Tonight's crop of launches...

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2009
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Got a fair amount of flying in tonight, despite some recurring problems with the launch controller (homemade). Switched to an old Estes controller (one with internal AA's). The AA's weren't the freshest but they worked. Oddly for my final flight I switched back to my homemade controller and it worked flawlessly. Weather was perfect, began at around 7 with light to very light breeze and ended around 9 with no winds at all. Temperatures were in the low to mid 80's, moderate humidity. Launch field was the local park in my subdivision.

First up was an Estes Satellite Silver Crayon on an old MRC B4-4. I'm glad I didn't use that old motor on a nicer rocket as the rocket lawn darted with ejection coming after impact (ejection was very late, more like 7 seconds). No damage to the rocket!

Next up came a pair of flights with the same rocket using C6-5's. Both resulted in perfect flight profiles...ejection just after the rocket tipped it's nose down with full chute deployment and gentle descents with only moderate drift. This rocket is a great way to burn up my excess inventory C6-5's...I should fly it more often!

For the next flight (Crayon) I added an Estes altimeter clipped to the nose cone...unfortunately the chute didn't deploy
since the chute's shroud lines got hung up on the altimeter clip. Nevertheless, the rocket landed without damage and recorded an altitude of 386 feet. Motor was a C6-5.

Next it was the Savage's turn. On it's last flight it lawn darted when the C11 failed to ignite the upper stage motor. This morning I repaired it by cutting off 3 3/8's inch from the upper stage body tube and adding 10 grams of nose weight (4 cents glued together and glued to the inside base of the nose cone). According to open rocket, this restored the rocket's stability margin to close of what it had been stock.

The Savage's flight profile with a C11-0 / A8-5 was nearly perfect, with the booster landing next to the launch pad. Inspection of the booster showed some light crimping around the top of the tube and some flame damage from the upper stage motor. Not sure how much longer it will last...a shame as this is a great multi-stager for small fields.

For the final flights of the evening I switched to the Big Daddy. First up was a D12-5. Another fine flight and near perfect ejection. The rocket landed fairly close to the pad (maybe 30 feet) so I decided to squeeze in one more launch...this time with a Quest D22-4W. It's the first time I've flown that motor and was pleasantly surprised by the noise and flame...not quite as nice as the F67 but still more than I was expecting :) . This time the Big Daddy arced a bit (may have been my fault as the rod might not have been perfectly vertical, but flight was strange, I could have sworn the rocket lifted off near vertical and then tilted slightly when it was about 50 to 75' up...despite the lack of wind at that time). Still, ejection came just past apogee and the rocket still landed within the park (though it was maybe 250' from the pad...I'm just glad it drifted along the field's longest length).

Overall a very pleasant set of flights....a bit of had been a few years since I flew the crayon and when I first went to load the motor I thought "WTH...where's the motor lock?!"...thought maybe I'd lost it on a prior flight, was about to de-prep it until I remembered it's odd arrangement...the entire fin can is the motor lock...I had to twist off the fin can to insert the motor. :) .
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Sounds like a great day! I forget things all the time w my rockets - this one has a baffle, no tissue needed, This one is friction fit engine, this one .... I need to keep a journal for all these! :p
Sorry about the lack of photos, maybe next time....hard to hold camera and launch. Maybe I'll bring the tripod next time 😉
Sorry about the lack of photos, maybe next time....hard to hold camera and launch. Maybe I'll bring the tripod next time 😉
It's a bit tricky - Camera in your left hand, launch controller in your right.
Set your camera on burst. Start countdown. When you reach "1" press and hold down the shutter.
Those Estees 4 AA controllers have chased away Rocketeers for generations. If I had Fuse or Wick as a kid I wouldn't have quit Rocketry 35 years ago.
Interestingly, it was one of the black AA controllers that saved me ;-) . My homemade controller has been giving me some electrical problems (I think I may have a break in a wire somewhere, as it sometimes wants to work and other times not). Recently finished building an Aerotech Interlock that I'd bought 20 years ago (I work fast :) ). Once some cables so that I can use it with non Copperhead igniters I'll be all set and start using that.

(I'd bought an unused Aerotech starter set used about 20 years ago for the rocket...was able to buy it for less than the Initiator itself, but never assembled the pad or launch controller. Finally built the pair over the weekend after it sat on my garage shelf all that time....)
Sorry about the lack of photos, maybe next time....hard to hold camera and launch. Maybe I'll bring the tripod next time 😉
Its hard, I have a bad right shoulder. Bt I can hold the phone in my right hand and launch with the other. Its painful for me but I'm getting better. But found an Outterbox case for my cell phone and going to use that on a spare launch stand up close. But best trick is as soon as the rocket takes off get that launch hand to the phone, then its all good. Don't blab excessively(when you can help it) or yell it makes for bad videos. You'll get good at starting the videos and saying what you have too, and catch the flight too, and keeping it short and sweet too. I want to try slow-mo stuff with my cell, you can also go into the video player and freeze or pause the video and get good shots that looks great. But thanks for sharing, got any pictures of them?

My Big Daddy barely gets off the pad with a D12, maybe should try the D22, although I prefer to shove E's into it because the flights are much more spectacular. I think I have D22s, and the CENJARS launch is this upcoming Sunday... But I've already got 10 rockets packed and Big Daddy isn't in the crate this time, but maybe I'll throw it in and see if I can get in 11 launches in a single day. Should be fun to try! This is going to be our Halloween Launch, so I'm putting pumpkin stickers on all the rockets I am bringing.

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