# The Future of this hobby.....

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#### SecondRow

##### Well-Known Member
Do you have other Launchpad Kits? I have a few of them I got a few years ago before they sadly Bellied Up. Nice Impressive challenging kits they were. Would be nice if they came back.
I have a sidewinder. Whenever I visit my mom, there’s a hobby shop I stop in. They’ve got some launch pad kits that have probably been sitting there for years.

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have a sidewinder. Whenever I visit my mom, there’s a hobby shop I stop in. They’ve got some launch pad kits that have probably been sitting there for years.
That was one I would have liked to have. Nice you have it.

#### Blast it Tom!

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have a sidewinder. Whenever I visit my mom, there’s a hobby shop I stop in. They’ve got some launch pad kits that have probably been sitting there for years.
Places like that are gold. Too bad there aren't that many of them.

#### Donnager

##### Well-Known Member
Places like that are gold. Too bad there aren't that many of them.
We had one that was pretty good, that closed this past spring. They normally had 3-4 3d printers running with projects, 3 craft tables for things like HO railroad detailing, D&D stuff, and other things. They had a great selection of models, decals and art products. Not so many rockets, but it was nice to have a close place to get some Tamiya paint, fine brushes, or odd glues.

I'll miss it.

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I’ll have to try the Super Glue trick. When I do my paper covered fins I will use the brush on Super Glue for them.
I’m still putting together the videos for those projects. I stabbed myself with an X-Acto blade doing the boxcar project. So I’m only at 50% of useful handiwork and typing. Working at a hospital has advantages, I did a DIY stitch job to save on a ER trip and bill. An EMT showed me how after a previous X-Acto incident with the same hand. Who says you need a medical license to practice medicine
I’ll have to try the Super Glue trick. When I do my paper covered fins I will use the brush on Super Glue for them.
I’m still putting together the videos for those projects. I stabbed myself with an X-Acto blade doing the boxcar project. So I’m only at 50% of useful handiwork and typing. Working at a hospital has advantages, I did a DIY stitch job to save on a ER trip and bill. An EMT showed me how after a previous X-Acto incident with the same hand. Who says you need a medical license to practice medicine
The Fringe benefits some of us get from the professions we work in. Good you know how to stitch. Im getting chills thinking about the knife accident. Crikey Mate!!Where did you get cut? Funny ,yesterday I changed a saw blade on my 4 inch under cut saw and the wrench slipped and the blades teeth jabbed me between the thumb and index finger.Ouch!! No blood but it did not tickle.lol. And yes it was not plugged in.

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#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Places like that are gold. Too bad there aren't that many of them.
Yes, I agree with you. Also ,Its nice we have the Internet an be able to type in something we want and it pops up.

#### ATJOE1972

##### Well-Known Member
The Fringe benefits some of us get from the professions we work in. Good you know how to stitch. Im getting chills thinking about the knife accident. Crikey Mate!!Where did you get cut? Funny ,yesterday I changed a saw blade on my 4 inch under cut saw and the wrench slipped and the blades teeth jabbed me between the thumb and index finger.Ouch!! No blood but it did not tickle.lol. And yes it was not plugged in.
Your saw looks much more scary than my X-Acto knife. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt, ouch. I managed to put the blade into my right index finger. I was removing the plug door details off an old Bachmann boxcar. Almost done with it when the blade jumped and got me. I’m just glad I didn’t end up in the ER.
That’s a fancy looking saw, do you do carpentry along with rockets and trains? I‘m amazed with people that have carpentry skills. I’m a certified wood butcher in that area.

#### OverTheTop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have a TCT blade like that for my angle grinder. Scares the he'll out of me. Compulsory two-handed operation when it is fitted, if you value your fingers. Seriously scary.

#### Blast it Tom!

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yes, I agree with you. Also ,Its nice we have the Internet an be able to type in something we want and it pops up.
Yes, but in a way that's part of the problem. The suppliers are the stores' competitors as well! But it sure helps to have a place to browse, to lay one's hands on stuff, to actually see it. And to have as @Donnager says,
We had one that was pretty good, that closed this past spring. They normally had 3-4 3d printers running with projects, 3 craft tables for things like HO railroad detailing, D&D stuff, and other things. They had a great selection of models, decals and art products. Not so many rockets, but it was nice to have a close place to get some Tamiya paint, fine brushes, or odd glues.

