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chuck5395

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I'm looking for information on the best way to pack the parachute on a low power model rocket.

Thanks
 

luke strawwalker

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I've always done it just like it's described in G. Harry Stine's "Handbook of Model Rocketry" and I've had really good luck. I've had maybe two stuck chutes over the years, all before I started using talcum powder on the chutes.

Hold the chute up by the swivel (if you have one installed; it sure makes things a LOT easier) and tug the chute down into a point at the apex. IF it has a spill hole, tug the edges of the spill hole down to get the canopy 'pointed' underneath the shrouds. Give it a dusting of talcum powder to prevent sticking, and I sometimes put about half a teaspoon or so in for 'tracking powder' (leaves a cloud of powder in the sky when the chute pops open). I gather all the 'billows' (material between shroud lines) to one side, with the shroud lines on the other side, making a rough 'triangle' shape. Fold the point up toward the shroudlines but just below them (don't overlap the lines) and then fold the gathered 'billows' over the point, then start at the bottom and roll it up neatly, finishing by slightly loosely rolling the shroud lines around it. Clip it on the nosecone and then insert it in the rocket on top of your wadding, and then finish off by loading the loose shock cord on top.

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

chuck5395

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Pippen & Luke.

Thanks for the video link and the step by step.

I have what I need now.

Oh, and Pippen, I have three rockets ready to go. Hopefully there will be good weather this weekend and we can give it a go.
-Chuck
 

Pippen

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You have fun and we'll be looking for a flight report, and pictures if you have them!
 

hardinlw

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The use of a swivel is very important. It allows you to store the parachute outside of the rocket instead of wadding it up inside the rocket. Wadding the chute up inside the rocket will set creases into it making it more likely to fail. The swivel also avoids twisting the shroud lines during the descent.
 

DAllen

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If you are flying in a grass field where the grass is a bit long I wouldn't even bother with a chute. I think parachutes are over-rated on soft fields with LPR.

-Dave

Edit: A good alternative is a streamer. Go to a hardware store and look for the 2" wide surveyors tape. You can buy it in rolls by the hundreds of feet for only a few bucks and it is usually found near the measuring tapes. Fold it in halves until it is small enough to fit in the body tube and slides in and out easily. Don't coil it in a roll and give it a light dusting of talcum power.
 
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Pippen

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I'm looking for information on the best way to pack the parachute on a low power model rocket.

Thanks
By now you can see there is no "best" way to pack a parachute--only favorites! :)

Judo, maybe your pastor is moonlighting and working for Estes in his spare time. ;)
 

Sinister Mr. S

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My technique is a little different. I fold the parachute in half, in quarters, then I loosely put the lines up to the swivel IN the parachute. Fold over the chute a couple more times, and stuff loosely in the rocket. I like doing it this way because I think that you get less tangling of lines and less stuff to hang up in your lines. In another way to look at it, the parachute opens up BEFORE the shroud lines are exposed. My 2 cents.
 

abw

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I typically z-fold the parachute so that it opens more quickly. (As opposed to having to have it unfold when it deploys.) It just seems to be a bit more reliable...
 

chuck5395

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Thanks to all of you that responded.

We went out last Saturday to a local club launch and had a great time. It even stoped raining for about an hour. I do have to say that while our launches were great, we need to work on our recoveries. All four rockets we launched recevied damage due to various recovery issues but, all repairs are complete, new rockets have been built, and we are ready for the launch in April to go and try again.
 

Pippen

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All four rockets we launched recevied damage due to various recovery issues but, all repairs are complete, new rockets have been built, and we are ready for the launch in April to go and try again.
If all of your rockets are repaired, rebuilt, and new rockets constructed in only five day's time, you are now officially my new hero. ;)

Dusting the parachutes or streamers with baby powder or cornstarch will help them to open better in humid conditions. A few year's ago we had a 4-H fair launch where no one remembered the baby powder and we had a lot of casualties due to parachutes not opening that year.

