Poll: Thinking ahead for my Level One - which rocket?

Discussion in 'High Power Rocketry (HPR)' started by markfsanderson, Jan 11, 2019.

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Knowing what you know today, which rocket kit would you use for your Level One and why?

  1. Apogee ZEPHYR

    4 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Madcow 4" Super DX3

    20 vote(s)
    55.6%
  3. LOC Precision Goblin

    12 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. Aerotech SUMO

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Jan 11, 2019 #1

    markfsanderson

    markfsanderson

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    A quick and easy poll . . . I'm planning my Level One and I believe I've got it narrowed down to four good candidates. My approach/goal is to keep things low, slow and simple. No flight critical electronics, dual deploy or anything else that promotes complexity. Add a choice of your own if you have one . . .

    Thanks!

    Mark Sanderson
     
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  2. Jan 11, 2019 #2

    timbucktoo

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    Only familiar with AT Sumo & if you choose that one, I would not use the piston.
     
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  3. Jan 11, 2019 #3

    markfsanderson

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    Did you have bad experiences with it? Tim @ Apogee states that issue with the piston is keeping it clean . . . is that what you ran into?

    Thanks!

    Mark!
     
  4. Jan 11, 2019 #4

    Nytrunner

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    I'd say the first two choices are really comfortable.

    The Goblin is stubby and may need nose weight, the sumo is a midpower rocket primarily.

    That being said, any of those could work if you're detailed and methodical

    Addendum: which one is cheapest?
     
  5. Jan 11, 2019 #5

    timbucktoo

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    No. It was a really tight fit and had to remove a layer or 2 of the cardboard piston so it would float smoothly. I eventually removed it and went conventional. Fin are plastic. Personally I'd go with LOC-IV for L1 but that's me. It's a pretty common L1 flyer.
     
  6. Jan 11, 2019 #6

    markfsanderson

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    Great question . . . as far as initial cash outlay, they are all within about $20.00 or so of each other. I'll need to look at the kit contents itself to see how much 'stuff' the manufacturer includes in each respective kit.

    Mark
     
  7. Jan 11, 2019 #7

    K'Tesh

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    Dunno about pistons, I go for baffles. you could always turn the piston into one.
     
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  8. Jan 11, 2019 #8

    BDB

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    Welcome to high power! Go big or go home!
     
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  9. Jan 11, 2019 #9

    Titan II

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    4" cardboard DX3 is perfect for l1 and l2. You can build it so you can easily add DD at a later time.
     
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  10. Jan 11, 2019 #10

    prfesser

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    I didn't see Madcow's 4" super DX3 with a cardboard tube on their site; only 4" DX3 I saw was the fiberglass kit.

    Personally I like Madcow's 4" Patriot with a 54 mm motor mount, and get their removable e-bay as well. Could do L1 and L2 on the same rocket... :)

    On second thought, ignore the Patriot, I'd probably pass my bad luck on to you. A friend getting out of rocketry gave me his 4" Patriot. Fixed it up, gave it a beautiful finish, stuck a 6-grain 38 mm motor in it. Lost it (and the G-WIZ altimeter and Tether deployment device) on the first flight. A couple years ago I bought another Patriot, carefully painted it, and lost it along with a 38 mm 1080 casing, Missile Works altimeter, and another Tether, on its first flight. :(

    I remember every mistake I've ever made, so (apparently) I can keep making them over and over...

    Best -- Terry
     
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  11. Jan 11, 2019 #11

    Titan II

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  12. Jan 11, 2019 #12

    krislhull

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    The DX3 with the 54mm mount will allow for lots of future growth, and like others have mentioned, you can easily retrofit it for dual deploy, and you can also use it for a L2 cert in the future.

    In the end, however, it all comes down to what do you want to build? Which of those rockets do you like? It is your rocket, after all!
     
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  13. Jan 12, 2019 #13

    gfunk

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    I continue to enjoy the heck out of my Super DX3. I did my L1 and L2 cert flights with it. Both flew an RRC3 altimeter but were configured single deploy, main at apogee, with motor eject as a backup. Since my L2 flight it now only flies DD and does great.