I'll miss it.
what appears to be a workshop area and 3D printers available (or at least working) - kids see these things and the "WOW!" factor goes way up. I'm a big fan of brick and mortar stores, having done far too much internet shopping - I find it irritating, generally - but I realize the expense involved in retail can't compete with a warehouse and website, generally. So I don't gripe too much about prices, which almost must be greater than I can get on "teh intarwebzs".

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Your saw looks much more scary than my X-Acto knife. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt, ouch. I managed to put the blade into my right index finger. I was removing the plug door details off an old Bachmann boxcar. Almost done with it when the blade jumped and got me. I’m just glad I didn’t end up in the ER.
That’s a fancy looking saw, do you do carpentry along with rockets and trains? I‘m amazed with people that have carpentry skills. I’m a certified wood butcher in that area.
Did the blade go in far to do damage? I hope not. Im a contractor in construction. The saw is called an Under Cut saw. It is desinged to cut the bottoms of trim moldings around doors so flooring can slide underneath them making a clean appearence. If you can read a tape measure and a level, you can build many things and just about anything in construction. You do well with modeling,so its in you for sure to build or do any trade in construction or around your home.

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have a TCT blade like that for my angle grinder. Scares the he'll out of me. Compulsory two-handed operation when it is fitted, if you value your fingers. Seriously scary.
I had one of those blades on and Angle grinder for a short time until one day it jammed and kicked back to me and the spinning blade jammed into my knee pad. Good thing it hit there instead of going to the same place with no knee pad. That was the last time I used it and got the right tool like you seen in the photo.

#### frognbuff2.0

##### Aggressor Aerospace affiliate
As a younger rocketeer, I'd like to say that the disconnectedness caused by the internet is not an issue specific to people born in the last 30 years as some in this thread have stated or insinuated. I had the patience to spend over 2 months scratch-building the Atlas V in my profile picture, trying to get every detail accurate within my limited skillset. I'd also like to point out I know plenty of younger people who dedicate a lot of time and effort into their hobbies and "lack of attention span" is no problem.

I would second the sentiment that lack of access to places to launch is a major hurdle to for many with this hobby. I'm from a large city and the nearest places to *legally* launch model rockets of any substance are all over 40 miles away. Access to many of these sites is dependent on official events being hosted there. To go launch on my own, legally, I have to go to my grandparent's farm 105 miles away. When I invited some of my friends to go launch some rockets (the town where I go to school is only 36 miles from the aforementioned farm) they eagerly accepted the invitation. They loved model rockets but many of them being from large metro areas like Columbus and Chicago, didn't really have anywhere to go growing up to launch anything. Unfortunately all the wildfires here out west might exacerbate this problem and Covid surely hasn't helped.

I think 3D printing and the creativity and versatility it affords may help bring many people into this hobby. I've dabbled with 3D printed parts for pieces with somewhat more complex geometry in my projects. I also think that one of the best ways to get people interested is with a demonstration, but with this the issue of launch-site access comes up again.

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#### ATJOE1972

##### Well-Known Member
Did the blade go in far to do damage? I hope not. Im a contractor in construction. The saw is called an Under Cut saw. It is desinged to cut the bottoms of trim moldings around doors so flooring can slide underneath them making a clean appearence. If you can read a tape measure and a level, you can build many things and just about anything in construction. You do well with modeling,so its in you for sure to build or do any trade in construction or around your home.
Fortunately no, the blade just went deep enough to leave a nice beauty mark to enjoy. No nerve or tendon damage that I can tell. I plan on having a bandaged shot of my finger in the video. With a warning and disclaimer
You have a unique skill set being able to wire up and program DCC encoders and do fine wood working. I would have guessed you were in the Tech industry or an Electrician. I don’t know what happened to my woodworking DNA, got lost in transit. If I can successfully put together the new Estes Saturn 1b kit, I’ll consider the woodworking arts.

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Your saw looks much more scary than my X-Acto knife. Glad you weren’t seriously hurt, ouch. I managed to put the blade into my right index finger. I was removing the plug door details off an old Bachmann boxcar. Almost done with it when the blade jumped and got me. I’m just glad I didn’t end up in the ER.
That’s a fancy looking saw, do you do carpentry along with rockets and trains? I‘m amazed with people that have carpentry skills. I’m a certified wood butcher in that area.
Your upper fins are looking great What do you use to seal the fins with? Haven’t worked on the Patriot yet, just finished a old Mantua 0-4-0 project and started a Penn Central boxcar upgrade this weekend.
Speaking of Building , we launched this Aerotech SA 14 Archer with an Aerotech G80 WL - 7. A split second after this shot was taken the motor pushed through the airframe and blew the nosecone off. The Thrust ring was never epoxied in place. The Motor dissapeared out of sight and the rocket went up about 20 feet. Not much damage. Install new thrust ring and parachute and rocket still flys today. Photo taken in Tamarac , Florida 1995

