# E12-4 CATOs

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#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
I purchased two packs of Estes E12-4 engines online. Of the six engines three worked fine, Estes instructed me to destroy one and two of them CATOed. One of the CATOs destroyed my rocket and the on board camera. I have a third pack that I purchased from a brick and mortar store. I would rather throw them away than risk having another rocket destroyed. So far Estes made good on the first CATO that did not damage my rocket. I am confident that they will make good on the second CATO. They have done so in the past.

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
Do you have the motor date code?
Anecdotally, it seems like a lot of the E12s have been failing lately. I had thought the problem was just the E9s.
If you haven't already done so consider filing a MESS report at motorcato.org.
While occasional CATOs are to be expected, if there is a trend the MESS reports can bring it to focus.

#### John Taylor

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have 3 E12 motors.I was loading my rocket and had to sand them to get them to fit. Then I heard about the failure in some of the E12 motors. The writing on the engines is gone and I threw away the packaging. I don't have the Lot numbers. So am I out of position to get relief from Estes or do you believe they will stand behind them. I am afraid to use them. I dont have any models I am willing to lose.
Thanks, JT

#### kuririn

##### BARGeezer
TRF Supporter
They will replace the motors if they CATO, and if an Estes model is destroyed they will replace that too, or offer a similar replacement. Don't think they will replace a motor that MIGHT CATO. But you can try.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
Since I did not open the two packs that I purchased from a store and had the receipts, I was able to get a full refund. As far as the CATO that damaged my rocket, I took a photo of the rocket and the engine. The engine photos showed the date code and the casing from the top so that they could there was nothing left but casing.

The rocket is a scratch build so I don't know if I will get a replacement. I was able to repair it but it took a fair amount of time to do so. Repairing can be as much fun as building and requires some degree of creativity.

I disappointed that the E12's cannot be relied on because they are a lower cost alternatives to the composite engines. Not to mention I could get them at a semi local hobby shop.

#### John Taylor

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
They will replace the motors if they CATO, and if an Estes model is destroyed they will replace that too, or offer a similar replacement. Don't think they will replace a motor that MIGHT CATO. But you can try.
Thank you sir!

#### Lukun7

##### Young Rocketeer
I don't think you should be scared to fly them, although they have been CATOing. I bought a few e12-4's a few months ago, have launched two of three successfully.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
I have been told by some very knowledgeable people in my club that 2 CATAOs out of 5 is not a sufficient sample size. Like John Taylor said, I don't have any rockets that I'm willing to lose. Well, actually there is one that I am willing to take a chance with. Lukun7 said he flew two out of three successfully. What happened to the unsuccessful one?

Anyone that has seen some of my previous posts know that I am more outspoken than most rocketeers, maybe to a fault. In the end I will probably fly the E4's again. I will check with Estes to get more information. I won't buy any that have the same date code that CATOed in my rockets. D 19 06 19.

##### Well-Known Member
I have been told by some very knowledgeable people in my club that 2 CATAOs out of 5 is not a sufficient sample size. Like John Taylor said, I don't have any rockets that I'm willing to lose. Well, actually there is one that I am willing to take a chance with. Lukun7 said he flew two out of three successfully. What happened to the unsuccessful one?

Anyone that has seen some of my previous posts know that I am more outspoken than most rocketeers, maybe to a fault. In the end I will probably fly the E4's again. I will check with Estes to get more information. I won't buy any that have the same date code that CATOed in my rockets. D 19 06 19.

I suspect you interpreted that incorrectly. He never said there was an unsuccessful one.

If I said I bought three cupcakes and I successfully ate 2 of them, does that mean I was unsuccessful eating the third? Nope. I may be saving it for later.

If I am going to assume, I will assume he just did not launch it yet.

We have launched MANY E12 motors at our club launches and have had ZERO failures for several years. There was a strange 33% failure rate when they first came out, but then we took all those same date code motors and put them aside to be flown in unimortant rockets to gather data. Several dozens were flown from the same batch with ZERO additional failures. Quite a mystery, with a great ending. Maybe they were happier as they aged?

We will continue to fly many E12 motors as they are fantastic.

