Binder Design Excel 38mm (Complete) Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2009 10:07
Binder Design Excel 38mm (Finished)It's finally done, I've finished the Binder Design Excel 38mm kit!

Well, almost. In the next few days I will give it a couple of coats of clear gloss just to seal everything in, but it won't change the look. I decided to go with a very different paint job to the stock rocket, and am happy with the result - nice and bright! I shouldn't lose that now.

I originally thought about painting it yellow from top to bottom, however after a coat of primer, a coat of white and a coat of yellow, the red line for the launch lugs was still bleeding through, so a coat of orange hid that.

At the moment, solid rocket motors with more than 62.5 grams of propellant aren't allowed to be flown in this great state of Victoria. Worksafe are currently reviewing their regulations and are open to submissions on how the explosives act can be updated. The good news is that Tripoli Australia and the Australian Rocketry Association have put aside their differences and are working together to try and get the law updated as quickly as possible. But for now, the Excel may simply sit and look pretty in my lounge room...

Some build photos can be seen here

Binder Design Excel 38mm (Build) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 01:55
Binder Design Excel 38mm (Build)Over the last few weeks I have been working on my Binder Design Excel 38mm. I had held off building it until my replacement fins arrived.

Cutting the fin slots was a nerve wracking experience! After getting advice from other builders and reading all I could find on the web, I put knife to tube. I masked out the area to be cut using masking tape and, armed with a Binder Design Excel 38mm (Build)brand-new #11 blade and a right-angle straight-edge, slowly cut the slots. They turned out perfect :)

The 10-ply fins are solid. Very solid! So solid that it took ages to sand them down. After sanding, they got a thin coat of finishing epoxy and then more sanding. They've turned out smooth... Ooohhh.. Smooth.

The instructions showed both forward and rear centering rings being glued onto the motor mount tube and then installed in the rocket prior to attaching the fins. I differed from this step by not gluing the rear centering ring - allowing it to be removed. Fins went in next and having access at the rear allowed for the application of internal fillets on all fins as well as attaching the rail button.

Apart from installing the Aeropac motor retainer, The rocket is built!

I'm still debating with the colour scheme - should I go stock or paint something different... I'll make a decision on that after I've given it a spray of undercoat.
Binder Design - Spike (Complete) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 11:54
Binder Design SpikeAt the start of the year I purchased two Binder Design kits - the Excel 38mm and the Spike. Over the last couple of months I have been working on the Spike and am very happy with the end result!

Standing 30" tall (76cm) doesn't make it the biggest in my fleet (that honor goes to the Estes Mean Machine at 6.5" tall!) but I think it's one of the best kits I have put together to date.

The kit comes with a plastic nose cone, ply centering rings, heavy-duty cardboard body tube and motor mount, very nice high-quality plywood fins, rail buttons, tubular nylon shock cord, 18" parachute and detailed step-by-step instructions.

After running the design through rocsim, I added a couple of gramms of weight to the nose (there's a note on the front page of the instructions about this) for stability. I deviated only once from the instructions with regard to building the fins. Instructions call for mounting the two centering rings and then glueing in the fins - I didn't glue in the rear centering ring, allowing me to apply internal fillets to the through-wall fins - I believe that this will make for a more robust rocket.

I also made the decision not to use the rail buttons, instead using a 1/4" rod lug.

I can't wait to fly it!
Multi-purpose launch tower Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 11:26
Multi-Purpose launch towerAlmost 18 months ago I found an old telescoping light stand that was being thrown out. It seemed solid and I figured that I'd put it to use one day... Well, that day has come!

I've removed the telescoping sections and have now turned up a drop-in slug with a 1/8" launch rod fitted in the middle. I am half-way though making a 2nd one that will hold my launch rail as well as one for a 1/4" rod. It was flight-tested last weekend and am very happy with the results :)

More photos on Flickr
Atari 2600 Joystick Rocket Flights 1 & 2 Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2009 12:24
The Atari 2600 Rocket takes to the skies!!

Perfect boost! Flying on an Estes C6-5, the joystick leapt off the rod and screamed straight up into the sky. The 2nd flight, however, was somewhat more dramatic!
Atari 2600 Joystick Rocket Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2009 12:18
Atari 2600 Joystick RocketAs I was growing up, I was privileged to witness the dawn of the home video game era.

I had spent countless hours bashing a silver ball up and down an inclined play-field, utilising nothing but two fingers to manipulate a pair of rubber-coated flippers in a vain attempt to win a free game or beat the standing high score (typically held by someone called 'ACE', 'POO', 'ASS' or any one of a number of humorously creative three-letter words.)

Atari 2600 Joystick RocketVideo games slowly appeared, typically tucked away in the same smoke-filled rooms as their electromechanical counterparts. These rooms, often found out the back of the local Italian coffee shop, were not the places that the youth of the time should be visiting, or so our parents would have us believe.

1977 Was the dawn of an era as the Atari corporation released the Atari VCS and every kid wanted one.

So this is my hommagé to that time, a scratch-built Atari 2600 Joystick rocket!
Lord Neville 3rd Flys! Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2009 11:39
Woke up today to very rocket-friendly weather! Not a breath of air in the sky. So I stuck a C6 up Lord Neville 3rd's clacker and hit the launch button...

Not quite what I was hoping for but some more nose weight should fix the stability issues :)
Lord Neville 3rd Print E-mail
Friday, 20 March 2009 10:24
I built this a little while ago and still waiting to fly it. But since I had the camera out, I figured that I'd take a few photos and put them up!

Lord Neville 3rd

Scratch-Built model rocket. Three ping-pong balls make up the 'feet' BT50 body tube with an 18mm motor mount & BT50 nosecone. So, will it fly??!!
Red & White scratch rebuild Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 March 2009 00:47
I've been doing a bit of re-building recently, another disaster now repaired. Once Called "The Big Nuke", a bonus delay on an Aerotech motor saw a zipper tear down both sides to just above the bottom of the 'check' mark around the top. I got myself motivated, trimmed off the top 3 or 4 inches and gave it a new lick of paint. Now simply called "Red & White" (because I can't think of a better name) has flown again! First video on an E9, the 2nd (after the jump) is on an E30. Flys like a charm and looks super under its matching red & white parachute!

Rebuilt Mini Mean Machine Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 March 2009 00:39
At the end of January, I took a trip to Benalla with a boot-load of rockets. Some few well, while others didn't go as planned. My scratch-built Mini Mean Machine was one of the casualties. Originally launched to an absurd height on a D13 RMS motor, it came back down without the aid of a parachute (it was still tucked away in the end of the body tube). I managed to save almost 1/2 the length of the rocket, rebuilt it, repainted it and last week put it up again on a more realistic A8 motor. It was a fine flight with perfect recovery. Here's the video:

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