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gsanders

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I am hoping to get some input with suggestions on a possible kit for my L2 and L3 attempts next year (for building this winter). This is what I am looking for in regards to features / specifications: 4" body, no dual deploy, no payload option, something between 50" to 60" of overall length, 38mm or 54mm. I don’t want to delve into dual deploy just yet and I'd like to stick with motor-based ejection method for now and use it in conjunction with a JL Chute Release.

Any suggestions..?
 

rharshberger

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I am hoping to get some input with suggestions on a possible kit for my L2 and L3 attempts next year (for building this winter). This is what I am looking for in regards to features / specifications: 4" body, no dual deploy, no payload option, something between 50" to 60" of overall length, 38mm or 54mm. I don’t want to delve into dual deploy just yet and I'd like to stick with motor-based ejection method for now and use it in conjunction with a JL Chute Release.

Any suggestions..?
More like any questions?

What field are you flying? A 4" rocket with a M motor is going to go to significant altitude, and not every field has a FAA waiver over 10k or a recovery area large enough.

Which certifying organization are you certifying with? NAR and TRA have similar but different requirements on the documentation process, some (most) L3CCs and TAP's may not even allow you to begin your L3 build until you have successfully flown your L2 flight, while others may allow you to document the L2 build and use that as the build documentation for your L3. If you are an unknown to the TAP's or L3CC's they may require further proof that you have the knowledge and skills successfully certify L3, and build a rocket that will safely complete the L3 flight.

Why not a longer rocket? 50 to 60" is fairly short for most L3 rockets, and will probably exceed Mach 1 by a fair margin.

More questions likely to follow, but I have to go deal with a mad 20 month old daughter.
 

timbucktoo

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Well if you're going to do L3, you must have redundant electronics and most M motors are 75mm or bigger. Currently there is only 1 certified 54mm M motor that I can think of.
 

gsanders

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More like any questions?

What field are you flying? A 4" rocket with a M motor is going to go to significant altitude, and not every field has a FAA waiver over 10k or a recovery area large enough.

Which certifying organization are you certifying with? NAR and TRA have similar but different requirements on the documentation process, some (most) L3CCs and TAP's may not even allow you to begin your L3 build until you have successfully flown your L2 flight, while others may allow you to document the L2 build and use that as the build documentation for your L3. If you are an unknown to the TAP's or L3CC's they may require further proof that you have the knowledge and skills successfully certify L3, and build a rocket that will safely complete the L3 flight.

Why not a longer rocket? 50 to 60" is fairly short for most L3 rockets, and will probably exceed Mach 1 by a fair margin.

More questions likely to follow, but I have to go deal with a mad 20 month old daughter.
This will be a CAR (Canadian) cert attempt. I believe L2 is an "I" based launch and the L3 is a "J" based launch.
 

ksaves2

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This will be a CAR (Canadian) cert attempt. I believe L2 is an "I" based launch and the L3 is a "J" based launch.
Ok, the same guidelines Rich mentions still holds except electronics deployment would be optional for I and J based motors. Also you could use a cardboard rocket pretty easily unless you want to do fiberglass. Glass will be heavier but that's
not so bad if you're trying to stay within a waiver and not using an radio tracker.

For instance I knocked off my L2 (J, K, L motor based) with a 3FNC apogee only deployment that used a cardboard 4" LOC tube and 1/4" plywood fins. Was near perfect for the J350-M. I used Rocksim on it and perhaps drilled the delay
just a hair for perfect apogee chute deployment. With cardboard though one has to be near perfect with the deployment as a zipper is at higher risk. Fiberglass tubes? Just use a danged strong harness and you'll have more leeway.
You can do cardboard with the rear ejection/zipperless method to help avoid zippering. Kurt
 

rharshberger

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This will be a CAR (Canadian) cert attempt. I believe L2 is an "I" based launch and the L3 is a "J" based launch.
That's definitely an important piece of information, since a TRA/NAR L3 is M-motors and above as for CAR cert requirements I am not knowledgeable at all. For the size rocket you are building a Madcow Frenzy, DX3 and others, multiple Loc Precision Rockets, Binder Design (highly recommended though I don't currently own one), most Wildman products, Mac Performance Rocketry and others. I would stay away from short and fat rockets unless you have some experience with them as they have special weighting requirements and are tight on space. Most 4" rockets on a J-motor are likely to go between 3000' and 5000' depending on weight and configuration, so I would consider learning dual deploy for ease of recovery (its not as hard as people think, it just requires careful attention to detail).

Kurt suggested zipperless as a possible method of construction, and it happens to be one of my favorite. My L2 and L3 builds demonstrate this method of construction and both were dual deploy.
 
