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Peartree

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I have opened the idea of me (and maybe my sons) of attending one of the national NAR events this year with some success. Now as I consider my options (having never been to ANY of these), and taking for granted that, at best, I could afford to go to ONE of these events, what are the pros and cons of attending each?

Bearing weight on my decision is

1) Cost. This includes cost of travel as well as hotels, registration, launch fees, etc. Obviously a three day event has a lower hotel cost than a seven day event but then hotels are necessary in New England in winter and we can camp out in Pittsburgh in the summer.

2) What happens there? NARCON has talks, which would be good, but chances are my two ten year olds would be far less interested than me. Also NARCON is not having a sport launch and perhaps part of the fun is seeing what everybody else is building and flying. NARAM is closer to Ohio and happens in warmer weather but is the focus primarily on contest flying? Will we have fun if we don't care to even try to compete on a national level (I have and will fly competitions for fun locally and regionally)? I'm not familiar with NSL much at all, what happens there?

3) Loot. Let's face it, everyone talks about the great stuff they got at registration and the awesome sales that the vendors put on. Is one national event different/better/worse in this regard than the others?

4) Other. What other criteria should I be considering?

Obviously at this point since NARAM is the closest to me and in good camping weather I am already leaning this way but I want to a) have fun, b) make sure my kids have fun, and c) NOT break the bank. We have a VERY limited budget.

I would appreciate any input you all might have.

Thanks.
 

cjl

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For any one launch, I'd probably go with NSL, but if NARAM is significantly closer, it could be a better choice. Honestly, any of the events sound awesome (and I wish I could make it to a NAR national launch - the only national events I've made it to have been LDRS launches).
 

sunward

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I can't speak for NSL as I haven't been yet.

As for NARAM, you don't have to go for the full week. As it is your first event, I would go to the closer one. It make a big difference in terms of driving time. You would arrive more refreshed.
 

davel

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You don't have to be a serious competitor to enter the contest events at a NARAM. And they do have a sport range for those non-competition flights.

NSL would have more HPR flights. Note that camping is available at NSL this year. http://www.nsl2009.org/
 

blackjack2564

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Having been to the last 2 NSL's [our club hosted the last one] and the Bong recreational area where NSL is located this year, that would be the one. I have made the trip many times to Bong for their local launches.
It's 51/2 to 6 hrs from Sandusky . I see your from Mid Ohio somewhere, so this might help in figuring your driving.

Google Bong to see all the things that go on there. It's a beautiful state park covering many sq. miles.
There are areas for rocket launching, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, camping with facilities, Rc plane flying, 4 wheeling etc. Expect to see all this going on during the NSL launch.
Right outside the entrance is a 18 hole golf course, and 45 min away is a 6 Flags [ right on the highway! you go right by it!] with all the rides for kids, if you want to do a side trip, going there or on the way back.

They have tons of low and mid power flights and contests at this event, and numerous vendors of all types.

If you are looking for the one big event that has it all, this one will be it. Expect several hundred fliers, The launch will take place on an old army airstrip, with plenty of parking. Just up the runway a half mile are ponds and lakes with elevated bird watching if your into that, and several restroom facilities.
So there you have it, I've been there a dozen times or so, and if you want to camp, I know you will really enjoy it.

You'll have to decide for yourself, if you do go.....see ya there! If you go to the Bong site the launch is in the "special use zone" Oh yeah, if your into jelly beans, the Jelly Belly factory is nearby and they have cool tours!

If you want more detailed stuff PM me and we can talk, I know the area pretty well. Jim
 
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RoyAtl

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NARAM would be my choice, if everything was the same. It is truly a national event, with lots of things to do, and people to meet, besides the contest itself. You can fly sport all week, talk to the vendors all week (my favorite activity!), spend money at the vendors all week (*their* favorite activity), or you can help out on the contest range even if you don't fly in the contest (that's what I did at NARAM 49). There's the auction, the town hall meeting, the association meeting, scale viewing, research and development presentations.

