Easy questions regarding two-stage model

Or at least I am sure they are questions that have been answered many times and possibly in many ways before, it's just that I'm having a little trouble
finding the answers at the moment...
Since my first (and so far only) model bit the dust the other week, I have decided to reincarnate the salvagable parts (fins, nose, motor mount) into some new tubes. But to be a bit more interesting about it (and since it was apparently a model of a multistage vehicle and had two sets of fins anyway) I thought I would turn it into a two-stage model.
First I was going to light the upper stage electronically. I couldn't quite work out where I was going to put the electronics. I'd built a payload bay for an altimeter I'd had for a present, and I'd thought of packing it in there. Then I was a bit confused about how to reliably run wires between two parts of the rocket designed to separate. I read about a bit, and discovered that the gubbins is most often located in the void between the motor tube and the main body. That space in my model is tiny, 24mm motor - BT60 body tube, so I can't do that. So I've gone over to a design that lights the upper stage using the ejection charge of the booster. Today's design has the motor tub in the booster stage extended forward so it slots over the protruding end of the motor in the upper stage. (Just thinking about that, I'll have to add a slot to accommodate the engine hook). I've done it that way for two reasons: first to try to get as much of the stuff to hit the back of the upper stage motor as possible; and second to try to protect the recovery device (probably a streamer) from the ejection charge and from the initial exhaust of the sustainer motor; and third (three reasons) because I know no better.
Question 1: Is that protection likely to be enough, or will I have to shield the streamer some other how as well? Question 1b: In knowing no better, have I missed a problem with doing it this way?
At the moment I'm half convinced that lighting the sustainer motor limits me to BP motors for the upper stage. For now, that's not so much of a big deal, but I just know that later on I'm going to want to send the model as high as I possibly can.
Question 2: Is it possible to light composite motors using some chemical means from the ejection charge of another motor? E.g. can I light a fuse either with an ejection charge, or off the top of a delay element which has enough oomph to light a composite motor (e.g. Aerotech AP) if I stuff the other end up into the motor core?
The next problem is that my simulations show that in all but the stillest conditions a BP motor for the booster doesn't get it flying quickly enough soon enough for it to fly reliably straight up, so I'd probably want to use a composite motor for the booster from day one. The only trouble is, I can't get motors with zero delay to light up the upper stage. The motors I have used (F24W-7 & F24W-4) in flying the model before C-day have delay elements which differ in length. I suppose I can take one of those, e.g. the 4s element, and shorten it further, e.g. with a flat bottomed drill bit, to get the delay I want (as close to zero as possible without going negative).
Question 3a: I am asking to go up in flames by drilling out the delay element material? (I suspect not, since I have seen other references to it but no details). What do I need to be careful with? Should I limit myself to doing it by hand to restrict the cutter speed? Question 3b: The difference in length between a 7s delay element and a 4s delay element is about 2.3mm. Does that mean if I take another 2.3mm off the 4s element I end up with a 1s element? (The elements are much thicker than 0.75mm/s burn rate would suggest, but I think the part that burns while the motor is lit probably burns much faster than the rest). Or are the two elements likely to be of a different composition?
That'll do for now.
Thanks for all the helpful answers (I hope).
Neil
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wrote:

Drilling delays only works to shorten a longer delay down to NO LESS than the shortest delay sold for that motor. REASON: If the delay is shorter, there will not be enough material left to retain the extremely high pressure while the propellant is still burning.
Only drill on the combustion chamber side.
Complete details are on the Aerotech website.
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Thanks. I found them now you said they were there.
Neil
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I suggest you go along to a club flight if there is one near you. All knowledge will then be yours. Failing that there is a lot more traffic on the UKRA public forum for which you can ask for a guest login without being a member. Failing that, you can gap stage BP motors up to 8" or so, above which you can use quickmatch. However, if your booster is only a bit longer than the motor, it's quite routine to expect it to light the sustainer and to use 'tumble recovery', i.e. no recovery at all. BTW it's not ejection charge from the booster, booster motors have no delay, it's just burn-through. AP is somewhat harder to light than BP so I don't know if it works with composite. Don't forget that altering a BP motor in any way is illegal in the UK. It's a prohibited 'act of manufacture'.
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I had been down to a couple (it was certainly the easiest way to get to a big enough, open enough field to fly without having to cross everything that it all wasn't going to end up stuck up a tree somewhere. I missed the last couple for various reasons, only some of which were not having a model to fly with anymore, and now there are no more (at least in that group) for some time, it seems. I'm sure I'll be there again.

From ukra.org.uk, how do I find the forum? I've spent a little while shuffling around the website and not found my way to it.

I may go for that. It is pretty small but feels quite weighty (to me) just to let it fall down by itself; it would be 70g plus the weight of the spent motor. And if I go for the suggestion of adding more motors to overcome the lack of a short-delay 24mm F motor to get it shifting quickly enough, it will be even heavier than that.
Neil
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Neil wrote:

If you email the webmaster you will get a reply but give them a chance they wear many hats.
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On Mon, 19 Oct 2009 23:20:42 +0100, "Neil"
<snip>

IF you drill a delay, holding the drill in the fingers is quite satisfactory. Each 1/16" (roughly) is two seconds of delay time. However, see below.

You are correct in that the delay grain composition is different from that of the propellant. If you drill out 2.3 mm you will probably have flame blow through the delay element before the thrust phase is complete, because the remaining delay is too thin to handle the chamber pressure.
There's also the issue of whether the output will actually light a BP motor. Maybe it will...but when a lower-stage BP motor ignites an upper-stage BP motor, it's from the bits of burning propellant that fragment and are tossed into the nozzle of the upper stage. Hot gases alone may not do the job. That's why venting the space between stages can allow up to 25 cm or more between the stages.
Suggestion: Cluster two or three BP booster motors around the central booster, each in its own pod. Light all on the ground. Boosters in their pods will eject, booster in the middle will light the upper stage.
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I did do some designs like that, but then I thought it was getting a bit extravagant. Perhaps it is the easier thing to do after all.
Neil
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