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Betzbug

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Hello, I am a BAR getting myself (and my daughter) into HPR. This is also my first time ever being in a forum or chat so please bear me. After digging into the NAR site, this site, reading the rocket reviews glossary A to Z, and reviewing (and linking as favorites) at least 20 different rocket and motor sites and I think I'm starting to get some ideas of what to ask.
First, the NAR related questions:
1) I understand that my 9 year old daughter can't buy HPR motors but she wants to build and fly "the big ones" with me. NAR has Jr. membership but I couldn't find info saying she would be allowed to the flightline to launch and/or retrieve. Would she be? (She is doing a great job on her 3rd rocket, infact better than me at 9-more patience, especially sanding and painting) My 6 yr old is on her first and coming along well.
2) Interested in keeping launch costs down, read here that hybrids are cheaper than single use or reloads. True or False? If true, how would I certify with something I can't buy or should I plan to certify on single use?
3) Should I plan to get a proper launch pad right away or can I use a launch pad once I get into a NAR chapter? I have not joined the NAR yet due to moving shortly and want to get settled in first and have new address & ID.
OK, my rocket questions:
1) I dig big rockets and it looks like PML and Giant Leap are at the top. I was interested in the Giant Leap kits when they mentioned lvl 1 & 2 capable. The 54 looks pretty cool. For PML, I would think the Endeavour or Black Brant X would be lvl 1 & 2 capable as well...correct? I hope the BBX isn't too big for the 640 N-sec lvl 1 flight. ( I think it might be ) I'm still teaching myself the math relating to the larger motors and could really use help here.
2) Can the rockets mentioned above use any motors? Meaning hybrid, reload, or single use and also any proprietary issues?
I look forward to your responses and will use your advice to get me (and my little ones) off to a good start in HPR. Thank You, Betzbug
 

Karl

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Firstly welcome to TRF!

1) I'm not sure on that one , I know in the UK people have certed at 10 years old , but I dont know about Tripolli or NAR.Sorry!
2) Reloads will be your best bet , after using them over and over , they pay for themselves. Hybrids are for more ' experienced ' rocketeers.
3) You can ' borrow ' launch pads ect on a ' you loose you buy ' basis. Just find out who is going to the next launch and ask if they're using a HPR pad and what rail ect.
OK, my rocket questions:
1)Well for my level 1 (Even though im not yet certed ) , I bought a BSD 3" Diablo , its perfect for a level1 , and hits 3000ft on a I motor. But for your level 2 you might want to scratch build something.
2) No the rockets you mentioned can not be used with any motor , some rockets are designed for Aerotech/Econojet motors , some designed for Hybrids , ect. You might want to note that this is because of motor retainment , and the legnth of motors differ .


Hope this helps,
Karl
 

Ray Dunakin

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Originally posted by Betzbug
Hello, I am a BAR getting myself (and my daughter) into HPR. This is also my first time ever being in a forum or chat so please bear me. After digging into the NAR site, this site, reading the rocket reviews glossary A to Z, and reviewing (and linking as favorites) at least 20 different rocket and motor sites and I think I'm starting to get some ideas of what to ask.
Welcome aboard!

First, the NAR related questions:
1) I understand that my 9 year old daughter can't buy HPR motors but she wants to build and fly "the big ones" with me. NAR has Jr. membership but I couldn't find info saying she would be allowed to the flightline to launch and/or retrieve. Would she be? (She is doing a great job on her 3rd rocket, in fact better than me at 9-more patience, especially sanding and painting) My 6 yr old is on her first and coming along well.
Depends on the launch, as each club has their own ideas of how to run things. For many folks kids are the preferred method of retrieval :) Generally speaking, you shouldn't have any problems as long as she's with you and is behaving well.

2) Interested in keeping launch costs down, read here that hybrids are cheaper than single use or reloads. True or False? If true, how would I certify with something I can't buy or should I plan to certify on single use?
Hybrid reloads are cheaper, but the ground support equipment is bulky and expensive. You should check to see if your local club has any GSE for hybrids. If they do, I'd also recommend that you attend a launch and talk to some of the folks there who do hybrids, and get a feel for what is involved. They are quite a different animal!

