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winds aloft

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pawpawwebster

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New old guy here with 40 years rocketry experience. Problem is, there's a 30 year gap in the middle. Lol
And 40 years ago I was launching in SW New Mexico, so if there was a little wind, and there always
was, no problem. A little drift wasn't bad. I could stand on a rock and see my rocket land
15 miles away. Lol But now in West Tennessee it's a different story. Lots of trees and foliage etc...
So a little drift with my grandsons first rocket will be less than optimal.
So how can I find or determine the winds aloft. I've tried the bottle rocket method I used
as a youngster, but I'm not sure we want to depend on that method. I found the other threads on winds aloft, but I'm looking for lower altitude winds. Especially for his first launch. < 4000
Any help will be appreciated.

Oh..is there a fairly inexpensive gizmo I can put maybe in the nosecone that can be tracked/located?
 
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StevenB

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I use a free APP (android) called 'Windyty'; It gives you an idea of wind speed and directions at surface, 1k, 2k, 2.5k, 3k and 5k (and higher) overlayed on a google map view of anywhere you choose in the country. It also has a forecast model for wind speed and direction for up to a week out from the current date.

As to a gizmo, in my experience there are inexpensive electronic gizmos, there are location/tracking gizmos, but there are no inexpensive electronic tracking gizmos. Of course, that also depends on what you mean by inexpensive.:)

edit: got ninja'd, so call this a +1 for Windyty!
 

Spicer007

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I fully agree aviation weather observations and forecasts will provide you with the most accurate information about wind speed and direction. However, wind speed and direction will not guarantee recovery of a pop at the top 4,000' flight. The size of the launch area and tree landscape may effect recovery more than winds. If you intend to launch to that altitude on a small tree lined field, consider dual deployment recovery. Also it would be beneficial to fly a few LP flights on the launch site, before you try a MP to 4,000'... Good luck!
 

Peartree

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Some of us also are in the habit of packing small, cheap, rockets (like an Estes Baby Bertha) to launch first to test the winds before we fly something more expensive/sentimental.
 

SaturnV

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I have very bad experience with the wind. Lost perhaps the most high fly my rocket leveraged miles. Because I started at wind speeds over 6 km / h. Now wait a day with wind no more than 3 km / h. I look of a site with weather.
The place to start. . Now I have found a perfect place. No people and houses for miles, equal and without grass, shrubs and trees. Running due to impatience got lost at least 5 rockets. So nice look, if you go further away from where you live but be sure that you will find the rocket.Or invest in the GPS in rocket.
 
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SaturnV

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For example, I'd like to launch rocket tomorrow. But wind targets 5.1 m / s or 16.5 ft / s. Thursday will be 2.9 m/s. The launch will be on Thursday.Lord, give me patience!
 

pawpawwebster

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Thanks to all. I downloaded Windyty and used it in conjunction with some low level cloud movement(thank God for clouds eh) and
talcom powder for ground wind. Launched a low level flight today with an F15 engine, without
the booster stage. Went flawless, except for crappy estes equipment
landed about 50yards from launch site.

As for testes equipment, anyone have issues with Estes launchers? Or did the old fool waste money?
The batteries didn't make contact with each other.
I had to modify the battery compartment at the launch site before it would
work. It is an E Launch Controller number 2230. It does feel pretty cheap, but was thinking it
would be at least functional out of the box.
 

ksaves2

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...............As long as fairly reliable cell phone service is available at ones launch site. Kurt
 

Winston

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...............As long as fairly reliable cell phone service is available at ones launch site. Kurt
Tennessee looks pretty good although it would be smart to check for a specific carrier's coverage at the launch site. I wouldn't bet the same for NM coverage.:

http://www.deadcellzones.com/Tennessee.html#.V8NXTpgrKHv

I was going to say to use a helium filled party balloon until he specified a 4000 ft apogee.
 

Peartree

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Thanks to all. I downloaded Windyty and used it in conjunction with some low level cloud movement(thank God for clouds eh) and
talcom powder for ground wind. Launched a low level flight today with an F15 engine, without
the booster stage. Went flawless, except for crappy estes equipment
landed about 50yards from launch site.

As for testes equipment, anyone have issues with Estes launchers? Or did the old fool waste money?
The batteries didn't make contact with each other.
I had to modify the battery compartment at the launch site before it would
work. It is an E Launch Controller number 2230. It does feel pretty cheap, but was thinking it
would be at least functional out of the box.
As long as the batteries are fairly fresh you can get quite a few launches out of them. Once they sit in the launch controller for a while though, or after you've pushed a button a few times, then... maybe not so much.

The bigger problem that you may be having is twofold. First, the "new" ignitors (starters) seem to like a little more voltage than the older ones (thanks to new government regulations) and second, be really sure to get the ignitors as far in as you can so that they are touching the black powder in the motor, and then stick the plug in while making sure that it doesn't pull back. I know when I first started, I wasn't careful enough and would find the ignitors burnt but the motor didn't light. The ignitors really NEED to be touching the face of the black powder in the motor.
 

astrojase

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pawpawwebster

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Peartree; the batteries are in line to be connected in series.
The flat of the 2nd battery didn't physically make contact with the button of battery 1.
Same for the 3rd/2nd battery. The plastic in-between the batteries in the battery compartment was too thick.
Ie: thicker than the height of the button on each battery.
I had to cut out each divider before it would work.

Astrojase: I'm retired FAA. I've had enough ADS-B for one lifetime.thanks anyway. Lol

Winston: I like the balloon idea. I have a tank of helium and a regulator in the garage for grandkids birthday etc...
Makes me wonder why I didn't think of that. Lol
 
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pawpawwebster

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Astrojase; what part of downunder do you live? I have a son
daughter n law and 4 grandkids in Mount Morgan.
 
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