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First post - Firestorm / Loadster camera combo.

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ROCKETMANIA

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Hello all - for this summer's project with the kids, we decided on model rockets and settled upon some easy to build kits from Estes. I picked some ARF and E2X rockets because the area has little clear ground and risk of loss is high - it also helped keep the kids attention, focusing on launch procedures and later on rocket modification / testing.

Over the summer we have 20 successful launches and recoveries - only failures have been some parachutes getting charred or packed too tightly. We started with a couple of 001256 Alpha IIIs and the 001460 Tandem launch set / Amazon rocket - later we added a 002488 Firestorm. All totaled it was 10 launches for two Alphas, 5 for the Amazon, and 5 for the Firestorm / Booster combo.

The most fun for everyone was launching the Firestorm with BT60 booster, which we later modified with a payload nosecone from a Loadstar. We inserted 1 and later 2 keychain cameras, learning the value of weight and balance, center of gravity, and how they can affect trajectory. After some learning, we settled on a C6-3 for the rocket with the D12-0 in the booster, as the added camera weight slows the rocket rapidly after burnout.

IMG_0028.jpg

Our last launch of the summer was this modified Firestorm with two parachutes - one for the nosecone / camera and one for the rocket body - this was done manually, wrapping the chutes with some wadding, with the nose cone chute packed first, so it would push the rocket body chute out during deployment - this allowed for better video on the decent, instead of a continual spinning of the rocket body and nosecone when using only 1 parachute.

The decent video allowed for some interesting stills to be captured.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 11.27.10 AM.jpg

The rocket body descending, trailing smoke and blue wadding with parachute streaming but not yet deployed... The launch site is the concrete basketball court.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 3.54.11 PM.png

Later in the decent, the rocket body under a full (small) parachute.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 11.24.19 AM.jpg

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 3.56.03 PM.png

Disregard the dates / times, I can't figure out how to set them correctly on the cameras (cheap Chinese made with poor instructions, but durable).

Even caught a picture of us running to retrieve it.

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 11.40.26 AM.jpg
 
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samb

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Welcome to the party and great first post ! Your modified Firestorm looks very cool. Sounds like everybody learned alot which is also very cool.

BTW this site may have the answer to you date setting problem: http://www.chucklohr.com/808/index.shtml
 

ROCKETMANIA

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Thanks for the tip! We GoPro'ed the last couple of sets of launches, which helped ID some issues - some old tape on the rail was causing friction on the rocket body and caused a pretty bad corkscrew on the third launch - thankfully it steadied out but it could have been interesting.

It's also amazing to see kids reactions to a real launch - they have seen so much on TV / Internet, but the sounds, feel, and smell gets them when they finally see it. I'm sure it'll be old hat someday soon for them, but you have to spread the knowledge - interest while you can.
 

samb

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Thanks for the tip! We GoPro'ed the last couple of sets of launches, which helped ID some issues - some old tape on the rail was causing friction on the rocket body and caused a pretty bad corkscrew on the third launch - thankfully it steadied out but it could have been interesting.

It's also amazing to see kids reactions to a real launch - they have seen so much on TV / Internet, but the sounds, feel, and smell gets them when they finally see it.
My own personal fountain of youth formula: launching with kids and the smell of burnt black powder in the morning.

I'm sure it'll be old hat someday soon for them, but you have to spread the knowledge - interest while you can.
When that day comes put the rocket stuff away in a safe place. Like most of us here, they'll come back looking for it eventually.

Woosh! <pop> YEEEHAAA!!
 
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