High Power Sugar Rocket

Scout306

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I am a high school student part of a group that is in the planning stages of building a high power sugar rocket. We are tyring to reach an important milestone, the 10,000 foot mark! Any and all advise would be much appreciated.
 

Handeman

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Is everyone in your group in high school? If so, attend a local TRA HPR launch and find a mentor for TRA junior certifications and research motor making. You will need to have a TRA Level 2 mentor to fly the sugar motor at a TRA launch. They will be able to give you much of the information you are looking for and guide you along a path that would allow you to achieve your goals.

I would say a 3" rocket with a 75mm research motor in the mid K range should get you where you want to be.
 

rfjustin

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I am a high school student part of a group that is in the planning stages of building a high power sugar rocket. We are tyring to reach an important milestone, the 10,000 foot mark! Any and all advise would be much appreciated.
Buy as many components from all rocketry vendors as soon as possible, you don't want to miss out.
 

Scout306

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Is everyone in your group in high school? If so, attend a local TRA HPR launch and find a mentor for TRA junior certifications and research motor making. You will need to have a TRA Level 2 mentor to fly the sugar motor at a TRA launch. They will be able to give you much of the information you are looking for and guide you along a path that would allow you to achieve your goals.

I would say a 3" rocket with a 75mm research motor in the mid K range should get you where you want to be.
Yes, everyone in the group is in highschool. I have the most experience in low power rocketry and a bit in medium. I thank you dearly for the advise and best wishes for any upcoming launches.
 

Scout306

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Buy as many components from all rocketry vendors as soon as possible, you don't want to miss out.
I wish I could but a few high school students can't simply afford the components. But we go to a teachnical school with stupidly expensive CNC machines, 3D printer in both metal and plastic, and more. We have more experience in design and making the stuff rather than buying it. 😂
 

astronwolf

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I wish I could but a few high school students can't simply afford the components. But we go to a teachnical school with stupidly expensive CNC machines, 3D printer in both metal and plastic, and more. We have more experience in design and making the stuff rather than buying it. 😂

I am curious to learn how you decided that building a high power sugar rocket motor was the way to go. What was your inspiration? Where to you learn about this kind of rocket technology?
 

Scout306

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I am curious to learn how you decided that building a high power sugar rocket motor was the way to go. What was your inspiration? Where to you learn about this kind of rocket technology?
well, growing up I saw a video on youtube made by a channel called "The Kind Of Random" with Grant Thompson (RIP). It was a video on how to make homemade sugar rockets, and I did, with some great explanation to my parents as to why I should make propellants at home. I did, I fell in love with rockets and how they work. Roughly a decade later, here we are.

Its also easier to get my hand on the materials needed to make the propellant. Because I am able to get it from a local store in a a good amount of quantity.
 
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Neutronium95

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well, growing up I saw a video on youtube made by a channel called "The Kind Of Random" with Grant Thompson (RIP). It was a video on how to make homeade sugar rockets and I did, with some great explanation to my parents as to why I should make propellants at home. I did, I fell in love with rockets and how they work. Roughly a decade later, here we are.
That is one of the worst sources of information on homemade motors on the entire internet. Tons of teenagers show up on r/rocketry with packed powder motors inspired by that video or ones like it; they pretty much all fail to follow even basic safety procedures like standing a safe distance away or using electronic ignition. Many times the motors fail to work properly at all. Packed powder motors like in the TKOR video are inherently inconsistent, unless you have an industrial hydraulic press like Estes uses to manufacture their motors.

What you should do is find your local Tripoli prefecture, and attend a launch. Talk to people and see if there is someone who would be willing to mentor you. Build and fly a rocket on a commercial H or I motor and get your TMP cert. Ideally, most of your team members should get certified, it's a great way to learn the basic principles. You can easily fly to 10,000 feet or more on commercially available H and I motors, there are plenty of challenges in airframe design and construction for that to be a worthy achievement in and of itself.

None of this guarantees that you'll find someone willing to teach you how to make motors. I imagine that many people with the knowledge would be very hesitant to teach a bunch of teenagers they don't know how to make rocket motors.
 
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Scout306

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That is one of the worst sources of information on homemade motors on the entire internet. Tons of teenagers show up on r/rocketry with packed powder motors inspired by that video or ones like it; they pretty much all fail to follow even basic safety procedures like standing a safe distance away or using electronic ignition. Many times the motors fail to work properly at all. Packed powder motors like in the TKOR video are inherently inconsistent, unless you have an industrial hydraulic press like Estes uses to manufacture their motors.

