A Screamer For Every Rocket

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
1,389
Reaction score
1,052
I've messed with a number of different beacons/screamers over the past few years and have never been satisfied with them. These include the Transolve models:
The MicroTransBeep 1716573136890.png , hard to mount and subject to ejection charge contamination, not that loud, hard to turn on and off;

The BeepX 1716573283573.png, not small, no good way to mount it, subject to ejection charge contamination;

The MiniTransBeep 1716573368395.png, not so mini, heavy (9V battery), no good way to mount, subject to ejection charge contamination.

The ViFly Beacon 1716573518700.png , nice size but no good way to mount it (it's for drones).

And the Pratt Hobbies Microbeacon 1716573618553.png , small, easy to mount and move between rockets, but NOT loud.

Then I ran across the article in the March/April 2022 edition of Sport Rocketry in the PDF attached. BOOM! These are easy to make, small and cheap enough to have one in every rocket semi-permanently attached to the recovery harness so you don't have to move them between every rocket. The author said you can make a set of 10 for about $4.50 each, but that includes spreading the costs of the wire and paper clips across the 10 units. If I do unit cost (I can use the extra paper clips and wire for other purposes), the unit cost is about $2.50. I made 20 in about 2 hours. I have twelve in use and eight in reserve. I put one in every rocket that can either go out of sight or drift over half a mile from the launch site. It amazing how hard it is to find a downed rocket in a picked corn field with foot high stalks in it. Sound helps.

I attach each unit to the recovery harness that is attached to the nose cone as in the first picture attached (below). I first wrap a 1-2" length of professional grade electricians tape (NOT the cheap stuff) about six inches below the quick link. I attach The Screamer wire loop to the electricians tape with a small zip-tie and cut off the excess. The tape protects the recovery harness from being cut by the zip-tie and the zip-tie compresses the tape so it can't shift off onto the recovery harness. I attached the paper clip with the flight PVC shim to the quick link (or welded eyebolt) with a second (shorter, no hole punched) PVC shim in the screamer. When ready to button up the nose cone, I pull the shim out of the screamer (put it in my pocket), insert the flight shim (2nd pic below) and button up the nose cone. On recovery I just insert the short sim from my pocket to shut off The Screamer and its ready for the next flight prep. So easy.

1716574709154.png 1716574772031.png
 

Attachments

  • 1716573257921.png
    1716573257921.png
    637.2 KB · Views: 0
  • The Screamer.pdf
    5.8 MB · Views: 1
Very nice! I also made a swarm of them after reading that article. They work great although I haven't deployed any yet. Although after the several mile hike looking for my Kevlar Nightmare at the last launch that even had a tracker in it Im wishing I had used one of these as well. May have saved me some time!
Ken
 
Hey Guys - Very Green Rookie here - your patience is appreciated, but feel free to laugh all you want ;-)

I am thinking about building some of these little screaming devices, but compared to you guys, I only have part of one little toe in the water. I flew Estes rockets as a kid, and mortified a city block thinking I could build a rocket out of wrapping paper tube, a Styrofoam fishing lure for the cone, and fins cut out of a shoe box. It was a Wile E. Coyote moment for sure. It flew - in all directions...

But seriously - I now have grandsons and we enjoy flying your basic Estes Kits. A C6-5 motor (since they know no better) is plenty off a wow factor for them. The real kill-joy is a launching area that really should be bigger, and we end up searching for hours or just giving up.... I just got off the phone with Chris (sp?) at eggtimer rocketry. I was willing to spend 200.00 so that we could find our glorified bottle rockets. I am grateful for his honesty and candor, because he told me he'd love to sell me one, but that these were not designed for the smaller rockets. I've spent a lot of time researching, and dang - this hobby has more acronyms than I have ever seen in one place! I guess I'm going to have to further my studies to figure out how "Dog Barf" relates to parachutes... So my questions are:

1. Weight - I know these screamer devices are but a tick turd in a high power rocket, but now I am worried that even as small as they are, they might upset the trajectory of the rocket - thoughts?

2. Placing and Packaging - Common sense tells me that the lower I get these into the rocket, the less effect they would have on the flight path. The problem is, I would not know how to protect it - literally all I know about packing is some sheets of wadding to keep the parachute from melting. I watched a video of guy building a different screamer, basically the same idea, and he wrapped it in a Nomex burrito. I gasped at the size of the roll, and then I noticed that his shock cord looked like a ski rope...

