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Economics of single use vs reloadables?

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billdz

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Hi,
I'm just getting into HPR and will try for level 1 cert next month. Several have mentioned I should buy reloadable motors to save money. But do they really save?

I paid $30 for an H135 single use. From what I've seen, a reloading kit for a comparable H costs about $20. But the casing and seals cost over $70, so I'd have to fly 7 times just to break even, and there's a possibility of losing the casing if the rocket gets away, and there is a higher chance of failure with a reloadable.

Thoughts?
 

blackbrandt

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I am a highschooled teenager. I know about saving money. :p

I've picked up all of my cases used. I've gotten them anywhere from 40% off regular price to free. For example, I picked up a Pro29 6G case and closure (normally about $50) for only $30. If you can find good deals which are on here all the time, they make it a bit less hard on the wallet.

The other reason I like reloadables is because they open more options. Single use motors have a decent variety, but reloadable motors open you up to so many more choices.

Furthermore, if you're just starting out, you can generally borrow a case from someone. That's how I got started.
 

shreadvector

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Single use motors cost more in the past compared to reload kits, so the cost of the reloadable motor casing was well worth it for many motor sizes. AND most people fly rockets that cost a lot of money and they do not want to lose them. Since they intend to get them back, they also intend to get their motor casing back.

You must decide what you want to fly, how often you want to fly and what your skill level is for actually recovering your rockets (and retaining your motor/casing) and then make your own final decision on what motors to buy.

You can also search for 752 prior threads like this from the last decade or two (are the archives still there?).

Hi,
I'm just getting into HPR and will try for level 1 cert next month. Several have mentioned I should buy reloadable motors to save money. But do they really save?

I paid $30 for an H135 single use. From what I've seen, a reloading kit for a comparable H costs about $20. But the casing and seals cost over $70, so I'd have to fly 7 times just to break even, and there's a possibility of losing the casing if the rocket gets away, and there is a higher chance of failure with a reloadable.

Thoughts?
 

Flyfalcons

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If you are certing, shop around for cert specials. You can sometimes find a great case/load combo if you are purchasing for a cert attempt.
 

dhbarr

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If you're flying mid-to-high on a budget, it's hard to go wrong w/ mostly 29/40-120 on birds that weigh less than 1500g all-up.

The cases come up used all the time, the reloads are cheap & widely available, you don't have to worry about hazmat or waivers, no special tooling, etc.
 

Cabernut

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The general rule of thumb I use is: "Will I use at least 9 or 10 reloads in this case?"

I currently have a 24/40 case and a Pro29 3-grain. At this point, for anything higher than a small H its not financially beneficial for me to get a case and I'll just go with a single use.

If however, a high power club and field opens up near me(which it might with NAPAS), then I might pick up a 38mm case for a good range of Hs and Is.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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I think single-use motors are great for getting started and for infrequent flyers. If you are really committed, then buying hardware starts to make sense.

One way Aerotech reloads can help save money is that in lots of cases, the propellant grain is shipped in pieces in such a way that you don't have to pay a hazmat fee. So maybe you only save 10 bucks on the price of the motor, but you also save 28 bucks on the cost of hazmat shipping if you are ordering online. If you are buying from an onsite vendor, hazmat shipping is not an issue.

I fly a lot of CTI loads. With CTI, I feel like you save almost nothing on cost. The reloads are not much less expensive than a comparable AT single-use motor, and they do not split up the propellant grains, so you still have to pay hazmat if you want them shipped. The main reason to fly CTI is to have a wide variety of propellant types and thrust curves. Also, CTI motors are far simpler to use than AT reloads --- about as simple as a AT DMS motor --- all you do is drill the delay and insert it into the case.

One thing to consider is that even if you do buy Aerotech hardware, you will probably still end up using some single-use or DMS motors. Building an Aerotech motor in the field can be a pain. It's a lot easier to do at home. So say you want to fly your rockets a few times at the launch. You can load up one reload at home, and then what are you going to do? You either have to build the next motor at the launch, or you can bring a stack of single-use motors.

If I were you, I'd stick with the single-use motors for awhile. It takes one variable out of the list of things that can go wrong on your cert flight. Or, if you think you will be interested in reloads, you could take advantage of a certification special to get some of your hardware for free along with the purchase of a certification motor.
 

Nathan

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Reloadable is definitely less expensive in the long run, I have motor cases that have probably flown 50 times. But as you get more into HPR, your rockets tend to get a lot more expensive than the motor hardware, when you include all the fiberglass, electronics, big parachutes, etc. So losing a rocket becomes a much bigger problem than just losing the reloadable motor hardware.
 

smugglervt

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Speaking of certification specials, is anyone still offering them?
 

ttabbal

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Another option to consider if you are having reloads shipped is Loki. They have a number of reloads G-I impulse that ship without hazmat.