#### Flyfalcons

##### Well-Known Member
I've seen enough of these fail to not put them in my rockets.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
I suspect you interpreted that incorrectly. He never said there was an unsuccessful one.

If I said I bought three cupcakes and I successfully ate 2 of them, does that mean I was unsuccessful eating the third? Nope. I may be saving it for later.

If I am going to assume, I will assume he just did not launch it yet.

We have launched MANY E12 motors at our club launches and have had ZERO failures for several years. There was a strange 33% failure rate when they first came out, but then we took all those same date code motors and put them aside to be flown in unimportant rockets to gather data. Several dozens were flown from the same batch with ZERO additional failures. Quite a mystery, with a great ending. Maybe they were happier as they aged?

We will continue to fly many E12 motors as they are fantastic.
Point well taken about the cupcakes. On Friday I got four tacos from Taco Bell for only $5.00 because it was National Taco Day. I only ate three of them. I gave the fourth to my coworker. He ate the four he got plus the one I gave him. Unfortunately they came back to haunt him. Sometimes at work we get free gourmet cupcakes. Seriously, I want the E12 engines to work to the point that I will give them another try in a rocket that I am willing to risk. I have a number of rockets such as the Executioner and Super Big Bertha that fly quite nicely on a E12. They are a much more economical alternative to composite engines. I can get them for a discounted price at a hobby store. I will post the results after the next club launch in two weeks. I would appreciate results from you and others that use the E12's, specifically the E12-4. #### John Taylor ##### Well-Known Member TRF Supporter Is it just my Hobby Lobby or have all of them stopped the use of the 40 percent offer on ALL rocketry items? #### deangelo54 ##### Well-Known Member Let's use the E12 engines as an example. If any item in the Hobby Lobby store has one of those orange "Our Price" price stickers you cannot use a 40% coupon for it. They sell the E12's for$15.99 which is a 33% discount of the MSRP of $23.99. AC Supply sells them for$14.39 but you have to pay the Hazmat fee. Many if not all of their kits are also discounted.
That would be quite a deal if I could get another 40% off the \$15.99 price.

#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
Is it just my Hobby Lobby or have all of them stopped the use of the 40 percent offer on ALL rocketry items?
All stores. Estes rocket items now have a baseline 30% discount

##### Well-Known Member
Is it just my Hobby Lobby or have all of them stopped the use of the 40 percent offer on ALL rocketry items?

Think of the savings in time and gasoline. You no longer need to drive there and back every day to buy one item every day. You can now buy their entire stock in one trip.

#### John Taylor

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Think of the savings in time and gasoline. You no longer need to drive there and back every day to buy one item every day. You can now buy their entire stock in one trip.
Thanks Mucho. [emoji41]

TRF Supporter

TRF Supporter
Thanks everyone!
JT

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
Per TRF Guidelines, when posting problems with vendors we should post information concerning a positive solution. For the first CATO Estes did not have any E12-4 motors available so they provided me with another engine choice. For the second CATO they offered to replace the rocket and another item that was damaged. Since I repaired the rocket and did not want to take advantage of their generosity, all I asked for was replacement engines. In addition to replacement engines, Estes provided me with another item that I can donate to a Cub Scout Pack for their Scout launch. I will also volunteer my time to help with the Cub Scout launch.

#### OC-Patrick

##### Well-Known Member
I have launched many E12's with no problems. Live in southern California where temp cycling is pretty much a non-factor. They are kept in their original packaging, in a range box, in the garage which is mostly closed and not exposed direct sunlight.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member

I keep my engines in the original package until I need them. I keep the packages in a plastic tool box. The box is stored in my house where the temperature and humidity are constant. I only had the E12's for two weeks max from the time I bought them.

I have had two out of five E12's CATO.
Two D12-5's that were very old that someone gave me.
One E9-4.
One Estes branded composite F26-6FJ engine.

Not bad for 14 years of flying rockets. I stopped using the E9's in favor of E composite engines because they did not have enough thrust for what I was flying. I NEVER should of used D12 engines that were decades old.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
Someone in my club sold me a single E12-4. I'm going to use it in a Super Big Bertha at my next club launch in two weeks. The date code is A 06 22 12. I may even go up to a hobby shop and get a pack.

