Has Estes gone nuts?

NOFLYZONE

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My wife got me the Launchables starter set for xmas and both rockets have the '70s style rubber shock cord. Has there been budget cuts at Estes or have they forgotten how quickly they burn and break?
 

rstaff3

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From what I've heard the new cords hold up better than the elastic. You should invest in some Kevlar twince to use as a leader in the BT.
 

n3tjm

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I have always liked the rubber ones better. They strand up to the ejection charges a lot better. Also, the elastic that Estes would use, you would be lucky if it lasted three or more flights.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by n3tjm
I have always liked the rubber ones better. They strand up to the ejection charges a lot better. Also, the elastic that Estes would use, you would be lucky if it lasted three or more flights.

I think I feel a new materials test for rocketmaterials.com coming on.
 

r1dermon

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hit up a fabric store, i go to JO-Anne fabrics. they carry tons of shock cord material...good stuff. cheap too, like...20 cents a yard for the 1/8"
 

JStarStar

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Originally posted by n3tjm
I have always liked the rubber ones better. They strand up to the ejection charges a lot better. Also, the elastic that Estes would use, you would be lucky if it lasted three or more flights.

Well, since Estes used to give you about 4 inches of elastic for the shock cord, usually the cone would snap back and crunch the body tube on about the second flight. So like everybody else, I just went to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and bought about 50 yards of 1/8" elastic to make my own cords. :p
 

rstaff3

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I have never had a burnthough first time on any shock cord. But have had damage that required repair on both the elastic and rubber bands. I'm still using some of the latter, but have added the Kevlar leader in most cases. (maybe all by now).
 

rabidsheeep

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... ive never had a shockcord problem...

dumb luck?

never have had a burn through with elastic... there was once that it was really dry and cracked, but didn't burn through...

eh?
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by JStarStar
Well, since Estes used to give you about 4 inches of elastic for the shock cord, usually the cone would snap back and crunch the body tube on about the second flight. So like everybody else, I just went to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and bought about 50 yards of 1/8" elastic to make my own cords. :p

I've done that at Jo-Ann's too, with both the flat elastic for Estes rockets and the round elastic for Quest rockets.

The Estes X-Prize Lucky Seven that I got my son for Christmas came with a 24" long rubber band. I'll try it and see what happens. The rocket, btw, is all plastic except for the rubber band, the paper motor tube, and the metal motor hook.
 

Justin

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I have a pile of fabric store stuff too. It's done well.

I also just got a small pile of kevlar thread. I'm thinking of combining as stated above. Mostly to save space in smaller diameter rockets...

I just built an Estes Gnome with my girlfriend's 7year old. It had the new rubber band. First flight it was unmarked..Second it got treed...Didn't look burned 30 feet above my head as I threw my boot at it trying to knock it down....
 

Micromeister

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For John Q Public the rubber band shock cords are fine. If your one of those who tend to have the same models hanging around for decades don't use the rubber which degrades over time expesed the air. Switching to Kevlar/ Elastic or a stainless steel cable anchor/elastic type shock line anchor system as eleminated shock cord failure from my fleet.
I find it strange Estes just doesn't get it with the Kevlar/elastic mount like Quest?? Maybe they are afraid of some kind of patent problem if they used a system similar to Quest?
 

Stymye

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from my observations,that cotton elastic is the stuff to use
"polyester" type elastic will burn very easily.

does Jo-ann's cary the cotton type? I haven't found it at walmart

or does it really matter?
 

Bowhunter

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I use the stuff from Walmart but I put a kevlar leader in it or you could use a fishing leader mounted to the motor mount like the gorilla mount
 

LtSharpe

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I think they have found that in the typical lifetime of a typical rocket that whatever they use works fine. I've never had one burn through either but I haven't launched any single rocket more than about 10 times. To me the rubber cords are better because they don't get cooked like the fabric ones do. But again neither have actually broke... yet. The only rocket I've had sincere trouble with so far was the snap togethe firestreak,, that thing is crap.

Originally posted by Micromeister
For John Q Public the rubber band shock cords are fine. If your one of those who tend to have the same models hanging around for decades don't use the rubber which degrades over time expesed the air. Switching to Kevlar/ Elastic or a stainless steel cable anchor/elastic type shock line anchor system as eleminated shock cord failure from my fleet.
I find it strange Estes just doesn't get it with the Kevlar/elastic mount like Quest?? Maybe they are afraid of some kind of patent problem if they used a system similar to Quest?
 

AKPilot

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Here's some info straight from Estes' web site . . .

"It is Estes’ goal to develop and manufacture the highest quality model rocket kits on the market. After receiving a good deal of customer feedback about the elastic shock cords, Estes concluded that a better solution was needed. Estes conducted an exhaustive live-firing test program. The current opinion that elastic is better than rubber was determined to not hold true. Estes feels this change to a rubber shock cord is a vast improvement over the elastic material. The new rubber shock cords have out-lasted and out-performed the elastic variety time after time in real world tests.

Estes invites all rocketeers to test these rubber shock cords for themselves. Estes is more than happy to provide a customer or model rocket club with sufficient quantities of rubber shock cords for their own testing purposes. Estes thinks you’ll find, as they did, that these rubber shock cords perform at a higher level than previously known. Go ahead and test them against other shock cord systems, Estes is confident you’ll find the rubber shock cords to be of superior quality. Call the Estes Customer Service Department today at 719-372-6565 ext. 216."
 

