EVENT SodBlaster IV SEPT 2-5, 2022 Pasco, WA Official Announcement!

DirkTheDaring

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Sod Blaster IV SEPT 2-5,2022 Pasco, WA is coming!

Sodblaster IV is just around the corner. We will have four days of flying starting on Friday, contests, a silent auction, and raffle. Everyone must register at our registration table to get the appropriate wristband. Anyone wanting to fly high power must show their NAR/TRA card (don't forget it) to get a high power marked wristband. We have a daily $5 launch fee or fly for free with a TCR membership.

If you have already given us a TCR liability form in the past, you do not need a new one. If not, please fill one out ahead of time and bring it.

You may show up at the site for camping starting Thursday mid-afternoon. If you show up earlier than that, please be prepared to move as we will be coordinating rig parking so that we can fit everyone in. It will be first-come, first-served camping. See our camping page for more details.
Friday and Sunday are designated as TRA research days, so that means no kids under 18 are allowed at the high-power pads unless they have completed the TRA JR mentoring program. Of course, everyone will still have access to the low power and mid-power pads and both TRA and NAR members can fly on those days.

This year we are holding egg lofting altitude and spot landing contests for prizes – see our Contests page for more information. We will also host a silent auction on Saturday for some of our bigger ticket items, with the proceeds going to help improve our GSE and pay for the portapotty rentals. Also on Saturday we will be holding our raffle starting at 6:30 pm. If you have items you want to donate to the raffle, that would be most excellent. Just bring them to the registration table. Before the raffle starts Saturday, we will have a cookie and ice cream social, so bring some of your favorite cookies if you want to make an ice cream sandwich.

Night flights will be permitted starting Friday evening, weather permitting. See our Night Flights page for specific requirements. For any other questions, please check our FAQ page.
www.tricitiesrocketeers.org

Edit: some of our awesome sponsors this year are SBR Fusion Rockets, Lab Rat Rocketry, Madcow rocketry, Dynasoar Rocketry, Front Range Rocket Recovery. If you know of anyone who would like to be a sponsor please contact me at rharshberger on The Rocketry Forum or Facebook messenger.

Here's a picture of last years field and parking area, the landowner and TCR were able to work out getting a huge area graveled greatly expanding our RV and tent camping areas.

SodBlaster3cropped.JPG


This post originally created by @rharshberger
 
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rharshberger

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I work on the Hanford site and have done the B reactor tour, the B reactor tour is well worth the time and money...its free but you still need a reservation so plan ahead. As for Ligo...I drive by it everyday but have never visited it

BTW its Sod Blaster and this year will be number IV! We usually have a campfire when possible and visit after the operations close down. Country Merchantile is just down US 395 a few miles and they have lots of food, chocolates, ice cream, sandwiches (really good ones too!). We will fly 9am to 5-6pm Sat and Sunday, and Friday and Monday will probably be half days at least (usually depends on how many volunteers help set up the range). Last years Sod Blaster we were rarely backed up more than one rack occasionally two racks (we have 25+ pads LPR-HPR), and we flew over 650+ flights iirc (680 something). Great fun was had by most everyone according to the feedback we got after the event.

As for shootingvthe breeze...HELLO its a bunch of rocketeers....😁
 

DirkTheDaring

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I work on the Hanford site and have done the B reactor tour, the B reactor tour is well worth the time and money...its free but you still need a reservation so plan ahead. As for Ligo...I drive by it everyday but have never visited it

BTW its Sod Blaster and this year will be number IV! We usually have a campfire when possible and visit after the operations close down. Country Merchantile is just down US 395 a few miles and they have lots of food, chocolates, ice cream, sandwiches (really good ones too!). We will fly 9am to 5-6pm Sat and Sunday, and Friday and Monday will probably be half days at least (usually depends on how many volunteers help set up the range). Last years Sod Blaster we were rarely backed up more than one rack occasionally two racks (we have 25+ pads LPR-HPR), and we flew over 650+ flights iirc (680 something). Great fun was had by most everyone according to the feedback we got after the event.

As for shootingvthe breeze...HELLO its a bunch of rocketeers....😁
Thank you, this is great information and very helpful. I'm really looking forward to this. Here's another question. I've read that at some of these launches there are vendors where you can buy engines and such, is that the case for Sod Blaster, or should I be sure to stock up ahead of time?

Thanks again!
 

rharshberger

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Thank you, this is great information and very helpful. I'm really looking forward to this. Here's another question. I've read that at some of these launches there are vendors where you can buy engines and such, is that the case for Sod Blaster, or should I be sure to stock up ahead of time?

Thanks again!
We will have one motor vendor, possibly two. Scott Binder of SBR Fusion Rockets will be there and possibly Bob Grossfeld from Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory (I haven't heard officially about SunriverBob yet).
 

