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lakeroadster

When in doubt... build hell-for-stout!
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Location
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Howdy Folks. I'm retired and looking to get back into model rocketry. My first experience was building an Estes Alpha back in the mid 1960's that I bought with my allowance money. I then started building other kits and designing my own too. I built my last rocket around 1978.. it was a home made SR-71 looking sled that had wheels and a custom launch track.

At one of my last jobs we designed and built an oxygen vaporizer for NASA that is currently at launch site 38B at Cape Canaveral, and also an Oxygen Densifier that sits at the Wallops Island launch facility.

We also did testing for Boeing of the hydrogen tanks used on Phantom Eye HALE High Altitude, Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicles. https://www.boeing.com/defense/phantom-eye/

If I may, I'm hoping to learn what's new in model rocketry, since the mid 1970's and then design a build some models.

Thanks again,

John
 
Howdy Folks. I'm retired and looking to get back into model rocketry. My first experience was building an Estes Alpha back in the mid 1960's that I bought with my allowance money. I then started building other kits and designing my own too. I built my last rocket around 1978.. it was a home made SR-71 looking sled that had wheels and a custom launch track.

At one of my last jobs we designed and built an oxygen vaporizer for NASA that is currently at launch site 38B at Cape Canaveral, and also an Oxygen Densifier that sits at the Wallops Island launch facility.

We also did testing for Boeing of the hydrogen tanks used on Phantom Eye HALE High Altitude, Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicles. https://www.boeing.com/defense/phantom-eye/

If I may, I'm hoping to learn what's new in model rocketry, since the mid 1970's and then design a build some models.

Thanks again,

John

Hoo boy, A lot has changed since the seventies. Did High power even really exist back then? Welcome to the world of composites, both structural materials and propellants, and electronics galore.
 
Hoo boy, A lot has changed since the seventies. Did High power even really exist back then? Welcome to the world of composites, both structural materials and propellants, and electronics galore.

As I recall Estes D engines were kings of the mountain at that point.

Here's a photo, circa 1976, of my Estes Honest John, Peterbilt tractor, flat bed trailer and CB-76 base CB radio. Kind of a neat "snapshot in time".

Pete California Hauler and Flatbed with Honest John Rocket and Pace CB Photo Circa 1978 or 1979.jpg
 
Welcome back! If Estes D's were the top you will be very pleased to see our toys now!

Awesome picture! I love the HJs and that's a sweet setup.
 
Easiest way to find out what's new and trending in hobby rocketry is to go to nar.org or tripoli.org and find a club near you. Attend a launch and see what folks are doing.

There are lots of cool vendors and kits for low power. You can certify level 1, 2, and 3 in high power and fly motors that you never dreamed of. Build fiberglass and carbon fiber, canvas phenolic, Blue Tube, etc. Electronic deployment, dual deployment, making your own experimental motors ... the list goes on and on.

Welcome to the awesomeness.
 
As I recall Estes D engines were kings of the mountain at that point.

Here's a photo, circa 1976, of my Estes Honest John, Peterbilt tractor, flat bed trailer and CB-76 base CB radio. Kind of a neat "snapshot in time".

Woo Boy! that CB mic is the bee's knees. Cool set up with the HoJo on the trailer too
 
Yeah, rocketry has changed a bit...

Here are the new "kings of the mountain"...
O25000- highest thrust
https://www.thrustcurve.org/motorsearch.jsp?id=964
[video=youtube;LtX1A6yt0GM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtX1A6yt0GM[/video]

O8000- highest overall impulse
https://www.thrustcurve.org/motorsearch.jsp?id=533

+1 on NAR/TRA and OpenRocket! neil_w has a nice packaged install that many people recommend... the plain old .jar works for me, so I don't use it, but it fixes all sorts of problems if you can't get the .jar to work.
 
Here's a photo, circa 1976, of my Estes Honest John, Peterbilt tractor, flat bed trailer and CB-76 base CB radio. Kind of a neat "snapshot in time".

Is that a D-104 microphone? I was into CB's in the 70's, and the "lollipop" was the holy grail.
 
I was only a little tyke in the 70’s

- Motors of all impluses from A-O
- altimeters w/so logging
- GPS
- Jolly Chute release - turning singly deploy into dual
- Fiberglass, Canvas Phenolic and CF airframes
- making your own motors (not new)
- even done limited forays into “vertical correction”
- rocket gliders

Glad to see another back in it


Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum
 
I was digging around in some old archive stuff and found this 1976 order I made for some Estes parts for a scratch built rocket. I thought it would be neat to replicate this order for my next rocket.. 1st one I've built in the last 41 years.

Where do you guys buy your rocket components? Seems like there are a lot of options online, hoping you folks can steer me in the right direction.

I looked at Estes, but are they a good source in 2018?

Thanks in advance.

