Maiden Voyage of the Deepsky Rocket Shop newsletter

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Active Member
Dec 20, 2002
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Greetings Rocket Fiends! (the r key is intermittent)

First Officer Andrew Little has been kicking my ankle beneath the boardroom table to remind me that twiddling with the web site from the control deck of Starship Deepsky is not what he calls aggressive customer community interaction.

He also pointed out that little and often was the best strategy. I agreed but the press of business has made me stupidly neglect this vital duty.

I trust Mr Little's knowledge of the Deepsky products and customers and continue to value his involvement in Deepsky on a day-to-day basis and hope you do, too! Listen to him... he often knows more than the new boss ;-) He regularly holds forth in this bailiwick and in the newsgroup about all things Deepsky. I hope to join him there as soon as I can get the engine room in order.

Nonetheless, rashly disregarding his cogent advice, here is the first installment: a veritable sip from the Deepsky fire hose.

We hope to get a less expansive newsletter out every fortnight or so unless: nobody wants to see more commercial email in their spam and virus-filled in-boxes, or... nothing much is new or happening, or... we get sucked into some fresh crisis du jour. You can easily opt out of the newsletter by editing your website profile if you wish.

Enough blather. Fire the photonic info torpedos! Here's what's happening right now!

<h4>The new site</h4>

Thanks for the tons of helpful feedback. Deepsky Rocket Shop is not perfect yet but it will get there quicker if you let us know what you like and what you don't. The old site will live on... but in a slightly different role where the non-catalogue content will shine - and this is a direct result of copious feedback.

We are striving to make the new ecommerce site do all the stuff that the old site did. You don't have to register to order - just print the same old order form out, fill it out and lick a stamp and we will fill your order almost as fast as if you used the shopping basket. But you will miss out on a lot of convenience features and, ahem, epistles such as this one delivered to your inbox.

You can pay for your toys in all the ways you could before and soon credit and debit cards (see below).

Some things that the site can't help me with yet is keeping track of order changes. If you order something then change your mind, the knitting sometimes gets dropped. Confusion also results if you order by email instead of using the site. I'm working on making the site do what you want it to... while it helps me keep track of an ever changing shedload of rockets and motors.

And speaking of which...

<h4>Model Motormania</h4>
D motors - We got 'em. Some of them anyway. We have a tidy supply (about 20 Richter Recker's worth) of D12-3s and enough D12-0s for a small fleet of Fliskit Nomads and Estes CCExpress rockets.

We also have C11-0s in abundance for those CCExpress flyers that want to ever see their sustainer stage again on a breezy day. We have C6-3s by the bucket for Fliskit Tres and Deuce fans or flyers of the lovely Semroc Hydra VII.

In the acronym infested world of rocketry, we hesitate to add one more. For purposes of this and successive newsletters FMISOS meaning For More Information, See Our <a href="" target="new">Site</a>.

We have another US-source BP motor order on its way by boat (they don't fly... which is funny). The second tranche should arrive in the next fortnight.

And, hallelujah! The UK distributor says that they are expecting some Estes kits and motors before the end of the month. They aren't sure what they will be getting... but we upped our order on the rare breeds just in case they find themselves with an embarrassment of motors and kits.

That's the good news. The not-too-lah-dee-dah good news is that our US motor source reports that Estes is being even more imperious than normal. They are OUT of most D motors (and we quickly ordered what they had left... to arrive in six weeks) . We quickly called around to a few other sources and they revealed that the Estes lot have been taking longer than their usual sweet time to fill orders.

Our priorities are to sell motors to customers: those who are buying kits and those who have bought kits from us in the past. Every once in a while somebody comes along and wants to hoover up motors and I have to decline the business because our customers flying needs come first.

<h4>HPR SNAFU</h4>
Cesaroni ProXX motors are in the final throes of CE certification and the supply of that precious HPR impulse should be totally legal and for sale before summer. Roll on the Summer of 54 ;-)

Aerotech... who knows? The auction of the assets has been completed and production is said to be uninterrupted. Just when they might turn their attention to old Europe and our bureaucratic need for CE marking is uncertain. We wouldn't bet on it happening any time soon.

Congreve is still mired in paperwork at last contact. You have to admire their determination to get it right and get over all the obstacles put in their way. Press onwards, Mr Carter! Deepsky will be an enthusiastic Congreve reseller when all the i's are dotted and t's crossed. Congreve's appearance with lovel 29mm SU and reloadable motors will be unalloyed good news for flyers of the Cosmodrome scale kits and others.