LtSharpe

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Well they have a point,, the fabric ones get crispy. The rubber ones don't. That is what I have found as well. Although... if you use enough wadding you won't have as much wear.

Originally posted by rokitflite
I would not have EXPECTED them to say anything else...
 

rokitflite

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Well,
I guess that whichever way you choose to go, sewing elastic or rubberband, it is probably best to have a length of Kevlar at the begining. That way if anything burns or breaks you can tie a new piece to the Kevlar that extends out of the tube... Now if Kevlar didn't zipper the tube so efficiently...
 

AKPilot

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"Estes conducted an exhaustive live-firing test program . . ."

Now wouldn't that be a sweet job . . . playing or working with rockets all day?!
 

Micromeister

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Originally posted by rokitflite
Well,
I guess that whichever way you choose to go, sewing elastic or rubberband, it is probably best to have a length of Kevlar at the begining. That way if anything burns or breaks you can tie a new piece to the Kevlar that extends out of the tube... Now if Kevlar didn't zipper the tube so efficiently...

A piece of masking tape attached (folded over ) the kevlar/cable leader about an inch inside the end of the tube remedies that problem Scott:)

LTsharpe:
I have NEVER burned off an elastic shock cord attach to a Kevlar anchor. I have broken, zippered and burned thru Many a rubber shockcord, Why do you think Estes mounts them an inch inside the nose end of the tube with that awful paper shockcord mount?
As mentioned before, some of us Do have models that fly many many more times then 10 flights. I retired my 30 year old Estes Saturn-V with 139 logged flights, 1/70th Satrun-lb still flying at 60some, Cobra-1500 50+, Redbird Zero 50+ I could go on an on. If you plan an flying model more then 10 flights and Anchor lead/elastic is the only way to go. I use Jo-ann fabric cotton elastics, 1/8 oval is better then flat, 1/8" round is good from small models, 1/4" flat is great for LMR's up to the 3.3lb weight limit, as long as they are anchored to a kevlar or metal cable leader. NO brag just FACT.
 

LtSharpe

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As an example of how good it(the mount) and elmers 'glue all' can be I have a rocket in a tree about 40 feet up which was the first one I did after becoming a BAR. It's been up there a year and has suffered wind and rain including our current california monsoon(And our caifornia sun). It's STILL there, I'm a bit amazed. I thought the elmers would melt long ago. You see it's being stuck up there by the shock cord mount wrapped around a branch and the two parts of the rocket are dangling. Now if I DIDN"T want it to fall down it probably would.. I would say your situation with regards to the estes mounting system is quite extreme. They just didn't have you mind. Most people are lucky to get their rocket BACK after 10 shots or so. Sometimes I lose them after only a couple launches. I'm going to switch to streamers for all lightweight stuff. One modification to the basic shock cord system that I think could be quite good is to add a swivel, I have not tried that yet.


"awful paper shockcord mount? "
 

rokitflite

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"Now wouldn't that be a sweet job . . . playing or working with rockets all day?!"


Well, there was one time I had to do some testing of B motors. All told during the course of the day I fired over 200 motors and wrote down results displayed on the measurement device. At the end of that day, if you showed me a model rocket motor or igniter, I would have run screaming from the room!!! It was like one of those re-conditioning things where a bunch of guys show up in a van with no windows and "re-educate" you to dislike your addiction!!!:D
 

LtSharpe

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I firmly believe(and have found personally) that if one has a job that is the same as what they do for a hobby then they'll quickly come to dislike one or the other...

There is such a thing as 'Too Much' of a good thing
 

Initiator001

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Originally posted by rokitflite
[BWell, there was one time I had to do some testing of B motors. All told during the course of the day I fired over 200 motors and wrote down results displayed on the measurement device. At the end of that day, if you showed me a model rocket motor or igniter, I would have run screaming from the room!!! It was like one of those re-conditioning things where a bunch of guys show up in a van with no windows and "re-educate" you to dislike your addiction!!!:D [/B]

Well, that explains why Piester called me to his office and chewed me out for firing rocket motors without any 'supervison' at the Enertek plant.

Or, was this something else????? ;)
 

surdumil

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I've been using either contest rubber or 1/4" elastics in place of OEM elastics. Heck, the OEM elastics are way too short to begin with... at least with the Estes and Custom kits I've experience with.

I trust Estes' testing and accept their conclusion. My twenty-year-old kits are still using their original rubber shock cords without difficulty, and they even have enough length to them to prevent the dreaded "Estes Dent". Of course, the old kits have baffles, too, so maybe my experience is a bit warped.

As for Kevlar twine, no one within several hours drive sells it, and cross-border shipping fees are killer! Not a clean option at all.

Dwayne Surdu-Miller
SAROS #1
 

rokitflite

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Dwayne,
PM me with your address and I will send you some Kevlar cord for free!!! It is truly worth a try!!!
 

Gus

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I really like kevlar, and particularly like the braided kind Pratt Hobbies sells. Just wish I could find it at a cheaper price. :rolleyes:

As for swivels, i've been using them since I was a kid. I like them because I can quickly change out parachutes as needed. However, be aware that the swivel adds 3 more possible "failure points" to the recovery system. They can come untied, break apart in the middle, or have the wire end pop open or simply straighten out.

On bigger rockets, where I may be more worried about the consequences of a chute failure, I usually leave the swivels off.
 

Planet Andy

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As an alternative to swivels I've been using very small safety pins with some success. No they don't swivel but they allow me to change out the parachutes and/or streamers.

Andy
 
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