3. Alternative thought - I was thinking I could ditch the parachute and use a reflective streamer instead. All I know about that is it would save a hair on weight (probably not enough to matter) but it would be more visible and come down quicker. Wind is always a problem here, and I have already cut a large hole in the top of the parachute. Is there a "rule of thumb" for using a streamer or multiple streamers? Some sort of weight / length ratio?

Thank you if you have read this far, and please forgive my ignorance,
Brian

PS - You can see what I'm trying to accomplish - if there is something better off the shelf, or other creative brain storms, I'm all ears..
 
I'm sure that a useful "screamer" could be made much smaller. It might not be heard as far, but even 10 feet can be useful in long grass, corn, etc. I suspect some kind of interrupter circuit to make it beep instead of scream could make a smaller battery last just as long as a larger one did with a steady noise. A beep might be noticeable at a slightly longer distance, too. Maybe use something like this, though I don't know what kind of circuit would make it intermittent:
https://www.challengeelectronics.com/indicators/pdf/CI08E-05S270-C-1.pdf
I found it on Digikey. Could be driven by a single lipo.

Putting the weight further up may eliminate the need for weight in the nose.

I don't know the formal calculations, but I have a rocket which is a bit over an ounce. The streamer is made from shiny stuff made as wrapping paper. As I recall, it's a bit over 2 inches wide and 22 inches long. Total guesswork, but it worked. I don't know how it would do coming down on hard surfaces, but I'm guessing it would be ok. I also don't know just how fast it comes down. I think streamers are less likely to get stuck in trees.

BTW, if you did it right, I'm sure a usable rocket could be made from foam, a wrapping paper tube, and cardboard fins. The tube might need some glue, dope, or epoxy applied to it, or fiberglass, or just a few wraps of kraft paper. Or not, depends on the tube. The shoebox fins would probably work if made hollow with a shear web/spreader at the thickest part. See the card stock sub-forum.
 
Hey Guys - Very Green Rookie here - your patience is appreciated, but feel free to laugh all you want ;-)

I am thinking about building some of these little screaming devices, but compared to you guys, I only have part of one little toe in the water. I flew Estes rockets as a kid, and mortified a city block thinking I could build a rocket out of wrapping paper tube, a Styrofoam fishing lure for the cone, and fins cut out of a shoe box. It was a Wile E. Coyote moment for sure. It flew - in all directions...

But seriously - I now have grandsons and we enjoy flying your basic Estes Kits. A C6-5 motor (since they know no better) is plenty off a wow factor for them. The real kill-joy is a launching area that really should be bigger, and we end up searching for hours or just giving up.... I just got off the phone with Chris (sp?) at eggtimer rocketry. I was willing to spend 200.00 so that we could find our glorified bottle rockets. I am grateful for his honesty and candor, because he told me he'd love to sell me one, but that these were not designed for the smaller rockets. I've spent a lot of time researching, and dang - this hobby has more acronyms than I have ever seen in one place! I guess I'm going to have to further my studies to figure out how "Dog Barf" relates to parachutes... So my questions are:

1. Weight - I know these screamer devices are but a tick turd in a high power rocket, but now I am worried that even as small as they are, they might upset the trajectory of the rocket - thoughts?

2. Placing and Packaging - Common sense tells me that the lower I get these into the rocket, the less effect they would have on the flight path. The problem is, I would not know how to protect it - literally all I know about packing is some sheets of wadding to keep the parachute from melting. I watched a video of guy building a different screamer, basically the same idea, and he wrapped it in a Nomex burrito. I gasped at the size of the roll, and then I noticed that his shock cord looked like a ski rope...

3. Alternative thought - I was thinking I could ditch the parachute and use a reflective streamer instead. All I know about that is it would save a hair on weight (probably not enough to matter) but it would be more visible and come down quicker. Wind is always a problem here, and I have already cut a large hole in the top of the parachute. Is there a "rule of thumb" for using a streamer or multiple streamers? Some sort of weight / length ratio?

Thank you if you have read this far, and please forgive my ignorance,
Brian

PS - You can see what I'm trying to accomplish - if there is something better off the shelf, or other creative brain storms, I'm all ears..
1. Probably not. With them loaded at the nose cone they will only help stability.
2. No need for protection. They are adequately protected by the wadding and parachute in a low power rocket.
3. Streamer vs. Parachute all depends on rocket weight. Use the calculator here - https://www.rocketreviews.com/streamer-calculator.html
 
Hey Guys - Very Green Rookie here - your patience is appreciated, but feel free to laugh all you want ;-)

I am thinking about building some of these little screaming devices, but compared to you guys, I only have part of one little toe in the water. I flew Estes rockets as a kid, and mortified a city block thinking I could build a rocket out of wrapping paper tube, a Styrofoam fishing lure for the cone, and fins cut out of a shoe box. It was a Wile E. Coyote moment for sure. It flew - in all directions...

