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Alan R

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Agreed.. Unfortunately the one hobby shop in my area that carries rockets has a staff with very poor attitudes.
Or $35 for a Big Daddy!!
Sad. and sad.
Mine is run by pretty nice guys, I shop there first because they do carry the odds n ends that I can't get otherwise (music wire etc). I buy what I can before moving on to HL
 

jqavins

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Try your local hobby shop first if you have one. Especially in these times.
Hear hear. My "local" hoby shop (LHS) is roughly an hour's drive away, but it's worth the trip once ina while.
Agreed.. Unfortunately the one hobby shop in my area that carries rockets has a staff with very poor attitudes.
But the message to Christopher (the OP, in case anyone forgot) should include that this is not typical. All too many LHSs have little or no rocket stuff. Still, if they have anything they probably have some strater sets, and however little or nothing they have the vast majority won't be a-holes about it.

I shop there first because they do carry the odds n ends that I can't get otherwise (music wire etc). I buy what I can before moving on to HL.
(Ninjad) Yeah, I meant to mention that. Glue, paint, piano wire, the metal leaf I'll be using on some rocket in the nearish future, all sorts of good stuff for rocket building (and other cool stuff, rocketry related or not, that you didn't know you absolutely need).
 
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KilroySmith

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OK, I'll take the thread in a slightly different direction....
When I started in Rockets with my kids, I made the mistake of following in Tim "The Toolman" Taylor's footsteps - "Mo' Power!". I bought rockets for the kids based on the altitude on the package - "That one only goes to 500 feet, this one goes to 750 feet!". Guess which one we bought?

Looking back, the kids just wanted to build a rocket, and be able to watch it launch, pop, and land. I wanted to build the fastest, highest rocket. Unfortunately, my choices led to too many launches where we lost sight of the rocket until maybe we could see a puff of smoke when the ejection charge went off, or maybe someone would catch sight of it as it floated down to the ground, or maybe someone would catch sight of it as it drifted into unrecoverable areas. My suggestion is to build fat rockets - they don't go nearly as high, so they're much more entertaining to watch, and they don't drift as far downwind. Don't automatically reach for the 'C' engine just because it fits in the rocket - prefer the 'A' or 'B' because they keep the rocket closer. Keep the 'C' for wide-open spaces on rockets that you don't mind losing. I still have a tiny little kit in the bin to be made someday called the "Cee-Yah", that has a tag line on the instructions of "Put a C Motor in it and say CEE-YAH!". Not really what you want to start the kids out with.
 

K'Tesh

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With the rockets that can fly out of sight, one thing that *MIGHT* help you recover them is a candy wrapper... You know, the really reflective mylar stuff that sometimes comes wrapped around certain candies? One of those, taped to the end of a streamer, will flutter as the rocket descends. IF the sky is clear and sunny, that might give you a flash of light to attract your attention to where the rocket is.

In this video of my L1's flight you can see a flash as the rocket comes down on parachute. About 1 minute in, you'll hear a British voice (Rob Appleton) suggest the glistening is the duct tape that was used to repair the nosecone from the failed attempt. However, I'm certain that it's the very thin strips of chrome Trim Monokote I had wrapped around the lower section of the rocket, and a small strip I applied to the the base of the nosecone (to simulate the "metal" of the "can"). In the photo, you can see the strips just above the fins, at the top of the body tube, and at the back end of the exposed section of the broken nosecone.

1607385200414.png
 
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ewomack

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Maybe the rocket science starter kit? If nothing else, the title would make anyone feel smarter. :D
1607388361002.png

It comes with an easy to build rocket, launch pad, 2 different engines, igniters and (admittedly cheap) hand-held altimeter. It has everything in one box.
 

Back_at_it

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With the rockets that can fly out of sight, one thing that *MIGHT* help you recover them is a candy wrapper... You know, the really reflective mylar stuff that sometimes comes wrapped around certain candies? One of those, taped to the end of a streamer, will flutter as the rocket descends. IF the sky is clear and sunny, that might give you a flash of light to attract your attention to where the rocket is.
K,

Great suggestion. Even if you're using a parachute it's not a bad idea to attach a section of foil or mylar streamer to help with tracking. I learned pretty quickly that the stock plastic type streamers don't really do much to slow a rocket's decent and they aren't the easiest things to see in the sky so really, what's the point.

I have a bunch of different width and length foil type streamers in my range box that get used based the rocket weight and wind. If you crinkle/fold them the way Tim demonstrates (watch the video in the Apogee link) they really do work to slow your rocket and they are super easy to see. Just one word of advise. Call Apogee and see what colors they have in stock. I've ordered a couple of times and the colors vary. I prefer the Silver or Gold but they sometimes have Red or Purple which isn't as easy to see. I recommend buying the longest and widest ones they sell and cutting them to the width and length you want.



For simply tracking, I use this stuff. A 1x24 inch piece clipped to your shock cord will be really noticeable. I use this in addition to my parachutes.

 

Alan R

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Looking back, the kids just wanted to build a rocket, and be able to watch it launch, pop, and land.
Before I did these rockets, I was playing with big water rockets. If your kids are really young, it's a good way to get them started. Launch soda bottles with just water and air pump.
Back in 1998 I had this van I turned into a spaceship and I would open the rear doors and launch 2-liter water rockets - with parachutes. Built one of these pvc launchers. Gave it away just a month ago to my old boss. His kids are only about 8 yo, so perfect for them to play with...


pvc-single-bottle-rocket-launcher-plans-500x499.png
van4.jpg
van3.jpg
 

neil_w

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The Astrocam starter set (https://estesrockets.com/product/005325-astrocam-starter-set/) is also a good one, if you don't mind spending a bit more but you get the camera for taking in-flight video.

If you're both new to this, then I really definitely recommend one of the Estes starter sets, either the Tandem-X or the Astrocam. You can't go wrong with those.
 

PayLoad

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Nothing - NOTHING - bests an estes Bullpup & Launch set. Sexy, always flies right, and if anything will turn a kid on to future rockets, it will be this relatively simple build & Launch
 
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