Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gold medal rocket girls

"Alyssa Stenberg, 15, and her U.S. Junior teammate Allison Van Milligan, 14, display Alyssa's 1/5 scale model of the Aurora Flight Sciences Space Grant 1 rocket that won a gold medal in the 2014 Space Model World Championships." Read the entire press release here. Side note: I couldn't find a photo of the real rocket.




Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Due to a lack of rocketry subjects....

I don't have anything to blog about so I'll offer a teaser of my double top secret, non-rocket repurposing of my damaged 29/40-120 motor case. The first photo shows some of the damage that occurred when the motor suffered a blow by. The second is the teaser. Man, I'm glad there's an MDRA launch this coming weekend.



(Another clue is hidden in the file names of the attached photos. Shhhh.)

Monday, September 08, 2014

Lots of old posts republished...last ones, I promise

A while back I purged about half my posts. Today I either republished or permanently deleted the last of them. I'm sure I threw away some good ones (apologies to my rocket girls fans) and published some that are obscure and/or are missing content (i.e. removed Flickr embeds). I just got tired of looking at all those drafts!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

ROCKETS Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4



Something made me pop over to the ROCKETS Magazine site this afternoon, where I found the latest issue. I haven't seen the official announcement so it is possible some of the backup media (via their YouTube channel) is not up yet. The content is summarized nicely on the cover. I especially liked the article of Tripoli's history. It doesn't seem to be exhaustive but it includes details that I had not previously seen.

The first flight covered in the Red Glare article was that of my Whirlygig-38. It wasn't the first flight nor the most noteworthy but I guess it was one of the first flights. It still might not be noteworthy but this goes to show you that, if you take the time to fill out a flight data sheet, they will publish your flight report!

I'm still here

Can't believe it's been a week since my last post. My only project has involved the off-label use of an damaged AeroTech 29/40-120 case. I have been debating whether I should post about it but have decided that it is neither highly impressive nor is it something I would encourage anyone to try. So, for now it will remain in my Rocket Dungeon.

I don't have many project ideas in mind.  Gary Rosenfield has been posting on Facebook about his brother's pending 3-D printed rocket store.  He has shown fin cans which mate to LOC/Precision tubing, motor retention caps, and nose cones. I've been itching to try some printed parts but, to date, the price point has been too high for something that may not hold up to many flights.  It bugs me when I hear the materials cost a buck fifty and the parts are 30 bucks. I understand labor and printer wear but I don't like having the mark up rubbed in my face. I may or may not bite on this new source.

I also have an idea for a couple of induction stabilized rockets but have decided that I should wait for the flight of the Inductor. Since it meets the general criteria for such rockets and, if it doesn't work, I won't invest any further effort on such rockets.

That's all for now. Meanwhile, you can check out my Tumblr feed via my sidebar.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire


You can learn more about the logistics of the event on their website. I'd love to attend but it looks like I am tied up that day.

On-board camera in a spinning Girandola

The folks at Epic Fireworks mounted a gyro-stabilized GoPro on a spinning Girandola firework. At about 2 minutes in you'll see various views of the launch, culminating in the on-board footage. Oh my, I so want to build one of these. Without the added booms and sparks of course. You'd need some low thrust, long burning motors. Probably just a pipe dream. I don't think I would invest a large number of relatively expensive motors when one of said motors would launch one of my monocopters. But, it never hurts to dream, right?!?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fixing my vintage air gun

One of my recent obsessions has been watching various DIY videos. A lot of them focus on making compressed air guns. Deep down there is a part of me that wants to make some, however, the sane part of me knows I would just get into trouble. This got me thinking about my old Benjamin Model 132 .22 cal pump air pistol.




I got it in the late 1960s and used the heck out of it. The last time I had used it to any extent was in the mid 80's. About a year ago I found it and thought I'd plink a bit. To my horror I found it wouldn't hold pressure. I learned you could buy kits to replace the seals but didn't pursue the issue. About a week ago, I started doing more research. Near as I could tell and without asking for a quote, the kits plus valve tools would run at least $60. That's assuming I could get it fixed and reassembled on my own. And not get a spring in my eye. I also found that a new model, now made by Crosman, can be had for less than $60. Finally, I checked what I might be able to sell mine for. In its worn condition, I'd be lucky to get $40 for it.

I found some random threads where airgun repair was discussed. They noted that the seals in these old guns were leather and they would dry and shrink if not oiled, which mine wasn't for over 20 years. Some people said they had success just oiling them heavily and letting the leather absorb the oil. There was discussions of gun oil, 10W30, and even airgun oil. I started with what I had: 3-in-1. For a few days, I'd add some oil in the lube hole, tip it on end and wait. Then I'd repeat and tip it the other way. No joy. Next, I decided to try WD40. After a day, I could get a couple of pumps before I heard it leak. That was progress so I continued. This morning I gave it a try and, to my amazement, it was holding some pressure!  I seem to remember it being harder to pump after about 10 pumps. Since I haven't gotten stronger, I suspect it may still be leaking at some pressure, although I can not hear the leak as before. So, while it may not be up to full power, it will shoot a 22 pellet through my foam target at 20'. I'm continuing the oil treatment and will make a better target.