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Amra

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Hi, I am new here.

I am thinking about getting into building rockets but I am not sure where to get started. This will be more of light hobby for me and nothing I will be too serious about (at least that's the plan for now). I just want a new hobby.

That is not to say I don't plan on doing it well, I just don't plan on going out and launching every weekend. (I also need to find a place to launch from.)

I am wondering if I should just buy the things I need from a hobby store or maybe order things online? I am feeling a little lost here.

I know the veteran posters here probably have seen a million of this type of thread but I'd appreciate any advice about how to get started.

Thanks!

- Amra
 

wwattles

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First of all, welcome to the hobby, and welcome to the Forum.

Now that the formalities are out of the way...

We don't get many posts like yours - usually people stumble into rocketry, THEN find this forum (commonly referred to as TRF).

I'd start out at the Estes Rocketry website, as they have a very good section on education that is good for folks just starting out.

As far as kits are concerned, start out with some of the Estes or Fliskits designs. They tend to have the highest success to frustration ratios around. You can find Estes at most any hobby store that carries rocketry stuff.

Also, it would be a good idea (I think) to visit the EMRR website (http://www.rocketreviews.com) and see what they have to offer. They've got reviews on just about any rocket kit you can find, and some you can't find. They also have a section dedicated to just tips/hints/techniques. Very good info!

You'll also find in this forum, in the room "Coffee House" a thread on rocketry-related websites. It's kept at the top of the room, and it's updated regularly. You can search through there to find a local club/chapter. From there, you can find local launches and folks to help you locally should you need any.

And as always, you can ask questions all you want in here. We're more than happy to help!

WW
 

JoJo

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you live in virginia? then you might consider launching herehttp://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/8561/. great launch sit and the next launch is on 11/06
 

JRThro

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Amra,

Welcome to TRF and to the hobby. I'm pretty new, too, having just got started in early June.

I would recommend some of the simpler Estes and Quest brand model rocket kits, probably available at your local hobby store like Hobby Lobby and maybe Michael's. Wal-Mart also carries a small selection of Estes kits and motors.

If you purchase one of the Estes starter sets, then you'll have one or two kits to build, plus a launch pad and electrical launch controller, plus a couple of motors to get you started. Altogether, you might spend about $20-$25 on a starter set.

The kits I have bought are those that are listed in my signature (below my name), and I can recommend all of them.

The Estes education web site is at http://www.esteseducator.com.

I can't recommend the EMRR website (http://www.rocketreviews.com) too highly. It is a great resource if you're interested in a particular kit.
 

GL-P

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Welcome!!!

As many have said, a good start is with Estes kits of Fliskits

The most important thing you can probably do is find yourself a rocket club near you. Great for showing off your successes!!! Also you don't need your own launch pad and therefore can concentrate on rockets more.

Don't be afraid to get involved in some of the threads! We love the input and that's how you learn!!!
 

powderburner

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I have to agree with the post above, an Estes starter set will get you off & running quickly

Check your local newspaper for a Michaels MJ Design advert on Sunday----they often have a coupon good for 40% off any one item, and many of the MJD stores carry model rocket stuff. That could bring down the cost of a starter set a lot!

If you do get an Estes starter set, the Estes launch pad setup comes with a two-piece aluminum launch rod. IMHO, you should throw this away. Go to your local hobby shop and get a 3 foot length of 1/8 inch diameter 'music' wire (high strength tempered steel, will not bend easily, really good stuff, about $1 or 2 for one piece) or go to your local home improvement store and look for their stock of round rod (often in a rack with all-thread rod, angle iron, etc) to get a 3 foot piece of 1/8 inch soft steel rod (not as stiff as music wire but better than the Estes launch rod, will still cost you $1 or 2). Whatever you get, check the ends and file smooth as required to keep the burrs and nicks off the tips so your rocket does not get snagged. Wipe down with steel wool to remove motor exhaust residue or rust, and wipe down with PAM (yes, the kitchen stuff) or light oil to help the launch rod last a little longer.
 

JStarStar

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Good suggestions all.

A lot of people dog the Ready-to-Fly (RTF) starter kits (by Estes, Quest and others), but they are a good way for a rookie to get his or her feet wet in the hobby, and for Mom or Dad or Uncle or whoever is the "Adult Supervisor" to get a handle on how a basic rocket works. And of course, the launch pad and ignition system is crucial no matter how many rockets you fly.


