Are old FSI motors worth anything?

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by belfert, Dec 15, 2018.

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  1. Dec 15, 2018 #1

    belfert

    belfert

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    I was given a dozen or more old FSI motors to burn in a campfire as we figured nobody should be flying 30 year old black powder motors.

    Is there any value to these before I burn them in a fire? Most are still in original packaging. I would rather someone have them if there is any value rather than burn them.

    I will post an ad in the classifieds if there is interest.
     
  2. Dec 15, 2018 #2

    MECO

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    I recently flew some FSI D18 motors dated 1976. They flew fine. Before you throw them in a fire, why not send em up?

    John
     
  3. Dec 15, 2018 #3

    cavecentral

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    Some of us collect old motors. Where are you located? They may be fine to fly depending on storage and if dropped hard to crack the bp grain.
     
  4. Dec 15, 2018 #4

    mikec

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    You really don't want to burn BP motors in a fire! Only loose AP grains are safe (with proper precautions.)
     
  5. Dec 15, 2018 #5

    dhbarr

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    If you're near one of us, I'm sure we'll store or fly 'em for you.
     
  6. Dec 15, 2018 #6

    MECO

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    +1
    I have a bunch of ELV's (expendable launch vehicles) just waiting for such missions...
     
  7. Dec 15, 2018 #7

    boatgeek

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    When my TARC team found some old FSI motors in the back of the motor box, there were a few people lining up to take them. Check with your local club--someone probably wants them especially if they're the odd 21mm size.
     
  8. Dec 15, 2018 #8

    belfert

    belfert

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    These were given to the local club by someone. Nobody in the club wanted them as afraid they might destroy the rocket. These have been temperature cycled below freezing for sure.
     
  9. Dec 15, 2018 #9

    Sooner Boomer

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    Sounds like a perfect test motor for a spool rocket. You can build a minimum-component spool with just a tube for the motor mount and two disks. Depending on the size of the motor, and how durable you want the rocket to be, the disks can even be made from cardstock (chipboard, mattboard).
     
  10. Dec 15, 2018 #10

    Mike Helm

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    Which motors do you have? We used to call them "Fright Systems" even when they were new. They are very fun motors when they work correctly. Use them in expendable launch vehicles or make stick-rockets. Static fire a couple then decide what you're willing to risk them in but DO NOT put them in the fire. It is not safe to burn these in a fire.
     
  11. Dec 16, 2018 #11

    bjphoenix

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    Something like 25 years ago a friend of mine discovered model rockets and bought an FSI starter kit with rocket and some F motors. The first one suffered ejection failure and slightly shortened the rocket. We cut off the damaged end of the tube and launched with another motor. This time the motor CATO'd with a big bang and destroyed the rocket. He gave me the remaining few motors. I scrounged up a large cardboard tube from a paper roll and made a rocket out of it. I used heavy posterboard for fins and rolled a cone shaped nose cone out of paper. IOW I didn't invest any money and only minimal time in building a rocket in case another motor failed. We launched it twice and it flew fine both times.

    When I started building rockets a long time ago Estes only made motors up to B. We discovered FSI and ordered a few C motors from them, maybe this was the biggest motor they had at the time. The motors were unusual to us- larger diameter than 18mm but with tiny nozzles. I had a BT55 scratch built so I cut out its motor mount and rolled a new paper tube for a motor mount to fit the FSI motors. I thought I remembered that they were an odd size such as 21mm but I still have the rocket and recently checked to find that an Estes D motor fits in that tube. I made a new motor mount and glued inside the original one so I can start launching that rocket again on 18mm motors. I think it will perform well on an 18mm C, I don't want to launch it with a D. I figured that rocket is right at 50 years old.
     
  12. Dec 17, 2018 #12

    belfert

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    I forgot to inventory the FSI motors over the weekend. I know a bunch of them are F motors, but don't recall the designation.
     
  13. Dec 17, 2018 #13

    MECO

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    They would be F7’s and/or F100’s. I used to love flying those dirty ol’ BP motors.
     
  14. Dec 17, 2018 #14

    cavecentral

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    F7s barely lift their own weight. Had some fun land sharks chasing around from those.
     
