Cambridge Rocket Club in Ontario

Discussion in 'Canadian Rocketry' started by sunward, Dec 23, 2015.

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  1. Dec 23, 2015 #1

    sunward

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    Cambridge Rocket Club finally has a more functioning website:
    www.cambridgerocketclub.org

    Launch dates for 2016 are now online in addition to maps, membership forms, and even an email!
     
  2. Dec 25, 2015 #2

    glenbo

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    Great, I will make plans to attend some launches this year.
     
  3. Dec 28, 2015 #3

    SavPrato

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    Our first launch of the season is on January 1st.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2015 #4

    sunward

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    All launches for 2016 are now set for Paisley Rd.

    A Go-No Go for Friday's launch will be updated on Thursday
     
  5. Dec 31, 2015 #5

    SavPrato

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    New Year's day launch has been cancelled due to forecasted unsuitable weather.
     
  6. Dec 31, 2015 #6

    sunward

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    website updated. See you in February
     
  7. Feb 12, 2016 #7

    sunward

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    Cambridge Rocket Club Launch for February 2016 Cancelled
    Too cold
    See you in March
     
  8. Feb 19, 2016 #8

    ericclinedinst

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    So when do you guys think there will actually be a launch again? If I were to be joining this club I'd be fairly disappointed that I'm paying $25 for launches to never happen.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2016 #9

    sunward

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    waiting for weather. Next scheduled date is March 12/13
     
  10. Feb 19, 2016 #10

    ericclinedinst

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    Did launches used to be more consistent?

    Do you guys need more help with this club? I've noticed that western Canadian clubs have had more launches even with the snow and weather. I'd be willing to get involved if it helps.
     
  11. Feb 20, 2016 #11

    alex_car763

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    As the guy who used to plan Fre and Ice which is the Edmonton Clubs annual high power launch... and currently the only regular launch they host every year. Just wanted to make clear at least with our launch things get moved to alternate dates more often than not and a number of times had to be cancelled outright.

    We are still slaves to weather cancellations or changes to access to the launch sites out west.
     
  12. Feb 21, 2016 #12

    ericclinedinst

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    I get that. But if people are paying a yearly membership to a club they need to be receiving the benefits of their money. If a date gets cancelled something needs to be done to make up for it. If that means you end up having two launches in a month then so be it. Cambridge club hasn't had a launch since July or August due to 'weather.' I was at the field for one of the cancelled launches. There was zero rain or wind that day. It was just cancelled. Thankfully my wife's sister lived close by so the trip wasn't in vain....
     
  13. Feb 21, 2016 #13

    alex_car763

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    Perhaps the membership fees are to pay for items like pads, access to land, launch controllers, cables, PA system if the club uses, honorarium for those that work behind the scenes to make launches happen, honorarium for the RSO that has to come out (assuming high power) and cannot fly, paying for meeting space for club meetings or any number of other costs that go into having a successful club.

    These may seem like "expectations" for attending a launch but imagine if you had to have $500 or more invested to even launch a small H motor. The minimal cost paid each year helps to pay for AND maintain club equipment.

    In case you care in Edmonton to fly high power we have to be members of CAR, pay launch fee's which for our launches is $20-$25 / launch and the Edmonton club has a membership fee. I'm happy to fork over the cost of a J motor every years for fee's for the benefits these costs get me.
     
  14. Feb 21, 2016 #14

    ericclinedinst

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    All of this is moot. The point is the club charges a yearly fee and meets 5-6 times a year.
     
  15. Feb 21, 2016 #15

    mpitfield

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    Because the launch site is not just a farmers field but a sod farm, the club is respectful of the farms wishes not to use the field when it could damage the sod. So freshly planted sod or a wet field makes it a no go. Also when the wind is up it is not a good place to launch due to the likelihood of losing your rocket in the trees or just a long walk. This is not an open field without hazards or other considerations.

    One thing to keep in mind is that CRC is not a high power club, it is a L-MP club that flies under MAAC.

    As far as guaranteeing that there are launches or rescheduling, you have to appreciate this is a volunteer hobby and the organizers are not there to wait on the membership hand and foot. They arrive early set up, clean up, leave late, try to cater to the members and try to keep the farm happy. Not always an easy feat.

    Gary does an amazing job and puts his own money into the club, as well as many hours. If you want to help out I am sure the club could always use volunteers to arrive early, setup, help with the launch, tear down, and clean up after everyone else has finished launching and leaves at the end of the day. And that is just what Gary does at the launch, to get there he had to pack his van likely early in the morning and after the launch he still has to take the equipment home, unload it, clean it and repair it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  16. Feb 21, 2016 #16

    Len B

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    I am impressed that they have set up and planned for launches in advance for the year. That doesn't happen a lot. I think it is good to offer assistance but the decision to cancel a launch can happen for a lot of reasons. Landowners can call it because of the possibility of field damage. There may be some reasons that are not clear to everyone. Membership fees don't come with a guaranteed number of launches. I would bet that if a member paid the fee and was unhappy that the club would refund the money.