Glad to hear you had a great time!
 

Micromeister

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If all of your rockets are repaired, rebuilt, and new rockets constructed in only five day's time, you are now officially my new hero. ;)

Dusting the parachutes or streamers with baby powder or cornstarch will help them to open better in humid conditions. A few year's ago we had a 4-H fair launch where no one remembered the baby powder and we had a lot of casualties due to parachutes not opening that year.

Glad to hear you had a great time!
Pipen and everyone"
Please Don't use cornstarch or cornstarch baby powder, it's flamable! Talc (Regular) baby powder only please;)
 

Pippen

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Pipen and everyone"
Please Don't use cornstarch or cornstarch baby powder, it's flamable! talc baby powder only please;)
Ack! Strike the baby cornstarch! I think that's what we had leftover from the baby days.

Thanks, Micro.
 

spacecadet

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Recovery is just that- recovering from a flight. For me, a scratchbuilder, that means not over-gluing fins so that, on a bad landing, they snap off rather than bending and so are easier to repair. Sure, build as strong as you can, but as you gain experience, only build as strong as you need. It's not all about chute packing- easy return to flight is important too. You shouldn't often spack* a rocket completely.

*spack: to wreck, derived from the sound made by a rocket landing in a ballistic or other non-nominal configuration, a contraction of splat and crack. Defined variously as requiring replacement of more than half the fins and/ or at least one of the fuselages (think about it), or requiring so much repair time as to keep one out of the pub, or cutting into one's drinking time by more than two pints.
 

spacecadet

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Oops. I am not advocating skimpy building. Just that model rockets don't need to be built like tanks. More like aeroplanes.
Drinking and flying are activities to be enjoyed separately. Drinking and building, however- well just be careful with the power tools.
 

Pippen

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Drinking and building, however- well just be careful with the power tools.
Psst, spacecadet...this is the beginner's board where we're wanting to keep it friendly and applicable to all ages. Drinking and power tools are never a good idea.
 

chuck5395

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If all of your rockets are repaired, rebuilt, and new rockets constructed in only five day's time, you are now officially my new hero. ;)
Don't get too exited. I'm housebound with with a broken leg. Gotta pass the time somehow.
And no, it had nothing to do with rocketry. It's our other passion, Soap Box Derby Racing that gave me the broken leg.
 

Pippen

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Don't get too exited. I'm housebound with with a broken leg. Gotta pass the time somehow.
And no, it had nothing to do with rocketry. It's our other passion, Soap Box Derby Racing that gave me the broken leg.
Soap Box Derby Racing must be a contact sport where you race. :eek:
 

chuck5395

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Soap Box Derby Racing must be a contact sport where you race. :eek:
Only when your 13 year old daughter has a brake failure and you are trying to get her stopped before she crashes. Good news is we had a race this past weekend and her new brake system works great. She took third place both days.
 

ben_ullman

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Recovery is just that- recovering from a flight. For me, a scratchbuilder, that means not over-gluing fins so that, on a bad landing, they snap off rather than bending and so are easier to repair. Sure, build as strong as you can, but as you gain experience, only build as strong as you need. It's not all about chute packing- easy return to flight is important too. You shouldn't often spack* a rocket completely.

*spack: to wreck, derived from the sound made by a rocket landing in a ballistic or other non-nominal configuration, a contraction of splat and crack. Defined variously as requiring replacement of more than half the fins and/ or at least one of the fuselages (think about it), or requiring so much repair time as to keep one out of the pub, or cutting into one's drinking time by more than two pints.
Not to start a tiff but I think the complete opposite to building. So I have a hard landing on a rocket but planned 2 flights that day. Looks like I am now screwed for the 2nd one if a fin pops off. Of course I am talking a little bit larger rockets. Build your rockets to handle recovery. Alot of people can build rockets. Can you build one that is flyable AGAIN!?!!!

