AeroTech Open Thread

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by ATGM, May 16, 2015.

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  1. May 18, 2019 #3061

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

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    Wildman is showing rear closures, and plugged forward closures. But my regulars of BMS, CS Rocketry, BuyRocketMotors and Apogee are showing out of stock. IIRC the 38mm RAS floating closure and forward closure ring can be substituted for the 38mm Forward Closure Open (motor delay and BMS has it in stock).
     
  2. May 19, 2019 #3062

    Tobor

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    Get your peanuts....

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    ^Ding ding

    Also, if the 600 is your only 38mm case, then consider getting a 38/240 complete motor. With the combo of 240+600+RAS, you can burn any 38mm reload south of the 38/720.
     
  3. May 19, 2019 #3063

    grouch

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    Oh I give up.
     
  4. May 19, 2019 #3064

    kevindcornwell

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    That's what I did a year ago when the same stock shortages were extant. I bought the RAS, a complete motor and a shorter case. Each from a different vendor. Works all the same, no worries.
     
  5. May 19, 2019 #3065

    Greg Furtman

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    I just bought a 38-360 motor casing from Wildman that has both closures. He didn't have a 38-240. And I checked 5 other vendors and none of them had either the 38-240 nor the 38-360. Aerotech needs to ramp up its larger closure gig. I talked to a vendor yesterday and he said that the machinist that was doing all the closures for Aerotech decided he's only going to do 29mm & smaller so Aerotech is trying to find a reliable vendor for the larger closures. I hope they hurry up.
     
  6. May 19, 2019 #3066

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    I can't believe these shortages are STILL going on. I could understand having this problem for a few months or maybe a year, but now this problem has been going on for FOUR years.
     
  7. May 19, 2019 #3067

    Greg Furtman

    Greg Furtman

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    I can't believe that Aerotech can't find a small machine shop to make their closures. I live in rural NW Wisconsin and almost every small town has a machine shop. So what the hell is going on? :confused:
     
  8. May 19, 2019 #3068

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    I'm guessing the small machine shops don't have the very expensive CNC machines required for the exacting tolerances demanded by Aerotech. But still ... four years? There is no way this isn't being done deliberately. Small supply creates big demand.
    This is why I'm in the process of switching to that other motor/case supplier.
    I replaced my 38mm cases, now just have to scrape enough cash together for a big enough reload order to justify the haz fee ...
     
  9. May 19, 2019 #3069

    Greg Furtman

    Greg Furtman

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    Actually both of the small machine shops in my area do have CNC machines.
     
  10. May 19, 2019 #3070

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    Oh. Well. I did say I was guessing. Lol.
     
  11. May 19, 2019 #3071

    Buzzard

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    grouch likes this.
  12. May 19, 2019 #3072

    grouch

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    So you sold your cases and switched to "another brand" because you couldn't get cases?
     
  13. May 19, 2019 #3073

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

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    So now he can have a hard time getting loads for that other brands cases....
     
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  14. May 19, 2019 #3074

    grouch

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    Funny, that's what I was thinking. To say this is intentional in AT's part does not seem right to me. I am sure AT would love to have the market flooded with their cases so people could buy their loads. What makes sense is they have an issue finding a shop that will crank out relatively small runs to a high degree of quality. I remember when Loki ran into this issue and ended up having Badazz cut some cases. Not sure if that is still the case or not. Pun...funny.

    The trick is to insulate yourself from market swings by having cases from as many manufacturers as you can. Have some Loki, have some CTI and certainly have some AT. This world is getting increasingly polarized and tribal. You hear stuff like "I only fly AT because..." or "I hate CTI and will never fly their junk". If that's your take then you have some skin in the blame game too.

    Funny, I started flying AT because I could get the loads I wanted in the mail without Haz. I didn't want to rely on any one vendor to show up to a launch or not, leaving me without motors. That said I have fallen in love with their motors, mostly in the 29mm size and prefer to fly them over others but....I still buy and fly others. If Scott ever decided to enter the 29mm market, I'd fly his stuff too.

    The happiest guy I know at the launches happens to be the guy who does not participate in rocketry tribalism. That's my take, his take is he is just an equal opportunity motor whore.
     
  15. May 19, 2019 #3075

    Steve Shannon

    Steve Shannon

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    I have to agree. To say that Aerotech (or any motor reload manufacturer) is trying to drive up hardware prices by reducing supply is laughable. That’s like accusing Gillette of making fewer razors. If they are doing that they flunked business 101.
    The money is in the reloads and the more cases they get out there, the more reloads they will sell.
     
  16. May 20, 2019 #3076

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    No, I did not sell anything. I wanted to stop using my Dr Rocket hardware and replace it with regular Aerotech hardware. But yeah (DUH!), I'm switching to the other brand because I can't get most, if not all, of the Aerotech stuff I want. Kind of a "no-brainer" there.

    As far as getting reloads, the other brand ones I will fly are in stock where I normally shop online, but their purchase is a low priority at the moment.
     
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  17. May 20, 2019 #3077

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    I'd buy that argument if this had not been going on for four years already with no real end in sight. And reducing supply to drive up prices happens ALL THE TIME. Just two examples, OPEC and the diamond cartels. Ever try selling a diamond ring back to a jewelry dealer?
     
  18. May 20, 2019 #3078

    ttabbal

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    AT strikes me as being in a tough spot. They aren't small enough to have a one man shop run hardware anymore. But they probably aren't big enough to get a big shop to run them at a reasonable price. Setup time costs, and bigger shops are going to want large orders. Then there's anodizing and such..

    I do think it's interesting that closures would be harder to get made though. I can make even 98mm closures on a small lathe. It's the tubes you need big tools for. Unless tolerance is crazy tight...
     
