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Beginner - A few questions...

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dmanmtl2

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Its been close to 25 years since I last launched a model rocket....getting back into it with my 11 yr old son. We have a few small rockets to launch and are in the process of making our own launch control system (I made one myself when I was about 14).

My main question is: What is the ideal voltage to ignite the engines. I am using the basic estes engines with the little black ignitors. It seems to me that when I was a kid, we used a 6 volt lantern battery. I am planning to use a small Marine battery (12V, deep cycle) and about 30 feet of speaker wire...This seems like it should work, there does not seem to be any voltage drop over this distance.

Second question: The engines now come with plugs that I assume go in to hold the ignitor in, I don't remember these in the old days. Am I correct in assuming that the ignitor goes in, then the plugs goes in behind that? I assume the ignitor and plug are left behind on the ground...

Last question: Can any recommend a good online source for engines and rocket kits. (apologies if this is not allowed in the forum).
Thanks in advance for your answers.
D in Mtl
 

les

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Welcome back. If its been 25 years you'll find a lot more choices than the past. You'll also find "big boy" rockets going into mid and high power rockets. For now I assume you are interested in low power rockets.

A 12V battery is more than enough. The Estes controllers use 4 AA batteries

Yes, the plug holds in the igniter and is left behind

Sources - Lots Here are some - in random order. They all are good. Sorry to those I missed

Fliskits
Semroc
Sirius Rocketry
Squirrel Works
Apogee Components
Uncle Mikes Rocket Shack
Jon Rockets
Discount Rocketry
Red Arrow Hobbies
Sunward Aerospace
Red Arrow Hobbies
BRS Hobbies
Red River Rocketry
Starlight Rockets
Quest Aerospace
Pemberton Technologies
 

Peartree

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Welcome to TRF! There is an awful lot of information here and in our Archive (see link in the blue bar above) as well as the many knowledgeable folk that hang out here. Keep asking questions, you're doing fine. The vendors listed above are all great but also feel free to check out the rocketry resources listed in the "sticky" at the very top of the Watering Hole forum.
 

Zeus-cat

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Welcome to the forum.

Here is a launch photo showing both pink plugs left behind as my 2 motor cluster rocket takes to the air. Look along the wires and you will see one pink plug sitting on the plywood and the other bouncing away a few inches to the right.

The plugs work great for me. Make sure the igniter is inserted deeply into the motor and the leads are pointing off to a side of the rocket that will allow you easy access with your ignition system. I have a bad habit of inserting the igniter and plug and then realizing that it is pointing out of the side of the rocket where the launch lug is located.

Once the igniter is in place just ease the plug in.

Left Behind.jpg
 

jflis

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Welcome back to rocketry and welcome to TRF :)

You're going to love both.

Don't be afraid to ask many questions and don't be afraid to offer advice too. In other words, get involved :)

Since your questions have been answered (by the way, the motor plugs are a GREAT invention :) ), I will simply invite you to check out FlisKits as I think you will find a lot of fun there :)

Enjoy your return to rocketry!
jim
 

bob jablonski

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Welcome back to what I think is the worlds greatest hobby. It's even more fun when you bring kids in. (hey at my age I like letting kids retreave the rockets)
Mr. Bob
Starlight Guy
www.starlightrocketry.com
 

Handeman

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Welcome aboard. I also got back into rockets when my son was about 12. He's 20 now and we still go to launches together. That alone make rocketry great!

As for the launch controller, if you search here or the archives, you'll come up with lots of ideas, schematics, and opinions about launch controllers. That 12V marine battery will work great for Estes type motors. The smaller batteries also work well, but the 12V will let you do clusters, even at the end of the day, where some of the smaller batteries are less dependable. Some folks use the rechargeable battery packs from RC plane and car setups which also work well. I happen to have a car battery charger already so I got the smallest motorcycle battery I could find for mine. The speaker wire works good although if you have to buy something, I would recommend regular lamp cord, it's usually 16ga which is plenty big enough and usually cheaper then the speaker wire of the same size.

Welcome aboard.
 

JBeau

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It was 25 years between my original rocketry days and my rebirth, same as you. Fun days are ahead, things are much more fun than they used to be!

I've got a very thorough list of online rocketry sources here:

Rocketry Manufacturers

MadRocketScientist.com

Welcome back!
 
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MarkII

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Welcome back! Feeling a bit Rip Van Winkle-ish? ;)

It was 25 years between my original rocketry days and my rebirth, same as you. Fun days are ahead, things are much more fun than they used to be!
Nya-nya, I've got you both beat - it was 33 years for me! (That's really not something that I ought to brag about, though... :rolleyes: ) Once you get settled in, we can get together and talk about cloning - building versions of great but long-discontinued rocket models that came and went during our long "slumber." In other words, building old, vintage rocket designs that are completely new to us.

MarkII
 

Pippen

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Welcome back! Feeling a bit Rip Van Winkle-ish? ;)

Nya-nya, I've got you both beat - it was 33 years for me! (That's really not something that I ought to brag about, though... :rolleyes: ) Once you get settled in, we can get together and talk about cloning - building versions of great but long-discontinued rocket models that came and went during our long "slumber." In other words, building old, vintage rocket designs that are completely new to us.

MarkII
We'll have to give the title of the Rip Van Winkle of Model Rocketry. :)
 
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