Tripoli vs NAR?

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aaronvanhorn

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As a HUGE newbie to HPR what is the difference between these two organizations? I have an NAR club close to me and a Tripoli club about 3 hours from me. What are the differences. If I want to be apart of both can one do that? Any information will be greatly appreciated! I know Tripoli will allow sugar type engines which is something I am interested in, but as of right now just getting into the hobby what should I do?
 

timbucktoo

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NAR basically supports sport flyers & TRA allows the use of research propellant once you become a L2. Most clubs allow the other organization to participate at their launches. Those are the basic differences and I know more people will chime in.
Here are a few similar threads:
 

JackC

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Welcome to the hobby!

I am a member of both. I would say that the differences between the two is that NAR is far older, NAR covers model, mid-power and high-power rockets, kids can be NAR members from an early age and NAR does not allow experimental motors to be used at a NAR launch. Tripoli really focuses on high power rockets, commercial and experimental motors, may have some junior members starting at age 12 but the majority of members are 18 or older.

If you are just entering the hobby and you are closer to the NAR field, I would recommend going the NAR route. The more launches you can attend and the easier it is to get to them, the better early on. This will allow you to build rockets that can fly on mid-power motors, as well as H or I motors when you want to obtain your Level 1 HPR Certification. Once you have a HPR Certification in one organization, you can apply and have it carry over to the other organization if you become a member.

Getting into the hobby, you should learn the basics on rocket construction (why do fins go all the way back on the sustainer near the motor nozzle?), how commercial motors work and why they are formulated the way they are before entering the realm of experimental motors like sugar motors. Also be wary of fire marshall rules in your area about what is allowable when you are doing experimental motors as well as your lease contracts depending where you live. Many landlords will not allow making experimental motors on their property (they consider it a hazardous activity) and you have to find another area, preferably far away from homes, to do that.

Since you're starting out, work on the basics of rocket construction, learning about center of pressure and center of gravity and their effect on your rockets, and how and why to select certain motors for certain applications. You may find using Open Rocket, a free software, virtual rocket construction and flight simulation software, will be helpful to you. You can have what could be a long and satisfying journey in this hobby. Don't treat it like a race to the top; take your time and have fun both with it and the great people you tend to meet in this hobby.

NAR# 82456 L3CC
 
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rharshberger

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NAR is HPR, Sport Flying, lifetime certs, competition, recognize TRA certifications, NO Research Rockety aka EX allowed to be flown at launches.

TRA is HPR predominantly though some sport/model flying goes on, they recognize NAR certifications, and once certified L2 the individual is able to start flying research/ex motors (within certain limits, BP/Zinc Sulfur, Table Sugar based <sucrose> sugar propellants, liquid motors are all not allowed ), if your membership expires one year later your certifications also expire.

Many of us are members of both, as Timbucktoo said earlier clubs will generally (almost always) allow TRA to fly at NAR launches (no EX motors though), and NAR members are allowed to fly at TRA launches.
 

Zeus-cat

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Certifications earned in one group can be converted to the other group when you provide proof. For example, join NAR and earn your L1 and L2 HPR certifications. Join Tripoli and after showing proof of your NAR certs you will be granted L2 in Tripoli.
 

Steve Shannon

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Most things are very similar between the two organizations as others have said. Here are some specific ways we differ:
NAR certifications are lifetime, even if you drop out for many years and then rejoin. Tripoli’s certifications expire one year after you allow your membership to lapse, but expiration of certifications is currently paused for a year (and then to be reviewed) to accommodate people who may be affected by financial hardships.
NAR’s Junior L1 program allows youth to participate in making and flying L1 high power rockets beginnings at age 14 and then becomes L1 certification at age 18. Tripoli’s Tripoli Mentoring Program (TMP) allows youth to begin participating at age 12, rather than 14, AND they are allowed to build and fly at any level their mentor is certified for.
Tripoli insurance covers the member’s dependent children. NAR requires that children be members in order to be insured.
Tripoli insurance offers worldwide coverage. NAR insurance offers coverage in the USA and Canada.
NAR has model rocket competitions, a convention NARCON, and annual meeting called NARAM, and a National Sport Launch (NSL). Their events all move around.
Tripoli has two national events: LDRS which stands for Large Dangerous Rocket Ships, named tongue in cheek at a time when the NAR considered anything larger than an F to be irresponsible. LDRS is our traveling annual meeting and flagship rocket launch. Different clubs (we call them Prefectures) bid on LDRS.
Our other event is BALLS, which is the annual Research event, meaning motors made by members. Once upon a time LDRS was only commercial motors and BALLS was only Research motors, but our rules now allow both types of motors at the same events. BALLS has traveled, but now is exclusively held on the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. BALLS is unique also because of the high altitudes people can attempt there.
Tripoli members who are L2 and higher certified are allowed to make their own motors within certain limits which are spelled out in our Tripoli Research Safety Code.
Tripoli youth and student memberships are only $10 annually. Senior Tripoli memberships are $70 for the first year and $60/year thereafter.
Tripoli has Prefectures in many countries other than the United States.
Each organization has aspects that attract people differently. Myself, I will always support both. I have great friends who belong to each. The President of the NAR and I speak frequently to make sure we are doing the right things for Rocketry.
 

mikec

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All great responses. Would there be any merit to making this thread sticky or making a FAQ forum that such threads could be moved to? As noted, this comes up with fair regularity.