The Hesperis Technology Afterburner is in its final prototyping stage and we are sorting out a load cell for some fine tuning, thrust curve generation and some reliability testing. We will offer E impulse from an 18mm motor casing and F from a 24mm... without an explosives license needed. UKRA may demand that the motor be treated as experimental (meaning that 30 days notice must be given) but we are sure that everyone will appreciate the inherint safety and utility of the "missing link" between model rocket motors and HPR.

Speaking of hybrids, there appears to be a glimmer of light for those with RATT motors (and others using the Ungermann/Colburn Valve). Rocketeers have been using them as back scratchers or soprano didgeridoos ever since cutting AP grains for initiators was ruled illegal. Deepsky will be offering an info pack and materials set for those who wish fly hybrids without all the Hypertek claptrap of GOX and HT spark generators.


<h4>HELfire pads</h4>
What a long slow road it is to becoming a manufacturer of quality rocket components. The model pads are now shipping and the upgrades are all ready. We have been pleased with the number of pre-orders and delighted at the patience of our eager customers as we kept fiddling with the components and feature list to get them Just Right... and discovering that some parts suppliers aren't as driven by service goals as we are. Well, the model pads are now Just Right. We think that they represent a breakthrough in pad design... you buy a model pad and upgrade it as your needs change. One pad for life.

It is rugged enough for schools use. Equipped with multiple rods, it can get through launches for a class of rocketeers at a good clip. The multi-rod capability is also useful for fleets with rod/rail requirements. Indeed, the HELfire Model Pad with three rods is the best way to see a new Orbital Engineering VMX-12D Vantage into the air!

With the addition of a Heavy Rod Kit, a Stability Upgrade Kit, or a Rail Upgrade Kit, your HELfire model pad can handle about any MPR rocket and will even launch many excellent L1 missiles from BSD, LOC/Precision and Public Enemy.


<h4>New Kits</h4>
<h4>Orbital Engineering</h4>
Vantage VMX-12D are about a fortnight away. These guys will soar! Limited initial availability so let us know of your interest.


<h4>BSD News</h4>
We are still waiting for our order placed mid-February. I apologise to our patient customers. BSD is a small business that makes excellent rockets and their move to new premises and an emergency left no one at the helm for nearly a month. They have also had supply problems, we recently learned. We have had word that the Deepsky boxes are getting close to the door. Thanks for bearing with us. We will keep you posted when the Thors (both three and four inch) and Horizons arrive.


Given that the BSD drought doesn't appear to be over, I re-contacted LOC/Precision with a mind to providing a temporary gap filler until BSD got back on their feet. I was blown away by their service. I ordered four rockets on a Friday night and on Saturday I got an apology from the head honcho that he missed the post on Saturday and they would go out Monday morning from the US... they arrived THURSDAY!

The kits are great value and have all the quality components you would find in other top grade US kits. There are just two full time rocket kit makers in the US and LOC/Precision is the biggest, longest established (19 years and counting) and most financially stable.

Even a 13 year old girl can get an Level 1 on a LOC/Precision kit ;-)


<h4>Cert Sponsors R Us</h4>
Those of you who know Rocket Grrrll, Genni Lavin, know that she got her Level 1 on a well modified LOC/Precision Lil Nuke named Back2Mars so there is a family soft spot there for the marque and the "nuke" silhouette. LOC/Precision have also graciously agreed to sponsor her sister for her Level 3 with a Big Nuke 3E. Deepsky will cough up the Hypertek M1010.

Anyone else interested in HPR certification sponsorship deals should apply to Paul using the website contact page.

Everyone buying the Hydra VII seven motor cluster rocket or the Laser-X have loved the quality of the kit from the building bench to the launch rod. Semroc is indeed the master of the Retro Repros! They have a whole catalogue of revived classics and Deepsky will be bringing them on over the next few weeks. And that trip down memory lane is not a dear one! And unlike your first fumble with balsa fins and a sharp edge, these Semroc kits are all laser cut - a standard not reached by Estes.


The Mars Snooper and Vega up-scaled classics have amazed everyone that has clapped eyes on the products from this Rolls Royce of kit makers. Deepsky's Vega builder/reviewer cleared his workbench immediately when the Vega arrived... not the least because the rocket's pilot had eight legs. It was evidently acquired in a dark corner of the Deepsky shipping facility prior to dispatch. We will have his report soon - the builder's, I mean. The pilot wandered off.

So far unappreciated is the Qmodeling WAC Corporal, a cracker of a scale kit. For readers of this newsletter we will knock £5 off the regular price.


