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54 mm Deuce Rebuild

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Rocketjunkie

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My Deuce has 15 flights on it. I have found that rockets using LOC tubes (not glassed) need tube replacement every 15-20 flights. The tubes get frayed just from the normal wear and tear. On the Deuce, the booster section lands on a motor tube, then the front takes quite a hit when it falls over. It was getting very difficult to couple the sections due to fraying of the tube. I also had to sand out the crunched motor tube to get the motor in. Finally, on the last flight the chute didn't fully open and the payload section suffered damage although there was no additional damage to the booster section. I decided to replace all tubes in the rocket, this time with Blue Tube.

Deuce Rebuild 03s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 05s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 07s.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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First, I cut off the booster section body tube, then removed the motor tubes.

Deuce Rebuild 08s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 09s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 10s.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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Next, I cut the fin slots in the new tube. Once I was sure the fit was good, I installed the new motor tubes into the fin unit.

Deuce Rebuild 11s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 12s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 13s.jpg
 
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Rocketjunkie

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Using one of the old motor tubes, I marked the main tube, cut the openings undersize, then sanded the cutouts until the fin unit fit.

Deuce Rebuild 14s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 15s.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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Next, I glassed a bulkhead, installed the cable, then epoxied the plate into the body about 1/2 way into the booster section tube between short sections of coupler. This is the recovery system anchor. The shock cord attaches to the cable loops.

Deuce Rebuild 20s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 21s.jpg
 

Rocketjunkie

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Finally, I built a new payload bay/altimeter bay. The first picture shows the parts and the other is a view of the e-bay. The altimeter sled has a 1/2 inch lug on it that slips over the aluminum rod.

Deuce Rebuild 16s.jpg


Deuce Rebuild 19s.jpg
 

dlb

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OK Tom

how do you like the Blue tubing so far?
cutablity, strength, does the epoxy soak in the tube?

nice re-build
:cool:
 

Pantherjon

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Nice rebuild..Will it be with you on the 11th? Looking forward to flying that motor we mixed, plus my motor that Robert built at the Thunder Flame class!:roll:
 

Rocketjunkie

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OK Tom

how do you like the Blue tubing so far?
cutablity, strength, does the epoxy soak in the tube?

nice re-build
:cool:
So far I like it. It cuts about like PML phenolic but is not brittle. Sanding it is worse than phenolic, about like G10 but it leaves a lot of burrs. Epoxy doesn't soak in but seems to stick well. There are spirals that look like the PML phenolic but much narrower and shallower. It appears to be paper fully saturated with a hard rubber. We'll find out about the strength when it lands on a motor on the road.

BTW, the original Deuce build thread is here: http://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/showthread.php?t=6010
 
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Rocketjunkie

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Nice rebuild..Will it be with you on the 11th? Looking forward to flying that motor we mixed, plus my motor that Robert built at the Thunder Flame class!:roll:
No, I won't have it ready for the launch as I still have to fill and fillet the fins and motor tubes and paint. I will be flying the Big Motoreater on the M we mixed and maybe some smaller stuff.
 

jflis

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Very nice rebuild. It's interesting to see the internal structure of the motor mount area.

I will also be interested in seeing how the Blue Tube holds up under the type of stress this design will put it though.
 

kelltym88

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Maybe is should use that for my lower tubes on my bomber. Would they withstand a hard landing? And do they come in 2.2 inches?
 

cjl

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That is interesting how you did the TTW fins. Mine are surface mount. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this - comparing the internal construction and such of your Deuce vs mine should be interesting. The motor mounts definitely take a beating on landing though - mine broke (phenolic) on the first flight, but they've since had one heck of a reinforcement job (several layers of CF/kevlar), and have survived all 6 landings since (including one without a main chute).
 
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Rocketjunkie

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That is interesting how you did the TTW fins. Mine are surface mount. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this - comparing the internal construction and such of your Deuce vs mine should be interesting. The motor mounts definitely take a beating on landing though - mine broke (phenolic) on the first flight, but they've since had one heck of a reinforcement job (several layers of CF/kevlar), and have survived all 6 landings since (including one without a main chute).
There won't be any more pictures.t's just a matter of filling all the seams between the tubes and fins, then painting. (no glassing on the outside of the rocket.) The original build thread in the archives is here: http://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/...ead.php?t=6010
 

JAllen

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Warning about Blue Tube!!!!

I have heard from several big time vendors about the horrors of the stuff. It bends and warps in both heat and water/humidity. Again, this comes from several reputable vendors whom I will not list here as some are still selling their product to clear out inventory and others refuse to sell it period. :y::y:

The best nickname for this stuff that I have heard so far is "Bannan Tube."

