Saturday, April 08, 2017

Launch Report 2017-2 - LDRS-36

It's hard to believe that LDRS was basically in my own backyard and I didn't register to fly. I did, however, traipse out to say hi to some rocket buddies and see a few flights.

The weather was sunny with temperatures between 55 and 60 mph. But it was quite windy - my phone said 17 - 20 mph.  I had a good time but a lot of stuff didn't work out. The wind made it uncomfortable. Despite having my order for a few months, Kenny only had 2 of the 5 motors I ordered. They had one XXL T-shirt but sold it out from under me (they said they'd hold it while I went back to the car to the cash). I had packed two cameras and grabbed the one with the larger optical zoom and a continuous mode. Well, it had been a long time since I used that one and the photos sucked even for me. In the continuous mode, the resolution was poorer than I remembered and I got huge lens flares from anything bright, such as exhaust plumes and the sun glinting off windows. Of course, I didn't figure this out until I got home. D'OH!

Anyway, I got to spend the day with my wife and pooch, talk and watch rockets, and chat with a few folks that I hadn't seen in years. So, for better or worse, you can see all my photos by clicking the image below.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Big a$$ nose cones at Hobby Lobby

These three ginormous Easter Eggs could result in six equally ginormous nose cones. They are on sale for $16, which is the same as the normal price with their typical 40% weekly coupon.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

If you watch one YouTube video today, make sure it is this super-slomo footage of G sparky motors!

Notes from yesterday's launch - UPDATED (already)

I wanted to capture one observation and one tip that I picked up yesterday. Mainly for my future reference.

First, 7 of my flights were started with Estes' new starters. 7-for-7 worked. Contrast that to my own igniters that, for about 15 years, were very reliable starting everything from D to K (one K). There I got one of three to work. D'OH! I'm going to keep and eye on those new Starters and will remedy my own igniter woes. UPDATE: I checked the resistance of my remaining igniters. It turns out that the failed (no continuity) one from yesterday and one from a launch last year both show open. This is despite checking twice during their fabrication. Could these have burned internally without igniting the pyrogen? I don't know. But, all the others showed good at under 2 ohms.

Next, when my Sacrificial Bertha went to close to 2000', nobody spotted it. We heard the ejection and kept scanning the sky. Then one out of the box thinker just looked down range. And he saw it as it was just about to touch down. So, the takeaway is that, if a rocket goes out of sight and isn't picked up shortly after ejection (here a sim of the descent rate will help), make sure at least one set of eyes is scanning the horizon where it is expected to land.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Launch Report 2017-1 (NARHAMS)

Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Weather: cloudy to sunny to cloudy; 71 -79 degrees; wind 3 - 6 mph
Total flights: Today - 10; YTD - 10
Total motors: Today - 11; YTD - 11
Motors by class YTD:  B-1; C-5; E-4; G-1

The weather was nice except that the wind was vectored toward the trees. I got a lot of flights in before the wind picked up and the large group of scouts arrived. By then I was on rods and rails that they didn't use so they didn't hold me up too much. Perfect timing. By the time my Leviathan went up, the wind had died back down.

I must give special thanks to Mike K for the loan of the igniter! Mine have been failing at a high rate. I got over ten years from the last dip kit and I thinks it's time to break out a new one this season.

My Flights:
  1. Heavenly Hobbies Resistor 224 on 2xC11-3 - CR@300' - Nice flight.
  2. Estes Crayon on a B6-4 - Slow off the rod and early ejection but otherwise a good flight. This will be a good rocket for the kids.
  3. Estes Crayon on a C6-5 - This was slowish too and I didn't see the ejection. Recovery was good.
  4. Art Applewhite Mirror Gold Saucer on an E9-4 - No boom on this one (the other from the same pack popped). The scouts really liked this flight and several jotted down Art's website. 
  5. Estes Super Alpha on a C11-3 - Nice flight.
  6. Sacrificial Bertha on an E16-8 - This went out of sight and luckily someone was looking down the field instead of up like everyone else. It was recovered on the far side of the tree line.
  7. The Launch Pad Rapier on an E20-4 -  Chute Release at 200'. Nice flight but the chute snagged on the large fins. Three fins snapped.
  8. Half A$$tron on a Quest C6-5 - No ejection - RIP. After ruling out the typical reasons, it appears that, after MANY flights, the motor mount failed and let gasses escape out the rear.
  9. Estes Majestic on an E16-6 - Nice flight but too close to the trees for comfort.
  10. Estes Leviathan on a G74-6 - CR@200' - It took three igniters, but the flight was great.
Here's my photo album (click it if it doesn't scroll).

NARHAMS 2 15 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

Thanks for the memories. Glad to see your music will live on for a billion years.

And, sorry for the typo Chuck. Ad Astra.