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
NAR #75764 L3
TRA #9489 L3
Will Work for AP
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.
James L. Marino wrote:
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.
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
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.
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.)
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
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?
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.
Thanks again for the generous help.
I found a hybrid motor group:
Someone asked the same question regarding the RATT website.
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
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:
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
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
James L. Marino wrote:
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, 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.
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
Thanks again all.
Laura A.K.A lizardqueen
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.
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:
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^)
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-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
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:
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
The Hardware Kevin refered to actually has 8 different Reloads
certified in it.
Please note the I-727-HP uses a special Injector and Nozzle which are
not included with the regular hardware.
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
It occurs to me that you could use this same hardware for an L2
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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