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MAC Performance Rayzor 3" Build Thread

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kswing

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Today I got my newest kit, a MAC Performance 3" Rayzor. It is about 73" tall with split fins and I chose the 54MM MMT. Here's what it looks like on the vendor's site:
Rayzor_Chrome_Pic_1024x1024.jpg

This is my first kit from MAC Performance and so far I'm impressed. I ordered it last Friday and it arrived today. It arrived well packed and all of the parts look to fit very well with minimal sanding required. Here are pictures of the kit out of the box:
IMG_20161128_205143928.jpg
And here's the obligatory dry fit picture:
IMG_20161128_205840402_HDR.jpg

All of the parts I've checked so far are very well machined. For example the fins all fit snugly right out of the box with no sanding required. Also, the e-bay arrived loosely assembled inserted into one of the tubes and it fits well enough that when I moved it the air pressure from moving it caused the nose cone to slide out the other end.

For now I'm planning to use Aeropoxy Epoxy for the structural joints and an AeroPack motor retainer with a flange that will transfer thrust directly to the lower centering ring which is stepped so that it acts as a thrust plate. I haven't decided on the color scheme yet, but, so far I'm considering something along the lines of a dark/golden yellow. Unfortunately, it may be a while before construction begins because I've got a few other project I need to get done first. I'm hoping to have the Rayzor ready for a seriously high flight at LDRS36.
 

Bat-mite

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I built both my MAC kits with Bob Smith 30-minute epoxy from hobby Lobby. That's what Mike uses as well. Check with him and make sure Aeropoxy isn't too heavy. My guess is you're okay, but it wouldn't hurt to compare the dry weight of each.

Also, Mike kits take a foamed fin can very well. Just a thought.

Will be watching. Happy building!
 

kswing

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So far I'm thinking I'll use the Aeropoxy for most of the critical joints and also use two part foam in the fin can and maybe even the nose cone. I've never used two part foam before, so, I'll have to do some research on which product to use and what is the best technique. I've seen John Coker's video on it and it doesn't look too difficult, but, I'll probably play around with it a bit before I try it on the rocket.

Also, for electronics, I'm planning to use an Eggtimer Quantum for deployment control and hopefully my own custom GPS tracker for tracking since it may go high enough to lose visual tracking.
 

Bat-mite

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My only advice on foam is to start with small amounts. I don't know the ratio of liquid to expanded, but if you over do it, it goes EVERYWHERE! Trust me. :wink:
 

Jozef

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Got my L2 on a 3 inch Rayzor in September on a CTI J285 Classic...3,970 feet. It is is built with Rocket Poxy, including internal and the fillets. Rocket Poxy is a filled epoxy, so it is heavier than BSI. I do use BSI or similar clear epoxies for coupler to airframe joints. My Rayzor launch weight was only 6.8 pounds. No need to foam the fin can. The canvas phenolic fins and airframe are brutally strong. The difference in weight of the epoxy alternatives is a couple of ounces on this rocket. It is a great build and flyer and is a looker as well. Have fun!
 

soopirV

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I was just looking at this bird too! Missed the Black Friday sale, but I have a soft spot for split fin designs. In searching here for MacPerformance build threads, it seems that all I've found included foaming the fin can. This is a technique I haven't tried, and no one who has done it said it needs to be done...what are the general thoughts on it? Jozef indicates that it's not needed, and with my experience with TTW fins, I haven't had any issues. Seems like quite a common step on these kits tho...wondering if they know something we don't about phenolic canvas?

Build Thread 1: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?125951-Build-thread-MAC-Performance-Rocketry-Scorpion&p=1463709#post1463709

Build thread 2: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?123671-MAC-Performance-3in-HV-ARCAS-Canvas-Composite-Tubing-Precision-Manufacturing&p=1436875#post1436875

Thought there were some more, but now I can't find them...either way, totally stoked about this kit (and the vendor!) Going to pull the trigger after the holidays I think (last year it looks like MAC ran a free-shipping deal, every dollar helps!).
 

mike2wander

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I was just looking at this bird too! Missed the Black Friday sale, but I have a soft spot for split fin designs. In searching here for MacPerformance build threads, it seems that all I've found included foaming the fin can. This is a technique I haven't tried, and no one who has done it said it needs to be done...what are the general thoughts on it? Jozef indicates that it's not needed, and with my experience with TTW fins, I haven't had any issues. Seems like quite a common step on these kits tho...wondering if they know something we don't about phenolic canvas?