#### ewomack

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yes, the era of the neighborhood or city hobby shop seems to have fizzled to bits. It's almost a bit bizarre to think back to when, if you wanted a model rocket, you had to walk or drive to a store and then you remained at the mercy of what the store had in stock at that moment. They may have had something "kind of" what you wanted, but since you drove or walked to the store do you really want to do it again? And when will the next opportunity to return arrive? And when will they get new stock in? 2 months?!?! Well, maybe you should just choose something for now and come back in 2 months? You could call the store later and ask about new stock, but, depending on who answered the phone you might get either helpful or unhelpful information on model rockets. So often you found it easier to just go there and see for yourself, because there was that one time that they said they didn't have something on the phone but you went there anyway and they actually did have it. Wow! Who can you trust!?

This all depended on whether you lived close to a store or not, but for those who didn't live close to a hobby store, especially before driving age, each trek became a kind of pilgrimage. To come back empty-handed was often not an option. You could order something through a catalog, but that used to take weeks. And when you're younger that often seemed like an eternity. Today, if I want something I search the Internet for the model and a few places who carry it come up in the search results instantaneously. After comparing postage costs and other minutiae I push a button and the kit comes to my door often within a week. On certain sites it can appear in 2 days. Poof! The young me who walked to hobby stores or begged his parents to drive him to one would not believe that such a world could ever possibly exist.

The one downside to convenient internet purchasing is the death of in-person shelf browsing. Hobby stores burgeoned with things unavailable elsewhere and walking down the aisles felt like a privileged experience of exploration and discovery. You also never really completely knew what you would find until you arrived. Sometimes that proved thrilling, sometimes heartbreaking, but I really miss the experience of just wandering through a store full of interesting and previously unknown things. Each store also had its own unique personality. I haven't had such experiences in decades.

My surrounding area now has maybe one or two such stores, but years ago it had dozens. I doubt that I visited or even knew about all of the stores that existed then.

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##### I don't do spirals
TRF Supporter
There is -ONE- real hobby shop within 50 miles of me. A one man, 2nd generation REAL hobby store (you know what I mean)

Recently, I sold off my entire inventory of rockets here on TRF, but before I did that, I gave away most to schools, and offered the balance to this store.

This store owner said he could not in good conscience take them - that retail is dead. His father stated the shop 50 years ago. That was saddening.

#### arconhi

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yes, the era of the neighborhood or city hobby shop seems to have fizzled to bits. It's almost a bit bizarre to think back to when, if you wanted a model rocket, you had to walk or drive to a store and then you remained at the mercy of what the store had in stock at that moment. They may have had something "kind of" what you wanted, but since you drove or walked to the store do you really want to do it again? And when will the next opportunity to return arrive? And when will they get new stock in? 2 months?!?! Well, maybe you should just choose something for now and come back in 2 months? You could call the store later and ask about new stock, but, depending on who answered the phone you might get either helpful or unhelpful information on model rockets. So often you found it easier to just go there and see for yourself, because there was that one time that they said they didn't have something on the phone but you went there anyway and they actually did have it. Wow! Who can you trust!?

This all depended on whether you lived close to a store or not, but for those who didn't live close to a hobby store, especially before driving age, each trek became a kind of pilgrimage. To come back empty-handed was often not an option. You could order something through a catalog, but that used to take weeks. And when you're younger that often seemed like an eternity. Today, if I want something I search the Internet for the model and a few places who carry it come up in the search results instantaneously. After comparing postage costs and other minutiae I push a button and the kit comes to my door often within a week. On certain sites it can appear in 2 days. Poof! The young me who walked to hobby stores or begged his parents to drive him to one would not believe that such a world could ever possibly exist.

The one downside to convenient internet purchasing is the death of in-person shelf browsing. Hobby stores burgeoned with things unavailable elsewhere and walking down the aisles felt like a privileged experience of exploration and discovery. You also never really completely knew what you would find until you arrived. Sometimes that proved thrilling, sometimes heartbreaking, but I really miss the experience of just wandering through a store full of interesting and previously unknown things. Each store also had its own unique personality. I haven't had such experiences in decades.

