Email address to Estes customer service?

I have been flying Estes rockets for 20 years now and finally got my friends to get into the hobby. I bought them each a kit and every one of them had problems I have never
ever had in the years I have been launching these things. We are having recovery wadding burning which is in turn destroying parachutes and shock cords which caused us to lose 1 model and destroy two others. I don't know if the ejection charges are hotter than they used to be but I have never had problems like this. Until I figure it out I went back to crepe paper streamer wadding and did another 20 launches with my own models and didn't have one single problem.
Anyone know an email for their customer service dept? I spent a lot of money on engines and kits for 3 people and want to talk to someone about this. If Estes reads this,email me at snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com
Thanks Rob
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You can reach Estes customer service at: 1-800-525-7561
These are nice people. Be gentle.
A

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Are you using the "number of squares" method (which I hate) or the "fill up a length of body tube equal to 3 body tube diameters with fluffy wadding and blow it down - like a blow gun - until it goes "thunk" against the motor mount to form a wadding piston that will slide freely and prevent hot gasses from leaking around it" method?
And also, some Estes models just cannot be properly 'wadded'. The Alpha/Alpha III is too short for my taste. The Generic E2X is perfect length. Many of the tiny, short/fat mini-models are too short and the shock cords fail right away.
"Short rockets = evil"
;-)
Call Estes, report your problems and they will mail you replacement products.
The manufacturing code on the motor casings is important as well. Did the ejection charges sound very loud? There was a batch a few year ago where they went "BANG" like a fire-cracker instead of "pop" like a normal Model Rocket Motor ejection charge. Those motors would blow the side of the rocket out before the nose cone could even pop off the top. If this is actually what happened, then Estes needs to know the codes. We would also like to know the codes so we can be on the lookout for similar problems.
And if there really is a motor problem, you should submit a M.E.S.S. form for each malfunction.
http://nar.org/NARmessform.html
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117 http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&userid=shreadvector
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Why do you hate that method?
Eldred
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It allows leakage. People blindly pack exactly the number of squares without any regard to forming a gas seal/piston with the wadding. As a matter of fact, if you crumble the wadding squares too tight, the ejection gasses can easily pass around the sides since there will be huge gaps.
THE reason for wadding is to form a gas seal/piston.
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
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Not quite correct. It's not hot gas you need to block, but burning particles. The baffle system I use (see my .sig) does little to block or cool the gasses. It does block the still burning particles, preventing chute damage.
"Dog Barf" wadding is particularly bad as it clumps, and lets the ejection blow holes through it, allowing he burning particles to get through. On my medium to large rockets, I "diaper" my chutes in a manner very similar to the early chute / streamer protecters. It's sort of like making a blintz, burrito, or mu-shu. I use the sheets of crepe cut in squares about 2-3 times the body diameter. For smaller models, I find the Quest blue wadding to be ideal. Unlike the treated TP, it doesn't easilly rip.
BTW, I long ago found out that the Quest wadding is the paper used in making parade floats, precut to the size we see, so it can be poked into chicken wire with an index finger. But I've never figured out where you get this float decorating paper in quantities. Or colors other than blue. Maybe because I was in the science club instead of the "jock" high school activities. Where do you find the stuff?
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
Save Model Rocketry from the HSA! http://www.space-rockets.com/congress.html
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Yes, I simplified it. but I was correct that you need to form a piston/seal with the wadding. I prefer Cellulose Insulation but for most models it's easier to insert a small square of Estes or Quest wadding in the shape of a cup (poke gently with finger into the tube to form the cup), then I insert the cellulose. Again, I fill a length of tube equal to 3 times the diameter, then I blow it to the bottom like a blow-gun.
As for parade floats, I have yet to work the Rose Parade, but all the coverings are flower/plant/nutshell from what I've heard.
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
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I do exactly that,I have typically been using 4 or 5 pieces per launch blown to the bottom,no light shows through. I still got burned chutes and shock cords. I went to using the same method except using pieces of crumpled flame resistant party streamer and I havent had the problem since. I got some of the regular wadding back from a few launches and it is very badly burned. I lit a piece with a lighter and it burned like paper. No flame resistance at all.
I have been doing this for 20 years except I have always used streamer up until the kits I bought for my friends (who are all over 50 and rocket newbies by the way),who started using the wadding in the kits just to follow the instructions. We lost 1 max track cone,2 bodies,and a snapshot cone. All within 2-3 launches of being new out of the package.

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DH wrote:

The problem probably isn't with the wadding itself. I have used plain facial tissue and toilet tissue with 100% success on several occasions when launching privately. The tissue prevents direct flame contact with cords/chutes but does tend to catch fire itself. It always goes out before hitting anything. Considering that, even wadding that mistakenly skipped the flame retardent treatment should prevent shock cord scorching if the packing process is done correctly.
I've only had a couple of scorched shock cords and each time it was with kits where the shock cord is mounted directly to the engine mount, such as with the Estes Big Daddy. Some of the ejected burning particles proabably rebound off the wadding and come in contact with the shock cord. In recent years, I've used either kevlar or something equivalent to the classic Estes three fold paper mount to keep the shock cord a few inches away from the motor. I've never had a shock cord failure when using the three fold paper mounting method, but I did have one kevlar line burn through after many flights.
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Since nobody has yet discussed it here, have you considered Nomex shields? I have had some success with those. Also, baffles seem to work well. Fliskits is selling a line of premanufactured baffles. Finally, I have seen one other idea that works reasonably well. Stuff a chunk of copper or steel scouring pad in the body. Woks like the Aerotech baffle.
If you are ambitious, you an mimic the PML piston. Just use Kevlar thread to anchor it to the MMT/
A

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Al Gloer wrote:

Are BT-55 sized nomex shields available?
-dave w
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I just buy a bigger one and cut it down to fit. Check out Thrustaero.com for some not bad pricing.
I tend to gut the piece so that four BT diameters can fit in the area and wrap it around the parachute.
Send me an e-mail outside RMR, I'm not sure if your listed e-mail is real. I'd like to ask you something off-line
A

shields?
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In the late 1970's I got a Nomex shield (square of Nomex with a Nomex cord attached) from CNA and I used it on my Astrocam (BT-56) for at least 20-something flights before it drifted off into a corn field. The CNA Banshee sonalert was useless in the corn field since the crickets sounded similar and were louder. That is why Doug Pratt made his noisemaker warble.
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117 http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&userid=shreadvector
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Fred Shecter wrote:

For their time, CNA had some really neat stuff...at least it looked neat in the catalog. :)
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They really had it too. They really shipped it.
They advertised in CRm.
Jerry
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