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Newbie here looking for suggestions

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rbennett62

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I thought I had posted this yesterday, but apparently not.

I am in my mid 50s and have always wanted to get into model rocketry, working my way from the little guys into the big stuff. I noticed you can buy individual parts or a "starter kit" including the firing mechanism.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to a good starter kit either with or without the rocket? I'm primarily interested in whether it is a good idea to buy a "kit" with the firing mechanism and, if so, what is the best kind? If not, what components do I need and any suggestions as to the best kind?
 

dhbarr

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I'd recommend a starter set that's on sale plus a more advanced skill-level kit that takes the same launch rod and motors.

As the smallest / simplest example: https://www.estesrockets.com/clearance/000-2017-bundle-5 would let a person get started in a good sized yard or small park.

A larger example is https://www.estesrockets.com/clearance/000-2017-bundle-8-1 , but these are mostly pre-finished, require a decent sized field, and you spend $10-15 each flight.

Finally, the very most fun you can have with the least investment up front is to attend a NAR or TRA launch near you.
https://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/nar-map-locator/
https://www.tripoli.org/Prefectures

If you're near me, the first hit's free ^_^. Welcome!
 
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CzTeacherMan

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I'd recommend a starter set that's on sale plus a more advanced skill-level kit that takes the same launch rod and motors.

As the smallest / simplest example: https://www.estesrockets.com/clearance/000-2017-bundle-5 would let a person get started in a good sized yard or small park.

A larger example is https://www.estesrockets.com/clearance/000-2017-bundle-8-1 , but these are mostly pre-finished, require a decent sized field, and you spend $10-15 each flight.

Finally, the very most fun you can have with the least investment up front is to attend a NAR or TRA launch near you.
https://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/nar-map-locator/
https://www.tripoli.org/Prefectures

If you're near me, the first hit's free ^_^. Welcome!
Good advice
I second all of it.
Welcome! Enjoy the journey.
 

Bat-mite

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One bit of advice I have for people just starting out is that every Estes kit will tell you to make a rod stop on your launch rod by wrapping masking tape around it. Well, every rocket's instructions tell you to put the tape in a slightly different spot.

Because I was (am) stupid, I bought a new launch rod for every rocket, and taped it according to the instructions. It wasn't until I went to a club launch that I realized you could just use a clothespin and move it around however you want. :facepalm:

If you want to get right to launching quickly, buy a ready-to-fly (RTF) or almost-RTF kit, stick it together and hit the field. If you are more interested in the building aspect, then get a skill level 1 or 2 kit, build it, and work your way up to more complicated stuff.

Read and know the safety code! I believe Estes prints a copy of the NAR safety code in every rocket kit.

HAVE FUN!
 

Buzzard

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Welcome to the forum. rbennett62 it would help if you gave us an idea of where you live. There may be a club or NAR section near you. Check out nar.org website as there is a section locator there. If a club is nearby you can get a lot of information there, plus you could launch without having to have your own gear.
Also, it really depends on what kind of area you plan to launch from on what sort of kit and launch gear to purchase. A lot of us use the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby if you have one nearby. The Estes clearances and their current free shipping for orders over $40 are also an option.

Chas
 

rbennett62

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Thanks! I appreciate the info. I'm a writer, our kids are grown, and so my wife and I can take off and go visit places with not much notice. WE're from Texas but we're driving up to Illinois just so she can be under the total eclips for an extra 30 seconds or so (14 hour trip for 30 extra seconds of viewing but if she likes it...)
 

rbennett62

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We live in NE Texas, about an hour from the OK, ARK, and LA borders. Thanks for the suggestions!

Welcome to the forum. rbennett62 it would help if you gave us an idea of where you live. There may be a club or NAR section near you. Check out nar.org website as there is a section locator there. If a club is nearby you can get a lot of information there, plus you could launch without having to have your own gear.
Also, it really depends on what kind of area you plan to launch from on what sort of kit and launch gear to purchase. A lot of us use the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby if you have one nearby. The Estes clearances and their current free shipping for orders over $40 are also an option.

Chas
 

dr wogz

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One other suggestion: when you buy your 'start kit' also buy a length of 1/8" steel rod / piano wire. (And, you'll soon also want a 3/16" steel rod later, for the slightly larger birds.) It usually says on the rocket package what motors you need as well as launch rod diameter. You can typically pick up a rod at any hobby shop..

I make this suggestion as the two-piece rod that comes with the kit has a break in the middle, and I've seen the odd launch lug get caught on this, severely limiting the rocket's ascent & altitude.

Also, get a sheet of 400 sand paper, tear off a small piece, and sand your rod smooth, and every once & a while to remove launch build-up, rust, and other crud..

And, welcome to the forums!
 

neil_w

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I'll second (triple? quadruple?) all the advice to go to a club launch. You will learn a *ton* and it will really fuel your interest.

Personally, I'm a fan of E2X (easy to assemble) starter sets. To me, E2X rockets give just a taste of the build experience while also being quick, virtually idiot-proof, and require no finishing. Then you can move up to builders kits.

Welcome!
 

Nytrunner

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My 3.4¢ (adjusted for inflation) is to get the Tandem-X launch set. It's got a pad, launch controller, E2X rocket (now called "Skill 2"), and what used to be a skill 1 rocket (now "skill 3").
 

jimn

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As others have said go to a local launch and have a look. As questions, visit the on site vendor(s) if there are any. You can see what is available, and they are a good source of advice.

Somewhat hesitant on the second Estes bundle. The motors are relatively expensive and may be hard to find. See if there is a source in your area. There is a reason for the big discount.
 

dhbarr

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As others have said go to a local launch and have a look. As questions, visit the on site vendor(s) if there are any. You can see what is available, and they are a good source of advice.

Somewhat hesitant on the second Estes bundle. The motors are relatively expensive and may be hard to find. See if there is a source in your area. There is a reason for the big discount.
The rarity of large BP motors has no impact on low-end composite motors :)
 

TommyDiesel

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Hello guys!
m a newbie, looking for types of nozzle making material for model rockets
also if there's any suggestion for any other easily available rocket fuel like sugar+KNO3
 

dhbarr

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Hello guys!
m a newbie, looking for types of nozzle making material for model rockets
also if there's any suggestion for any other easily available rocket fuel like sugar+KNO3
Unless we're in the research forum, we've been asked not to go nuts on Experimental motor talk.
 
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