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rklapp

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1.37 amps is not a lot for a launch controller. Strongly suggest switching to a different source, you won't be sorry.
This is what I get currently with the two 9v batteries. With fresh batteries, there’s a bigger flame. I’ll try the initiator next since I should be getting the extra pack in the mail soon after the boat arrives from the main land.

718E423F-9534-4F41-881A-6BE2BFFFA892.jpeg
 

rklapp

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The orange initiator is from the D16-4FJ and pink from C12-4. Is there a capacity difference? I assume the pink initiator is in the 3-pack.

0C627188-0A1F-4285-B393-06583083C7CB.jpeg
 
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neil_w

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This is what I get currently with the two 9v batteries. With fresh batteries, there’s a bigger flame.
Good 9V batteries are on the edge of viability even when new due to their limited current capacity. Any of the mentioned alternatives will do better, and give you more margin for error, or allow you to fly a cluster.

You might be able to squeak by with the 9V batteries (you have up until now, mostly), replacing them all the time, but given how often you launch why not switch to a more appropriate power source and then stop having to worry about it. Doesn't need to exotic, just not those; all they are inside is 6 tiny and weak AAAA batteries wired in series. Not the right choice when what you need is *current*.
1614634150659.png

Up to you of course, but that would be my recommendation.
 

rklapp

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And this was the result with the pink initiator. I’m gonna go with a connection error...

260DB7E8-67EF-4510-9D55-300C5D7A0554.jpeg
 

kuririn

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Try sanding the flat faces of the micro clips. They are frequently caught in the exhaust plume and can get residue/corrosion very easily. Can make a big difference in current flow.
 

BEC

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What kuririn said. Dirty clips will really affect things. Put an emery board in your flight box and use it to buff up the clips from time to time.

When Q-Jets were new one of the things that I tried was to see if the little Estes Astron II controller (which uses one of those little 9V batteries) would fire the supplied initiators. And yes, it would. So yeah—dirty clips and/or touching clips were probably to blame.

Aerotech has beefed up the initiators just a little and are trying to package them so that they don't get damaged (this is mainly an issue with bulk packs, but is also in the spare initiators boxes) but I also can say, from experience, that a FirstFire Micro with the pyrogen knocked off so that the bridge wire is bare will fire both the FJ and W Q-jets, at least on a PSII controller with a 3s LiPoly inside.

That heat shrink is, of course, the stuff you're supposed to use, after sliding it off the initiator, to hold it in the motor's nozzle. Orange is more recent...it might be just a touch smaller in OD, which will work better in As and Bs. The red/pink is OK in Cs and slides right in alongside the initiator on Ds.
 

rklapp

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Try sanding the flat faces of the micro clips. They are frequently caught in the exhaust plume and can get residue/corrosion very easily. Can make a big difference in current flow.
I was wondering about that. They're alligator teeth but I could use the file I picked up from Hobbyco.

Speaking of cajonas, I asked Joe at Hobbyco if he sells any of the D12-7 he has stockpiled in his store, and he said the guys at Sandy Beach use them. :-O

What kuririn said. Dirty clips will really affect things. Put an emery board in your flight box and use it to buff up the clips from time to time.



When Q-Jets were new one of the things that I tried was to see if the little Estes Astron II controller (which uses one of those little 9V batteries) would fire the supplied initiators. And yes, it would. So yeah—dirty clips and/or touching clips were probably to blame.



Aerotech has beefed up the initiators just a little and are trying to package them so that they don't get damaged (this is mainly an issue with bulk packs, but is also in the spare initiators boxes) but I also can say, from experience, that a FirstFire Micro with the pyrogen knocked off so that the bridge wire is bare will fire both the FJ and W Q-jets, at least on a PSII controller with a 3s LiPoly inside.



That heat shrink is, of course, the stuff you're supposed to use, after sliding it off the initiator, to hold it in the motor's nozzle. Orange is more recent...it might be just a touch smaller in OD, which will work better in As and Bs. The red/pink is OK in Cs and slides right in alongside the initiator on Ds.
Ah, so the initiator is the same but the tube is different to accommodate the different nozzle sizes.
 
