Right Rocket for going level 2

Discussion in 'High Power Rocketry (HPR)' started by Lynn McCall, Aug 20, 2019.

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  1. Aug 20, 2019 #1

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

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    I am asking opinions on rocket choice for going level 2. I am targeting $300 range for the base rocket. I will be getting electronics separately. Any thoughts can be helpful.
    Thanks
    Lynn
     
  2. Aug 20, 2019 #2

    Wizard

    Wizard

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    I find that the Madcow Super DX3 in cardboard is really hard to beat. You can get a 38 or 54 mount, and it goes to about 3500' on a 6 grain J, so not too high.

    I've probably certified more people using that rocket than all others combined. I have one just for sport flying and love it. You can build it with just wood glue if you want, or use epoxy. Only thing I recommend is don't use the wire eyebolts supplied for recovery. Substitute in forged eybolts, but thats it.

    David
     
  3. Aug 20, 2019 #3

    dmgrime

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    My home field has a 3200' ceiling, so L2 options are kind of limited. Low and slow or bust the waiver.

    I chose a LOC Mega Magg which I put up single deploy (motor deploy) on an AT J340M in the 38/720 case. Flight was perfect to a shallow 1355' with recover 50' from my tent.

    I can push that to a small K at our field safely under the waiver.

    I like to see my flights all the way up and down so this worked out perfectly for me, and since I got the kit during the winter sale season I was in for about $225 including the wildman recon recovery 50" chute I used (but not including motor or casing, of course).

    Good luck with L2 whatever you choose!
     
  4. Aug 20, 2019 #4

    samb

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    My opinion is that the right rocket for L2 will involve a fair amount of personal preference. I think there is bias for NOT pushing the envelope for a certification flight, but that is not a hard and fast rule by any means. My decision process went like this:

    Construction - I like plywood/cardboard/plastic, essentially a big model rocket, built with wood glue as the primary adhesive.

    Flight profile - Low and slow cause that's how I roll.

    Electronics - optional for the certification flight

    So I went with a LOC Doorknob and Aerotech J460T, motor deploy. https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/loc-doorknob-centering-ring-modification.137361/
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  5. Aug 20, 2019 #5

    boatgeek

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    I think it depends on what you're planning on doing with the rocket and how often you'll be able to fly L2. If you're going to mostly fly L1 and occasionally fly an L2, then I'd build a rocket with a 38mm motor mount. That will get you up to baby J motors. If you are planning on using this to fly lots of L2 motors, then I'd go with a 54mm motor mount so you can fly everything up to baby L motors. 38mm and smaller 54mm motors tend to have ejection charges for flying without electronics, but larger 54mm motors don't.

    If you're going to fly it a lot, then I'd build fiberglass for a more durable rocket. It looks like you're flying with electronics, so I'd build 4" because it's a lot easier to lay out a bigger sled than a smaller one. If you prioritize slightly cheaper flights*, I'd build a 3" cardboard rocket with a 38mm motor mount. If you want to be able to fly without an FAA waiver, then definitely build a 3" cardboard rocket. If you need to go low because of your waiver altitude, you'll need a 4" or larger rocket.

    Beyond the motor mount and tube sizes, it's all about choosing a kit/scratch design that floats your boat. Some people like split fins, some people like scale missiles, etc. Build what makes you happy. :) I think most cardboard kits will fit in your budget, and a selection of 3" and 4" fiberglass ones will as well. If you're comparing kits, make sure to check if the kit includes parachutes and hardware. Stuff like that can really add up.

    * Nobody does this to save money, but your annual motor/flight budget is a factor. If you only launch a once or twice a year and can spend $500/year on motors, large 54mm motors are on the table. If you want to launch lots of times and have a motor budget of $200/year, then you'll want to stick with 38mm and maybe adapt down to 29mm for many flights.
     
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  6. Aug 20, 2019 #6

    Bat-mite

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    As others have indicated, you can't pick a rocket until you know your goals. One of the goals is to achieve level 2. But will that be a high flight with dual deployment, a low flight with single deployment? 54mm or 38mm? Sticking with cardboard, phenolic and wood, or foraying into fiberglass?

    Come back with your list, and we can make much better suggestions.
     
