Archive for July, 2010

Fun with Foam

Poor Cheshire has not had a successful flight yet. Last attempt the nose cone weight did not stay in place. So plan B involved foaming it in place.

All the tools needed to accomplish the task. I also bought an apron that I wear for messy rocketry processes.

The directions were very precise for amount, mixing, and drop(s) of water for proper expansion. First batch went amazenly smooth. The second I added 2 drops of water and did not get to the pouring right away. It took on a life on its own, expanding quickly. It was like an amoeba and started engulf objects. Could be the makings of a bad horror movie.

I made the mistake of grabbing for it and then my glove was stuck. It was comical. After I finished laughing and cleaned up the mess, I completed adding a second batch into the rocket. Let it stand over night and righted the nose cone. Woo hoo it stayed in place. Am thinking August 14th I may head out to Lucerne to fly Cheshire and try out some electronics in preparation for level 3.


Plaster Blaster – Hello Kitty Style

Plaster Blaster is a regional event that happens every year in Plaster City. This year it will be November 4th – 7th. Last year I made my debut as a rocketeer flying my first rocket Go Kitty Go. Am hoping to go for level 3 certification at this year’s event.

It would be perfect to fly another Hello Kitty themed rocket. And this morning G sent me this new decal available from Excelisor Rocketry. Sandman posted his new design to The Rocketry Forum.

Decals are the way to go. I had tried to print my own with adhesive paper and it was adequate.

Thinking of Level 3

Wildman Rocketry announced a new rocket Extreme Dark Star. A very sexy beast and this may be just the tasty rocket for my level 3 certification. ‘Crazy Jim”pictured with the latest Wildman product release.

Extreme Dark Star kit comes with:
54″ tall 4 diameter fiber glass booster
24″ fiber glass payload
2″ switch band
11″ fiber glass coupler
Von Karmen  5-1 fiber glass nose cone
75 mm  fiber glass motor mount
plywood centering rings
Fiber glass bulk plates
Kevlar bridal
High quality 9/16 tubular nylon
Sheer pins
Plastic rivets
All thread
Welded eye bolts
Nuts and washers
Quick links

Cheshire Takes to the Skies

After a disappointing non-flight at LDRS, it was time to correct the stability issue with Cheshire. With the motor loaded, the rocket was heavy. A fat bottomed rocket, which it meant that it need some nose cone weight to balance. I am now the proud owner of RockSim software. So I dove in and thrashed around the program trying to come up with the correct amount of weight needed to add to the nose cone. First attempt 4 lbs, second 4oz. Looks like I have a lot to learn about using RockSim.

G and I used some special plastic epoxy and buckshot to pour into the nose cone. Well pour is not quite the right description. Imagine a hole with less than 1/2″ diameter and trying to encourage a mixture of 8oz buckshot and 1oz epoxy through this. Once in place we waited for the epoxy to do its thing. It got pretty hot, so a nice cup of water to cool helped out.

It had to stay upright overnight to properly set. The concoction was quite stinky and still is. To do list for any future weight adjustments projects: locate my local gun store. All seemed well with the weight addition, so decided to drag race with G at Lucerne on Sat 07/10.

I finally arrived in the desert after several hours of construction traffic and needed to just calm the down the road rage vibe. Can tell that I am getting better skillz as the prep time to pack recovery system and load the motor was fairly quick. Mainly due to the lack of epoxy mess preventing the motor casing from smooth insertion. Before I always had to spend time sanding away any blockage.

(Shot of the buckshot dropped down into the shoulder)

As we made out way for launch pad assignments, the weight fell from G’s nose cone. This meant that mine was subject to the same failure. I reasoned that perhaps his rocket sitting in the heat sped up the issue. Okay I just wanted to fly my rocket, so I decided to just go for it.

All started out well and Cheshire was flying straight. We could see the point at which the weight fell in the nose cone as the rocket started to cart-wheel. Poor Cheshire slammed down hard on the ground and then the parachute ejected. Post mort revealed that the rocket was well-built and did not sustain physical damage. However the paint job did take a beating. The blow seemed to shake the paint off the nose cone in chunks. G also blogged about this excursion as well. Thanks G for the amazing photos.

(Monty assessing Cheshire’s damage. Looks like repainting of the nose cone is in order.)

Just a note on the motor, a Cessaroni I140 Skidmark. I just love the sparkly tail. My first one, and am a fan now.

Next up: Round 2 of weight modification will include foam to secure the epoxied buckshot in place.

Assorted Images from LDRS

LDRS attracts all sorts of enthusiastic rocketeers. One such group were engineers from Cal Poly with their building themed rockets.

Christina and I chatted with the maker of this Pringles can masterpiece. I asked him if Procter & Gamble was his sponsor. Sadly he had sent the company pictures, but they did not acknowledge his correspondence. They missed out on a great marketing opportunity.

This guy with his rocket SPAM. Wish I could recall what SPAM meant, something something Approaching Mach.

Christina standing next to this impressive craft to show the scale.

I did not get the memo that I was supposed to bring all my rockets and display them.



LDRS 29 Experience

LDRS 29 was June 10-15th. My niece Christina and I headed out for Fri afternoon and Sat. She was excited having built her first rocket and me for my first LDRS. It was a great opportunity to meet many of the vendors and other rocketeers in person.

This is a photo approaching the set-up. Amazing number of motor homes, vehicles, and tents. Also incredible deep trenches, like giant worms had thrashed through the area.

My poor low riding Honda Civic was not happy with that terrain. A 4×4 vehicle may be in my rocketing future.

I had prepped Cheshire to fly in the 29 Mad Cow Squat drag race at LDRS and ended up having to defer flying. It is a kit rocket, and ideally should not require any further modifications to fly. However when I loaded the motor the rocket was unbalanced. It wasn’t until that morning did I actually have the motor and casing in hand. Alas I was not the only one. Some people had dramatic unsuccessful flights due to the instability.

Cheshire would have to spectate not participate. I was slightly bummed as my rocket was by far the cutest there. Not to mention that the Discovery Channel had talked with me about my rocketry. The designated token female, but I was okay with that.

Lesson learned that I either need to have all the physical equipment for pre-flight check or the RockSim software to run flight simulations.

Happy 4th – Pyrotechnic Pleasures

Ah sparkles and booms, some of my favorite ways to spend an evening. Enjoy a nice beverage and oh n ah at the fireworks. Love the dahlia and peony patterns the best.

Above is a borrowed image, the source escapes me.

So this reminded me that many months ago that I would post something about what chemicals product what colors. Much to my amazement and joy, the Chemical of the Week blog posted a fabulous write-up.

Wiki Answers also has some great information. Below is a taste:

  • Bright GREENS are made with barium.
  • Deep REDS are a product of strontium.
  • BLUES come from copper.
  • YELLOWS require sodium.
  • Large Dangerous Rocket Ships (LDRS) 2010 on Discovery’s Science Channel

     Highlights of LDRS 2010 special projects and challenges will air on Discovery’s Science Channel

    There are promo videos and photos on Science Channel and teaser description “Don’t miss Large Dangerous Rocket Ships, hosted by Kari from Mythbusters, on July 5 at 9PM. Teams compete to see who can build the biggest, baddest rocket around.”

    The following photo is from their page:

    Fun they even have a fun quiz to test your model rocketry smarts. Ummm, let’s just say I did not get 100%, and leave it at that.