Malfunctioning motor

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Well-Known Member
May 10, 2011
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I was just out launchin saucers the other day, and I got a motor with little/no ejection charge. First flight: shot up the saucer, if flipped over (with good smoke, I might add:D ;) ), and I got a very satisfactory ejecion blast:cool: . But the second flight was much different. The saucer flew up... Good smoke.... no pop. No fireball. WHATS GOIN ON!?:mad: When I picked up the saucer, I saw that only a tiny portion of that little clay cap was blown away (about 1/8 to 1/4 square inches.). There was charring on the sides of the little hole, so there was a TINY bit of BP in there, but still.... Lucky it was a saucer where it didnt matter too mcuh.....:rolleyes: The motor was an A3-4T. I think I still have it.... Should I save it or throw it out? I hope my mom didnt throw it out when she went to the dump...:mad:

What are your thoughts? (I mean other than "where are the pics!?".;) The batteries are dead. Honest)
Hi Neil ,

Sorry to hear about the bad flight your motor gave you.

As I see things the Low Power Motors all of us here use are made in mass production. Like anything made in large quantities there tends to be a range of values the product has to fit into before the maker sells the product.

The motor maker cant test everything he makes , because that would mean having to launch every motor , and then he wouldnt have anything to sell. Instead the maker tests a few , and hopes the others are like the ones he tested.

In this case your ejection charge popped , but not much ! The maker may have seen this in the samples he tested and decided they were still doing what they were meant to , or maybe the samples all looked "normal", we dont know.

I do know from even my very limited number of flights that ejections can sometimes be weak or very loud, it varies.

I dont know how the warranty system works for motors but I guess as the rocket/suacer wasnt damaged due to the way the motor behaved there is nothing to compensate.

If it were me , and as I have no need for the unused motor/charge material , I would dispose of the motor by a method given in any instructions(if any) . I beleive this means soaking it in water for a period of time, but others here can help you Im sure.

It wasnt really a "bad flight". I just wouldent have been if it were a real rocket:rolleyes:

If it happens again, tough....:kill:

There is nothing to compensate. even if it shredded the rocket, it would be about 2 cents worth of paper and tape:rolleyes: This was a home-made thing. it cost $0.

But it was dissapointing not having a huge boom and flame everywhere....:( ;)
But it was dissapointing not having a huge boom and flame everywhere....

Well, Estes' warranty is pretty good but...I don't really think "dissapointment" is covered!

"Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to be a big earth shattering KABOOM!"

quote: Marvin the Martian
it might be made that way, I mean if you are using a small a motor your rocket isnt going to need much of an ejection charge, so you would put a small one in so you dont destroy the rocket, I mean it doesnt take much to pressurize a small tube
The other 10 or so A3-4Ts I flew recently blew thier caps entirely. One had a HGUE fireball. :cool: I dunno what caused it....

dissapointment should be coverd....;) :p
I was at a rocketry demo at a local school, there was a rocket resembling a fly there, 5-4-3-2-1-Woosh-KABOOM!

It was a 13 or 18mm motor too. Good thing the rocket was tumble recovery.