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-   -   Mini Launcher & Semroc kits (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=9623)

blackshire 07-20-2011 06:38 PM

Mini Launcher & Semroc kits
 
Hello All,

Below is a list of all of the Semroc model rockets that are compatible with Estes' new "Mini Engine Launch System" (002464, see: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bi...p?&I=LXBGNP&P=7 ) that includes the Mini Launch Pad. (It can also handle some 18 mm rockets [up to 16" long, 1" diameter, 1.5 oz. net weight], see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/no...a/88est006.html ). Semroc's kits that are compatible with the Estes Mini Launch Pad are:

Aerobee-Hi (KV-2) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KV-2
Aphelion (KV-26) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-26
Astrobee 350 (KV-13) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-13
Astro-Jr (KA-4) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KA-4
Astron (KA-23) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-23
Baby Orion (KA-31) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-31
BatRok (KV-53) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-53
Constellation (XES-K35) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...asp?SKU=XES-K35
Earmark (KA-19) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-19
Golden Scout (KV-4) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KV-4
Javelin (KV-16) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-16
Lil' Hercules (KV-14) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-14
Mark II (KV-1) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KV-1
Mark (XES-K2) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts....asp?SKU=XES-K2
Micron (KV-8) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KV-8
Mini Centurion (KA-28) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-28
Mini Explorer (KA-22) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-22
Moon Glo (KV-82) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-82
My Boid (KA-6) [see note below] http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KA-6
Rawhide (KV-19) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-19
SAM-3 (KV-79) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-79
Start (KA-25) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-25
Sky Hook II (KA-27) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KA-27
Sky Hook (KV-9) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KV-9
Snipe Hunter (KV-51) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-51
Starfire (KV-20) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-20
Stellar Spartan (KV-59) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-59
Swift (KV-24) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-24
ThunderBee (KA-1) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...ts.asp?SKU=KA-1
Triton (KV-23) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-23
XK-23 (KV-36) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...s.asp?SKU=KV-36
X-Ray (XES-K18) http://www.semroc.com/Store/scripts...asp?SKU=XES-K18

I hope this information will be helpful.

BEC 07-20-2011 07:55 PM

I was going to post about this launch system and related rockets later today, actually.

A Seattle area chain of drug stores called Bartell Drugs has these on hand and they are on sale for $7.99. They also have RTF mini-engined rockets - I picked up a "Sky Duster" (number 2462) - on sale for $5.99, and four-packs of 1/2A3-4Ts (with wadding), also on sale for $5.99. The other rocket they had in the Bartell's I was in was the "Fat Jax".

I had not heard of the rockets or that launch system before (though it's the same launch pad that's in the Moon Mutt launch sets and a standard-issue current version of the Electron Beam controller), nor had I seen 1/2A motors in mass-market packages (the colorful ones that also include wadding) before.

Nice list of Semroc rockets though I'm not sure I'd be comfortable launching some on your list from a 19 inch launch rod (two sections about 9.5 inches long). I have a Mark II, Aphelion, Astron, My Boid, Astro Jr., Constellation and Start all in flying condition, with several others listed either on hand or on their way. I also have cloned the X-Ray and have it ready to fly. I will have to give a couple a try on this little launch stand.

At Bartell's sale prices one can get an RTF rocket, a launcher AND four motors for $20 plus tax. Add four AA cells and you can fly four times. Quite a deal, actually.

blackshire 07-21-2011 01:18 AM

The third of the three new RTF rockets is the Nitro (see: http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXBGNM ). I'm glad to hear that the mini motors also come with wadding--"The Red Couch" store next door to my building is going to carry the new RTF rockets/Mini Pad & Electron Beam controller/mini motor packs display rack! Regarding launching the Semroc rockets that I listed from the Mini Launch Pad, this pad is "placarded" for use only in winds up to 5 mph because of its short launch rod. Also:

Even with the lowest-impulse 1/4A3-3T engines, the rather heavy (for their size) Bandito and Moon Mutt (and similar-size mini-engine rockets) have well in excess of the minimum launch acceleration to fly safely from the Mini Launch Pad. These two videos (see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mjpeRvRYpI&NR=1 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2W5HAXMY64 ) show a Bandito and a Moon Mutt being launched from a Mini Launch Pad in a small park, using 1/4A3-3T engines. In addition, this video by the same person (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWlA...feature=related ) shows the Bandito flying from the Mini Launch Pad on a 1/2A3-4T (which isn't one of the Bandito's recommended engines, yet the flight was completely successful). The lighter balsa-and-paper Semroc rockets that are within the pad's rocket size limits (up to 16" long and 1" in diameter) would have even greater liftoff acceleration.

