If you were starting over, how would you do it?

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DavidMcCann

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this is every APCP motor I've flown. Something like 80 flights..... and many rockets. https://dbmccann.wordpress.com/motors-fired/

While I've surely learned something on each one.... There are a ton of rockets..and a lot of overlap, and tons of time swapping parts prepping rockets, and it feels like a job keeping them all in the air.

If I was starting again... I think I'd just build an Optima clone out of blue tube, like I did for my L1 and have flown close to 30 times...but I'd have put a 38 mount in it.
And then the Screech, with a 54 mount, which could have flown on every motor I've flown. (and ironically has flown on none) Those two would have been the perfect starter pack.

Right now.... I think my MAC 54 Zodiac with a 38 mount, the Screech with a 54, and the 4" wildman extreme I'm building will make an excellent trio.
 

timbucktoo

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If I were starting over, I'd probably avoid this forum. Too many know it alls and those who think they are mightier than thou! I've gained more knowledge from first hand experience at the field.
 

dhbarr

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I'd not buy any of the Estes starter kits / launch pads. Just taking up space until I can give them to some kid.
 

DavidMcCann

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If I were starting over, I'd probably avoid this forum. Too many know it alls and those who think they are mightier than thou! I've gained more knowledge from first hand experience at the field.
Need a tampon?

I learned a lot here, quickly.... and people have been pretty brutal with their opinions. Which has helped. much left to learn too.
 
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markkoelsch

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David, that is a really excellent question, and something I had given some thought to.

My L1 was in 1997 using a Loc 4 on an AT H220. 29 mm, elastic shock cord, and dog barf. In looking back, a rocket like this is a good place to start. A 38 mm mount at the time did not matter to me, but I think that a 38 mm mount makes a ton of sense. I flew the hell out of it. Some flights good and a few not. Learned a lot from that in terms of using nomex, upgrading the harness first to nylon and then Kevlar, and the beginning of working with Rocsim to figure out proper delays and such.

From there, I saw dual deployment and wanted to learn and really get that down before progressing to L2. I am not one to try to run before being able to walk. With that in mind, I picked up a Loc Lil Nuke, and a few extra parts to extend it and make it dual deploy. Also 29 mm and light so I could fly it on G motors and fly a lot. I consider that some time well spent.

By 1999 or 2000 I progressed to mostly scratch building with 38mm mounts. This was my 4" L2 rocket on the J350. Dual deploy. This rocket went through a variety of tweaks, rebuilds, and upgrades. Still flying it.

Hoping to do my L3 this year.

Anyways, back to your initial question. If I were starting today, I would likely recommend thin wall fiberglass to start. It is durable, finishes well, and costs less than it used to. So, If I were starting today in High Power I would think something like a Wildman Junior setup for motor deploy for L1. Then I would do a few more flights like that to make sure the L1 cert was not a fluke. Then I would go to dual deploy, and fly it at least 3-4 times on H and I motors. Then I would consider doing a L2 with a small J.

Basically, I think after the L2 there are is a lot more to learn. In many respects building and flying rockets takes practice/experience. I really believe many folks think getting there certs is a race. I occasionally think that the certification system should be looked at a bit. Not to make it more difficult, but to insure a certain number of L1 flights have been completed successfully before moving to L2, and a similar thing before doing a L3. Just thinking aloud there though.

My L3 is also a Wildman Extreme. I had a couple successful K motor test flights on it when I tried my L3 cert about 1.5 years ago at Midwest power on a CTI M1830 C-Star. Well, that did not go well as the liner failed within the motor. I was able to rescue it, and it is ready again (minus an inch or so of airframe at the bottom, and no Aeropac tailcone retainer now).

General message would be to take ones time, enjoy yourself, ask a lot of questions of more experienced flyers, but try not to take it to seriously- it is a hobby after all.
 

blackbrandt

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If I had to do it again, I would have listened way more to the guys on here. It took you guys 3 years of pounding it into my head that I needed to listen. And it definitely helped some (a LOT).