Basically, you end up having to glass it anyway, so you might as well go ahead and use cardboard and phenolic tubes as they will be lighter after glassing than the blue tubes.
 

cjl

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That's odd...

So far, all I've heard about Blue Tube has been positive.
 

DAllen

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Warning about Blue Tube!!!!

I have heard from several big time vendors about the horrors of the stuff. It bends and warps in both heat and water/humidity. Again, this comes from several reputable vendors whom I will not list here as some are still selling their product to clear out inventory and others refuse to sell it period. :y::y:

The best nickname for this stuff that I have heard so far is "Bannan Tube."

Basically, you end up having to glass it anyway, so you might as well go ahead and use cardboard and phenolic tubes as they will be lighter after glassing than the blue tubes.
That's quite an accusation. I find it a little odd that there is nothing on Always Ready Rocketry's web site warning against exposure to heat and moisture. Also, I see that all of the distributors listed on Always Ready's web site still sell Blue Tube (Apogee included) and don't appear to be trying to get rid of it. Besides, Blue Tube has been out since early March and this is the first time I have heard of these issues.

:confused2:

Won't excessive heat and moisture do the exact same thing to phenolic?

-Dave
 

rocketkyle

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It's true. Don't leave rockets made of unreinforced Blue Tube out in the sun. It will bow towards the sun pretty drastically. I saw a few rockets do this at Southern Thunder. The resin softens with heat unlike phenolic which gets harder with heat, which also makes them questionable for use as motor mounts. Apparently their military use is as a casing for artillery shells and they need to conform to the shape of the barrel when fired or something along those lines.
 

rejma0415

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Hey Guys,

It's Randy from ARR. Carey Huff from Huff performance made me aware of the issue at Southern Thunder, and while bad news generally flies a lot faster than good news, I continually get many positive comments about the product. Yes I can confirm the warping issue at Southern Thunder. The rocket in question was a very long aspect ratio rocket 8+ feet x 4 inch diameter and the unreinforced area of tube between the top of the electronics bay and the bottom of the nose cone warped under high heat and high humidity. It will return to it's shape after it cools, kinda bizzare! I've made the issue known to the manufacturer and we have a solution in place for the next factory run which should hopefully be by the end of next week. The issue will only make itself known on the parts of the rocket that don't have any motor mount tube / centering rings e-bays, etc only while under extreme heat and humidity. Many Blue Tube based rockets have been built and fly all the time. This was an example of a very long skinny rocket in the worst environment possible. But should it have done that? Absolutely not.

The easiest way to fix it instantly is to just epoxy plain old cheap phenolic couplers on the unreinforced areas of the tube. That's all. This will do the trick until we continue to improve the product and you will have an incredibly strong, straight airframe w/o having to glass.

Mike Fisher from Binder Design took this product to MACH 3 last month and it didn't shred or fly weird. A fin ripped off and the tube started to delaminate, but the engine paint was bubbling off too.. He was able to recover the rocket and collect flight data. The rocket wasn't flyable again, but try that with anything other than carbon fiber...

Blue Tube is based on vulcanized fiber and the copycat product that was at LDRS is too, and they are going to have the same problems as I am. Phenix is committed to turning out the ultimate airframe for all of us. We must remember that this was the first time in history this material has been used for rocketry. Once we get this tweaked enough to eliminate this issue, there will be nothing stronger for the money.

It's not stopping me from building my own rockets at all either. I'm doing a 6 inch Blue Phenix right now and can't wait to fly it.

Please feel free to direct your comments and questions towards me and I will be happy to assist.

Sincerely,

Randy
Always Ready Rocketry
arrsales@cox.net
813-484-1298
 

rejma0415

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As far as the other comment about vendors going into details about the "horrors" of Blue Tube, that's a pretty drastic exxageration as none of my dealers have used language like that. I've already gotten stock replenishment reorders, as well as feedback about this. So what we have is an issue that needs to be fixed, that's all. Pros & con's people. You can't get paper tubes or partially cured phenolic tubes wet, and Quantum Tube warps in the sun too. The irony is that the very same day that those two flights at Southern Thunder that went off like drunken bats, Carey sold a lot of product that day. Which I kinda thought that was odd. :)

Yeah, it's a problem, but let's not blow it out of proportion... For every one complaint, I'll give you ten "holy crap this stuff is strong" e-mails.

LOL!

Were gonna nail this, and it's gonna be awesome...

OK nuff.. Time to go to bed.

Rrrrrrrandy
 

DAllen

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Yeah, it's a problem, but let's not blow it out of proportion... For every one complaint, I'll give you ten "holy crap this stuff is strong" e-mails.
THAT is what I thought was going on...Mmmmkay, let's see some more photos of the monster Deuce.

