A few questions about BALLS attendance

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SoCalChris

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Posting this here so it gets more visibility than the events forum, mods feel free to move if it needs to be.


  1. I'm interested in attending BALLS this year. I likely won't be flying anything EX. Would I still be welcome to come observe and learn? Assuming I get my L2 by then, can I launch an L2 commercial motor? I'd love to fly a few motors that would break the waiver at my local club.
  2. Would my daughter be welcome? She will be 11 when this occurs. She is very interested in Rocketry, has built multiple rockets including a few fiberglass kits that we've launched on high power motors. I'd fully trust her to behave and not cause any problems, she is as much interested in going to learn about EX rocketry as I am. It mentions on the BALLS page that this is not an event for children, but I've seen other references to people having kids there with them. Is this to discourage people from bringing family to become a spectator event where the kids get bored and run around bored and unsupervised while dad looks at the rockets? Or will this be legitimately frowned upon if she is there to observe and learn? This would not be her first multi-day rocket launch, we've done three of the RocStock events over the past 2 years, she's well aware of what camping in the middle of the desert with nothing else to do besides rockets involves. She is currently a NAR member, I'll enroll her with Tripoli as well if she winds up going.

Thanks
 

tbonerocketeer

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Unless the rule changed, K motor minimum for commercial motors.
 

mikec

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Would my daughter be welcome? She will be 11 when this occurs.
I don't know you or your daughter. The website says what it says about kids from experience. Certainly there are always exceptions. Keep in mind that there is a lot of high-pressure prep of rockets going on and unsolicited questions from spectators are often inappropriate. Despite the safety codes, let's be honest -- BALLS is not the safest environment in the world. So factor that in.

If you just want to fly above the ROC waiver, FAR is a much shorter drive for you.
 

Steve Shannon

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First of all I think it's great that you want to bring her! As the father of two daughters who both embraced STEM learning and are now both working in medical positions I know the rewards that come from spending time doing things like this together. With that said, though there are a lot of better launches for families. You will have to pay to attend, even as a spectator. You'll have to pay for her too. That's based on BLM rules, not Tripoli rules.
Spectators are not allowed in the pad areas. Period.
The pads are a long way away from the flight line so there's not much for her to see.
My kids were very well behaved also. If I had brought them to BALLS they probably would have lost interest in rocketry.
If a rain storm or dust storm comes up you will be concerned for her safety as well as your own.
If it were me, I wouldn't bring a child to BALLS. XPRS is held nearly the same place but is much more family oriented.


Steve Shannon
 

SoCalChris

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Thanks for the replies. I'm very much interested in the EX side of the hobby, and will plan on attending a BALLS launch in the future. It sounds like this year a trip to XPRS would likely be the better option for us though. I'll start looking into that some more, and will hopefully make it up there.

Thanks,
Chris
 

MClark

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I used to run BALLS, I now only have a minor role.
Commercial motors have a minimum of K.
You can do a level 2 if a K or L is used.
If a person is from a place where rockets cannot be launched (Like Egypt) we did allow lower impulse for certification flights.
We have allowed lower than K impulse for Tripoli record flights.
Kids who have an interest in rockets have been allowed.
Ditto what Steve said about kids past the flight line.
If you want to do something not in the standard BALLS rules you should contact the launch director..

M
 

rokit

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Thanks for the replies. I'm very much interested in the EX side of the hobby, and will plan on attending a BALLS launch in the future. It sounds like this year a trip to XPRS would likely be the better option for us though. I'll start looking into that some more, and will hopefully make it up there.

Thanks,
Chris
Chris,

AeroPAC holds several launches at Black Rock, including the already mentioned XPRS. The launches are all Tripoli Research launches. There's a group of us from ROC going to XPRS (although we go for the contests and camraderie more than the Research) . When you're at ROCStock we can tell you all about it.

Mike
 

johnu

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MClark --> I used to run BALLS, I now only have a minor role.

And you did a very fine job of it - You have set the bar very high for the guys that come after you.
Thank you for the many years of the BEST LAUNCH OF THE YEAR !!!

-John Urbanski TRA-1416 (when I remember to send in the dues)
 

MClark

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Thank you John. I had a good time running BALLS but it is nice to launch rockets there now.

M
 
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