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ajtowns
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Hello!

Postby ajtowns » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:30 pm

Hi!

I'm just back from a trip to the US where I got completely corrupted by a couple of rocketry guys to the point where I'm now somehow an L2 certified Tripoli member. :D (Ever had one of those days where you go out intending to just have a bit of fun with some friends, and wake up the next day to the smell of spent black powder and the welcoming silhouette of a 54mm rocket that's gone up a bit over 2km? What a high!)

I've done three launch days now -- first a couple of years ago on a Dynastar Rising Star payloader, on an F or G motor I think (and an altimeter that didn't end up working right) with the COSROCS guys; and more recently with the METRA folks in New York state with a Quest Li'l Grunt on a D12-5 (x3) (streamer recovery is cool), and then with SCORE at Hudson Ranch (where NARAM-52 had been held earlier in the month).

My L1 and L2 flights with SCORE were with a modified Little Dog Dual Deploy -- actually a (non-dual deploy) Little Dog kit, with an extra piece of tubing and a coupler to turn it into a dual deploy, and the lower airframe cut just above the fins with an extra coupler put in so that it fits easier into luggage (the idea being for that coupler to only get separated for travel, not in flight). The launch was on the Sunday after the election, so I figured depending on who won I'd call it something like "Meggsy" or "Budgie"; given the result as of when I woke up that day, it ended up being called "Hang Time" :)

The L1 flight was with motor based ejection (parachute on apogee, no dual deploy) on a Cesaroni H125-Classic; that turned out to be not so great an idea, since the 1.3g of black powder was about twice what we'd calculated was needed, and the nose banged into the airframe and got damaged -- there must've been an air bubble under the top layer of the nose cone, and it looked pretty nasty. Fortunately cosmetic enough that I got my L1 anyway, and a bit of epoxy later and it was ready to fly again. (The L1 flight was simmed in openrocket to hit 2650 feet, with a max speed of 135 m/s and turned out to hit 2511 ft with a max speed of 135 m/s. Pretty cool)

The L2 flight was dual deploy (drogueless at apogee, parachute deploy at 250m) on a Cesaroni J357-Blue. This one worked perfectly -- separation at apogee was by electronic controlled BP with the charge in the motor left in for backup (according to the sim they should have fired at really close to the same time), and it came down on the parachute beautifully. The sim said it'd hit about 6900 ft with a max speed of 300 m/s, but it turned out to hit 7650 ft with a max speed of 314 m/s and a max acceleration of just under 41 G's. The waiver was for 8000 ft, so as far as I'm concerned, that counted as both legal and bloody awesome. :)

According to the sim it would bust both mach and 10000 ft on J510 or a J530. :)

Extra awesome was that it worked perfectly despite the local guys telling me the L2 flight was for Australia's rocketry honour. :) (There was also the minor problem of that launch being in the closing minutes of the waiver, and having not been quite careful enough putting the electronics in such that the on switch wasn't quite perfectly aligned with the vent hole and was catching on the airframe and not staying on once you pressed it... gah, rocket repairs while on the rail on a cert flight == crazy. But effective!)

It flew with a Telemetrum for both flights -- the guys making it (Keith on software and Bdale on hardware) are friends from quite some time now, and I was staying with Bdale in Colorado -- just doing data reporting for the L1 flight, and doing both data and the ejection charge control for the L2 flight, hence the info on what it actually did versus the sim. "Unfortunately" it landed in plain sight on the L1 flight, so it was just a matter of walking straight to it; but for the L2 it landed beyond a hill, so we got to plug the last known GPS coordinates into a hand held GPS and walk to where it had been when it was still about 14m above ground -- it ended up being just on the edge of the handheld's margin of error, in the right direction for having blown a bit further in the wind as it descended the last little bit.

(Also pretty cool: Tim van Milligan of apogee rockets was set up next to us on the flight line doing some videos for his website, both some followups on the telemetrum and one on one of the rockets he was flying that day)

Anyway, my telemetrum and rocket came back with me and I'm hoping to fly them at a QRS launch. I also want to see if it's possible to mount a video camera on some motors (the rotating kind, not the exploding kind :) and hook it up so that it monitors the live telemetrum data and stays pointed at the rocket while it's in flight and so far up you can't see it anymore. Some day I'd also like to play with controlled recovery -- if there's a GPS on board, there ought to be some way to manipulate a parachute or helicopter recovery or something during descent so that it'll land somewhere you tell it, rather than just wherever the wind blows it.

Fun hobby you guys have got here :)
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Scoop1261
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Re: Hello!

Postby Scoop1261 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:51 pm

Sounds like a cool trip! 8)

Congratulations on your L1 & L2 certification, they sounded like they were pretty neat flights.

It sure is a long way to go to get your certification, but I can honestly say I know how you feel, as I traveled to Florida some years ago to do my L1 & L2 flights, and returned later to do the L3.

Flying rockets in the US is certainly an experience, and I hear those METRA guys are pretty nice folks too, I'm sure that would be the same for the guys from Colorado as well! Actually, I may have met a few of them at LDRS 27 in Argonia. I know Tim Thomas is from Colorado....and he IS a damn nice guy!

