Do you guys journal or log your rocket flights?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by JamesS, Jan 13, 2020.

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  1. Jan 13, 2020 #1

    JamesS

    JamesS

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    Several years ago, I started taking flight notes soon after getting L1 cert. I usually fill these out very soon after the flights while things are still very fresh in my mind and then they all get thrown in a binder. These notes then help me keep track and remember how things went and especially how to improve or make changes going forward and also not remake any mistakes if I fly the rocket again.

    I also try to improve my actual log form itself, so I thought I'd check here and get ideas from others who may also journal/log their flights - feel free to post up your forms or share what works or doesn't work for you.
     

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  2. Jan 13, 2020 #2

    mpitfield

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    For me, this has been one of these good idea "I really need to do this" but never do, things.
     
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  3. Jan 13, 2020 #3

    Hardline

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    Both Wayne and I document our rockets and flights from the moment we start building them. We just have a folder and paper. Don't need anything fancier. We do a lot of "data mining" of our rocketry experiences out of those folders.
     
  4. Jan 14, 2020 at 12:35 AM #4

    jnelson

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    I put all my flight information, data, and notes into a spreadsheet. It helps me remember what configurations I've used before on certain rockets, what works (and what doesn't work), etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 1:53 AM
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  5. Jan 14, 2020 at 12:46 AM #5

    Fattbank64

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    I record notes, info, and whatnot into notebook paper and compile as a folder.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2020 at 12:57 AM #6

    blackjack2564

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    Punisher 3in. [2015] 7lbs sans motor 15 drogue TF 50 main.TF [1.75 drogue 1.25 main BP ] 2-[2-256 pins] 24ft dr. 15main 1/4 kevlar.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    O'burg Jan 2015 I-161-W Strato 2280ft RRC3- 2297ft sunny 67 no wind
    Rd Glre April 2015 J-275-w St 5300 RRC3 5367 cold cloudy 15-17mph
    MWP Oct 2015 K-700-W St 12,879 RRC3 12,798 calm cold 45 uppers 24mph.
    Argonia Sept 2016 L-935-I ST 17.880 RRC3 17889 hot windy its argonia

    Every rocket gets a page with build info in header and simple flight details on 1 line for each flight
    After awhile you can pretty much figure out, what any thing you build will need, and charge sizes from previous experience.

    Real handy for picking motors for any rocket due to data.;)
     
  7. Jan 14, 2020 at 4:40 AM #7

    Nytrunner

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    I've got a spreadsheet with a ab for each year's flights. Not as detailed as blackjack's but enough to keep track of the newtons
     
  8. Jan 14, 2020 at 6:29 PM #8

    NateB

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    I keep a simple spreadsheet that has notes on each build along with launch dates, location, motor, altitude, and weather.
     
  9. Jan 14, 2020 at 7:06 PM #9

    BEC

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    I keep a little 4x6 spiral notebook with me at the field and note the model, motor(s), altimeter info (if any) and some free-form notes about how the flight went for every flight. This is sometimes supplemented by electronic data in the form of AltimeterThree data (on my phone) or Flight Sketch Mini data (on the online log), as well as downloaded (either at the field or sometimes later) data from other recording altimeters used. Files are generally named with the model name and flight number for later correlation with notes if needed.

    I’ve thought about using some kind of completely electronic means of logging data, but keyboards and screens at the field are, at best, inconvenient, and I’m not fast enough to with a finger tip or two to rely on doing notes on my phone. It’s much faster to just use a pencil and paper.

    Sometimes after a flying session I’ll go back to the notebook and clarify/embellish the notes taken at the field.

    Added: I love that little Adam Savage clip in the next post!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020 at 9:38 PM
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  10. Jan 14, 2020 at 8:38 PM #10

    GalantVR41062

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    I have a flight log written for almost all the mid power and high power flights from the last 2 years.

    I plan to rework the log on PC or a better note book setup. I have hash mark's on my rockets showing total flights also.

    ~John
     
  11. Jan 14, 2020 at 8:57 PM #11

    JamesS

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    I think I'll start something like this with all my rockets. I do have a rocket where I put a random sticker of some sort on it after every flight, sort of like traveling stickers on those old suitcases.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2020 at 9:31 PM #12

    GaryT

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    I log everything.
     
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  13. Jan 14, 2020 at 9:37 PM #13

    Exactimator

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    I do almost the same thing n the field. Same small spiral notebook, record similar data, just a few quick notes on each flight. If I have too many data points then it becomes a chore and I won't do it.

    When I get back to civilization I log everything into a spreadsheet. Also simple and straightforward. I set-up the spreadsheet to total up several pieces of info:
    - Total flights
    - Total flights for each specific rocket
    - Total of each motor class flown
    - Total flights on favorite motors.

    I get surprised by the data. Turns out I launch way more I than H motors. I thought it was the opposite. And the rockets with the most flights surprise me too. Like I'll think I fly rocket X all the time but rocket Y actually has more flights.
     
  14. Jan 14, 2020 at 9:53 PM #14

    BEC

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    I’ve thought about the spreadsheet logging but so far haven’t managed to do it. I think I’ll start just with Nova Payloader data - I have over 200 flights across four examples of the model and most of them were carrying at least one altimeter.