If you are buying from a local vendor, talk with them to see what they keep in stock. Around here, it's mostly Aerotech with a little CTI mixed in.
 

mhanna

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I would trust RMS over DMS also. For that one size DMS motor you have 5 or 6 motor choices with the same size Aerotech case. 8 or so for the equivalent Cesaroni case. The key is getting them back. I like having motor performance choices depending on the size of the rocket I'm putting them in.
 

qquake2k

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For me it's less about expense and more about versatility. There are so many more choices available with reloadables. And with the spacers you can get away with less CTI cases. Do you have an onsite vendor?
 

Cl(VII)

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Not necessarily. I trust an RMS built by me over a DMS/single use any day.
This! If something goes wrong with a reload I built it is my fault, and that would be easier to accept than a single use cato. That said I'm thinking about an L1000 this year.
 

markkoelsch

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Not necessarily. I trust an RMS built by me over a DMS/single use any day.
Me too. I have flown A LOT of Aerotech RMS in the last 20 years. I had a problem with a delay blow by before the RMS+ came out on an H220, and that is it for AT RMS issues.

The only issue I have personally had with their single use motors was when the G125 was a single use motor, and only made occasionally. The case cracked radially upon ignition and instantly snuffed out. It was toast, but the grain made for igniter augments.
 

byoungblood

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Also keep in mind that many 29mm single use motors require hazmat shipping, where as comparable reloads do not. If you are in a part of the country where nobody stocks composite motors locally, reloads become a lot more attractive.
 

DavidMcCann

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You can also search for 752 prior threads like this from the last decade or two (are the archives still there?).
and shread has responded in everyone of these threads despite knowing from the title what it was, and that it's totally legal for him to just skip over and not read it, but the opportunity to bash on a newbie must not be missed.
 

DavidMcCann

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For me, I like reloads. I fly about 20 flights a year, but that's usually spread over multiple cases. I've owned all brands, I've moved to aerotech for 29mm, Loki for 38 and 54. The variety of motors is the main attraction. Cost savings are certainly there for G motors. You can get G76 reloads for $10 or less. If you're flying F and G motors, you'd be insane to not be flying a 29/40-120 case.
 
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cerving

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I fly both. Some of my buddies rip on me for flying a lot of DMS motors, but some of them (particularly the 29's) are a pretty good value, and really not significantly more expensive than an equivalent AT reload kit. When you just don't feel like futzing around building a motor, DMS's are great. Once you get into the bigger motors, it's a lot cheaper to do reloads than DMS, particularly with 54mm since there aren't many DMS choices.
 

tbonerocketeer

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Hi,
I'm just getting into HPR and will try for level 1 cert next month. Several have mentioned I should buy reloadable motors to save money. But do they really save?

I paid $30 for an H135 single use. From what I've seen, a reloading kit for a comparable H costs about $20. But the casing and seals cost over $70, so I'd have to fly 7 times just to break even, and there's a possibility of losing the casing if the rocket gets away, and there is a higher chance of failure with a reloadable.

Thoughts?
Retail for the equivalent reload to the H135 is $25.99, for the H180. Its only a $4 difference in price.
 

bill_s

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The DMS stuff is hard to beat if you don't have to ship it, even the price of a G80 went down. I wouldn't have a CTI case if it wasn't for cert special, although sometimes I use it over Aerotech to save time. I did work out that the AT 29 mm Hobbyline only takes about 4 flights to pay for. The 24/40 takes more like 7 flights though and is a pain due to its small size, even though it can give smaller rockets great flights I don't intend to replace mine. Maybe if additional 24/60 loads ever come out I'll get one of those.

You can get G76 reloads for $10 or less.
Where??? Not even close that I see (>$12 now).
 

blackbrandt

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The other reason I like to fly reloadables is that I enjoy the extra aspect of building a motor before flight.
 

cavecentral

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29mm and 38mm dms are worth the few dollars not to have a casing to clean. 54mm the price is different.
 

GRIFFIN

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The answer is in your question.

Will you fly 6 more times?

I have to say, reloads have payed off for me.
 

KenRico

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Also keep in mind that many 29mm single use motors require hazmat shipping, where as comparable reloads do not. If you are in a part of the country where nobody stocks composite motors locally, reloads become a lot more attractive.
+1 exactly

Hazmat on a CTI or DMS is significant cost, if you dont have an onsite vendor some 29mm AT hardware is a must.

Balsa Machining may still have the 29/180 hardware at an aggressive price..and there is no haz mat fee on hw.

One other price advantage the 29mm strategy has is that motor retainers like Estes costs alot less than others also.

Kenny
 
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