Hobby shops and some general-merchandise stores (Wal-Mart and Meijer's) sell rocketry stuff. If you pick up a RTF starter set and a couple extra 3-packs of engines, you are good to go. Hint: Before you leave the store, grab another pack of engines - you are sure to get out there launching and start to run out before you know it. ;)

But resist the temptation to buy the biggest engines you can for any given rocket - always lean toward the lower end of the engine range at the beginning. (1/2A's and A's, probably). Using a big engine, a C, in your starter kit may be impressive, but you might be sending your rocket on a one-way trip to oblivion, or the ever-lurking Rocket-Eating Trees. :rolleyes:

Once you launch your starter bird a few times, you'll get the hang of how to prep for a launch, etc., and understand how a rocket goes together, and be better able to judge how big a field you'll need to fly.

Then the fun really starts - go back to the hobby shop and start looking over the kits they have in stock - you can build virtually any kind of rocket you set your mind to. Practice makes perfect, and after you put together a few kits, you'll be putting out some snappy-looking rockets.

Bring a camera too - no launch is complete without a few snapshots!!
 

Missileman

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Everyone else has pretty much covered it.
But I do want to say Hello and welcome aboard.
If you get a chance go to a club launch in your area.
You will be pleasantly surprised.
I have been around the block a time or two and have never found a more friendly and helpfull group than rocketeers.
Visit:
http://nar.org and
http://tripoli.org to find a club near you.
 

gpoehlein

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I would also suggest going to the Apogee website:

http://www.apogeerockets.com/

and sign up for their newsletter. Also take a look at the back issues - there is a wealth of info there for both the novice rocketeer as well as the old hand (and/or BAR).

Greg
 

gerbs4me

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Welcome to the world of rocketry and to The Rocketry Forum:)
going to a club launch is so much fun, but you might get the high power bug and wanna fly the BIG stuff, thats what happened to me.
 

GL-P

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Hi. My name is Greg

"Hi Greg." everyone responds.

I have a problem. It first started with 1/4As then it grew outta control. Now I'm into Js. I couldn't stop. I was addicted. My friends sent me here to share with people with the same problem.

"Thanks Greg. We're all happy to have you here." the therapist responds.

How much am I paying you? I could be buying motors.

"Greg, fight it, FIGHT IT. We have faith in you"

I can't it's too hard.

:D :D :D
 

MissileDaughter

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Welcome!
I am wondering if I should just buy the things I need from a hobby store or maybe order things online? I am feeling a little lost here.
For supplies, especially the smaller rockets, the list is included with the rockets. They are basically wood glue (white glue takes forever to dry), plastic cement (for some models. I find the stuff in the tube works wonders), sand paper (100 grit and some other grit), a hobby knife, primer and paint. I use epoxy on some of the models. Five minute epoxy works wonders. Just don't get it on the table or anything like that. We have a spot on the island that got a taste of epoxy. The supply list may also say that you need sanding sealer, especially if you have balsa fins.
You can find these supplies at either your local hobby shop or your local hardware store.
Good luck! And, if you are able to, please post a picture of one of your rockets after you finish it.
And, I agree that it is impossible for rocketry to be a purely light hobby! :D
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Originally posted by Amra
Hi, I am new here.

I am thinking about getting into building rockets but I am not sure where to get started. This will be more of light hobby for me and nothing I will be too serious about (at least that's the plan for now). I just want a new hobby.

That is not to say I don't plan on doing it well, I just don't plan on going out and launching every weekend. (I also need to find a place to launch from.)
Ok I'll be the first one to say it...

Yeah, right. You are an Aerospace Engineer. 3 flights of an RTF kit and you will be planning a dual deployment 4" airframe on a 54mm M sized motor

Trust me, we all were where you are now...

Welcome aboard!

Another couple of sites where you can get some first class info are:

Apogee ~ Follow the link on education

Flyrockets

National Association Of Rocketry

Tripoli Rockerty Association

Remember one thing. Here on the forum there are no dumb questions. A bunch of questions have been answered at one time or another (some several times) and once more won't hurt. In fact often a repeat question dredges up new ideas.

