CJ's "HOW TO BUILD A DARKSTAR 3 OR ANY GLASS KIT BUILD" STARTS

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Chilli

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It's a long shot but look on Wildman's website. He has a couple of dealers in KY and CT that might have a kit. I lucked out and found the last one his dealer in Virginia had in stock last December
.
 

CzTeacherMan

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Yep David...I'm all out of "pixie dust" guess I'll do another 75mm. I didn't feel like fighting this one.

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Gonna need a section of 1/4in threaded rod, an eyenut [also 1/4in] and 2 bulkplates,[ Coupler & airframe] to make another av-bay lid.
NOTE: this extra needed one [larger BP,]does not come with the kit, must purchase separately. You do get the black coupler BP.

Place coupler/NC shoulder into place.

Screw rod into NC tip and back it up with nut.

Slide through the NC & slip glued together BP's into place.

Get out the Dremel and cut it off leaving 3/4in.

Screw on the eye-nut. Done.
I just for mine in, and I'm looking for that eye-nut. Can't find it at my local hardware store. Any tips on where to find one?
 

BrAdam

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Fastenal carries them or can order them if you have one nearby.


Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum
 

blackjack2564

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It was brought to my attention that I forgot the pics of "twist & tape" arming method of altimeters.

Soooooo.......
Strip approximately 3/4-1in of bare wire.

Pinch wire together so that during "twisting" there is no wire bounce. [bounce: the on & off occurrence that can happen while twisting wire, sometimes causing the altimeter to cycle on and off rapidly.

attachment-1.jpg


Twist both wires together with one hand, while keeping them pinched with the other. [I'm taking pics, so use your imagination!]

attachment-3.jpg

Place section of tape over wire, holding it flat to airframe. Make sure you do this on the UPPER half. If you forget and tape it to the lower......... your rocket will not come apart at apogee....LOL

If there is some reason the rocket does not fly, or you must dis-arm the charges, you can do it safely with out taking apart the av-bay. [as when doing "twist and tuck" i.e. tucking wire back into hole]

attachment-4.jpg


Yours truly with the obligatory dumb rocket photo.

attachment-5.jpg

It's been quite awhile since we took this journey, how about some pics and flight reports of all the others that got built since this!
 
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DizWolf

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Thanks for doing this thread. This rocket was my introduction to FG high power, and you basically just wrote the book on how to do it.

H178DM flown short-


K805G to 6850' at URRF2. Landed in the irrigation ditch ><. Next flight will be a K1100T

 
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Red Phenix

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CJ, thanks. Every time I wonder how to set something up, I read this thread first. Creating this thread is a wonderful contribution to the rocketry community.

Cheers
 

blackjack2564

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CJ, thanks. Every time I wonder how to set something up, I read this thread first. Creating this thread is a wonderful contribution to the rocketry community.

Cheers
Thank you for the kind words. The intent of doing this highly detailed thread [more so than any other I've done] was exactly that...create a basic answer all about every aspect of building any fiberglass rocket. Including such basic items as how to mix, & how much glue to use, packing & folding chutes, knots, nuts & bolts....everything the first time or new fiberglass rocketeer could use as a reference.

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DarkStar Weekend. 4 sizes flown.

Mini
Lite
Jr
3in .


Well the "Black Pearl" flew again yesterday on a little ole J-315 Red. Straight as a bullet to bit over a mile....5674ft!
Been 2 yrs sitting in the pile of unflown rockets. Time to dust off the "pearl''.
Landed about 1000 ft from pads on the sod.

Don flew his DS 3 in short mode removing the payload & av-bay. He borrowed the dual-deploy NC from my Punisher so it would DD in the short mode.
Worked very well...looked cool too.
Flew the CTI long burn sparky 54mm2-grain to 2900 ft. another perfect recovery.

Don Ball and I decided it was time for a "DarkStar Weekend" as a dry run for NSL in few weeks.

We started of with DS mini's on the CTI 24mm 6grain "pinks'...If you blink can't see no pink"!
They were scary fast, went gonesville instantly and we were both glad we put trackers in them.
Funny thing though...we found them less than 200 ft from the pad road, he was 50 off on the grass on right side, me same on left. But nobody saw where they went once the button was pushed. Those pinks are badazz!

Next we flew the DS lite's on G-64's.
These were nice mild flights, easy to see and both landed close by for easy recovery.

Then I flew my DarkStar JR. [actually was the first size DS made] on a I-285 Red.
Great flight 3774 ft. Another short walk.

Finally the 3in "Punisher" on CTI white thunder, [my favorite all-round propellant] Just a 2-grain 54mm J-430 but it hit over a mile also,5676ft.

Well there was time left before range shut down, had BlackHawk 38 ready to go.
Launched on I-211 white.....Boy was I glad it was calm. Main came out at top, it was a looong time coming down from 5670ft [another mile shot!]
Upon recovery I had hooked up charges correctly, but installed the sled backwards so charges fired in reverse.OOOppps.

All in all a perfect rocket day. 75-80 light 3-4 breeze on ground & barely anything up high.
12,000 ft ceiling, blue skies & white clouds to occasionally block the sun.
We don't get to see many days this perfect for flying & we took full advantage of it.

How the rest of you doing with your Darkdtars?
 
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RayGNJ

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I have two flights on mine, 2346 on a J350 and 2778 on a J500 to 2778.
Looking to fly it on a K456 next now that I got a few shake down flights on it.

