Should I be thinking about Hybrid?

Liz,
Hybrid support is available at your local club(s). I own GSE for Ratt type monotube hybrids. And AeroPAC owns GSE for Hypertek motors, which
can be made available at both LUNAR and TCC launches. You see, you have an advantage... You know several of the officers in all 3 clubs... 8^)
(We met at October Skies. My buddy Dave did your certification. BTW, Dave is the recording secretary for LUNAR, and I'm Launch Director for AeroPAC, and we're both good buddies with the equipment guys for both clubs. You want GSE for hybrids? You've got it...) 8^)
James L. Marino SAS, LUNAR, TCC, AEROPAC, NAR #75764 L3 TRA #9489 L3 JPS Propulsion KI6BZS
(@ @) ---o00-(_)-00o--- Will Work for AP

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Thanks James, Great News James! It's great to hear from you. So what's your preference for L1 - L2 hybrids? Given that LUNAR has GSE, what would I need to check hybrids out besides the motor and reload? I guess if I end up going with hypertek, I'll need the ULS Module 3: GOX/HV Ignition Module? I already have an O2 tank. I can't find the RATT works website so that concerns me a little, but I kind of like the pyrogen ignition. How's RATT doing as a company? Will they still be supporting their motors? The hypertek motors are attractive, but they do need the high voltage ignition. As you can tell, I'm still in the fact gathering phase, but I've kind of hit a wall. Are there any reviews such as pros and cons of the different systems? Thanks for all help. Laura James L. Marino wrote:

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Laura,
I've flown the Ratt I80 and the Ratt K240. Both nice motors. I also own(ed) and flew an AeroTech 54mm hybrid, but I sent the flight tank to Gary for repair about two weeks before the fire in Vegas. Bummer. Gary said he's going to get me a replacement, and that they're working on getting some reloads made, but there's a problem getting the little pyro pellet that they use for their pyro valve. All three of the motors I've flown use APCP grains that are < 62.5 grams, so no permits involved.
A word of warning... Don't use any of the accelerometer based electronics in a hybrid powered rocket. Use a baro altimeter. There's a problem with accelerometers detecting launch with hybrids. Has to do with the oscillation of the thrust. I'll be using a PerfectFlite MAWD with mine.
I don't have a clue what's up with Ratt Works. He does motors as a side thing to his machining business, so they may be busy with higher paying customers. But I'm pretty sure he's still in business down in Monterey.
The thing to keep in mind for the Ratt motors is "build light." They aren't the thrustiest motors around, but they are very kool, fun to use, and cheap to fly. Pretty sure Bob has them in stock at www.aerocon.com. Tell him I sent you. Bob's good people. He will know better than I about continued support for the Ratt motors. Ask him.
I have a bird in construction to use the I80 Ratt, and need to machine an adapter to fly the K240 in my Comp4 (the K240 is an odd size, 2.5" mmt required. Since the Comp4 has a 75mm mount, making an adapter will be a piece of cake.) That is coming. I have to concentrate on the M flight at Snow Ranch for the time being, but both hybrids will fly this season at the ranch. But I do need to get my Beeline GPS up and running before flying an M or any of the hybrids. I'm addicted to getting them back.
If you decide to go with the Hypertek motors, no problem. The AeroPAC trailer is at Richard's shop in Oakland, and I know he'll be more than happy to bring the GSE out to a launch for use, O2 and high tension included. So really, all you need is a motor and a bird in which to fly it.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in your travels through the world of rocketry. More than happy to help. Oh, and to answer your other question, the Ratt K240 would be a killer motor for an L2 cert. Build a bird, buy a reload, and I'll be happy to loan you the motor and the GSE. (Standard loaner agreement applies.) Build your bird with a 75mm mount and a Slimline retainer, and I'll throw in the adapter, too. That way, venting won't be a problem. My adapter will vent out the bottom. And be sure to make the booster section long enough (4 feet should do) for the motor. It's over 3 feet long.
James

