Estes Star Orbiter dual deploy

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N0QBH

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Returning after a 12 year hiatus from rocketry – mostly due to having to look at my last one, 100' up in a tree, for 2 years. The rocket – what was left of it – finally came down, but the shiny payload containing a micro accelerometer was never recovered. Some squirrel's toy no doubt.


After watching my nephew launch a couple Estes series two rockets recently, I got the bug again. This time I built an Estes Star Orbiter and decided to go the dual deploy route in order to avoid the trees and lake on the farm here.
I'm using an Apogee BT-60 E-bay containing a Eggtimer Quark altimeter and deployment control configured as a main deploy only.
The drogue deploy uses the rocket motor's ejection charge.
The e-bay sled replaces the glued in center tube coupling, dividing the rocket in half.
A 2 cell 250 mA/hr 7.4v LiPo powers it .
The 9”and 18” nylon chutes are from Top Flight Recovery and my e-matches are Amazon.
The bale of “dog barf” cellulose insulation comes from Menards.
The rocket with motor weighs in at about 10.5 oz.

After much testing, I settled on using a empty .45 casing with .75 gram of 3F black powder to pressurize a 18” BT-60 tube containing the main chute.


The first two launches were with E16-6 motors taking the rocket to 815'and 805' respectively.
On the first flight when the motor eject charge kicked out the drogue and rocket upper half, my nephew asked me how long my shock cord was. I took a look and replied “not that long!”
The bottom half had managed to cut the Kelvar shock cord and it free fell into tall grass unharmed. The upper half hung by the drogue until the main deployed and came down a bit further downrange than planned.


The second flight was flawless after I replaced the bottom half shock cord with elastic.
Very satisfying!
I'd like to thank the folks here on the forum for providing the info I used to make this happen.
I'm sure it made the difference between failure and success.
N0QBH
 

LRIPbros

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I just got one of these kits also and plan to also do DD. I am looking at the Eggtimer TRS. My goal is to get it to 5000ft and find it.
 

N0QBH

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Flew the Star Orbiter again Saturday. This time with a F15-6 motor and the main open set to 300'.
Altimeter said 1328' and the main chute opening was closer to 150' above ground than 300', but considering how the system works, it's a reasonable amount of error. Also used an aluminum .45 cal size ejection charge container my brother machined for me. 1/2 the weight of the brass when loaded.
 

LRIPbros

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Can you post some pictures of the machined brass? I have plenty of that on hand. Thanks
 

N0QBH

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The container he made is aluminum with the same wall thickness and sizing as a brass casing.
I'll try get a photo tonight.
 

N0QBH

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end_view_45.jpgtop_view_45.jpg

Here's comparison photos between the machined aluminum and brass BP containers.
The brass weighs .165 oz and the aluminum is .07 oz.
 

LRIPbros

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Thanks for the pics. It's gonna be a couple months til I can get to my Star Orbiter build.
 

N0QBH

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Flew the Star Orbiter again Mothers Day this time using the lighter ejection charge holder and gained 14 feet! :)
Flawless flight with max altitude of 1342' with another F15-6 motor. Again the 2nd deploy was at 300' and it looked like it.
 

N0QBH

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Unfortunately, the Star Orbiter had it's last flight this evening due to a wet landing.
The overshoot happened because both chutes deployed at the motor ejection point.
I watched it land about 200' from shore. A couple out fishing picked it up a few minutes later, the Quark altimeter still beeping away.
1208' max. A possible cause for the nose cone to pop loose - this was my 1st try using a 4 second delay. It was probably moving faster than with the 6 second delays I used in the past.
I'll salvage the nylon chutes and maybe the sled. Electronics and cardboard are toast.
Fortunately, there's a backup under construction :)
 

Tinker

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Unfortunately, the Star Orbiter had it's last flight this evening due to a wet landing.
The overshoot happened because both chutes deployed at the motor ejection point.
I watched it land about 200' from shore. A couple out fishing picked it up a few minutes later, the Quark altimeter still beeping away.
1208' max. A possible cause for the nose cone to pop loose - this was my 1st try using a 4 second delay. It was probably moving faster than with the 6 second delays I used in the past.
I'll salvage the nylon chutes and maybe the sled. Electronics and cardboard are toast.
Fortunately, there's a backup under construction :)
I just got finished working on the sled for my DD Star Orbiter for the night and thought I would read the forums before bed. Now I am going to dream of splash downs with my very first flight electronics. (EasyMini). Uggg....

Very Sorry about your rocket. May I ask what you plan to improve this time around?

Tinker
 

BEC

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Sorry about your loss.

I suspect you already know this, but the Star Orbiter is perfect for the Jolly Logic Chute Release. I put up five flights under pretty windy conditions at NSL today on one of mine, all on Estes F15-8s. Average of the five flights was 1602 feet.

I need two more like that plus one of about half that for the Sierra Blanca Challenge I'm working on (cumulative flights closest to 12,003 feet without going over).

Other than having a short payload section made from the top 5 inches of the model and using a Semroc baffle, it is otherwise stock. I'm even using the stock 'chute and shock cord (though the latter is tied to the Kevlar that came with the baffle). Altitude data is from a Jolly Logic AltimeterThree being carried in that payload compartment. The Chute Release set at 300 feet is tethered to the screw eye in the base of the payload section (where the 'chute and shock cord are also tied).
 

N0QBH

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Next time I'm going to insure the sled to lower half fit is looser and the nose cone fit tighter.
I used a small slice of clear tape to secure the nose cone to the upper body tube, but the violent jarring it took when the motor ejected the too tight sled broke it loose.
FWIW, I agree the Jolly Logic route is probably the better way to do this, but I like the challenge of electronics and black powder :)
Mike
 

Tinker

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Well, I finished the DD Star Orbiter this week and I am going to Hartsel to launch it. (Tripoli 2 day thingy) I thought I would forgo the back powder and use a F composite, but the F50-9 was almost as much as two G74's that I opted for the later. Fins are air-foiled best I can, then papered and completely brushed with CA. I used Epoxy to adhere the fins and for the fillets.

If she holds together for the G74 (95n Max) I will try the G78 (~102n Max). If she can hold for these two I may try for my level 1 on an H115. Going to put papering fins to the challenge.

Tinker
 
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