Seeking Level 2 advice

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Rick James

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I got my Level 1 about 4 years ago, then about a year later I got distracted by other things. Just getting back into it again... I'm going to try to put together a few 29mm and 38mm projects just to make sure I can still do it;)

I'm think of trying for my Level 2 next summer -- but I would like to start planning (and saving) now.

I've been browsing the internet for some "reasonably" priced 54mm rockets and tentatively narrowed them down to these four:

LOC EZI-65
PML Tethys
Binder Excel Plus
Public Enemy Performer

The one thing they all have in common is they have 4 inch airframes, and they are all under $90. Originally they were all under $80, but that was before I read here about the trouble people seem to have with Discount Hobby Center.

So, I would welcome any advice here regarding the benefits of one kit over another - or one manufacturer over another - and if there is a good outlet to purchase any of these - or should I go directly to the manufacturer.

I will not be using electronics for this flight (KISS) - not sure if that makes a difference at this time. Also of little importance, I certified Level 1 with a LOC 4.

Also - any ideas where to buy the casings?

Thanks,
Rick
 

Missileman

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I am attempting my L2 on a PML Endeavor.
I will most likely fly it on a 38mm J350.
I have bought most of my cases from Commonwealth Displays but have bought a couple from Performance Hobbies and from ROL auctions.
The kits you mentioned are all good. I see no particular advantage of one over the other.
You may want to get a 38mm adapter.
The Tethys comes with the KS adaptor.
As far as the test goes, if you are certing through TRA, pratice the online test at Tripoli.org . If you get the sample test down pat the actual test is a piece of cake.
 

Bill

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Originally posted by Rick James

I will not be using electronics for this flight (KISS) - not sure if that makes a difference at this time. Also of little importance, I certified Level 1 with a LOC 4.

Also - any ideas where to buy the casings?

For the ultimate in simplicity, look into the Cesaroni Pro38 motor line. Easy assembly and cleanup. Adjustable delay. Relatively inexpensive casing, though the reload costs a bit more.


Bill
 

BlueNinja

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I have the tethys, i looks like a rock , though it's not built yet :eek:

Though, if you build around stock weight it'll do 1/2-1 mile on any J.
 

GL-P

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For the ultimate in simplicity, look into the Cesaroni Pro38 motor line. Easy assembly and cleanup. Adjustable delay. Relatively inexpensive casing, though the reload costs a bit more.
Another vote for Pro38 hardware. Real easy to setup. No messing around with O-rings. Just dial out your delay with a ProDat tool (which you can borrow) and then screw everything together and you're done! Easy as pie!
 

gerbs4me

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another vote for Pro38, the KISS method is the way to go.
 

n3tjm

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Since you are in Nevada, a 4" diameter rocket is a great choice for Level 2. It will rock and roll with a J350... However... You may want to go with more style.... like a J90.... or J135 :D.

I agree with the KISS principle, but I am a firm believer that a L2 rocket needs electronics. You can get a simple, cheap, and easy to use altimeter starting at 60 or so bucks. I highly recommend the Transolve PK altimeter kit. Cheap, easy to build, and never had one fail. (I own two). You can get a LOC 4" electroics bay, and then use it in all of your 4" rockets.



The EZI-65 is an excellent kit, and I have flown mine many times with G-I motors... and was my test bed rocket for my L2. I used it to test launch my first Alt for dual deplyment. A flight with a H242, and a second with an I161 proved that the altimeter worked ;). After the flight above... it flew again in my L2 rocket :)

btw - Welcome to the forum :)
 

SpartaChris

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Originally posted by Rick James
[Also - any ideas where to buy the casings?

Thanks,
Rick [/B]
PML kits are really simple to put together and are pretty sturdy.

I bought my casings from magnum rockets (www.magnumrockets.com). Ross over there is a nice guy and he offers excellent customer service. Even called me at work to give me a tracking number for my 38mm casings! My PML Bull Pup kit also came from there (My GF rocks!). His prices are pretty decent and his service is really good.

-Chris
 

loopy

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I love PML kits! I've seen the Endeavour a few times, and have a Small Endeavour that I'm using for my L1 (well, eventually, I hope...). Another kit I see used for L2 is the BSD Thor. Sturdy 4 inch kit that looks great, and easily set up for dual deploy. As for good deals, Magnum is good, and so is Great Lakes Hobbies. They have good kit prices, and good prices on the motor casings as well.