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James,
I'd disagree with you on this one. I've used Gwiz LC & MC flight computers for every hybrid flight I've made (42 so far) and these are definitely accelerometer based units. They've worked perfectly every time. The specified launch detect is simply 2+G for 1/2 second. I like the Gwiz LC Basic (apogee only deployment) for smaller, low altitude birds, because no vent holes are required and you have a lot of freedom in mounting the device.
I understand there historically have been some problems with certain types of flight computers being affected by high frequency signals generated by the Hypertek ignition system's spark gap. That was, frankly, before my time, and obviously not pertinent to all hybrids.
Not a thing wrong with baro based computers-- the MAWD is an excellent device. Nothing wrong with accelerometer based units either.
Kevin OClassen
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Kevin,
Glad to hear you're having success with the GWiz. I'm sure Rob and Larry would be happy to hear that also. Perhaps I'm a bit over cautious, but I crashed a bird with a K240 Ratt using an accelerometer. It wasn't a GWiz, but it didn't live long. It was an AcceloRocket accelerometer. Worked fine on the J415, but failed to detect on the K240. Talk about depressed. That was a nice rocket, right up until impact. 8^(
I'll be finding out how well the GWiz will work this winter. Going to mount the MAWD in the av bay of my Comp4 along side the (2) GWiz units that are already in there, and see what happens with the K240. (Plenty of room. I AM a big GWiz fan. Fly with Rob and Larry, the GWiz Partners. Currently beta testing the new LCX for them. Nice unit.)
James
wrote:

with
time,
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James,
Please allow me to correct myself - there *is* apparently a problem with some accelerometers and hybrid engines, having to do with sampling rates and motor 'frequency'. I asked about it over in the yahoo group hybridrockets and got an excellent explanation, complete with links to more information.
I love this learning curve, and one of these days I'll learn to ask the questions first.
Kevin O
PS> Thanks for mentioning the LCX. I hadn't visited the GWiz site in a while, and had not heard of this computer. I have been considering a second dual-deploy flight computer, and had almost settled on a RocketMotion Mission Control. The LCX, while not quite as full featured is at a very attractive price, and GWiz have been very reliable for me, with great product support. Now I have to try to decide.... :)
Any idea when this will hit the market?
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Kevin,
Not sure when it will hit the market, as we're still in the testing phase. Really, it shouldn't be too far off. But I can say that I like it, and so far, it has worked quite well. I like being able to program the low altitude event, and the timer function allowed me to use it as a back-up unit in my ARLISS M rocket.
James

and
second
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James, Thanks again for the generous help. I found a hybrid motor group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hybridrocketmotors / Someone asked the same question regarding the RATT website. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hybridrocketmotors/message/5301 Apparently the RATT website is being updated and a preview of the new site can be seen here. http://www.rattworks.net/draft/ (I'm sure that link will only be valid for a short while.) I may take your advice on the K240 for L2 cert. I don't know if I'll pull it off for Snow Ranch, but in the mean time I'll look into the I class RATTs for the upcoming Snow Ranch launches. I'm not sure what the "standard loaner agreement" is, but I'm sure it's reasonable. Good luck on the M flight sounds exciting. Oh one more question. Are the grains for these hybrids unique or are they some what interchangeable? I'm only concerned with the availability of fuel in the future.
James L. Marino wrote:

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Laura,
The "standard loaner agreement" is "you break or lose it, you bought it." Other than that, give it back clean, and no charge. 8^)
Yup, Ratt Works is still there. I don't think there will be a problem getting grains for any of their motors for the foreseeable future. You could always make grains for them, but that would invalidate the certification for the motor, and classify it as Ex. Hybrids will burn just about anything as a fuel grain.
And of course there's no rush to get to L2. Plenty to learn and lots of fun to be had flying L1, that's for sure.
Looking forward to seeing you at the ranch. Come on rain! Get that ranch green!
James

I
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Hey James, Thanks again. I signed into your webpage so that you have my email. Would it be ok to take some of the conversation out of RMR? I'll try not to wear out my welcome, but I do have some specific questions regarding LUNAR and hybrids and eventually the rest of the group will probably get bored. I'll start with first of many questions. (sorry-you kinda asked for it!) I was looking at the thrust on some of the hybrid motors and they seem kind of low. Do you have a recommendation on a L1 hybrid that can safely lift a 5.5-6lb rocket and will be easily supported at Snow Ranch?
James L. Marino wrote:

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lizardqueen wrote:

    <snip>
Liz (may I call you, Liz?),
I don't know that you could possibly wear out your welcome here by asking the questions you are asking.
I, for one, am following your project with interest as I am also looking at hybrids. If you and the previous respondents don't mind, I would encourage you to continue on rmr.
But, if you are uncomfortable with how it is going here, please let us know how things are going as you proceed.
Best wishes and clear skies,
--

