Uggh, lack of a good place to launch is killing the hobby for me!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by RocketMike, Jun 15, 2019.

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  1. Jun 15, 2019 #1

    RocketMike

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    I'm back at the forum after a couple of year absence from when I got back into the hobby after many years out. What motivated me to write this post is my sudden belated discovery that Estes has chosen to discontinue the biggest "must have" item on my wish list which was the PSII Mega Der Red Max. Yes, duhh I know, I'm very late to the party. I'm looking at my shelf with several built and painted rockets and unbuilt kits ranging from an Estes Mercury Redstone to a Fliskits ShadowLord. My last attempt at a Launch was at a small "boat launch ramp" area just down the road with a "Frankenrocket" cobbled together from the fins and nosecone of and old kit and a new body tube. It was airworthy but maybe a bit heavy as an A8-3 barely got it high enough to get the chute out good. The next flight with a B6-4 was great and very promising until a light breeze carried it into the outstretched limb of a tree that was way to high to retrieve it from. Eventually weather took it's toll on the shock cord and I was able to retrieve the nosecone and badly deteriorated body tube.

    I just don't know of a suitable place to launch in my area and finding one is not easy for me as I'm very shy and don't have a lot of self confidence around other people. Approaching a land owner or some local official and asking permission is a daunting prospect to me. I'm in Central Georgia on Lake Sinclair and the nearest NRA sections are in Atlanta about two hours away and Macon about an hour away. I don't really even know the point of this post besides just to vent or maybe it's a cry for help. My childhood and teenage days in the Atlanta area where I could just bike up to my neighborhood school field and launch anything up to C power are long gone. Even though I had no place even close to launching something that big, I really wanted that Mega Max...sigh
    Michael
     
  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    neil_w

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    I sympathize with your plight. I have almost given up flying on my own.

    I'm quite satisfied, though, flying with clubs when I am able. One hour to Macon is not bad. I urge you to go and lug all those flyable rockets there, and go have a good time. It's unclear from your posting if you've flown with a club before, but if not then you must go give it a try.
     
  3. Jun 16, 2019 #3

    Arsenal78

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    Macon isn't too bad. I'm in SOAR in Atlanta and it's roughly about 45 minutes to an hour for me to our monthly launches. I only go every other month or so to them as I can't get off work often. 45 minutes to Roswell launches and an hour to the launches in Dawsonville. We just gained a new high power field in Taylorsville near Canton which they say is available from October through April and our FAA waiver went through and they gave us a 6k altitude, though we'll never fly that high.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2019 #4

    JonathanOtt

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    You can still have a Mega Der Red Max. The kits are out of production, but parts are available.

    Estes just reissued the MDRM nose cone, and they still make the slotted tube.

    eRockets.biz has their custom rendition of the fun sets and centering rings.

    Stickershock23 has the decal sets (in vinyl), and quite a few custom sets if you want to go with a different theme.

    Building an MDRM from Estes and eRocket parts and a Stckershock23 decal set will set you back close to $150 though.

    I made up a comprehensive parts list with part numbers and prices and posted it on the Model Rocketry Fanatics Facebook page. If you are a member of that FB page, do a search of my name and you should find the post...it was just a couple days ago.

    Welcome back, don't get discouraged. You'll find someplace that'll let you launch.

    Jon
     
  5. Jun 16, 2019 #5

    solid_fuel

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    It may sound far away but a two hour drive for a club launch isn’t too bad. The closest club to me is about 45 mins away and I don’t go there because they don’t have high Power and recovery can be tricky. I drive about 1.5 and 2 hours each way for the clubs that have highpower launches.
     
