Retired and finding things to do.

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Senior Space Cadet

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Hey gang:
I retired recently and am bored out of my mind. This Covid thing is killing me, figuratively. Not sure where the spark came, but I thought I could kill some time rekindling a passing interest I had many years ago.
I've designed, and am building a standard engine (18mm) rocket.
It is costing me a ridiculous amount of money. You can't just buy enough of anything for just one rocket. I realized mid stream that I should use 24mm body tubes and not 18mm. Accidentally ordered the wrong size of a couple things. Ordered a lot of tools, half of which I decided not to use. I've changed my mind so much, half the stuff I bought may end up in some drawer or the trash. Could have bought ten kits for what I have invested.
I stole my fin design from Boeing. Sorry Boeing. Seem big, but should do the job.
I do have a couple questions:
How do you use tracking powder?
Looking at the stats for Estes engines, it looks like the C5-3 is more powerful than the C6-3. From my understanding of the number system, this shouldn't be right. Am I wrong?
 

Nytrunner

Pop lugs, not drugs
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How do you use tracking powder?
Looking at the stats for Estes engines, it looks like the C5-3 is more powerful than the C6-3. From my understanding of the number system, this shouldn't be right. Am I wrong?
Welcome! The unwritten rule of rocket forum is "Lots of pictures please"

Tracking powder: put a big pinch or spoonful in the chute and wadding. Itll get puffed out on ejection and should be quite visible.

Hehehehe, C6 vs C5. The number that comes after the letter is supposed to be the Average thrust of the motor. Go to thrustcurve.org and look at each motor's thrust curve, youll see that at different times during the burn, it produces more or less than the average number in the title.
The C5 has a stronger spike towards the beginning meaning it can punch heavier rockets off the pad. Also the C6 was.....not labeled quite as accurately as other motors. But the C6 is a traditional motor and no one will change it either.
 

Mugs914

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Welcome Senior!! Glad you found your way to the Forums. I like to say that we're all a little nuts around here, but generally are mostly harmless! 🤪

You can't just buy enough of anything for just one rocket. I realized mid stream that I should use 24mm body tubes and not 18mm. Accidentally ordered the wrong size of a couple things. Ordered a lot of tools, half of which I decided not to use. I've changed my mind so much, half the stuff I bought may end up in some drawer or the trash.
Another general rocketry rule is never throw ANYTHING away. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. The incorrect part that was ordered by mistake and tossed out will become the keystone/lynch pin of your next build and you will not be able to complete the project without it. By the time you go to order another one it will be discontinued and all old stock will have been sold. The only one available will be on Eb*y labeled "rare" and feature a triple digit price. (I am convinced that this is true even for things as common as BT-20 centering rings, of which I keep a bag that would give Santa a hernia).

2. Any tool that has been tossed, lost, sold or stolen will become, at some point, vital to the continuation of life as we know it, and not necessarily in a rocket-sense. I mean, how many times have you had to tell a buddy something like "Daggum air conditioner went out yesterday. Sure wish I hadn't tossed out that old Estes fin jig..." (Yes, in the central Texas summertime airgnishnin is vital to the continuation of life as we know it.)

3. Balsa does not grow on trees, so be sure to save every scrap. Most of us have bags of little cut-off pieces that will be "just perfect if I ever need to make a simulated navigation light on a rocket version of a Cessna 150..." Yup, better save that. I have a couple of bags worth under the bench next to the centering rings.

4. There is still a little glue in that tube. Use pliers if necessary...

5. Anything you used to have one of will suddenly become something that would generate a pretty good income if you had it to sell (see point number 1).

6. "Hoarder" only applies to those crazy folks who keep old newspapers and such, not those who keep useful things like stacks of half-used decal sheets and rocket plans with the shock cord thing cut out.

Have fun and be sure to post pics!

Mike
 

dpower

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Hey gang:
I retired recently and am bored out of my mind. This Covid thing is killing me, figuratively. Not sure where the spark came, but I thought I could kill some time rekindling a passing interest I had many years ago.
I've designed, and am building a standard engine (18mm) rocket.
It is costing me a ridiculous amount of money. You can't just buy enough of anything for just one rocket. I realized mid stream that I should use 24mm body tubes and not 18mm. Accidentally ordered the wrong size of a couple things. Ordered a lot of tools, half of which I decided not to use. I've changed my mind so much, half the stuff I bought may end up in some drawer or the trash. Could have bought ten kits for what I have invested.
I stole my fin design from Boeing. Sorry Boeing. Seem big, but should do the job.
I do have a couple questions:
How do you use tracking powder?
Looking at the stats for Estes engines, it looks like the C5-3 is more powerful than the C6-3. From my understanding of the number system, this shouldn't be right. Am I wrong?
Welcome to the hobby and TRF! The C5-3 has a lower average thrust (5 Newtons), but a much higher peak thrust (20 Newtons). Take a look at motor thrust curves on nar.org or thrustcurve.org, or run a motor compare at rocketreviews.com.

Congrats on retirement, I'm jealous, got a few years to go yet...
 

fyrwrxz

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If you come across references to a ‘build pile’, just know that for some organized yahoos, that means bagged, complete kits ready to be built. For others like me, who can’t/won’t follow instructions, that means a huge collection of loose parts, partial kits with parts stolen out of them,sometimes bought just for that one or two parts, deals you can’t ignore, things you may never use but look “interesting”, things you use in bulk, and stolen supplies from a completely different hobby ( one of my favourite reappropriations) and interesting things found better left on the sidewalk or roadway. One man’s trash is usually either the centerpiece of a new design or still just trash. You can NEVER have too many rockets, tools, bits and pieces or ideas. You may have too many motors. I have my excess stored safely under the baby’s crib.
 

Matt Danison

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Nytrunner said:
"Tracking powder: put a big pinch or spoonful in the chute and wadding. Itll get puffed out on ejection and should be quite visible."

What do people use for tracking powder and where do you get it?
 

fyrwrxz

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Nytrunner said:
"Tracking powder: put a big pinch or spoonful in the chute and wadding. Itll get puffed out on ejection and should be quite visible."

What do people use for tracking powder and where do you get it?
Common source for tracking powder is the fluorescent chalk powder used by construction and survey teams to lay straight lines. you can also use powdered tempra paints from any place that sells teacher supplies in different colours for appropriate sky conditions. Be careful, some of these stain quite well. I use squares of rice paper (biodegradable) to wrap it in to protect my chutes and clothes and place them either above the chute in smaller birds or inside the folded panels by the lines so it deploys when the chute opens. You can also mix it with dog barf.
 

lakeroadster

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How do you use tracking powder?
Try using a crepe paper streamer instead. Buy it at Walmart, it's 97 cents for 150 feet and it's fire resistant. You use it instead of wadding.

Tape a penny or a dime to the end of the crepe paper then start rolling the paper around the penny until it forms a round "plug" that slips into the body tube. Push it all the way down until it touches the motor.

At ejection the crepe paper unravels and becomes a big long free falling streamer.

Pick it up and re-use it for the next launch. Watching the streamer fall to earth is pretty cool too.
 
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