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rklapp

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What kuririn said. Dirty clips will really affect things. Put an emery board in your flight box and use it to buff up the clips from time to time.

When Q-Jets were new one of the things that I tried was to see if the little Estes Astron II controller (which uses one of those little 9V batteries) would fire the supplied initiators. And yes, it would. So yeah—dirty clips and/or touching clips were probably to blame.

Aerotech has beefed up the initiators just a little and are trying to package them so that they don't get damaged (this is mainly an issue with bulk packs, but is also in the spare initiators boxes) but I also can say, from experience, that a FirstFire Micro with the pyrogen knocked off so that the bridge wire is bare will fire both the FJ and W Q-jets, at least on a PSII controller with a 3s LiPoly inside.

That heat shrink is, of course, the stuff you're supposed to use, after sliding it off the initiator, to hold it in the motor's nozzle. Orange is more recent...it might be just a touch smaller in OD, which will work better in As and Bs. The red/pink is OK in Cs and slides right in alongside the initiator on Ds.
Try sanding the flat faces of the micro clips. They are frequently caught in the exhaust plume and can get residue/corrosion very easily. Can make a big difference in current flow.
Cleaned...

210B16FA-4539-4396-8936-42A568943013.jpeg


Repairs were made. Just brushed on the black. Not sure if I’ll paint the silver again.

4561361B-FBC0-4BC3-A6B7-E5CB50A18D8A.jpeg
 

rklapp

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I finally decided I couldn’t stand it any longer and swapped the fins. Between the Executioner and Orbital Transport, I have more respect for the TB2 and Q&T combo.

00296F0F-8ABF-4509-BE51-65D7D1BCD5B0.jpeg


3BC1CBF4-E536-4FB5-BCF4-30702C9F7407.jpeg


4BFBC8F3-36F4-4000-8CDA-EDC24D65BEDB.jpeg
 

BEC

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Alligator-jawed clips like that are a PAIN to clean adequately. You have to get in and brush all the teeth. Kuririn and I were assuming the usual flat-jawed type clips that have been part of launch equipment for, well, almost the whole existence of the hobby....
 

rklapp

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What do you mean the TB2 and Q&T combo? I use both glues in different situations...are you saying you mix them?
Thin layer of TB2 to tack on the fin, then fillet of TB2 to fill the gabs, then wider fillet of Q&T. I mainly use epoxy on bigger fillets because it’s messier.

Alligator-jawed clips like that are a PAIN to clean adequately. You have to get in and brush all the teeth. Kuririn and I were assuming the usual flat-jawed type clips that have been part of launch equipment for, well, almost the whole existence of the hobby....
I got frustrated with the flat connectors so soldered the alligator clips which I like much better for holding the wires. I have a different set that is less teethy but wider. I might start using those.
 

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I got frustrated with the flat connectors so soldered the alligator clips which I like much better for holding the wires. I have a different set that is less teethy but wider. I might start using those.
It is a tradeoff for irritation factor. But for me, flat jawed clips that I have to bend back together on occasion are still easier overall than trying to clean tiny alligator teeth. YMMV :)
 

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Alligator-jawed clips like that are a PAIN to clean adequately. You have to get in and brush all the teeth. Kuririn and I were assuming the usual flat-jawed type clips that have been part of launch equipment for, well, almost the whole existence of the hobby....
A cheap triangle file from Harbor Freight works well.
 

neil_w

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I got frustrated with the flat connectors so soldered the alligator clips which I like much better for holding the wires. I have a different set that is less teethy but wider. I might start using those.
This trick solved my frustrations with flat-tipped alligators (at least for Estes ignitors).

ignitor_clip.png

Hat tip to @VAXman (aka Brian Shenkenberger)
 

rklapp

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This trick solved my frustrations with flat-tipped alligators (at least for Estes ignitors).

View attachment 453233
Hat tip to @VAXman (aka Brian Shenkenberger)
I’ll have to try that. The Estes clips didn’t last very long so threw them away. Just ordered a 10 pack from Amazon.

