Idea: When Corn Swallows Your Airplane... Er... Rocket

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K'Tesh

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Maxfliart has a brilliant way to find lost freeflight rubber powered planes in corn... We can use it too...

 

rharshberger

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It works...if you can see the bearing where the object went into the corn, you have an "anchor point" (a table in this case) as a starting reference....and you are actually in a position to see the corn field, and a buddy willing to help out.

Rockets in corn suck, most people dont realize that corn is either wet or dry (depending on irrigation or season or both), if its wet, well so are you before long, if its dry the leaves can be sharp and brutal, corn is also planted extremely close together, wear long pants, long sleeves, a hat, glasses and good shoes its never pleasant in a cornfield.

Best way to recover a rocket in a corn field is tracking it via GPS....invest in a good one and our electronics vendors make some fantastic options.

BTW if you ever fly TCR's field, there is a corn field over the hill to the northeast people never realize is there until its too late, a main opening at apogee by accident with our usual prevailing winds puts rockets into it at least once per launch, and at SodBlaster with over 600 flights over 4 days maybe a dozen rockets went in and only about half came out afaik.
 

rharshberger

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All corn deserves to be cut down and eventually eaten. Serves them right...
Funny thing about cornfields is, we check them after they are harvested and never find bits of rocket...ever, the damn corn must eat lost rockets afaict...
 

sl98

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Nothing beats an Eggfinder if you are lost in the corn.

IMG_9102.jpg IMG_9106.jpg
 

BSNW

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GPS is great but if you want to find your rocket for far less money, The Marco Polo Drone/Rocket tracker does just as well. I am 12 for 12 on soybean and corn recoveries. Pretty much everyone in my local club has one and it has not let us down. Even used it on my L3. Photos below!

MP saves the day.jpg


In the corn.jpg
 

rharshberger

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GPS is great but if you want to find your rocket for far less money, The Marco Polo Drone/Rocket tracker does just as well. I am 12 for 12 on soybean and corn recoveries. Pretty much everyone in my local club has one and it has not let us down. Even used it on my L3. Photos below!

View attachment 493587

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At $234 on Amazon its about the same money as some of the GPS trackers for rockets, and more than Eggfinder setup. However if it works then it works.
 

BSNW

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$234 is for both tags and receiver. As I understand, GPS receivers alone cost over $200. If one uses a phone to Bluetooth to a map, that requires cell service. I would love to know about a complete GPS system that doesn't need a phone for less than a Marco Polo. If so I would love to purchase one.
 

waltr

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. I would love to know about a complete GPS system that doesn't need a phone for less than a Marco Polo. If so I would love to purchase one.
Eggfinder system.
 

BSNW

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Eggfinder system.
Thank you very kindly for the information. It looks like a cool system. However I don't want to build it nor have to use another android device to use it or carry a laptop in the field. The other option requires an fcc technician license. Dont know if this is a valid comparison. If they had a complete system that did not require yet another device or a license then I would be interested. In this case too, I don't want to build it either. I like the system I have as it is ready to use right out of the box. Thanks though!
 

teepot

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I bought an Eggfinder. The one with GPS and altimeter plus all the other associated stuff for $190. MCTronics is assembling it. His prices are inexpensive for assembly.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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One of my clubs flies at a field that sometimes has corn planted nearby. I’ve never landed in it, but the advice I have received is that it helps to have a “screamer” — some kind of loud siren thingy.
 

waltr

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Thank you very kindly for the information. It looks like a cool system. However I don't want to build it nor have to use another android device to use it or carry a laptop in the field. The other option requires an fcc technician license. Dont know if this is a valid comparison. If they had a complete system that did not require yet another device or a license then I would be interested. In this case too, I don't want to build it either. I like the system I have as it is ready to use right out of the box. Thanks though!
No FFC license required for 915MHz link. No need for the Ham Band 70cm RX link.
No Cell phone required- uses the LCD receiver. Add LCD Rx GPS module and you have a independent GPS locator system.

As Teepot stated, "MCTronics is assembling it. His prices are inexpensive for assembly. "
 

waltr

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One of my clubs flies at a field that sometimes has corn planted nearby. I’ve never landed in it, but the advice I have received is that it helps to have a “screamer” — some kind of loud siren thingy.
Our club field has the 8 foot tall corn from July through October. GPS not best for locating since one needs to be very close to see the rocket (see above photos in this thread).
A Screamer is good since one can typically get within a few dozen feet of the rocket.
I have built and been using Ham band 2m RF beacon TX's then a Handy talkie to do RDF. Works quite well to walk me right to my rocket.
 