In fact, many of the FAQs seem to be of the form X vs. Y (NAR/Tripoli, Aerotech/CTI, OpenRocket/Rocksim, what tracking method should I use, etc.)
 

rharshberger

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All great responses. Would there be any merit to making this thread sticky or making a FAQ forum that such threads could be moved to? As noted, this comes up with fair regularity.

In fact, many of the FAQs seem to be of the form X vs. Y (NAR/Tripoli, Aerotech/CTI, OpenRocket/Rocksim, what tracking method should I use, etc.)
How about a FAQ sections for newbies?
 

cwbullet

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Send me a conversation. I will start adding them to a thread. Where do you think it should reside.
 

rharshberger

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That's a good point! Folks often skip over that forum and post beginner questions elsewhere
Part of the issue with that section is that the description doesn't behoove new members to the forum to go there "An area for those new to model rocketry to exchange ideas or ask questions. Also the place to discuss model rocketry Educational programs, etc.". The description has nothing about FAQ's, people almost need a huge "START HERE" before posting questions elsewhere.
 

CKaul04

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NAR. It is the original and has more to do with LPR
 

Steve Shannon

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Make sure you get Sabrina to answer the NAR vs TRA question though, her's was one of the best I have seen here, even better than yours Steve!
:p
I’m never surprised when her answers are better than mine. I haven’t seen anything from her lately though. I hope she’s doing well.
 

grouch

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Go to both launches and see which one fits you best. Look at the rockets people are flying and talk to the folks. Each will be similar but have enough differences that you will gravitate to one or the other. Which ever one you chose, you can still fly with the other. Its not like the NAR guys won't let you fly because you have a Tripoli card and vice versa. That's the rough, the nuance will come later.
 

Rocketjunkie

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If you are interested in model rocket contests, join NAR. If you are interested in making your own AP based or sugar motors, join Tripoli. Otherwise join the one who you will be flying with the most. Many clubs are both NAR and Tripoli. If you can afford it, join both. NAR has Sport Rocketry magazine. Tripoli currently has no club magazine except the Tripoli Report covering meetings, announcements. etc.
 

OverTheTop

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What Grouch said. Try both and see what fits you better.

See what suits your wallet also. Corona virus goes up exponentially, and so does the price of motors in rocketry ;).

For me the roar of the larger motors has my interest. Tripoli also do lots of LPR and MPR stuff too, based on what I have seen at our local launches. NAR bunch are friendly too.
 

HVArcas

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One of Tripoli's features is a fascist certification policy, so if you only have room for one I would recommend NAR.

After certification your papers work in both directions.
 

PatD

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One of Tripoli's features is a fascist certification policy, so if you only have room for one I would recommend NAR.

After certification your papers work in both directions.
Could you please explain how Tripoli's certification policy is fascist vs NAR?
Thanks
 

Steve Shannon

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One of Tripoli's features is a fascist certification policy, so if you only have room for one I would recommend NAR.

After certification your papers work in both directions.
Here’s what I explained to someone the other day:
I don’t know why NAR changed theirs, but we both had the same policy at one time. A few years ago the NAR changed theirs, which honestly put us in a bit of a position. It’s a topic that we discuss frequently at the board level.
Here’s my take: if a person drops his or her membership for at least a year, we know they haven’t probably flown in that time. I don’t know about you, but I lose expertise if I go too long without doing something. That was the basis for the expiration of a certification. It’s true that a person could also just continue paying membership dues and not fly and lose just as much expertise, but that’s harder to track without adding rules and formal requirements such as a flight logbook.
So, now we have this weird situation where Tripoli members can “insure” their certifications by joining the NAR for a year. Then they can drop out for some time and whenever they want to return they rejoin NAR, regain their certification level, and then rejoin Tripoli and transfer their certification. It doesn’t make sense, does it.
Honestly, I’m torn. The only people our rule affects are those who only join Tripoli, our most loyal members.
But, at the same time, all it takes to recertify is to fly rockets anyway. An L3 can just recycle their existing paperwork and reply their rocket. And flying rockets is the only reason to get certified anyway, so it’s really not a huge hardship for most people.
As a side note, right now we have stopped expiring certifications for people who drop their memberships during the next year. We did that because we anticipate that many people will be unable to afford to renew their memberships due to the shutdown we’re going through.

By the way, here’s the definition of fascism:
Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
 
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