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Star Orbiter - Should I or shouldn't I?

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n3tjm

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One of the perks of going to Cincinati for vacation is there is a Hobby Lobby near my brother's house. So on the way down to Cincy, I knew I wanted to pic up a Star Orbiter form Hobby Lobby. The first one I bought had a defective fin (it looks like termites got to them), so I ended up going to another Hobby Lobby to make an exchange. During the week I also picked up a pack of E16-6's, F15-6's, and also a Flip Flyer.

When building my Star Orbiter, I made two modifications. The first was to place the aft and center centering ring where they come in contact with the tabs on the fins for extra bonding surfaces. This allows enough of a tube coupler to slip up the aft end of the rocket to allow a booster. So that leads to my 2nd modification, leaving out the plastic retainer.

So the big question is, should I buy another Star Orbiter to make a booster for this rocket? :p

2 stage Star Orbiter.jpg


View attachment Star Orbiter.rkt

View attachment Star Orbiter 2 stage.rkt

IMG_20170710_100016794.jpg


IMG_20170710_100011812.jpg
 
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Scott_650

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Using one of Estes BT60 Boosters might be an interesting option - though I don't know if a D12-0 would be a good choice to lift the stack until the sustainer engine engaged.
 

dhbarr

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So the big question is, should I buy another Star Orbiter to make a booster for this rocket? :p
I think I speak for all of us when I say: yes, yes you should make a booster ( don't need a kit though, nothing exotic in there ).
 

Mr Rocket

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So the big question is, should I buy another Star Orbiter to make a booster for this rocket? :p
Ask yourself 2 questions:

How big is my launch site?
Do I want to get it back?:jaw:
 

BEC

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A basically stock Star Orbiter goes to 1500-1600 feet (carrying a Chute Release and an AltimeterThree) on an F15-8. Just a data point :).
 

n3tjm

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Well I stopped by Hobby Lobby again to pick up another kit. Sure there is nothing special I'm there but it's nice to have the fins precut and tube pre slotted, plus it gives me some spare parts :). I plan to fly it 2 stage during our church camp. I probably won't get it back, but I will put my phone number on it. I did that last year with my LOC Legacy with a H45. I lost it but a few days later a neighbor called and I got it back :p
 

mwtoelle

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Try using a 12" parachute instead of the supplied 18". I have generally found that Estes tends to use parachutes that are a bit too large.
 

dhbarr

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I just cut the middle 20% out or so, drops 'em a lot smoother.
 

n3tjm

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Got some work done with my two stage Star Orbiter. First off the bat, I made two thrust rings. Not sure why Estes gave us a motor retainer without a thrust ring, when they want you to friction fit anyway... Well since I am making a two stage version, I am not going to use the retainer anyway. So I made a couple thrust rings out of a spent F15 motor. I glued one of the thrust rings in the Star Orbiter about 4" up the tube so the Motor will stick out about a half inch.

The motor tube for the booster will be the same length of the motor. The thrust ring goes on top of the booster motor. The motor tube will be centered in the airframe with balsa strakes. The idea is to allow the staging gasses to vent out of the tail of the booster, which will prevent the booster from blowing off before the 2nd stage ignites. I decided to make the booster body about 6" long.

29mm Thrust Rings.jpg


Booster Mount.jpg
 

MALBAR 70

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The Estes Extreme 12 uses the plastic retainer on both stages. You should be able to squeeze it in there.
 

BEC

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n3tjm said:
Not sure why Estes gave us a motor retainer without a thrust ring, when they want you to friction fit anyway...
They don't want you to friction fit. They want you to put a tape thrust ring on the aft end of their 29mm BP motors. The same will be true for the upcoming 29mm-mount-equipped re-release of the Super Big Bertha. For everything else the supplied thrust ring in the motor case will do.

MALBAR 70 said:
The Estes Extreme 12 uses the plastic retainer on both stages. You should be able to squeeze it in there.
Extreme 12 is a 24mm design. The ring on the 29mm retainer won't fit inside a BT-60 (never mind an HT-60C) unless you grind the grip ridges down. This has prevented me from whipping up a booster for one of my Star Orbiters (so far) after the model was built already.
 

MALBAR 70

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Extreme 12 is a 24mm design. The ring on the 29mm retainer won't fit inside a BT-60 (never mind an HT-60C) unless you grind the grip ridges down. This has prevented me from whipping up a booster for one of my Star Orbiters (so far) after the model was built already.
I stand corrected, my apologies. For some reason I was thinking it would fit...oops, sorry:facepalm:
 

n3tjm

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Got more work done on my booster. Glued on the tube coupler and fins. Got some internal and external fillets applied. Will probably coat the inside of the tube coupler with epoxy to protect the surfaces from staging.