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MikeyDSlagle

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Well in that case... Just about any well made 4" rocket will fit the bill. Top of my wish list are Binder Design Stealth and Loc Precision EZI65, both are pretty much complete kits too (has recovery gear). Madcow also makes good 4" kits. Their Super DX3 comes in under 100 bucks, but by the time you add recovery it'll ee right up there with the other two I mentioned. The Stealth doesn't havea slotted airframe, but I imagine Mike would slot it for ya if you asked nicely.

Hope that helps.

Mikey D
 

NateLowrie

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I did mine on the RW (now madcow) Patriot. Solid kit in the size range you're looking for and the stock kit will handle motor ejection with a JLCR just fine. The DX3 and Frenzy will work fine. Heck, the super batray I used for my level 1 can handle that though it's a 38mm mount.

I would go with a 54mm motor mount because you can do a larger range of motors on it (assuming this is the Canadian L3 cert we are talking about).
 

ksaves2

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That's definitely an important piece of information, since a TRA/NAR L3 is M-motors and above as for CAR cert requirements I am not knowledgeable at all. For the size rocket you are building a Madcow Frenzy, DX3 and others, multiple Loc Precision Rockets, Binder Design (highly recommended though I don't currently own one), most Wildman products, Mac Performance Rocketry and others. I would stay away from short and fat rockets unless you have some experience with them as they have special weighting requirements and are tight on space. Most 4" rockets on a J-motor are likely to go between 3000' and 5000' depending on weight and configuration, so I would consider learning dual deploy for ease of recovery (its not as hard as people think, it just requires careful attention to detail).

Kurt suggested zipperless as a possible method of construction, and it happens to be one of my favorite. My L2 and L3 builds demonstrate this method of construction and both were dual deploy.
I was trying to find the ROL page cached somewhere that had Stu Barrett's article/howto but couldn't find it. It really helps high powered cardboard survive less than nominal delays. Kurt
 

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Handeman

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There are a lot of rockets that you can use for an I motor and J motor flights. The question I have is, what do you want to fly in the rocket after the cert flight? If you want to fly it mostly on J, K and small L motors, then you will need a 54mm MMT and probably dual deploy when using K and L motors. If all you want is the cert and then go back to flying H and I motors, a 38mm MMT will do.

If you really don't want to do dual deployment, then I would recommend a 38mm MMT rocket of 3" or 4" diameter. You can stick a baby J in it for cert, but nothing larger so you should still be good with motor deployment. The JL Chute Release does give you more options for higher altitudes, but it is still motor deploy which is hard to get right. I think once you use electronic deployment a few times you will only want to do motor deploy on small rocket and low flights. Using electronic deployment takes all the guess work out of deployment timing and you don't have to mess with drilling delays.
 
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ksaves2

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There are a lot of rockets that you can use for an I motor and J motor flights. The question I have is, what do you want to fly in the rocket after the cert flight? If you want to fly it mostly on J, K and small L motors, then you will need a 54mm MMT and probably dual deploy when using K and L motors. If all you want is the cert and then go back to flying H and I motors, a 38mm MMT will do.

If you really don't want to do dual deployment, then I would recommend a 38mm rocket. You can stick a baby J in it for cert, but nothing larger so you should still be good with motor deployment. The JL Chute Release does give you more options for higher altitudes, but it is still motor deploy which is hard to get right. I think once you use electronic deployment a few times you will only want to do motor deploy on small rocket and low flights. Using electronic deployment takes all the guess work out of deployment timing and you don't have to mess with drilling delays.
Ahhhhh, Surely you mean 38mm motor mount tube? A 38mm minimum diameter even on a baby J is going to spend some serious time in "outta sight" land and has some serious potential
to be lost without some sort of Rf tracking. Might not be something the OP wants to delve into yet. 38mm MMT in a bodytube of some diameter is a good bet like you say. Kurt
 

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I did my L2 using a Public Missiles Black Brant X on a CTI J357 using motor ejection (and PML piston) deploy at apogee with a 60 in parachute. I weighted it down with an externally mounted video camera, added nose weights, used a Transbeep sonic locator, on-board recording altimeter-but no dual deploy, beefy recovery hardware, installed both launch lugs and rail buttons, etc, etc. for weight and drag. Flew to about 2200 ft and safely recovered. (Stu Barrett had recommended to me to keep it simple for my L2.) The BBX was also set up with the PML quick change system (more weight) and can fly on 54 or 38mm. There's even an adapter for 29mm, but it's too heavy for a 29mm motor. I am thinking of modifying it for DD. I'll have to cut it up and put in another piston. Shouldn't be a problem as I have a PML Eclipse that is set for DD and a two piston system. It's also 54 mm and delivers similar altitudes to the BBX.
 