NSL is good, but it tends to be a regional launch, despite its "national" moniker (and I'm certainly not knocking it, because we (SoAR) co-hosted it last year, and would like to do so again). We did have some friends from Michigan come out. It does tend to have bigger rockets, though, than the NARAM sport launch. The vendors tend toward the high power end (I was disappointed that we couldn't attract Fliskits and Semroc to NSL2008, though Hawks Hobby and BMS were both there!)

I've only attended NARCON once, way back when it was in Huntsville.
It was a smaller gathering, but surprisingly, not quite as regional. I gather from the reports in Sport Rocketry that it is much the same, but with bigger support from vendors.
 
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Bazookadale

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I've missed 4 Narams in the last 21 years and it ticked me off each time I missed it. I've been to 4 Narcons and they are great but there is more of everything at a Naram
 

jflis

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My suggestion would be NARAM also. If you come for Fri - Sun/Mon you can focus on sport flying, vendors and just meeting folks.

If you come for later (or longer) you can witness the best that competition has to offer, whether you participate or spectate :)

As for "not break the bank"?, sorry fella, I can't help you there... :D

jim
 

JRThro

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I went to NARCON 2006 in Wisconsin. It was fun and interesting, but there was no flying that year. If there's no sport flying this year, NARCON might not be the best event to take your sons to.

I also went to NARAM-50 this past summer at The Plains, Virginia, the same venue where TARC is held every year. I got there Friday night and stayed until Tuesday morning. It was fantastic! I did sport flying only, but I got to see some of the competition, and the scale models were fantastic. I also got to meet a LOT of people that I previously knew only from places like TRF and YORF --- people like Mr. Flis, Scott Branche (rokitflite), Craig Zicafoose (foose4string), Roy Green (RoyAtl), and many more.

I've never been to an NSL, so I can't comment on that event.

So based on my personal experience, I *highly* recommend attending NARAM if you can.
 

Adam Selene

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I always have a great time at NARAM and I have never, and have no intention of ever, flown a rocket in competition. The sport range is open all week with usually no lines monday thru friday. There is also a lot to be said for going to the launch closest to you, more fun to spend money on motors than on gas.

Of course I'm sure that a great time would be had at NSL also.
 

Handeman

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John,

Is there a reason to limit the choice of events to NAR? The Tripoli LDRS 28 is in Potter NY this year, July 2nd-6th, and according to Google, 6 hr 28 min drive from Mansfield OH

The first three days (Thur - Sat) are commercial days, motors from 1/8A and larger.
Sun - Mon are research, but if you are a TRA memeber you can fly commercial on those days, NAR members ability to fly those days is TBD.

Noname.jpg
 
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Peartree

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John,

Is there a reason to limit the choice of events to NAR? The Tripoli LDRS 28 is in Potter NY this year, July 2nd-6th, and according to Google, 6 hr 28 min drive from Mansfield OH

The first three days (Thur - Sat) are commercial days, motors from 1/8A and larger.
Sun - Mon are research, but if you are a TRA memeber you can fly commercial on those days, NAR members ability to fly those days is TBD.
I have thought about LDRS as well as NYPower and members of Cleveland Skybusters (with whom I have occasionally associated) often go as a group. So far, I have not seriously considered going since I am (so far) a strictly LPR guy. I am hoping to launch some MPR this year and *maybe* contemplate L1 cert by this fall. My present economic situation is likely to postpone that even further.
 