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  19. May 20, 2019 #3079

    jd2cylman

    jd2cylman

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    Still not Carl... ;-)

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    Why does it always have to be a conspiracy? Maybe there's a genuine lack of machinists near to where Aerotech used to have cases made. Just maybe the price of aluminum has gone up a smidge in over 20 years... Maybe... Why be angry. Fly what you can. Red closures will work on black cases until the supply is back to normal.
     
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  20. May 20, 2019 #3080

    Steve Shannon

    Steve Shannon

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    I was a jeweler for eight years, but those are still completely different examples. Oil and diamonds are the end product. People buy cases to burn motors.
    Did I understand you correctly? Why would you get rid of your complete Dr. Rocket cases only to get incomplete AT cases?
     
  21. May 20, 2019 #3081

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    One more time, I did not get rid of my Dr Rocket stuff. I simply don't want to use it any more, since it is all out of production and can't be replaced if lost.

    I started looking into replacing my Dr. Rocket stuff with matching Aerotech hardware. This has proven to be nearly impossible, so I've started switching my 29 mm and 38mm hardware over to the other brand (no, my Dr Rocket stuff IS NOT FOR SALE at any price).
     
  22. May 20, 2019 #3082

    gldknght

    gldknght

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    If this is true, why won't Aerotech license the case and closure designs to a third party like they did with Rouse-tech as mentioned in posts around #2559 in this thread?
    I never did see a response from Aerotech on this subject. If Charlie did reply about it, please let me know the post #?
     
  23. May 20, 2019 #3083

    Steve Shannon

    Steve Shannon

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    Are you sure they won’t? I have no idea.
     
  24. May 20, 2019 #3084

    jd2cylman

    jd2cylman

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    There might be a good reason why there isn't a line of people scampering to license the hardware. Think of the initial outlay costs. Aluminum tubing in 6 different sizes in minimum quantities to fill current orders will probably run $60-70,000.00. And that number might be low. Then you have to have aluminum round stock in six different sizes to make closures. Probably another $20-30,000.00. Then machinists costs, anodizing costs, and laser etching will add up a wee bit too. That's a lot more than I can bite off...

    But by god, my first run of cases would be orange or purple or chartreuse or mauve with taupe closures... :p:p
    Or tie dye orange/chartreuse, or ....
     
  25. May 20, 2019 #3085

    grouch

    grouch

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    Oh Adrian, I will take a full line of 29mm motors in Orange and Purple please. LMK when I can place the order.

    You know in all honesty, if I had the money running a batch of licensed motors would be the last thing I'd want to do. Rocket people are extremely needy and demanding. Heaven forbid they are the wrong color or something else equally as unimportant. Makes me wonder why the Dr. and Rouse Tech got out to begin with? It seems like an easy fix would be for RT to crank out another run even if it's a stop gap.
     
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  26. May 20, 2019 #3086

    BayouRat

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    What exactly are you looking for? Some closures have been discontinued, revised and rereleased as an updated product. You can’t expect AT to stock a discontinued product.
     
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  27. May 20, 2019 #3087

    BayouRat

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    So are you holding onto these Dr Rocket cases for a reason? Do you think they are some how going to be worth more value? Because that’s hilarious!
     
  28. May 20, 2019 #3088

    Wayco

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    Don't give up Grouch, it's just a matter of perspective.

    This really isn't AT's problem. The problem lies with those looking for hardware. Most buyers want to get this specific part from t
    heir vendor, or all the parts from one source. NO vendor carries all of the parts. They order what sells on a regular basis. Most buyers don't even know how many vendors sell AT hardware, and when they go looking, they don't actually contact the vendor and ask. If it shows "out of stock" they move on. Of the six vendors we buy from, only two come close to keeping their webpage up to date.
    My wife Sharon and I fly AT, CTI, LOKI and research motors. Some of you have seen some of the hardware Sharon owns, and she lets me use whatever she is not using, unless it's dirty, I get all of those.
    A quick count of AT cases in our inventory is around 58, with most complete sets. Yes, a red DR. Rockets closure fits fine on a blue Rouse Tech motor, and you can use a gold AT rear closure with that.
    We didn't get there by buying from Wildman, or Balsa Machining. Quite a few came from members on TRF. The last 54/1706 casing I found was in a bucket in a shed, when I asked about it, the owner just gave it to me.
    You don't even have to know who has what, just ask here, someone will find it for you. If you remove all the complaints about not finding something, there are lots of posts on TRF where what one member was looking for was found by another member, but the buyer didn't want to buy it from that vendor because it cost a dollar more or shipping from vendor A was more than vendor B. Big news here! This hobby is not cheap. Just getting to high power can be expensive, and every level gets more so. Heaven forbid your spouse gets involved, then you have to have at least two of those cases that can't be found....
     
  29. May 20, 2019 #3089

    grouch

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    The giving up was in reference to a poster's complaints that his cases are worthless without closures. I was trying to get him to concede that ordering a case without closures being available is a condition of his own creation.

    I have asked this before, at what point does a manufacturer decide this is all too much trouble and pull the plug? I mean seriously guys, you have to understand that apart from Loki, the other manufacturers' hobby involvement is a small fraction of their defense work. I am sure both CTI and AT can endure the small loss of revenue from the hobby community if it all became too much. Look at how few choices we have today as opposed to a little as 10 years ago. I simply don't see the need to keep poking at them. AT knows they need to pump some cases into the market. CTI knows they need to pump some reloads into the market. Loki knows he needs to make some 29mm motors for me. Jumping around and throwing a fit doesn't seem to get anyone anywhere closer to these goals.
     
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  30. May 20, 2019 #3090

    Steve Shannon

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    If I could get this done in fancy script I would frame it.
     
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