Build Thread 1: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?125951-Build-thread-MAC-Performance-Rocketry-Scorpion&p=1463709#post1463709

Build thread 2: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?123671-MAC-Performance-3in-HV-ARCAS-Canvas-Composite-Tubing-Precision-Manufacturing&p=1436875#post1436875

Thought there were some more, but now I can't find them...either way, totally stoked about this kit (and the vendor!) Going to pull the trigger after the holidays I think (last year it looks like MAC ran a free-shipping deal, every dollar helps!).
soopirV,

I have mentioned a couple different times that I like to foam the fin cans on my rockets and it seems to have stuck? I do it because I'm lazy not because it needs to be done. I never ever do internal fillets. I triple dip the fin roots and be done. (apply epoxy to the fin root and insert the fin, remove the fin, epoxy the root again and reinsert it, and then a third time) This procedure provides a pretty good fillet without making it a separate project. I leave the rear centering ring out and fill the voids between the fins with our two part expanding foam. The fin can becomes remarkably strong without all the extra work. It is NOT necessary to foam our kits. Sorry you missed the sale. If you still want to do a sale purchase send me an email at sales@macperformancerocketry.com and I will give you the sale special.

Mike Crupe
MAC
www.macperformancerocketry.com

What's In Your Rocket?
FLY CANVAS!
 
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DavidMcCann

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[video]https://youtu.be/Xcxv8gxVgNs?t=2m49s[/video]


So, not to kill foam sales....but I double dipped these fins in rocketpoxy. Some decent externals, but no foam.

This rocket took a 1/3 of a mile ride plowing a field. It's fine.


These rockets are solid man.
 

kswing

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I'm thinking I'll stick with foaming the fin can because it looks to be easier than doing the usual internal fillets. I'm sure it isn't really required, but, it might make a good solid fin can with less effort than full internal fillets. I'm also going to follow the technique Mike suggested for attaching the fins because it looks like a good solid way to attach the fins and he's been doing this longer than I have.

Also, I'm still somewhat new to rocketry, so, please don't assume my building techniques are the best way to do things. So far the few bigger rockets I've built have held up well, but, I'm guessing I probably overbuilt them a bit. For this rocket I'm doing what I think will work without too much effort based on what I've done in the past and what I've seen other people are doing. I'm sure there are probably other ways to achieve success and some of those ways probably require even less effort.
 

soopirV

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soopirV,

I have mentioned a couple different times that I like to foam the fin cans on my rockets and it seems to have stuck? I do it because I'm lazy not because it needs to be done. I never ever do internal fillets. I triple dip the fin roots and be done. (apply epoxy to the fin root and insert the fin, remove the fin, epoxy the root again and reinsert it, and then a third time) This procedure provides a pretty good fillet without making it a separate project. I leave the rear centering ring out and fill the voids between the fins with our two part expanding foam. The fin can becomes remarkably strong without all the extra work. It is NOT necessary to foam our kits. Sorry you missed the sale. If you still want to do a sale purchase send me an email at sales@macperformancerocketry.com and I will give you the sale special.

Mike Crupe
MAC
www.macperformancerocketry.com

What's In Your Rocket?
FLY CANVAS!
WOWOWOW!! This is simply astonishing service/attention to customers! :eyepop: Mike, that offer is incredibly generous and not at all what I was fishing for, but I am now finding it impossible to not take you up on it!

I'm thinking I'll stick with foaming the fin can because it looks to be easier than doing the usual internal fillets. I'm sure it isn't really required, but, it might make a good solid fin can with less effort than full internal fillets. I'm also going to follow the technique Mike suggested for attaching the fins because it looks like a good solid way to attach the fins and he's been doing this longer than I have.
Internal fillets are indeed tough to do neatly, so I too was intrigued by the foaming technique, since it's a skill I haven't yet tried to hone. That said, it's great to know that it's not absolutely required.
 

Jozef

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On internal fillets... most guys overkill internal fillets. They don't need to look like full, curvy external fillets. Like a weld, you just need to bond the parent materials. Roll Rocketpoxy on the end of a wooden skewer and slide it along the airframe/fin joint to get a small radius application. It takes three turns to do this and with the small filets you don't need to wait to full cure before rotating to the new position. Rocketpoxy partiall set up does not run. If you want to foam, go for it, but don't think internal fillets are a chore.
 

sharkbait

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Most of the two part foams expand around 10:1 and weigh around 6lbs/cu.ft, so if you measure your mixing cup and say it holds 3 cubic inches of the liquid foam you will get approximately 30 cubic inches of cured expanded foam. They are also sensitive to moisture, so you can increase the expansion ratio by adding drops of water to the mix. This will lower the overall weight but will also lower the density and the strength of the cured foam too.
 

