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  #21  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ltvscout
Well, they used to have the B8 and then the C5. I don't know of anything currently close to it.
Yeah, that's what I was gonna say. The B8 replaced the B14. The B8 had a pressed cored versus the B14's drilled core, as I understand it. The result was not as much kick, but easier to manufacture.

The C5 was the B8 with more powder on top. Because of the large nozzle (needed for a core burner), once the core burn reduces to a simple flat burn, there's not enough restriction and the thrust is appreciably reduced, hence the low tail. (That's pretty much the same for the A10, too.) While I'd prefer the B14, I'd be happy with a B8.

Basically, I wonder how well 3-stagers flew without them. I've heard of folks (Bob Kaplow, IIRC) who have flown Farsides on 1/2A-1/2A-xxx on ballfields. I guess it's possible on a calm day. And it probably staged on the rod

But if you think about it, the A8-0, B6-0 and C6-0 are all kinda wimpy for 1st stage use in anything but the most dainty 3-stagers. Otherwise, it's just gonna crawl off the rod. (This is, btw, where I think the C11-0 fit very well, as a quasi-replacement for the B14. RIP.)

I have flown 3-stagers using A10-0T to A10-0T to xxx, and that works well in small models. But the B14 seems like a necessity for Farsides, et al. Until then, I plan to build my Farside clone with a 24mm 1st stage. C'mon Semroc B14

Doug
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  #22  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:28 AM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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There is NOTHING even close to the old B14 available in the 18mm BP arena now.
It had more kick off the pad than anything up to and including the D12.
In booster guise (B14-0) it was GREAT for getting heavy 2/3 stage models off the pad such as the Camroc/Delta combo and the Farside-X with a heavy payload. The B14-5 was also great in a 3 engine cluster for the Astron Ranger, Astron Cobra, and Astron Scrambler....this cluster was equivalent to a 15n-sec D42-5 !!!!
Those fins better have been glued on good !
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Last edited by ghrocketman : 03-19-2007 at 03:10 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWolman
If Semroc is looking to build distribution through retail/hobby stores (which may be required to get enough volume to justify selling motors) then motors to replace existing Estes/Quest make sense, as long as there is a competitive advantage (i.e. price or other feature). This makes is easy for a customer to choose Semroc motors instead of Estes/Quest.
That only works if the new player stays on the fringe and doesn't appear to be a threat. But as soon as he does, history shows that the Alpha male, in this case Estes, will crush threats quickly. The only way startups can withstand this is to have, as you astutely surmise, a competitive advantage - IOW, Semroc develops a manaufacturing breakthrough of some sort.

If they actually can do that, then making and successfully selling mainstream motors in the traditional commercial channels is possible.

Assuming there is no breakthrough, then product differentiation is the key.

I work for a company that 2nd sources lots of IC's. We come to market with many chips after the competition is well established. But we can do it with our low cost production model - we can carve out market share by selling on price.

OTOH, when we bring sole sourced products, we can charge a lot more and pay off our NRE much faster, thus getting to profitibility much faster.

My take is that the devoted rocket modelers may be a small chunk of market, but they all have their checkbooks out ready to buy bulk packs of B14's. That's quick ROI which can then be used to fund an assault on the mainstream.


Doug
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  #24  
Old 03-19-2007, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle3
I honestly believe folks will see this as the evolution of BP motors.
I wholeheartedly agree that these delays are evolutionary. That's obvious to hard core rocketeers.

To the 10-thumb dads, though, the delays need to be pre-assembled. IOW, the differentiated product we think is so kewl must be rendered mundane to be mainstreamed. What I'm saying is that we all see the advantage, but Wal-Mart shoppers won't. For them, it's "undesirable assembly required"

I still think it's kewl, but I'm having a hard time seeing a way to leverage it in the mass market.

Doug
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  #25  
Old 03-19-2007, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas Russell
Darn, now I am starting to have second thoughts (or maybe it was the second cup of coffee).
Chas,

You first asked us what _we_ wanted. "What would you like SEMROC to provide first?" Later, you asked a different question: "What should SEMROC offer to the (unwashed) masses...?"

Selling to the masses requires either a manufacturing breakthrough, a differentiated product that can be leveraged to the mainstream, or lots and lots of capital to outspend the entrenched players. The latter is only done when there is rapid growth potential of the whole market - ie, a new market. The MR market would be considered mature, and hence bad ROI for an attack of capital. This leaves a process breakthrough or leveraging product innovations.