As for the motor, I love watching J350's! Since you've been in the hobby for awhile, it sounds like building an AT reload is not exactly foreign to you, so stick with AT - more fire!!! lol

Loopy
 

lalligood

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OK, I'll chime in...

First off, count me in as another one in favor of the Pro38s...the 5-grain J285 is just barely a J, so I would consider it an excellent motor touse for that cert flight. Save the bigger Js & Ks for your post-cert flights.

Good decision in no going with electronics. Again, save 'em for your post-cert flights ;)

As far as your kit selections go, I don't think you can pick a wrong one in the bunch. You're out west, so you have plenty of room & the altitude you'll get with any of those kits on a J is gonna be pretty sweet...

However, (and I know that several TRFers will chime in to agree with me) you might want to consider saving up the extra $20-30 for a BSD Thor. It's taller & a little heavier than what you've got your eye onnow too, but it all but comes ready for dual deploy (just need electronics & a drogue chute). Besides, I *love* how they whistle under thrust! :D :cool:

Regardless of whichever kit you go with, all of them (including the Thor) can & probably should be flown on a mid- to high-thrust I motor for a shakedown flight. (FWIW, I did my shakedown flight on a 4-grain Pro38 I285 & then certed with the J285. Very similiar thrust curves, just a longer burn for the J... Both flights were perfect.)

Just some food for thought. Good luck!
 

Rick James

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Thanks everyone... this has been very helpful.

Thanks to n3tjm for the welcome!

I have done business with Magnum, Giant Leap, Hobbylinc, Apogee, and Discount Rocketry... all good to deal with. I've never heard of Great Lakes - their prices look good. How is their customer service?

I may re-consider electronics - perhaps as a backup.

Another thought that I hadn't considered is flying the rocket with a 38mm adapter to just test the construction. I remember when I flew my L1 it was the first time for too many things - too many things to go wrong. For this I would be good to test everything else.

Thanks again,
Rick
 

rdbones

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All of the kits mentioned are great choices for L-2.

I have decided to do all of my cert flights with scratch built rockets. I am flying my L-1 cert on the 19th of this month in Tucson, AZ. Have you considered a simple 3FNC scratch built design for L-2 ?

I am also in favor of the Pro38 motors, that is what I will be using for my L-1 flight.

Welcome to TRF - Hope to see pics when you start construction, no matter what you go with !
 

lalligood

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There is one issue I almost forgot to reply on: Where to get the casings?

The easiest way (although not always the cheapest) is to purchase them from a vendor onsite...assuming that one is there!

For the "economically challenged" (Which then begs the question: Why are you getting into HPR?!? :p :rolleyes: ) is to borrow one from someone at the launch site. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever met a fellow rocketeer that wouldn't loan a casing... Keep in mind loaned equipment is done on a "you lose it; you bought it" arrangement, which would lead me to pointing you back to my first point :D

Lastly, there are several online vendors with excellent reputations of competitive prices & friendly customer service. Check out the list pinned at the top of the Propulsion forum.

HTH,
 

loopy

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Originally posted by Rick James

I have done business with Magnum, Giant Leap, Hobbylinc, Apogee, and Discount Rocketry... all good to deal with. I've never heard of Great Lakes - their prices look good. How is their customer service?
I've ordered from them a couple of times, and always had timely responses, and very smooth transactions.

One more point on motor selection - if price per flight is a concern for you, Aerotech is cheaper for reloads than Pro38/Pro54. Plus, you get many more reload choices per casing. AT is more bang for the buck, in my opinion.

Loopy
 

GL-P

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One more point on motor selection - if price per flight is a concern for you, Aerotech is cheaper for reloads than Pro38/Pro54. Plus, you get many more reload choices per casing. AT is more bang for the buck, in my opinion.
Yep, Aerotech is cheaper with more selection but Aerotech is still recovering from the fire so some stuff hasn't been shipped yet. Cesaronis light first time everytime and rarely if ever have a CATO. No bonus delays either!!!

Can't ya tell, I'm a Pro38 fan :D
 

Oli4

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Hi there,

I can recommend the BSD Thor 4" Kit, slightly reinforced with glassed fins and G-Wiz LC 400 altimeter. You should try a J570W with a long delay (as a motor-backup). That motor really rocks! 1026ns in 2 seconds burntime!

If you have a good and fast connection you can download a video of my flight on that motor >>here<< (17 MBs!)

