Fueling a Vashon/Estes "Cold Power" rocket with R134a

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bassplayer3114

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I just bought a 1968 vintage Vashon Industries Valkyrie rocket, which used Freon-12 as propellant and came supplied with a can tap with a 4mm outlet port to a small fill hose and basketball pump-style fueling valve. Since Freon-12 was outlawed some 20+ years ago, I planned to use R134a refrigerant for fuel. The problem I have is that the outlet valve threads on the cans are incompatible, so the can tap won't work. I need an adapter that accepts both threads, or a new can tap with the old-style outlet and filler "wand". I searched the internet, Wal-Mart, and an auto parts store without success. I found an adapter kit for cars, but none of the pieces it contained worked. If anyone can assist or advise I'd be grateful.
 

Tonimus

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If you've never used a side tap for a can, make sure you have it sized correctly before you try to pierce the can. And when you do go to pierce the can, commit. The more you hesitate, the more pressure you'll lose.
 

SCooke123

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R134a is supposedly harmful to the environment now. We have to evacuate and contain it just like R12. I don't think there are penalties letting it into the atmosphere like R12 but you may want to check first.
 

cerving

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A Vashon Valkyrie V1 was my first model rocket... you could launch them anywhere in Cali and you didn't have to be 14 to buy the motors, unlike BP model rocket motors. You might want to try "canned air", diflouroethane. It's not as bad for the environment as R134a, however it is a bit flammable, but in this application you probably don't have anything to worry about. The spray tubes that come with the nozzle should just about fit the rubber valve; turn the can upside down when you fuel it. The vapor pressure is about the same as R12, provided you don't let it get too cold.
 

bassplayer3114

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The Robinair 10102 won't work - the outlet port is threaded correctly, but it's @11mm instead of 4 mm. Unless someone makes an adapter.....
 

DanFrank

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R134a is supposedly harmful to the environment now. We have to evacuate and contain it just like R12. I don't think there are penalties letting it into the atmosphere like R12 but you may want to check first.
They only become "hazardous" when Dupont loses the patent and exclusivity on the given refrigerant. Notice how they "invent" new ones that are non-hazardous, just in time, to replace the "hazardous" ones. Big business and Govt at work together... The American way. LOL!
 

MALBAR 70

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bassplayer, it was nice to meet you at the CMASS launch on Saturday. Thanks again for the use of your CA.
Good luck finding an adapter for your Vashon cold power system.
 

SDramstad

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R134a does not affect the ozone layer which was the reason r12 was outlawed. However r134a is a major greenhouse gas and intentionally venting it is illegal.
 
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