Valor Rocket - Scratch Build Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2010 21:33
One of the blogs that I often visit is Dick's Rocket Dungeon and his New Years Day post featured a scan of if Worlds of Science Fiction magazine from x-ray delta one's Flickr photostream. I really loved that it looks both futuristic and time-worn at the same time.

And since I'm now the proud owner of RockSim 9, I thought I would see if I could make it fly (at least in the sim). And it seems as if it's nice and stable!

Valor Rocket Valor Rocket
Click to embiggen

Built using an 18" length of BT50 body tube, paper laminated balsa fins and an 18mm motor mount, this should get to about 400' or so with a C6 motor.

The body and large fins are painted grey while the nose cone and small fins are painted black - the whole lot then got the dry-brush treatment with silver.
Camera Rocket on Hacked Gadgets blog Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2010 21:01
Hacked Gadgets, Alan Parekh's blog, has featured my Camera Rocket. It must have been popular as the video received almost 1200 views in a single day :)

Rocket Squared appears on Make! Print E-mail
Friday, 08 January 2010 07:46
A couple of days ago, I uploaded the photos of Rocket2 on to my Flickr page. I also dropped a couple of photos into the Make Pool. The photos in this pool appear on the side-bar of the Make blog. Well! One of the authors noticed it and decided to feature it! Neat :)

Rocket Squared Print E-mail
Friday, 01 January 2010 11:52
Rocket Squared - NakedAs my last scratch-build of 2009, I thought it was time I would have a go at building a square rocket. So here I present Rocket Squared or Rocket2!

Built using a central core of BT50 body tube with four strips of balsa glued around the outside. The rocket stands 42cm (or 16½") tall and has a 18mm motor mount. I have no idea how to build this in Rocksim?!

Rocket Squared - Side PaintedI spent some time trying to build a square nose cone but nothing looked quite right, so I sanded down the corners of the top-end of the airframe and stuck in a round one. Launch report to follow!

Click to embiggen

Russian & German Rocket Motors Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 December 2009 08:09
I recently ordered these motors from the Vlaamse Raket Organisatie.

Russian MRD20-10 (D Motor)
German D7-3
Russian rocket motor - MRD20-10 German rocket motor - D7-3

  • Total impulse: 20 Ns
  • Average thrust: 10 Ns
  • Thrust duration: 2 s
  • Dimensions (Ø x l): 20,2 x 85 mm
  • Total impulse: 20 Ns
  • Average thrust: 12 Ns
  • Thrust duration: 1.7 s
  • Dimensions (Ø x l): 23 x 70 mm

Click to embiggen
Camera Rocket - 1st Flights Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 December 2009 00:54
With the rocket season here very quickly coming to a close, I had a chance to launch this weekend just gone. I have a number of electronic payloads I really want to get into the air at the moment (including a BeeLine tracking transmitter, altimeter and a beeping locator beacon). As time was short, I decided to try out the new 'Gum stick' camera I recently purchased on eBay. I managed two flawless launches on Sunday and here's the footage:

The rocket was a quick scratch-build, BT50 with a 18mm motor mount. Both launches were on an Estes C6-5 with an altitude of just a few hundred feet, recovery under a 12" Mylar parachute. Ideal shake-down flights for the camera. I'll look at launching the camera in something much more exciting a Tripoli launch next year :)

Not bad for an $11.50 camera :) Two more videos after the jump!
Wombat's Hustler & the Kiss of Death Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 19:47
I recently went out to fly with Wombat - He had fitted out his Semroc Hustler with a Parrot Altimeter and a Pen Spy Camera. This was the first launch of the new electronics and while it wasn't responsible for deployment, it was to be a test to see how they perform under flight conditions. Loaded up with a single-use composite E, it was given the kiss of death....

Deployment was late.. Very late... The avionics bay was torn free of the parachute and booster and landed in the lake on the East side of the Dandenong Wetlands launch site. Ouch! All was not lost, though. Electronics recovered and washed-off with isopropyl alcohol and all look good at this stage!
Hostile Projectiles - V23 (Kit) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 November 2009 12:31
A recent post by Dick Stafford of The Original Rocket Dungeon put me onto a kit created by Steve Neill of Hostile Projects.

Steve is a Born-Again Rocketeer who has spent 30 years creating special effects for the movie industry (he created the ears for Spock in Star Trek the Motion Picture!). He returned to rocketry in 2009.

After reading through his site and seeing the work that he had done, I figure that these kits were going to be something special. I checked my bank balance & sent Steve an email - how much to ship a kit to Australia?

I processed a paypal payment straight after I got his response :)

The V23 kit - his first on offer - turned up about 10 days later. I wasn't disappointed! This is a great looking kit. I've snapped a few photos straight out of the box:

Hostile Projects - V-23 (Parts)
(click to view on Flickr)
October / November '09 Scratch projects Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 November 2009 10:18
I've been busy for the last 6 weeks designing and building three new scratch-built rockets. All finished and flight-tested today!

First up is "Red, Black & Balls" and "The Lance of Adequacy"

Red, Black & Balls The Lance of Adequacy

"Red, Black & Balls" is about 20" long and built around a BT20 body tube. Three ping-pong balls are mounted at the bottom (and cutting the holes top and bottom was a pain!). Launched today on a Quest A6-4 motor. Ejection was quite late but recovered without damage. a C6-4 would be a better choice for this but with the wind today I didn't want to risk it drifting too far. "The Lance of Adequacy" went up on a C6-5, again ejection was quite late since after motor burn-out it virtually stopped and began it's return to Earth. With such a large conical fin at the rear slowed it down and recovered without damage.

My favourite for the day was my "Cruz'n Missile"

Cruz'n Missile (Side View)

Cruz'n Missile (Side View) Cruz'n Missile (Bottom View)

The "Cruz'n Missile" flys on a 13mm motor and features a custom turned nosecone. I had a vague idea of building a cruise missile when I started this. Very happy with the results :) Doesn't break the sound barrier or reach orbit - but still gets up a respectable few hundred feet.

Launch photos of "The Lance of Adequacy" and "Cruz'n Missile" after the jump.
TRAAU October 4th 2009 Print E-mail
Monday, 05 October 2009 22:29
After a 230km (140 mile) drive to the October launch at Tripoli's Serpentine launch site things weren't looking good - rain and low cloud threatened to derail the day. However within a couple of hours, the cloud-base had lifted enough to allow the waver to open - with flights restricted to just a few thousand feet.

I started the day by launching my Estes Mean Machine on a E28W, good boost to somewhere around 1,000' and perfect recovery.

I also launched my QANTAS rocket and Der Red Max. The QANTAS rocket had a good, if not twisty, boost. Rocksim predicted an altitude of around 2500' on a G64 and it looked like it did that and more.

My Scratch-built Der Red Max was my third and final flight of the day. It screamed off the pad with a D13W installed, it appeared to apogee somewhere around 1000'. The 18mm RMS system really does give a kick to those small rockets, never fails to attact a few WOW's.

Qantas Rocket - Launch Qantas Rocket - Launch Der Red Max - Launch D13W

Click to embiggen
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