Simply making mainstream motors under a new brandname is a tough marketing strategy. Yes, it has a new brandname, and higher quality. But is that enough difference to be a catalyst for change? Will it overcome the existing paradigms? I already have 1000 motors or so at the house. I don't need any B6-x's or C6-x's - I've got plenty of everything currently or recently available.

I'm like the buyer-planner at Wal-Mart. I already have a source (Estes) for B6-x's and C6-x's. I don't need another source. I need a supplier of complementary products. For example, for a while there, Quest MicroMaxx were at Wal-Mart. My guess is they made sense to Wal-Mart as fitting nicely alongside Estes (without redundancy).

At this time, I don't see any clear plan for displacing Estes. But complementing them makes sense. Hence gap motors. Even that probably won't get them on the shelf at Wal-Mart. But I'll certainly get out my check book for differetiated product.

Doug
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  #26  
Old 03-19-2007, 06:16 PM
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A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWolman
If Semroc is looking to sell through direct mail, then having unique motors (such as the B14) makes more sense - the uniqueness of the motor then becomes the competitive advantage. If through direct mail - there's much less of a reason for a customer to choose a Semroc B6-4 (for example) than an Estes/Quest when the E/Q motors are already available at the local hobby shop and Wal-Mart.



Very true. I never thought about the possibility of direct mail. In that case, the more unique the product, the better.
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On the build floor: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, RDC V-Max

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  #27  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:16 PM
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Chas Russell Chas Russell is offline
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Mr. Doug Sams asked:

"You first asked us what _we_ wanted. "What would you like SEMROC to provide first?" Later, you asked a different question: "What should SEMROC offer to the (unwashed) masses...?"

Quite right, Doug. I guess that I was asking the first question as "we" being an advisory body to SEMROC, based on their list of possible motors. The second question was because "we" would be a small, fringe market that could not justify the investment in time, money, blood, sweat, and tears (going down gambling...). What should they produce that would give them a niche, but qualifying market? There have been some great comments here and my only reason for starting this thread was to stimulate discussion so that Carl and Bruce had some inspiration. Not only does the machine have to be successfully developed, but casings, BP, clay, etc. has to be purchased and stored. As we know, the motors will have to "cure" after manufacture to dry out the wet-pressed propellant.

Since we are not privy, and need not be, to the volume of kit sales and the list of SEMROC clients, it is difficult for any of us to judge their potential sales volume. Motors tested and certified by the NAR, a larger advertisement budget...all details.

I apologize for seeing "we" as a flexible parameter.

B14's and shorts....

Chas
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  #28  
Old 03-19-2007, 07:29 PM
James Pierson James Pierson is offline
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Lightbulb One Stop Shopping.

I would prefer one stop shopping myself. If I am going to buy some B-14's I would also want to buy my most often used B-4, B-6, and C6 in the same purchase. Also the fewer times I put my card online the better .

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  #29  
Old 03-19-2007, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chas Russell
What should they produce that would give them a niche, but qualifying market?
Now you're asking the tough questions

Let's call them segue motors (seg-way for everyone who missed the segway thread on rmr a few years ago

Consider this: In most - nearly all - cases, you can fly a given model on a high thrust motor just as easily as on a medium or low thrust motor. The converse is not necessarily true. A medium sized model might weathercock badly on a B3, and a heavy one may not even get off the rod. But, barring a shred, a light, medium or heavy can fly on a B14.

So, B14's are more flexible than B6's or B3's. Niche rocketeers can put them in their Farsides while mainstream rocketeers can fly them in Astras and Alphas.

A similar argument can be made for just about any impulse range MR motors.

I don't have a crystal clear vision of exactly what will win, but I think the case for high thrust motors makes the most sense.

O/T: Chas, were you sweating pretty good along about 2:15 Saturday afternoon?

Doug
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  #30  
Old 03-19-2007, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Sams
O/T: Chas, were you sweating pretty good along about 2:15 Saturday afternoon?

Doug


A free throw. Just a lousy free throw. I wonder if they had that kid on suicide watch?
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I miss being SAM 0058

On the build floor: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes - ESAM-58, Semroc Squire, RDC V-Max

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Farside X, Estes Astron Apogee, FRW Star Jart, Semroc Cherokee D, Semroc SLS Scorpion
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