Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rocket Bicycle - Kickstarter

Doing a search on Kick Starter I found this: CLICK HERE

"The rocket system to be used on the Rocket Bicycle will be simple in style, but effective. It will propel the bicycle in a forward manner, while pulling the streamers and attached cans that have been personalized with the names of honored project participants.  My apparel will be fire proof for safety and in keeping with our patriotic theme.  The Rocket Bicycle will also carry our patriotic theme along with the streamers and personalized cans.
Studying, and understanding how many newtons it will take to push an unequal mass of flesh and metal . . ." 

The words "mass of flesh and metal" probably shouldn't be used together.
He's trying to raise $4,000.
It looks like he's already got everything needed for the "flight". You'd better do a double wrap of duct tape around the rocket and bike frame.
Don't expect a donation from my end. I'll watch the video though.

Estes Guardian Build, Part 4, Tube Marking Guides

I'm building two Guardians at the same time.
One kit had a rough white body tube with wide seams. The other kit had the standard brown tubes.

On the left is the rougher white tube after it was sprayed with primer/filler. If you enlarge the picture you can see the raised fibers from the sanding before the primer was sprayed.
After sanding the primer to surface the "fuzzies" were gone.

The kit marking guides were off.
The ends off the upper BT-50 tube wrap didn't come close to matching up. The B-55 tube wrap was closer but still not great.

Before anybody thinks: "He's sprayed the body tubes with primer and now the outside diameter larger."
Even on new bare tubes the guides were short.




The upper fins were glued onto the BT-50 even with the back end of the tube.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Estes Guardian Build, Part 3, Plastic Parts Prep

After sanding down the molding seams on the adapter, some white Squadron Putty was set in the remaining seam.

NOTE: I've read that the Squadron putty won't work on blow-molded nose cones. The blow molded nose cones are the softer plastic.
This putty works fine on the harder styrene plastics.

It dries quickly. 400 grit was used to sand to surface.


The wall thickness at the base of the nose cone was inconsistent.
In the picture you can see how much thicker the right side is.

220 grit on a block was used to even out the nose cone base wall.








The tip of the nose cone was a little squared off.

On the left is the before.
On the right is the same nose cone tip after rounding. The flow and shape is much better.

More Glue Tests

I did another "board test" using some new glues I picked up.

The old formula Elmer's White and the Aleene's Tacky both dried with high raised sides while the centers sank in. The old formula Elmer's dried very hard, the Aleene's tacky glue is soft. You can easily press it in with a fingernail. While the Aleene's is fully dry, it is flexible like the glue from a glue gun.
The other three - Elmer's School, Elmer's School Gel and a generic Hobby Lobby white all dried very flat, spread out and close to the surface.
All dried clear except for the Elmer's School Gel which ended up a green color. I was hoping the gel glue would allow for an easier slide in for engine mounts and couplers.
All the glues adhered well. The dried drops were hard to lift up of the cardboard with the tip of a knife.

On some of the Estes red couplers and (vendors) brown couplers you still have to sand to fit in the body tubes.
Enough testing, I'll use Epoxy on engine mounts and couplers.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Estes Guardian Build, Part 2, Plastic Parts Prep

Before gluing in the nose cone shoulder, sand the base of the nose cone flat. Square the nose cone base now for a better fit against the body tube end.
Also sand the end of the body tube square.

Apply plastic glue and set the shoulder in place.
Before the glue dries, slide the nose cone into the body tube  and turn against the body tube to be sure it is square.



I didn't cut out the entire recess in the attachment lug.
Files were used so the ends would be round.

If you were to cut the corners with a knife you risk cutting through the attachment lug.
TIP: The rounded sides are also less wear on the shock cord.
There are closed shoulders on both sides of the 50/55 adapter.
TIP: For a larger payload section the small end of the adapter shoulder was cut off with a razor saw.
This opens up the top of the adapter and gives you enough room for an altimeter.
I could also run the shock cord through the base of the adapter and through the payload tube and tie onto the nose cone lug.
This would tie the nose cone to the body (no chance of losing it at ejection) and you can tie the altimeter onto a loop in the shock cord.
The model will still break below the adapter at ejection.

Battery Life? TIP


I'm changing out a 9V battery in my guitar preamp.
While the owners manual says you can get 100 hours of performance, it never seems to last that long.
To keep track of the new battery life, I marked the install date: 6/11/2014 with a Sharpie



This might be an interesting test for launch controller batteries, especially the Quest controller that also uses a 9V battery. The single 9V battery seems to lose its ignition strength faster than the Estes 6V controller.
You could also mark one of the four AA batteries in an Estes style controller.
If you keep a flight log (recommended, go to www.rocketreviews.com, register and start a flight log) you could keep track of how many launches and in turn, how many batteries you use.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Estes Guardian Build, Part 1, Parts

I've never built an Estes Guardian.
Somewhere in the Ebay buys I ended up with two.

Both kits had white tubes.
You can see the bent tube on the right. I have some extra BT-55 and will cut a new one.

The 50/55 adapter is the same one used for the  Bullpup kit tail cone.
The shock cord is too short, only 18" long.
One kit has balsa fins, the other laser cut Tung wood.
All other parts are standard.


This bent tube had small spirals. The second kit had a very rough BT-55 with wide spirals, the worst I've ever seen in an Estes kit.
The parachute is 12", yellow and black in the "spiderweb" pattern.
The shock cord is too short, only 18" long.
While the face card shows a very colorful model, you are only given a white nameplate decal that fades into blue.




The paint pattern is a very tough mask. I doubt few builders have tried to do it.
I'll tackle it using a combination of paint and trim Monokote.
The face card picture looks like Estes used trim Monokote on the blue fin centers.