BEC 07-31-2011 10:39 PM

Well, I stand corrected
 
4 Attachment(s)
....flying models up near the limit described above (1 inch diameter, 1.5 ounces or less with no motor loaded) off of the mini launcher works just fine.

Here are pictures of two of the Semroc rockets Blackshire listed above including one that is 1.39 ounces sans motor and wadding. It (the Aphelion KV-26) is also shown in a liftoff shot. That flight, on an Estes A8-3, was nominal save for the big smile dent in the NC (the second time in three flights this has happened). That's not an issue of the launcher, though.

The last window shows this launcher set, plus the three rockets that are being sold alongside it, along with packs of 1/2A3-4Ts, in some Bartell Drug stores here in the Seattle area. It's funny that I've found variations on the sale prices at different stores - and some store have motors and some do not.

But yes, this launcher can work fine with the Semroc rockets that Blackshire has listed above -of that I am now quite convinced.

hcmbanjo 07-31-2011 11:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
That's actually a great little LPR launcher.
I used mine for a while and still keep it in my range box as a standby launcher.
It takes up very little room when disassembled.
In the past they've been on EBAY for $.99!

I've always used a 1/8" X 36" launch rod on it. The picture shows it with my MMX Sky Writer and MMX adapter.

blackshire 08-01-2011 02:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
....flying models up near the limit described above (1 inch diameter, 1.5 ounces or less with no motor loaded) off of the mini launcher works just fine.
Thank you for testing the Mini Launch Pad with your Semroc rockets and for posting the pictures! What were the wind conditions at the time? (I've been thinking that as long as the Mini Launch Pad's launch rod is angled into the wind, it should work fine even in winds above its rated 5 mph maximum. It could be tilted into the wind by propping up one leg on some handy small object, and if necessary a weight could be hung from the pad's center section on a string to make the pad stable with heavier rockets [within its 1.5 ounce net weight limit] on it.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
Here are pictures of two of the Semroc rockets Blackshire listed above including one that is 1.39 ounces sans motor and wadding. It (the Aphelion KV-26) is also shown in a liftoff shot. That flight, on an Estes A8-3, was nominal save for the big smile dent in the NC (the second time in three flights this has happened). That's not an issue of the launcher, though.
Ouch! Is its shock cord short like typical Estes ones? Your paint job on it--in combination with the roll-pattern decal--is reminiscent of the Estes "Mini-Brute" Screamer's decor scheme.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
The last window shows this launcher set, plus the three rockets that are being sold alongside it, along with packs of 1/2A3-4Ts, in some Bartell Drug stores here in the Seattle area. It's funny that I've found variations on the sale prices at different stores - and some store have motors and some do not.

But yes, this launcher can work fine with the Semroc rockets that Blackshire has listed above--of that I am now quite convinced.
A few days ago I gave away four Mini Launch Pads with Electron Beam launch controllers (from Moon Mutt Launch Sets) to "The Red Couch" store next door to my apartment building so that they can put together their own starter sets (using Estes, Semroc, and Starlight rocket kits [as well as Estes motors] that I had given to the owner previously), but I just bought two more Moon Mutt sets off eBay! I look forward to using the Mini Launch Pad myself.

BEC 08-01-2011 10:21 AM

I didn't measure the winds, but based on prior measurements I'd guess 2 mph gusting to 5mph. Pretty light and within the stated limits.

The Aphelion is one of Semroc's RTB kits - it has an elastic shock cord that is 30 inches from the top of the body tube to the base of the nose cone. It certainly seems it should be long enough. I used orange instead of yellow for the base color, but otherwise followed the kit's face card scheme.

