# Inexpensive Level 1

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Last edited:

#### MaxQ

##### Well-Known Member
Personal opinion here. If some of your members lack the ability to construct an L1 bird they need to spend some time and money in MPR. An L1 cert isn't just a merit badge. Get those college kids to do it the "right" way not the "right now" way. We have had some interesting experiences with college kids at our launches.

#### new2hpr

##### Well-Known Member
If $50-$60 is too much, how are all these college kids going to pay their memberships for NAR or TRA? Can't really have a cert without it.

I think some decent G-powered birds would inspire just as much enthusiasm, without breaking the bank.

-Ken

(a 3x F39T cluster got me hooked)

#### RocketFeller

##### Well-Known Member
Just tell them to think of it like a textbook - you're lucky if a used book costs less than sixty bucks these days! None of my textbooks were ever as much fun as a HPR, either...

#### Richard

##### Well-Known Member
If $50-$60 is too much, how are all these college kids going to pay their memberships for NAR or TRA? Can't really have a cert without it.

I think some decent G-powered birds would inspire just as much enthusiasm, without breaking the bank.

-Ken

(a 3x F39T cluster got me hooked)
This is a great point! +1

#### talkin Monkey

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe look into group rate/volume discount from a rocketry vendor for rocket parts and shared motor hardware (Pro 29/38 cleans up real quick).

#### dave carver

##### ....what hump?
Any decent rocketeer will loan you a case for free, provided you buy the case if you lose it.

I know I would

#### cls

##### Well-Known Member
going cheap - another vote for Crayon rockets!

use 1/8" plywood throughout, for the two MMT rings and the fins. build it light (use yellow glue & good technique) and you can fly it on F & G motors. Doesn't have to fly on H & I motors.

You can use 3" postal mailing tubes for airframes, but making nose cones for them will as much as to buy.

#### slogfilet

##### Well-Known Member
If $50-$60 is too much, how are all these college kids going to pay their memberships for NAR or TRA? Can't really have a cert without it.

I think some decent G-powered birds would inspire just as much enthusiasm, without breaking the bank.

-Ken

(a 3x F39T cluster got me hooked)
+1!

High power is awe-inspiring, but even F and G are going to knock the socks off of anyone who grew up on model rockets. Then again, I'm easily entertained!

#### bobkrech

##### Well-Known Member
Matt

I have a problem with your assumptions about affordability. We all know it costs most folks between $100 to$200 to just certify L1 if you are honest about it, and that's a good night on the town for a college student and a date. It costs a hunk of change for these folks just to go to college. They're paying at least $8,000 a year to go to GT as an in-state commuter student, and$18,000 a year if they are an in-state resident student, and from $35,000 to$40,000 if they're from out of state.

Engineering textbooks usually cost between $100 to$200 so a student is paying $500 to$1000 for text books. Sorry but I really don't believe that $100 to$200 should be a life style changer for most college students. If it is, then they shouldn't be doing High Power Rocketry at this stage in their lives.

You also must remember these folks are in an engineering college. Engineering colleges have student machine shops, and usually teach the students how to use machines. Have you talked to the Aero or Mechanical department to see about the availability of these facilities for students to use? I'd really be surprised if these facilities aren't available for the asking.

If these folks have never built a rocket before, why are you starting them out with high power. Let them learn the basics cheaply, and get some flight experience before they move to high power. Engineering students can read and are generally pretty smart. With some guidance after they have read the Handbook of Model Rocketry 7th Edition which costs $17 if you''re an NAR member, they should be able to design and build a basic rocket. Challenge them to build a rocket for under$10 for parts they can find at the dollar store. Let's see I got a 1.5" crayon bank (choice of ~8 colors) for $1, plastic table cloth makes several dozen chutes for a dollar, a spool of strong thread is a dollar, 2 rolls of masking tape is$1, etc. Carpenters glue is $1... You get the idea? Then have them design, build and fly a TARC rocket for$25, with BP engines only. (Cost does not include the price of an altimeter which would be a group purchase of 2 or 3.) TARC is tough, but it doesn't cost as much as high power and they'll learn a lot, and get great satisfaction on building a rocket that is purpose built to a mission.

If they can do that, then have them get Modern High Power Rocketry-Second Edition By Mark Canepa. That $28 from NARTS. Have then design and build a high power rocket for$50. It can be done in a similar manner as a model rocket by scrounging, and they will learn a lot.

