The Raging Sandwich

Sound Barrier Rockets (SBR) - Rocket Season 7/4/17 - 2/28/18

57 posts in this topic

Sound Barrier Rockets (SBR)

Homemade Rocket Program

The last year or so I've been building, testing, and launching homemade sugar rockets at my house. Each engine is a homemade version of Estes rocket motors, except a little bit better. I've built a static test stand to test each rocket motor. So far, I've completed a total of four static tests of what I call an F-1 motor.

After the third successful static test of an F-1 a year ago, I converted it into an actual rocket and conducted a vertical launch. It flew about a half-mile into the air in a spinning trajectory. We found it in the driveway in a nearby house's driveway. Here's a photo of the flying F-1:

gCHHahs.jpg

A fourth successful static test was conducted of another F-1 engine a couple months ago.

As of late, I've been designing a new rocket called the Cougar 1. It will house a much larger F-2 engine. The F-1 engine was a puny 5 inches in height. The F-2 engine is 1 foot and 4.5 inches long. It is as large as it is to launch a heavy payload of a camera and parachute over a mile into the air. Here's a picture of the Cougar 1 design:

rxKmqqv.jpg?1
I've also been building the Cougar 1 rocket as well. So far I've cut a hole in the tube and am currently in the process of cutting the camera platform into shape. The body tube is 2.5 inches in width and 2 feet 7 inches in height. In the picture is the body tube with the cutout. (That's my foot to the side. Whoops! :))

lxmzwHB.jpg

I'll be posting regular updates.

Tell me your thoughts below!

 

Edited by The Raging Sandwich
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So much for the "regular updates" thing... (I got caught up on other things.)

A rocket for the F-1 engine is nearing completion and will be making its maiden flight probably within the next few weeks. (I'll set a goal date of sometime before December 31.) So far I have the main body, the fins, the engine holder, parachutes, and the nosecone completed.

HV7cGKB.jpg

The launch lug will be made out of the ink tube of a pen and hot-glued (or maybe superglued) onto the main body tube so it can lift off of a normal model rocket launchpad.

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I really really really really want to do what you're doing. Just having a bit of some time finding potassium nitrate, that is.

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How does one go about getting clearance for something like this? Where I live bottle rockets can get you in trouble.

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Be aware that manufacturing solid rocket motors in the UK is illegal:

 

"Under the conditions of the 1875 Explosives Act, the 1883 Amendment, and later Prevention of Terrorism acts, it is an offence to manufacture your own solid fuel rocket motors, since these are classed as an explosive."

 

I don't know what the relevant US laws are. It's something to be aware of depending on where you're based.

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8 hours ago, The Space Dino said:

I really really really really want to do what you're doing. Just having a bit of some time finding potassium nitrate, that is.

I found some at Lowes as stump remover.

6 hours ago, todofwar said:

How does one go about getting clearance for something like this? Where I live bottle rockets can get you in trouble.

In America, you have a lot of space to do this in the south.

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1 hour ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

In America, you have a lot of space to do this in the south.

Yet it landed on someone's yard? :wink:

It's an awesome project, but seriously, do look into what your local legislation has to say about building and launching rockets. 

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3 hours ago, kurja said:

Yet it landed on someone's yard? :wink:

It's an awesome project, but seriously, do look into what your local legislation has to say about building and launching rockets. 

Don't worry, as long as it doesn't land on anyone's head (unlikely) they're fine with it. Someone I know has a much larger field so we can go there for bigger things.

Edited by The Raging Sandwich

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FREEDOM!!! LOL :D

We used to make our own model rocket motors with sulfur and zinc dust when we were kids. The store-bought ones worked much better, but it was still fun to make your own.

We also used to go shoot our model rockets off on the dry lake beds up by Edwards AFB. Until the MPs came out one time and asked us to stop doing that because they were showing up on the ATC radars and giving the controllers fits. :D

Now California regulates model rockets as fireworks, which means you basically can't have them unless you're permitted out of the wazoo. Nanny state nonsense.

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3 hours ago, TheSaint said:

We also used to go shoot our model rockets off on the dry lake beds up by Edwards AFB. Until the MPs came out one time and asked us to stop doing that because they were showing up on the ATC radars and giving the controllers fits. :D

Just go to Minmus, there's no one stopping you there!

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32 minutes ago, The Raging Sandwich said:

Just go to Minmus, there's no one stopping you there!

Well, we moved to Arizona. Where we are allowed to do all sorts of things we were not allowed to do in California. :wink:

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1 hour ago, TheSaint said:

Well, we moved to Arizona. Where we are allowed to do all sorts of things we were not allowed to do in California. :wink:

One guy made an nice replica of an civil war field cannon, his complain was that it was not legal for deer hunting, some stupid rule about shotgun caliber :)

Be careful, thing doing all the idiotic things as an kid learned us decent safety procedures as teens. Do not set off multiple large firecrackers indoor to destroy an lego ship, its hurt the ears and is overkill. Make sure the steering work on an stock car before doing the first test down an steep road with an sharp turn at the bottom

Had to stop with rockets after an slow learning curve, the huge fire bomb was not an good idea. We was already suspects so we canceled the idea. 
 