3) Should I plan to get a proper launch pad right away or can I use a launch pad once I get into a NAR chapter?
No need to get your own pad, at least not right away. Most clubs provide pads. If they don't have "club" pads, you shouldn't have any trouble getting one of the other flyers to let you launch of their pad.

OK, my rocket questions:
1) I dig big rockets and it looks like PML and Giant Leap are at the top. I was interested in the Giant Leap kits when they mentioned lvl 1 & 2 capable. The 54 looks pretty cool. For PML, I would think the Endeavour or Black Brant X would be lvl 1 & 2 capable as well...correct? I hope the BBX isn't too big for the 640 N-sec lvl 1 flight. ( I think it might be ) I'm still teaching myself the math relating to the larger motors and could really use help here.
2) Can the rockets mentioned above use any motors? Meaning hybrid, reload, or single use and also any proprietary issues?
Can't help you on these, as I don't do kits. BTW, LOC/Precision also makes some great mid- and high power kits.
 

BlueNinja

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Well... In response to your question about the Giant Leap kits, I gotta say that if you launch it for a L2, you juts might want a big field ;) .
 

cls

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if you really want to keep costs down, stay away from HPR!


that said, many HPR kits are actually easier to build than some model rockets. some of my favorite MPR & HPR vendors are LOC/Precision, Binder Designs, and Skunkworks (now called Polecat Aerospace!).
 

Betzbug

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For the quotes, do you guys just copy & paste and then reply ? Oh Yea, I also type Very Slow. Again bear with me.

Karl, thank you and I will start to look into reloads and rockets that work with them. Then look at hybrids. I was thinking of getting Lvl 1 & 2 knocked out on one kit and then scratch building for 3. Actually I would love to get involved to the point of being a NAR certifier. For me, altitude is second to great takeoffs. I watched some of the links to the liftoffs of "the big ones". Loved It.

Ray, thank you and my wife and I got a good laugh on your comment of child retrievel this morning. My daughters are great. As for hybrids, I planned on getting into a local club and finding a mentor before getting into it. My background in the USAF as an Avionics Troop (Finished Degree) and due to lack of manning I got my hands dirty in everything. Jet engines, Hydro, etc... My career was cut short due to injury and now I'm disabled. Never lost the desire to make things fly though. When I get home tonite I'll dig into the BTW and LOC sites and look around.

To the Ninja, that 54 looks really good. I am concerned about finding a proper site. I thought about buying a farm :D

To Cls, moth to a flame... When I read about Firestorm 54 I was kinda bummed that it could be built in a few hours. I want to savor the construction as well as the launches. Oh yea, thank you for showing me 2 more companies to check out. BD & SW (PA)
 

Karl

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As the the 'Quotes' Just click the little 'Quote' box at the bottom of a reply ect.

For now you should become a member of a club near you , and 'Shadow' one of the more experienced members to pick up tips ect. But being a 'BAR' , this is the place to come :)
-Karl
 

loopy

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PML kits are fantabulous! I have a Small Endeavour, a Amraam 2, and a Tiny Pteradactyl. I love the way they go together, and the materials are amazing. As for the ones you've mentioned, you should be fine for L1 and 2 on both of those kits. PML's Website has information about each rocket and what motors will bring it to what altitude. Because the one's you've mentioned are bigger, I'd probably lean more towards higher thrusting I's for the L1 rather than an H. The BBX should be great on an I300 or an I357. Good "kick in the pants" type motors. Then, throw in a J350 or J420 for L2!
 

Betzbug

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For now you should become a member of a club near you , and 'Shadow' one of the more experienced members to pick up tips ect. But being a 'BAR' , this is the place to come :)
-Karl [/B]
My thoughts exactly, there is a NAR club in Crystal Lake IL I plan on getting in touch with.

Loopy, I have read a lot of this sites posts for info gathering and PML is definately on the top of the list. Like the Quantum tube without lines to fill. Is the Black Brant X too big for lvl 1 cert? I brought the PML book with me here to work and looking in the back the 1st motor listed is the 38mm I357T. Does this motor go over 640 ns?
 

Todd Knight

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Welcome,

The I-357 is a 360 N/S motor. If you like the PML kits check out the Aamram 4. It is a little shorter (less weight).

I usually recomend that you pick something you like that will fly on H-I motors safely then if (when) you get hooked on the hobby you are going to want to build another rocket anyway that can support J-K motors, hybrids or electronics.

