# Back After 50+ Years

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#### Caley

##### Well-Known Member
Hello I'm Caley Ann,

I am looking for help to ensure I obtain all the components for my Level 1 Certification, and eventually Level 2 Certification.

First of all, here's a little of my history. I first got interested in anything that had to do with space or rockets back in 1957 when I heard on the radio about the Russians launching the first satellite, Sputnik 1. From that point on it was almost an obsession, to the point where I dreamed of becoming an astronut. But economics during my childhood never allowed for much more than dreaming.

During my 24 year career in the US Air Force, I did get a chance during my first hitch to try out a few Estes rockets, a Sprint, an Alpha, and a two stage rocket. They all flew just great. Unfortunately for the upper stage of the two stager, that drifted over the trees, never to be seen again. But my career got going strongly, and I had to forego any other involvement in the hobby.

Now, in my waning years, I happened across YouTube, and a lot of videos on the subject, I was totally awed by how far the hobby has come. I attended Roctober last year a the Lucerne Dry Lake Bed, and got more experience, enough to purchase my first beginners kit, a stretch Blobbo. That has been built, and am just awaiting a weekend that is free, so I can attend the gathering on a saturday. If this goes well, I wish to try going for my Level 1 Certification, and maybe eventually a Level 2. That's where I would have to stop because economics still limits me to what I can do.

I believe I am going to purchase a "Torrent", the reason being that it can be used for both certifications.

But I need help when it comes to fully outfitting and supplementing the standard kit with whatever else will be needed. I browsed the Apogee website, and it left me more confused than it enlightened. I was wondering if someone could provide me a laundry list of what I will need to make this ship complete for both levels of certification, items that will hopefully help me attain those two goals.

But I think that I first need to gather everything needed to construct the airframe. I can forego the electronics for now, as I plan on flying it without dual deployment, based on the video Apogee provided on YouTube.

Anyway, I am hoping the flight(s) of my little Blobbo will be enough to help me catch the bug again, and move me on to bigger and better fun. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Caley Ann sometimes known as a spacenut

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

#### Tim51

##### Well-Known Member
Your story reminded me of the film 'October Sky'. Welcome back and the very best of luck with your L1 & L2 certifications!

#### samb

Welcome to the party ! Here are some random thoughts I have about your questions.

Apogee is a fine vendor with an excellent reputation for customer service. I've seen the Torrent used for certification flights and it a good tough rocket.

Have you watched the 10-part video series ? Lots of questions answered there: https://www.apogeerockets.com/Advanced_Construction_Videos/Rocketry_Video_61

Have you joined a club affiliated with one of the national organizations that administer the certifications ? You will get alot of good advice here but having a local mentor is key IMHO. http://www.tripoli.org/Certification
http://www.nar.org/high-power-rocketry-info/

The Torrent kit is a pretty complete package but I would suggest adding the purchase of a 29mm-to-38mm motor adapter. There are many L1 motors in the smaller diameter to choose from when the time comes.
https://www.apogeerockets.com/Build...dy_Tubes_29_to_54mm/Motor_Mount_Kit_29mm_38mm

Fly the heck out of your Stretch BLOBBO with as many different motors as you can, especially the Aerotech 24mm composites.

Hope that helps some and good luck !

#### Caley

##### Well-Known Member
Everyone, Thanks for the nice welcome. Yes, I am from that "October Sky" era.

I already paid for my membership with the Tripoli organisation. I'm just waiting for my membership card before going online and joining ROC. I was filling out their paperwork online when I came to the membership number required, so I had to forego registration until I get that piece of information.

I plan on having an experienced modeler take a look at my Blobbo airframe to ensure it is adquate. I had difficulties determining the CP. CG was easy, but I had never heard of CP. I finally did the cardboard cutout method which told me my CG was behind the CP. I ended up watching another Apogee video to learn how to add nose weight, epoxy and BB's.

I eventually want to determine how high the Blobbo goes. One reason is I don't want it going too high. I have pretty bad eyesight, so I need to keep things lower than most people usually want to fly. When I go to high powered rockets, I will invest in a tracker system. The reason I will do this is I used to have another hobby, free flight rubber power model airplanes. Even with models with wingspans of over 40 inches, they got so high that without others helping me track the model, I would end up losing it. These model rockets are much smaller than some of these model airplanes when it comes to surface area.

Unfortunately I probably overbuilt the Blobbo. It weighs in at a hefty 10.2 ounces without motor. Not sure the recommended motors that I purchased, ESTES E9-4 and D12-3 will be robust enough to propel it off the pad stably. I guess I can only try.