One final thought. If you are new, stay away from the usenet group REC.MODELS.ROCKETS. IMHO it is full of great rocketeers, but the behavior there does not portray us as the nice bunch of folks we are.

A
 

jflis

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Amra,

Welcome to the forum and to a wonderful hobby. I am Jim Flis, one of several vendors who frequent the forums.

Several have suggest our kits (FlisKits at http://fliskits.com/ ) as a good way to get started and they are right. But first let me make a couple of suggestions (or, actually, mirror some that have already been made).

Model rocketry is very easy to get into. I got into it in 1963 at the age of 7 with no one to help me and I did fine. If you purchase an Estes or Quest starter set, the biggest advantage you get is that you get a launch pad, launch controller, rocket(s) and motors all in one package and you're ready to go, nothing else to buy. *Additionally*, in these kits you will find a wealth of information telling you about rocketry. (yea, yea, I know, it sounds like I am down selling my own product, but I am not - I am *up*selling rocketry. If you get into this hobby, you will come to our shop soon enough, of that I am confident).

That being said, you can still begin with FlisKits and do so with a great deal of success. We have several Skill Level 1 rockets (perfect for the beginner) and these will bring you hours of fun (Rhino, Triskelion (just released), the Overdrive and the Flea). We also provide free plans for an ultra simple launch pad and launch controller that you can build yourself for only a couple of dollars and some time in the shop.

Finally, if you have any questions, what so ever, you can bring them here or bring them to me personally and I will help you out. If you order FlisKits products, you will find that I come with every kit :)

Again, welcome and have fun!
jim
 

JStarStar

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Jim, I think the market is evolving to provide rocketry products for all different levels of rocketeers.

The Estes/Quest starter kits are very good for what they are intended to be. For those who just want to learn how to get a rocket into the air, they are ideal.

Your line is obviously aimed primarily at those who enjoy actually building kits. Some rocketeers may prefer just flying RTF, but almost always you get bitten by the bug and you want to fly something you made yourself.

In many ways, rocketry is in a more exciting era now than ever. The variety of kits available from different manufacturers is great, and there is literally something for everyone. From someone who just wants to stick an engine in a RTF rocket and go, to almost-RTF kits, to more involved models, to something as challenging as the incredible Apogee Saturn kits, you can find almost everything you need.

It's gonna be fun watching what develops in the years to come.
 

dragonshiprider

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I'm really sorry if someone mentioned this and I missed it but if not then y'all forgot the most important tool of all for a beginner.The Handbook of Model Rocketry by G.Harry Stine.I also have Doug Pratt's book titled Basics of Model Rocketry.Both of these are must haves for beginners.Just punch Model Rocketry into the Amazon.com search engine and I know that you'll find even more.
 

Bowhunter

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I would like to welcome you to TRF its a great place to ask questions and get good information about this hobby. You wont be dissapointed about the way this place is ran its a clean, Family oriented place.

Estes has many good kits and lets not forget TRF's own jflis of FlisKits they offer many wonderfull kits and awesome quality at good prices so feel free to look at everything and get some ideas and youll be wanting to go high power before ya know it. This hobby is addicting but we all love it.
 

Planet Andy

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Hi Amra,

Welcome to the forum. As others have said.. a 40% off Michaels coupon and an Estes starter kit and you'll be off with enough basic info and equipment to launch the next day with enough $ left over to buy more engines. Something I haven't seen mentioned to new folks, and some may disagree...I suggest using lower powered engines until you get the feel of the Rocket and your flying field. I lost a few models early on by wanting the maximum altitude. The level of satisfaction when your model returns safely is much better than the sinking feeling in your stomach when you have no idea where your model has gone and passers by ask you..."Is it gonna come down?" Once you've got your starter set I would recommend a Custom brand "Razor" as an early kit. An easy to build great flying rocket. Follow the code, build em', launch em', have fun.

Andy T
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by dragonshiprider
I'm really sorry if someone mentioned this and I missed it but if not then y'all forgot the most important tool of all for a beginner.The Handbook of Model Rocketry by G.Harry Stine.I also have Doug Pratt's book titled Basics of Model Rocketry.Both of these are must haves for beginners.Just punch Model Rocketry into the Amazon.com search engine and I know that you'll find even more.
That's a good point! I borrowed the 7th edition, which is the current one, from the library and managed to read it from cover to cover before I ever launched my second rocket. This book is a must-have for anyone in our hobby, especially adults newly starting out.