  6. Jun 16, 2019 #6

    TSMILLER

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    Welcome back....I also can sympathize with your plight. To the point it almost looks like I would be seeing a mirror image!
    I also am quite shy, and don’t do well in crowds. Extreme deafness is part of that, the rest is just not comfortable meeting new people. Once I get to know them it isn’t so bad after all.
    I’ve been lurking here on the forum for several years, and in that time I have built and cloned several of my childhood favorites. My Estes Renegade among them. I’ve yet to launch a single one.
    Where to launch is my biggest issue. As a kid growing up in the deserts of Idaho, my back yard was our primary launch site. Even that is gone now.
    Where I am now I’ve not gone to club meeting, two towns over or about 45 minutes to over an hour depending on the day.
    The high power launches I would love to go to but my own transportation is not suitable for “ recommended high clearance vehicles” out in central Oregon. The turf farms of central WA would be suitable, just the timing to get of my duff and go. Either location is a minimum of a 3 hour drive for me.
    I have made a deal with myself. I’ve purchased my first high power rocket, an AMRAAM4 that I will be converting to the CPR3000. Once I have all my materials I want to start a build thread for it.
    Reluctantly, for even on line I am pretty timid. I will build this straight stock and most of what I’ve read here on the forum I feel would make my build thread look like a 1st grader compared to NASA engineer. In a sense I guess that is where I am to high power.
    Don’t give up. I’m not, and to make things a lot more enjoyable for me and my son I am also getting into the MicoMaxx, just to be able to go over to the grade school and launch those with him.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2019 #7

    muddymooose

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    I sympathize. My club launches are almost an hour away, and they're often canceled for rain or wind. Even when they aren't canceled, cold weather or wind can make them uncomfortable. It's a rare treat that the one designated launch day each month coincides with decent weather.

    I'm lucky my dad's farm is suitable for class 1 launches when there are no crops, and so far this spring I've been lucky that the excessive rain has kept him from planting his main field. So I can drive ten minutes over there to launch on any given day with decent weather.

    More to the point, I live adjacent to a ~100 acre field. It still hasn't been planted (again, because of all the rain). I think next time I see the farmer in question out working ground I'm going to approach him about the possibility of launching on his field when there are no crops. I'll get to explain the NAR, Tripoli, safety, protocols, insurance, etc. and see if he's receptive, especially if I invite him to a launch and/or offer to pay for a written permit. It would sure be convenient. Nice day? Go walk 1000 feet and launch rockets (class 1, sure, but beggars can't be choosers).
     
  8. Jun 16, 2019 #8

    RocketMike

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    That highlights a big problem for me. I've always been the shy type and certain events with my health in the last few years have not eased my plight. I suffer from quite a bit of social anxiety these days and it takes me quite awhile to get comfortable with people. Doing something like that is not even on my radar. I guess I need a "rocketry friend" in the area but how to find and meet that person is going to be very hard for me. Maybe I'll get extremely lucky and someone in my area will read this and reach out. It may sound silly to a lot of you, it seems it to me even, but I have a hard time even sending out E-mail inquiries and I don't even want to think about calling a stranger on the phone to inquire about an NAR section.
     
  9. Jun 16, 2019 #9

    muddymooose

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    I dunno, I consider myself very anti-social and socially-anxious and averse to people, but even I can muster the gumption to make something like this happen. If a neighboring farmer is working ground, I would approach with the attitude that "hey I'm a fellow everyman who shares your lot in life and here's something I'm passionate about that we can rally around." Invite this guy to just once launch and he'll be totally into it. People of all walks of life love seeing cool stuff.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2019 #10

    jd2cylman

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    Show up to one of their launches and introduce yourself. Rocketeers are a (generally) friendly bunch. We love to show off our rockets and explain our unique features we built into them. Someone will talk to you. Go for it, you won't regret it. One hour away is a good distance.
     
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  11. Jun 16, 2019 #11

    afadeev

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    First of all, driving and hour to a Club launch site seams highly doable, once a month. Give it a shot - I bet you will enjoy the challenge.

    As to launching from local school fields - why not!?
    In my neck of the over-regulated and densely-populated woods, there are zero restrictions for safely launching from public property (school fields and parks). Unless you live in Cali or Canada (you don't, you are in GA), launching from a public open space should still be a viable option in many states.

    Finding a field not encircled by trees will be a challenge, but launching smaller rockets that you don't mind writing off if they drift into a tree, should be easily doable.

