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Author Topic:   Estes Rocket Revival!
Colonel Panic
Geek-in-Training

Posts: 30
From: Des Moines, Iowa
Registered: Mar 2002

posted May 02, 2002 13:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Colonel Panic   Click Here to Email Colonel Panic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Snaggy, you tripped a switch deep inside this closet Geek.

Me and my buddies pooled our money for a car battery, then wired a box full of switches on the back of a Radio Flyer so we could send up six at once, except weird Ben's rockets, he had to launch his by himself because his never flew straight so we all had to hide when he launched his.

My favorite was an Astron Drifter, sanded smooth as glass with a candy burgundy finish. Flew it over 40 times until on a dare I loaded it with a B-3-6 and two 18" 'chutes. Never saw it again.

Estes Rockets were the very coolest thing. A month's paper route money would buy enough rocket motors for an Uber-Geekin' Weekend. (or was that Freakin' Geekin' Weekend?)

I'm welling up and waxing nostalgic for my slide rule with that one. Thank-you.

Quite Sincerely,

Colonel Panic

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Snaggy
Moderator

Posts: 1518
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted May 02, 2002 13:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alright!

Nitro and I had great fun the past few years building rockets and such...

I made a Big Bertha and attached whistles to it! When it goes up it sounds so cool, then as it speed up during decent it also sounds off. Really neat. kinda like a buzz bomb.

I also made a 2 stager, and used a long delay on the secondary engine fire... heh, it would tend to shoot the second stage horizontal! Very dangerous but super cool.

D ENGINES ROCK!

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MightyJoeSakic
Super Geek

Posts: 101
From: The Pacific Rock/NAVCOMTELSTA GUAM GU
Registered: Apr 2002

posted May 02, 2002 15:04     Click Here to See the Profile for MightyJoeSakic   Click Here to Email MightyJoeSakic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah the engines are fun just by themselves too.....Just hook up like 5 at the same time and let them all go..... And thus begins a great game of self preservation....

~Thom

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ZorroTheFox
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1347
From: Milton, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted May 02, 2002 16:59     Click Here to See the Profile for ZorroTheFox   Click Here to Email ZorroTheFox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I once had a Cherokee "D" rocket, It went too high and got caught in a strong wind. I never did find the darned thing. I have never fired another rocket since.........z

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tafkact
Highlie

Posts: 640
From: nowhere, man
Registered: Jan 2000

posted May 02, 2002 18:04     Click Here to See the Profile for tafkact     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ohhh i DO remember them days!

i started with just a rinkydinky 1-stage rocket w/o even a parachute

it went up about 150' then fell back down - usually into the mud

i eventually graduated (read: got more money) to an X-10, you remember right? the one with the 110 camera in it? hehe, never got a good shot of anything though

picked up one with the transparent plastic tube and shot some bugs up about 300' or so a few time, until the sucka' got caught in a tree i was never able to get it down

one of my last adventures in rocketry was a scale Saturn IV, all stages complete with parachutes and rockets, including the breakaway tower at the top!

a total of 7 D engines, and successivly smaller ones as the stages got smaller, with an engine i ferget how small, but it was really tiny, for the tower at the top

this rocket was nealry 6 FEET tall and about 23lbs when i finished it, and it took allll summer to build

freinds and i took it out to a field and hooked a car battery to it, since the wimpy 12v one that came with the kits i had over the previous few summers just wasn't enough to light 5 D engines

well, i lit it off, and MAN WHAT A SIGHT! :O 5 d engines makes a LOT of smoke! i was amazed it actually took off! the 1st stage burned out at what i estimated to be 250', then it fell off and the parachute opened and the second stage lit -
the 2nd stage went probably to 650' (guessing again) and that was the last i saw of the whole thing

i lost sight of it in the sun and never saw it again
i was so excited i fergot to note where the 1st stage went and lost track of it too

the tower was supposed to blow off after the 1st stage seperated, but i never noticed if it did and with the air pressure at the front of the rocket, it probably didn't

as far as i can tell , if everything went as planned, the capsule would have hit at least 2400' i guess i should have put some kind of transmitter in each part to track it all, but hey, i was 14 and didn't have the ca$h, or the brain power to think of that at the time

i fired off a few more *much smaller rockets after that, but since losing such an investment i really didn't wanna do it anymore

these days, i don't think the FAA (or the FBI!) would appreciate a rocket of any kind imposing on their airspace - they might take it as a REAL rocket and send a squadron of F-16's to shoot it down! lol

oh yeah - and this wasn't the estes saturn iv rocket, i built it myself the estes version was (and still is) too expensive (you can get 'em on ebay if you want)

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 739
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted May 02, 2002 19:59     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still launch rockets. I build them with my daughter and we go out on Sunday mornings in the summer to fly them. I love the smell of cordite in the morning, it smells like victory.

