Video Build Thread - The Quest Superbird

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lcorinth

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I've never shot build video before, but I decided to give it a try.

I have so many Estes rockets on the build pile (and in the finished fleet), so I decided to pull something else off the pile for the first video series.

Here's the start of the Quest Superbird build - unbagging and parts.

[video=youtube;2cITnXEkTnU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cITnXEkTnU[/video]
 

neil_w

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Pretty good! Can't wait until you get to the centering rings. :)
 

lcorinth

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Part 2: Instruction Inconsistencies

[video=youtube;lhNnWvk69x8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhNnWvk69x8&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

lcorinth

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Part 3 - Centering Ring Trouble

[video=youtube;zZDTPS4qhV8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZDTPS4qhV8&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

Glasspack

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Daniel, Nice to see the video tutorial...... I like Quest. Always loved the Mean Green

Kind of Disturbing to see so many dumb errors in the instructions and the kit....
 

neil_w

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Not making much of a case for Quest's quality control, that's for sure. Seems pretty slapdash in so many respects, which is kind of crazy for such a simple rocket.
 

K'Tesh

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Seems to me that a simple letter, message (from their webpage), and/or phone call to Quest would resolve the problem.


Quest Aerospace
Quest Aerospace, A Division Of Rcs Rmc, Inc.
2113 W 850 N
Cedar City
UT
84721
United States
435-865-7100
435-865-7120

https://www.questaerospace.com/storepage4193202.aspx
 
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K'Tesh

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I like the look of the rocket, except for that silly plastic coupler (looks like a good place for a point of failure to me). The instructions look pretty poor though, and that CR problem isn't encouraging.

Any chance you could scan the plans, decals* and fins* (600 DPI preferred, .png or .pdf format), as well as note the lengths and thicknesses of the parts for me. I might want to sim his in OR. (as you got it, and/or as it should be). I could also use a scan of the engine hook (I've never had a quest kit to sample from).

It might also help you with your motor selection if you can provide me with figures on your conversion to 24mm power.

Thanks!
Jim

*with a ruler.
 
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lcorinth

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I like the look of the rocket, except for that silly plastic coupler (looks like a good place for a point of failure to me). The instructions look pretty poor though, and that CR problem isn't encouraging.

Any chance you could scan the plans, decals* and fins* (600 DPI preferred, .png or .pdf format), as well as note the lengths and thicknesses of the parts for me. I might want to sim his in OR. (as you got it, and/or as it should be). I could also use a scan of the engine hook (I've never had a quest kit to sample from).

It might also help you with your motor selection if you can provide me with figures on your conversion to 24mm power.

Thanks!
Jim

*with a ruler.
I sure can. That's actually the plan for an upcoming video, but my sims aren't quite as elegant as yours. I'll get that to you in a couple days.
 

tmacklin

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I think that by making and posting his candid observations in this series of videos, Daniel is performing a public service. I would hope that all manufacturers would take note and make necessary improvements to their products. Well done Daniel! :handshake:
 

lcorinth

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Part 4 - Centering Ring Solutions! Complete with some top-notch hand acting.

[video=youtube;BA-DDMTK-B8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA-DDMTK-B8&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

K'Tesh

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Like I said on FB.

Nice Videos! I especially like the solution you found to the CRs and the coupler.

I'd like to try this rocket, much like you've done, but I'd want to add back the length that will be lost with the changing of the coupler. I also wish that the fin decals would be on both sides of the fins that get them.

When simming the nosecone, I'd suggest downloading my PNC-50K nosecone, then scaling it up, then updating the actual values to reflect what you find when measuring the kit's parts.
 
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lcorinth

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Like I said on FB.

Nice Videos! I especially like the solution you found to the CRs and the coupler.

I'd like to try this rocket, much like you've done, but I'd want to add back the length that will be lost with the changing of the coupler. I also wish that the fin decals would be on both sides of the fins that get them.

When simming the nosecone, I'd suggest downloading my PNC-50K nosecone, then scaling it up, then updating the actual values to reflect what you find when measuring the kit's parts.
Oh, yeah, that does look a lot more like the NC from the Superbird.