My surrounding area now has maybe one or two such stores, but years ago it had dozens. I doubt that I visited or even knew about all of the stores that existed then.
I agree with you. Going to see if the rocket you really want is at the store and its not. So we buy one that we did not want and get to like it.I remember those days too. In a small town of about 5000 people I lived in,we did not have a Hobby Shop. The closet one was about 40 minutes away. Our local walking distance Drug Store had a Centuri and Estes rocket section with about 30 different kits, 18mm motors and wadding. My first Rocket was Centuri Astro 1 at $1.75 and Iris sounding rocket at @2.50. Along came Mail Order that took about 1 to 2 weeks. It was exciting to get the package when it came. Internet if you know what your looking for is 2 days to a week maybe. #### Attachments • 38.8 KB Views: 5 • 64.3 KB Views: 5 #### ATJOE1972 ##### Well-Known Member Speaking of Building , we launched this Aerotech SA 14 Archer with an Aerotech G80 WL - 7. A split second after this shot was taken the motor pushed through the airframe and blew the nosecone off. The Thrust ring was never epoxied in place. The Motor dissapeared out of sight and the rocket went up about 20 feet. Not much damage. Install new thrust ring and parachute and rocket still flys today. Photo taken in Tamarac , Florida 1995View attachment 435165View attachment 435165 That’s a beauty of a rocket A heck of a way to start off in the world. Glad you were able to save it without it being a CATO and total write off. Some nice photography using 1995 technology #### cbwho ##### Well-Known Member I'm speculating here, but: When the hobby was young, there was no internet, no video games, and television was young. The space race was still fresh in the minds of everyone. With less attractions and higher interest in spaceflight, more people of all ages were interested in flying rockets. I got back into this due to SpaceX and my 4 year old son. However, he prefers to build lego and won't get glue on his fingers. I've always tinkered so I don't mind glue on my fingers! Lack of launch sites is the biggest issue I see. We go to a local park with a cluster of baseball fields each bordered by trees. I've converted the rockets to streamer recovery. #### NOLA_BAR ##### Well-Known Member I got back into this due to SpaceX and my 4 year old son. However, he prefers to build lego and won't get glue on his fingers. I've always tinkered so I don't mind glue on my fingers! Lack of launch sites is the biggest issue I see. We go to a local park with a cluster of baseball fields each bordered by trees. I've converted the rockets to streamer recovery. Lack of a launch site seems to be the most common theme here. A earlier post mentioned sending humans to moon/mars. What SpaceX is doing is cool, but the destination is still low earth orbit. My son and I have started watching The Astronauts on Nickelodeon. There just needs to be more interesting destinations than the ISS. I also think there needs to be innovation in hobby propulsion systems beyond solid pyro motors. The longer burning motors and thrust vectoring is definitely a start. Just throwing things out here. #### kelltym88 ##### Well-Known Member Interesting thread to say the least...at the local launches I've been to here in So Cal at either the Santa Fe Dam or Lucerne, there always seems to be a Boy scout club or similar at pretty much every launch. Or a TARC team. I've seen a couple families who are also trying it out, whether the dad is trying to get their kids involved, or the kid wants to try it out. I tried to get both of my boys interested by taking them to launches and helping them build their own. But, they just weren't that interested. Video games were more fun to them. Yes, we had fun at the launches, they liked going for the day, but nothing beyond that. So that's one of the challenges, how can you get a young person to focus that much time and attention to something where the reward takes much longer to achieve? Another is ease of launching. When I was 12, I could buy all my rockets, motors and such on my own. Build them, then go to Hart park in Orange and launch them. Didn't need permission or my parents to be present. Those days are long gone. I remember taking my youngest boy and a couple of his friends to the local elementary school and launching. But my head was on a swivel because I didn't want "to get caught" I kept everything low. We had a great time, but I took a chance, and they never mentioned it again.(meaning they didn't show any further interest beyond that day) The only real, legal option here is at a sanctioned club launch, at either of the two places mentioned above. There are a couple of hobby shows out here like AMA. The local NAR club SCRA would have a make it take it session where anyone could come and build a rocket for free. I was able to help on some those. But when explaining to people that you can't just go down to the park and launch or risk getting a$1000 fine, the look on their faces told it all. Especially with all the radio controlled vehicles all around on display at the show. If I was a kid I'd take the RC car, cause I could take it home and use it right away. Being in a state with high fire danger doesn't help.