I've also tried MightyJoe's idea, but with a twist. Kids, don't try this at home

- take an x-acto knife or screwdriver and remove the ejection plug at the back of the rocket engine, leaving the ejection charge exposed.
- stuff two or three firecrackers, fuse down, into the barrel.
- tape a stick or dowel about 1.5" long to the engine, point down. It should look like a big bottle rocket.
- pull a fuse from a firecracker and use it to light the sucker.

Very gratifying indeed

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SupportGoddess
Highlie

Posts: 576
From: The Digital Temple
Registered: Jul 2001

posted May 04, 2002 18:16     Click Here to See the Profile for SupportGoddess   Click Here to Email SupportGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still like to play with rockets sometimes. I actually had that backfire on me once though.

For valentines day with my last long term SO I decided that we should do something special that would be lots of fun... so of course model rockets came immediately to mind. Admittedly, perhaps winter here is not prime rocket launching weather. However he could have been a bit more excited about the idea... maybe even *try* it. Oh well.

------------------
"Programming is like sex: one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life."
-Michael Sinz

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 206
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted May 05, 2002 16:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I used to attach rocket engines to arrows and have one of my friends light the fuse just before I shot it out of my compound bow. This of course progressed to adding M80s for an added thrill.

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Zwilnik
Alpha Geek

Posts: 324
From: London, UK
Registered: Dec 2000

posted May 05, 2002 18:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Zwilnik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Night launches of Estes rockets with fishing glows attatched used to be fun. As did launching a C motor with a nosecone and minimal fins. It went horizontal at 6ft and caused a lot of running and ducking for cover.

Also fun is extreme water rocketry. Take a plastic coke bottle (or washing up liquid bottle), fill around 2/3 to 3/4 with water, insert a bung with air hose into the open end (ideally a rubber bung, like you get in science labs, although you can make do with a cork) and pump up with a car tyre pump (or an actual car tyre for a more automated launch).

With careful binding of the bottle with duct tape and super pressurising the bottle (by making sure the bung is really tight) you can get 200ft launches. It's made even more fun by letting someone who's never launched a water rocket do the pumping up. Most don't seem to realise that for the rocket to go *up*, all the water has to go *down* (or all around if the duct tape isn't strong enough)

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greycat
Alpha Geek

Posts: 254
From:
Registered: Oct 2001

posted May 06, 2002 05:47     Click Here to See the Profile for greycat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oooh, I'd forgotten all about that until you mentioned it. We used to have a water rocket when I was a kid. It was a store-bought thing, made of translucent colored plastic, and about 6 inches tall. It came with a hand pump and the connectors were shaped properly so that it all fit together properly. I don't remember what happened to it.

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 739
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted May 06, 2002 09:32     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by greycat:
We used to have a water rocket when I was a kid. It was a store-bought thing, made of translucent colored plastic, and about 6 inches tall. It came with a hand pump and the connectors were shaped properly so that it all fit together properly. I don't remember what happened to it.

They still make those. They're pretty easy to find. How about dry ice as the propellant for extreme water rockets. No more tedious pumping. Of course, if you don't get the nozzle big enough, you can make the bottle explode.

Geordie: Are you nuts? What if you hesitated an instant too long with the shot and had engine exhaust shoot down your arm? I hope you at least wore goggles and big grill or oven mitts.

Your story did remind me of something my cousin did. I wish I could claim credit for this. He built air to air missles for his friend's RC plane. He designed an ignitor receiver that he could trigger over an RC channel, mounted a hard sharp nose cone and fins on engines and put one under each wing. Then you could have a real dogfight. He later built working depth charges for RC boats.

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 206
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted May 08, 2002 08:47     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
Geordie: Are you nuts? What if you hesitated an instant too long with the shot and had engine exhaust shoot down your arm? I hope you at least wore goggles and big grill or oven mitts.[/B]


I wish I could say that was the dumbest thing I did as a kid. Certainly that wasn't as dumb as sledding down the roof for example.

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 739
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted May 08, 2002 10:29     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Geordie:
Certainly that wasn't as dumb as sledding down the roof for example.