The old coupler seems to have been paper, rather than the plastic one with the extra launch lug on it. I think that's the only reason they put the 1/8 inch ring of plastic around the coupler, and I'm not sure why they did it. I'll have to measure everything and find out if the length on the face card includes that coupler bit or not. I suspect it doesn't, but I'll make the adjustments if I need to.
 

Incongruent

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Oh, yeah, that does look a lot more like the NC from the Superbird.

The old coupler seems to have been paper, rather than the plastic one with the extra launch lug on it. I think that's the only reason they put the 1/8 inch ring of plastic around the coupler, and I'm not sure why they did it. I'll have to measure everything and find out if the length on the face card includes that coupler bit or not. I suspect it doesn't, but I'll make the adjustments if I need to.
I think the lug and ring is there so people can correctly space the payload tube and body tube.

Then again, considering the rest of the kit, spacing the coupler is the least of your problems.


For gluing the heavy cardstock to plastic, if you ever need to do it, one way would be to cover the side to be glued with tube type plastic cement and lay that on wax paper or hold it up with something to dry, then use thin cement to bond the dried cement to the plastic with the thin plastic cement. You could problably also press the cemented side down on the paper, but I'm not sure whether it would bond. Maybe aluminum foil or something would work if that doesn't.

If you haven't already glued the bulkhead, I would glue a few scraps of balsa contoured to fit the inside of the BT-55 tube and lay flat against the payload facing side of the bulkhead into the bottom of the coupler (BT-55 tube) to provide some extra support and a few layers of scrap balsa where the screw eye will get attached. A bunch of extra strength for not much weight.

Oh, and just clarifying, these are what I would do, definitely not necessary necessary of professionally recommended.


I like your solution too.

I'm more noob than you. Give me the crown.
 

K'Tesh

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Oh, yeah, that does look a lot more like the NC from the Superbird.

The old coupler seems to have been paper, rather than the plastic one with the extra launch lug on it. I think that's the only reason they put the 1/8 inch ring of plastic around the coupler, and I'm not sure why they did it. I'll have to measure everything and find out if the length on the face card includes that coupler bit or not. I suspect it doesn't, but I'll make the adjustments if I need to.
I suspect that the coupler is a remnant of another kit's parts, a kind of SPEV piece. Rings like that would more likely be used to couple two pieces that are being glued together on easy to build kits. This way, a novice builder doesn't have to go through the "trouble" of gluing LL's on, only just keeping them aligned.

If I had to try building this kit with those parts, I'd actually sacrifice the interior volume of the payload section, and simply insert the bulkhead from the inside of the payload section. Even without glue there would be no way for the payload section to separate, unless the forces involved were capable of breaking the plastic of the piece, instead of overcoming a plastic to plastic bond with any kind of cement or epoxy.

FWIW, I tried to download the .rkt file from Apogee, but it came down as a .rkt.txt file, and I can't get it to drop the .txt part. Can you post the unaltered .rkt file here? The version I downloaded from RR.com had problems with the LL alignment, and the shape of the NC, but clearly wasn't the same as the Apogee file. I'd like to compare them.
 
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K'Tesh

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I think the lug and ring is there so people can correctly space the payload tube and body tube.

Then again, considering the rest of the kit, spacing the coupler is the least of your problems.


For gluing the heavy cardstock to plastic, if you ever need to do it, one way would be to cover the side to be glued with tube type plastic cement and lay that on wax paper or hold it up with something to dry, then use thin cement to bond the dried cement to the plastic with the thin plastic cement. You could problably also press the cemented side down on the paper, but I'm not sure whether it would bond. Maybe aluminum foil or something would work if that doesn't.

If you haven't already glued the bulkhead, I would glue a few scraps of balsa contoured to fit the inside of the BT-55 tube and lay flat against the payload facing side of the bulkhead into the bottom of the coupler (BT-55 tube) to provide some extra support and a few layers of scrap balsa where the screw eye will get attached. A bunch of extra strength for not much weight.

Oh, and just clarifying, these are what I would do, definitely not necessary necessary of professionally recommended.


I like your solution too.