Estes Rocket Order April 1976 No Name.jpg
 
I was digging around in some old archive stuff and found this 1976 order I made for some Estes parts for a scratch built rocket. I thought it would be neat to replicate this order for my next rocket.. 1st one I've built in the last 41 years.

Where do you guys buy your rocket components? Seems like there are a lot of options online, hoping you folks can steer me in the right direction.

I looked at Estes, but are they a good source in 2018?

Thanks in advance.

First thing is the prices are going to be a little different. But yes you can order direct from Estes still, at full retail prices. Most of my low power kits come from Belleville Hobby. to buy what is on your list I would be buying probably from Rocketarium or Belleville Hobby. Many people also buy from Apogee Components. For mid and high power stuff good places are Wildman Rocketry, Madcow Rocetry, or Chris' Rocket Supply. There are many other places but these are the places I buy from.
 
For standard components, there are various vendors you can order from, including Estes. The only thing about Estes is if you want only one of an item you may not be able to get it since they bundle many of their components into a package: nose cones, couplers, etc. I stay away from Belleville and Apogee unless they have something I can get nowhere else because of their higher shipping charges. Jonrockets has standard components and free shipping over $48. But by far most of my orders go to erockets. Widest selection of components, in both standard BT sizes and Centuri/Semroc style ST/LT sized tubes. Look under parts from Semroc on the left side menu. They even have the clear payload tube on your list. Not many vendors carry that nowadays. Welcome back to the fold!

PS Forgot to mention Hobbylinc for kits and fin stock. Look under Supplies/Woods for balsa, basswood, and plywood sheets galore.
 
Welcome John. Lots of info around here :)

Back in the 70's I think a C motor was the best we could get here, and they were rare.

FYI here is what an O25000 (mentioned earlier) looks like in flight. It was a 1:1 V2 we did a few years back.
[video=youtube;xzcxEXHdHx0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzcxEXHdHx0[/video]

Enjoy the hobby as it is today, as technology and availability are amazing.
 
Thanks for the leads.. you folks are great. Looks like about a 300% price increase, 2018 vs 1976 pricing... seems pretty reasonable.
 
"BAR"... got a decoder ring for that?

Here's a list of frequently used acronyms for the new BARs out there:

https://rocketrycenter.com/showthread.php?tid=159

When I built my first kit as a BAR the instructions said to use CA to glue the plastic motor retainer. Couldn't figure out what that was. Back in the day super glue (cyanoacrylate) was scarcely used and definitely not in model rocketry.
 
Born Again Rocketeer :)
Here's a list of frequently used acronyms for the new BARs out there....

Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks?

I'm the guy who just "types" out the words.. been a long time since I needed my Orphan Annie decoder ring.

So to become a Born Again Rocketeer is there some sort of blood initiation or weird rituals involving chicken feet?
 
"BAR"... got a decoder ring for that?
Hey man I gave you that in my first reply. :wink:

So to become a Born Again Rocketeer is there some sort of blood initiation or weird rituals involving chicken feet?
This hobby has no shortage of weird rituals, most involving glue and/or sandpaper. :)
 
Here are a few more things that are done differently now than how we did it in the 60's:
1. Kevlar shock cord leader near the motor mount. Flame resistant, lasts longer than rubber or elastic.
2. Friction fit is out. A couple of wraps of tape at the end of the engine/motor tube will hold the motor in at ejection. Believe it or not, this works. Took this old BAR a while to realize this. Also makes it easier to remove the motor, no more pliers.
3. Thrust rings are out. A few wraps of thin tape at the end of a black powder motor will act as a rear thrust ring. The reason modern flyers leave the thrust ring out is because composite motors have a molded in rear flange that acts as a rear thrust ring, and come in various lengths for the same diameter. By leaving out the thrust ring you enable the full spectrum of motors for your bird.
4. This is why engine hooks are also out for those flying with composite motors. It limits the length of the motor. Plastic or metal screw on retainers are the norm.
Of course if you only fly with BP motors you can use engine hooks and thrust rings for the convenience.
5. Laser cut fins in kits, instead of die cut (crushed) fins and hand tracing from templates. Although there are a few kits that still use fin templates.
6. Flame resistant cellulose insulation (dog barf), baffles, and Nomex (Aramid) cloth in place of paper wadding to protect the recovery gear.
7. Electronics! Altimeters, timers, beacons, trackers, chute releases, all with multiple features.

For mid power rockets:
1. Through the wall fin tabs and slotted tubes. Much sturdier and durable.
2. Epoxy and CA adhesives. No more gauzing your fin joints.

New materials, new techniques. It's an exciting time to be a BAR! Cheers.

P.S. Forgot one important thing: No more swing testing to check the stability of a rocket. Software like OpenRocket and Rocsim can crank out the complicated Barrowman equations and tell you how stable your design is. A boon for scratch builders like yourself.
 
Again... Thanks for the replies and edification.

No more swing tests :-( I'll have to use it as Q.A. for my first few comparisons to Rocsim.. I'm like that. Trust But Verify!
 
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