Advice About Disposable Wadding Alternatives in LPRs

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Cape Byron

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Then again, rocket supplies are essentially gaseous, expanding or compressing (to a point) to fill the available volume.

But I hate it when that happens to body tubes...

Seriously, I avoid wadding or dog barf like the plague. Too many critters here will 'sample' it before it rains and starts to break down. I use Qualman baffles down to BT-50 and itty bitty Kevlar squares below that.
 

Grog6

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Guys, a cheap and easy place to get nomex cloth is to drop by any body shop, and ask if you can cut a bag up out of their dumpster. There are multiple weights of fabric, depending on bag size. They're sometimes free; take a good pair of scissors.
 

mh9162013

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Guys, a cheap and easy place to get nomex cloth is to drop by any body shop, and ask if you can cut a bag up out of their dumpster. There are multiple weights of fabric, depending on bag size. They're sometimes free; take a good pair of scissors.

Curious: why do body shops have nomex bags?
 

Tractionengines

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I've posted this before, but its been a while. I buy Nomex fabric and thread, from Pegasus Auto Racing. This is from recommendations from my friends who do Drag Racing. They are trusting it to protect their bodies, so I trust it to be real. [Like used material from fire(persons) suits or racing fire suits.]

A lot of "Nomex" even from big name places is not really Nomex. Also almost ALL from Amazon / Ebay etc is other fabric with fire retardant added.

 

fyrwrxz

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Back when dinosaurs and LOC Bruisers roamed the test ranges, I came across a crowd with one of those commercial bags of popcorn, like from Costme or Wallyworld. They used it as wadding, claiming it fed the wildlife ( dry lake, wildlife?) and it composted away. I bought a couple of motors and they let me load up the Bruiser with it. Well, I tried it and the smell of overroasted popcorn hung on quite a bit. No holes in the chute, so it went well.
 

bjphoenix

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Curious: why do body shops have nomex bags?
I was wondering about that too. My father owned an auto body shop for a long time and I don't recall anything in their trash but paper, masking tape and empty paint cans.

But back to the subject- the teflon pom pom sounds very interesting to me, I just need to figure out how to make one that will work for a BT60. I wonder if I could make a simple one out of crepe paper strips that would work. Even if it didn't last very long crepe paper is very cheap.

Another thing I've thought about doing relates to those old paper chute protectors that I used to see where you cut some slits in the paper then it folds/rolls into an elongated cup around the parachute. I thought about making those from paper towels doused in flame retarding chemical. It would be a little trouble to make some but they would be relatively cheap.
 

lakeroadster

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Another thing I've thought about doing relates to those old paper chute protectors that I used to see where you cut some slits in the paper then it folds/rolls into an elongated cup around the parachute. I thought about making those from paper towels doused in flame retarding chemical. It would be a little trouble to make some but they would be relatively cheap.
 

bjphoenix

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That's what I was thinking about from very many years ago. I think we tried them once but back then all of our rockets were BT50 and smaller and the rolled paper is tricky to get into an already tight space. That's why I was thinking that something like treated paper towel might be easier. And for use in larger tubes like BT60 maybe even layer 2 of them, with the one on top rotated 90 degrees so the slits didn't line up.
 

Daddyisabar

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Like Chuck Heston I hold my months old head of wilted iceberg lettuce over my head and say in my best Moses voice "You will have to take it from my cold, dead hands!" It spins so nicely when slowly coming down. The comments are like " What the H-E-double toothpicks!" Pick it up, use again. Nibble off a bit next to the burned spot, saying "gonna use in a smaller tube, cant let it go to waste!" The horror of the bystanders is palpable. Tasty too.
 
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A 3v3 Dino Chutes protector is about $5-6. If ordered with something else, the shipping is free. Larger protectors will be more expensive, but then they'll be used in rockets that require more dog barf.

When you use dog barf, do you keep a pouch of it on you at the launch site? I presume you take your rocket to you range box and in addition to loading an engine you go into your range box to grab a handful of dog barf. Then you have pack it into your rocket. Then you pack up your parachute and shock cord. I've never used parachute protectors before, but with a 3v3 sheet in a BT-50 rocket, I'm betting $5-$10 that it'll take longer to get out the dog barf, pack it into the BT-50 tube (or maybe a BT-60 tube), then pack the parachute and shock cord and put those into the tube.

With a parachute protector, the only extra work your'e doing is making sure it's as close to the body tube as possible (by just sliding it down the shock cord in 2 seconds), then when you're reading to pack in the parachute (something you have to do no matter what), you're at least partially wrapping the parachute with the protector.

But you all keep missing the big picture. It's not cost. It's not litter. It's not time (packing and picking up the pieces of wadding or dog barf on the field). It's all three. Then there are other reasons.

1. Something extra to forget. If your protector is already attached to your rocket, the only thing to forget is the rocket itself.

2. Something else to carry around and store. For an LPR, I have no idea how much volume of lifetime supply of dog barf would be, but I imagine it would be at least the size of a queen-size pillow case. Just another thing to store. As for carrying it around, I imagine most people don't carry around their entire supply of dog barf to their launches, but that still something to take up extra space in your car, range box or bag.

3. It's messy.

4. Availability and ease of purchase to buy what you need. Yes, dog barf is sold by various online model rocket venders. But not at the price of $5 for a lifetime supply. Ok, so go to your local harwdware store. But then you're paying more than $5 for dog barf in an amount you don't need.