What you should do is find your local Tripoli prefecture, and attend a launch. Talk to people and see if there is someone who would be willing to mentor you. Build and fly a rocket on a commercial H or I motor and get your TMP cert. Ideally, most of your team members should get certified, it's a great way to learn the basic principles. You can easily fly to 10,000 feet or more on commercially available H and I motors, there are plenty of challenges in airframe design and construction for that to be a worthy achievement in and of itself.

None of this guarantees that you'll find someone willing to teach you how to make motors. I imagine that many people with the knowledge would be very hesitant to teach a bunch of teenagers they don't know how to make rocket motors.
I 100% agree. That was the one and only time I have build a rocket motor based off a video from the internet. The other few times I have done it was with an old professor I knew, who taught physics and chemistry who aslo had a love for rocketry. He gave me great advise on getting into the hobby and the do and don'ts of it. I have made sure to use the proper equipment to make motors, with using not expose heating elements to make sugar based fuel and a hydraulic press on packed powder motors.

I thank you for your feedback, one of the many things I love about this community is that everyone is willing to share advise and info to keep everyone safe and hav a good time in the process.
 

cls

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It was a video on how to make homeade sugar rockets and I did, with some great explanation to my parents as to why I should make propellants at home.

ummm, rocket motors do not function by explosion, propellant is not an explosive. go away, you do the hobby damage.
 
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boatgeek

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A full K or baby L will get you there in a 3" airframe, either a 54mm or 75mm motor.

That said, you are talking about the largest jump in knowledge and skills in rocketry. Going from LPR/a little MPR to the upper half of L2 is not a simple or cheap endeavor and requires:
Working with electronic deployment (drop at least $100 here)
Tracking (drop another $150-$200 minimum)
Much larger parachutes and recovery gear (drop at least a hundred and that's if you sew the chutes yourself)
Much larger forces (learn to work with epoxy and plywood if not fiberglass)
Much larger ground support equipment (minimum safe distances, bigger rails, etc. etc.)
FAA waivers

To get past the last two, you're really going to need to launch with an established Tripoli club with a 10K waiver. That's doable (you're lucky you live near Vegas and not on the East Coast, where those waivers are extremely rare), but that also means that you'll need to get into the TMP program so that you're "legal". You'll need a mentor to help you along and you'll need to build a few rockets along the way to build your skills and certifications.

There are likely people who would be willing to help you reasonably local to your school. You will want to reach out to one or more local Tripoli clubs to see if any of them live near you and are willing to help. That discussion is an interview--the experienced mentors who can help you are going to want to know that you are interested in learning from their expertise, that you're not a bathroom bomber who just wants to make fire, and that you're interested in putting in the blood, sweat, and tears to make this happen.
 

Scout306

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A full K or baby L will get you there in a 3" airframe, either a 54mm or 75mm motor.

That said, you are talking about the largest jump in knowledge and skills in rocketry. Going from LPR/a little MPR to the upper half of L2 is not a simple or cheap endeavor and requires:
Working with electronic deployment (drop at least $100 here)
Tracking (drop another $150-$200 minimum)
Much larger parachutes and recovery gear (drop at least a hundred and that's if you sew the chutes yourself)
Much larger forces (learn to work with epoxy and plywood if not fiberglass)
Much larger ground support equipment (minimum safe distances, bigger rails, etc. etc.)
FAA waivers

To get past the last two, you're really going to need to launch with an established Tripoli club with a 10K waiver. That's doable (you're lucky you live near Vegas and not on the East Coast, where those waivers are extremely rare), but that also means that you'll need to get into the TMP program so that you're "legal". You'll need a mentor to help you along and you'll need to build a few rockets along the way to build your skills and certifications.

There are likely people who would be willing to help you reasonably local to your school. You will want to reach out to one or more local Tripoli clubs to see if any of them live near you and are willing to help. That discussion is an interview--the experienced mentors who can help you are going to want to know that you are interested in learning from their expertise, that you're not a bathroom bomber who just wants to make fire, and that you're interested in putting in the blood, sweat, and tears to make this happen.
I thank you dearly for the advise. I am glad people like you are willing to give advise to someone interesting in getting into the hobby seriously. Unlike the person above you, who told me to quit and leave.

