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Cluster Rocket Using D, E, Or F Engines?

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tfrielin

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I've got one last Estes 36D-Squared D-powered cluster that is on its last legs. It is my first---and only--experience with clustering which I have enjoyed. Watching those two Ds ascend--both lit on a good flight!---and the throaty roar they made was very satisfying, so I'll miss it.

My question is--What two or three engine clusters are available out there now? I'd love to upgrade to E or even F black powder engines.

Thanks for any leads.
 

kuririn

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Antares JS

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Estes Sidekick
Fliskits Deuces Wild (also a micro maxx version called Diminutive Deuce)
Boyce Aerospace Gemini-Titan
Rocketarium Cerberus

If you really want to go nuts, the North Coast Rocketry Cluster Duck has a central 24mm with 6 outboard 18mm mounts for a total of 7 motors.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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LOC Precision has the Viper III and Viper IV, three and four 24mm motors respectively. 2.63 Phoenix can do 4x18s or 3x24s with the modular motor mount thingy.
Or step it up a bit. Their 29SS has 4x29s. LOC Ultimate has 7x29s.
 

Blast it Tom!

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Estes Sidekick
Fliskits Deuces Wild (also a micro maxx version called Diminutive Deuce)
Boyce Aerospace Gemini-Titan
Rocketarium Cerberus

If you really want to go nuts, the North Coast Rocketry Cluster Duck has a central 24mm with 6 outboard 18mm mounts for a total of 7 motors.
LOC Precision has the Viper III and Viper IV, three and four 24mm motors respectively. 2.63 Phoenix can do 4x18s or 3x24s with the modular motor mount thingy.
Or step it up a bit. Their 29SS has 4x29s. LOC Ultimate has 7x29s.
Ok, I gotta butt in for a sec... I haven't flown a cluster for close to 50 years (none since becoming a BAR), and did successfully ignite 3 Estes D's in my youth once, but lighting 7 motors simultaneously seems to increase the odds on a non-lit motor quite a bit. Granted a strong car battery, parallel wiring, and so on, being sure your igniters are solidly in place, independent continuity, maybe even resistance checks; but are there any other tricks? Independent leads for each igniter, even if the neutrals go back to a common? I worry about a common neutral on 7 twisted igniter ends pulling igniters from the non-lit motors by the lit ones, but... anyway, just curious... then I'll grab my coat and scoot on out... That'd sure be a sight to see, either one of those RMDU's (Rapid Motor Disposal Units)... ;)
 
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Antares JS

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Ok, I gotta butt in for a sec... I haven't flown a cluster for close to 50 years (none since becoming a BAR), and did successfully ignite 3 Estes D's in my youth once, but lighting 7 motors simultaneously seems to increase the odds on a non-lit motor quite a bit. Granted a strong car battery, parallel wiring, and so on, being sure your igniters are solidly in place, independent continuity, maybe even resistance checks; but are there any other tricks? Independent leads for each igniter, even if the neutrals go back to a common? I worry about a common neutral on 7 twisted igniter ends pulling igniters from the non-lit motors by the lit ones, but... anyway, just curious... then I'll grab my coat and scoot on out... That's sure be a sight to see, either one of those RMDU's (Rapid Motor Disposal Units)... ;)
Note that these tips apply to clustering BP motors only. I have not tried clustering composites yet.

First of all, I always use quickdip-augmented igniters for clusters. These make even the ordinary Estes igniters super-reliable. (This may not be necessary with the upcoming "energetic" igniters from Estes.)

Second, I attach a piece of extension wire to each igniter. I have tons of wire left over from shortening e-matches that I use for this. (Ematches don't need to be three feet long to fire ejection charges.) Use insulated wire for this to reduce your risk of a short. I just twist the wires onto the igniter leads and put a little piece of masking tape over each lead.

Third, install your igniters into your motors as normal, and bend and twist all your extended igniter leads together so that you have two leads to clip to and all your igniters are in parallel. This is the purpose of installing that extension wire.

Fourth, and this is something I just recently learned trying to fly my Cluster Duck, make sure none of your wiring is directly under a motor! 6/7 motors lit on the Cluster Duck wasn't bad, but the reason the last one didn't light was because the wire was burned off by another motor. When I got the rocket back, this last motor, a C6-0, was still plugged with a little piece of the igniter still in it and the ends of the remaining wire was burnt black.
 

Blast it Tom!

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Note that these tips apply to clustering BP motors only. I have not tried clustering composites yet.

First of all, I always use quickdip-augmented igniters for clusters. These make even the ordinary Estes igniters super-reliable. (This may not be necessary with the upcoming "energetic" igniters from Estes.)

Second, I attach a piece of extension wire to each igniter. I have tons of wire left over from shortening e-matches that I use for this. (Ematches don't need to be three feet long to fire ejection charges.) Use insulated wire for this to reduce your risk of a short. I just twist the wires onto the igniter leads and put a little piece of masking tape over each lead.

Third, install your igniters into your motors as normal, and bend and twist all your extended igniter leads together so that you have two leads to clip to and all your igniters are in parallel. This is the purpose of installing that extension wire.

Fourth, and this is something I just recently learned trying to fly my Cluster Duck, make sure none of your wiring is directly under a motor! 6/7 motors lit on the Cluster Duck wasn't bad, but the reason the last one didn't light was because the wire was burned off by another motor. When I got the rocket back, this last motor, a C6-0, was still plugged with a little piece of the igniter still in it and the ends of the remaining wire was burnt black.
Well, much thanks! Good tips. That's one thing I didn't mention in the interest of brevity (rare for me...) - at least with that many motors, one out isn't as catastrophic, as long as it isn't the center one!
 

HHaase

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Anything with a BT-80 body tube really. There are plenty of motor mount kits out there with various clusters.

LOC has plenty of clustered kits as mentioned above.

Or a "Cluster Duck". Central 24mm with 7 outboard 18mm's.

Here's a category link at Apogee with a lot of ideas...

-Hans
 
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