NateLowrie

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I'm thinking I'll stick with foaming the fin can because it looks to be easier than doing the usual internal fillets. I'm sure it isn't really required, but, it might make a good solid fin can with less effort than full internal fillets. I'm also going to follow the technique Mike suggested for attaching the fins because it looks like a good solid way to attach the fins and he's been doing this longer than I have.

Also, I'm still somewhat new to rocketry, so, please don't assume my building techniques are the best way to do things. So far the few bigger rockets I've built have held up well, but, I'm guessing I probably overbuilt them a bit. For this rocket I'm doing what I think will work without too much effort based on what I've done in the past and what I've seen other people are doing. I'm sure there are probably other ways to achieve success and some of those ways probably require even less effort.
If you do internal fillets at the fin root/MMT junction and a good external fillet the foam is not necessary. For internal fillets, I do epoxy injection. It's clean, effective, and doesn't take a large amount of time.. You can reference the ultimate wildman instructions if you need a step by step on how to do it.
 

Bat-mite

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However, foam is very easy, very effective, and doesn't affect stability. If you are going for "high and fast," then foam isn't for you. If you are going for sport flying and ease of build, go for it!
 

dhbarr

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However, foam is very easy, very effective, and doesn't affect stability. If you are going for "high and fast," then foam isn't for you. If you are going for sport flying and ease of build, go for it!
I only disagree with "doesn't affect stability" in that a) it does weigh -something- at the less desirable end and b) many people overfill without allowing full expansion, yielding even more aft weight.
 

Bat-mite

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I only disagree with "doesn't affect stability" in that a) it does weigh -something- at the less desirable end and b) many people overfill without allowing full expansion, yielding even more aft weight.
True. What I meant to say was that Mike's kits are designed to be stable even with foamed fin cans.
 

kswing

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I finally started working on this rocket today. This rocket comes with a built-in Kevlar harness attachment system that is secured through the top centering ring using a steel pin on the bottom side of the centering ring. Today I glued the pin for the harness into the top centering ring and I also glued the top centering ring to the MMT. In general on this rocket I'm trying to make sure I use enough epoxy that the joints are solid, yet, not use so much that I add a huge amount of weight. Here's a picture of the MMT with the Kevlar leader:IMG_20161217_120257736.jpg
 

kswing

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Today I made a fin alignment jig/guide for the Rayzor. I printed a template from the Fin Guide Tool found on www.payloadbay.com and then used a glue stick I borrowed from the kids to glue the template to some foam poster board so I could cut it out with an X-Acto knife. It's not as nice as the plywood ones from MAC Performance, but, it should work. I'm thinking I'll use the fin guide for the upper fin of each set and then use some flat pieces of wood and some small clamps to align the lower fins with the upper fins. Here's a picture of the fin jig:
rayzor_fin_guide.jpg
 

kswing

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I may be jumping the gun a bit, but, I'm already trying to pick a color scheme for this rocket. Here's a rough image of what I'm thinking so far:
rayzor.jpg
I'm also considering a yellow and black roll pattern just below the upper black section, but, I'm not sure how to get that into OpenRocket.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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You must've used some sort of drawing program to get your decals on there. Use the same program to make your roll pattern. Just a series of rectangles. I can go more in depth if necessary, just not from my phone. Lol. Maybe do it for ya if you need me to.

View attachment 307783

Easy Peasy.
 
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kswing

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You must've used some sort of drawing program to get your decals on there. Use the same program to make your roll pattern. Just a series of rectangles. I can go more in depth if necessary, just not from my phone. Lol. Maybe do it for ya if you need me to.

View attachment 307783



Easy Peasy.
Thanks....that's very close to the pattern I'm looking for.
 

kswing

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Tonight I started working on my recovery harness by sewing bridles into some tubular Kevlar. I'm planning to use tubular Kevlar and I'm thinking I'll have 15 feet for the booster harness and 15 feet for the nose cone harness. I'm sewing the bridles with a sewing awl and I'm going to cover the stitches with some heat shrink tubing to reduce the fraying. I've chosen these lengths based on what I've seen in many other threads here and also based on the lengths of tubular nylon I've used on my Binder Design Excel plus a few extra feet since Kevlar doesn't stretch as much as nylon. I'll probably put a swivel between the built-in leader and the harness for the booster and then another swivel where the main attaches to the harness.

