Which one, or both...neither?

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Well-Known Member
May 2, 2009
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well, i am getting to the point where i want to get some bigger motors/reloads and i'm wondering what you guys think is the best route.

What do the two organizations offer for the 70 dollars they charge? (dang! that's the cost of, like, 4 reloads...).

over 21 is a SENIOR???????

i don't think there ARE any NAR or TRA sanctioned launches close enough for me to seriously consider; at least not more than once a year.

so, basically, i'm on my own.

any thoughts/suggestions?
actually you do need to be a member of NAR or TRA or CAR and certified to buy high power motors
since you live in California I do beleive you need a pyrotechnic's license-rockets class 3 to launch HPR rockets ....the State of CA license costs $50....You MAY also need to be a member of the NAR or TRA to purchase and possess HPR rocket motors.......
CA is not a NFPA 1127 state so you may only need the PyroTechClass3 license if you limit your rocketry activities to the state of CA....

(6) Pyrotechnic Operator--Rockets Third Class may purchase, transport, store, and launch high power rockets. Experimental high power rocket motors may only be imported, exported, and wholesaled by individuals or companies holding valid import, export, or wholesale licenses. Pyrotechnic Operators-- Third Class may only purchase high powered rocket motors from licensed wholesalers. Operators licensed under subsection (b) are also required to obtain a local permit from the authority having jurisdiction prior to all launches.

§1033. License Required.
No person shall possess, receive, transport, store, or launch any experimental high power rocket motor without first securing a valid license as a Pyrotechnic Operator-- Rockets First, Second, or Third Class from the State Fire Marshal. No person shall sell an experimental high power rocket motor to any person unless the seller possesses a va1id license as a wholesaler or retailer under this chapter.
Authority: Section 12552 Health and Safety Code
Reference: Section 12552 Health and Safety Code

I suggest that you get a copy of the manual: Laws and regulations for the Transportation, Storage and Use of Fireworks in the State of California.... which is online at the CA State Fire Marshall website, along with the application,fees schedule, etc required for a CA Pyrotech license...

You might also want to contact a CA based NAR/TRA club to see what is required to be legal.....

This website decribes what 1 California person went through, step by step:

good luck
I echo what Shockie said, plus ...

What you get for your money is insurance in case your rocket does some unexpected body work on someone else's BMW or sets the city park on fire.

What you get are 2 groups that go to bat for your hobby so that you can continue to pursue the hobby in safe and orderly manner.

What you get is a group to fly your rockets with so you can learn more and have more fun building and flying rockets.

My $0.02, --Lance.

in CA it's considered sufficient to have a Cal Pyro III on duty at the launch, that will cover for all the HPR fliers.

yet another reason to fly with a club.
Just pay the money and join NAR. For the money, you get:

1. A bimonthly magazine that has some neat content in it
2. Insurance for your activities (provided you follow the safety code)
3. Access to NAR's support resources, etc
4. Ability to fly at sanctioned launches (there are many in California, Grass Valley isn't too far from Black Rock, and We'd love to have you at some of our Oregon launches!)
5. Comraderie
6. The knowledge that you support the most active rocketry organizations in the world.

Look at it like this:

For less than the cost of one rocket per year, you get insurance and get to help preserve hobby rocketry for years to come.

It's a wise investment.

but i read it all!

i also printed out a copy of the application for pyrotechnic operator.

as far as organized (NAR/TRA) launches, there isn't one within 200 miles of here...unless i start a local chapter...

anyway, i am a responsible, financially secure adult and i fully intend to operate within the law. i just don't relish the idea of paying for something unnecessarily.

generally you don't have to join NAR or Tripoli to fly with the club. most clubs don't even require you to join to fly with them. we joined 3 clubs before we joined NAR.

you can start your own NAR section with 5 members.

but that is a different question than the one you started with: if you want to do HPR, fly with a club first. guaranteed you will learn a bunch!

there is a NAR section in Sacramento, just down the hill from you. That's much less than 200 miles.

I think Livermore is less than 200 miles from Grass Valley. Come out next Saturday for the LUNAR night launch.

also you are relatively close to Black Rock, less than 200 miles. AeroPAC's first launch of the year is there in a month. Mecca for rocket geeks!!!

noises about launches in Petaluma soon, that might be 100 miles from you.
I drive 254 miles one way to the launches i go to ..... I wish it was only 200...

Actually enjoy the group launches more sometimes than private ones, the people you meet, the rockets and techniques you see are great teachers...the camaraderie is great... it takes a rocketeer to understand and appreciate some of the things in this hobby..

And ditto Alex and shockie......

Some of this thread's content was way off base and topic and needed some serious house cleaning. Lets keep the off content where it belongs...out of here.

For Elapid,

It sounds like both the laws and recommendations of your fellow TRF'ers are pointing to joining one of the two clubs. If you can afford to buy motors, then you can afford membership. You should do it without hesitation or comment, knowing as Alex stated that you are supporting the hobby and in turn receive benefits for doing so.

Now, before I leave, please keep it on content...TRF is informational by nature; if you want to delve into other aspects of the hobby, there are other sites that support that type of thinking.


That CA State PyroTech 3rd Class license is tough:

1. Get fingerprinted
2. Get 5 current CA Pyrotechs with at least 1 yr experince to sign a reference letter for you
3. Take a test on the CA state rules and laws with a 70% passing score.....

major Ouch
The Coffee House
Discussion of off-topic areas. This can be anything that is rockets and does not fit well into other forums and anything that is not rockets.

sorry, i thought i was in the right place.
maybe it depends on how you define 'anything', eh?
i'll try to behave...

Sacramento Area Rocketry Group?
i sent numerous emails, called the contact number umpteen times, checked with the sponsors and they said they haven't heard from them in over 2 years. website has not been modified in 2 years. I was really hoping they were still around.

140 miles is what mapquest says...compared to some, i guess that's not too bad.

Black Rock
is closer for me than it is for you...i guess it might be a good reason to be a member of one of the associations, actually being able to fly the big ones and have access to atvs for recovery

petaluma would ROCK!

i spent all my money on motors and balsa wood...i don't have any left for the two clubs...
Originally posted by shockwaveriderz
That CA State PyroTech 3rd Class license is tough:

1. Get fingerprinted
2. Get 5 current CA Pyrotechs with at least 1 yr experince to sign a reference letter for you
3. Take a test on the CA state rules and laws with a 70% passing score.....

major Ouch

70% on a multiple choice exam isn't hard to do, especially if there's a study guide. fingerprinted doesn't scare me, i'm not a convicted felon. the second one could be difficult.
specifically, i would attempt Pyrotechnic Operator Rocket 3rd Class, not sure if the requirement is the same. it just asks for details of training/experience and 87 dollars.

i have a friend that's fire chief at the local station, maybe it's time to go buy him a beer and find out the local climate
elapid: having a friend who is the local fire official is the best thing anybody doing rocketry can have.....especially in CA.....why? because to launch locally you will need to get a permit from him.....Hey what can I say? its California...need I say more..?

rememember that you can just look at certain parts of CA and it will go up in flames.......hence all rge rules,regulations.laws,etc
I chose NAR as the focus seemed to be more in lime with my interests. My impression was that TRA was originally founded to support amateur rocketry which seems to be defined as higher power and with a definite interest in EX.

For me, I doubt I will ever be able to justify much more than $100 for a single launch which kind of rules out the really big stuff and I don't have any real interest in compounding my own propellants.

All that said, I chose NAR. I did not see any real value to me in joining both,