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What a great hobby, that you can get certified to fly level one, two and three motors, yet still rely on someone elses design and fabrication tech.

A rocket is an incredibly simple thing, so why even buy a kit, especially if you consider yourself "Level 1".

The only thing that is really necessary to "Level Up" is that Aircraft be out of the way and a FAA waiver is in place for the launch.

What a stupid and moronic system, and one of the biggest reasons I'll never join a "Club" any of that crap.


Woohoo! You can fly a Z20,000 legally, but can you design the rocket yourself?

What a bunch of crap it really all is.
Really, there are RSO's out there that can't decide whether or not a rocket is safe/stable to fly, without consulting Rocksim or Openrocket, so that just proves you've got clowns all around in positions of authority that are just made up based on there ability to memorize some answers to a test, and no real world design and flight experience.

Sorry, rant over, but I feel better now.

Kits.:facepalm:
 
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TopRamen

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Something I forgot to mention is that if I ever win the megabucks or a lottery, I will start making/manufacturing kits, and they too will only be "kits", and lesser than anything you could design and build for yourself, no matter how hard I tried to make them great or how great I thought they were.

That is just the nature of a Kit.

Why can't you build a rocket?
 

NateLowrie

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What a great hobby, that you can get certified to fly level one, two and three motors, yet still rely on someone elses design and fabrication tech.

A rocket is an incredibly simple thing, so why even buy a kit, especially if you consider yourself "Level 1".

The only thing that is really necessary to "Level Up" is that Aircraft be out of the way and a FAA waiver is in place for the launch.

What a stupid and moronic system, and one of the biggest reasons I'll never join a "Club" any of that crap.


Woohoo! You can fly a Z20,000 legally, but can you design the rocket yourself?

What a bunch of crap it really all is.
Really, there are RSO's out there that can't decide whether or not a rocket is safe/stable to fly, without consulting Rocksim or Openrocket, so that just proves you've got clowns all around in positions of authority that are just made up based on there ability to memorize some answers to a test, and no real world design and flight experience.

Sorry, rant over, but I feel better now.

Kits.:facepalm:
Wow. This is truly ignorant. If you want to build everything from scratch, go ahead. I still bet you aren't building EVERYTHING from scratch right? You probably are using sheet material like plywood or G10 for the fins that you didn't make yourself. You are probably use fiberglass cloth that you didn't create and weave yourself, or screws you didn't forge yourself. Even if you build everything from scratch, that doesn't invalidate a kit builders experience or rockets.

There are many reasons to buy a kit. This hobby has MANY different aspects and things that you can do with it. Different focuses like scale modeling, scratch building, kit building, high altitude, big heavy rockets, Odd rocs, etc. are all valid points of view. Some people have the tools, desire, and shop space to build the tools necessary for making their own rockets from scratch. Most folks however do not. I know that when I first got into the hobby I wanted to make some jigs but living in an apartment prevented me from that and I stuck to kits and prefabricated components due to space constraints. Those kits were rewarding and I learned a hell of a lot. Almost all of the kits were modified too.

Sometimes we buy kits for speed. I needed a big, heavy airframe for my Level 3 so I got a Formula 200 kit and am modifying it to meet my needs. It's just a collection of parts and I still needed to make design decision on a ton of stuff like filleting procedures, fincan attachment and reinforcement, recovery systems design, avionics bay design, etc. Buying the airframe in that configuration saved me some design time on a part of the rocket wasn't a critical goal of the project.

In the end, it's cool you want to scratch build but come off your high horse. You've just insulted 90% of the people on this forum and I think most all of them would highly disagree with your assessment.
 

Bat-mite

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No insult to me. I appreciate people who speak their minds, and I am thankful to live in a country where we can disagree with each other.

I have never scratch-built, and have no plans to at the moment. I just don't have the time for that. With a wife and two small children, my full-time career and my dedication to my church, there just isn't time for me to fabricate materials. I also don't have the space. House and garage are full of, well, kid stuff.

So I guess I'll just have to be content to build kits and fly them on the motors that I am allowed to purchase with my Level 3. And it's okay if some people think that's cheating. When I am watching my Formula 200 rise off the pad with a thundering roar amidst a cloud of smoke and flame, I probably won't be thinking to myself, "Too bad I didn't scratch-build that..."
 

gsanders

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Well... I am leaning towards either a LOC Big Nuke PK-82 (72" x 5.54" x 54mm) or a LOC Bruiser PK-88 (81" x 7.675" x 54mm). I think both offer the option for standard motor eject (and parachute recovery) and seem like a kit that I would be comfortable working on this winter. They have enough overall weight and air resistance to keep them down somewhat "low" on an L2 and / an L3 cert. flight, thus increasing my field recovery success. I know this won't be a popular choice but it is where I am leaning anyway. The following winter (2017/2018) I feel I will be inclined towards putting together a dual-deploy kit and really try to learn-as-I-go.
 

