LOC IV

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lstmysock11

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Finding a club and mentor's is going to help you a lot. I built a LOC Graduator first, then the LOC IV. The goal was always to get an L1 cert. I didn't rush that. I watched John Coker's videos quite a few times before I even bought the kit. I watched my first launch 10.3.20. I spent the winter building the Graduator and LOC IV. I was going to try to cert on 4.3.21 but something wasn't right with the tracking / flight computers. I don't recall what it was but it caused me to abort. Cert flight was 5.1.21. I chose to build the two rockets for high power. I followed John Coker's methods very closely. As closely as inexperience would let me. The LOC IV was always intended to be for Cert Level 1 and my testing base for as long as it survived. The Graduator always gets a mod first. Both now have redundant dual deploy with a tracker in the nose. One of these days I should launch the Graduator :D

Here's one of the few build photos that I have. Don't be me and not photograph the build process. I chose this one for a reason. The first fin isn't epoxied yet (I used Bob Smith 30m epoxy on this build) but eventually all three fins were epoxied in. Sharp eyed builders will see the mistake right away. The forward motor tube centering ring wasn't epoxied in this photo but eventually the forward and middle centering ring and fins were epoxied in just like you see here. See that little hole, 1/4" to be exact? The hole is for the eyebolt that the shock cord attaches to. It was easy enough to reach in from the top to install it but attaching the washer and nut was a pita. To add insult to injury, I did the same thing with the Graduator but I didn't catch it until after I built the LOC IV. That took some creative thinking to fix. Thankfully I caught it before epoxied the aft centering ring in, Obviously I caught it in the LOC IV before the middle centering ring was epoxied in. I've since switched to a zipperless coupling arrangement in the sustainer on the LOC IV. The Graduator won't get anymore mods. I think that's an Aeropak retainer on the end.



I launchd a lot of Estes rockets on C and D motors prior to launching high power. I lost a few when I max'd out the motor, flew with too much wind, and made a few other mistakes. I'm fortunate to have a lot of room to "play". Technically I only lost two but I can still see one of them. Itives in the neighbor's tree about 1/2 mile from me. One taught me the valuable lesson of securing the shock cord for the nose cone extremely well. I never have gotten used to the Estes folded paper rubber band shock cord method and when you don't do it right the nose cone drifts gently on the breeze never to be seen again and the sustainer gracefully arcs away. Here's some of the victims :D The purple rocket on the left is 3D printed parts and a tube. Not a kit.



Here the Graduator and LOC IV are together



Here is the LOC before it's first launch. It has an AV bay and is therefore just a tad longer than the original.


Flight 3. The chute has been changed. The avionics are beefed up. Still sporting gray primer. It took forever to return to earth but it was about 300 feet away when it did :)



Current version of the avionics bay and tracking bay for the nose cone. I copied one of our L3 guys avionics installations. He's very meticulous and he never has a problem with recovery. Redundant dual deploy per club rules (and the BLM). It's flown twice with no problems. The purple and white circuit boards are some power distribution boards that I had made. On the back side there is a pair of LiPo batteries (redundant power), total of 4 batteries in the large bay. The boards let me plug my switch, batteries, and flight computers in with JST connectors rather than have a kludge of wire twisted together.



Everything about the builds and changes has had some form of mentorship associated with it. The biggest point that I want to make with all this is that you can build and launch or use it as a platform to learn about HP rocketry. Also - don't get in a hurry. Oh! One thing... I certified L1 with motor deploy. Somehow they missed that I didn't have redundant dual deploy, only a tracker. I much prefer dual deploy, To each their own.
Where did you get the Fin alignment jig? That seems like a good idea to help make sure everything is perfect. When in the low powered ones I found the Estes little plastic jig it made a world of difference.
 

Banzai88

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Where did you get the Fin alignment jig? That seems like a good idea to help make sure everything is perfect. When in the low powered ones I found the Estes little plastic jig it made a world of difference.
That's a maklin fin jig. The paper ones from payloadbay glued to foam board work well, too.
 

Michael L

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Where did you get the Fin alignment jig? That seems like a good idea to help make sure everything is perfect. When in the low powered ones I found the Estes little plastic jig it made a world of difference.
I bought it from Apogee Components. Macklin Missile Works designs and sells them too. It's a little pricey but I've built 5 rockets with it. All three Aspires (29mm rocket), the LOC Graduator, and the LOC IV. I've got two more fiberglass kits to build and that's just 2021 to early 2022. He also sells plans if you're a woodworker.

