Back from the 70's!

MAT2000

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Hello everyone! After a 40+ year hiatus from the rocketry world, I find that I am once more returning to the hobby. In order to provide assistance to my oldest son who is working on a high school physics project, I retrieved my rocketry gear from a closet in my parent's house. Dusting off both the boxes and my memory, I was amazed to see what I still had after all of these decades. Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.

Since we were working with a deadline, I picked up an Alpha III kit and a pack of motors in order to expedite my son's project. After assembling the old orange Porta Pad and slapping some batteries in the Solar Launch Controller (circa 1977), we were soon sending the Alpha skyward. My two boys and myself had a great time on a beautiful September afternoon, and I am quite confident that we will have many more outings in the future.

Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???
 

smstachwick

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Hello everyone! After a 40+ year hiatus from the rocketry world, I find that I am once more returning to the hobby. In order to provide assistance to my oldest son who is working on a high school physics project, I retrieved my rocketry gear from a closet in my parent's house. Dusting off both the boxes and my memory, I was amazed to see what I still had after all of these decades. Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.

Since we were working with a deadline, I picked up an Alpha III kit and a pack of motors in order to expedite my son's project. After assembling the old orange Porta Pad and slapping some batteries in the Solar Launch Controller (circa 1977), we were soon sending the Alpha skyward. My two boys and myself had a great time on a beautiful September afternoon, and I am quite confident that we will have many more outings in the future.

Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???
That depends on which direction you end up going. What you get out of rocketry depends on what you put into it.

Welcome back! Please share pictures if you have any.
 

cls

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Congrats!! The slang is BAR, born again rocketeer. So glad you found your old stuff, mine disappeared a long time ago.

Hope it sticks with your son.

Just wondering. How did you find rocketry forum?
 

jqavins

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Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???
Joined the ranks of BARs who infest this forum.
Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.
Those old kits are of great interest to a lot of folks. It would be a great service if you would make scans of the instructions, as well as the decal sheets and fin sheets, then post them here in the Plans subforum. For the decals and fins, place a ruler on the scanner bed along with them so that they can be properly scaled. Thanks.

Oh, and, hi.
 

prfesser

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Hello everyone! After a 40+ year hiatus from the rocketry world, I find that I am once more returning to the hobby. In order to provide assistance to my oldest son who is working on a high school physics project, I retrieved my rocketry gear from a closet in my parent's house. Dusting off both the boxes and my memory, I was amazed to see what I still had after all of these decades. Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.

Since we were working with a deadline, I picked up an Alpha III kit and a pack of motors in order to expedite my son's project. After assembling the old orange Porta Pad and slapping some batteries in the Solar Launch Controller (circa 1977), we were soon sending the Alpha skyward. My two boys and myself had a great time on a beautiful September afternoon, and I am quite confident that we will have many more outings in the future.

Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???
Welcome! What you have done is to be been bitten by a bug; the bite goes deep and there's no real cure. But it's all good. :)

Lots of changes over the last four decades. Estes now has full-E and low-F impulse blackpowder motors. Several manufacturers have composite motors (propellant similar to the SRBs on the Shuttle and Artemis) ranging from D to O impulse. Motors come in single-use and reloadable; for the latter, one buys a reusable aluminum casing and a reload kit that has propellant slugs, o-rings, etc. Tripoli members who are Level 2 certified are permitted to make and fly their own motors.

A fair number of kit manufacturers out there today. Hybrid motors that use liquid nitrous oxide as the oxidizer with a solid fuel are somewhat less popular than they were before we won the court battle with BATFE,*** but they're still available. For high performance rockets, fiberglass and carbon fiber components are available, and there's lots of information on how to roll your own. Altimeters galore, some of which will handle multiple tasks, e.g., airstarting motors, staging, initial deployment of a drogue at apogee and a main chute at a selected altitude, so you don't have to walk so far to retrieve your rocket.

Some HUGE club launches. National launches: NAR has NARAM and the National Sport Launch. Tripoli has LDRS and BALLS.

You are about to commit fun! ;)

Best,
Terry
***NAR and TRA went through a 10+ year court battle that finally resulted in BATFE removing APCP (ammonium perchlorate composite propellant) from their "list", so it is no longer required to have a formal User's Permit, storage space, inspections, etc. for composite motors. Science beat politics.
 

MAT2000

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Congrats!! The slang is BAR, born again rocketeer. So glad you found your old stuff, mine disappeared a long time ago.

Hope it sticks with your son.

Just wondering. How did you find rocketry forum?

