LOC Norad Pro Maxx - Anyone Built One?

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pcotcher

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While I am somewhat of a rookie in my return, I have built a LOT of rockets in my day. This kit has the first set of directions that if followed, seem to end in an unusable rocket.

There are no instructions on prep work for the reducer - it comes molded solidly, with 38mm and 54mm cutaway marks engraved into both ends. In this case the MMT is longer than the main BT, and thus passes THROUGH the reducer. Seeing as it's a 38mm MMT, I cut away the 38mm cut outs in both sides of the reducer (again, there is nothing mentioned in the instructions regarding the work that has to be done on the reducer).

The instructions have you glue the forward centering ring 1-1/8" from the front of the MMT, and then a larger mid-ship CR at 10-1/2" from the front. The rear most CR goes behind the fins - standard stuff.

So I have the forward CR heavily epoxied to the MMT, the MMT passes through the reducer (which is still unglued to the MMT per the instructions), and the mid-ship CR is also heavily epoxied to the MMT.

Here's where the problem is, the position of the forward CR dictates the position of the reducer - i.e. it can't slide any further forward as the forward CR acts as a "stop" for the shoulder of the reducer. There's a 1/16" gap between the forward CR and the front of the reducer shoulder due to the heavy epoxy fillet on the bottom of the forward CR (not really critical, but added for sake of full disclosure).

Given this "all the way forward" position of the reducer, if the main BT is slid all the way on to the lower reducer shoulder, the MMT is 3/4" UP inside the rear of the main BT - above even the rear of the fin slots. Obviously this position of the MMT renders the current assembly unusable.

There are two fixes that I perceive:

1) Cut approximately 1" from the upper shoulder of the reducer, so that it can slide forward further. This, of course reduces the structural integrity as there is no positive location for the forward end of the reducer, but would allow for the current assembly to be used. Another side effect is that it changes the weight distribution - albiet slightly - of the rocket.

2) Obtain replacement parts from LOC, and start over - with a different position for the forward CR. That's really where I need help from the group here....

In reviewing other LOC instructions, I have come to the conclusion that the problem begins with the kit's instructions, and the location of the forward CR, instead of 1-1/8", I'm guessing it should more likely be 1/8" - this would move the reducer forward by 1" and thus the lower part of the MMT would extend beyond the main BT by 1/4" - about what is shown in the instructional diagram (no measurements are provided).

I checked the instructions on two other LOC kits that I had, and both had the forward CR 1/8" from the end of the MMT - not that that should be used as the basis to change the instructions of a kit, but it certainly would fix the problem that I'm having.

I have already requested replacement parts from LOC, and I believe they are providing them (haven't received confirmation of that yet), so this will get fixed - what I'm really wanting is to hear from somebody else that's gone down this road. Surely somebody else has run into this problem, or has done something differently that can tell me the error of my ways?

I'm not above believing that I've made a mistake, but I've checked and re-checked the instructions, the measurements on the parts, etc. and just can't find where I've gone wrong.

Thanks!

Paul
 

Daedalus

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I built a LOC Norad converted into a nearly Pro Maxx for my level 2. Given that it was based on the standard kit I didn't have any instructions to guide the build so this is how I did it.

From the standard kit I kept the nose cone, transition, body tubes, fins and parachute. I chucked the elastic, motor mount, centering ring (only 1 in the standard kit) and all the other bits and pieces.

Added components were 2 38mm to 3" centering rings, 38mm motor mount, extra 2.1" body tube, couplers, bulkplates, 38mm bulkplate, eye bolts etc.

For construction I slid both centering rings over the MMT and slid it into the body tube (no glue) with the rear MMT and body tube flush and with epoxy glued the fins to the MMT and body tube. I reversed the fins so that they were more conventional with a rearward sloping leading edge, slightly imporoves stability and in my opinion looked better. Once set both centering rings were removed and the front centering ring glued to the front of the fins, MMT and body tube. I filled the rear of fin can with 2 part foam and once hardened added the rear centering ring flush with the rear of the tubes - I used a 38mm coned Rowes retainer. The transition is glued in with the motor mount only slightly proud of the transition. I then made a 38mm bulkhead with 4 holes to allow the ejection charge to vent into the forward tube and added an eye bolt with backing washers to the centre of this bulkhead and glued it in place in the front of the MMT and added a small section of coupler to reinforce this joint.

With the 2.1" tube I built a rear section, forward section and electronics bay with a small section of tube for the electronics bay to allow for switches, LEDs etc. The rear section of tubing is screwed to the transition so that it can be removed to replace shock cords etc.

A stainless steel pan scourer pushed up the motor mount cools the ejection charge so that wadding or Nomex is not required - the 2.1" tube is fairly small to get wadding, shock cord and parachute in. For all the shock cords I have used 3mm climbing accessory cord.

This was flown on a Pro38 2 grain H153 with motor recovery for a successful L1 and has flow quite a lot on Pro38 2 and 3 grain loads since, both with motor and electronic recovery. Hope this helps.
 

new2hpr

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Just send an email to Barry at LOC. He should be able to explain it and replace the parts. He's always provided EXCELLENT customer service to me.

Ken
 

pcotcher

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They're taking care of the parts - that part was easy - and it sounds like the error was in the reducer that was in my kit - it should have been cut down, but wasn't. Since there was nothing in the instructions about it, I just moved forward with cutting the holes out, thus creating the fit/spacing problems.

We'll see when the replacements show up in the mail.

Thanks!

Paul
 

Mike Mooney

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We built a norad in 3 minutes using 1 minute epoxy and flew it on an I435T 20 minutes after we built it and it survived. I was sure it was going to shred on the way up but its held together through about 15 flights.
 

soopirV

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They're taking care of the parts - that part was easy - and it sounds like the error was in the reducer that was in my kit - it should have been cut down, but wasn't. Since there was nothing in the instructions about it, I just moved forward with cutting the holes out, thus creating the fit/spacing problems.

We'll see when the replacements show up in the mail.

Thanks!

Paul
I received this kit for Christmas in 2012, and am just getting around to opening it up. My reducer was one piece as well, so I just cut the 38mm holes out, as you did, but thankfully (and no offence intended to you) I dry fit the stuff together and realized how crappy the instructions are.
They're not incomplete.
They're not even unclear.

They're fictional.

Are all Loc kits like this? This is my first, and was going to be my L1 cert rocket...if I can get it to work on my own.:no:
 

Devontmp

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Dry fit,dry fit,dry fit. I have done the same thing before-luckily on a LPR. When I built my Minnie-Magg,the instructions said the MMT was 13" long -- mine was 10".Didn't cause a problem,just if I use a 4-grain or larger case it will be beyond MMT.
 

Pantherjon

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I received this kit for Christmas in 2012, and am just getting around to opening it up. My reducer was one piece as well, so I just cut the 38mm holes out, as you did, but thankfully (and no offence intended to you) I dry fit the stuff together and realized how crappy the instructions are.
They're not incomplete.
They're not even unclear.

They're fictional.

Are all Loc kits like this? This is my first, and was going to be my L1 cert rocket...if I can get it to work on my own.:no:
Maybe in the upper part of the reducer you are to cut out the 54mm hole and that the forward centering ring is to fit inside of that?

Well, LOC instructions CAN be vague at times..The assumption being the builder has built enough kits to gain experience in how things go together so a lot of things are presumed to be known..
 
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