I also 3D printed a jig (see below) to make sure the motor tube was centered (I had to leave off the aft centering ring to epoxy the fins to the motor tube and I epoxied them to the inside of the sustainer). The jig has slots in it that correspond to the fin spacing (120°) and I used that to make the fins true in the vertical with a square resting on the same surface as the fin jig box. I get very vertical flights with no deviations and I credit the jigs for that.

 

boatgeek

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For these other companies what rockets are good for level 1 cert? Only one site so far had a listening of rockets listed for level 1 cert.
Other people have responded with good advice, but here;s my 2 cents:

Any 54mm or larger kit with a 29mm motor mount is a good L1 rocket.
Any 3" or larger kit with a 38mm motor mount is a good L1 rocket.
Any 3" or larger cardboard kit with a 54mm motor mount is a good L1 rocket. Fiberglass kits with a 54mm motor mount can be heavy enough that you'll have a limited selection of L1 motors that can fly them safely.

How to choose? Two factors:
1. Buy what floats your boat. Build something you like the looks of, whether that's a spaceplane, split fins, curvy fins, military, scale, etc. If you don't love it, you won't fly it as much.

2. Think about how you want to fly it and what you can fly easily. I built a rocket with a 29mm motor mount for my L1 because I can fly it a lot more on mid-power motors close to home. It's harder for me to get to organized launches. You might also go smaller motor and/or larger body tube if you have a low waiver (like 3000 feet or less) at your home club. On the other hand, if you have a high waiver and your first thought on getting a cert is how much more motor can you put in it, by all means get a kit with a 38mm motor mount. I personally feel that a 54mm motor mount is overkill for an L1, but my way is also not the One True Way. In fact, nobody's way is the One True Way.
 

lstmysock11

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I bought it from Apogee Components. Macklin Missile Works designs and sells them too. It's a little pricey but I've built 5 rockets with it. All three Aspires (29mm rocket), the LOC Graduator, and the LOC IV. I've got two more fiberglass kits to build and that's just 2021 to early 2022. He also sells plans if you're a woodworker.

I also 3D printed a jig (see below) to make sure the motor tube was centered (I had to leave off the aft centering ring to epoxy the fins to the motor tube and I epoxied them to the inside of the sustainer). The jig has slots in it that correspond to the fin spacing (120°) and I used that to make the fins true in the vertical with a square resting on the same surface as the fin jig box. I get very vertical flights with no deviations and I credit the jigs for that.

The jig is really nice but not sure about spending 130 on a jig
 

lstmysock11

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wait till you "have to buy" a 54 or 75mm motor case.. :D
Never have to buy a 54 or 75mm motor case. In time I will get one or maybe I could find a used one someone wants to sell. Is there a forsale forum that I can access?
 

dr wogz

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Never have to buy a 54 or 75mm motor case. In time I will get one or maybe I could find a used one someone wants to sell. Is there a forsale forum that I can access?
yardsale at the bottom.. used cases show up from time to time, but get snapped up as soon as they are posted!

 

lstmysock11

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yardsale at the bottom.. used cases show up from time to time, but get snapped up as soon as they are posted!

It will not let me post in that forum, So I can not put up a post saying I want the item. Also can not find out what are the requirements to post in that channel
 

Scott Hala

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Check eRockets.biz. They had a couple in stock when I was there Tuesday. Also, Dave Thomas (no, not THAT Dave Thomas) has three build videos on youtube for the LOC IV.
 

boatgeek

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It will not let me post in that forum, So I can not put up a post saying I want the item. Also can not find out what are the requirements to post in that channel
You need to be a member for a certain amount of time and you might also need a minimum number of posts. Neither limit is very long though.
 

lstmysock11

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Check eRockets.biz. They had a couple in stock when I was there Tuesday. Also, Dave Thomas (no, not THAT Dave Thomas) has three build videos on youtube for the LOC IV.
Oh so I can not ask him about Wendy! Oh never mind that Dave Thomas I believe passed away.