Thanks again Everyone

Caley Ann

#### Caley

##### Well-Known Member
BTW, I did watch part of that video series. I need to watch them again in order, and do the build along with those videos. Caley Ann

#### rockets

##### Well-Known Member
Welcome to TRF and welcome back to the hobby!!
Thanks,

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
Unfortunately I probably overbuilt the Blobbo. It weighs in at a hefty 10.2 ounces without motor. Not sure the recommended motors that I purchased, ESTES E9-4 and D12-3 will be robust enough to propel it off the pad stably. I guess I can only try.
D12-3 should be OK (I cant be sure obviously but 10oz shouldn't be an issue for it) I'd stay away from using an E9 with that weight. I've had.... issues in that range with that motor.

#### kcobbva

Caley,

Welcome! So I must say I've been VERY pleased with the Torrent and it will DEFINITELY take L1 and L2 motors (although smaller L2). I've tried to rip the fins off unsuccessfully so far. I did my L1 with it as dual deploy and it works wonderfully. It'll do fine with a single chute for L1 and dual for everything else. I will say that the videos will talk you into using Fixit Epoxy for fin fillets. I would advise against that. They become brittle in those bonded areas. I had one crack and repaired. ALL my other rockets use RocketPoxy and I find it far superior and have never had any issues at all. I also used that to repair it and it's just a rock solid rocket.

Regardless of what you choose to use, welcome to the forum and GO BLUE. Was AF for a while myself. Here's an old thread I did on mine if it's of any use: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?130188-My-First-level-one-Rocket&highlight=torrent

it'll even stand till the cows come home: https://youtu.be/RakQCEEDC5c

Kevin

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#### Caley

##### Well-Known Member
Kevin, thanks for the talk on the "Torrent". It does look like a good model to start out with. Also, thanks for the tip on the FixIt eposy. I am wondering if regular 30 minute epoxy would be ok. That's what I used on the Blobbo. Using it just means that I can only do so much work each day, but building something that is going to fly is not something you want to rush through. I know, because I build model airplanes that need to be perfect in order to fly free under rubber power. At my age, I have lots of patience.

Anyone have suggestions on rocket motors for my Stretch Blobbo. I only want it to go about 800-1000 feet high so that I don't lose sight of it.

I imagine that many of us are former USAF or military. It was something that taught me a lot more than what I learned in school.

TRF Supporter
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#### 75Grandville

##### Well-Known Member
Welcome back!

One option is to use Rocksim (30 day trial from Apogee) or OpenRocket (free) to simulate flights with various engines. Openrocket is available here: http://openrocket.sourceforge.net/

Someone already submitted a design file here: https://www.rocketreviews.com/file-27374/oop_vb_stretch_blobbo.rkt

I added about 3 oz nose weight to the design above. A D12-5 will put you at about 300', an E15-7 will send you to 1,200'. An E12-6 will go ~600'.

If you do some searching, you'll see threads about E9's failing - for what that's worth.

Lots of options - have a blast!

#### kcobbva

Kevin, thanks for the talk on the "Torrent". It does look like a good model to start out with. Also, thanks for the tip on the FixIt eposy. I am wondering if regular 30 minute epoxy would be ok. That's what I used on the Blobbo. Using it just means that I can only do so much work each day, but building something that is going to fly is not something you want to rush through. I know, because I build model airplanes that need to be perfect in order to fly free under rubber power. At my age, I have lots of patience.

Anyone have suggestions on rocket motors for my Stretch Blobbo. I only want it to go about 800-1000 feet high so that I don't lose sight of it.

I imagine that many of us are former USAF or military. It was something that taught me a lot more than what I learned in school.
Caley,

#### Rex R

##### LV2
let's not forget the term 'gizmo'. braided elastic can be found in the sewing notions Walmart carries it as do fabric stores, even tru-valu hardware. as for sizing chutes hmm Top flight Recovery llc has a nice chart...mostly I use open rocket to simulate various configurations until I find one that works. generally for low power rockets you'll be wanting a descent rate of 12 - 15 fps, mid and high power 15 - 20 fps (under the main chute).
Rex

#### Binder Design

Welcome back and thank you for your 24 years of service! I got into rocketry in the 70's because my dad was in the Air Force. I grew up at Kirtland. You might consider our kits. http://binderdesign.com

#### NateLowrie

##### Well-Known Member
When you go launch the stretch blobbo, spend some time talking with people and figuring out how they do things and what they recommend. The beauty of the hobby is that there are so many ways to do things and the amount of creativity on here is incredible.