I'm more noob than you. Give me the crown.
Tony,

One thing you need to know about plastic cement (tube type) is that it is notoriously fickle stuff. Lay it on thick, and a piece can sometimes take up to a year to fully cure (when all the VOC's evaporate off). It's plastic suspended in a solvent base, and is intended to chemically melt both pieces, and allow them to mix together before evaporating off leaving the joined parts. Since the paper isn't affected by the solvents, the idea is that the "hairs" of paper will become entrapped in the solidified plastic, and anchor it. Problem is, that joint is pretty weak. Even with plastic to plastic joints, the stuff isn't that good, and I've had a number of plastic models simply fall apart after a while back when I was using tube cement to glue them together.

A better method of permanently joining plastic to paper is to first scratch up the plastic shoulder to give it some texture, as smooth sides don't give glues and cements anything to hold onto. For solvent based adhesives, it also increases the surface area that the solvents can react with (creating a better bond). Then using epoxy applied to the inside of the tube (and not the outside of the coupler), slide the coupler in. A few small holes drilled in the coupler can be used to create epoxy rivets, giving further strength to the joint. The epoxy will soak into the paper more, and then when it catalyzes it is fully integrated within the matrix of the paper.

Another method is just to add masking tape to the plastic coupler's shoulder, and simply friction fit the parts together.
 

Incongruent

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Tony,

One thing you need to know about plastic cement (tube type) is that it is notoriously fickle stuff. Lay it on thick, and a piece can sometimes take up to a year to fully cure (when all the VOC's evaporate off). It's plastic suspended in a solvent base, and is intended to chemically melt both pieces, and allow them to mix together before evaporating off leaving the joined parts. Since the paper isn't affected by the solvents, the idea is that the "hairs" of paper will become entrapped in the solidified plastic, and anchor it. Problem is, that joint is pretty weak. Even with plastic to plastic joints, the stuff isn't that good, and I've had a number of plastic models simply fall apart after a while back when I was using tube cement to glue them together.

A better method of permanently joining plastic to paper is to first scratch up the plastic shoulder to give it some texture, as smooth sides don't give glues and cements anything to hold onto. For solvent based adhesives, it also increases the surface area that the solvents can react with (creating a better bond). Then using epoxy applied to the inside of the tube (and not the outside of the coupler), slide the coupler in. A few small holes drilled in the coupler can be used to create epoxy rivets, giving further strength to the joint. The epoxy will soak into the paper more, and then when it catalyzes it is fully integrated within the matrix of the paper.

Another method is just to add masking tape to the plastic coupler's shoulder, and simply friction fit the parts together.
I was referring to the mini bulkhead on the plastic bulkhead, but your way is better for both.

I've also read that for epoxy to paper you should soak the paper in CA and epoxy to that, any merit to that process?

(panicking slightly) Does the thin plastic cement work?


Thanks!
 

K'Tesh

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I was referring to the mini bulkhead on the plastic bulkhead, but your way is better for both.

I've also read that for epoxy to paper you should soak the paper in CA and epoxy to that, any merit to that process?

(panicking slightly) Does the thin plastic cement work?


Thanks!
Epoxy to CA? I don't know, I don't think so. Here's an idea though, get some tubes and experiment. I'm sure that there are others that would be interested in the results.

The thin watery plastic cement is a solvent, without the plastic diluted in it. It actually melts the edges, and evaporates off nearly immediately. I've found that as long as the joints are well made, the plastic will stay together. I'd caution though that different types of plastic, such as what is found on the Estes Venus Probe, can resist joining with each other. To join those pieces, I finally drilled holes and screwed them together after gluing them together. If I were to do it again (and I want to), I'd lengthen the screws and apply a little epoxy from the inside to really ensure they stay together.

If you do a Venus probe, make sure that you redshift it to a 24mm motor such as a C11 or possibly up to an E motor. Reinforcing the tube that attaches the engine pod to the forward section of the sustainer with a removable sacrificial tube (think of the yellow dummy motor tubes) may also be a good idea to reduce the chance of burn through.
 