The Moon Mutt is short and has a 12 inch 'chute - a silly combo. These new RTFs are much more sensible - longer bodies and a 6 inch 'chute - which is plenty for a rocket that weighs less than an ounce including a spent mini motor on descent and which has plastic fins and nose.

blackshire 08-01-2011 01:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I didn't measure the winds, but based on prior measurements I'd guess 2 mph gusting to 5mph. Pretty light and within the stated limits.
Thank you for filling us in on this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
The Aphelion is one of Semroc's RTB kits - it has an elastic shock cord that is 30 inches from the top of the body tube to the base of the nose cone. It certainly seems it should be long enough. I used orange instead of yellow for the base color, but otherwise followed the kit's face card scheme.
Maybe the ejection charge was a bit stronger than usual--although not necessarily a "shotgun" one--and caused the "Estes Dent?" (Is it still considered an "Estes Dent" if an Estes motor causes one in a non-Estes rocket? :-) ). My brother Bob's late 1960s Centuri Astro-1 used a very similar orange with the black roll-pattern decal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
The Moon Mutt is short and has a 12 inch 'chute - a silly combo. These new RTFs are much more sensible - longer bodies and a 6 inch 'chute - which is plenty for a rocket that weighs less than an ounce including a spent mini motor on descent and which has plastic fins and nose.
That also explains why the Moon Mutt's recommended motors are *only* the 1/4A3-3T and the 1/2A3-2T, as it would drift away on its 12" parachute with higher-impulse motors. If Estes had brought out their 6" 'chutes (very sensible "laundry" for the Fat Jax, Nitro, and Sky Duster) earlier and incorporated them into the Moon Mutt kits, they could have gone all the way up to the A10-3T (although the A3-4T might yield higher altitudes due to the extra second of coasting time). I've been gradually buying Moon Mutts for their molded-in-red BT-20 nose cones, which are perfect for cloning the 1986-vintage "no painting required" Estes Viking. (Sandman has the decals for it, which are somewhat similar to the Centuri Viking's decals.)

BEC 08-01-2011 01:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Thank you for filling us in on this.Maybe the ejection charge was a bit stronger than usual--although not necessarily a "shotgun" one--and caused the "Estes Dent?" (Is it still considered an "Estes Dent" if an Estes motor causes one in a non-Estes rocket? :-) ).
I've wondered about that myself. :D I seem to get 'em too often in my Semroc rockets - but then they have those nice light balsa nose cones.

Quote:
That also explains why the Moon Mutt's recommended motors are *only* the 1/4A3-3T and the 1/2A3-2T, as it would drift away on its 12" parachute with higher-impulse motors. If Estes had brought out their 6" 'chutes (very sensible "laundry" for the Fat Jax, Nitro, and Sky Duster) earlier and incorporated them into the Moon Mutt kits, they could have gone all the way up to the A10-3T (although the A3-4T might yield higher altitudes due to the extra second of coasting time).
And why it was so stupid that Wal-Mart sold Moon Mutt sets and yet the only mini motors you could buy there then were A10-3Ts. My own Moon Mutt got a streamer after its first flight and it's 'chute moved to my first Quest Astra, where it replaced a 14 inch Quest 'chute that repeatedly refused to open in spite of careful packing and talcum powder.

Quote:
I've been gradually buying Moon Mutts for their molded-in-red BT-20 nose cones, which are perfect for cloning the 1986-vintage "no painting required" Estes Viking. (Sandman has the decals for it, which are somewhat similar to the Centuri Viking's decals.)

These new RTFs all use the same cone, but in different colors of course (green, orange, black).

Doug Sams 08-01-2011 02:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
And why it was so stupid that Wal-Mart sold Moon Mutt sets and yet the only mini motors you could buy there then were A10-3Ts.
That seems to have been a problem at WalMart throughout the period Estes was available there. Seems the folks in Bentonville are smarter than Estes ;) when it comes to which motors should be stocked (NOT).

Alas, I haven't seen anything Estes in WalMart the past couple years (here in north Texas).

Doug

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