just found a box of old estes motors

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Adam Selene

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i was cleaning up my storage area, looking for stuff to put in our garage sale next weekend, and i grabed a box that turned out to be full of estes stuff. ~8 packs of motors, a mosquito and a couple of other 13mm rockets built but not painted, a fin alaignment guide and a 25th aniversery catalog! (1983) so i'm guessing that these motors are old enough to go out for a beer.:D

anybody think they're still good? is it nar legal to try them? all standard certified motors, b4-4 c6-5, still sealed in the package. 2 packs of 13mm were open, they might be less likely to be good?

oh yeah, there was the base of a porta-pad in there too. i wonder where the disk and rod are?

there are some cool looking rockets in that catalog too! i think i'll spend some time tonight purusing the catalog and checking jimz's site.
 

wyldbill

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No, don't use them, they're bad. If you send them to me, I'll dispose of them properly for you. ;)
 

sandman

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No!

Those are mine...I left them at your house, I remember now...yea...that's the ticket...those are mine!

They are probably all still good!

sandman
 

Micromeister

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You guys are awful! You all know i'm the only rocketeer that flys ancient motors;)

Seriously Adam:
If they have been stored properly there as good as the day they were made, you might want to score and x in the top of the clay caps.. as the clay sometimes gets so hard it won't break at ejection, but the motors should function as well as new ones. it doesn't matter if they are open or not. I REGULARLY fly motors that date back to the 60's that are stored in my field motors box already opened. like this
 

Adam Selene

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nice box o'motors!

they were just lying in a cardboard box in the garage.

i'll try scoring the clay, sounds like a good idea.
 

qMaxx

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Originally posted by Adam Selene
they were just lying in a cardboard box in the garage.
Hmmmm...might be a good idea to use them in a rocket you might not mind losing. The temperature and humidity cycling over the years may have caused expansion and contraction of the motor casings. Since the casing flexes more readily than the propellant, you may have gaps between the propellant and the casing. This could cause the flame front to go up the sides, as well as in the normal manner, causing overpressuring and a CATO.

Then again, they might be just fine.
 

Stymye

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I second qmax on that
if they have been subjected to alot of temperature variation over the years don't put them in your favorite rocket right away ....mabey test fire a couple first
 

Elapid

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i blew up a couple of my favorite rockets today...
about 4 or 5 catos out of nearly 20 old motors we burned up today.

looks like my Mosquito 3D is toast...
:(
 

maxq2244

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I launch older motors all the time. most are from the early 70's. I came across a large lot a few years back and haven't had a problem yet. The B-14's are my faveorite.



Hey Mircomister, nice collection. got any B4-0(p) static test engines in that box?
 

Peter Alway

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The biggest issue with old engines is how hot they have gotten. If they were in in a relatively cool area in an attached garage that got up to "stuffy" hot--100 degrees, maybe, they should be OK to fly, at least in warm weather. But if they were up in the rafters and it got up to "car out in the sun in summer" hot, 120 degrees or something, then beware. Some people suggest that you shouldn't use an engine at a temperature more than 20-30F cooler than the hottest it was stored at.

The principle here is that when a black powder motor gets hot, the propellant expands and stretches the paper casing. When the propellant contracts again, it leaves a gap between the paper and the propellant. When the flame front reaches the gap, the whole outside of the propellant grain ignites, and BAM!! you get a CATO.
 

Micromeister

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Originally posted by maxq2244
I launch older motors all the time. most are from the early 70's. I came across a large lot a few years back and haven't had a problem yet. The B-14's are my faveorite.



Hey Mircomister, nice collection. got any B4-0(p) static test engines in that box?
Nope all the B4-0's were gone in the early 90's but I still have 1/2 a dozen or so 1/2A6-0's, a few 1/2A6-0s shorts and 1/2A6-3s short motors, some A8-0's and a ton,like two full cases of A3-0t's and A10-0t's. I've nearly exhausted my 60's & 70's standard motor stock.. Only a 2 or 3 of those favorite B14-5, -7's left, a few B4-and B8 motors and loads of 6 second delay 13mm competition motors:)

Peter is also correct on the Where they were your old motors were stored is most important. Heat cycling is the DEAD of BP motors, stored in an attached garage on a shelf on the first floor where the time doesn't exceed 100 degrees.. No problem. It's better to keep them in a controlled environment but in the garage isn't that bad as long as they weren't up in the rafters with the temp tops 150 or more. Humidity is only a problem in the DEEP south where you walk thru the clouds:) 75% +/_ hasn't seemed to hurt my test motors... 85% and up for a week then dryed out seemed to weaken the motor, still no CATO's but the motors didn't put out as they should. Sorry I don't have that test data with me... It's filed away... with R&D stuff for the late 80's...
 

astronboy

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Yes, yes YES!! Storage is the key!!

I flew a few Centuri 18mm 1/2A6-2s and 4s and even a B14-0 last weekend, and all they worked perfectly. They had been stored indoors since their production, "In a cool dry environment'.

On the other hand, I have a few long 13mm MPC B3 motors that are so swollen from what I am sure was improper storage (hot/cold/hot/cold) that they scream CATO! I guess I will keep those just to look at....

Fred
 

astronboy

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BTW: Does anyone have any ESTES D13s that they would be willing to trade for other old motors.... or even to sell?

Fred
 
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