Fins are attached.jpg


Inside Booster.jpg


Side View.jpg


Length View.jpg
 

sl98

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Extreme 12 is a 24mm design. The ring on the 29mm retainer won't fit inside a BT-60 (never mind an HT-60C) unless you grind the grip ridges down. This has prevented me from whipping up a booster for one of my Star Orbiters (so far) after the model was built already.
I've ground down the ridges on the 29mm retainers and they don't fit inside a BT-60 tube. You can see some pics here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?138476-LPR-MPR-Motor-Retention-Comparison

However, there is a simple solution. When flying 2 stage, just tape ditch the cap on the sustainer retainer and tape the motor in place with a few wraps of masking tape around the motor and male threads. This is a great old school method that works. (See page 5 https://www.apogeerockets.com/education/downloads/Newsletter95.pdf)
 

BEC

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I've ground down the ridges on the 29mm retainers and they don't fit inside a BT-60 tube. You can see some pics here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?138476-LPR-MPR-Motor-Retention-Comparison

However, there is a simple solution. When flying 2 stage, just tape ditch the cap on the sustainer retainer and tape the motor in place with a few wraps of masking tape around the motor and male threads. This is a great old school method that works. (See page 5 https://www.apogeerockets.com/education/downloads/Newsletter95.pdf)
Ah, thanks for the update. I know that if I happen to have a ridge of the screw-on retainer in line with the launch lugs it binds (easy to fix) but I hadn't actually tried to get the diameter down enough to fit inside a BT-60 or JT-60.

Yup, just taping the motor in would work nicely.
 

sl98

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Ah, thanks for the update. I know that if I happen to have a ridge of the screw-on retainer in line with the launch lugs it binds (easy to fix) but I hadn't actually tried to get the diameter down enough to fit inside a BT-60 or JT-60.
If you sand down the ridges you can get the cap the same diameter as the outside diameter of BT-60. From my experience, there doesn't appear to be enough material on the cap to sand down to fit inside a BT-60.
 

Wallace

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I can tell you that they absolutely do fit a bt-60, I have several. Love the 2 stager btw. Great minds think alike and whatnot. I've been working on mine off and on for a few months now, just took a bit different approach than you did. Also have an STM-012 that is similar but will be 29 to 24mm since I don't have a ton of faith in an F15 lifting all that weight even though John Boren has flown up to 24oz with them. I've flown it as a single stage on everything from an E16 to an F50 and it always performs. Best deal out there for mid power when you use a 40 percent code @ H.L. Hoping to attempt staging it this weekend @ the Bong launch, weather it works or not I'll be sure to post pics.With enough patients and time I'm sure you could sand to fit. I am lucky enough to have a lathe so cutting retainers is pure gravy.
 
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n3tjm

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Yesterday I launched my 2 Stage Star Orbiter with a F15-0 to F15-8. As expected, I never found the upper stage, but I do have my phone number on the rocket so there is a chance I will get a phone call if someone finds it :p

[YOUTUBE]2PHTHxQT6jA[/YOUTUBE]

Attached are some photos. I find it interesting to see the soot patterns on the tail end of the boosters.

2 Stage Star Orbiter On Pad.jpg


F15-0 F15-8 Star Orbiter Liftoff.gif


Dirty Tape.jpg


Dirty Strakes.jpg
 

rockets

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Nice idea, sorry to hear you lost the sustainer. :(
I didn't know that you go to Cincinnati! I live in Cincinnati, and go to my local Hobby Lobby, (Springdale location) often.
This looks like a cool idea, I may have to give that a go!! :)

Thanks,
 

Mr Rocket

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Yesterday I launched my 2 Stage Star Orbiter with a F15-0 to F15-8. As expected, I never found the upper stage, but I do have my phone number on the rocket so there is a chance I will get a phone call if someone finds it :p
Beautiful rocket and launch. Looked like great fun!!! Sorry to hear about the sustainer :(
 

JumpJet

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Since you have the booster still, you should buy another Star Orbiter and try it again, and again and again, until you get the upper stage back.

John Boren
 

Ez2cDave

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Nice mod, making it a two-stager . . . The idea to "vent" gases to prevent premature separation is excellent !

Dave F.
 

Don Allen

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I saw this post just recently in an issue of Sport Rocketry. I built the booster specifically utilizing the 29 mm retainers and they worked perfectly. I didn't have to grind or sand anything to fit. The booster coupler does indeed clear the (sustainer) retainers without any issue so don't understand why OP didn't think it would not. I long ago adopted the upgrade phase on every single Estes Kit, so all these kits get plywood fins, ejection charge baffles, heavy duty shock cords. I have bags of original Estes plastic parachutes, wimpy elastic shock cords. I don't toss em, I just save em for other occasions.

I could easily 3 or 4 stage the Estes Star Orbiter but I probably would never see it again, lol.
 
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