Actually, I came across this forum during a Google search for rocketry parts and components. I had decided to leave my old kits in their relatively pristine, unbuilt condition -- rather, using them for templates for clones and upscales. Nothing too crazy -- I just like a little more real estate inside the body tube than the standard BT-50 fare of many of these kits. Of course, a 24mm motor mount wouldn't be a bad idea either!

This forum and YORF have been a wealth of information in these efforts. When my real-world work schedule slows a bit, I will post scans of the vintage kits. Right now, I've kind of been thinking of a BT-60 version of the Astron Drifter -- I love the lines of that bird.
 

prfesser

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You'll find scans of most of Estes' rocket kits on JimZ's site. You will want to download OpenRocket; it allows you to build a rocket from stock or custom parts, scale it up or down, estimate altitudes with different motors, etc. There's probably a file for the Drifter, somewhere out there. Find it, and the Scale function lets you zoom it up to whatever size you like.
 

jqavins

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It's not "importing" scans, but rather defining parts like fins from the measurements. I forgot about the wealth of scans on JimZ's site, but my comment about scans stands for anything you might have that isn't there.
 

prfesser

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The scans on JimZ's site are of the instructions and sometimes of actual parts of kits. OpenRocket won't do anything with those.

Here is an OR file for the Drifter. Unfortunately I got an error when attempting to scale it up. 168% upscale would give a BT-60 airframe.
 

TigerHawk

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Great information here too,
 

Lord Rory Gin

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Hello everyone! After a 40+ year hiatus from the rocketry world, I find that I am once more returning to the hobby. In order to provide assistance to my oldest son who is working on a high school physics project, I retrieved my rocketry gear from a closet in my parent's house. Dusting off both the boxes and my memory, I was amazed to see what I still had after all of these decades. Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.

Since we were working with a deadline, I picked up an Alpha III kit and a pack of motors in order to expedite my son's project. After assembling the old orange Porta Pad and slapping some batteries in the Solar Launch Controller (circa 1977), we were soon sending the Alpha skyward. My two boys and myself had a great time on a beautiful September afternoon, and I am quite confident that we will have many more outings in the future.

Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???

Welcome back to the Light... I too took a 40+ year hiatus and have been loving the last 3 years of growing back into the hobby. I realized I have more resources, time, and money than I did as a teenager with my "lawnmover" "lawn mower" money.
 
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MAT2000

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I "moved" some lawns as well, although it was more like "removing" lawn, when I would inadvertently scalp the high spots in the yard.
 

cls

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I had a deprived childhood. In California, at the time, we had a serious drought. There were no lawns to mow. (So we set the grass field behind the school on fire. After that, no worries about rocket motors.)

Also, we only had black and white TVs. I had no idea that the red shirts always died first in Star Trek.
 

prfesser

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I had a deprived childhood. In California, at the time, we had a serious drought. There were no lawns to mow. (So we set the grass field behind the school on fire. After that, no worries about rocket motors.)

Also, we only had black and white TVs. I had no idea that the red shirts always died first in Star Trek.
Welcome to the set-field-on-fire club. I didn't actually do it; little brother saw me fly rockets and decided he knew how to light one. He did.

Somewhere between 8-12 of my siblings would gather in front of the 19" b/w tv---channel changer was Vice Grips---in January every year, stoked with popcorn, to watch The Wizard of Oz. I was an adult beginning my professional career before I found out about the monochrome-to-color shift.
 

AcadiaRockets

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Hello everyone! After a 40+ year hiatus from the rocketry world, I find that I am once more returning to the hobby. In order to provide assistance to my oldest son who is working on a high school physics project, I retrieved my rocketry gear from a closet in my parent's house. Dusting off both the boxes and my memory, I was amazed to see what I still had after all of these decades. Of course, I remembered the finished rockets with their now crumbling shock cords, but I had forgotten about a number of kits that I had that were never assembled. The packages were opened, but complete -- apparently I had either run out of time or interest. Like discovering a time capsule, I gazed upon the long-forgotten Estes kits -- Scrambler, Sprint, Saros, Aerobee 300, X-Ray, EAC Viper and others.

Since we were working with a deadline, I picked up an Alpha III kit and a pack of motors in order to expedite my son's project. After assembling the old orange Porta Pad and slapping some batteries in the Solar Launch Controller (circa 1977), we were soon sending the Alpha skyward. My two boys and myself had a great time on a beautiful September afternoon, and I am quite confident that we will have many more outings in the future.

Now, as an adult looking back to my childhood hobby, I can't help but think about going higher and faster! What have I done???
Are you me?
I think I could have just written the same thing. But with only one year behind me, Level 1 done and Level 2 in a month I can tell you it only gets more expensive. But Hey if we can't live out those rocketry fantasies we had as teenager's due to funds - now we can!
 

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