Estes Starter Kits ?

zooba72

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hello Everyone, This is first post, as a child growing up in the late 70's & 80's we used to launch rockets all the time and I wanted to introduce my son to it. My question - Are the Estes Starter Kits good? There are several on Amazon but was wondering what the quality is like. Any thoughts on whether this is a good way to go?

I do have my old rockets, probably dating back to the early 80's - but the launch pad is long gone.

Thank you !
 

BEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
4,602
Reaction score
1,471
Location
Auburn, WA
First be aware that they are “launch sets” as opposed to “starter sets” - no motors included.

Do you have a Hobby Lobby in your area? If so, go grab either the Alpha III or Tandem-X launch set there and use the daily 40% off coupon. Doing that you can get an Alpha III, pad and launch controller for about what the kit alone is in a regular hobby shop.

Any of those sets will get you a current version of the Porta Pad and the Electron Beam launch controller. If you have some of your models in flyable condition then all you’d need add is motors and wadding.

Most of the other launch sets include ready-to-fly type models. What’s the fun in that? :D
 

blackjack2564

Crazy Jim's Gone Banana's
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
9,166
Reaction score
1,370
Location
Savannah Ga
Yes I think it is a great way to get back into flying. You get a couple of "don't care if ya lose them rockets" & the pad/controller set up to fly again.
I do recommend going to your nearest hardware big box store Ace...Home D..Lowes etc. & get a section of 1/8in or 3/16in [depending on rocket size you fly] rod to replace the 2 section ones that come with kit.

Good advice if near a Hobby Lobby...Micheal's or several other craft supply shops that have these sets and use the 40% off coupons for good deals. Great way to buy motors cheap also.
 

zooba72

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thank you both for the response and suggestions - I wasn't sure about the quality, it sounds like one of the concerns would be addressed via the 1/8" / 3/16" rod. I understand the one that accompanies the kit launch pad has a habit of changing trajectory. Thx again !
 

afadeev

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2017
Messages
2,201
Reaction score
1,516
Thank you both for the response and suggestions - I wasn't sure about the quality, it sounds like one of the concerns would be addressed via the 1/8" / 3/16" rod. I understand the one that accompanies the kit launch pad has a habit of changing trajectory. Thx again !

For the first outing with kids - ANY Estes kit will do. And so will ANY Estes launch pad, stock, as-is.
Quality is good enough, as others stated, you will likely loose first rockets anyway.

To increase the chances of getting KIDS interested in the hobby, take them to a Hobby Lobby (if you have one nearby) and have your kids pick out their own kits. HL is way better than any of the small and mostly grimy hobby shops. If you don't have a HL nearby, pull up the Estes web page and let them pick a kit. Don't be surprised if they grab the largest or the highest flying ones they can find - let them do it!

Depending on age, you may end up doing 90+% of the building, but they will enjoy spray-painting.
After the first launch, they will get hooked, and THEN you start more serious shopping.

For the initial go, focus less on the equipment, and more on grabbing KIDS interest!

BTDT,
a
 

Rex R

LV2
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
6,208
Reaction score
224
be advised that your older rockets will probably need to have the shock cords replaced, some 1/8" sewing elastic from Walmart or other fabric/ sewing goods stores will work nicely. might I suggest that you might want a Big (or baby) Bertha as part of your fleet of rockets. their larger sizes and slower liftoffs will help the 'kids' track them and thus be more interesting. 2 suggestion, try and keep the 'kids'/audience 20 - 40' away from the pad when launching, not only for safety but it makes it easier to watch the rockets.
Rex
 

zooba72

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thanks again - Kids are you but love to build things, so I believe they'll be engaged in the building process. I found that I do have a Hobby Lobby in pretty close proximity, so we're planning to check that out this weekend.

Great advice on the shock cords - didn't think about that. I'll try to post some pics of our old rockets once I recover them, they look like they're in pretty good condition still. Thx !
 

BEC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
4,602
Reaction score
1,471
Location
Auburn, WA
If you're not a regular at Hobby Lobby: the 40% off any one item paper coupon is usually in the Sunday paper, but you can also go to their web site on your phone and pull one up to use basically any time (or more directly via their app if you've already installed that).

Oh - and also you'll need to go tomorrow. Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays.
 

BABAR

Builds Rockets for NASA
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
9,791
Reaction score
4,488
For each rocket you fly, start with recommended motor for first flight, NOT the biggest motor it will take. Higher probability you will recover the rocket to fly it more than once.
Don’t ask how I know this......
 

zooba72

New Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Yes - I was able to print the Hobby Lobby 40% discount from their website - I'm planning to get up there next week.

Solid advice on the engines, I recall losing a few too. We do have some schools with very large sport fields which make a good place to launch, the problem are the trees along the perimeter. I'm looking forward to it.
 
Top