Archive for February, 2010

Big Launch Date 03/06/10

Okay it’s February 26th and my procrastination has resulted in an adrenaline surge once I realized that the big launch day is only 9 days away. Motivation and anxiety are my companions for the week. One of my areas of major confusion is that the standard rocket instructions seem error prone. Several of the resources I have referenced recommend other methods for motor retention and recovery system. My favorite is that I’m told to never use an open eye bolt, yet that is what is provided as part of the rocket kit. So I went off on an adventure to find a closed/forged eye bolt to use instead. After trekking to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and Dixieline, I later learned that I have to order them online as they are not usually sold in retail. Sigh, so I ended up with U bolts as another work-around.

The fun part of the hardware store adventure was in Home Depot. I had to flag down a person for help. In the process of working through my random list of items, I told the Home Depot guy that needed this stuff for building a rocket. He thought that was the coolest thing ever. Rawkit Gurl sharing the love of rocketry throughout San Diego.

Now that I had the necessary items, I could start actual assembly. No more excuses. So I cracked open the bag of parts and began assessing the contents. The funny thing is that I am still uncertain about the names of the rocket parts. So inventorying what was in box was hilarious. Ended up emailing G pictures with lame questions about what’s what.

 

Panic set in when I started to over-think the motor retention design and the need for reinforcing the fin area. I ended up heading over to G’s for an intro to rocket parts session. It turned into a working session in the garage and learning how to use all the kewl power tools, like a belt sander and drill press, along with some time saving techniques. Wearing protective goggles and ear protection headphones, I understood why Tim the Tool Man made all those grunting and chest thumping noises. Damn, love me some power tools.

Returning home to my small space and little table to begin assembly was very dissatisfying. I covet G’s garage and tools. In a cramped space, I am more of a spaz with the epoxy and managed to get it everywhere. Items were stuck to the table, my new pair of jeans were ruined, and there was excess epoxy all over the rocket. It took forever to cure and had dripped.

Rocket assembly & launch preparation adventures

Need to give some visibility to my peeps in my social media class that blogging about their passions. If you are curious checkout http://teachingsocialmedia.blogspot.com/. The blogs cover topics like health/fitness, hiking in San Diego, photo blog and local San Diego excursions.

As I have been preparing for my certification launch, I have been reading lots of rocketry websites, blogs and forums. There is not shortage of experience or opinion. Some of my favorites are Gates Brothers Rocketry, The Space Show, and Make: technology on your time.

This week, I’ve hunkered down and started preparations for the rocket build and upcoming launch. The actual rocket kit arrived last week, however many others tools are needed. So I began the quest for needed items. First stop was Costco. Shopping list was paper towels, baby wipes, large folding table, paper cups, disposable gloves, and canopy tent. Cleaning the rocket motor casing after launch is dirty work and requires many wipes and towels. Now I have a Honda Civic, so loading up my car was a bit like watching a herd of clowns pile into their clown car. Anyone looking in my vehicle would think I was a germaphobic mass baby changer. There is no such thing as just a small amount of anything at Costco.

Next stop was Michael’s, which by the way scares me. I am *not* a crafty person so I am always bewildered trying to find items in that store. I walked in circles and finally found the popsicle sticks and wooden dowels. So then I was off to a Hobby Store to get uber strong epoxy and finally to a boat/marine store to get collodial silica. Apparently I will need silica to mix with the epoxy to get the right viscosity.

Hundreds of dollars later I am home and figuring out how to fit all these purchases into my 500 sq ft craftsmen bungalow. Good times! This weekend, I am determined to get the rocket assembled.

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

The 3 Contenders

Have been making myself crazee trying to decide which is ‘the rocket’ for the level 1 certification. After much research I’ve narrowed it down to three rockets: Hi Tech 45, EZI 65 and Nike Smoke 4′.    

Loc Precision Hi Tech H45

 

Loc Precision EZI-65

 

Polecat Aerospace 4' Nike Smoke

 

 I am leaning towards the EZI-65, however of course I will go with a slightly different decorative scheme. Although am diggin the metallic green. The Nike Smoke may be too much rocket at this point and is better for level 2.