Gary

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Gary, Thanks for the encouragement. This thread could get pretty long, but if others are interested I am all for it.

young and dynamic area of rocketry. It's bringing me down the path of "rocket science" and I've stumbled onto some pretty interesting sites. Like this one: http://www.islandone.org/LEOBiblio/SPBI101.HTM There is a lot to learn and the challenges to using hybrid and the fact that it seems to be still evolving is exciting. I'm not rich and the family already thinks I'm nuts for spending so much time and money on rockets so I want to make a sound purchase. Luckily, I'm in the area of Livermore California so I will get some help with GSE from LUNAR. It seems like the GSE is compatible (with slight variations) with many of the different systems. James, I am also looking at the contrails. I've got my eye on the I-333 or the I-307. Does LUNAR have the GSE for these? It's still unclear to me what type of GSE is necessary for the contrails. For L2 I will probably go with the K240. It looks like contrails and RATT use the same connectors. No? Anyway- thanks I'll try and look into the CSFM California Certification. Thanks again all. Laura A.K.A lizardqueen
Gary wrote:

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Laura,
The GSE for Contrail motors is the same as RATT or any other monotube hybrid. The only odd requirement is for a 24V ignition source, since the Contrail motors use a carbon film resistor to initiate their motors, rather than an igniter or ematch. Most folks swap the resistor out and use an ematch in its place.
Kevin O
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Thanks Kevin, I'm glad to hear that some folks use ematches. I'm not sure why I'm resistant to the high voltage ignition (no pun intended) except maybe it's one more thing to buy and one more new thing to digest. Maybe I'll warm to the idea eventually. Kevin OClassen wrote:

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Laura,
All of the monotube motors will use the same GSE as the Ratt. Just have to be sure we have the right connector to fit the fill tube. And I have access to many types and sizes of brass fittings for this. So, if the Contrails are CSFM certified, we're there. 8^)
James

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Laura,
The Contrail motor hardware "combinations" can be confusing. Just FYI, the I307 and the I333 use the same hardware, just a different reload kit. In fact, that hardware can be used to make 4 motor combos:
    I-307        573NS     I-333        556NS     I-400        432NS     I-290 Sparky    488NS
The I307 is a great motor. A poor-quality video of that motor in a 10lb rocket can be found at http://back2bed.com/rockets/JustForLaughs.wmv
Kevin O
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Kevin, This Contrail System is looking better and better.
->     I-307        573NS ->     I-333        556NS ->     I-400        432NS ->     I-290 Sparky    488NS I did notice all these motors use the 36 inch motor hardware. Do the necessary nozzles/injectors come with the different grains? Are the nozzles reusable or do I replace the nozzle after every flight like an AP reload? Some one over in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hybridrocketmotors/ made a good point. Using the high voltage ignition saves money on pyro-ignitors and may placate the CSFM. I still have no idea on how to find out if a motor is CSFM certified. I do feel the progress here-I am starting to feel the plastic burning a hole in my wallet.
Kevin OClassen wrote:

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Contrail Motors come with the necessary igniter, injector and line set when purchased. Each of those items, including the fuel grain are single use items. The Nozzle is a reusable graphite nozzle that is included with your purchase of hardware.
Contrail Motors do not require CSFM Approval. Hybrids are not classified by the CSFM and do not need the same approval as do AP Motors.
The Hardware Kevin refered to actually has 8 different Reloads certified in it. I-210-PVC I-333-PVC J-150-HP J-246-HP I-307-HP I-400-HP I-727-HP I-290-Sparky
Please note the I-727-HP uses a special Injector and Nozzle which are not included with the regular hardware. Tom Sanders Contrail Rockets
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Thank you for verifying that the hybrids don't require CSFM approval. That's the info I'm getting from our member's list. 8^)
James
wrote:

the
In
10lb
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Thanks Tom, James, and Kevin, Ok I am out of excuses and it looks like I will go with the 38mm, 36 inch contrail hardware. We have GSE and I even have a rocket that I can modify to use the motor. It occurs to me that you could use this same hardware for an L2 certification. Maybe I can have this ready for Snow Ranch with a little luck. By the way, can you use credit cards and dollar bills as fuel grain? Thanks again, Laura Contrail Rockets wrote:

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