Setting up Material List for School Rocketry Club

Logic

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Hi! I'm currently setting up a material list for a school rocketry club some friends and I are starting soon (we are all new to this). This is the current list of materials I have accumulated from watching some YouTube videos and reading some forum posts. Is there anything else I should add to this list? We expect to be a club of 3-4 people which is why there are 4 Alpha III sets.

On a side note, I was also wondering what the significance of the letters and numbers in different engine types are? All I know is that the further away the engine letter is from A the more powerful it is (I think). Thanks to those who reply.

Parts List for Club
Alpha 3 Launch Set - (4 SETS)
Includes:
  • 1 - Rocket
  • 1 - Launchpad
  • 1 - Launch controller
Estes C6-7 Engine Pack - (3 PACKS)
Includes:
  • 3 - C6-7 Engines
  • 3 - Starters
  • 4 - Starter Plugs
Recovery Wadding - (2 WADDINGS)
Includes:
  • Flame resistant recovery wadding
Extra Tools for Building
 

Logic

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Well unless you're trying for synchronized rocket losing... Ditch the c6-7 motors for , A8-3's
Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by "synchronized rocket losing". However what I'm assuming is that c6-7 motors are riskier?
 

dr wogz

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I would also ditch 2 of the launch sets. Only need one launch pad & controller (unless you want to do drag races & such.. save your pennies for now)
Ditto what Rex says, A8-3 or B4-4 motors / engines (and learn what the letters & numbers mean - Estes catalog, or the Handbook of model rocketry - that should be #1 on your list!)

add to your tool kit:
  • 12" ruler
  • masking tape
  • yellow 'wood glue' (instead of the clear glue)
  • pencil
  • A 36" length of 1/8" 'piano wire' to replace the 2-piece launch rod in the launch kit..
  • very fine sand paper (#600 - #1200) to polish the launch rod
  • Camera
  • small fire extinguisher or garden sprayer with water- if you are doing it as a group, and on someone else's property (and thru school): safety first - "better to have it and not need it, that need it and not have it"
  • An old coat hanger - straightened, then cut into 3 pieces. these are then bent into a 'U', which is then used to pin down each leg of the launch pad. (stick the poiins into the dirt, hooking the end of the pad's leg)
  • an extra chute or two..
  • snap swivels - #4 or #2 from the local fishing store - to attach your chute to the nose cone
  • note pad to record teh launches, wind, and other notable events of teh day. to keep a record of your activities
Look into a 'bulk pack' of motors. works out to be cheaper in the long run

this is a nice thing to have too:
Altimeter - https://estesrockets.com/product/002246-estes-altimeter/
Altitrack - but you 'll need to learn some math though! :D - https://estesrockets.com/product/002232-altitrak/
 
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dr wogz

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Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by "synchronized rocket losing". However what I'm assuming is that c6-7 motors are riskier?

motors designation:
Each letter is twice the previous motor's impulse*. A 'C' motor will send the Alpha really high (1000'+) The chances of recovery are slim.. and it can drift a l-o-o-o-n-g way away while under the chute! The A8-3 will only be a few hundred feet up..

*An 'A' motor is the baseline. A 'B' motor is twice the impulse as an A. A 'C' motor is twice a B, 4 times an A... A D is twice a C, 4 times a B, 8 times an A.. you get the idea..
 
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Rex R

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People don't really have a 'feel' for distance, they read 400’ and think, that isn't far.. Take a piece scrap wood about 12" long ( or a ruler) paint a bright color, this is your rocket, place 400' away, now try to see it. 400' is about how far an alpha will travel on an A motor, 800 for B motor. C around 1200', it is really easy to lose rockets.
The handbook of model rocketry pretty much covers it your local library should have a copy or three for check out.
 

dhbarr

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For AA batteries I strongly recommend the Energizer Ultimate Lithium ( L91 ) -- they're expensive, but they do pack more punch longer than any other AA I've ever tried.

You probably don't need a mini screwdriver set, the only thing I can think of would be opening the back door of the battery compartment.

A measuring tape isn't particularly useful if you have a good ruler ( cm on one side, in on the other )
 

K'Tesh

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People don't really have a 'feel' for distance, they read 400’ and think, that isn't far.. Take a piece scrap wood about 12" long ( or a ruler) paint a bright color, this is your rocket, place 400' away, now try to see it. 400' is about how far an alpha will travel on an A motor, 800 for B motor. C around 1200', it is really easy to lose rockets.
The handbook of model rocketry pretty much covers it your local library should have a copy or three for check out.
Another point to add, is it' is highly unlikely that you'd be far enough away to be at 90 degrees to the rocket at 1200'. So imagine a brightly colored cylinder (presuming the builder chooses bright colors, and not something like white or grey. that is the diameter of your rocket (let's go with a nice average 1.325" OD that has 3 or 4 fins that extend say ~2.5" out at regular angles, and things get even harder to spot. Especially if there's any wind involved, or bright sunlight, or clouds.
 

Grog6

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On the subject of rocket colors; We found out long ago that color is not readily discernible from 1000' away in the sky, it can help later when you're looking for it.
A friend was taking entry level physics at University, and had a really cool Professor that allowed him to use rocketry for most of his papers.
Color became a topic after some C and D engine launches, where we got our friend group to help out, and get some exercise. :)
This was the 80's to my knowledge there were no trackers available.
The best colors we found for the sky was either white or black, with yellow or green the worst.
Fluorescent Yellow or Orange were visible the furthest away over the spectrum of daylight. If you were close enough to see color. That depends on brightness, and only works in certain angles from the sun. Looking toward the sun, Black is the best.
We never lost a Bright Yellow Fluorescent 'Safety yellow' Rocket even though we tried, lol. We saw it land once at dusk, and were able to walk over to it, 1200 ft away.It was not readily visible from the top of the hill above us, ~ 1400 feet away from it.
We also ended up making a Rocket Car track. :)
 

dr wogz

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Another comparison:
the average "floor" in a building / high-rise is about 10'-14'

So, 400' is about 30 to 40 floors.. that's a pretty big building!
 

afadeev

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Hi! I'm currently setting up a material list for a school rocketry club some friends and I are starting soon (we are all new to this). This is the current list of materials I have accumulated from watching some YouTube videos and reading some forum posts. Is there anything else I should add to this list? We expect to be a club of 3-4 people which is why there are 4 Alpha III sets.

I would strongly recommend that you go out and build and fly one of these rockets yourself, before you kick-off the club.
This will all go way easier for you, and better for the kids, once you've had some first-hand experience with this hobby.

Doing so should be super easy, and the prep phase should take little time.
You should be able to fly your rocket on an A8-3 motor at a local baseball diamond.

Good luck!

a
 
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