    John’s comment about putting a mark on the model for each flight would make an interesting look as I have a Nova Payloader retired after 75 flights, one with, currently, 101 flights on it which is pretty much retired (here is data for flight 101:https://flightsketch.com/flights/556/), another with a couple of dozen, and one that was treed and lost about 20 flights into its career. I also have an Alpha with 80 flights on it...
     
  15. Jan 15, 2020 at 12:14 AM #15

    John Taylor

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    I memorize every detail of every steps and ......I forgot what I was going to say....
     
  16. Jan 15, 2020 at 12:41 AM #16

    AfterBurners

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    No I just launch mine until they blow up or lawn dart and then I get to go shopping for new ones:)
     
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  17. Jan 15, 2020 at 1:12 AM #17

    rocketman328

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  18. Jan 15, 2020 at 1:16 AM #18

    rocketman328

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    I've decided to just use a notebook to manually log each flight. Most of the launch sites around here would not offer WiFi, many not even cell service. Also I can record the information that I specifically wish to keep. Many good forms available on the web, but most have either too much or too little. I may also back it up electronically.
     
  19. Jan 15, 2020 at 2:01 AM #19

    lakeroadster

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    My stuff... is your stuff. ;)
     

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  20. Jan 15, 2020 at 2:14 AM #20

    FredT

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    I have a Microsoft Access database that I started in 1999 and occasionally modified. It has every flight since, from low to high power, more than 1000. Besides holding rocket and flight info, it holds altimeter dumps, simulation files, pre-flight check lists, altimeter configuration, and just about any pertinent document.
     
  21. Jan 15, 2020 at 4:45 AM #21

    tightwad

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    I do the same thing as Exactimator, but I also add the flight times of each of my rockets to my records with total of flight minutes/ hours if they last that long. It makes interesting reading as you look over your history of rockets flown.
     
  22. Jan 15, 2020 at 7:22 AM #22

    o1d_dude

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    I'm solidly in the 4x6" notebook group.

    It's organized chronologically by launch date and goes back about 10 years. I find it useful for times when I'm flying a rocket that's been idle for awhile as I record the motor used, the chute used, recovery train used, and the all-up-weight followed by a very brief description of the flight, ie. weather-cocked, landed in the creek, etc.

    I no longer carry the binder with the ThrustCurve printouts. I simply use the TC app on my iPad as it's more flexible and allows me to run what-if scenarios on the fly.
     
  23. Jan 15, 2020 at 8:47 AM #23

    Voyager1

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    Our group uses a launch card system that records all the key information about each rocket launched including motor, deployment configuration, avionics, checks whether CoG and CoP have been verified, and flight expectations and outcome details. This is all checked out by the RSO prior to launch. These are eventually added to a cloud-based spreadsheet database.
     
  24. Jan 15, 2020 at 1:59 PM #24

    Construct_VA

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    Very nice! Thank you for sharing
     
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  25. Jan 15, 2020 at 2:27 PM #25

    milehigh

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    Absolutely! I have printed out flight data sheets which accommodate four flights per model. All of the pertinent data is hand written, and spaces are provided to stick on an image of the liftoff.
    Back in my old fleet days, I didn't do a huge amount of this, and I regret not having this info to look back on. In the present BAR era, I make darn sure that everything I do rocket-wise is thoroughly documented. In this era of computer and cel phone technology, this level of info recording is quite easy.
     
  26. Jan 15, 2020 at 3:10 PM #26

    hcmbanjo

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    I log all launches at rocketreviews.com.
    Set up an account and sign in.

    Like any new interface it'll take a moment to learn how to input the data.
    First time you input info about the rocket, "style" and "sizes".
    Then you can add the recent flight data, pictures or video.
    It keeps track of all my rockets, the flights and cumulative launch data.

    Flight Log.jpg

    After the flight data is entered, go to the lower left - "What you can do"
    and add photos or video.

    Here's the finished flight page:

    Flight Log 2.jpg
     
  27. Jan 16, 2020 at 8:11 PM #27

    Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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    Yes I like logging any rocketry stuff in detail for I see it as lost valuable data if you don't. Most data comes from the camera footage, to which I then do a full on analysis and write a paper on it. If I don't do this, it's lost data, and data is what matters when testing rockets
     
  28. Jan 17, 2020 at 11:10 AM #28

    Steve Shannon

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    I’m in that same camp; the best rocketeers I know keep journals. I’ve tried to develop the habit unsuccessfully.
     
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  29. Jan 17, 2020 at 12:54 PM #29

    DAllen

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    As I recall there's an app in the Google play store for rocket flights. I think I used it a couple of times and the UI somehow let me wipe all the data I had stored in it. Anyone know of any IOS or android apps they've had success with?
     
  30. Jan 17, 2020 at 4:41 PM #30

    prfesser

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    Glad I'm not the only one, Steve.;) Actually I do keep a detailed lab notebook for propellant work and motor testing. But when I fly, I fly for fun. (I'm good at remembering my failures...) Maybe if I ever do a huge group project, it'd be different.
     

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