.
 

DavidMcCann

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Sorry I jumped in late here.

I've got 38/120 and 1200 cases. I have 480 and 740s I just need to grab nozzles for, which should happen before next year.

If you want to "dip your toe", you're welcome to borrow any of my Loki cases.

The fact you can ship an I405 without hazmat is just awesome. Also Teddy swings by often enough to grab anything that may be hazmat.

They put together easy enough, and cleaning isn't difficult. Get polished nozzles and the slag typically pops off. The last two K1127s I flew when I took the nozzle out, a quarter sized slag just dropped off.
 

DavidMcCann

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here's my wildman vindicator jr. on a K1127:

I know I know.... no L2.....but you could cert at 10K pretty easy ;)

Zoom zoom-


[youtube]LlCwV4X5w3E[/youtube]
[youtube]bVJD1Akxh-U[/youtube]
 

mrwalsh85

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Just saw this... Loki is awesome. I'm guilty of jumping in on Black ___Day sales, but I bought a M3464 and 75/8000 case. WELL WORTH EVERY PENNY.

I think that if you want to push the envelope, Loki is the way to go. How many other Mfr's have a M motor in 54mm? How about a K in 38mm? Scott isn't afraid to push the envelope, and it shows. I am anxiously awaiting the next 75/8000 load to be certified... mmm...
 

EXPjawa

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It's less about pushing the envelope to me and more about the prospect of having a reliable source of reloads. Shipping without hazmat for a bunch of them is an added bonus. Still, the performance is appealing; I've just added the Loki 38mm motor files to Rocksim so I can see how they compare. Either way, I'd need to get some form of tracker to do any kind of envelope pushing.

Sorry I jumped in late here.

I've got 38/120 and 1200 cases. I have 480 and 740s I just need to grab nozzles for, which should happen before next year.

If you want to "dip your toe", you're welcome to borrow any of my Loki cases.

The fact you can ship an I405 without hazmat is just awesome. Also Teddy swings by often enough to grab anything that may be hazmat.

They put together easy enough, and cleaning isn't difficult. Get polished nozzles and the slag typically pops off. The last two K1127s I flew when I took the nozzle out, a quarter sized slag just dropped off.
Thanks for the offer Dave, I'll keep that in mind. The 480 case is probably what I'd be most interested in, since I will have the CTI 4-grain case for H and some I-size loads. For me, this would be for getting into bigger I's, in the upper end of what I can do as L1. At least once I have a tracker. Until then, I'll have to stick with smaller reloads that I can track visually...
 
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