If i had to redo my cert flights, I would have waited for better weather on all 3.

Especially my L3. :/
 

markkoelsch

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Matt, that a really good point. I am in Wisconsin, and mostly fly at Bong Recreational Area ( I know, a great name). It is some what constrained depending on wind speed and direction. When I first started in high power I would fly 3-4 rocket a days sometimes. I also lost rockets due to flying in weather with winds going in "bad" directions. If I had better judgement then, I would not have flown. Learning to control go fever is important. The just fly it mentality is silly in my mind - if you feel it is not right do not fly. A great lesson in life is living to fight another day, and it applies equally well to rocketry.
 

blackbrandt

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Matt, that a really good point. I am in Wisconsin, and mostly fly at Bong Recreational Area ( I know, a great name). It is some what constrained depending on wind speed and direction. When I first started in high power I would fly 3-4 rocket a days sometimes. I also lost rockets due to flying in weather with winds going in "bad" directions. If I had better judgement then, I would not have flown. Learning to control go fever is important. The just fly it mentality is silly in my mind - if you feel it is not right do not fly. A great lesson in life is living to fight another day, and it applies equally well to rocketry.
Go fever is what caused the failure of my L3. I should have waited for the winds to die, and if they didn't, I needed to have the balls to say that I wouldn't be launching at LDRS.
 

DavidMcCann

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Basically, I think after the L2 there are is a lot more to learn. In many respects building and flying rockets takes practice/experience. I really believe many folks think getting there certs is a race. I occasionally think that the certification system should be looked at a bit. Not to make it more difficult, but to insure a certain number of L1 flights have been completed successfully before moving to L2, and a similar thing before doing a L3. Just thinking aloud there though.
Thanks for the reply...all good points. As for the cert process, a number of flights or time could help. I also wonder if a sort of merit badge program would help address specific issues. outlines on how to break mach, dual deployment, MD, etc. It may be too complex to do that, and the current system is fine.... But being able to fly an H133BS in a mini magg (my L1 cert motor, btw) then turn around and fly a 75mm L in an MD for L2 on you next flight is kind of crazy. Mainly, perhaps judging flight difficulty/skill required simply by motor size is not the best way to do it.
 

dixontj93060

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Matt, that a really good point. I am in Wisconsin, and mostly fly at Bong Recreational Area ( I know, a great name). It is some what constrained depending on wind speed and direction. When I first started in high power I would fly 3-4 rocket a days sometimes. I also lost rockets due to flying in weather with winds going in "bad" directions. If I had better judgement then, I would not have flown. Learning to control go fever is important. The just fly it mentality is silly in my mind - if you feel it is not right do not fly. A great lesson in life is living to fight another day, and it applies equally well to rocketry.
This comment is very, very good. Bong is a long/narrow and constrained recovery area. LDRS there a few years ago was my first experience at really planning your recovery and "splash area." It is both an art and science that all L3 wanna-bees should learn.
 

DavidMcCann

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Go fever is what caused the failure of my L3. I should have waited for the winds to die, and if they didn't, I needed to have the balls to say that I wouldn't be launching at LDRS.
there are flights we'd all call back. I make sure, no matter how good it looks, I pack the rockets I want to fly, and then a couple safety rockets with G motors to occupy myself if its not the right day.
 

markkoelsch

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Go fever is what caused the failure of my L3. I should have waited for the winds to die, and if they didn't, I needed to have the balls to say that I wouldn't be launching at LDRS.
Matt, that is a painful and expensive loss if it does not turn up. Having the judgement to say no, and the courage to say no are sometimes earned by having an issue such as yours. Hopefully it turns up, but if it does not there will be another time. Let's face it, whether you get your L3 this year, next year, or even later will it really curtail your enjoyment of the hobby. Ultimately that is what this is about to me, and I would hope for you too.
 

markkoelsch

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there are flights we'd all call back. I make sure, no matter how good it looks, I pack the rockets I want to fly, and then a couple safety rockets with G motors to occupy myself if its not the right day.
For me now, I usually bring one or maybe two rockets that are essentially ready to fly. If I fly one that is great. I typically fly with my buddy Kevin. We are like a rocket tag team. We help each other with last minute prep, getting stuff on the pad, and really importantly with recovery.