Thank you
 

lstmysock11

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Check eRockets.biz. They had a couple in stock when I was there Tuesday. Also, Dave Thomas (no, not THAT Dave Thomas) has three build videos on youtube for the LOC IV.
Just checked online and when you try to click on the LOC IV it says sorry out of stock. So they might not have them listed on the website.
 

Michael L

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The jig is really nice but not sure about spending 130 on a jig
I understand. I plan to build a lot more rockets so I'm not too worried about not getting use out of it.

I can tell you that fin alignment is critical and that it can be done reasonably well without the jig. I don't think it's as fast (that probably doesn't apply to people with a lot of experience). Personally, I think it's easy, accurate, and quick with the jig. The plans, for $20-ish, are probably a better buy but my time is split between two locations and the woodworking tools are where the rockets aren't, so I went the lazy route and ordered one from Ted Macklin. His kits are cut out with a CNC machine and fitment is perfect. It's definitely a personal choice thing.
 

Sandy H.

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[snip]

The plans, for $20-ish, are probably a better buy but my time is split between two locations and the woodworking tools are where the rockets aren't, so I went the lazy route and ordered one from Ted Macklin. His kits are cut out with a CNC machine and fitment is perfect. It's definitely a personal choice thing.
Thanks for pointing this out. Obviously after searching the forum, this information (i.e. that there are plans available) is there, but if you miss a thread or two you miss that something is there.

Your response to the previous post could have gone many different ways (i.e. forums are basically a form of chaos at times), but the way it went is that you mentioned something I didn't know, I researched it and am going to buy the plans, even though I own a laser and can make spot-on fin jigs for any rocket I want. I like to build other projects and learn new methods, so I think the plan pack for the jig seems like a great call, whereas I would not have bought the full priced jig, even though it is a fair price for a CNC cut, custom designed fixture.

Good info and hopefully he sells more plans from this kind of information sharing.

Sandy.
 

lovingia

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Hi all

Does any one know where I might find this kit. Seems this kit and a lot of others seem to be sold out. Looking for this kit or something close to build for a level 1 cert.

Andrew
Hi Andrew.
I just got my L1 on a LOC-IV on a H100W. I added an Aerotech retainer, 12x12 Chute protector, shock cord protector, and camera shroud. Most construction was with Bob Smith 5 & 30 epoxies. A little CA for tacking and tube ends.

The flight was really straight and very stable. Too bad my ejection was a bit early. The rocket has only minor dings on 1 fin and a scuff on the camera shroud.

I found the best deal on discountrocketry.com. it shows in stock.

I plan on a LOC-VII next.
 

lstmysock11

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I see Dave thomas talks that the LOC IV rocket now comes with either you can make it dual deploy or put in a Ebay. Said something there is a ebay you can buy to assemble and put in the ebay section. Can someone point out what one would match up with this kit?

What can be done with the Ebay section?
 

Michael L

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Thanks for pointing this out. Obviously after searching the forum, this information (i.e. that there are plans available) is there, but if you miss a thread or two you miss that something is there.

Your response to the previous post could have gone many different ways (i.e. forums are basically a form of chaos at times), but the way it went is that you mentioned something I didn't know, I researched it and am going to buy the plans, even though I own a laser and can make spot-on fin jigs for any rocket I want. I like to build other projects and learn new methods, so I think the plan pack for the jig seems like a great call, whereas I would not have bought the full priced jig, even though it is a fair price for a CNC cut, custom designed fixture.

Good info and hopefully he sells more plans from this kind of information sharing.

Sandy.
I almost bought a CNC and the plans instead but I'm still learning Fusion 360 and I don't need any new projects at the moment. My life is one big squirrel event as it is :D
 

Scott_650

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Just checked online and when you try to click on the LOC IV it says sorry out of stock. So they might not have them listed on the website.
Flightsketch.com shows they have LOC IVs in stock. Buyrocketmotors.com have a fairly wide range of 4” kits in stock - https://www.buyrocketmotors.com/4-0/. Both vendors are great to deal with. A fairly heavy 4” rocket, as already discussed, is a solid choice for a qualification flight, especially with a lower end H motor and a Jolly Logic Chute Release (https://jollylogic.com/products/chuterelease/). The JLCR isn’t cheap but sure makes recovery much more predictable.
 

lstmysock11

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I am going to be also getting a Estes doorknob with the 38mm upgrade that gives better fins but then going to also have to use a 38mm to 29mm motor adaptor.
 

JohnCoker

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