Have fun.
 

jetra2

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Welcome to TRF, Betzbug! You're gonna like it here.

Basically, you can think of the levels as this:

Level One: All H's and all I's (except possibly hybrids) are allowable.
Level Two: All J's, K's, and L's.
Level Three: All M, N, and O motors.

Motors are very simple to figure out. This is how you can do it.

Level One:
H 160.01 -- 320.00
I 320.01 -- 640.00

Level Two:
J 640.01 -- 1,280.00
K 1,280.01 -- 2,560.00
L 2,560.01 -- 5,120.00

Level Three:
M 5,120.01 -- 10,240.00
N 10,240.01 -- 20,480.00
O 20,480.01 -- 40,960.00

As you can see, each motor is a doubling of the previous motor's impulse. Now, not all H's are 320 n-s, and not all M's are 10240 n-s, but if the motor exceeds a that high impulse limit, it is no longer an I, for example, it would be classified as a J.

Hope this helps!

Jason
 

Betzbug

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Todd, is there a weight limit you have to stay under for 1 & 2? I think I read that there was a min. wt. the rocket T/O wt. had to be. Also, after being in the USAF and my personal experiences, I think having a rocket that looks military might bother me. I did link thrustcurve a few weeks ago early on in my looking but didn't go in yet to absorb it. I was more concerned about reading the rocket reviews glossary A to Z and absorbing that so when I joined here and started with the questions I would sorta keep up.

Jason, thank you, that did help a TON!! It's simpler than I made it out to be. I do think I have some more "motor understanding" homework to do tonight. Will dig into thrustcurve tonight.
 

loopy

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Another thought is to maybe start with midpower and a few Aerotech and LOC kits. I say this because many of these kits can be flown with 29mm E, F, and G loads. Get the 29mm 40-120 casing and an Aerotech Initiator. Fly the Initiator on a few F40's, F52's, and maybe a G64 or two to get used to the reloadable motors and how they work. I don't think I'd want my first reload to be my L1 cert motor.

Loopy
 

Todd Knight

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The general rule of thumb is thrust to weight of 5:1. Most of the vendors and or the people you fly with help to make sure you are OK. Look at Thrustcurve for max thrust and compare that to weight of your rocket with motor installed.

Also, consider availability of the motors. Aerotech motors are still in pretty short supply. The Cesaroni Pro38 motors are a good option. They are incredibly easy to use and clean up. You can usually borrow hardware from one of the other flyers regardless of the reload you choose.

Another non-military rocket from PML is the Tethys or the Endeavour. The tethys can be stretched with another body tube to handle J motors (moves CG forward). I saw one modified for dual deployment fly on a K-550. The Endeavour can fly on just about any motor H-J and makes a nice whistle under coast.
 

Betzbug

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Loopy, my common sense agrees with with you to start smaller (in rockets and in motors) and get more rockets over time working my way up. I see the situation with the boss as "spend a little more once" instead of "death by a thousand pin pricks". When I got into hunting, I knew nothing. All the hunters on base said start with a cheap rifle. I researched and my first was (and is the only) rifle is a Browning Composite Stalker and filled both tags at 170 and 220 yards. My mentor in the actual hunt & cleaning was a fellow troop whose father was a guide in Montana. I don't fear starting this on a higher level as long as I "shadow" the right folks. (thank Karl for that one)
I concede that reloads and hybrids are something not to jump into blindly.

Todd, my planned "homework" this evening will be diving into thrustcurve. I bought 4 LPRs from A2Z on Monday ( they are only 25 min away) and the Gent there said Aerotech has been bought back by the guy or folks that started it and the flow of motors should be up shortly. I don't know if that means weeks or months though.
I had my eye on the Endeavour, very cool rocket.
 

Todd Knight

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Also check out Rocketry Online. The Info Central section is very good. That should keep you busy for awhile. Some of the info is a little dated but still is a great place for people new to the hobby.

https://www.rocketryonline.com

They also have a huge links section. Sometimes the links are dead but you can find a lot of stuff for your enjoyment.
 

Betzbug

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I'm amazed at all the replies today. You guys made being at work go by faster, and I actually learned "good stuff" today. Thank You.
 

