Monday, January 31, 2011
The winds were calm so I flew the CYCLONE with an Estes 1/2A3-2t engine.
The carded downscale MMX ZOOM BROOM is flying stable again!
No, it wasn't flown horizontally! I just liked the angle.
This morning I used the beta test model Estes Electron Beam controller with the new LED continuity light for a second time.
What a difference!
So, get off the ground! I should have done this years ago.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
This Part 4 Blog Post disappeared and I had to write it up again.
Continue with the build going back to the Part 5 post from January 11, 2011.
TIP: Here's how to make a four fin marking guide with a scrap piece of paper.
- Cut a strip of rectagular paper not quite a tall as the fin root edge. Be sure the edges and sides are square. Make it long enough to overlap when wrapped around the tube.
- Wrap the strip tightly around the tube.
- Where the start point met the wrap, I ran my fingernail down the joint making a slight crease. A pencil line was drawn down the crease. (Picture on left)
- Remove the wrap from the body tube. The wrapped area (between the start and pencil line) was folded in half and a pencil line was drawn down that crease. (In the second picture, the overlap is to the left.)
- Fold the outside ends into that middle pencil mark and crease the paper.
- Draw pencil lines on those two new creases. (Picture on right)
- Wrap the pencil marked guide around the tube and mark the top and bottom at the pencil marks.
Here I'm using the fin root edge and a wrap of tape as a length guide to make sure I don't scrape off too long a line.
The trailing root of the upper fins was glued right on the forward edge of the blue trim line.
The paint was lightly scraped off and a little of the blue wrap cut out.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Here's the four smaller SRB engine bells.
Drilling the centering ring for the rear vent holes took a little bit of work.
I first used a sharp awl to mark the center and to make something for the drill to center itself in.
To start the hole, I used a smaller drill than the recommended 1/8" drill.
The 1/8" drill was used for the final hole size.
I covered the front of the body tube with the palm of my hand and blew into the engine mount tube. My breath did come back out through the engine bells!
Friday, January 28, 2011
I tend to load up my rockets a few days before I fly them.
The downscale carded MERCURY REDSTONE had a high ride on a Estes A3-4t. I'd estimate the altitude at 400 feet. After recovery on a 16" streamer I walked back to the launcher. I didn't notice the tower had broken off! I didn't bother looking too hard for it.
I must not have given this rocket a good protective clear spray, the wet grass really smeared some of the printing. This one is retired, I'll reuse the capsule, shock cord and engine mount. I'll print and make another soon.
I tried to take some launch pictures, but it was just me handling both the camera and controller.
I snapped the shutter when I heard the engine "hiss". This was all I got! But, it's a step in the right direction.
The Semroc ASTRON was launched with a Quest A6-4.
This is my new favorite small field engine. These Chinese made Quest engines have a louder thrust than other A's. I like how they take a moment on the pad before moving. Estimated altitude was 300 feet.
Here's another attempt at a launch shot. It's a little blurry, but you can just see the flame starting out the nozzle. The parachute was closed (reefed) with a wrap of tape. You can see I "stuck" the landing.
This morning, the MicroMaxx rockets weren't as successful.
A carded downscale MMX ZOOM BROOM went sky-writing. I have no explanation for this, it's flown stable many times before. At ejection, the nose cone broke off the Kevlar shock cord. It's repairable and will fly again.
The FlisKits HONEST JOHN flew very well on a MicroMaxx engine. At ejection there was no streamer, the nose cone did release and it landed with no damage. The weird thing was, when I pulled out the streamer, the shock cord came loose from the engine mount! Maybe it was a good thing the streamer didn't eject. This'll be repaired to fly again.
I sanded a little off the shoulder that will be covered by the end of the SRB tube.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
The new controllers were included with a request to have a few friends try them out. I was lucky enough to get one.
- This LED upgrade is a welcome improvement!
- The LED is less likely to break than the old style glass bulb.
- The new red LED is very bright when illuminated. Even in full sunlight it's easy to see.
- I had hopes this new controller wouldn't set off a Quest Q2G2 igniter when the safety key was inserted.
- The micro clips have a heat shrink over the soldered connections.
I used this new controller at two schoolyard launches with great success using both bare nichrome and Estes standard igniters.
The Q2G2 igniter did not go off with the safety key inserted.
Here's the fins after sanding down the gray primer.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
But I'm probably more excited about the engines:
But go to the last pages and check out the REDUCTIONS in the retail prices for parts.
Thanks Estes - great stuff!
Jimmy's girlfirend hand painted the patterns.
I have an can of old formula blue Krylon that's a very close match to the blue MonoKote used before.
Above this spray painted blue band, a strip of black electrical tape will be applied. Even though this area is tapered, black electrical tape is flexible and should conform well - as long as the strip isn't too wide.
Here's the finished upper body paint and trim.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
My next order to Quest will include some 50mm body tubes.
It should be a very close fit!
You may only have until February 14th to pick up these Champagne Flutes at the Dollar Tree store, they are not available on the website.
Until I try them on the Quest 50mm or Semroc ST-20 tubing, I'm not making any claims they'll be a perfect fit - probably real close though!
For part two of this "Cheap Nose Cone" build click HERE