  7. Aug 20, 2019 #7

    boatgeek

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    Forgot to mention altitude vs. sight. With reasonable visibility (and no clouds in the way!), you can easily see a 4" rocket up to 4000-5000 feet. Some for a 3" rocket at 3000-4000. Even if you are putting tracking in the rocket (never a bad idea), I'd recommend trying to keep it in sight as well. It helps to bring along a 10-12 year old or two who can spot for you to take advantage of young eyes!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  8. Aug 20, 2019 #8

    dr wogz

    dr wogz

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    I did my L2 with a Super DX3.

    As others have said. it's really up to you on what you want , what you like, and what you want to learn. Don't make it overly complicated. It's not a race. Choose something you can grow & learn with. All kits teach you something, be it in the building, or in the flying..
     
  9. Aug 20, 2019 #9

    mccordmw

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    I'm biased toward the Binder Design rockets. The Excel Plus in 54mm with a 54>38 adapter will fly anything from an H to a K. Can also be easily set up to fly in single or dual deploy.
     
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  10. Aug 21, 2019 #10

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

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    Scratch build it?

    In response to a related question last August, (a new flier wanted advice on an L1 kit) I figured you could get all the parts for Mike Westerfeld's L1 rocket (from Make: High Power Rockets) for about $80, shipped.

    Looking at the bill of materials for the Quantum Tubing version of his Deimos L2 rocket, where everything comes from Public Missiles Limited, and excluding the stuff you'd get from a hardware store (eyebolts, washers, quick-links), or that you'd already have on hand (like adhesives, rolls of kevlar/tubular nylon for the harness, etc.) it looks like about $180 for the airframe, motor mount, nosecone, recovery gear, and pre-cut fins.

    You could easily substitute cardboard and plywood for the phenolic and QT parts on that design, and have a perfectly serviceable L2 rocket.
     
  11. Aug 21, 2019 #11

    GaryT

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    If 3200' is your waiver I suggest a low and slow motor eject bird. The Wildman 5" Goblin would be perfect. Approx. 5' Tall all fiberglass, G10 fins, filament wound NC and a 75mm MM, perfect to grow with and a solid kit that'll hold up nicely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  12. Aug 21, 2019 #12

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

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    WOW!!!
    Lots of great ideas and suggestions.
    This is really helping my happy hour thinking process.
     
  13. Aug 21, 2019 #13

    Joe Rocket 97

    Joe Rocket 97

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    Wildman Drago, small J will do about 1500 feet
     
  14. Aug 21, 2019 #14

    Lynn McCall

    Lynn McCall

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    OMG.
    I want to do ALL of them.
    I want both versions of that Mad Cow and the Goblin.
     
  15. Aug 21, 2019 #15

    Rocket501

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    I got my L1 and L2 on a 3" Binder Designs Excel, single deploy, 38mm motor mount. I added some weight to the nose, but other than that, it flew stock. I tried to get my l2 with a black brandt kit someone gave me, but it was lost into a cornfield. The great thing about the binder kits is that they don't break the bank, have great instructions, and fly well.

    I'd highly recommend getting the larger version for your L2. I was only planning on flying mine on H's, but it proved much more capable in a pinch. That said, the J270 was a bit of a tight fit and it drifted quite a distance.

    I'm planning on getting the version that mccordmw mentioned and flying it on the DMS J450 sparky. It's a great kit.
     
  16. Aug 21, 2019 #16

    seth_cooper

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    I did my L2 with a LOC big nuke and a J350. Don't remember the exact altitude but it was less than 2000 feet.

    Any of the LOC 5.54" and some of the 7.675" kits will work for a low and slow L2. Electronics optional.
     
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  17. Aug 21, 2019 #17

    Bat-mite

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    So do we! Finances dictate otherwise. ;)
     
  18. Aug 21, 2019 #18

    dr wogz

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    and space.. storage space..
     
  19. Aug 21, 2019 #19

    Bat-mite

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    The rocket in my avatar can be flown on K and L motors. You could go big! But not for $300. Still, a Loki L900 puts that beast at about 2600 feet.
     
  20. Aug 21, 2019 #20

    75Grandville

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    It all comes down to your preferences. Seriously - it's hard to go wrong. There are so many vendors with so many awesome kits. I also want them all - will get them all after I win the lottery.