    HTH,
    a
     
  12. Jun 16, 2019 #12

    RocketMike

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    Apparently I was wrong, there seems to be no NAR section listing for Macon Georgia anymore so that leaves SOAR in Atlanta. You know, I'm not going to beat around the bush and just come out and say this because it's nothing to be ashamed of. A few years back, I got to driving myself too hard and had a nervous breakdown. I'm perfectly fine now, actually better than ever but it happened and I did go through some dark days which is part of the reason I was away from this hobby and my others too. I can talk about it, even laugh about it some but I still do have some of the lingering issues and anxieties I've stated. I want to meet other people and I want to share the hobby but it's just not easy for me. Now watch, now that I've gone and told that, no one else will respond!:);)
     
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  13. Jun 16, 2019 #13

    BABAR

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    TSMILLER and RocketMike, I hope you both can contact people at your nearest launches and coordinate to meet them at a scheduled launch. I expect you would be welcomed with patience and understanding, and you would greatly benefit from the experience.


    Rocket Mike
    SOAR contact page
    https://www.soarrocketry.org/contact/

    TSMILLER, I don’t know where you are
    Here is a web page to find a local NAR CLUB
    https://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/nar-club-locator/
    And here is a web page for Tripoli “Prefectures”
    http://www.tripoli.org/Prefectures

    I do remember the original Estes Renegade. It was the biggest thing I launched as a kid!

    A club launch would likely be a great experience for your son as well.

    If you guys ever pass through West Tennessee, PM me, would like to meet you

    Straight Trails!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  14. Jun 16, 2019 #14

    Arsenal78

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    SOAR's next launch is up in Dawsonville on the 22nd (this next Saturday) if you're up for the trip. The field is a midpower field up to G power with a decent amount of recovery room, though it's a cow pasture so watch your step. https://www.soarrocketry.org/schedule/
     
  15. Jun 16, 2019 #15

    Ez2cDave

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    Mike,

    "Baby Steps" . . . Just keep putting one foot in front of the other an d you will overcome !

    I suggest contacting SOAR . . . Get an email address or a phone number for the "honcho" that runs it ( "Jorge Blanco" jorgeb@bellsouth.net - I think ) and explain the situation, I'm sure they will go out of their way to make you fell welcome and help you "settle in" !

    https://www.soarrocketry.org/contact/


    Dave F.
     
  16. Jun 16, 2019 #16

    RocketT.Coyote

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    I do much of my launch activity at a rural schoolyard in a neighboring township. A local RC model club has made use of the same field as there is a paved track to enable ROG flights. Have put one rocket on the school roof so far. Need to be mindful of wind direction and speed.
     
  17. Jun 16, 2019 #17

    TSMILLER

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    Thank you BARBAR, I am in Camas, WA. Just a breath over the river from Portland, OR.
    I know of Oregon Rocketry, and the monthly meetings out in Beaverton.
    I would really love to go, but carving the time out is kind of prohibitive for me.
    Due to my abnormal work schedule, I am heading to bed just as the are beginning their meeting.
    I work from 3am to 2:30 pm M/F and every other weekend.
    I still plan on reaching out to them or Tri Cities or both.
    Launching over at Idaho’s site also appeals to me.
    Now that we are talking of sites, question off the subject.....has anybody ever thought of launches at the Alvord Desert in Oregon. seems like a perfect spot, except maybe a little chilly at night.
     
  18. Jun 16, 2019 #18

    mcderek

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    Come on over to the Sod Farm for a Tri-Cities Rocketeers launch. It's a wonderful place to launch rockets and the atmosphere is pretty low key fun. I hope to make the next launch myself. July 20 (Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Launch) The club website has pertinent information.
    https://www.tricitiesrocketeers.org/
     
  19. Jun 16, 2019 #19

    RocketMike

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    I know it probably sounds to some of you that I'm making excuses but one other thing I should point out is my fear of driving in heavy traffic. I'm fine in the more laid back rural area where I live and I can even maintain in smaller to medium sized cities but Atlanta traffic now terrifies me. I actually lived there and road a motorcycle in it 27 years ago but there's no way I could do that now. Unless my wife will drive, any trip up into that area has to be mapped out on back roads avoiding expressways which makes then take longer. Again, I know it must sound silly to a lot of you but these things and fears I go through are very real to me. I've decided I could easily handle going to a smaller place like the Macon area but as I pointed out, that section doesn't appear to exist anymore.

    I will tell y'all that the social stuff is usually just a temporary thing. Once I'm comfortable, I'm fine and I really am a nice, smart reasonable guy with a good sense of humor and not afraid to laugh at myself. I'd give myself a couple, maybe three, club launches before I'd be "one of the guys", it's just getting over that initial hump is quite a bit harder for me than it is for most people.