    I don't regret the 38mm motor mount as there are a lot of classic and awesome 38mm motors that are perfect in the DX3 (I284, J350, J570, J510 etc). Mine has never flown an H. It will handle about any 38mm motor out there if built right.

    If you go with the 38mm you have an excuse to build a 54mm motor rocket after you get your certs. Just my opinion, but if I'm going to bother building a 54mm motor rocket it wouldn't be cardboard, but canvas or fiberglass.

    I'm happy to answer any DX3 questions, and you can see mine go on numerous motors here:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=blue+angels+DX3+aerotech

    Be sure to check out Green Jello and dward's Super DX3 build threads.

    edit to add:
    - Forget the recommended MadCow chute, it's too small. Build it, get a weight, and then buy an appropriately sized chute.
    - A/T kits are neat, but unique in their construction. I enjoyed my Arreaux build, but it wasn't really applicable to any future/bigger builds. Might as well learn normal HPR construction techniques which will serve you in your next build.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  14. Jan 12, 2019 #14

    Cory

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    Of the kits you mention the DX3. Unless you just prefer paper I would recommend fiberglass. Get some good epoxy and build it STRONG. It will be heavier -so lower and slower- plus mostly eliminates no certs due to damage ESPECIALLY zippering. Most importantly though take your time, think it through, and ENJOY the build process regardless of what you choose.
     
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  15. Jan 12, 2019 #15

    KenRico

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    This is very different from what you are looking at , but Wildman has a number of kits that will fly on a G or bigger :

    https://wildmanrocketry.com/search?q=jart

    I like the SuperJart for under $100 , but he has one under $50 also , you may want to ask if he has a favorite for Level One .

    These are fun too :

    https://wildmanrocketry.com/collections/wildman-sport

    The Punisher SS has a 5-1 filament wound aluminum tipped nose cone, rare in something under $100 . You will want to confirm what comes with these also .. most fg kits come as components .

    My fiberglass birds do not show nearly the amount of wear my older paper tube kits do .

    Kenny
     
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  16. Jan 12, 2019 #16

    boatgeek

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    I'm an outlier on this, but I'd suggest a 54mm or 2.6" kit with a 29mm motor mount. You'll be able to build it and get good experience flying on F and G motors before you do your cert flight. You'll also almost certainly learn stuff that you would wish that you had done differently. Then you can build a better rocket for your L2 and save this one to fly on relatively cheaper motors. From LOC, those kits would be something like the Graduator, Sandhawk, Iris, etc.

    One last thing--the kits in the poll are all very different. Whatever other advice you get, pick the one that you love and build it.
     
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  17. Jan 12, 2019 #17

    markfsanderson

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    Yup . . . I agree! I've finished a 2.6" DX-3 and will be flying it tomorrow . . . Just looking ahead . . .

    Mark
     
  18. Jan 12, 2019 #18

    GalantVR41062

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    I voted for the Apogee Zephyr kit. I think the 38mm mmt is a great L1 choice.

    I would look up other builds, prep the tubes, use Titebond 2 wood glue and epoxy filets. Pick up a 48" main chute and use motor eject and a Jolly logic chute release if it's a windy day.

    Look up Thrust curve for motor selection, altitude estimates etc. I would install a laundry shelf to hold the main and recovery harness/nomex pad uphigh to help the CG and stability. Pick up a thread on motor retainer also.

    You could us a AT DMS H100w (1,450') drill the delay down to 6-7seconds and enjoy the show. This kit would also fly on a few 38mm low power G motors, Loki G66 R (800') for test flights at your HPR club to get experience.

    It's a jouney with HPR, so don't rush, build, learn, enjoy.

    ~John
     
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  19. Jan 12, 2019 #19

    Zeus-cat

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    I know I am muddying the waters, but don't write off dual deploy. It isn't THAT hard to do and is an important thing to learn if you want to go high. Every one of my twenty high power flights has been dual deploy. If you have a good club ask for help in setting up the rocket for dual deploy. I don't see the point in building a rocket just to certify and then never use it again. If you want to go high and di dual deploy then go for it now.
     
