Aerotech Initiator?

Folks I've been out of rockets for a couple of years and just came accross it all in the attic. 99% of it was the estes stuff. I was preparing to get
into hpr with the aerotech kit a few years ago.
Is it a wise idea to go that route instead of a rail and quad pod or something like that? Money IS an object.
Assuming I do go the initiator route... can you kind folks please answer a few questions.
1. List any/all modifications that you did (or wish you did) when you built yours. I remember vaguely about people saying the steel baffling was no good and a few other things (their glue? etc)
2. What's the dif btw Aerotech regular [disposable] motors and Econojets?
What about upgrading/downgrading later?
Example, most of the rockets I have from estes have those little round lugs on them to use a thin (1/8 & 3/16" if I remember right) launch rods.
Should I scrap the launch rod on the mantis pad and go with a black sky rail or something?
I'm going to start soon and don't want to say jeeze I wish I knew this earlier.
I also remember something about using an adjustable drill chuck to change launch rods on some pads, is this a wise thing to do?
I do not want to go out and have to bring 4 launch pads with me for the day to launch all my rockets folks. That's why I want the launch pad to be the one size fits all for the tiny estes stuff on up to the aerotech size stuff.
Yes, I do have an eye towards rail buttons in case I ever do take the next step up, but I'm thinking this size line may be as big as I go with aerotech rockets (and same sized ones from competitors)
Thanks folks!
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Ok here goes.....went through the same thing 3 yrs ago.....econojets use to come in 2 packs for 15-20 bucks .....no more a few months ago they changed manufacturing process.....now sold singley for almost the same as single use......the only way to go economically is re-loads small e-f-g sizes cost 6- 12 dollars....re-loadable case to fly same 35-50 depending on where you buy.....the auction on this site and e-bay are great...especially if you are not concerned with new .....great deals on used stuff...............try www.buyrockets.com ....you will find a plethera of suppliers and info..... www.railbuttons.com you can get them here for 25cents @ plus 1.50 sh.......useing these plus a small rail will eliminate " rod whip" on heavier low power rockets.....info on where to get rails and building a very cheap rail launcher also here.....keep your pad for estes stuff if you want....but if you have not used it yet....sell it they are junk....10.00 will get you enough pvcpipe from home depot lowes etc. to build one just as good and much stronger....some one else can tell you how to do that went with rail my self... my many times broken and repaired mantis pad is in the garage. the launch control is ok...find a local club if possible....great source of info and fun...they will have pads and controllers....... www.tripoli.org and www.flyrockets.com will show you how to find clubs in any state and supply launch schedules....oh....rails can also be found on e-bay 6ft one for under 20 bucks...do a search... Now for the rocket........leave out the motor hook...engine block and spacers.........this will allow for using larger motors should you ever desire....and if your like the rest of us, sooner than later,you will.......I've flow my Wart Hog on H motors...........final site to vist....... www.rocketreviews.com ......go to reviews.....the manufacterer....then aero-tech......then initiater.....many opinions and modifications to be found here....you will see when you get there ......nufff said about that.......I would definitely provide for motor retention while building my rocket.....remember you are leaving the motor hook out.....it will limit you to small motors if left in .....for single use motors....you can wrap 1/4 masking tape around the nozzle end of caseing, to make a thrust ring.....this gives the motor a "lip'on it so it won't shoot thru the rocket....and you will want to move the rear motor mount centering ring back....almost flush with the airframe....but leave a 1/2 of the motor mount sticking out....for retention on this type of rocketI use the little brass insrts..threaded on the outside and inside.....can be found at all hardware store....usually infurniture repair or nuts and bolts section ......there you will find the macthing thread size allen bolts or screws to fit...a couple of screen door clips will round out all that is needed for top notch motor retention....use the smallest ones you can ..they will be plenty srtong for aero tech stuff....it will cost more for the gas to get there than all the parts combined 1.50-2.00............drill correct size hole 3/16 away from motor tube in rear ring screw in, let drop of superglue soak in your done...be careful not to get any in the threads though.....a little vaseline filling the holes will prevent this....a tip worth remembering should you ever start building high power stuff with epoxy....works here also.. 2 mounts centered opposite each other are enough.....more motor retention info is on this site [ROL] under info central...thats enough for me...I'm sure there will be much more ideas from others....that's thegreat thing about this site!!!!!!! And finally welcome back and good luck jim h. ps almost forgot.....scrap the elastic shock cord and use small tubular nylon or kevlar....I didn't listen to that one upon my return and it cost my hard head 2 rockets before i learned my lesson....also can be found at the hardware store with the rope,cable section......fabric stores like hancock have it too......good way to trick the wife ingoing with you, most love fabric stores!
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The only thing I do not really like about the Initiator (rocket) is its weight.
The rocket is 16 ounces empty, making it above the FAA notification limit no matter what you put in it. I bought their "web special" - the Airspike (generic, decal-less Mustang) and a pair of F20-7W for the $60 including shipping. It only weighs 11 ounces, making it less than FAA notification as long as the motor has less than 113g of propellant, which it will for any of the "model rocket" motors. The Airpsike will do 2800 or better on a G80, and a reasonable 900 feet on a E23.
I built the Airpspike stock, exactly to the instructions. I have launched it on E23's (reload) and one of the F20's(econojet), off of the Mantis. With the speed of the Airspike, I did not see any rod whip. I can definitely see, however, how the Mantis is easily broken.
FWIW from a relative beginner.
--
Tom Koszuta
Western New York Sailplane and Electric Flyers
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So much for its namesake.

That's a "great" combo deal.

It's worth a lot.
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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