Identifying sparky motors

Discussion in 'Rocketry Electronics and Software' started by JohnCoker, Apr 17, 2019.

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  1. Apr 17, 2019 #1

    JohnCoker

    JohnCoker

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    Norman McGeoch requested I add an easy way to search for sparky motors, so I added a new column to the ThrustCurve.org database to flag them and marked the ones I could identify from the NAR combined motor list (marked with an exclamation point) as well as ones with the propellant types: 'Skidmark', 'Spitfire', 'Metalstorm' and 'Black Lightning'.

    When viewing a motor entry there is a line indicating the motor is sparky:
    http://www.thrustcurve.org/motorsearch.jsp?id=100
     
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  2. Apr 17, 2019 #2

    Steve Shannon

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    Great idea, Norman and thank you for adding the capability.
     
  3. Apr 17, 2019 #3

    mikec

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    Some motors are missing (e.g., AT K456 Dark Matter) and some are wrong (AT G75J 29/180 reload is Blackjack and not sparky, though there is an SU motor G75M that is sparky.)
     
  4. Apr 17, 2019 #4

    JohnCoker

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    OK, I marked all the "Dark Matter" motors are sparky and removed it from the G75 Blackjack. Let me know if you find anything else wrong.
     
  5. Apr 17, 2019 #5

    Bat-mite

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    Was this for the sake of folks living in areas where sparkies are banned?
     
  6. Apr 17, 2019 #6

    Steve Shannon

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    Not just that, but small sparkies, even G motors, may only be flown by certified flyers.
     
  7. Apr 17, 2019 #7

    heada

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    Is that done with any other propellant formulation? I can understand the restriction for fire control but if the certified flyers only restriction is just because they're sparky motors, I would challenge that.
     
  8. Apr 17, 2019 #8

    Steve Shannon

    Steve Shannon

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    Challenge away. It’s not something TRA or NAR requested as far as I know. The restriction came out when you and I were mods on RP. Sparkies may only be sold to certified flyers. I never knew the underlying reason.
     
  9. Apr 17, 2019 #9

    Bat-mite

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    I couldn't find anything in NFPA 1125 or 1127.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2019 #10

    Steve Shannon

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    It seems like it was the CPSC.
     
  11. Apr 17, 2019 #11

    Bat-mite

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    Figured it had to be the gubmint in some form or another.
     
  12. Apr 17, 2019 #12

    Steve Shannon

    Steve Shannon

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    It was either CPSC or a logical result of several existing NFPA rules defining model rocket motors and high power rocket motors. I've been looking and I don't find it in the CPSC (but I never find anything there, so it may just be me). However, I do find the following in NFPA 1125:

    NFPA 1125 under the Model Rocket Motor Limitations:
    7.6.5 The propellant of a model rocket motor shall contain no
    metal particles larger than 150 microns (100 mesh) and shall
    be designed to produce a minimum of ejected particles or
    sparks.

    The parallel limitations of a High Power Rocket Motor says the following:
    7.7.5 The propellant of a high-power rocket motor shall
    contain no metal particles larger than 150 microns (100 mesh),
    except for titanium (Ti) sponge.
    7.7.5.1 No Ti sponge particles larger than 2380 microns
    (8 mesh) shall be used.
    7.7.5.2 No more than 12 percent by weight of Ti sponge shall
    be used.

    Since the limitations of Model Rocket Motors do not allow for sparks or titanium particles, sparkies must be sold as High Power Rocket motors. That limits them to certified flyers.
    NFPA 1127:
    5.1 Sales Only to Certified Users. A high power rocket motor
    or motor reloading kit shall be sold to, shipped to, stored by,
    and used only by certified users.
     
  13. Apr 17, 2019 #13

    Bat-mite

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    Good detective work! I read those paragraphs, but didn't focus in on the distinction.
     
  14. Apr 17, 2019 #14

    Steve Shannon

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    It’s not easy. Half the time things are specifically forbidden, half the time they’re specifically permitted, and half the time you have to read between the lines.
     
  15. Apr 17, 2019 #15

    heada

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    Is it something that we should go to NFPA to request a change? I understand the need to control them for fire reasons but I fail to understand any other justification for them to be treated as HPR.
     
  16. Apr 17, 2019 #16

    Steve Shannon

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    It could be suggested. The comment period is open right now and anybody can make comments. I doubt it would pass. Given that most people don’t know about the limitation it’s difficult to argue it causes a hardship.
    On field injuries scare us the worst, but fires at launch sites are a threat. I think this is intended to manage that especially for model rocket launches.
     
  17. Apr 17, 2019 #17

    Nytrunner

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    Although I like sparking motors, I have no problem with the current limitation. It is after all in the National Fire Protection Association's rules, and burning pieces of metal are really good at starting fires.

    The limitation to certified individuals makes it allowable under the assumption that, through certification, the flier would learn or be exposed to enough rocketry good practice that they will know better than to light off a Metalstorm G next to the neighbor's brushpile. Not that L1 certification makes you an instant rocket genius (as we all know well), but it does provide a teeny modicum of check/balance for things.
     
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  18. Apr 17, 2019 #18

    cwbullet

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    I can see why they might not want just anyone Launching these in dry wide open spaces. After having put a few fires out, I understand the limitation some.
     
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  19. Apr 18, 2019 #19

    mikec

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  20. Apr 18, 2019 #20

    JohnCoker

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    Thanks, I've updated those four motors.
     
  21. Apr 18, 2019 #21

    DaveW6DPS

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    In California half the time it is forbidden even if it is permitted...
     
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