Any single one of these is reasons enough to choose something else over dog barf. If you want to use it, that's fine. Yet with so many reasons not to use dog barf, I don't understand why it's being pushed SO HARD.
I bought a bale at Home Depot for under $10. You can get busted bales for less if you ask. It is dirt cheap. Besides, a lot of clubs by a bale and have oodles of it at launches for free. So price is not a detriment. And this from a guy that said i don't like to use it if I can avoid it.

FTR, I don't attach nomex protectors to a shock cord (rocket). That WOULD get expensive,, if you had one for every rocket. They are in my range box, I have a couple of each size and I add them as a part of normal laundry prep. It's not that hard...
 

DAllen

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On our field, you use dog barf or parachute burritos. You cannot use anY other forms of wadding. I would probably let some use lettuce.

You should consider cabbage as well lol. Someone used cabbage at one of our launches and actually worked well.

To add to what lakeroadster said, dog barf is also something you have to pay for when it runs out.

Engines are expensive enough. I see no reason to add another cost to each launch.

Seriously? I just bought a bale of DB for like $13 or something like that and the last bale I bought lasted me around..10 years maybe? You can't find a cheaper alternative than $1.3/year...
 

mh9162013

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Seriously? I just bought a bale of DB for like $13 or something like that and the last bale I bought lasted me around..10 years maybe? You can't find a cheaper alternative than $1.3/year...

How about a baffle or reusable wadding? If you're saying those won't work, I'm all ears.
 

MidOH

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That's what I do. 3 baffles, and a small piece of reusable wadding (blue jeans) tied to the shock cord. Works great in long rockets. I also use the baffles as a laundry shelf. No worries about the bearing on the chute, dragging it down the tube on launch.

Short rockets like a Der Red Max get cabbage or lettuce.

No litter at all.
 

Ez2cDave

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I'm working on my next LPR project. It'll probably have a BT-20 or BT-50 body diameter, or maybe a combination of both with a BT-20 to BT-50 transition. I also want to avoid using disposable wadding. I dislike the idea of potential "litter" when I can't recover all the pieces used during a launch and I dislike even more the fact that I have to spend money on disposable wadding.

So it looks like I have two alternatives: resusable wadding (like Dinochutes 3x3 chute protector) or an ejection charge baffle. And now I have a few questions about these. Please note these questions are asked within the LPR context and with the use of a plastic or nylon parachute (12" or so) recovery system.

1. If using reusable wadding, instead of threading the shock cord through a slit in the corner of the wadding, could I use a snap swivel or small metal keyring loop to attach the protector to the shock cord, but still allow it to slide up and down the shock cord? I figure this would make it much easier to remove the reusable wadding for cleaning and transfer to another LPR rocket.

2. Will a 3x3 Dinochutes reusable chute protector work in a BT-20 model rocket? I wonder if it'll be too bulky and my only option is the an ejection charge baffle.

3. Does anyone believe the baffle or reusable wadding has an inherent advantage over the other when installed in a BT-50 or BT-20 main body tube? If so, why?

I've done some research on both, and it seems like no system is perfect in terms of fully protecting the parachute and payload (like an altimeter). I'm trying to decide which is better for me and if using both is also a viable option (yes, I know there'll be a weight penalty, but performance is a tertiary consideration in this rocket's design).

Thanks ahead for all your advice.

Use a Baffle . . .

Also . . . https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/paper-parachute-protectors.168048

The same pattern could be used for cutting out THIN Nomex cloth protectors ( attach to the Shock Cord and re-use ). The size below is for a BT-20.

Dave F.

1651761312047.png
 

Grant_Edwards

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This is starting to remind of "what oil is best" threads on motorcycle forums. My favorite is the guy who swears by a home-made mixture of three different weights/types: 1qt of A, 1qt of B, and 2qts of C. The explanation for that is, uh, "interesting". There's also always a sizable number of people who swear by the stuff you get at WalMart in a gallon jug for $8 (not rated for use in motorcycles — most have wet clutches which have specific oil requirements).

In case you're wondering, I buy whichever name-brand synthetic motorcycle oil is on sale at the local auto-parts stores. It's almost always Castrol or Mobil-1. :)
 

MidOH

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Do you treat the jeans in any way before using it as wadding? Either way, how long does it last before needing replacement?

Don't really need to, thanks to the baffles. It's just value added to protect the chute. But I have had luck with Borax soap pretreatment.

It holds up ok. I haven't counted launches, because it's just a wasted scrap. Replace as needed. I have some arc flash pants (8calorie) that are scrap. I'll try those next, but I'll bet that they burn more than jeans. If the rocket is fiberglass, just dump some water on the jeans scrap.

In Ohio, flame retardant is a newish thing. We used TP often when we were kids, and loved how it burnt all the way down to earth. We only cared about not melting chutes. Fire risk was zero in the rain.
 

mh9162013

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Those will cost you more than a couple bucks a year.

How?

Let's assume 2 launches with a particular rocket per week. That's about 100 launches in a year. You're telling me no baffle or reusable wadding will last that long? I've come to realize that reasuable wadding may not last that long, but shouldn't the baffle last that long?
 

jmasterj

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How?

Let's assume 2 launches with a particular rocket per week. That's about 100 launches in a year. You're telling me no baffle or reusable wadding will last that long? I've come to realize that reasuable wadding may not last that long, but shouldn't the baffle last that long?
How much did the baffles for all the rockets you built in that hypothetical year cost? I don't think you're going to average 100 launches/rocket, that seems pretty high.
 

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