Handeman

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................... My present economic situation is likely to postpone that even further.
Do I hear what you're saying. My son is finishing up at a two college and my daughter is applying now. Next fall they will both be at a four year $chool.
 

kelltym88

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I have thought about LDRS as well as NYPower and members of Cleveland Skybusters (with whom I have occasionally associated) often go as a group. So far, I have not seriously considered going since I am (so far) a strictly LPR guy. I am hoping to launch some MPR this year and *maybe* contemplate L1 cert by this fall. My present economic situation is likely to postpone that even further.
LDRS is not limited to just BIG rockets. Anyone can fly anything, in fact they encourage as many flights as possible. I went to NSL '05, same thing. In fact Gary from Aerotech was there and was handing out demo motors all day. Thanx again Gary ;). The NARCON I went to had no launches, I think it rained that day, probably the only day it rained in San Diego that year. Anyway, I think NSL sounds like ticket for you. I wish I could go...Have fun!!
 

hognutz63

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LDRS is not limited to just BIG rockets.
Case in point-motors flown at this years LDRS in 2008

Impulse Class / Rockets Flown / Motors Burned
A-D 277 308
E-G 201 221
H 115 118
I 94 95
J 138 149
K 90 101
L 37 37
M 79 87
N 23 24
O 0 0
P 4 4
Q 1 1

There were only three more HPR flights than LPR/MPR flights.
 

Peartree

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You all were supposed to help!



Giving me MORE choices is NOT helping!!!



Dang!
 

blackjack2564

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........"One can never have too many rockets, fly too many rockets, nor have too many places to fly them"........
 

cjl

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LDRS is pretty amazing, but for LPR, NARAM is probably the better choice. As stated above though, LDRS is certainly a launch for rockets of all sizes, so I wouldn't discount it entirely. Either way, you'd have a lot of fun. Neither event could be reasonably described as dull :)
 

JAL3

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See if you can find a launch in Europe some place. Nothing beats having spousal support of your rocketry habit.;)
 

Peartree

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LDRS for me this year.
For YOU maybe we can find a field before/after/during Superbike weekend or one of your other trips down this way.:D

(There's gotta be room in your race trailer for a couple rockets, eh?)
 

Peartree

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See if you can find a launch in Europe some place. Nothing beats having spousal support of your rocketry habit.;)
Not unless there's a magic rocket money genie that someone's not telling me about...:D
 

fox_racing_guy

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For YOU maybe we can find a field before/after/during Superbike weekend or one of your other trips down this way.:D

(There's gotta be room in your race trailer for a couple rockets, eh?)
As a matter of fact I'm bringing a RV with a trailer and 4 motorcycles with me as well, Sorry but I think I'll have a full house with me :(. I sure do wish Tripoli Mid-Ohio would find another field that we can fly "M's" (and larger) again. I do like flying with Skybusters but I'm getting real itchy to fly something bigger than I357's and small J loads. I think the race track would make a great place to fly is someone could get approval.
 

WillMarchant

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I predict you'll have fun at any of those events but it sounds like NARAM is the logical choice for you. As others have noted there will be lots of stuff going on. Low, mid, and high power. Vendors. Try your hand at competition. Drool over the scale models. Listen to the R&D competition reports.
 

JAL3

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Not unless there's a magic rocket money genie that someone's not telling me about...:D
Draw up a MISSIONARY proposal and send it to the GBGM. They'll do anything.
 

Peartree

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Draw up a MISSIONARY proposal and send it to the GBGM. They'll do anything.
I do suppose that one could describe the World Spacemodelling competition as a missionary project if you worked at it... (kidding!)
 

Peartree

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As a matter of fact I'm bringing a RV with a trailer and 4 motorcycles with me as well, Sorry but I think I'll have a full house with me :(. I sure do wish Tripoli Mid-Ohio would find another field that we can fly "M's" (and larger) again. I do like flying with Skybusters but I'm getting real itchy to fly something bigger than I357's and small J loads. I think the race track would make a great place to fly is someone could get approval.
Dude, I don't need room in the trailer to go to Mid-Ohio. I LIVE there. I was suggesting you bring some MPR stuff along and we'd find someplace to fly when you're not doing race stuff. (And I am hoping to find a local launch field. I have my eye on a few places, I just need to find out who owns them.)

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