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March ROCK Launch

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jadebox

Roger Smith
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I've placed a video of the March ROCK launch on my site at:

http://www.payloadbay.com/video-7961.html

The video includes high-speed (slow-motion) video of several launches as well as two onboard videos from my "Upscale Alpha III."

The rocket is a kit-bash of a NCR Phantom 6000 that I rebuilt recently. The Phantom 6000 was my first mid-power rocket. I bought the kit 10 or 15 years ago using a gift certificate my wife and I received from Estes for helping with their "Make and Take It" booth at Walt Disney World many years ago.

I rebuilt the Phantom 6000 a short time ago. It had been sitting in the "Island of Misfit Toys" corner of my garage for more than five years. To bring it back to life, I had to replace the motor tube and launch lugs. I was pleased to discover that, after a decade, the glue wasn't holding very well and I was basically able to disassemble the rocket, replace the motor tube, and put it back together without too much trouble.

Of course, the Phantom 6000 isn't really an upscale Alpha III. But, it sort of looks like one and I painted it to match the Alpha III I have in my collection.

To hold the camera in the rocket, I created a sophisticated, high-tech camera mount. I started by cutting a hole in the upper body tube and a matching hole in the bottom of the plastic nosecone. I glued a piece of wood inside the nosecone and stuck a piece of Velcro to it. I stuck the opposite gender of Velcro to the bottom of the camera. I stuck the camera on the piece of wood then wrapped a couple of loops of electrical tape around the base of the nosecone and the camera. Then I squished the tape down so I could slide it and the nosecone into the body tube. I secured the nosecone with a few screws.

The rocket also has a Parrot altimeter mounted in a small electronics bay just below the camera hole. I was afraid the rocket would be a little too heavy and draggy for a four-second delay motor so I wanted the altimeter to ensure deployment right at apagee.

Adding an altimeter was a really good idea. Remembering to arm the altimeter before the flight would have also been a really good idea.

I launched the rocket using a G64-4W Aerotech motor. The flight was pretty close to vertical in spite of a slight breeze. Fortunately, the motor's delay of four seconds turned out to be just about right and the 'chute deployed near apogee. The parachute I chose was a little too large which I didn't think would be a problem since I didn't expect much altitude from the rocket. I don't think the rocket, however, was heavy enough for the parachute and it streamered instead of opening fully. But, the rocket still came down slow enough to be safe and avoid damage.

l later launched the rocket again on a G64. This time, I remembered to arm the altimeter even though the motor delay seems to be just right. In the video, it appears the altimeter fires a second after the motor ejection.

-- Roger
 
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jadebox

Roger Smith
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YouTube messed up the video's sound, so deleted the video then I uploaded a new copy. Now, YouTube is saying it "failed" while processing the file. Stay tuned. I'll get it sorted out ....

-- Roger
 

jadebox

Roger Smith
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Okay ... the video works now. Whew. :)

-- Roger
 

GlennW

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Great video, thanks for putting that up. Looks like you had a great launch there!

Glenn
 

jadebox

Roger Smith
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Great video, thanks for putting that up. Looks like you had a great launch there!
Thanks. We did have a good launch. If it doesn't rain soon, however, it may be our last launch for a while. It's really dry here in Central Florida. The view is hazy out my office window right now so I guess there's another brush fire in the area.

-- Roger
 
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