<h4>Estes Blurzzz</h4>
Having been to a few launches lately where the need to burn some propellant was quenched by gale force winds, we are happy to announce that we now are carrying horizontal rockets: Estes Blurzz Rocket Race Cars. They take a while to come here because they travel by boat (as they contain motors). There will be more!

And we will need them! Wednesday morning, desperados in Essex stole an entire TNT delivery van just to get two Blurrzzz cars on their way to the UK rocket car speed champ. We are replacing the ripped off cars right away... and as the cars take a special motor available only from Deepsky, we will see what happens when I get a motor order from some stranger!

What lengths people will go to get get hot new rocket kit astounds me! Maybe they didn't like the new site? ;-)


<h4>Credit cards!</h4>
Our bank, HSBC, is finishing off the final bits of paperwork to allow us to take credit cards online and at events. They are making sure that our site security protects them and our customers. We expect to be able to take most known forms of plastic within the next week to ten days. Everyone has been asking for plastic to help spread the load of a King Viper III or Thor - so we are on the case!

<h4>Just the beginning</h4>
Whew! That is all for now. If you have any comments or issues, please use email or the phone. If we don't know what you like or what you need, we will wind up with far too many Art Applewhite flying saucers and not enough Recovery Upgrade Kits.


See you at Wirral Rocket Society 10 April, at Big EARS and at UKRA 2004! Black Knights dates and others are in the works...

Paul Lavin aka Captain Tetrahedron

DRS/Hesperis Technology Ltd
Originally posted by plavin
We will offer E impulse from an 18mm motor casing and F from a 24mm... without an explosives license needed.
Now this is interesting! :D

Looks like I might be able to fly some of those good-looking mid-power birds without having to fill out loads of forms/have an interview with the Babylon/get my flat reg'd as an eplosives store/etc! :D :D :D
Originally posted by cydermaster
Now this is interesting! :D

Looks like I might be able to fly some of those good-looking mid-power birds without having to fill out loads of forms/have an interview with the Babylon/get my flat reg'd as an eplosives store/etc! :D :D :D

Yes, it is interesting isn't it? Make sure you build with a longer-than-usual motor mount ;)
P.S. It;s not _loads_ of forms is it? Just two ;)

P.P.S. Is "the Babylon" the same as "Dibbles"?
Originally posted by hokkyokusei
P.S. It;s not _loads_ of forms is it? Just two ;)

P.P.S. Is "the Babylon" the same as "Dibbles"?
Two forms is loads to me! ;) The main problem I have with getting liscenced is that I live in a flat. I'm an owner-tenent (ie. I've got a morgage), but the landlord/ultimate owner of the building (the local council) have the last say in the use of the premisis. From initial enquiries, getting reg'd as an explosives store gets them a bit 'worried', to say the least.

To be able to fly more powerful engines without having to endure the beurocratic red tape of North Somerset council would be a blessing - I'm all for a peaceful life. :D

I've never heard the term 'Dibbles' before - I'm guessing its a referance to Top Cat (I loved that program - Bilko RULES!) - If I'm right, then yes: Babylon/Dibbles/Old Bill/Filth - differant name, same thing. ;)
You guys are overlooking an alternative propulsive power that doesn't require landlord's consent or an interview with the filth:


You also get H-M power for a lot less per flight than solids.

Those are the upsides.

The downsides are:

GSE is expensive unless a club buys and provides it (or a helpful vendor is on hand with a tank or go juice)

Nitrous isn't available everywhere (in fact it can be a bit hard to get).

You have to pass the L2 written test (come guys, you should know most of it anyway!)

Until now, initiating a hybrid w/o access to APCP nuggets or GOX was impossible.

Deepsky is about to organise it. There is a clear exception in the 1875 Explosives Act and we can fit our hybrid igniter grains well within that loophole. In fact it is not a loophole... it is a barn door designed to allow just what it is we are planning to do.

The world is over regulated and under enforced. The Frog Filth had that Reed ***hole for 24 hour and then let him get on the ****ing plane with the Nikes of Doom. The filth have better things to do IMHO than causing problems for people experimenting with amateur rocketry.

More later!

Let me get this straight...Deepsky have in the works a Hybrid Ignitor grain which is free from regs?

With that I could Hybrids without any forms?

Hmmm, interesting....

yeah, living in a flat _is_ a problem. Get a license to acquire only and store with a fellow flier? Only need one form then ;)


of course, if you don't wish to partake of the UKRA insurance, then you don't need to do the L2 written paper.