In general, you will need the following in addition to a kit you buy:
1. motor retention - Look at aeropack retainers
2. Possibly rail buttons - Attachment to rails. Plan on flying using 1010 rail.
3. Recovery system - Parachutes and shock cord, possibly attachment eyebolts. Some kits come with the chute. In general ditch the stretch elastic for tubular nylon or kevlar.
4. Epoxy
1. Dave's already recommended rocketpoxy and it's a good choice.
2. I use US Composites 635 system. I recommend the 4:1 fast hardener. See http://www.uscomposites.com/epoxy.html for the epoxy. Also, pick up the fillers (http://www.uscomposites.com/fillers.html) Aerosil-Cabosil (fumed silica) and the 3M glass bubbles (microballoons). The quart kit of epoxy and the quart tubs of fillers have lasted now through 5 rockets include my monster level 3 and make really nice fillets.
3. Stay away from the 5-15min tubes. They are expensive and strength wise there are far better options.
5. Electronics - Not technically necessary. The chute release would be a great product for what you want to do because you can use motor eject for your 1 and 2 cert with the chute release doing dual deploy.
6. Cellulose Wadding (aka "Dog Barf") or nomex blankets to protect the chute and shock cord. A bale of cellulose is roughly \$10 at Home Depot and will last you a lifetime. Use it for your small rockets in place of wadding. Larger diameter rockets typically use nomex blankets instead.

Hope this helps.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
Caley, welcome aboard. These are not your "waning" years. These are the years when you can start to do what you want! :wink:

I only skimmed the other replies, but I have some suggestions.

First, you'll need a motor mount in your rocket that allows you to fly level 1 and level 2 motors, with the right amount of thrust for your rocket's weight.

Second, you'll have a choice of Aerotech, Cesaroni (CTI) or Loki motors. Find out if your club has an on-site vendor, and what they sell. You'll save shipping and HAZMAT fees if you buy on site, but you have to buy what they sell.

Third, absolutely, positively get this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1412058104/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Finally, October Sky was based on a book called Rocket Boys, which is a phenomenal read. It is available in the biography section of your local library. I read it and loved it, and went on to read all of the sequels, too. Much better, IMO, than the movie.

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#### NateLowrie

##### Well-Known Member
Finally, October Sky was based on a book called Rocket Boys, which is a phenomenal read. It is available in the biography section of your local library. I read it and loved it, and went on to read all of the sequels, too. Much better, IMO, than the movie.
There was more than one sequel? I absolutely loved it too. Really rich and riveting. On another note, the Audible version of Rocket Boys is awesome if you like audiobooks.

#### Caley

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks again. There's a lot to digest here.

Yes, for the Level 1 Cert, I plan on keeping the nose cone and payload bay together with buttons. I plan on putting the main in the main airframe body, and using the motor ejection charge to do the deployment work. After I attain my certification, I can then move on to dual deployment practise to make sure I know what I am doing before going for the level 2 cert. The big problem is the cost of each launch. Motors, or even the reloads are pretty expensive, probably limiting me to one or two launches in a weekend for the big rockets. I can always have additional fun with the tiny rockets.

As for rocket engines, I think, after watching a few videos, want to get the permanent casings that you can reload. I hope to get the two casing kit that allows for multiple configurations. I'm going to have to learn what is in a motor, and how it goes together anyway. Why not start early?

I will browse the links as time allows. I will have to make lots of notes both from this thread and all the links provided to get a laundry list of what I might need, where it is found, and the cost. The big deal is the cost. I am retired, but that doesn't mean I am rolling in cash. That's why I mentioned that this will probably take me half a year to get done. Caley Ann

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
Basically, you have multiple fuel grains, that get loaded into a disposable liner, that get installed into a metal casing. a bulkhead is placed at the top, and a nozzle at the bottom. In snap ring cases (Loki) the nozzle is graphite and reusable. in aerotech and CTI systems, the nozzle is disposable. An ignitor is placed into the core, and slid to the TOP of the motor to get the show started.

This is a reload and 38/120 case for a Loki G69 Spitfire motor-

an Aerotech J510 White Lightning in a 38/1320 case

this shows the parts for two 38mm 2 grain research motors, but the same parts as any commercial snap ring hardware.

This is a Loki G70 Loki Cocktail. It uses two different fuel grains to produce a purple effect flame. (blue and red)

I would recommend getting either an Aerotech 29/240 case and reload adapter system which would allow flying both 29/180 and 29/240 reloads, or a Loki 240 case. Reloads for both do not require hazmat shipping.

This video shows how a good portion of hobby rocket motors burn-