  20. Jan 12, 2019 #20

    Tyler P

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    I'd say the DX3 because you can modify it for L2 very easily. The LOC Goblin is one I like because I enjoyed building their kit of the IRIS. If it were my choice, the DX3 followed by the Goblin.
     
  21. Jan 12, 2019 #21

    ThirstyBarbarian

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    I don’t own any of these rockets, but I’d probably pick the Goblin. I like LOC kits, and this one looks like a good size and weight for a conservative L1 cert flight, and will be able to handle larger L1 motors as well. It probably cannot fly on a G, so your first flight will be your cert flight.

    I don’t own a Sumo, but I do own a G-Force, which is similar, but longer. It doesn’t have a piston. It was originally designed as a big rocket for Aerotech Single-use G motors, so you would be able to fly it on a G before your cert flight. But it does great on H motors as well, in fact, that’s all I ever fly mine on now. To fit an H motor in it, you build it without the “cooling mesh” that comes with it, and use a fireproof Chute protector blanket to protect the Chute instead.

    Good luck!
     
  22. Jan 12, 2019 #22

    Handeman

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    Those are all good L1 rockets. You should be able to get just the flight you want with any of them. They are also good for after your cert if you stick with H motors. Depending on your field, using I motors in these can get a little problematic because of the altitude they will get. Using a JLCR will open up the range of motors, as will a large field. But those are all things you will learn as you start flying L1 motors, the power levels, the drift, recovery range in different conditions, and flying the field and conditions. Go forth and have fun!

    I would recommend a 38mm MMT in a 2.6" or 3" rocket at about 5 lbs and dual deploy for your next L1 rocket. I'm sure you will find the differences between that rocket and one of these 4 interesting and fun to fly.

    Good luck!
     
  23. Jan 13, 2019 at 12:31 AM #23

    mccordmw

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    Take a look at the Binder Excel. I love that model. Get it with the 54 mm mount, use a 54 to 38 adapter and to ou can fly it with anything from an I to K motor for you L1 and L2. You can go with an I to limit altitude to 2500 feet or less, or go big with a K650 and get some really serious altitude.
     
  24. Jan 13, 2019 at 3:34 AM #24

    dr wogz

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    I have both the DX3 & the Goblin.. Cant' comment on the other two.

    Super DX3, cardboard. did my L2 with it. Simple, easy, and has potential for growth and other stuff to get to to L2 (and can be used for L2!) Not really anything else is needed.. easy build. Big!

    Goblin, not really any need for nose weight. But, doesn't have an AV bay and the interlock fin system & switch-er-roo MMT I feel is overly complicated for what it is. A few seem to have trouble putting it together.. If I were to use it for L1, I'd get some 38mm rings & 38mm MMT tube, and build it as a 38mm MMT..

    And I'd go with the JLCR for recovery..


    I did have the piston in my PML 2.1 AMRAAM . I cut it out after a few flights. Why? always jammed. Was always either too tight or too loose. Always have to clean the entire inside of the tube. And the expansion / contraction of the tube between summer & winter caused most of the jamming, along with dirt.. Found it a hassle more than a convenience..
     
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  25. Jan 13, 2019 at 5:43 AM #25

    Ez2cDave

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    I'm going "off the list" . . . Build a "clone" of the PML TETHYS, to get away from the Phenolic tube ( Cardboard, Blue Tub 2.0, Fiberglass ), add an E-Bay and a Payload Section . . . Level 1, Level 2, & Dual Deploy all on the same rocket !
     
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  26. Jan 13, 2019 at 6:37 PM #26

    Handeman

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    I agree with doing a "scratch" build and DD for a L1 cert. just not doing L1 and L2 with the same rocket. It's easy to do, but when you build something to span levels you don't usually get a rocket that flies really well at either level.
    I did my L1 with a scratch build from thick wall mailing tubes, a home made foam nose cone, home rolled coupler tube and DD. About the only thing I didn't make was the 38mm MMT. I did all that because I wanted to learn as much about HPR as I could. As it turned out, I learned more about building and flying HPR from that rocket then any I built since. That also means I would never again build a rocket the way I built that one, I learned better.
    Your cert rocket is a great opportunity to push your experience levels and learn a lot. It doesn't stop with the cert flight, most of what you will learn from that rocket you will get as you fly it more.
     