 

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Made the camera platform window for the Cougar Mk1. I'll put superglue, hot glue, or probably epoxy on the inside of it to make sure it stays on. (Can't have the camera slipping out of it, can we?)

m86ppo0.jpg

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I wish i could do this. But i live in small country with a pretty big population while looking at its size. Not the best place to do it. It would be a bit more acceptable during New Years Eve, but still, manufacturing explosives is (maybe) illegal in The Netherlands.

The only few things i could do is to go to the Sahara desert and make my rockets there or drain the North Sea, hey, im Dutch! 

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20 hours ago, magnemoe said:

One guy made an nice replica of an civil war field cannon, his complain was that it was not legal for deer hunting, some stupid rule about shotgun caliber :)
 

My general rule: If you need to hunt with a weapon like an assault rifle, machine gun, or cannon, you shouldn't be hunting.

3 hours ago, NSEP said:

I wish i could do this. But i live in small country with a pretty big population while looking at its size. Not the best place to do it. It would be a bit more acceptable during New Years Eve, but still, manufacturing explosives is (maybe) illegal in The Netherlands.

The only few things i could do is to go to the Sahara desert and make my rockets there or drain the North Sea, hey, im Dutch! 

:(

On 11/22/2016 at 0:50 PM, TheSaint said:

We also used to go shoot our model rockets off on the dry lake beds up by Edwards AFB. Until the MPs came out one time and asked us to stop doing that because they were showing up on the ATC radars and giving the controllers fits. :D

That's nothing, have you heard of the time in 1995 where there was almost a nuclear war because a NASA sounding rocket flew over Russia?

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14 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

My general rule: If you need to hunt with a weapon like an assault rifle, machine gun, or cannon, you shouldn't be hunting.

Well, that's easy enough then. Select-fire assault rifles and machine guns have been priced out of the reach of normal law-abiding hunters since 1986 by the combination of the National Firearms Act and the Hughes Amendment. Besides, they're completely useless for precision shooting like hunting anyway. And while you are allowed to own a cannon as long as it is registered as a Destructive Device with the BATF, they are not a legal means of take anywhere in the country. Haven't been since punt guns were banned back before the turn of the last century. But I digress.

49 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

That's nothing, have you heard of the time in 1995 where there was almost a nuclear war because a NASA sounding rocket flew over Russia?

Yeah, because they notified the Russians that they were launching the sounding rocket, and the Russians notified everyone on their side except for the guys who were actually watching the radar screens for missile launches. <facepalm>

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Just ran a simulation on the F-1 rocket. Max apogee is about 1,624 feet (495 meters), a little less than half of what it would be with just the engine. Not bad.

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Production of the F-2 motor will start probably within the month. Static test firing will come soon after.

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I was also thinking of doing this, but if I decide to do this I'll do it in December/January.

So far, what I've thought is:

Use PVC pipes as structure, use sugar+KNO3+aluminium powder as propellant, maybe try to make a nozzle with copper. Use delayed sugar+KNO3+baking soda mixture for automatic chute deploy.

Use RC aviation parts for control, use an old smartphone that I have as flight computer.

I'm still trying to figure out how to communicate, though. Maybe I'd have to make two dedicated antennas, one at ground and another at the flight computer. Maybe an FM or AM antenna. I'd need to learn coding, though.

Control would be done with mouse and keyboard (real life KSP). Unless I buy a joystick.

Edited by Aperture Science
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Again, have to mention that RC rockets/ rockets with guidance computers are totally illegal in many jurisdictions because they can be used as missiles. You can just about get away with auto-stabilization, but seriously guys, don't get yourselves arrested.

Contact your local NAR group for advice.

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3 hours ago, RCgothic said:

Again, have to mention that RC rockets/ rockets with guidance computers are totally illegal in many jurisdictions because they can be used as missiles.

To carry what? A dime-sized explosive that can't take out a brick?

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3 hours ago, RCgothic said:

Again, have to mention that RC rockets/ rockets with guidance computers are totally illegal in many jurisdictions because they can be used as missiles. You can just about get away with auto-stabilization, but seriously guys, don't get yourselves arrested.

Contact your local NAR group for advice.

I live in Brazil. Getting arrested is a joke here.

But yeah, I'm not really sure if guidance will work due to comms. I'll definitely try to find info about its legality, though.

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I vaguely remember an Australian who was working on building a cruise missile out of off-the-shelf components, as a "hey this is what a terrorist could do" kind of exercise, and indeed the authorities in Australia pretty much shut him down. So yeah, as always be aware of your local laws. My understanding is that even quite large model rockets can fly fine with just passive aerodynamic stability. Adding a control system is adding something else to go wrong - consider what would happen if it malfunctions and makes the rocket spin out of control, nosedive the ground, or fly sideways far further than intended.

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17 hours ago, _Augustus_ said:

To carry what? A dime-sized explosive that can't take out a brick?

Enough kinetic energy to break a window, and enough fuel to start a fire.

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Update: Due to a drought where I'm at, launching and static testing will be delayed until we get good rain. Firing engines now has a big chance of setting a fire. (Don't want that now, do we?)

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