Also, for the more experienced folks out there, I'm still somewhat new to high power, so, please feel free to provide comments or suggestions on anything I post.
 

Handeman

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Tonight I started working on my recovery harness by sewing bridles into some tubular Kevlar. I'm planning to use tubular Kevlar and I'm thinking I'll have 15 feet for the booster harness and 15 feet for the nose cone harness. I'm sewing the bridles with a sewing awl and I'm going to cover the stitches with some heat shrink tubing to reduce the fraying. I've chosen these lengths based on what I've seen in many other threads here and also based on the lengths of tubular nylon I've used on my Binder Design Excel plus a few extra feet since Kevlar doesn't stretch as much as nylon. I'll probably put a swivel between the built-in leader and the harness for the booster and then another swivel where the main attaches to the harness.

Also, for the more experienced folks out there, I'm still somewhat new to high power, so, please feel free to provide comments or suggestions on anything I post.
I agree with the swivel on the booster because they do tend to spin on the way down. If your main has a spill hole it probably won't spin so I would not put a swivel there. That's just a potential failure point. If you do have problems with the recovery lines twisting up after the main deploys, you can always add the swivel later.

Good luck.
 

soopirV

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Paging Dr. Kswing- wondering if any progress has been made on the Rayzor build? Turns out my wife bought me this for Christmas- can echo your first comments- kit came well packed and almost like an ARF! Haven't started the build yet, but it seems we should expect no surprises, so may start soon!
 

kswing

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Paging Dr. Kswing- wondering if any progress has been made on the Rayzor build? Turns out my wife bought me this for Christmas- can echo your first comments- kit came well packed and almost like an ARF! Haven't started the build yet, but it seems we should expect no surprises, so may start soon!
Thanks for reminding me to update this thread. I've made some progress in the past few days. I glued the middle centering ring to the MMT and I glued the MMT into the body tube. For the middle ring, since it was just plywood and cardboard, I used Bob Smith 30 minute epoxy. When installing the MMT into the body tube, I roughed up the inside of the body tube at the location of the upper centering ring with some sandpaper on a 1" dowel and then used a smaller dowel to put a ring of Aeropoxy just below the ring's final location so that as I inserted the MMT it pushed up into the epoxy to create a fillet.

I've also started work on the nose cone e-bay by cutting off the bottom of the nose cone and I've sewn loops on both ends of the upper Kevlar harness using a sewing awl. I cover the stitching for the loops with heat-shrink tubing to help prevent fraying on the ends of the Kevlar. For the next harness I'm going to sew a ball-bearing swivel onto one of the loops so that I can use it for the booster harness as Handeman suggested.

I have pictures of these steps, but, I'm having trouble uploading them so I will have to post them later from another computer.
 
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kswing

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Here are the pictures to go with my previous post....
here's one looking down at the top centering ring:
top_centering_ring.jpg
Here's the end of the body tube....note that the bottom centering ring isn't glued yet and it is flush with the MMT because I'm going to use an AeroPack flanged retainer:
bottom_ring.jpg
Here's one of my Kevlar loops:
kevlar_loop.jpg
 

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kswing

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Happy New Year!

Yesterday I started gluing the fins. I used my template made from poster board to keep the front fin in alignment and I used two blocks of wood and a spring clamp to keep the back fin aligned with the front fin. I also followed the procedure that Mike suggested by tripple-dipping the fins. To do this I put epoxy on the fin root, insert it to the MMT, then remove it and then repeat those steps twice to build up a little fillet of epoxy on the MMT. Here's a picture of the first fins in the alignment jig:
gluing_fins.jpg

Note that the lower centering ring is still not glued in place, it is just dry-fit for this step to prevent any minor shifting of the MMT.

Also, here are a few tips/tricks that I've learned to help work with the Aeropoxy since it is fairly thick and pours like molasses. First, I put the epoxy parts into squeeze bottles to make it easier to get small amounts when measuring it. I saw this tip somewhere else on this forum, so, I can't claim that I thought this up myself. The squeeze bottles are the type you use for BBQ sauce or ketchup and you can find them on Amazon or at your local mega-store.

Second, you can put the squeeze bottles or epoxy cans into a bucket of very warm water for a few minutes to make the epoxy flow better.

Finally, I use a small digital scale and two plastic cups to make sure I have equal amounts of each part prior to mixing. Aeropoxy mixes 1 to 1 either by weight or volume, so, the scale works well.
 
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