I guess that is some of the value in being a member of the TRA, you can fly in over 22 countries throughout the world, and your certification is valid in every one of them. :D
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Re: Hello!

Postby cha05cat » Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:18 pm

A holiday that involves rocketry is the best kind of holiday!!!

Gratz on your 2x Certs and will look forward to seeing you on the range. As Scoop said, this is EXACTLY why international certifications are the best way of proceeding with certifications.

For all the info you need including membership forms, just head on over to the QRS website:
http://www.qldrocketry.com/

PS: You have to be a software developer/programmer of some sort - I can tell by the double equals in "rocket repairs while on the rail on a cert flight == crazy"
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Re: Hello!

Postby october sky » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:16 pm

Welcome ajtown to the forum and big congrats on your L1 and L2 !! :)

You'll find a great group of guys in here and you sure are welcome to our launches anytime. 8)
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Lamp
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Re: Hello!

Postby Lamp » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:49 pm

G'day, and welcome to the forum! :D It is a fun hobby indeed!

ajtowns wrote:According to the sim it would bust both mach and 10000 ft on J510 or a J530. :)


The Little Dog is a great rocket and the one I did my L2 with using a J350W. Mine should have got close to 10,000' (Simmed to 10,400') but it weathercocked a fair bit in the stiff breeze so it probably only ended up 8,000 or 9,000 feet but we think it went mach on a J570W....however I lost it so I have no data from the altimeter.

ajtowns wrote:It flew with a Telemetrum for both flights


I really could have used one of these when I put it up on the J570W! The next time I try something like that it will be with at least a Big Red Bee tracker in the nose...or a Featherweight GPS system when Adrian releases them.

If you want to go for altitude, come down to Victoria and launch with TRAAU at Serpentine, we can get windows to 25,000' if required. :wink:
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Re: Hello!

Postby whipfest » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:40 pm

G'day ajtowns, and welcome to the forum !!

It sounds like you are already heavily into rocketry. I know you'll be impressed if you get along to a QRS launch.

Enjoy !!!

8)
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ajtowns
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Re: Hello!

Postby ajtowns » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:02 am

Scoop1261 wrote:Congratulations on your L1 & L2 certification, they sounded like they were pretty neat flights.

cha05cat wrote:Gratz on your 2x Certs and will look forward to seeing you on the range

october sky wrote:Welcome ajtown to the forum and big congrats on your L1 and L2 !!

Thanks all!! They were great flights, even if I do say so myself!

l2-liftoff.jpg
Liftoff on the Cesaroni J357-Blue
l2-liftoff.jpg (43.77 KiB) Viewed 3717 times


I've even got the data all gussied up now, would love to know what y'all think:

my L1 flight data
my L2 flight data

Haven't quite worked out what I want to do about documenting it properly just yet (ie adding build and simulation info, and picspicspics)

(Hey, it's called rocket /science/ for a reason, right? :lol:)

Scoop1261 wrote:Flying rockets in the US is certainly an experience, and I hear those METRA guys are pretty nice folks too, I'm sure that would be the same for the guys from Colorado as well!

The METRA guys were an amazing group -- awesome friendly and almost continually flying on (big!) home made motors. I think I saw someone on the QRS forum identifying a new sort of manmade flying machine called "THE TARGET" iirc -- well, METRA seems to have found their breeding ground: there's big ones flying nearby all the time, and little ones buzzing directly overhead. (They're pretty much directly on an approach to one of the major airports, and still manage to get a 5000ft waiver with windows to 12000ft)

And yeah, both times I've flown in Colorado were great -- there were scout groups both times flying little alphas (I think), and that's just a blast to watch, so to speak...

cha05cat wrote:A holiday that involves rocketry is the best kind of holiday!!!

Hey that wasn't a holiday, it was a work trip to go to conferences! Let me tell you, the best kind of holiday is one that involves rockets and tax deductions!

cha05cat wrote:PS: You have to be a software developer/programmer of some sort - I can tell by the double equals

Dammit, outed already. Linux geek by trade, C and Python by preference, that's me. (I even thought about changing that when I was writing that post, but just couldn't bring myself to...)
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Re: Hello!

Postby ROCKet STAR » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:20 pm

Welcome to the forum!

Great shot of your L2 flight, I'm just trying to figure out what the mysterious black cylinder to the right of the blast deflector is? It looks like a grain liner or something?
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ajtowns
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Re: Hello!

Postby ajtowns » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:58 pm

ROCKet STAR wrote:Great shot of your L2 flight, I'm just trying to figure out what the mysterious black cylinder to the right of the blast deflector is? It looks like a grain liner or something?


Might've been -- it was just something random that was around so the rocket wasn't sitting on the blast deflector. For the L1 flight it was a spent estes motor:

l1-liftoff.jpg
Liftoff on Cesaroni H125-Classic
l1-liftoff.jpg (39.11 KiB) Viewed 3698 times
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