Parachute Packing - HELP!!

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stevem

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I really need some help guys - my success rate on recovery is terrible. Last Sunday evening we had the chance to launch 5 rockets. 4 out of the 5 had chute deployment 'issues'.

I must be doing something wrong. I am getting kinda tired of repairing rockets.

Do you guys wrap the shock cord around the folded chute? Or does the shock cord lay under the chute? What about shroud lines? layem up inside the chute and then fold chute? or fold chute and wrap around outside? How do you fold the chute? How tightly do you fold it?

I'll take any and all advice I can get.
 

graylensman

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What sort of "deployment issues" are you having?

I think it depends on a number of factors. How wide is the BT, and how big is the chute? Obviously a big chute packed in a narrow tube will have problems ejecting.

I try to use the spike method espoused by Stine: Pull the chute into a spike shape so the shroud lines meet. Fold in half, fold in half again, and then roll as neatly and as tightly as you can. Give yourself a bit of line to make it easier to handle chute, shock cord and nose cone with only two hands. This does take a bit of practice. I never wrap the shock cord around the chute.

Also, try not to store your chutes packed in the rocket. Most of my deployment problems have come from this. Best bet: use swivel snaps (fishing line things) to attach to nose cones. When not flying, you can hang them from a clothes hanger. Also, sprinkle baby powder on the open chute before rolling.

Hope this helps.
 

SecretSquirrel

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I pretty much fold the parachute the way shown in old Estes instructions. I wrap the shroud lines around the chute 2 or 3 times. I only fold the chute tight enough to get it inside the body tube.

I don't wrap the shock cord around the chute. I put the wadding in the body, then push in the shock cord and the folded chute goes in after that.

I can't remember the last time I had a chute fail to open. At the NSL I did have a nose cone flip up and land on top of the chute, kinda made it a streamer. Oh well, it was really windy, I was glad for the shorter walk.
 

stevem

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thanks for the responses guys -
the main issue I have is having the chute come out but not opening because of tangling with shock cord or shroud lines.
I don't keep the chutes in the rockets, they all hang in the garage until ready for use. I do use the snap swivels for all my chutes.
It just seems to me that I must be doing something wrong since my failure rate seems to be higher than normal. But then I guess I don't really know what a 'normal' failure rate is.
 

Stones

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Originally posted by SecretSquirrel
...
I don't wrap the shock cord around the chute. I put the wadding in the body, then push in the shock cord and the folded chute goes in after that.
...
I don't know if it makes a difference or not but, I always put the shockcord in last, on top of the chute.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by stevem
I really need some help guys - my success rate on recovery is terrible. Last Sunday evening we had the chance to launch 5 rockets. 4 out of the 5 had chute deployment 'issues'.

I must be doing something wrong. I am getting kinda tired of repairing rockets.

Do you guys wrap the shock cord around the folded chute? Or does the shock cord lay under the chute? What about shroud lines? layem up inside the chute and then fold chute? or fold chute and wrap around outside? How do you fold the chute? How tightly do you fold it?

I'll take any and all advice I can get.
There's several methods of folding and packing. I've had the best luck with the ones that involve accordian-like folding, never wrapping anything around anything else. Unless there's a reason to do otherwise (the order of packing the two chutes on a Mirage) pack it in reverse order of how it comes out, ie., shock cord before shrouds before chute.
 

stevem

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the parachuts I have been using are the nylon material and the plastic. Seems like I have the same bad luck with either.

Is it possible to have a shock cord too long? I understand it is recommended to have the shock cord at least 2 times the length of the air frame. Most of mine are longer than this.
 

astronboy

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I used to have terrible recovery issues as well. I researched the net and various ESTES/NAR/Sprocketry references and have come up with a method that works well. Here is what I do:


1) make sure there is enough... but not too much wadding. 2-3 BT diameters of 'dog barf' is good, or 3-6 sheets of QUESTES paper wadding. Do not pack the wadding in... it needs to come out easily.

2) I add a 'puff' of baby powder on top of the wadding. I Circle the BT with my hand and use it as a sort of funnel. This not only aids in tracking, but the powder lubricates the inside of the BT somewhat.

3) I give a few puffs of baby powder to the open chute as a lubricant, and fold using the classic ESTES 'spike' method, lightly wrapping the shroud lines around the chute. The chute must go in easily, or it will not deploy.

4) I put most of the shock chord into the BT, followed only by the chute.

5) I clean any baby powder dust off of the outside of the rocket with a tack cloth.


6) Add an igniter and launch!!

Fred
 

edwardw

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If you are having twisted shroud lines and such, don't wrap but roll your shroud lines around the chute. Take them in one hand and roll the parachute onto the shrould lines. When we wrap with our hands we add twists and such...

Edward
 
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