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mtnmanak

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As with most people, as you progress in HPR you invest huge amounts of money in motor hardware. Currently, all my money has been invested in a Aerotech and CTI hardware. Mostly, that was a function of it being easy to get reloads for that hardware from vendors at launches and online.

I started looking at Loki motors, thinking about trying them out. It looks like their reloads are significantly more expensive than the equivalent size motors from AT or CTI.

I am interested from people that use Loki motors to know if it is worth the expense to add Loki hardware to my collection considering how expensive the reloads are. Is there something about Loki motors that makes them worth the extra cost?
 

heada

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Loki is ideal as dual use. Using them for EX is as simple as it comes. If you're not into EX, then there isn't as much of a reason. They do have a significant number of reloads that ship hazmat free and they have some very powerful motors in narrow cases. 38mm K and 54mm M
 

timbucktoo

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Nice thrust curves on many of their reloads. Good early kick to get off the rail safely without sending the rocket to orbit.
That’s why I like them. Only downside is they don’t come with starters so you either have to learn to make your own or buy at additional cost.
 

OKTurbo

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I really like the 38mm H and I Loki motors. Cost is about the same...maybe a little less than AT or CTI, but most of the Loki loads ship without Hazmat. I can buy one or two reloads, have them shipped to the house with no extra fee. Plus they’re really good motors. Love the H144 and the I377. Great punch off the pad.

Motor assembly is super simple too.
 

mrwalsh85

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Loki, I think, has the most punch for your dollar. They make the only certified 38mm K motor on the market, and the biggest 54mm L motor on the market (54/4000), as well as the only 54mm M motor on the market.

If you're truly looking to push the envelope, give them a look. I thought the M3464 would be just a step up from the M1315 that I have been flying in my WAC Corporal... The WAC does 5,200' all day everyday on the M1315, figured I'd get about 6-7k on the M3464. Was blown away when I read out the altimeter at over 9k! And it was a spankin' motor!

I have the 75/8000, 54/2800, 54/2000... I need to get more reloads. I haven't flown much lately so I am just flying out of my box. But you can rest assured Scott is getting more of my money soon...
 

mtnmanak

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Thanks for the feedback! I like the thrust curve discussion. There are certain rocket weights that put you "in the middle" with AT motors. A common 10 lbs rocket, for example, puts you right in the middle of a bunch of AT motors. You either need to choose a really fast burning motor to get it off the pad (but you aren't going to get much altitude) or you are going to have to bump up the impulse to the point the rocket is going to go very high. Not a big deal if you are flying at a site with a big ceiling and a lot of room, but up here in the Northeast, 5K or less is the limit on most fields that are close to me. When MDRA opens the Higgs farm, you get a few months of 16K, but that is assuming I can make that 4 hour drive once or twice a year when my schedule and their launch schedules match (my son plays hockey... for anyone with a kid that plays hockey, you know what your winter weekend schedule looks like ;) )

I am going to have to run some sims with Loki motors and see if they would be a good fit for the rockets I fly and the low ceilings I am often stuck with. Would be nice to have some options that fill out the middle ground where AT and CTI often don't have a good answer. Really like having a bunch more options in the 38mm category. Will probably get some of the 38mm hardware and reloads and start there.

Not worried about igniters, I have been making my own for years. I have a whole bucket of AT igniters I give away at launches to anyone that needs them.
 

mtnmanak

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Loki, I think, has the most punch for your dollar. They make the only certified 38mm K motor on the market, and the biggest 54mm L motor on the market (54/4000), as well as the only 54mm M motor on the market.

If you're truly looking to push the envelope, give them a look. I thought the M3464 would be just a step up from the M1315 that I have been flying in my WAC Corporal... The WAC does 5,200' all day everyday on the M1315, figured I'd get about 6-7k on the M3464. Was blown away when I read out the altimeter at over 9k! And it was a spankin' motor!

I have the 75/8000, 54/2800, 54/2000... I need to get more reloads. I haven't flown much lately so I am just flying out of my box. But you can rest assured Scott is getting more of my money soon...
Great feedback - thanks! As noted in my post above, it is difficult to get to launches with high ceilings, so "pushing the envelope" takes on a different meaning. Often, it means looking for ways to fly "bigger" motors without punching a rocket past 5K. It sounds like Loki may have some great options to do just that. If they can give me more/better control around the limits I have to work within, that would be awesome.
 