Ben
 

Obi-Wan

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Not to start a tiff but I think the complete opposite to building. So I have a hard landing on a rocket but planned 2 flights that day. Looks like I am now screwed for the 2nd one if a fin pops off. Of course I am talking a little bit larger rockets. Build your rockets to handle recovery. Alot of people can build rockets. Can you build one that is flyable AGAIN!?!!!

Ben
10-4 good buddy.

but... I have to say it all depends on LPR-MPR-HPR. I agree with HPR there should never be (just) a broken fin on "recovery" (I think you know what I'm getting at = big nuke).

And honestly, Ben, You're lucky to get one flight off in a day, I'll pay good money(not that I have any right now) to watch you try to get two flights with one rocket in one day.:D

HPR has the luxury of Electronic Dual Deployment. LPR and MPR usually with motor ejection only does not. In my opinion, engine ejection is a big challenge for flights over 1500'. I mean all of the issues with delay timing, zippers, separation, chute shreds, drift and trees/corn fields/hills. Of course, if I'm gonna put a L/MPR bird out of sight, I'll sacrifice a fin to get it back (more so if I have a RMS case in it).

... bla bla bla - there's only one way to pack a chute, shroud lines folded in with the canopy, so they don't tangle and actually help the chute open quicker(and at lower velocities). I showed A TARC team my methods last Vikings launch. They needed more flight time, but more importantly I was hoping to help reduce variation.
 

BsSmith

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Not to start a tiff but I think the complete opposite to building. So I have a hard landing on a rocket but planned 2 flights that day. Looks like I am now screwed for the 2nd one if a fin pops off. Of course I am talking a little bit larger rockets. Build your rockets to handle recovery. Alot of people can build rockets. Can you build one that is flyable AGAIN!?!!!

Ben
Tailcones are your best friend! I love tailcones, I think they look awesome on a rocket, but the best part about them is that they take most of the landing impact so a rocket can take a harder landing without breaking a fin. Also, I don't like using motor ejections, I feel that they are too inaccurate and cause zippers. A good altimeter set up for apogee deployment reduces the chances for zippers and shredded chutes. Getting rid of motor ejection completely also gets rid of the chances for a motor CATO caused by misplaced O-rings in the delay.
 

kramer714

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just to throw another opinion in, how you build depends on where you fly. As a kid (midwest) we launched over nice SOFT' grass, way more forgiving with landings, but we had smaller fields and rocket eating trees. Grass and trees = Light building, lower altitude, parachute or streamer to match.

As BAR, I launch at dry lake beds in southern California, think landing on a paved parking lot. On the good side, no trees for miles and a few miles altitude waiver. Going for higher altitudes you really look at the size of your chute, too big and you land in another county. On the lake bed, build them like tanks, go smaller on the chute, next size up in motor.

For what is worth
 

kjmccarx

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Pipen and everyone"
Please Don't use cornstarch or cornstarch baby powder, it's flamable! Talc (Regular) baby powder only please;)
What about using some climbing chalk? That is just limestone... Shouldn't be flammable at all. It's also really inexpensive and easy to find. (And if you are a climber, like myself, you probably have some laying around!)

This question pertains to MPR and HPR, but would putting powder (of some sort) on a fabric parachute help in that case, as well?
 

Wayco

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HI new member! Might be a good idea for you to check when the last post was made before you add your comments. It's located in the dark strip at the top of each post. Otherwise, welcome to the forum! Lot's of good info. here, even if some of it is dated. Climbing chalk might work, but my experience with it is that it's kinda sticky, not what you want on your plastic chutes.
 

Nathan

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If you plan to launch your LPR in cold weather you should replace the plastic chute with a nylon one. Those little plastic chutes get really stiff when they're cold.
 

kjmccarx

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HI new member! Might be a good idea for you to check when the last post was made before you add your comments.
Is there a problem with commenting on an old post? I found it from Google and I thought I would add comment on it - since it was relevant to what I was doing at the time. Just because it's and old post doesn't mean it's irrelevant.
 
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