BEC

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There is also dry camping on site and a day use area, the registration team is also respondsible for assigning RV slots. We will have porta-potties on site.
That’s quite a shot of the field. I’m trying to figure out when it was taken…but haven’t quite, other than it’s a little past local noon, based on the shadows.
 

rharshberger

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That’s quite a shot of the field. I’m trying to figure out when it was taken…but haven’t quite, other than it’s a little past local noon, based on the shadows.
SodBlaster III, last year, 2:28pm Sept 4, 2021.
 

krislhull

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Rich, any contests planned for this year?

As for the location, I will attest to what others have said about the Sod Farm... It is by far the best HPR launch field I have been to so far... TCR is a great group of people, and Sod Blaster brings out a great group of rocketeers. I pan on sticking around after hours each night and just hang out with others, enjoy talking rockets and what ever other topics come up, as well as maybe dust off some of my astrophotography skills...
 

rharshberger

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Rich, any contests planned for this year?

As for the location, I will attest to what others have said about the Sod Farm... It is by far the best HPR launch field I have been to so far... TCR is a great group of people, and Sod Blaster brings out a great group of rocketeers. I pan on sticking around after hours each night and just hang out with others, enjoy talking rockets and what ever other topics come up, as well as maybe dust off some of my astrophotography skills...
Will have more info, when the official announcement comes out. As for the Astrophotography, as long as the sky is clear we have very little light pollution and clear views of the sky.
 

DarthMuffin

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I'm a local and as mentioned the B-reactor tour is well worth it if you can get reservations. How often do you get to be inside a nuke reactor, not to mention one that played a part in world events? Because it's free there are a lot of no-shows so if you can't get a reservation you stand a good chance of being able to go if you just show up a little early.

Have done the Ligo tour and while I'm a huge fan and space nerd, there wasn't much to see. It's a couple of long tubes, a room full of monitors, and all the real interesting stuff is in a clean room that you can't see. It was interesting to hear some anecdotes from them about how sensitive the equipment is, like how they can tell when dams open their spillway or there's heavy storm waves on the coast. My tour was pre-wave-discovery, so maybe they've upped their tourist game since then?
 

DirkTheDaring

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I'm thinking of attending Sod Blaster (TriCities Rocketeers, south eastern WA state), September 2 -4. This will be my first time at a high power launch and I'm looking forward to it. My questions are for people who have attended this or similar events before.

Given the location near Hanford, WA, has anyone visited the Hanford visitors center or the Ligo visitors center? I think they're both open that weekend. They look like pretty interesting places.

Are there other nerd oriented activities in that neck of the woods?

Some links:

Ligo is the gravitational wave detector that's been in the news a lot with the fairly recent detection of gravity waves, and I understand it has a new visitors center.
https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/WA/page/lho-drop-ins

https://manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov/
Hanford was a major site in the development of the atom bomb, and now is mostly famous for it's on-going and probably never to finish clean-up project.

And are there other events after hours? Or before hours? etc. Do people hang out during and after the event shooting the breeze when they're not shooting rockets?

Thank you and perhaps I'll see you there!
Ken
In case anyone cares, LIGO will take organized tours by appointment on weekdays. Groups must be 15 or more and the weekeday I have in mind is Friday Sept. 2. If 14 other people are interested I'll make the arrangements.

I have signed up for the 11:45 Monday (Sept 5) Hanford tour. As always, the more the merrier.
 

rharshberger

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I'm a local and as mentioned the B-reactor tour is well worth it if you can get reservations. How often do you get to be inside a nuke reactor, not to mention one that played a part in world events? Because it's free there are a lot of no-shows so if you can't get a reservation you stand a good chance of being able to go if you just show up a little early.

Have done the Ligo tour and while I'm a huge fan and space nerd, there wasn't much to see. It's a couple of long tubes, a room full of monitors, and all the real interesting stuff is in a clean room that you can't see. It was interesting to hear some anecdotes from them about how sensitive the equipment is, like how they can tell when dams open their spillway or there's heavy storm waves on the coast. My tour was pre-wave-discovery, so maybe they've upped their tourist game since then?
Or a reactor where you can be 20' from and in the same room as the reactor face where they loaded the fuel. One of the cool pieces of equipement I saw in the reactor room of B reactor was what looked like muffler pipe collet expander (type turned with a wrench) mounted on the barrel of a sawed off Springfield rifle (stubby barrel, and no buttstock just the pistol grip).... if you see it ask the docent what it is (it will be located to center left of the reactor face behind the safety rail). If you don't find out what it is ask me after your tour and I will tell you about it.
 

DirkTheDaring

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I'm a local and as mentioned the B-reactor tour is well worth it if you can get reservations. How often do you get to be inside a nuke reactor, not to mention one that played a part in world events? Because it's free there are a lot of no-shows so if you can't get a reservation you stand a good chance of being able to go if you just show up a little early.

