Ode to the PerfectFlite StratoLoggerCF

To have a traditional dual-deploy high power rocket, you must have a flight computer. This flight computer has a built-in altimeter and programmable logic to fire pyrotechnic charges. To do my Tripoli Level 2 certification flight, I wanted to use a flight computer to get practice for my Level 3 attempt.  After reading reviews online I decided on the StratoLoggerCF built by PerfectFlite which I purchased from Apogee Components. I have been very happy with this computer and have flown it on numerous flights. So, without further ado here is my ode to the PerfectFlite StratoLoggerCF.Closeup - PerfectFlite StratoLoggerCF

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PVC Rocket Cradle

When I went to my first couple of launches, I noticed that a lot of people had stands to hold their rockets while they prepped them for flight.  There were metal and wooden cradles that worked well.  I also saw a PVC cradle that looked easier for me to build.Body tube on cradle - PVC Rocket Cradle

Self-priming PVC glue - PVC Rocket CradlePVC pipe is easy to work with.  It is like putting together tinker toys (that reference dates me, I know).  As this rig will not be holding any water pressure, buy the PVC glue that does not need a primer.  That eliminates a lot of the mess.

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Rocket Motor Design Class – Day Two

Rocket Motor Design Class – Day Two started with a discussion of solid rocket motors.  Interesting fact, one of the first useful American solid rocket motors was made in World War Two.  It was used to assist U.S. Army Air Corps bombers in taking off from small Pacific islands as many of the runways were very short.  The motor was made with ammonium perchlorate as the oxidizer and asphalt as the fuel.

John Wickman Burn Demo - Rocket Motor Design Class - Day Two
John Wickman in all his glory!

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Rocket Motor Design Class – Day One

I signed up for this course a few months ago and it started today.  You can find out all the details at Design & Make Your Own Solid Rocket Motors. I flew into Denver yesterday, rented a car, and drove to Caspar, Wyoming to attend this class.  After dodging a tornado, driving through a hail storm, and siting antelope; I arrived.  So let’s start with the Rocket Motor Design Class – Day One.Fun facts - Rocket Motor Design Class - Day One

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MixKwik Spray Paint Can Shaker

One of the things I hate is shaking spray paint cans when I am finishing a rocket.  I am not interested in getting a paint gun and thinning paint, cleaning, etc.  So I end up stuck using spray paint cans.

Many times, the cans have been in storage for a long time and it takes a lot of shaking to get a good paint result.  Enter the MixKwik spray paint can shaker!Basic view - mixkwik spray paint can shaker Continue reading “MixKwik Spray Paint Can Shaker”

Book review Make: High-Power Rockets

Front cover of Make: High-Power Rockets - book review make: high-power rocketsWhen I decided to get back into model rocketry, I really did not know a lot about high-power rocketry.  After attending a launch, this facet of the hobby really excited me.  Surfing the internet led me to many sites and sources.  One source was this book.  Here is my book review Make: High-Power Rockets by Mike Westerfield.

Book Review  Make: High-Power Rockets

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Avionics Bay Sled

Image of rocket Avionics sled
Avionics Sled

This is a electronics sled for an avionics bay in one of my rockets.  It will be placed inside a Binder Design Excel 4-inch rocket for my Level 2 Tripoli certification.

I used 1/8-inch basswood to make the sled.  I cut it to fit inside the bay with a hobby knife.

The dual deploy altimeter is a PerfectFlite StratologgerCF.  I purchased this board from Chris’ Rocket Supplies.

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