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  #1  
Old 08-13-2015, 03:17 PM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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Default Estes Motor Date Code Question

I am familiar with Estes motor date codes that have a letter to represent a year (X is 1993, Y is 1994, etc.) but I have some newer motors I believe are about 5 or 6 years old.

Two of the date codes are:

A110308, which I assume is November 03, 2008

A042009, which I assume is April 20, 2009

I've Googled and searched the forums for date code info, but have not seen this particular pattern mentioned. Can anyone confirm my assumption, or correct me if wrong?

Also, is the first letter perhaps a date code for "day of week"?

I really only care about year, but kind of curious about the entire code.
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Projects: Super Sky Hook, Estes Saturn V, Astron Farside-X
Stuck In the Paint Shop: Estes Saturn 1B
Completed!: Painted Prowler! (ditched the pink tube wrap ...)

Last edited by LeeR : 08-13-2015 at 06:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2015, 08:44 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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All of the 2000 and later Estes motors that I have used have had the letter 'A' at the beginning of the date, except for one pack of B4-2s with the code of 'B020201'. Your assumption about the numeric part of the date code is correct. Some of the more popular motor types (i.e A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, C6-5, etc.) made in 2011 or later may have one extra digit at the right end of the code.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2015, 09:13 AM
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eljefe eljefe is offline
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My recent motors have the MMDDYY code. Ones from around 2000 have a date that looks like MMYYYY. I have some probably from the late 80s or early 90s that have no code at all. When was the date stamp first used?
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:35 AM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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Thanks for the confirmation on the date code question I posed. Here is the information I found in the rec.models.rockets FAQ on older date codes:

5.12 How can I tell the age of my Estes motors?

Estes uses a date code on their rocket motors. It's of the form XXYZZ
(example, 25T9) where the first number is the day of the month of
manufacture, the letter is a code indicating year of manufacture, and the
last number is the month (1 = January, 12 = December). Date codes
run progressively through the alphabet, as follows:

T 1989
U 1990
V 1991
W 1992
X 1993
Y 1994
Z 1995
A 1996 - Estes cycled back to the beginning of the alphabet

In the early 70's, Estes motors had the actual date stamped on them.
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Projects: Super Sky Hook, Estes Saturn V, Astron Farside-X
Stuck In the Paint Shop: Estes Saturn 1B
Completed!: Painted Prowler! (ditched the pink tube wrap ...)
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:13 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeR
Thanks for the confirmation on the date code question I posed. Here is the information I found in the rec.models.rockets FAQ on older date codes:

5.12 How can I tell the age of my Estes motors?

Estes uses a date code on their rocket motors. It's of the form XXYZZ
(example, 25T9) where the first number is the day of the month of
manufacture, the letter is a code indicating year of manufacture, and the
last number is the month (1 = January, 12 = December). Date codes
run progressively through the alphabet, as follows:

T 1989
U 1990
V 1991
W 1992
X 1993
Y 1994
Z 1995
A 1996 - Estes cycled back to the beginning of the alphabet

In the early 70's, Estes motors had the actual date stamped on them.


The earilest Estes/Centuri motors with that style of date code that I have seen were some B6-6s with the code 11 G 7 or 11 Jul 76. I have also seen some motors of 1976 vintage with the the actual date printed them. YMMV. Please note that Centuri's 18/13/24mm motors were made in Penrose from 1961 to late 1970, and then from 1975 to 1983.
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Last edited by mwtoelle : 08-16-2015 at 09:35 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2015, 07:30 PM
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Here is my oldest motor, a B14-6 from 1968. Also shown are two 1970 motors, one marked Estes, the other marked Centuri. I've got several B14s, both upper stage, and boosters. I really should try one -- in a rocket I can afford to torch.
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Lee Reep
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Stuck In the Paint Shop: Estes Saturn 1B
Completed!: Painted Prowler! (ditched the pink tube wrap ...)
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2015, 04:17 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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If they have been stored in a a cool and dry place, they should be safe to use. I had some 1968 dated motors that I finally used up in the mid 1990s. No CATOs with those motors. Most of my Estes motors that have CATOed were much newer.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2015, 10:35 AM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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These old motors from the late 60s were acquired by me from another person, sometime in the early 70s. I am not sure how they were stored, but likely stored inside here in Colorado. If they might have been in a garage, then I could have issues. I got these so long ago I just do not remember the circumstances. But I also have some older rockets that have plenty of wear and could be candidates for flying these old, questionable motors.

All my motors from the early 90s to present have been stored in my basement -- so cool and dry year-round.
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Lee Reep
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Projects: Super Sky Hook, Estes Saturn V, Astron Farside-X
Stuck In the Paint Shop: Estes Saturn 1B
Completed!: Painted Prowler! (ditched the pink tube wrap ...)
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2019, 06:00 PM
vlad vlad is offline
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New to this site but wanted to share something I was told many years ago and can't verify truth. I was told when they use to put the actual manufacture date on the motors some people thought it was an expiration date and didn't use them. Anyone else ever hear that? My first flight was in 1973 with a poorly built model but it flew. When you are new at this and still a kid, don't buy a Mercury Redstone and think you are going to make the tower actually look like a tower.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2019, 07:10 PM
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erik442 erik442 is offline
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All my CATOS have been with newer motors as well. I found a cigar box full of old motors from the late 70s in my parent's attic a few years back. I have been using them up in models of the same vintage with great success. One thing I did notice was that they seem to be slightly more powerful than the new ones. I put up some of the old C65s and they roared off the pad with a flame trail twice as long as I am used to seeing.
The only ones I saved are enerjet B42s because they are still in the original packaging.
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