When an 8 year old puts in his mind; mixing chemical, fire, and a loud noise he thinks of an explosion. At that time I didn't know the difference between a propellant and oxidizer. Obviously I know the difference know, but at the time I just knew it looked cool really.

I feel very greatful for the hobby coming into my life and showing me a route I didn't know existed. And I say again, because of people like you who give advise to the pure amatuer drive the hobby forward in getting the new generation of people eager and wanting to continue it.
 

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Please, please, please proceed with caution. IMO you need to reset your thought process as follows:

1. Throw away all that TKOR Youtube crap and purge it from your brain.
2. Find/develop/cultivate a local, experienced, adult mentor. Finding the nearest tripoli.org club is a good place to start as has been mentioned.
3. Invest the time to read and absorb the extensive library at http://www.nakka-rocketry.net/, especially his many, many, many words about safety.
4. Step 2 may take some time but you'll be glad you invested that time.

Good luck, stay safe.
 

thzero

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Please, please, please proceed with caution. IMO you need to reset your thought process as follows:

1. Throw away all that TKOR Youtube crap and purge it from your brain.
2. Find/develop/cultivate a local, experienced, adult mentor. Finding the nearest tripoli.org club is a good place to start as has been mentioned.
3. Invest the time to read and absorb the extensive library at http://www.nakka-rocketry.net/, especially his many, many, many words about safety.
4. Step 2 may take some time but you'll be glad you invested that time.

Good luck, stay safe.

Or NAR - getting through L1 and L2 is important before going into the experimental with Tripoli.
 

Handeman

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Or NAR - getting through L1 and L2 is important before going into the experimental with Tripoli.
I totally disagree. Getting into experimental motor making to start with can be a great way to start learning about rocketry without the expense of building and flying rockets. It also has nothing to do with Tripoli until you want to fly the motors you make.
The whole process of mixing, making and testing rocket motors can be independent of flying rockets. The two only come together when you want to flight test your motors and only then does Tripoli get involved and any certification is required. The certifications is for flying rockets, not making motors.
 

boatgeek

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Or NAR - getting through L1 and L2 is important before going into the experimental with Tripoli.
The OP is under 18, so NAR Jr L1 or Tripoli TMP are the only options available. I think Tripoli is a better choice given the immediate desire to make motors.
 

bjphoenix

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That is one of the worst sources of information on homemade motors on the entire internet. Tons of teenagers show up on r/rocketry with packed powder motors inspired by that video or ones like it; they pretty much all fail to follow even basic safety procedures
Go way back in time and similar things were happening on a smaller but still dangerous scale, this is what inspired people to develop products that became model rocketry. When countries were launching satellites there were no models of rockets so kids started building their own with various metal containers and various types of propellant, and getting injured in the process.

I think if a team is interested in high power they would be better off using commercial motors and concentrating on building the airframe, developing the recovery systems, etc. I understand that there are a few people who build sugar motors and also people who make their own composite propellant, if such a person could be found in the OP's area then their plans might be feasible.
 

astronwolf

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None of this guarantees that you'll find someone willing to teach you how to make motors. I imagine that many people with the knowledge would be very hesitant to teach a bunch of teenagers they don't know how to make rocket motors.

And there's the rub. Then they will, and already have been, going off and doing things on their own. Ironic. TRA is having their own "who flew the G" moment but ths time with the EX thing and sugar rockets on YouTube.
 

Scout306

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Please, please, please proceed with caution. IMO you need to reset your thought process as follows:

1. Throw away all that TKOR Youtube crap and purge it from your brain.
2. Find/develop/cultivate a local, experienced, adult mentor. Finding the nearest tripoli.org club is a good place to start as has been mentioned.
3. Invest the time to read and absorb the extensive library at http://www.nakka-rocketry.net/, especially his many, many, many words about safety.
4. Step 2 may take some time but you'll be glad you invested that time.

Good luck, stay safe.
Beleive me, TKOR is the last place I would get rocket motor making advise from with the knowledge I know now. To my everso matured brain now understand that it isn't safe to compact a powder packed motor with a wood ram rood. You need a hydaulic press.

I am planning on attanding the next local tripoli launch at my local club to find a mentor, aswell as my other groupmates.

I thank you for the advise and I wish you good luck in the future for more successfull builds and launches.
 

