building reloads before getting to launch site

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Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2003
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Today I am going to launch a rocket on a G64. This will be my first time building a reload on my own. I don't want to wait untill I get to the launch site to build it because I don't have a big window of launch opportunity so I want to get the rocket on the pad as soon as possible. If I built it a couple of hours before, would there be a problem? Thanks.
I've got the same problem! Got a brand new casing and half a dozen reloads, but every time a club launch day comes we scrub it for weather. And when we do finally go, I don't want to be fumbling around with it in the cold.
A couple of hours would probably be fine. If it's overnight or something I've been told to loosen the closures by a half turn or so to take pressure off the O-rings.
There's nothing wrong at all with putting it together a few hours or days before the launch. As a matter of fact, I believe a lot of those living in the colder winter climates do this regularly. My first time assembling an RMS, was in a vehicle on the way to a launch. The only things I waited on, were putting the ejection charge in, and the igniter. complicated is it? Is a pretty meticulous person likely to get it right on the first try without "adult supervision"?
I was figuring on getting the instructions out, sitting down with the reload kit, and following along with the instruction video on AT's website.
I allways assemble them at home the day before. I've done it in the field but prefer not to, one gust of wind at the wrong time and their goes the ejection charge. There not hard to assemble, just remember not to put a greasy thumb print on the delay element.
I believe you can store a built reload for years without a problem. My L1 reload was built a month before the launch. Just make sure to loosten both closures a little bit so that the o-rings don't get deformed.
Geez I've been wanting to assemble that E16 ever since I got it, and this thread helps, but I'm not going to. I want some supervision while I assemble one, so I don't mess anything up. Guess I'll just assemble it at the field and fly on SU for now.
I went from wanting to watch the video and assemble them only at a well lighted table, to putting them together in the field in fairly short order. It is not that complex and since I only use E-F-G, I guess that might make it easier. I have never met another person face to face who has assembled a RMS, to the best of my knowledge, so I didn't have anyone to give me pointers except this forum.
Putting your RMS motors together in the comfort of your own home is a great idea. It allows you to take plenty of time without the pressures of launch-day wierdness that might distract you from doing it correctly. You also avoid wind, dust, grass, hair, and any other crud that can foul up the works and lead to motor failure.

For all sizes of RMS, putting them together a day or two in advance is no problem. If you need to assemble more than 2 days in advance, just back off the end closures about 1 turn each. The only thing you don't want to do way in advance is to put in the black powder ejection charge. This should be done as part of the final flight prep. The reason for this is that if for some reason you don't get to fly, you can slightly loosen the closures to relieve compression on the o-rings and store the motor away for the next launch. You don't want to loosen the closures if you've already put the black powder in place (the result would be very bad). I have made a habit of always making sure the closures are screwed down tight right before inserting any RMS motor into a rocket.

If you leave the launch with any of your pre-assembled motors, put each one in its own Ziploc baggie, squeeze out the air, and seal it up. Then put it into another baggie and seal it up. This will prevent any moisture from causing any swelling of the cardboard components and to keep the motor grains from oxidizing which makes them harder to ignite.

Happy flying, --Lance.
That is the advantage of the new RMS Plus reload kits... only available in the HPR loads... you can take the forward closure off of the motor, even with the ejection charge installed. This is because the delay o-ring is between the delay grain and the wall of the delay well. The fit is so tight, that it can be a pain to remove the dealy grain if you have to.

For reloadable motors that have threaded closures, loosen the closures if you are storing a loaded motor for a period of time. If the reload kit does not have a RMS PLUS delay system, you may want to remove the ejection charge. Matter of fact, wait before you are sure you are going to use the motor before adding the ejection charge.

For motors that use a snap ring system (IE Kosdon RMS 38/640... I load everything at once, and the motor can set loaded for years. Matter of fact, I routinely add the ejection charge before I install the closure... their delay sealing system is that good :)
yeah, like all the others said, motors can be kept loaded, for extended perios of time if need be. In fact, i have a J570 that has been loaded for about 3 months already. Could be a while till i get to burn it still.

One plus to having a loaded motor laying around, it makes for a good example to show people about rocketry, and how it all works, not to mention safe;)
same here
I load any casings the night before,.just snug enough to keep everything in place
I tape the ejection charge capsule to the side of the casing ,and write the impulse on the tape...(I have loaded the wrong rocket before and never saw it again)

in fact,I still have a 29mm aerotech loaded from last years launch season
I usually keep them sealed in sandwich bags.
I've been loading and unloading my case for something to do, and I got a question: Where can I get an aft closure wrench? It's easy to do with a pencil, but the nozzle has to be out. Also, according to the AT warranty, if you load a motor more than 12hrs before launching its not covered.
Blue Ninja, Commonwealth sells the closure wrench, it's at the very bottom of their listed AeroTech stuff. Although... I'm not exactly sure what you're talking about with the pencil and the nozzle being out.
Well, after repeated tries, the igniter wouldn't fire. I used my modded estes controller (lamp wire, new alligator clips, and battery clips) to launch it. I am fairily confident that the connection to the battery was good, but the igniter never popped. I wonder if the igniter touching the metal gold ring (aft clouser) on the casing had anything to do with it. Oh well, I will try to launch it soon. Thanks for the help everyone!
G64 with an Estes Electron beam? Try off of a car battery, as AP fuel likes those hot igniters...G64 is my favorite all time mid P motor.
Just a joke about how a pencil will work as a wrench if you don't put a nozzle in the motor, in which case it would be pointless to install the closures.