But seriously - I now have grandsons and we enjoy flying your basic Estes Kits. A C6-5 motor (since they know no better) is plenty off a wow factor for them. The real kill-joy is a launching area that really should be bigger, and we end up searching for hours or just giving up.... I just got off the phone with Chris (sp?) at eggtimer rocketry. I was willing to spend 200.00 so that we could find our glorified bottle rockets. I am grateful for his honesty and candor, because he told me he'd love to sell me one, but that these were not designed for the smaller rockets. I've spent a lot of time researching, and dang - this hobby has more acronyms than I have ever seen in one place! I guess I'm going to have to further my studies to figure out how "Dog Barf" relates to parachutes... So my questions are:

1. Weight - I know these screamer devices are but a tick turd in a high power rocket, but now I am worried that even as small as they are, they might upset the trajectory of the rocket - thoughts?

2. Placing and Packaging - Common sense tells me that the lower I get these into the rocket, the less effect they would have on the flight path. The problem is, I would not know how to protect it - literally all I know about packing is some sheets of wadding to keep the parachute from melting. I watched a video of guy building a different screamer, basically the same idea, and he wrapped it in a Nomex burrito. I gasped at the size of the roll, and then I noticed that his shock cord looked like a ski rope...

3. Alternative thought - I was thinking I could ditch the parachute and use a reflective streamer instead. All I know about that is it would save a hair on weight (probably not enough to matter) but it would be more visible and come down quicker. Wind is always a problem here, and I have already cut a large hole in the top of the parachute. Is there a "rule of thumb" for using a streamer or multiple streamers? Some sort of weight / length ratio?

Thank you if you have read this far, and please forgive my ignorance,
Brian

PS - You can see what I'm trying to accomplish - if there is something better off the shelf, or other creative brain storms, I'm all ears..
1. As long as additional weight is in front of the original CG, it makes the rocket more stable. The CG is usually pretty far back because the motor is heavy. It's easy to find the CG: load the rocket for flight, and find its balance point.

Can it be too stable? Yes, for windy conditions. Sport flying from a small field, I expect you don't fly in windy conditions, so it's not a worry.

2. Put it in the nose if there's room, or hang it from the nose cone where it attaches to the shock cord. Definitely no need to situate it farther back in the tube. More weight forward makes the rocket more stable.

It probably needs extra protection from the ejection charge. I think it would be enough to wrap a sheet of wadding around it.

3. There's a lot of variability in streamers, depending on material and design. One rule of thumb is that 10:1 proportions are most efficient. Longer than that, you increase visibility but don't slow the descent down any more.

Streamers are great for both bringing rockets down faster and visibility, so that's a good option for you. But be warned: coming down faster means hitting the ground faster. Depending on construction, it's easy for the rocket to get damaged hitting the ground. And consider the weight and speed of the rocket and how bad it would be if it hit someone.

As for other ideas, you might want to consider some slightly bigger rockets. Estes 24mm motors offer "wow" takeoffs for the kids, but the rockets don't go that high on a C11 motor.

Or for cheaper flying, get some small oddrocs. Saucers and such are great for small field flying, and some use mini engines. If you can find the Estes Twin Factor (it's out of production), it's a really great two-stage mini engine rocket that doesn't need a big field.
 
Hey Guys - Very Green Rookie here - your patience is appreciated, but feel free to laugh all you want ;-)

I am thinking about building some of these little screaming devices, but compared to you guys, I only have part of one little toe in the water. I flew Estes rockets as a kid, and mortified a city block thinking I could build a rocket out of wrapping paper tube, a Styrofoam fishing lure for the cone, and fins cut out of a shoe box. It was a Wile E. Coyote moment for sure. It flew - in all directions...

But seriously - I now have grandsons and we enjoy flying your basic Estes Kits. A C6-5 motor (since they know no better) is plenty off a wow factor for them. The real kill-joy is a launching area that really should be bigger, and we end up searching for hours or just giving up.... I just got off the phone with Chris (sp?) at eggtimer rocketry. I was willing to spend 200.00 so that we could find our glorified bottle rockets. I am grateful for his honesty and candor, because he told me he'd love to sell me one, but that these were not designed for the smaller rockets. I've spent a lot of time researching, and dang - this hobby has more acronyms than I have ever seen in one place! I guess I'm going to have to further my studies to figure out how "Dog Barf" relates to parachutes... So my questions are:

1. Weight - I know these screamer devices are but a tick turd in a high power rocket, but now I am worried that even as small as they are, they might upset the trajectory of the rocket - thoughts?