    ^^^
    Funny, I was posting this and then when I finished, I saw mpitfield's post. good to have info from someone who knows the scoop. We've launched on a sod farm and had exactly the same issues. Losing a field is a disaster. Everything must be done to preserve a good relationship with the landowner.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  17. Feb 21, 2016 #17

    ericclinedinst

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    So none of you think that paying the following is a little absurd when you only get to actually launch 5-6 times a year?

    Maac dues $85-95
    Crc dues $25
    Car dues $65

    To me this seems a bit much to have "a hope of launching at some point during the year." Growing up I didn't have much and was taught to get the value out of my dollar. Per example if I have a tube of toothpaste I use it all before it gets tossed out. Even if I don't like the flavor.

    At the club back home any missed launches were rescheduled. They made sure that people got what they paid for. If this sod farm is the hold up then another venue needs to be found. At this point my wife thinks we should find somewhere else to launch even if it means going stateside.

    We are also members of curling and golf clubs in St. Catherines. If a game is missed it's made up. This argument of missing because of the weather is bogus. People ARE NOT getting what they are paying for. $200 is a fair chunk of change to be spending on 'a hope and prayer to launch.'

    Furthermore if all of this equipment needs repairs after every launch the people that are damaging it need to be asked not to come back or something. How do you break launch pads and controllers?

    I have build several pads our of steel tubing and steel plate for friends. I'd be willing to make some pads for you guys if the ones you're using are so flimsy they need repair after each launch. Lol. That argument seems absurd. Also have about 5-6 estes E controllers I'd be willing to give to the cause. (But if they're being broken I'll take them home after each launch and bring back each time)

    It sounds like this club has a lot of issues that need to be worked out before they expect people to 'pay to play.' Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to pay. I just want to get the value from the dollars I'm paying. I work hard for the money I have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  18. Feb 21, 2016 #18

    mpitfield

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    I think you may be a bit confused, CRC is not CAR affiliated, CRC launches up to G motors only. So CAR is not required to be a member, just MAC. Do I feel that the CRC fee is high, not at all, I think it should be higher. Do I feel the MAAC fee is high, yes I do but that is MAAC not CRC and we need MAAC for insurance. Keep in mind MAAC (Model Aeronautics Association of Canada) is not focused on rocketry, they are more into RC planes and helicopters. They also send out a nicely published magazine, I believe every quarter. Personally it is of little value to me as I am no longer into RC, but none the less it helps to explain their fees.

    Now you say we should just get another field, but the field for CRC is actually a great field for up to G motors, except for the clump of rocket eating trees right in the middle, but that also provides some shade on a blazing hot day. I agree in an ideal world we could just have alternative sites, and CRC does have some options, however they are mostly in the same proximity so if the weather is bad at one it's bad at all.

    On the topic of finding a suitable field in Southern Ontario, this is no small feat, I know because I have been looking for one for HPR with NAPAS, a Tripoli club that I am also a member of. We have found several suitable fields, but even if you get the land owners permission you still need the adjacent landowners permission, then we have to approach NAVCAN who has given us a specific corridor to look at. One of the other issues we are currently facing is the proliferation of wind turbines. Launching in close proximity to these is a no no and those alone have disqualified a lot of areas.

    Re. equipment breaking down, well if you don't know then take my word, equipment does break down and it's not because it is crappy it is because it gets used and things can and do wear out. At a minimum it requires regular maintenance, which Gary does a lot of on his own time.

    Finally and this is my personal thoughts on the topic. When you belong to a hobby club it is not like joining a gym. Beyond a group of people getting together with a common interest, there is a load of work and unfortunately there are always a handful of people who step forward and a majority who don't. However just because someone steps forward it does not mean that they are the whipping boy. I belong to NAPAS, CRC, URRG and this year I joined MARS. As a member of those clubs I may have a right to expect that the BoD does not misappropriate my membership fees or club assets, as well as make decisions or take actions that put the club at risk, but not much beyond that. Given a bit of thought I may add to that list, however one thing I do not expect is that I have a right to a certain number of launches because I paid my fees.

    My advice is that it your expectations are that you should have the privilege to launch just because you paid your fees then you should keep your fees and save those who step up the frustration of answering to you.
     
  19. Feb 21, 2016 #19

    Len B

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    ^^THIS. I agree with everything in the reply but after reading all of the posts that ericclinedinst has made here, I believe that there is an unrealistic expectation and a sense of entitlement. I wish there was a club near me that had what the CRC seems to have. Currently, there is not.
     
  20. Feb 21, 2016 #20

    TheTellurian

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    ericclinedinst

    You are making a number of assumptions that are unrealistic. Gary does try to reschedule if possible. At 70+ he is still working and has obligations as a Minister too. He had a health issue that took him out of action last year for a bit. If one was to pay him even minimum wage the cost of CRC membership would be in the hundreds not $25 per year. That money goes to chartering the club. cost of website, the annual BBQ and repairing burnt ignition clips, fried relays etc. If you paid for a membership and got no flying in it might be rolled over to this year, I know that has been done before. This is not an indoor hobby like curling or golf which can be done in any weather conditions humanly tolerable. By the way how much do you pay for your golfing?