Saint_Tiki

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Great feedback - thanks! As noted in my post above, it is difficult to get to launches with high ceilings, so "pushing the envelope" takes on a different meaning. Often, it means looking for ways to fly "bigger" motors without punching a rocket past 5K. It sounds like Loki may have some great options to do just that. If they can give me more/better control around the limits I have to work within, that would be awesome.
In the 38mm category, they aren’t any more or less expensive than other brands. CTI 2 grain is $35-40, Loki is right in there.

Like you said, they help with the in-between rockets I think. I had trouble selecting a CTI motor for my L1 flight because many of them didn’t have enough initial boost to put me past the magic 30mph off the rail. Ended up flying a CTI H152 blue to have enough early kick. The CTI H100/110/123 etc didn’t have enough boost off the rail. With Loki, I could fly an H90 or any of their 38mm H motors and have sufficient off the rail speed. And because some of that kick is concentrated in the front end of the curve, the altitude doesn’t get out of control. Was looking at around 1800 feet on Loki compared to 2500 on CTI. I ended up flying the CTI because USPS?!?! Still waiting on my Loki motor stuck postal hell.
Loki also has a no-haz J motor in 38mm
 

Banzai88

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Think of Loki as 'another tool in the tool box' when it comes to motors.
They have always been market sensitive and many of the motors ship direct or from a 3rd party vendor hazmat free.

The only real complaint that folks seem to have, in general, is that 1)they don't understand a snap ring case and 2) lots of folks seem to be hooked on the "spacer" idea that CTI has and that AT has recently copied and is not applicable to Loki motors and 3)snap ring cases won't fit properly in some motor retainer configurations

In the 5 years since BAR, I've flown about as many Loki as AT and CTI. Loki are the only ones that haven't had some sort of bulletin, mis-pack of parts, or a cato/off-nominal burn in my rockets.
 

Theory

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Can’t say enough good things about them, and want to confirm what others have said, GREAT punch off the rail!!!

my 11 pound WM Drago 4 on an I405. Flew to 1100’ and left the rail in a hurry!!!

80FFF338-E5E0-4312-9A79-1684AA4554D4.png


and my LOC Caliber ISP on an I377
8130631F-3072-4E29-AE26-6A026B4D22D9.png

B259D781-6276-49A5-959B-3BCC95365294.jpeg
 

mtnmanak

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Okay, you guys have convinced me :) Going to invest some money in Loki hardware and try them out!

As I look through their hardware, it is a bit more confusing than AT. Looks like you need different nozzles for different loads?
 

Banzai88

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Okay, you guys have convinced me :) Going to invest some money in Loki hardware and try them out!

As I look through their hardware, it is a bit more confusing than AT. Looks like you need different nozzles for different loads?
Not so much, other than the odd load here and there. In 38s you ONLY need the additional #16 if you fly the I110 in the 480 case or the #26 if you fly the J474 in the 740 case.

Other than that, all the commercial loads use the nozzle that the case comes with 'standard'. Just add an igniter, some grease for the o-rings, snap ring pliers, and go launch!

Other than that:
38-120 does G motors
38-240 does H
38-480 does I
38-740 does small and mid J
38-1200 does mid J and up

54-1200 does small and mid J
54-2000 does a variety of K
54-2800 does the rest of the K and some L
54-4000 does big L and M
 
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mtnmanak

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Not so much, other than the odd load here and there. In 38s you ONLY need the additional #16 if you fly the I110 in the 480 case or the #26 if you fly the J474 in the 740 case.

Other than that, all the commercial loads use the nozzle that the case comes with 'standard'. Just add an igniter, some grease for the o-rings, snap ring pliers, and go launch!

Other than that:
38-120 does G motors
38-240 does H
38-480 does I
38-740 does small and mid J
38-1200 does mid J and up

54-1200 does small and mid J
54-2000 does a variety of K
54-2800 does the rest of the K and some L
54-4000 does big L and M
Tom, this is awesome, thanks for the rollup! Very helpful!

I am going to pick up some of the 38mm hardware to start - that is the size I find myself reloading in the field the most, so would be nice to have more hardware available to reload at home before going to the launches. Once I see how that goes, may jump up to some of their 54mm and 76mm hardware. I have a couple 75mm rockets in the fleet now, but have a few more in the build queue for the winter. I am hoping to start building out a US Rockets Swarm that has 13 motor cluster - 75mm core with 12 x 29mm outboards - and will want to explore best motors for the core on that one specifically. Looks like Loki will have some great options.
 

alexzogh

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Okay, you guys have convinced me :) Going to invest some money in Loki hardware and try them out!