    I'll make this post my official "shout out" to any rocketeers in Georgia who may be reading. Shoot me a PM or an e-mail if you'd be willing to make a new friend and help me out. I promise I'm relatively sane these days.;) May not seem like much and it may amount to nothing but this is me putting myself out there as best I can right now. All I want to do is build and launch rockets. HPR may be in my future some day and I'd love to be a spectator at those launches right now but just being able to launch my Estes rockets would be great!
    Michael
     
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  20. Jun 16, 2019 #20

    NateB

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    Are there parks with soccer or baseball fields nearby? School or a park with a big playground? That should be enough space to launch a small rocket and recover it safely.

    My first introduction to Atlanta traffic involved a truck and trailer loaded with supplies for events at the speedway and an amusement park in Valdosta. It was not fun and I am in no hurry to return.
     
  21. Jun 16, 2019 #21

    Flyfalcons

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    Check out www.tricitiesrocketeers.org , they are in Pasco, WA and hold monthly launches. I drive four hours each way to fly there. We fly 1/4A through M and all are welcome.
     
  22. Jun 16, 2019 #22

    RocketMike

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    Well yes, of course there are but in today's world of heightened security and downright paranoia, it's not exactly smart to just go set up shop without asking anyone and as already detailed, the asking part isn't exactly easy for me. I'd be much better off with an established group or even an individual in my area who'd found a place already.
     
  23. Jun 16, 2019 #23

    rcktnut

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    Most cities, villages, towns, etc. authorities have e-mail addresses to make contact with. Why not try e-mailing them asking if it would be ok to launch at a certain location. Tell them what you wish to launch, your insured, etc.
     
  24. Jun 16, 2019 #24

    NateB

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    I haven't had problems launching small rockets in a nearby park, once in a while people even stop and watch too. The park is pretty big though and has an area with about 6 soccer fields, 4 baseball diamonds, and more wide open grass far enough away from the playgrounds that you don't bother anyone. I figure there is no harm in using a park my taxes support for a legal activity with my son.
     
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  25. Jun 16, 2019 #25

    Steve Shannon

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    As I recall, just this year a Tripoli Prefecture formed to take advantage of the Alvord Desert. If you want to send me your contact information I’d be happy to send it to the Prefect, who is a very outgoing person.
    Steve
     
  26. Jun 16, 2019 #26

    Steve Shannon

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    I notice a common thread of shyness. I used to be very shy. Various jobs in retail somehow lessened my shyness greatly which allowed me to return to college. After working as an engineer for many years I ended up in a working supervisor role which mostly took care of any remaining shyness.
    My shyness made it difficult to initiate conversations but I could respond when others initiated the conversation.
    If you have a similar shyness but would like to meet other rocketeers I’ll make you a deal. If you’re comfortable with my offer send me a private message with your contact information and I’ll respond and help you find a rocket buddy (if possible) in your area. They would reach out to you.
     
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  27. Jun 16, 2019 #27

    RocketMike

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    It's not just being shy, although it's part of the issue, I've overcome it before to reach out and find an RC club at one time years ago. It's the other issues I mentioned that I have gone through the past few years that have sort of magnified things and brought them to a whole new level. Even initiating this thread was more difficult for me than I know it really should have been. I will take you up on that offer as soon as I can figure out how to send a PM. The forum software seems to have changed since I was here last and I'm having trouble finding my way around. I appreciate it very much!
    Michael
     
  28. Jun 16, 2019 #28

    mcderek

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    Excellent idea Steve!
     
  29. Jun 17, 2019 #29

    Ez2cDave

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    Hi, Mike !

    To send a PM, go to one of Steve's posts and left click on his name. Then, select "Start A Conversation" . . . Type in a Title for the Message and type your message in the box below . . . Send the Message ( Scroll down and click "Start A Conversation" in the Blue box ) . . . Success !

    To avoid the "clunkiness" of that process, be sure to send him your email address and / or phone number, so you can easily communicate directly !

    Dave F.
     
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  30. Jun 17, 2019 #30

    Steve Shannon

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    I sent you a PM with my email address. Maybe that’ll help.
    Steve
     

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