Betzbug

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Todd, that was my rosetta stone site from day one. I've actually been researching and visiting here for a few weeks.
OOPs, should have added...motors were/are my weak link right now but was looking around thrustcurve getting an idea of the differences. It was stuck in my brain that a certain mm was only for a certain letter power.
Adding Again...realize factors include diameter, length, and propellant type. and probably others. You Know, I hate metric
 

Missileman

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Welcome to TRF.
My first reload was my L1 and it went off without a hitch. Perfect flight.
I don't know of a minimum weight. It boils down to what motor you want to use. The size of the field and how high the waver is.
Remember you do want the rocket back after launch.
You are just around the corner from Three Oaks, Mi.
There are monthly launches there with ,I believe, a 12,000 waver.
Tripoli is more oriented toward high power and big rockets.
NAR gears more toward low power and has more contest at their launches (great for the kids)
Best of Luck
 

Betzbug

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Missleman, you're darn right. I'd head up thee w/o a second thought. Actually I'm glad you mentioned the difference with Tripoli. If you could have seen my 9 year olds eyes when I showed her the USR Custom 12" Big Bertha. All rocket nuts would have been proud....That's the one she wants her and I to build together. I have other favorites of that size. I guess thats why I see the ones I mentioned before as my entry level. Love those big rocket takeoffs.
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Betzbug


From a BAR standpoint, if yyu want to jump right into MPR, I'd encourage you to strongly consider the Aerotech kits. Yes they are a bit easy, however they are also very forgiving. The LOC kits are really neat however they presume you know a bit about building techniques and the instructions can be a bit skimpy. PML makes some serious rockets, and I'm addicted to them. However, they are really for someone with a few kits under their belt. LaunchPad is also for someone into the modeling experience. Ditto for Cosmodrome.

Two of what I call borderline MPR kits you may want to consider are the Estes Big Daddy and Executioner. Both employ a bunch of the skills used for MPR and HPR - for a fair amount less out the gate.

Oh yes, I see you have been to Rol -> Another outstanding info source is EMRR. Word of advice stay away from the usenet group rec.models.rockets until you've been around awhile. It can make the hobby seem pretty bleak.

Lastly, Welcome Aboard. This is a great place full of wonderful people who will fall all over themselves to help out.

A
 

Betzbug

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Hospital Rocket,

First, I hope the your health only improves. I believe I read that your knees and wrists have been an issue for building. Also you have to work every other weekend, I am in retail and every weekend I work. I do plan to take time off to get to meetings and launches. This will be good for me. I hope for the best but the truth of it is that I might be in a wheelchair by 40.
OK, don't want to bum out a great first day at the forum.
Going back to 6th grade, I've built a lot of rockets (LPR of course) and was even in the school rocket club building them from scatch. In the last 3 months I've been practicing my "hands on" with a couple of quest kits (the latter modded), and teaching both my daughters and the little boy down stairs how to build slowly and correctly. I will only buy kits now with balsa fins and we only use 2000 grit sandpaper (teaches patience) along with sanding sealer to perfect our finish techniques. This also applies to primer and painting of course. They know now how to fill defects in cones and tube lines. My 9 year old can put together the motor mount & centering tubes as well as me now.
Well, to let the cat out of the bag as to what i did in the AF, I was stationed at Offutt AFB and was a Avionics Tech for the E4-B (NAOC) Mobile Command Post before I hurt my back while on duty. I got to get my hands dirty doing a little bit of everything and got good at fixing things right the first time. This helped me excel at attention to detail.
I guess maybe I don't want to show up to a launch and the veteran rocketeers would think "Oh look, another newbie with an Initiator" when I think I could start out with something a little harder.

Didn't plan on going anywhere else for rocket info. This site and the folks in it just seamed like the right place to ask for input. :)
 

Hospital_Rocket

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I'm pretty healthy, however I appreciate the sentiment.:) I'm in Heathcare IT,
 

loopy

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Originally posted by Betzbug

I guess maybe I don't want to show up to a launch and the veteran rocketeers would think "Oh look, another newbie with an Initiator" when I think I could start out with something a little harder.
Trust me - people won't think that. That's the great thing about this hobby - everyone is willing to help, and they won't make fun of you until they know you! :D Honestly though - if you've never built with epoxy and other techniques, I'd do some MPR birds first. Start with Aerotech to get the feel for the size of the rockets, then move on to LOC, Cosmodrome, and PML when you're ready for bigger, more intricate projects. If you don't want to be the "newbie with an Initiator", I would recommend the Strong Arm. Nice kit, good size, and a little bit more detailed build. Use epoxy for fillets, and it will come out great. Oh, and it's perfect on F52-5T motors!