-Dave
 

rejma0415

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Yes, I have distributed a product advisory bulletin to my dealers and will be making that PDF available on my web site. It's a little interesting that the worst comments came from a person who has zero experience with it first hand. My wife and I have a newborn baby at home and the rocket biz is obviously not my main source of income, but it will be done by this weekend.

Yeah, it's an issue, but it's frustrating to see it get blown so far out of proportion since I've moved a hundred tubes of every diameter from 29mm to 6 inch and have had 2 complaints and zero returns.

Geez.

R
 

rocketkyle

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Sorry if my comment was out of line, it was not intended at all to be that way. I was just saying that I saw some bow pretty drastically in the sun. I have a 3" tube and I do plan on using it. My appologies.
 

Huff360

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As was pointed out, I had 4 Blue Tube rockets at Southern Thunder. There was a 38mm minimum diameter, a 54mm, a 3", and a 4". The 38 and the 54 are both 4'+ long and the 3" and 4" are 8'+ long as Randy said.

We saw a thermal instability on them all. The trouble was most pronounced on the 3" and 4" rockets, cause they are the longest. The 54mm is built dual deploy and has the most other stuff inside it so it showed very minimal deformation.

Just as Kyle said, the tubes get hot and shrink. Once they cool, they are straight again. The deformation is fairly slow, so at a typical launch you could probably get the rocket loaded and fired before the sun affected it. However, due to the size of Southern Thunder, our two big birds were racked for quite a while. They have plenty of time to cook in the sun and as a result the flights were affected.

Concerning Randy's statement about me selling a lot of tubes despite the drunken bat flight - I was VERY OPEN about the thermal instability. In fact, I kept the rockets in the sun where ANY potential customer could see the issue firsthand. I told EVERY person that expressed any interest whatsoever about it and showed them the sample rockets. I was asked by a 'less honest' vendor why I was doing that. They said "don't you think you could sell more if you didn't talk about that?" I probably could have, I had a few turn it down. But in the end, I want people to respect me, HuffPerformance, and Always Ready Rocketry. I know Randy works hard to keep his good reputation and I am doing all that I can to build one.

Carey Huff
HuffPerformance
www.huffperformance.com
 

Huff360

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Sorry if my comment was out of line, it was not intended at all to be that way. I was just saying that I saw some bow pretty drastically in the sun. I have a 3" tube and I do plan on using it. My appologies.
I don't think you were out of line Kyle. Then again, knowing you helps. Sometimes it's hard to 'get a good read' on someone online.

Forgot to address this earlier -
Yeah, Blue Tube bows in the really hot sun. If you fly in cooler weather or on a cloudy day it would probably be no trouble. I am working on a solution that is easier than having to glass it. I disagree that if you are glassing you might as well use paper though... I'd put my lightly glassed Blue Tube up aginst some lightly glassed paper anyday!

Carey Huff
HuffPerformance
www.huffperformance.com
 
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Huff360

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Again, this comes from several reputable vendors whom I will not list here as some are still selling their product to clear out inventory and others refuse to sell it period. :y::y:
Randy, you know any authorized dealer who refuses to sell their Blue Tube? If so, tell them to give me a call and I will talk with them about a buyout of the stock they have on hand. No point in it going to waste in the back of their store, right?

Carey Huff
HuffPerformance
www.huffperformance.com
 

rejma0415

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No I don't think you were out of line. It was just that I was a little taken back by the phrase "the horrors of Blue Tube". Wow! LOL.. Anyway, yes, honesty is the best policy and yes we're working on it. My 6 inch Blue Tube rocket is coming along nicely and I doubt seriously that I'm going to have ANY problems with it bending. Once I have the new samples next week, I will subject them to Florida heat and humidity and advise accordingly. I need to nip this in the bud cuz I'm pretty much out of everything, but just remember, whether it's my Blue Tube or any competitor's copycat product, it's still vulcanized fiber, and they are going to be subject to the same issues. The big difference though is I was first to come up with it, and I've already got the solution in my head, and when that materializes on the production floor..

..it WILL be the holy grail of airframes..

Stay Tuned. :)

Rrrrrrrandy
 

rejma0415

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Randy, you know any authorized dealer who refuses to sell their Blue Tube? If so, tell them to give me a call and I will talk with them about a buyout of the stock they have on hand. No point in it going to waste in the back of their store, right?

Carey Huff
HuffPerformance
www.huffperformance.com

Maybe that person meant that they "refuse to carry the product line".. I dunno, but I will check. Seems odd because I've gotten stock reorders...

Randy
 
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