That does take imagination. Was there at least a snow bank up the side of the house up to the roof? Or, did you just intend to speed down and plummet off the edge?

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 206
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted May 09, 2002 21:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:That does take imagination. Was there at least a snow bank up the side of the house up to the roof? Or, did you just intend to speed down and plummet off the edge?

Hmm, snow that would have been a good idea, but it was in June and we don't have snow in Virginia that time of year. It was off a tin roof on a one story barn. I think I did something to make a safer landing area, but I can't recall what it was. The weird thing is I only seem to break bones and stuff when I am doing normal things.

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Evilbunny
Highlie

Posts: 692
From: A Calculus book near you...
Registered: Nov 2001

posted May 11, 2002 14:26     Click Here to See the Profile for Evilbunny   Click Here to Email Evilbunny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a rocket I built that is 5 feet tall and takes G35-7T engines or something tlike that. I ran it with a G80 and it almost ripped apart. I love shooting it off! It is flourescent orange and has gone through hel becuase I shoot it off so much! ROCKETS RULE!!!!!

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Evilbunny
Highlie

Posts: 692
From: A Calculus book near you...
Registered: Nov 2001

posted May 11, 2002 14:28     Click Here to See the Profile for Evilbunny   Click Here to Email Evilbunny     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
greycat-
I used to have one of those plastic water rockets too! I had one when I was like 4! Until one day I accidentally shot it into the neighbor's yard and never saw it again until I was like 12! It was great to shoot it off again! Wow! I'm usuing way too many exclamation points!!!!!

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Tau Zero
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1696
From:
Registered: Jan 2000

posted May 14, 2002 01:02     Click Here to See the Profile for Tau Zero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
Your story did remind me of something my cousin did. I wish I could claim credit for this. He built air to air missles for his friend's RC plane. He designed an ignitor receiver that he could trigger over an RC channel, mounted a hard sharp nose cone and fins on engines and put one under each wing. Then you could have a real dogfight. He later built working depth charges for RC boats.

I bet that would be un-just cause for investigation by the FBI and perhaps incarceration under the current anti-terrorist paranoia.

Life is really messed up when the things you can do with the stuff you can get from a hobby store and a little intelligence and experimentation are way beyond what the "law" enforcement agencies are prepared to accept as "understandable for reasonable people to think about".

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 739
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted May 14, 2002 05:54     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Tau, I haven't seen any posts from you in a while. Good to have you back.

Good point. I hadn't thought about the law enforcement reaction to that. You reminded me that where I live you can't even fly RC planes in a public park any more. This was pre 9/11, so it wasn't simple hysteria. Someone decided it was a hazard to other visitors. I think we should have "Free Parks" like Larry Niven envisioned.

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crazyarlo
Maximum Newbie

Posts: 18
From: Belpre, Ohio, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted May 14, 2002 09:17     Click Here to See the Profile for crazyarlo   Click Here to Email crazyarlo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We still do rockets....our favorite is our "EGG" rocket...no nose cone, just perch a nice ripe egg on top...ususally use a "C" engine. When it gets to the top of it's arc, it just pops the EGG off like a BOMB! AWESOME IMPACT!! The rocket comes back by parachute. Built the rocket from trash...old mailing tube, four leftover fins that don't match...homemade parachute out of a "biohazard bag" from work, and airplane rubber for the shock cord. Engine mount made from a piece of rolled and glued cardboard.

The last time we did this, I added a 10' streamer to the egg so we could see it better. ONCE...the egg landed right on top of my Brother in laws BRAND NEW CAR! YIKES!!!!!

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 739
From: behind your browser window
Registered: Jun 2000

posted May 14, 2002 09:37     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Arlo, I salute you. I've so got to try that.

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Tau Zero
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1696
From:
Registered: Jan 2000

posted May 14, 2002 09:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Tau Zero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did the firecrackers-in-the-nose-of-the-A-engine thing once when I was about twelve.  It was pretty neat, but I think it was neater when I made an ultra-narrow rocket that would fit through a steel tent tube, faired it to a snug fit with tape and launched and lit it with a small charge of Pyrodex from my brother's supply.  That would probably get me in a lot of trouble today.

(I'm not really back, I'm just putting in a little appearance here while I'm doing other things.  This may be the last you see of me for another few weeks.)

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ZorroTheFox
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1347
From: Milton, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted May 14, 2002 16:14     Click Here to See the Profile for ZorroTheFox   Click Here to Email ZorroTheFox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well don't hibernate for too long Tau, it is refreshing to see your posts once in a while......Z

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