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  27. Jan 14, 2019 at 4:01 AM #27

    MikeyDSlagle

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    Keep in mind the 4" DX3 is a big rocket. The weight on the website is likely the bag-o-parts weight and will increase with boutique and paint and so on. Especially if you go dual deploy. If you are not careful you could end up with a rocket that will only fly on the bigger L1 motors and L2 motors.
    Heavier rockets need more kick to get enough speed before leaving the rail, or longer rails. And that means bigger motors and often more altitude, not always, but often.

    38mm is great for L1 rockets. Gives you a large range of motors to fly on and you can adapt down to 29mm if you want. I'm all for building bigger and adapting down, but I never adapt down. 54mm gets 54mm and so on. Build your L1 rocket to fly....L1 motors. Build another rocket to get L2.

    Dual deploy is not difficult at all. And it's a good skill to have; crucial for flying high. JLCR is a viable option in the shorter rockets.

    I vote Goblin. Build it efficiently and it'll do the job, no need to build a tank. 4lbs is a good target weight for L1. The Goblin will be draggy too, which will keep it lower. The MMAS isn't complicated. You build a rocket with a large MMT and build an adapter to fit in it. If someone finds it too complicated, maybe said someone isn't quite ready for HPR. Not picking on your Dr Wogz. :D The Goblin's main tube is 54mm...so when you get ready, you can take out the smaller MMT assembly and slap in a 54mm 1 or 2 grain, not for a L2 cert flight...just when and if you get ready for it. You'll love it.

    Their is absolutely nothing wrong with paper rockets with 54mm motors. My Tyrannosaur went to 6500' on a K600, no problem.

    The Zephyr would be okay too, I'm just familiar with LOC. PML Tethys wouldn't be a bad choice, the Quantum tube, not phenolic, would be sufficient for L1. I personally love the stuff. It would be a bit on the heavy side. The Bumblebee or Mystic would be better.

    Ultimately, do it how you want to. If you want a rocket that has to fly on the I600 to get your L1, do it. I did electronic apogee with motor backup, 2.6" scratch fiberglass at 64oz. Fun, fun.

    Have fun!
     
  28. Jan 14, 2019 at 5:16 AM #28

    TimothyG

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    I certified lvl 1 on my fiberglass DX3. Flies like a champ. I crashed it bad being thick skulled on my first lvl2 attempt. I have also built a 2.6" x29mm DX3 cardboard rocket the flies on F and G motors supper easy but also flies great on the H and I motors. Then built the DX3XLx4" version of it. We have another student who certified lvl 1 on the cardboard DX3 and he's going to go for lvl 2 on a baby J in the same rocket using single engine deploy. He's also building his 2.6 54mm DX3 rocket now for a higher flight window. All around great rocket that looks fast sitting in the corner. I'm actually looking at doing a minimum diameter DX3 98mm head end deployment for my level 3 now.
     
  29. Jan 14, 2019 at 12:00 PM #29

    DRAGON64

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    The Zephyr was a tough second choice, simply beacuse I have seen the kit, and it looks great as an L1. But the DX3 was main choice, as I really like the fact the fins do not protrude below the airframe. Your L1 flight and recovery could be great, but break a fin due to an odd terrain landing, and you have to try certing again...
     
  30. Jan 14, 2019 at 4:30 PM #30

    dr wogz

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    Mike, no insult taken! that's my opinion!!

    There was a comment on FB over the weekend with someone having assembly issues with the Goblin. I, personably, think the interlocking fin & rings has more potential for misalignment and not fitting. I also think the MMAS is heavy, for what it is.. (I'm pretty sure the MMAS is a selling point, but also drives up the kit cost by ten or twenty bucks..) Why I suggest the Goblin, but modified for a 38mm MMT, less complications (or, build stock, and get the 2nd party adapter..). And the 54mm case investment might be much for one who's looking to do an L1 cert..
     

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