I also borrowed Doug Pratt's book and another one whose name I've forgotten that was co-authored by Tim Van Milligan of Apogee Components.
 

Planet Andy

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oops others HAVE mentioned low powered motors...sorry

like I said
Follow the code, build em', launch em', have fun.

Andy T
 

JStarStar

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Originally posted by dragonshiprider
I'm really sorry if someone mentioned this and I missed it but if not then y'all forgot the most important tool of all for a beginner. The Handbook of Model Rocketry by G. Harry Stine.
Yep, absolutely. The Handbook is definitely a must-have for anyone who wants to really get involved in the sport. It's a fun read, with a lot of history, great practical tips on construction and techniques, and explains the basic principles of just about everything involved in model rocketry.

Most of the book was written by G. Harry Stine, NAR #2, who was there at the beginning and helped the sport get established and continue to grow.

The first editions of the Handbook were written in the early 1960s, and some origingal sections of the book still apply today. But while Mr. Stine was certainly connected to the early history of the sport, he was never stuck in the past or outdated.

He kept updating through the 1990s with the development of high-power rocketry, more advanced electronics, and the Internet. Mr. Stine passed away in 1997, but his son Bill, himself a leading rocketry expert, has updated the Handbook to include the latest advancements right up to date.

See if your library has it in stock - most do. But better yet, order a copy on line - many vendors carry it, and for the $15-$20 price, it's definitely a bargain.

Pick up the book, leaf through the chapters a few times and you'll find a thousand questions answered, and you'll also be inspired to ask more of your own. Plus, you'll have the basic info you need to start getting those answers yourself.

Then, keep coming back to TRF, where of course we have all the answers! :D ;) :p (or sometimes we think we do!!!)

This isn't to say the other books aren't also very good - they are. Basically, it's always good to get more info, and those books do a good job delivering it. But the Handbook is just the cornerstone of any rocketry library.
 

Amra

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Wow!

Many thanks for the warm welcome and all the replies! It will take me a bit of time to look through all the links and such.

I'll keep you all updated on how it goes for me if you like.

- Amra
 

Missileman

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Originally posted by Amra
Wow!

Many thanks for the warm welcome and all the replies! It will take me a bit of time to look through all the links and such.

I'll keep you all updated on how it goes for me if you like.

- Amra
Why yes, keep us updated. We insist:D
 

Dbarrm

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One more thing. We all love pics. I for one dont care if its a 12 foot monster or a mini rocket I love to see the pics of peoples rockets.

Dan
 

richalex2010

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Welcome to the forum, and, more importantly, the hobby.
Where in Va do you live? If you live near Richmond, there is a clup that launches up in Mechanicsville (In Goochland County, I think) at Pole Green Park. Vikings Rocket Society] We also have a Yahoo group (the link is at the bottom of the page), and launch every 3rd Sun. of the month. I think that the largest rockets that have been launched are H motors (an upscale Fat Boy) and we will launch pretty much anything (even higher power, but we don't like making sacrifices to the trees :D).
 

BrnAgainRoc

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when you're just getting started in rocketry you dont ever expect to go overboard. But honestly once you see what rockets are capable of and all the things you can do with them it grows.Start cheap.Trust all of us. Once you get deeper into this hobby.. you will open the wallet ALOT wider. But go cheap start small and enjoy the small things involved in rocketry. Then start learning the complicated parts of it. Quest/estes rockets are easy builders and can be fun to fly. But once you do the scratch built and really HPR's thats when things move up a notch, weight, height, CG and CP and all those things begin to take a HUGE part of your build.So basically as we all said start small where most of this isnt a big deal and just try to enjoy it more than having to worry about shredding a $500 rocket on a $120 engine. Welcome to rocketry and welcome to TRF.
 

Hobbyman

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Welcome to the hobby! Get an Estes or Quest starter kit & your on your way! Try a hobby shop, the small guys need everyone's support! :)
 

sandman

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So, did we scare this guy off???:confused:

We didn't mean to!
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by sandman
So, did we scare this guy off???:confused:

We didn't mean to!
Why, just because his two posts in this thread, from last September, are the only two posts he's ever made? :p
 
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