Mike Haberer

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GPS is great but if you want to find your rocket for far less money, The Marco Polo Drone/Rocket tracker does just as well. I am 12 for 12 on soybean and corn recoveries. Pretty much everyone in my local club has one and it has not let us down. Even used it on my L3. Photos below!
It's a good product, but the limitation is range - only 2 miles. I saw an L2 flight last year that would have been right at the limit of that range. You have to realize that while ground wind speeds may be nominal, wind speeds at altitude can be much faster. I've saw another 10,000' flight land this year farther away than that because the wind speeds at from 3000' to 10,000' were over 40 MPH. We never saw the chute at all; it had drifted so far that we were all looking at the wrong section of sky. You'll still drift a long way on a drogue at those speeds. As much as I spend on the rocket and other electronics, I do not want to lose a bird because I landed outside the tracker range. A few extra bucks are worth it.
 

Mike Haberer

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Thank you very kindly for the information. It looks like a cool system. However I don't want to build it nor have to use another android device to use it or carry a laptop in the field. The other option requires an fcc technician license. Dont know if this is a valid comparison. If they had a complete system that did not require yet another device or a license then I would be interested. In this case too, I don't want to build it either. I like the system I have as it is ready to use right out of the box. Thanks though!
Getting a basic ham license is very easy these days. It's not like you have to know morse code like in the old days. There I go, dating myself again.
 

BrendanH69

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A corn-field next to a club launch site....its verging on a rite of passage thing!

My 3inch AGM33 lawn darted into a full grown corn field. I must have walked past it multiple times. Eventually the pet tracker signal kicked back in next day so was able to close in on it and dig it out.

Same field ate my first love (an Estes V2)...before I used electronics. Never saw it again.:(

AGM33 Corn-Dart  08Mar2020 pic1.jpg
AGM33 Corn-Dart  08Mar2020 pic2.jpg

1639301834380.png
 

BSNW

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It's a good product, but the limitation is range - only 2 miles. I saw an L2 flight last year that would have been right at the limit of that range. You have to realize that while ground wind speeds may be nominal, wind speeds at altitude can be much faster. I've saw another 10,000' flight land this year farther away than that because the wind speeds at from 3000' to 10,000' were over 40 MPH. We never saw the chute at all; it had drifted so far that we were all looking at the wrong section of sky. You'll still drift a long way on a drogue at those speeds. As much as I spend on the rocket and other electronics, I do not want to lose a bird because I landed outside the tracker range. A few extra bucks are worth it.
Thanks I am fully aware of winds aloft. We had a 10,000 foot + flight in our club that landed almost two miles a away. He had both GPS and a Marco Polo. He completely lost sight of it. Seems his GPS failed to retain a lock on the signal. After a number of hours it was the Marco Polo that saved the day and it was found with this device. MP has a TWO week battery life on the tag. When he returned to the field I was sold on this product. I used it in my L3 that went close to 10,000 feet and landed very far away and out of sight for a time. It took me right to it. Also as a drone tracker, they are designed to track fly away drones, meaning they crash far away.

GPS is indeed wonderful. But many just want to purchase and fly their electronics and not build or get other items like 3d printed boxes, or use android devices. I also, like many don't want to utilize a license option. Just want to order it, open it and use it (when it comes to electronics).

IMO the Marco Polo's abilities are underestimated by many who have not tried it. But once seen in action, they get how easy and reliable it is. If it does lose signal, you have two weeks of charge on the tag to get your signal. I doubt a GPS tag can match that. I also got TWO tags and a base unit for less than $400 bucks that was ready to go right out of the box.

In the end most ALL products are good for tracking....it is all good.

Andrew
 
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Mike Haberer

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I get that, but then again, I can get a FW GPS package (1 ground station, two trackers and batteries) for $520. For that I get a 60 mile range, over the horizon tracking from other FW GPS using Lost Rocket Mode (which extends the battery life 5+ fold), spoken telemetry and a dirt simple, OOTB setup. The standard tracker battery gives you five hours (much longer on Lost Rocket Mode), but if I have a big enough AV bay, I can put as big a battery on it as I want; the 2000maH ground station battery will probably last a week in Lost Rocket Mode on a tracker. In a pinch, if your ground station craps out, you can use a 2nd tracker as the ground station, they are interchangeable (including someone else's). It's an extremely flexible and feature packed tracker for not a lot more moolah.
 

JimJarvis50

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I think it's best to use gps or a tracker. Sometimes a rocket can go into the corn . . . . . . and then move.

Jim

 

K'Tesh

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I think it's best to use gps or a tracker. Sometimes a rocket can go into the corn . . . . . . and then move.

Jim

I've heard of corn snakes and land sharks... I think you combined the two there and got yourself a Corn Shark
 

Alan15578

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I think it's best to use gps or a tracker. Sometimes a rocket can go into the corn . . . . . . and then move.

Jim

In a similar vein.., Flying from parks is nice. Someone keeps the grass cut, there is parking and often facilities. However, often rockets drift into nearby residential neighborhoods. Kids will steal free rockets, Adults may bring it inside and start preparing to use that return address, unaware that you need a contest return that day. You need to chase down and and recover models promptly.
 

tOD

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Tall corn can save the club money on Port-o-Potty rental.
 
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