Loopy
 

BlueNinja

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Don't worry about people thinking you're a newbie. They won't.

The Initiator is a great start into MPR, I built mine in about a month (maybe 5-10 minutes a day), but it crashed due to an AT bonus delay :( The Mustang is also sweet, goes nearly outta sight on E30s.
 

Betzbug

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Well you guys got me at the Aerotech site. Looking over the different birds. If I go with an Initiator starter set, I'd like to go reloads. Should I? Earlier, I aked about needing a pad, which I got the reply basically not right away. I'd rather spend on the rocket. Are all Aerotech roughly the same level of build difficulty? Also, can any of these knock out lvl 1 cert?
 

rdbones

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As a BAR I had some of the same feelings.

I picked up a LOC Onyx as my first MPR kit and Love it. My next MPR was the Initiator "starter set" which came with the rocket, Mantis launch pad and the Interlock controller. This was a very worthwhile buy. I use the pad and controller on several other rockets that I have and it taught me a lot about the MPR / HPR world. I have also picked up the Small Endeavour which they say can be L1 / L2, and the Phantom - both great kits!

I am just starting my L1 project which is also posted on this fourm, and have gotten great advice here, and in ROL Chat.

Everyone has been more than willing to share their knowledge, advice and views. some have even loaned motorcasings with out question.

What a Great Hobby
 

loopy

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Originally posted by Betzbug
Well you guys got me at the Aerotech site. Looking over the different birds. If I go with an Initiator starter set, I'd like to go reloads. Should I? Earlier, I aked about needing a pad, which I got the reply basically not right away. I'd rather spend on the rocket. Are all Aerotech roughly the same level of build difficulty? Also, can any of these knock out lvl 1 cert?
Most AT birds are about the same difficulty, but some are slightly more detailed. For instance - on the strong arm, you have to cut and shape the strakes yourself. They give you blanks, and a guide, but you cut them yourself.

There is only one (the Sumo) that is ready for L1 out of the box, but several others can be modified to handle some of the smaller 29mm H's out there. The Astrobee, Mirage, G-Force, and Arcas could all be easily modified with no thrust ring or motor hook, take out the baffle, and add some motor retention and it will handle L1 no problem.

If you go with the Sumo, forget about using the piston it comes with. Instead, take the coupler supplied for the piston, and use it to re-inforce the rear end of the body tube after the MMT is installed. The motor mount is recessed in this much like the Estes Phoenix, and prone to damage on landing. Epoxying the coupler in there adds alot of strength to the rear end of the kit.

*edit* Oh! Almost forgot. If you're planning on staying in the hobby for any length of time at all, definitely go the reload route. Reloads are much cheaper than single use, and there are alot more options as well. Not to mention, nearly all HPR motors are reloads. They're not difficult to build - actually, it's fun to build the reloads - and clean up isn't as bad as some people say if you clean it as soon as you can when the bird comes back. If you let it set for a few hours, clean up will be a pain because everything will solidify in the casing. :eek:

Loopy
 

Betzbug

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I'm at the Aerotech site now and I can't find the Sumo on the list. Was it recently discontinued? I did like the Mirage and the Arcas quite a bit. I agree getting the Initiator starter kit (I do want reload) would be a good value. It sounds like cleaning a reload rocket is like cleaning a muzzleloader, but muzzleloaders are probably much worse.
Loopy, I think as I get older, I will have two hobbies. Rockets and fishing. It's unlikely I'll hunt anymore and I haven't been on my motorcycle on anything besides a warm up run since last summer. My wife said I should just sell my hunting stuff and my bike and just absorb myself in rockets. No problem there. Just got to get over giving up my bike. We'll see...

EDIT- Well, just sent an email over to NIRA to see if I may visit at their next meeting on June 2nd. Got the maps & times. I'm excited! They have a launch on the 20th in Glendale Heights, might try to ditch work early.... Depends on how I'm doing then (Sales stinks like that, but it's also Father's Day)
 
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