Have done the Ligo tour and while I'm a huge fan and space nerd, there wasn't much to see. It's a couple of long tubes, a room full of monitors, and all the real interesting stuff is in a clean room that you can't see. It was interesting to hear some anecdotes from them about how sensitive the equipment is, like how they can tell when dams open their spillway or there's heavy storm waves on the coast. My tour was pre-wave-discovery, so maybe they've upped their tourist game since then?
They have an entire new visitors center now, probably since you visited. Being a space nerd myself, even if that's all there is, I'm up for it! Per my post just now, if we can get 15 people together we can try to schedule a private tour.
 

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What's a practical altitude limit for single/dual deploy before you need tracking? I'd like to avoid the dreaded corn regardless, but it would be helpful to know how many flights I need to manage tracking for.
 

rharshberger

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What's a practical altitude limit for single/dual deploy before you need tracking? I'd like to avoid the dreaded corn regardless, but it would be helpful to know how many flights I need to manage tracking for.
Less than 2000' depending on wind and descent rate. MPR and HPR rods and rails angle will not be adjustable once set by range safety to ensure no flights over the spectators, we have almost no hard areas outside the gravel so higher descent rates than you normally would use are ok.

Dirk, I am going to request a merger of this thread with the official Sod Blaster IV thread.

 

krislhull

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What project(s) is everyone bringing to Sod Blaster? I have three new high power birds ready for maiden flights, including my L3 build and my 2/3 scale Astrobee D, as well as my first attempt at clusters.

Looking forward to attingding my first big launch in almost 4 years, and seeing a bunch of old and familiar faces again!
 

boatgeek

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I've got a raft of flights planned from Boatgeek's House of Weird Rockets; let's see if I get them all off the pad. If nothing else, everyone is welcome to come by and take a look.

Frankenfin (high power project for the high school team I work with): L975DM, a nearly unrecognizable Minnie Magg kitbash
Dimetrodon: K630BS, a 4" square scratch build
Arc Light: H410Vmax, maybe I236 if time cooperates, a Madcow Arcas and the most normal rocket in my fleet
Fafnir: H152BS, a 3" dragon-themed scratch build with batwings
Spruce Goose, H123SK, an all-wood rocket, down to the rail buttons
Moooo-Venn, G125R, a Venn diagram themed rocket
Stage-o-Saurus, G126WT to G54R, a scratch built 2-stage
Plus a couple of LPR ones including an old Estes X-wing kit that an old friend gave me. Oh, and helping three students get Junior L1 certs. I'm going to be busy!
 

krislhull

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I've got a raft of flights planned from Boatgeek's House of Weird Rockets; let's see if I get them all off the pad. If nothing else, everyone is welcome to come by and take a look.

Frankenfin (high power project for the high school team I work with): L975DM, a nearly unrecognizable Minnie Magg kitbash
Dimetrodon: K630BS, a 4" square scratch build
Arc Light: H410Vmax, maybe I236 if time cooperates, a Madcow Arcas and the most normal rocket in my fleet
Fafnir: H152BS, a 3" dragon-themed scratch build with batwings
Spruce Goose, H123SK, an all-wood rocket, down to the rail buttons
Moooo-Venn, G125R, a Venn diagram themed rocket
Stage-o-Saurus, G126WT to G54R, a scratch built 2-stage
Plus a couple of LPR ones including an old Estes X-wing kit that an old friend gave me. Oh, and helping three students get Junior L1 certs. I'm going to be busy!
I look forward to stopping by and checking some of those builds out in person! From the build threads, they look great!
 

BEC

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Nothing so ambitious. I’ve just started on a Super Orbital Transport with the intent to have it flyable for Sod Blaster (and hopefully flown at least once).

My other planned project is some altimeter comparative testing that will involve six to seven altimeters aboard a Star Orbiter at one time. Yes, I know, that’s kinda crazy.
 

BEC

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It will be three of one type, three of another, and a third one just for my own amusement/calibration. I’m doing it mainly to gather data for one maker’s product.

I’ve done six different types at once before. See the comparative graph in my altimeter article in the NAR Member Guidebook online for an example.
 

rharshberger

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And the list of Sponsors is in, at least so far (hoping to hear from more). This years sponsors are:

Front Range Rocket Recovery
Boyce Aerospace Hobbies
DynaSoar Rocketry
Aerotech
Madcow Rocketry
Loc/PML Rocketry
Estes Rockets
Discount Rocketry
Aeropack
SBR Fusion Rockets (also onsite vendor AT, Quest, and lots of kits)
Lab Rat Rocketry
SunRiver Nature Center and Observatory (also onsite vendor, kits, CTI, AT, and Loki motors)
NAR (we are a NAR Section after all!)
TRA (again we are TRA too!)
Basin Sod and Gravel (our MOST AWESOME landowner)
StickerShock23 (most awesome banner and vinyl dude we know!)
and of course the group throwing this shindig TriCities Rocketeers!

SodblasterIVbannerStickerShock23resize1.jpg
 
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BEC

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So, is it "Sod Blaster 4" or "Sod Blaster IV"? I know, talk about a down-in-the-weeds question. Just want to type it correctly when I refer to it elsewhere, really! :)
 
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