As I look through their hardware, it is a bit more confusing than AT. Looks like you need different nozzles for different loads?
The biggest difference is AT & CTI provide single-use nozzles with their reloads, and those nozzles are different depending upon the reload you buy. Loki, and EX generally use reusable graphite nozzles so yes, you will likely need a different nozzle configuration depending upon the type of reload. Of course, this is a generalization as some of Loki's reloads come with single-use nozzles as well (I know the L&M 54mm motors do)
 

rocketlabdelta

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In 38s you ONLY need the additional #16 if you fly the I110 in the 480 case or the #26 if you fly the J474 in the 740 case.
I had trouble discerning this kind of information from the product page on the Loki Research website so I made this spreadsheet to track:
  • What hardware works with which reload (including the nozzle size)
  • Which reloads require grain gluing
  • Which reloads require hazmat shipping
 

mtnmanak

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I had trouble discerning this kind of information from the product page on the Loki Research website so I made this spreadsheet to track:
  • What hardware works with which reload (including the nozzle size)
  • Which reloads require grain gluing
  • Which reloads require hazmat shipping
This is a great sheet, thanks!
 

Banzai88

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It would be great to see a grain spacer system for Loki.
He's said repeatedly that it's a NO GO .....but that you're free to do with your hardware whatever you like.

I gather it's possible, but not in the cards as a commercial product from him due to some issues that I have no idea what they are. Maybe users of other snap ring cases could chime in on it, as I believe it's been done.....just that I have no idea the results or why it wouldn't be a good idea.

I had trouble discerning this kind of information from the product page on the Loki Research website so I made this spreadsheet to track:
  • What hardware works with which reload (including the nozzle size)
  • Which reloads require grain gluing
  • Which reloads require hazmat shipping

And he just updated his site 2 days ago! Good deal.
 

heada

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He's said repeatedly that it's a NO GO .....but that you're free to do with your hardware whatever you like.

I gather it's possible, but not in the cards as a commercial product from him due to some issues that I have no idea what they are. Maybe users of other snap ring cases could chime in on it, as I believe it's been done.....just that I have no idea the results or why it wouldn't be a good idea.
It has been done successfully before. Its not even hard to do with the information that is available. The biggest issue is that you'd have to pay very close attention to the nozzle that is in use. If you're using a 38/1200 case but a 38/480 reload and forget to use the #19 nozzle rather than the #28 nozzle, that 9/64" nozzle different can vastly alter the reload performance. It can turn your motor from a nice flight to a road flare on the pad. With AT and CTI, since they use single-use nozzles with each reload, it isn't a concern.

I'm not sure but I believe there is also an added cost at certification time. I think, but could be wrong, that they have to certify the reload in each case size with the spacers. That turns a motor cert from a case and 3 reloads into a case, 4 spacers and 15 reloads. When you're AT or CTI that is a company with multiple employees, that isn't as big an impact but when you're Scott, it is.

Lastly, in most instances, Loki cases are thicker walled and thus heavier. You get a larger weight penalty using spacers in a Loki case that you would in a similar size AT or CTI case.
 

jimzcatz

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gotta admit I like the Loki 54 and 76mm stuff but unfortunately Scott has Priced himself out of my wallet. I ocassionally get loads at a great price. I have a 6000 Red, cocktail and Spitfire still in my box
 

Banzai88

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It has been done successfully before. Its not even hard to do with the information that is available. The biggest issue is that you'd have to pay very close attention to the nozzle that is in use. If you're using a 38/1200 case but a 38/480 reload and forget to use the #19 nozzle rather than the #28 nozzle, that 9/64" nozzle different can vastly alter the reload performance. It can turn your motor from a nice flight to a road flare on the pad. With AT and CTI, since they use single-use nozzles with each reload, it isn't a concern.

I'm not sure but I believe there is also an added cost at certification time. I think, but could be wrong, that they have to certify the reload in each case size with the spacers. That turns a motor cert from a case and 3 reloads into a case, 4 spacers and 15 reloads. When you're AT or CTI that is a company with multiple employees, that isn't as big an impact but when you're Scott, it is.

Lastly, in most instances, Loki cases are thicker walled and thus heavier. You get a larger weight penalty using spacers in a Loki case that you would in a similar size AT or CTI case.
And there you have it.....it's probably the potential of user error that has nixed it.
 
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