#### DeltaVee

##### HV Arcas, AT F67
I have launched many E12's with no problems. Live in southern California where temp cycling is pretty much a non-factor. They are kept in their original packaging, in a range box, in the garage which is mostly closed and not exposed direct sunlight.
As Yoda would say: Hmmmmm, done it, you have! The fates, you have tempted!

In our neck of the woods, my garage temp probably gets up to about 3000 Degrees in the summer! Not a good storage option here... but it is an above ground garage. I keep mine in a heavy utility box (Rigid is the brand name) with lots of nice compartments... and my "rocket room" is on the lower deck (aka the basement) of the house.

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
Last weekend (11-02-19) at a club launch I had yet another E12-4 CATO. I know what you all are thinking, "This guy is a glutton for punishment." Several people expressed the fact that I was too quick to judge the E12 or that they have not had any problems. I used a rocket that I was willing to risk. In fact by the middle of the week I already had it repaired and painted. It looked better than before the CATO. I explained that when I contacted Estes and expressed the fact that they don't have to replace the rocket. There were two other E12-4 CATOs at the launch. In fairness I should say that there were several successful launches of E12-4's.

#### DeltaVee

##### HV Arcas, AT F67
Last weekend (11-02-19) at a club launch I had yet another E12-4 CATO. I know what you all are thinking, "This guy is a glutton for punishment." Several people expressed the fact that I was too quick to judge the E12 or that they have not had any problems. I used a rocket that I was willing to risk. In fact by the middle of the week I already had it repaired and painted. It looked better than before the CATO. I explained that when I contacted Estes and expressed the fact that they don't have to replace the rocket. There were two other E12-4 CATOs at the launch. In fairness I should say that there were several successful launches of E12-4's.
As a witness to all of these, I have to say you've definitely had your fair share of bad luck! As the guy who sold you that motor I feel kind of bad (I've used one from that pack w/o incident and have one left) so to make up for it, at the next launch we're both at, I'll buy your lunch!

#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
No need to buy lunch. You are always helping me and giving good advice.

#### DeltaVee

##### HV Arcas, AT F67
We had a pretty good launch session today... last one of the season. Lots of E motor Catos. But we had a number of them that did not. As the weather was cold I left my last two E12's home. I didn't count but the rate of E catos seemed somewhat higher than even a few weeks back when the weather was still cool but a good 10 degrees warmer than today. Just an anecdote with no scientific basis. The two motors E12's I have remaining are the last ones from two different packs. One of them came from a pack with zero problems... two lit and burned perfectly. The other one came from a pack where one was OK and the other I sold to deangelo54... and well... it didn't do so well. I started looking at them both and then noticed something VERY interesting... here is the photo:

The on on the left came from the pack with no catos from its two siblings... while the one on the right had one sibling cato. The nozzle is QUITE different... the throat of the one on the right is NARROWER and not as clean-looking as the one on the left. I'm wondering....

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#### deangelo54

##### Well-Known Member
I had a total of three CATOs at the launch mentioned above. Two of them were E16-6 engines and one was what appeared to be an older AeroTech E30-4T.
None of the rockets involved had any damage. Just some charing of shock cords and blackened body tubes that cleaned up OK.

I purchased the E16 motors last week at a hobby shop. The E30 engine was given to me in trade. It was still in the package. All my engines are stored in my house where the temperature is 68 degrees. The temperature at the launch was in the low to mid 40's.

I think it's time for me to give large Estes black powder motors a rest.
The reason I think the Aerotech motor was old is because it did not have a thrust ring and came with a copper head igniter. The silver lining in all this is that it was the first time I ever used a copper head and it lit perfectly.

#### neil_w

##### Hunkered down and slowly going crazy
TRF Supporter
I have not heard many reports of E16 or F15 CATOs. Obviously they can happen, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that they’re trouble-prone. Certainly nothing like the E9 and E12.

#### Bufkin Fairchild

##### Member
Due to this thread I am going to start logging my E12 launches.

I have an extended Estes Executioner that only flies on Hobby Lobby purchased E12-4's. I think I've had about 10 launches so far.

Last one was yesterday, flew great. Temps in the low 40's. Date code on the E12-4 was "A 03 30 17". Was the last of a package.