    CRC had a few launch sites at one time but that has dwindled down to only one, Dumfry's Park lost to the City, Mohawk Road lost due to issues with the local airport, Webly Place is rented to a hang glider club that distains rocketry. That left only Paisly Rd which was freshly sodded last fall. The sod farm that I fly gliders at will not allow use for a year under those conditions but we did at Paisly and made a mess of it too. :y: I know Gary and a couple others have been looking for alternates and if you would like to help you can do so too.

    I myself ran the Canadian Rocket Society for a few years then handed it off to another so I know its not easy, particularly at times when you arrive and set up but no one else shows up because the weather is marginal. :( We certainly had a few good years when Austin Taylor was running it though. I was also a member of the Niagara Rocket Club but that fellow I believe was frustrated by issues not of his own making and elected to go fly with the Yankees at Geniseo [sp] NY instead. Try starting a club yourself if you don't like CRC and you'll find these things out no doubt. Aside FYI: St Catharines has passed a bylaw that fireworks [probably including rockets] can only be fired on certain dates. Thats the way it goes.

    The next launch is a few weeks away CONDITIONS PERMITTING. I hope to be there if so and perhaps we can meet.

    Please do not take any of this as a flame, its not intended as such.


    Richard :)
     
  21. Feb 27, 2016 #21

    SavPrato

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    All model rocket launches are weather dependent. When poor weather is forecast we need to make the call early to avoid unnecessary trips. Believe it or not, sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong and our cancellation call is unsupported. It can be a lose/lose situation.

    Scheduling a launch ever month is very ambitious. We need to relax and enjoy every suitable opportunity we get. Where else can we launch rockets on a sod farm? Talk about ideal conditions.

    Let's hope for favorable weather and get our launch season started (as soon as March 12th).

    Hope to see you at the site.

    Sav ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1456532645.798677.jpg
     
  22. Feb 27, 2016 #22

    Cabernut

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    Quick question, what's the largest rocket that can be flown on your equipment/field? My 3" Optima may be ready by March/April. It's just under a kg. A G74 would take it to something like 700 ft.
     
  23. Feb 27, 2016 #23

    SavPrato

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    Yes you can.
     
  24. Feb 27, 2016 #24

    TheTellurian

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    Anything G and under plus less than 1.5 Kg is good to go at that field. Ceiling is I believe capped at 3K ft.

    ericclinedinst: Are you on the CRC email list?


    Richard
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  25. Feb 27, 2016 #25

    SavPrato

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    We need to keep in mind that the field was re-sodded late last fall and the seeds only just germinated. The field is currently covered in ice and "could" be a mud bowl when the weary her warms up.
     
  26. Feb 27, 2016 #26

    ericclinedinst

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    I was supposed to be added to the list by Angelo. That's what he said the last time we spoke anyways. I'm assuming that never happened since it's been 3-4 months since that conversation took place.
     
  27. Feb 27, 2016 #27

    ericclinedinst

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    See. This is kind of what I'm saying. If this club wishes to continue and take people's money in the process then they need to work on new locations. Might be lucky to see a launch this year at this rate... lol. Definitely not investing in this club until they figure something out.
     
  28. Feb 27, 2016 #28

    mpitfield

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    You need a reality check pal. At this stage you're just trolling this thread, so move on.
     
  29. Feb 28, 2016 #29

    SavPrato

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    It sounds like there is a lot of misunderstanding here regarding Cambridge Rocket Club launches. We schedule monthly launches with the full intent of launching, it's what we love to do. However we are not the sole contributing factor if a launch actually comes off. We are weather dependent and very low temperatures and high winds are not compatible with our hobby. We have to make the go/no go call in advance of a scheduled launch based upon weather forecasts. Also, we are "guests" of the land owner. The Paisley field we us is ideal, a large sod farm. You can not ask for a better opportunity. Last year the owner harvested the sod and re-seeded in the fall. We had to wait for the seeds to germinate before we were allowed back on the site. If anything I believe we got on the site very early after re-seeding. It is our intent to continue our monthly launch programme but we need to respect the owners needs. The field retained a lot of water this fall and it froze over. The field is a large skating rink. I'm concerned that the field will be very muddy this spring due to the water retention and the last thing we want to do is damage the sod.

    There are not a lot of options we have in Southern Ontario and we need to be respectful of those that step forward and offer us a chance to fly rockets. Gary White bends over backwards to accommodate us, often at his own expense. The $25. Membership fee is paltry and if this is problematic, one should consider flying elsewhere.

    All qualified modellers are welcome at CRC. Let's show some respect and support this club as we move forward. I hope to see as many of you as possible at our launches this season. Let's have some fun.

    Sav
     
  30. Feb 28, 2016 #30

    TheTellurian

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    If you have not gotten Go/Nogo messages for January and February then no you not on the list yet. [bad Angelo bad :no: ] I will PM that info to you for the March launch. I thought something like that might be the reason why you were out there alone i.e. not received a nogo notice. I don't know if the website notice is updated promptly.


    Richard
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

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