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lcorinth

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FWIW, I tried to download the .rkt file from Apogee, but it came down as a .rkt.txt file, and I can't get it to drop the .txt part. Can you post the unaltered .rkt file here? The version I downloaded from RR.com had problems with the LL alignment, and the shape of the NC, but clearly wasn't the same as the Apogee file. I'd like to compare them.
Sure! Here you go:

View attachment quest_superbird.rkt
 

K'Tesh

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Thanks for the file!

After examining it, and the one from RR.com, looks like they're the same. If the author of that file is correct, the fins are 3/16" (.188") thick, and not .125" thick. Can you verify that with a micrometer?
 

lcorinth

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Thanks for the file!

After examining it, and the one from RR.com, looks like they're the same. If the author of that file is correct, the fins are 3/16" (.188") thick, and not .125" thick. Can you verify that with a micrometer?
Sure thing! I'll get to that shortly.

I'll say that they're definitely not 3/16 inch thick. In fact, in video 1, I had trouble telling how thick they were, and I compared them to some known fin stock - they're thinner than 1/8 inch but thicker than 3/32. I'll get out my digital caliper and let you know for sure later this evening.
 

lcorinth

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Thanks for the file!

After examining it, and the one from RR.com, looks like they're the same. If the author of that file is correct, the fins are 3/16" (.188") thick, and not .125" thick. Can you verify that with a micrometer?
My digital caliper is pretty touchy. It's hard for me to get a good read on it. If I measure a bit of fin stock that's supposed to be 1/8 inch thick, it's hard for me to find the sweet spot on there that reads 0.125 inch.

But this appears to be metric. My caliper reads about 2.94-3.02 mm thick, depending on how hard I squeeze. So I'm calling this 3mm - just under 1/8 inch thick.
 

K'Tesh

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My digital caliper is pretty touchy. It's hard for me to get a good read on it. If I measure a bit of fin stock that's supposed to be 1/8 inch thick, it's hard for me to find the sweet spot on there that reads 0.125 inch.

But this appears to be metric. My caliper reads about 2.94-3.02 mm thick, depending on how hard I squeeze. So I'm calling this 3mm - just under 1/8 inch thick.
3/16" just seemed to be overkill. Thanks for the measurements. I'll be using 3mm for my sim of it.

Thanks!
 

K'Tesh

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lcorinth, any chance on a scan of the instructions? I would also like to verify the fin dimensions and the get the decals, so a scan of those with a ruler would also be greatly appreciated.

All The Best!
Jim
 

K'Tesh

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Here's a guesstimate on the nosecone based on some of the figures posted in the .rkt file and crossed with my PNC-50K shaping. I can only plead that the dimensions are from the original .rkt file, and my own hunches. When you get a chance to update the shape, I'll incorporate it into my sim.

Quest Nosecone Question.png
 

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lcorinth

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Here's a guesstimate on the nosecone based on some of the figures posted in the .rkt file and crossed with my PNC-50K shaping. I can only plead that the dimensions are from the original .rkt file, and my own hunches. When you get a chance to update the shape, I'll incorporate it into my sim.

View attachment 306248
Absolutely. In a day or two, I'll start shooting the measuring and weighing process, and I'll scan the fins and decals and instructions and such, and post them here for you, along with the weights and measurements.

Last week was crazy. I'm about two or three shoots ahead, but I just finished editing the next video - cutting the coupler and shims - and am uploading it now. It was a bit of a mess - a lot of what I was doing was out of frame. I've never shot a build series before.
 

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Part 5 - Cutting Tubes

[video=youtube;KY99O_Edi-g]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY99O_Edi-g&feature=youtu.be[/video]
 

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I just watched all of your videos on my Kindle Fire because the server at work blocks Youtube :(. Anywho... I've enjoyed them. You've got a clear speaking voice and you've edited them properly to eliminate any "dead space". Good job.

I wanted to comment on your Kuhn Tubing Cutter in regards to your attempt to cut the 1/4" wide pieces for your centering rings... It defeats the purpose of your attached ruler because you'd have to mark the tube with your desired dimension, but you could have just set the wood block to the other side if your blade and still used the vertical wall of the cutter to stabilize the tube as you rotated it. :wink:
 

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