In the end, they would have to spend $10 to build a model rocket motor,$25 dollars for a midpower TARC rocket, and $50 for a L1 rocket. Add about$100 to join NAR and buy the 2 books. And then there's the cost of the BP motors and a H-reload. May be $100 if they can borrow a casing. Throw in$20 to $30 for the altimeter and In the end it's going to cost$300 per person for what is equivalent to a freshman course in hobby rocketry. That's less than half of what an in-state student pays for one GT course! It comes out to about $30 a week over a semester which really doesn't seem that expensive to me. IIRC after accounting for inflation, from what I remember?? about undergraduate weekends, that's not even beer money. Bob Last edited: #### brianc ##### Well-Known Member Last edited: #### m85476585 ##### Well-Known Member Matt I have a problem with your assumptions about affordability. We all know it costs most folks between$100 to $200 to just certify L1 if you are honest about it, and that's a good night on the town for a college student and a date. It costs a hunk of change for these folks just to go to college. They're paying at least$8,000 a year to go to GT as an in-state commuter student, and $18,000 a year if they are an in-state resident student, and from$35,000 to $40,000 if they're from out of state. Engineering textbooks usually cost between$100 to $200 so a student is paying$500 to $1000 for text books. Sorry but I really don't believe that$100 to $200 should be a life style changer for most college students. If it is, then they shouldn't be doing High Power Rocketry at this stage in their lives. You also must remember these folks are in an engineering college. Engineering colleges have student machine shops, and usually teach the students how to use machines. Have you talked to the Aero or Mechanical department to see about the availability of these facilities for students to use? I'd really be surprised if these facilities aren't available for the asking. If these folks have never built a rocket before, why are you starting them out with high power. Let them learn the basics cheaply, and get some flight experience before they move to high power. Engineering students can read and are generally pretty smart. With some guidance after they have read the Handbook of Model Rocketry 7th Edition which costs$17 if you''re an NAR member, they should be able to design and build a basic rocket. Challenge them to build a rocket for under $10 for parts they can find at the dollar store. Let's see I got a 1.5" crayon bank (choice of ~8 colors) for$1, plastic table cloth makes several dozen chutes for a dollar, a spool of strong thread is a dollar, 2 rolls of masking tape is $1, etc. Carpenters glue is$1... You get the idea?

Then have them design, build and fly a TARC rocket for $25, with BP engines only. (Cost does not include the price of an altimeter which would be a group purchase of 2 or 3.) TARC is tough, but it doesn't cost as much as high power and they'll learn a lot, and get great satisfaction on building a rocket that is purpose built to a mission. If they can do that, then have them get Modern High Power Rocketry-Second Edition By Mark Canepa. That$28 from NARTS. Have then design and build a high power rocket for $50. It can be done in a similar manner as a model rocket by scrounging, and they will learn a lot. In the end, they would have to spend$10 to build a model rocket motor, $25 dollars for a midpower TARC rocket, and$50 for a L1 rocket. Add about $100 to join NAR and buy the 2 books. And then there's the cost of the BP motors and a H-reload. May be$100 if they can borrow a casing. Throw in $20 to$30 for the altimeter and In the end it's going to cost $300 per person for what is equivalent to a freshman course in hobby rocketry. That's less than half of what an in-state student pays for one GT course! It comes out to about$30 a week over a semester which really doesn't seem that expensive to me. IIRC after accounting for inflation, from what I remember?? about undergraduate weekends, that's not even beer money.

Bob
I think for a large portion students, our parents are paying for expenses like tuition, textbooks, and housing, while we are expected to pay for just about anything else. $100-200 or more is a lot for someone with essentially no income already spending money on things like food and movies. People complain about paying our club dues, which are just$15.

It is surprisingly difficult to get access to any kind of machine shops or equipment on campus. It is also nearly impossible to have a launch (even just LPR) on campus, though we are trying.

We are starting everyone out with LPR rockets, and working up. We built cardstock rockets at the first meeting (we have yet to fly them), and we have a bunch of small Estes kits ready to build. A lot of the members already have LPR or MPR experience, and those are the people who we are targeting the level 1 build for. Several people have expressed interest in getting L1 certified. I am also on the USLI (university student launch initiative) team, and we want to get as many of those members level 1 certified as possible so more of us have HPR experience to contribute to the team.

We are not going to do TARC because most of the rocket club officers are on the USLI team too, and that takes up all our time. Rocket club is just for having fun and learning about rocketry. At most we might have internal competitions, like a duration contest, assuming we actually get to a launch.

I did forget about NAR dues, but that should be just $25 for anyone under 21. I'll let everyone borrow my motor cases, so they don't have to pay for that. An H motor should be about$25, and club funds can pay for a good portion of that. We have a ton of Estes engines already paid for, so those are free. We have at least one copy of the Handbook of Model Rocketry and Modern Highpower floating around, and I would guess the library would have at least the Handbook. I recommended that everyone reads/buys them, but I doubt many people will because we have enough other reading.

#### bobkrech

##### Well-Known Member
Matt

GT is ranked in the top 5 Undergraduate Aeronautical Engineering Colleges in the country. I think you addressed a number of questions the readers wanted to know about in your expanded post, however I'm surprised that you can't get access to the shops in the basement of the Knight Building, especially after I read the GT course catalog that lists a large number of design competition courses for freshmen through senior student. The AE department has a new chairman, Dr. Vigor Yang, and perhaps you might be able to get a few minutes of his time and explain what your doing and see if he can help.

Good luck.

Bob