2. Placing and Packaging - Common sense tells me that the lower I get these into the rocket, the less effect they would have on the flight path. The problem is, I would not know how to protect it - literally all I know about packing is some sheets of wadding to keep the parachute from melting. I watched a video of guy building a different screamer, basically the same idea, and he wrapped it in a Nomex burrito. I gasped at the size of the roll, and then I noticed that his shock cord looked like a ski rope...

3. Alternative thought - I was thinking I could ditch the parachute and use a reflective streamer instead. All I know about that is it would save a hair on weight (probably not enough to matter) but it would be more visible and come down quicker. Wind is always a problem here, and I have already cut a large hole in the top of the parachute. Is there a "rule of thumb" for using a streamer or multiple streamers? Some sort of weight / length ratio?

Thank you if you have read this far, and please forgive my ignorance,
Brian

PS - You can see what I'm trying to accomplish - if there is something better off the shelf, or other creative brain storms, I'm all ears..
1. Weight is more of a concern with smaller, low power rockets. If the kit instructs to add nose weights, you could always consider the weight of the screamer and reduce the amount of nose weight you use. You can also use a larger motor. https://www.thrustcurve.org/ is a great tool to plug in basic information about your rocket and get a prediction of motors that are safe to fly and a reasonable altitude for your launch site.

2. It seems counterintuitive, but the weight closer to the nosecone will make for more stable flights.

Nomex burritos or "chute protectors" are great. Different manufacturers make them in different sizes, so you can use them in small rockets. I use them in 18mm minimum diameter rockets too.

https://www.csrocketry.com/recovery...covery/nomex-protectors/chute-protectors.html

"Dog barf" is cellulose insulation. Just use a small amount that can cover the tube about 1 ID deep in place of wadding. A bale from Home Depot will last a very long time.

3. I launch at a large park in the soccer fields, landing on grass. I've been making streamers from mylar bird scaring tape. It's cheap and flashes when it catches the Sun so you can spot the rocket easier. A safe landing speed depends on the surface you want to land on and the construction of your rocket. Build material, fin shape and fin placement make a difference on how well the rocket survives harder landings. I built several fiberglass low power kits from Mach 1 and they can all be flown and recovered where I launch on streamers. They can take a lot more abuse than a Estes type kit, but they are heavier and have less choice in motor.
 
Wow! Thanks for all the very informative and helpful replies! I understand now what Dog Barf is, but I didn't understand the explanation as to how much to use. Sure seems it would be easier than separating and wadding up those pieces of paper!

I was completely backwards about thinking weight in the front would make the rocket unstable - but I do now how to check the CG and will verify. I'm not sure my idea of stable is correct. To me, it simply means a trajectory that is straight up for as long as possible. Not that I fly mine straight up - I guess at an angle into the wind and hope...

One curiosity I have for you high power guys - In this little journey of mine, I was fascinated with what all can be done with model rockets. I was thinking the 3 - 4 bucks for C6-5 was expensive - I'm sure that's laughable to you ;-) I looked at some of the higher power stuff and really had sticker shock at the cost.
Do you fly off the shelf motors, or do you "roll your own". If anyone does make their own, I might be interested in that later. But I am guessing it's probably not smart to watch YouTube videos on how to make motors with just a few household items and start stuffing the magic elixir into some PVC pipe. No - If I got into that, I would find me a NAR club and get a mentor. But again, I am curious if any of you make your own - I don't see how some of those giant rockets could be propelled any other way.

I just finished ordering all the components to make a batch of screamers, and I will report on how they work.

Thanks again,
Brian
 
If I understand correctly, you will have to achieve level II and go with Tripoli if you want to fly motors you made yourself at a formal launch.

If Tripoli didn't equate making your own motors with high power, I might be somewhat interested.

You may find some interesting info on making motors at nakka-rocketry.net . And some info about making reasonably small ones at jamesyawn.net But you won't be flying them at NAR or Tripoli events any time soon. And, if you're careless, you can blow yourself up.

Materials for making propellant grains may be only a couple of bucks per pound, at least if you are getting quite a few pounds at once. There are, of course, ways of spending as much as you want to, and more. Particularly once you get into the rest of the rocket.

The grains I make are tiny, though, so the cost of more expensive ingredients isn't too bad.
 
Back
Top