Flyfalcons

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If I weren't a sucker for scale stuff then I'd be going straight to Wildman for one of their bigger kits. Simple, strong, no stress flying on the motors they recommend.
 

NateLowrie

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Well... I am leaning towards either a LOC Big Nuke PK-82 (72" x 5.54" x 54mm) or a LOC Bruiser PK-88 (81" x 7.675" x 54mm). I think both offer the option for standard motor eject (and parachute recovery) and seem like a kit that I would be comfortable working on this winter. They have enough overall weight and air resistance to keep them down somewhat "low" on an L2 and / an L3 cert. flight, thus increasing my field recovery success. I know this won't be a popular choice but it is where I am leaning anyway. The following winter (2017/2018) I feel I will be inclined towards putting together a dual-deploy kit and really try to learn-as-I-go.
You'll like the Big Nuke or the bruiser. They are good kits for what you get. Put some good internal and external fillets on it and you should be good up through K motors.
 

ksaves2

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Here's my simple 3FNC cardboard rocket:

View attachment L2Cert Mine.rkt

J350M with perhaps a little drilling of the delay and perfect flight every time.

Oh, nothing wrong with kits or maybe I should say "collection of parts". Some folks may not have the power tools
to cut slots, cut and bevel fins and such. Nothing wrong with them

Kurt
 
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Binder Design

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What a great hobby, that you can get certified to fly level one, two and three motors, yet still rely on someone elses design and fabrication tech.
Interesting position. Say you wanted a filament wound airframe without relying on someone else's fabrication tech. How would you go about that specifically? Same goes for nosecones. And pretend you live in an apartment and want a hobby you can do on the weekends.

And suppose everybody took your advice and put all rocket kit companies out of business. You could no longer get tubes or nosecones or even basic supplies like parachutes because everyone would sew their own. Pretty soon there would be no hobby.

Not everybody wants to be a manufacturer, sometimes we just want to fly a rocket. :)
 

markkoelsch

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What a great hobby, that you can get certified to fly level one, two and three motors, yet still rely on someone elses design and fabrication tech.

A rocket is an incredibly simple thing, so why even buy a kit, especially if you consider yourself "Level 1".

The only thing that is really necessary to "Level Up" is that Aircraft be out of the way and a FAA waiver is in place for the launch.

What a stupid and moronic system, and one of the biggest reasons I'll never join a "Club" any of that crap.


Woohoo! You can fly a Z20,000 legally, but can you design the rocket yourself?

What a bunch of crap it really all is.
Really, there are RSO's out there that can't decide whether or not a rocket is safe/stable to fly, without consulting Rocksim or Openrocket, so that just proves you've got clowns all around in positions of authority that are just made up based on there ability to memorize some answers to a test, and no real world design and flight experience.

Sorry, rant over, but I feel better now.

Kits.:facepalm:
Your rant is foolish- especially the bit about stability and simulations. There are some rockets that you or anyone would be hard pressed to make an accurate guess as to stability. I would love to see you crank out the Barrowman equations on the fly, in the field, with a line of folks waiting to launch. Good luck man.

Do you fly high power at all? If you do, do you have an FAA waiver and insurance?

You can rant all you want, but it is just another rant.
 

GRIFFIN

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Your rant is foolish- especially the bit about stability and simulations. There are some rockets that you or anyone would be hard pressed to make an accurate guess as to stability. I would love to see you crank out the Barrowman equations on the fly, in the field, with a line of folks waiting to launch. Good luck man.

Do you fly high power at all? If you do, do you have an FAA waiver and insurance?

You can rant all you want, but it is just another rant.
+1...
 

fyrechaser

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TopRamen, I'm not a prolific poster on the forum, but looking at your stats I see that you are. My dad always told me that I had two ears and one mouth, that means that I should listen twice as much I talk. You might benefit from heeding that advice, and learn something in the process. Your disrespect to those that build kits is at the very least irritating to me, hence my motivation to respond to your comments. Do you roll your own tubes? Make your own CR's? Make your own Nose Cones? Make your own Couplers? If so.....good for you. That means that you have access to tools that a lot of people don't, and I guess that makes you feel superior in some way? C'mon man!! Lighten up!
BTW.....all three of my certs 1,2,and 3 were done with scratch built rockets. Why don't you start another thread and share with us your latest scratch build with pictures and details. I'll subscribe.

Jim B.
 
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K'Tesh

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My Recommendation... Binder Design Velociraptor...

 
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