  15. Dec 17, 2018 #15

    Zeus-cat

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    You should soak old BP motors in water to destroy them. But as others have said, someone may want to fly them. Some people in my club flew some old AP motors given to our club and the results were interesting. Several destroyed rockets, but lots of fun.
     
  16. Dec 18, 2018 #16

    shreadvector

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    They make excellent Gopher-Gassers.
     
  17. Dec 18, 2018 #17

    caveduck

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    Old black powder motors that have been stored OK usually work. However, the FSI F7 and F100 types were prone to failure even when they were current. The big propellant grains were more sensitive to manufacturing imperfections and temperature cycling than Estes motors, and thermal cycling was not a very well known issue when most of 'em were made. The F7's would often burst the casing 50 feet in the air rather than blow out along the axis, but they were amazing in a light rocket (think F10 but with more smoke). They also were the motor of choice for internats RCBG circa 1980. The F100 failure mode was mostly to blow out the ends. Have fun but don't use in anything you care about! Oh yeah they are weird sizes (22 and 27 mm) so you might have to make suitable tubes and rings.
     
  18. Dec 20, 2018 #18

    belfert

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    I was wrong on the F motors. Someone else took the F motors. What I have are fifteen sealed three packs of various D and E motors.
     
  19. Dec 24, 2018 #19

    belfert

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    I was trying to figure out how I could ship these if someone wanted them and realized that an individual can't really ship any rocket motors legally even if they are labeled as toy propellant. You have to get a letter from the Post Office to ship toy propellant.

    I will probably see if the local NAR club wants them.
     
  20. Dec 24, 2018 #20

    MECO

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    Where are you?
     
  21. Dec 25, 2018 #21

    belfert

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    Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
     
  22. Dec 28, 2018 #22

    RocketT.Coyote

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    I think the old FSI Mach One booster was a somewhat sculpted F100-0 epoxied to a coupler with a set of plywood fins to epoxy to the booster motor.
     
  23. Apr 20, 2019 #23

    cameraflyer

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    I still have some FSI D18's and D20s dated 1989. All were kept in a finished basement and have never suffered any temperature cycling. I test fired some D18s last year and they worked fine. However, all 4 of my E5's CATO'd. By the way the motors I have are all 21mm x 100mm and not the 21mm x 95mm I see listed every where.
     
  24. Apr 20, 2019 #24

    beeblebrox

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    They did not have a coupler, they were bored out about 5/8" in the forward end to accept the D20 upper stage motor which fit slightly snug. The top edge of the F100 was rounded to improve airflow.I flew and lost a few of those upper stages. Interestingly, the fact you had to glue the fins directly on the F100 constitutes "modifying the motor" according to the safety codes...like that is really a big deal... The problem with the whole thing is that in order to go Mach 1, staging needed to happen almost instantly, which never happened. The delay between staging was about 1 1/2 - 2 sec. actually. They were fun though! Wish I had one now, I would fly it!
     
  25. Apr 20, 2019 #25

    Alan15578

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    That is interesting. I flew many D20 and E5 motors from before the "fix", when they were all around 17 N-S. I have had good luck with mine, finding reliability about the same as D12 motors. Still, these motors where all hand packed, and reported reliabilaity varied. Common advice was to static test one motor from a pack and then decide what to do with the other two. I particularly enjoyed the brief period when the E5 was contest certified as a D motor. NAR S&T was always upset that FSI was selling a D motor with an E label. I think S&T finally decertified the motor, or threatened to, so that FSI redesigned it up to 20.5 N-S, rendering it less useful as a contest motor.

    I looked at the last certification reports for these motors. The E5 looked like they packed all the additional impulse into the thrust spike, with the same old sustaining thrust. The D20 had substantially lowered total impulse. I don't know if these later FSI motors had a higher or lower CATO rate. I'd like to add these later motors to my my modest motor collection, but I'm not going to travel to Minneapolis to do so.

    Alan
     
  26. Apr 20, 2019 #26

    Alan15578

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    Almost. It was not modifying the motor, and in fact it was using the motor in the manner recommended by the manufacturer. However, it was a violation of the competition rule that nothing may be "affixed" to the motor. So....I guess it was contest legal to tape fins to a motor, but not to glue fins to a motor. ;)
     

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