There are times I go to launches with no rockets. I really try to keep an eye out for new/inexperienced flyers, and I extend as much help as they need to get ready. An example of this was last fall when a new guy showed up to do his L1. He saw Kevin and I prepping stuff and asked us for an opinion on something. We took a look at his rocket, and there were several issues. We spent close to an hour explaining what was wrong, and helping him to fix it for his L1. I consider this being a pay it forward/being a good ambassador for the hobby sort of thing. I did not have anybody who did that for me so I had to read a lot of ROL, ask a bunch of questions, and figure stuff out.
 

Cl(VII)

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Loki from the start! I like my AT stuff, but had I known how much Scott was going to expand the Loki line over the last 4 years I would have focused there. Not that I won't end up with all of it anyway. :wink:
 

grouch

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I have made the deep end plunge on many a hobby. I tried very hard to avoid making that mistake with rocketry and for the most part I have been pretty successful at it. I think if I were to do it all over I'd stick with 29mm project and slowly explore the edges. There are many reasons for this but mostly cost and space, 29mm's seem to take up less on both accounts. Apart from my L2, my most memorable flights have all been powered by the little motors.
 

Bat-mite

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If I had it all to do again, I'd have skipped levels 1 and 2 and gone straight to level 3. All those years wasted on small rockets and small motors. :wink:

:lol:
 

AfterBurners

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I would avoid all ESTES and other low power kits. Jump in to mid power and only buy kits that I'm willing to build when they arrive. No build piles. I'm pretty stream line with this hobby as it is, but even myself think I have no many kits just hanging around
 

DavidMcCann

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If I had it all to do again, I'd have skipped levels 1 and 2 and gone straight to level 3. All those years wasted on small rockets and small motors. :wink:

:lol:
lol sounds fun :)


i learned a lot doing mid power. I do wish I'd joined a club sooner, and flown 29/180 loads instead of all that single use G
 

Bat-mite

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lol sounds fun :)


i learned a lot doing mid power. I do wish I'd joined a club sooner, and flown 29/180 loads instead of all that single use G
Despite my winky guy and laughing guy, someone is still going to get really ticked off by my post. Wait for it ....
 

Banzai88

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If I had to do it again, I would:

Build my L1 bird with a 38mm mount
Build my L2 bird with a 54mm mount
Put more shock cord/recovery harness in everything
Put more dog barf in everything
Discovered RocketPoxy and 4500 earlier
Discovered OR earlier
Learned earlier to weed out fact from crap on TRF

I don't regret any of the 29mm purchases that I've made, or any of the motors that I've burned, but I surely should have gone one motor tube size bigger on my L1 and L2 cert birds and then adapted down as appropriate.
 
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Woody's Workshop

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If I had to start over again?

I wouldn't.

Shooting and rocketry. 2 hobbies that you literally burn your money.

Too many rockets I want. There's only about a dozen guns I want, several same caliber.
Magnum Research Revolver 7" and Marlin's Cowboy Lever, both in 45-70 would be my 1st choices.
 

Bat-mite

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Woody's Workshop

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DavidMcCann

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I've got an 11-87 with a rifled barrel and slughunter Nikon scope, and an 870 with a pile a barrels between them. If there's something in North America crawling around I can't handle with those two, I don't wanna meet it.
 

chris m

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If I had to do it all over again . A 54MM on anything 3 inch or bigger adapt down . Not get ticked off and left for 3years and not post any build threads . And post less questions
 
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