I also recently flew my Punisher on a I211 to 2728. Both are great flying birds.
 

RKeller

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just flew the mini on a CTI G80 skid. thanks for the pic Dizwolf, love to fly this thing!
 
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DizWolf

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Come on Riley, I took the photo at 3456 x 5184..... why post the small version? ;)
 

RKeller

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you just need a bigger monitor! I changed the link to a smaller picture... here is another good shot. love the sparks bouncing off the legs of the launch pad..
 
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dlb

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"Don flew his DS 3 in short mode removing the payload & av-bay. He borrowed the dual-deploy NC from my Punisher so it would DD in the short mode.
Worked very well...looked cool too. Flew the CTI long burn sparky 54mm2-grain to 2900 ft. another perfect recovery."

Yes it did!!!

10407983_904684976259711_6520620795291490741_n.jpg
 

Banzai88

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Awesome reference, thanks for everyone that contributed.
 

tOD

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I thought I'd revive this excellent thread with a question, since I'm building a DS3.
When attaching the rail buttons do you use wood screws (as supplied by Wildman) or machine screws (as supplied by Rail buttons.com)? I located the forward one a bit high (~28" from the aft end) and I plan to put a gob of Rocketpoxy on the inside of the tube to cover the exposed end once it's installed. For the aft button I'll put a dab on the threads before I screw it in to keep it from backing out. It's located just above the aft CR. Sound like a plan?
 

richP

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Many folks like to just screw the machine screws into a tapped and threaded hole in the fiberglass. I would not epoxy the screws in, just in case you wanted to replace the buttons. Personally, I like to back the screws with blind nuts on the inside of the tube and secure them in place with some epoxy.
The wood screws are used if you are attaching the rail buttons to a wood centering ring thru the body tube.
20190817_165837.jpg
 

Banzai88

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When screwing into fiberglass, I use machine screws and pem nuts, when screwing into plywood centering rings, I use wood screws.
 
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Dad Man Walking

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Many folks like to just screw the machine screws into a tapped and threaded hole in the fiberglass. I would not epoxy the screws in, just in case you wanted to replace the buttons. Personally, I like to back the screws with blind nuts on the inside of the tube and secure them in place with some epoxy.
The wood screws are used if you are attaching the rail buttons to a wood centering ring thru the body tube.
View attachment 400690
+1 re: not directly epoxying the screws to the airframe. If you fly the rocket enough times you'll might want to replace the buttons. There are several different ways of getting a backing block or fastener inside the tube for the upper button, and if you are placing it higher than the forward centering ring it's no different doing it before or after the motor mount has been bonded to the airframe. For the lower button, I like to put a small wood backing block on the lower centering ring and sink a screw into that.

If you've already glued in the motor mount, my suggestion is to drill the hole in the airframe just above the bottom centering ring, and then inject a lump of JB Weld into the hole. That will work fine as a backing block for a machine screw.
 

tOD

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Thanks for the replys everyone some good suggestions.
 

tOD

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What do people use for backing nuts? I got some from McMaster-Carr but they're the wrong size.
 

richP

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Do a search on McMaster for round-base weld nuts.
 

blackjack2564

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If you go back and read the posts pertaining to mounting rail buttons, you will see I just mount directly to airframe by drilling 1/8 hole and self tapping the machine screw in. [or drill and tap if you have one.]
I have another 3in glass rocket with over 115 flights. Replaced buttons at least 6 times and still going strong. A drop of CA and the hole can be re-used if worn.
Anything else is overkill and not needed. I seriously doubt many others have flown a rocket this many times.[yes there are a few]

So my technique has stood the test of time....15yrs and 115 flights.

I would much rather have the screw pull out in case of a mishap [yes there have been a few] rather than a hole in my airframe from an over sturdy mount that ripped through. As in a V-max high thrust that left the buttons in a dirty, corroded rail.

As I have mentioned many times, these are my methods, there are many that work just fine, I just like to think mine are simple, foolproof and work.
what ever you decide make sure the protruding screw will not catch your recovery gear, where I specify mounting, they will not.

Good luck with your build have fun, the DarkStars are nice rockets you will enjoy for any years!:cool:
 

tOD

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If you go back and read the posts pertaining to mounting rail buttons, you will see I just mount directly to airframe by drilling 1/8 hole and self tapping the machine screw in. [or drill and tap if you have one.]
I have another 3in glass rocket with over 115 flights. Replaced buttons at least 6 times and still going strong. A drop of CA and the hole can be re-used if worn.
Anything else is overkill and not needed. I seriously doubt many others have flown a rocket this many times.[yes there are a few]

So my technique has stood the test of time....15yrs and 115 flights.

I would much rather have the screw pull out in case of a mishap [yes there have been a few] rather than a hole in my airframe from an over sturdy mount that ripped through. As in a V-max high thrust that left the buttons in a dirty, corroded rail.

As I have mentioned many times, these are my methods, there are many that work just fine, I just like to think mine are simple, foolproof and work.
what ever you decide make sure the protruding screw will not catch your recovery gear, where I specify mounting, they will not.

Good luck with your build have fun, the DarkStars are nice rockets you will enjoy for any years!:cool:
Thanks for the reassurance. This is my biggest fiberglass project so far, in a number of ways. It's nice to have people on the forum whose experience I can lean on. Thanks. Just a few loose ends to tie up and it's ready to fly. I'll be joining a junior that's been a great rocket to fly.
MVIMG_20191207_115051.jpg
 
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