What I also like is that it separates the leads better.
 

rklapp

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Here’s the video of the Estes starter before cleaning. Ignore my birds...

 

rklapp

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Here’s with neil’s tip.

 

rklapp

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Starting my fleet...

02870D0D-CD6F-4AFB-977B-877F35B8AA93.jpeg


I’m ready to paint the Orbital Transport but can’t find the glider. Getting old sucks...
 

BABAR

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Two 9v batteries in series. I measured it and it's at 16.5v and 13.7a when I press the button. I have a 1k resistor attached to the continuity light. Perhaps it's time to change the batteries?



Today was worse than yesterday. Definitely winter here on the island.

View attachment 452988



Karens... 🤣
Karens?
 

neil_w

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Here’s with neil’s tip.
I wouldn't expect it to make a difference; mainly, it makes it easier to get a solid connection at the pad, with no chance of the clips slipping off.

I would be interested to see your same test with a single (fresh) 9V battery instead of the two in series. I have a theory that your second battery isn't accomplishing anything.
 

Back_at_it

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This trick solved my frustrations with flat-tipped alligators (at least for Estes ignitors).

View attachment 453233
Hat tip to @VAXman (aka Brian Shenkenberger)
Would have never thought about that. First thing I do when I get a new controller is cut off those flat clips and put a good set on. I also do this for anyone new I'm introducing to the hobby. No point in putting up with those things even for one launch.
 

rklapp

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I wouldn't expect it to make a difference; mainly, it makes it easier to get a solid connection at the pad, with no chance of the clips slipping off.

I would be interested to see your same test with a single (fresh) 9V battery instead of the two in series. I have a theory that your second battery isn't accomplishing anything.
I tried that last summer. Barely made the tip glow. I think you’re right if in parallel instead of in series.
 

rklapp

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Many successful launches on a stormy Hawaiian evening

When we arrived in Waipahu, the town was inundated with a rain storm. Fortunately, we planned to order dinner at Little Caesar's Pizza (pretzel crust is back) and pick it up after the park. By the time we ordered the food, the storm had passed leaving behind magnificent dark clouds and the pervasive trade winds for the past month.

I started with the old Vortico and then the new Vortico XL. I used the long delay motors because I have a surplus of them. I was wondering if it was possible to stage the Vorticos. Has anyone successfully done that? It's apparent that I tend to lose the Viking rockets on cloudy days. Perhaps I do need to use lots of shiny Mylar streamers to keep track of their descent. For the rest, the Mylar streamers worked well. They tend to rip at the end like an old flag and easy to cut off and tape an extension if necessary.

No problems this time setting off the Q-Jet C12-4 with the DIY controller. It currently is using the alligator teeth connectors but plan to replace with flat connectors using the trick that @neil_w suggested. I honestly did not see the small aircraft approaching. The park is not in a designated flight path. Helicopters are a lot easier to spot because they're noisier. I replaced the previously broken fin and added the pinstripe, so it's looking really nice. The tube got a little crinkle while I was removing the old broken fin. The Titebond II and Quick&Thick combo is impressively strong. I think it sticks to the cardboard like epoxy but is lighter and less messy.

We were waiting for twilight so I could launch the Supernova payload with the LED lights, but it wasn't dark enough yet. We decided to launch the Tarmon again with the Q-Jet B4-4. By that time, it was 6:15 and the pizzas were waiting so decided to pack it in. The days are getting longer so will have to wait until 6:45 for the sky to be dark enough to fully appreciate the lights. With living close to the Equator, the latest that the sun sets is 7:16pm on June 21st.

Timeline:
00:00 Intro
00:27 Vortico 3pts
01:16 Vortico XL 3pts
02:39 Viking #3 2pts
03:25 NOMAD 4pts
04:11 Tarmon 4pts
06:14 Drone Killer 4pts
07:57 Patriot Missile 652ft 5pts
09:14 Mini Executioner 4pts
10:44 Tarmon Q-Jet 4pts
11:35 Total 33pts

 
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