For your L2-cert flight: You are going to get really nervous before that flight! I´ll promise! So use a check-list to proof for yourself that you did not forget a thing to do.

Good luck!

Oli4
 

BlueNinja

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I would agree to use teh CTI baby J for the motor, it doesnt have that much power (save the power for big flights)

or, you could got eh Sky Ripper Hybrids route, the case is like $150 but the loads are $12 each. Yes, that is twelve dollars for a J. Also the same price for their H and I, though each of them requires another $140 case. Less if you have the internals already.
 

Hospital_Rocket

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I'm going to do L2 with everything except the kitchen sink.

PML Sudden Rush with the CP3K dual deployment system and a Kwick-Switch. I'll use the 38mm adapter and a AT J (720NM case) If I can lay my hands on it, my motor of choice will be the J420R. If I certify I plan to celebrate with the 54mm mount and a small AMW Green Gorilla on the same day.

A
 

GL-P

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PML Sudden Rush with the CP3K dual deployment system and a Kwick-Switch. I'll use the 38mm adapter and a AT J (720NM case) If I can lay my hands on it, my motor of choice will be the J420R. If I certify I plan to celebrate with the 54mm mount and a small AMW Green Gorilla on the same day.
That should be cool!!!
 

gregzo

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I'm confirming other posts.

Tethys is a great, sturdy kit. I used one for my L1. I modified my Tethys with Dual Deploy to attempt mt L2 (gale winds have kept me from trying yet however - hopefully 9/11/04 - CTRA!!!)
It comes with the Kwik Switch adapters for 29mm & 38mm. The Tethys will allow you to use cheap 29/180 reloads (you mentioned $$ - you can fly all day for short money on these) You can use light to heavy 38mm motors. Then when your ready for your long walk in Nevada on single deploy - shove in that 54mm bad boy!!

I plan on using a 5 grain Pro38 for my L2 attempt. Everyone already said why it is a great choice especially for that KISS principle L2 attempt. If you opt for this motor - you will also need to buy the PML 38/54 Heavy Duty adapter. The 5 grain case is too long for the 38mm Kwik Switch adapter that comes with the kit. (The AT 38/720 with a J350W will fit w/o this) Once you have that adapter, you can use it for 6 grain Cesaroni 38mm reloads and use the AT 38/1080 case.
Don't forget about motor retention. PML instructions do not mention this.
When you're ready for electronics on a budget - I second what N3TJM said about the Transolve P6K. Great altimeter for $58 plus some of your time invested.
Get a PML 18" payload kit - build in an electronics bay - shazam - dual deploy on the cheap. Here in the northeast it is kinda the rule - In Nevada you can enjoy the dessert walk.

Good Luck
 

Bowhunter

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I have seen many people cert 2 with a PML AMRAMM4 its an awsome kit thats worth every penny I got mine standing in the corner of our living room and when we have company the first thing they do is go (WHAT IS THAT!!!!)
 

Thrasher

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You have Public Enemy's Extreme Performer on your list. I have it, so I'll share my information on it.

I got the 4" Extreme Performer with dual deployment option. I paid about $74 for it at www.hangar11.com They have regular deployment and now have cluster options. I have the 54mm mount, but I got a 38mm adapter for a few bucks.

I bought a Missile Works RRC2 altimeter for about $90 (hangar11). I Also got the Dr. Rocket L1-2 38mm casings. (360,480,600,720)

The rocket is easy to build and comes with the drogue and main. The 36" main is too small in my opinion. My rocket weights 7 to 7.4 pounds with motor (depending on motor).

First Flight: Level one cert on I195J. Perfect flight to 1342'.
Second flight: Level two cert on J350W to 3049'.
Third flight: J420R to 2557'
Fourth flight: I435T to 2260'
Fifth flight: I211W to 1838'
Sixth flight: I300T to 1630'

Next flight I'd like to try the I284W or even a 54mm.
It's a good and stable rocket. I never had a problem with the aerotech motors. I never had a problem with the dual deployment. I would put a 48" chute in it. It can land hard on the 36".

Here's a pic:
 

Thrasher

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Here's a better view of rocket:
The letters do not come with it.
 

Rick James

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Thrasher:

Nice looking rocket -- I'll have to check it out with 3D glasses :cool: I bet it would look almost real...

Thanks for the info - and the inspirational photos..

Rick
 
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