    I got my L2 with a Wildman Interceptor AAD-98. For certification I flew on a J315 with motor deploy - I thought of that as relatively low and slow. I've since flown it on K's, and even an L875. It's also the one rocket in my fleet with a 75mm MMT - I usually adapt down to 54 mm. It's nice to have something that big, but care and feeding gets expensive.


    With a $300 budget, I'd lean toward a Wildman Darkstar Extreme, but I've got a thing for split fins, and am giving serious consideration to a Darkstar Ultimate for my L3.

    Or a LOC Magnum, which would give you the opportunity to try clusters after getting your L2 (central 54mm, two outboard 29mm)

    You may want to spend some time researching, then wait for the Black/Cyber/Small Business Friday/Saturday/Monday sales.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  21. Aug 21, 2019 #21

    dinoburb

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    My tuppence: I completed my L2 with a Binder California Kid. I launched as motor deploy for simplicity sake. I converted it to dual deploy and have had many successful flights. I like the old school look, simple construction, and robust design.
     
  22. Aug 21, 2019 #22

    Mike Haberer

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    I'm using a Madcow Super DX3 (38mm MMT) for my L1 but built it strong enough for L2. I'm doing single deploy for L1 with a empty AV bay, will do dual deploy at L1 next year in the Spring and then likely go with a baby J for my L2 with the same rocket next Fall. Low and slow, step by step. Madcow Torrent (from Apogee) is another good choice.
     
  23. Aug 22, 2019 #23

    Nytrunner

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    J316 Pink, you won't regret it
     
  24. Aug 22, 2019 #24

    swatkat

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    I got mine on the 4" Mach 1 speed demon... it's a beast, so you may want something a bit smaller, but it's a data point. It's currently 309.99, but there are often sales, especially around the holidays.
    https://www.mach1rocketry.com/store/p56/Speed_Demon.html
    Build thread is here with photos and video of my L2:
    https://www.rocketryforum.com/threa...h-1-rocketry-speed-demon-build-thread.147166/
    Really low and slow and it was on a J500G. 1387' apogee.
    You can get it in 75mm mount as well, if you plan on L3 and just use the same rocket.
     
  25. Aug 22, 2019 #25

    mccordmw

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    Yup! My L1 and L2 were on the 4" Excel Plus. I went with the 54 mm mount and dropped in a 54>38 adapter for the certification flights. The motors are in my signature.
     
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  26. Aug 22, 2019 #26

    kidrobo

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    I did my L1 and L2 with a Wildman Darkstar 2.6". It's been awesome. The kit was well made and Wildman is always great to work with. Since L2 I've taken it up to ~12,000'. At some point I might try to cram an L into it, but will need to find a higher waiver for that.
     
  27. Aug 23, 2019 #27

    YodaMcFly

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    I did my L2 with a 4” Binder Excel DD. For various reasons (comfort with the components), my cert flight was electronic deployment of the main (in a Jolly Logic Chute Release), with motor eject for backup, with the JLCR set for 700’.

    I went with the 54mm mount, although I don’t even own a 54mm case and it’s only ever flown on 38mm motors. I have flexibility later...
     
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  28. Aug 24, 2019 #28

    James Darnell

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    Have done level 1 one and level 2 twice with a binder excell also . I did to tip to tip fg for level 2 and good thing i did cause it kept a fin fr9m breaking off and just flexed it. Caught it on camera :) flexed it about 2"
     
  29. Aug 24, 2019 #29

    BDB

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    If you are thinking Binder Design, and you have a low ceiling, look at the Terrordactyl. The holes in the fins make for a lot of drag. Mine only flies to about 2000’ on small J motors.
     
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  30. Aug 25, 2019 #30

    tOD

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    That's the rocket that got me my L2. 54mm motor mount with 38 adaptor. AT J350W ("TheCertificanator") in the AT 38/720 case. Dry weight is around 6.5 lbs. The cert flight was just shy of 3200'. It's flown since on a J450DarkMatter 54mm DMS to 4377'. I've since picked up some CTI 54 hardware and will be flying it with some more 54's if I can get back to MARS or MDRA this fall. My home Field's too small for 4000' flights, but it flys nice on I364 38's.
     

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