A third reason is cost. Let's be honest, you give a kid $20 bucks what do they want to spend it on? A pack of motors? Doubt it. It is an unfortunate circumstance in todays economy. I had to step away from this hobby because it was getting too expensive. Other factors played into it, but the cost of the hobby was too much to justify spending disposable income on. I haven't been to a launch in 4 years. For me, I would go to Lucerne, which is 102 miles away. So there's the cost of getting food and water, and gas on top of whatever supplies or motors needed for the launch. It's almost like going to a sporting event. Even with free tickets, you're still spending$100 bucks on parking and food and souvenirs. I'm sure you get the point. I am planning on going to a launch again if we are ever able to meet again, but I know I'm going to have to spend a small chunk of change just for motors.

After all these years, I still look forward to the Estes catalog every year. There are always several of their kits I would love to get, especially the ones where I say to myself that would look so cool upscaled. So, for me anyway, the catalog is a big thing. It keeps me interested. But the fact is, we live in world that demands instant gratification, and this hobby is the complete opposite of that. And that may be the biggest challenge it faces.

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
[QUOTE="cbwho, post: 2068426, member: 29271
I got back into this due to SpaceX and my 4 year old son. However, he prefers to build lego and won't get glue on his fingers. I've always tinkered so I don't mind glue on my fingers!

Lack of launch sites is the biggest issue I see. We go to a local park with a cluster of baseball fields each bordered by trees. I've converted the rockets to streamer recovery.
[/QUOTE]
Glue on the fingers can be overcome. Buy some Happy Hands from Apogee. You put it on like lotion and it provides a barrier over your skin that glue, epoxy and paint can't get through. Wash your hands with soap and water after you're done. For LPR fin fillets the best tool is your index finger. Happy Hands lets you do that with ease.

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
First of all, let me just say that this hobby is doing fine.
I'm saying that not just because I'm back to flying with my kids, but based on the increasing year-over-year NAR membership counts, and recent uptick in supplier sales (Estes).
A thread of this flavor comes up for air once every ~6 months, and it always ends with the realization that the hobby is growing, and doing better than it has done in decades.

there always seems to be a Boy scout club or similar at pretty much every launch. Or a TARC team. I've seen a couple families who are also trying it out, whether the dad is trying to get their kids involved, or the kid wants to try it out. I tried to get both of my boys interested by taking them to launches and helping them build their own. But, they just weren't that interested. Video games were more fun to them. Yes, we had fun at the launches, they liked going for the day, but nothing beyond that.
So that's one of the challenges, how can you get a young person to focus that much time and attention to something where the reward takes much longer to achieve?
Exactly the same way as you focus their attention on all other beneficial but challenging tasks - with parental guidance, participation, and incentives.
Getting your (and my) kids to participate in rocketry is no different than getting them to do homework, clean-up their room, do other household chores, or participate in other after-school activities.
Sooner or later, kids figure out that all of these activities take more effort and are less fun than playing video games and eating cookies all day.
That's were parents come in and course correct. Course correction methods and approaches change with age, but if the parent is not paying attention, not caring, or not seeing the benefit of investing time into their kids, then kids will fall back on video game and cookies. Every time.

If you haven't met them yet, brace yourself of 50+% of your peers with disinterested and overweight offsprings, who blame it all on schools and video games....

Another is ease of launching. When I was 12, I could buy all my rockets, motors and such on my own. Build them, then go to Hart park in Orange and launch them. Didn't need permission or my parents to be present. Those days are long gone. I remember taking my youngest boy and a couple of his friends to the local elementary school and launching. But my head was on a swivel because I didn't want "to get caught" I kept everything low. We had a great time, but I took a chance, and they never mentioned it again.(meaning they didn't show any further interest beyond that day) The only real, legal option here is at a sanctioned club launch
That's not universally the case, even in the over-regulated NorthEast.
You can launch rockets at local parks and school baseball/soccer fields, all day long. Just ask.
I had called our town's police department with that question a few years back, and got a "why are you even asking, go for it, just keep it safe" response.

On the other hand, you seam to be posting from Cali, where all things get weird, and fast ;-)

A third reason is cost. Let's be honest, you give a kid \$20 bucks what do they want to spend it on? A pack of motors? Doubt it. It is an unfortunate circumstance in todays economy. [...] But the fact is, we live in world that demands instant gratification, and this hobby is the complete opposite of that. And that may be the biggest challenge it faces.
Cost is always a consideration in all hobbies.
For me, rocketry is BY FAR the cheapest hobby and after-school activity that my kids and myself indulge ourselves.

As usual, it may, or may not be a priority at any given point in one's life, and for a given level of disposable income. Rocketry is certainly not free. But nor are any of the other fun activities and past-times!

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#### cbwho

##### Well-Known Member
I like the comments about video games and cookies! So true! We dramatically limit screen time for our kid. So any outdoor activity is promoted!