Scout306

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I totally disagree. Getting into experimental motor making to start with can be a great way to start learning about rocketry without the expense of building and flying rockets. It also has nothing to do with Tripoli until you want to fly the motors you make.
The whole process of mixing, making and testing rocket motors can be independent of flying rockets. The two only come together when you want to flight test your motors and only then does Tripoli get involved and any certification is required. The certifications is for flying rockets, not making motors.
I do plan on building and static testing the motors well before launch. To test difference mixtures to get the right results for the criteria that need to be met. The very first thing I every did in rocketry was build a small sugar rocket motor. I now understand how dangerous it was for an 8 year old to be doing something like that and the many mistakes I made that could have ended very badly.

Safety is the top priority in my book and is taken seriously. I am glad that there are so many people still enphasizing its importance.

I thank you for the advise and wish you good luck in the future for successful builds and launches.
 

boatgeek

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I do plan on building and static testing the motors well before launch. To test difference mixtures to get the right results for the criteria that need to be met. The very first thing I every did in rocketry was build a small sugar rocket motor. I now understand how dangerous it was for an 8 year old to be doing something like that and the many mistakes I made that could have ended very badly.

Safety is the top priority in my book and is taken seriously. I am glad that there are so many people still enphasizing its importance.

I thank you for the advise and wish you good luck in the future for successful builds and launches.
I appreciate that you've grown from 8-year-old you and that you want to learn how to do it right. That's a great growth curve.

[And to everyone else, let's recognize that, celebrate it, and stop piling on, OK? The OP is about 18 steps further along than most of the high school students whose first post is a similar goal.]
 

Scout306

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Understand the science behind your endeavor. Read the site linked below front to back, heck, buy the CD of the web site, and browse off line. You should have a good understanding what what to do, what to expect, and how to do it safely... and more importantly, get a mentor.

Thank you for the advise and link fo me and my group to study thoroghly. We are planning on attending the next local tripoli club launch to find a mentor. We are very lucky, and we appreciate and understand, that there is a lot of people in the community willing to teach and help us reach the goals we want to acheive. I just got the CD and waiting for its arrival. Again, we thank you for your help.
 

Scout306

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I appreciate that you've grown from 8-year-old you and that you want to learn how to do it right. That's a great growth curve.

[And to everyone else, let's recognize that, celebrate it, and stop piling on, OK? The OP is about 18 steps further along than most of the high school students whose first post is a similar goal.]
I thank you for reconizing this instead of criticizing me. And could you remind me what OP stand for? I am currently at a standstill.
 

Dan Griffing

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A full K or baby L will get you there in a 3" airframe, either a 54mm or 75mm motor.

That said, you are talking about the largest jump in knowledge and skills in rocketry. Going from LPR/a little MPR to the upper half of L2 is not a simple or cheap endeavor and requires:
Working with electronic deployment (drop at least $100 here)
Tracking (drop another $150-$200 minimum)
Much larger parachutes and recovery gear (drop at least a hundred and that's if you sew the chutes yourself)
Much larger forces (learn to work with epoxy and plywood if not fiberglass)
Much larger ground support equipment (minimum safe distances, bigger rails, etc. etc.)
FAA waivers

To get past the last two, you're really going to need to launch with an established Tripoli club with a 10K waiver. That's doable (you're lucky you live near Vegas and not on the East Coast, where those waivers are extremely rare), but that also means that you'll need to get into the TMP program so that you're "legal". You'll need a mentor to help you along and you'll need to build a few rockets along the way to build your skills and certifications.

There are likely people who would be willing to help you reasonably local to your school. You will want to reach out to one or more local Tripoli clubs to see if any of them live near you and are willing to help. That discussion is an interview--the experienced mentors who can help you are going to want to know that you are interested in learning from their expertise, that you're not a bathroom bomber who just wants to make fire, and that you're interested in putting in the blood, sweat, and tears to make this happen.
I agree. The cost of HPR rocket motors is only a small part of high power rocketry.

Starting off with homemade motors is the wrong way to go.

(I must confess that making rocket motors was what had first attracted me to high power rocketry before I learned that the hobby was already well established and advanced, and that there are many satisfying ways of participating without building dangerous motors.)

Get your L1 to L3 high power rocketry certifications first before deciding whether you really want to go through all of the costly and dangerous steps of making your own rocket motors. You’ll probably discover that you won’t save any money.
 
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