Should I be thinking about Hybrid?

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. Mar> Liz,
Reply to
lizardqueen
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To give you even more food for thought, check out the yahoo group
hybridrocketmotors
A lot of those folks are doing stuff that is way over my head, but they are wellspring of advice and encouragement, and the archives are invaluable.
Kevin O
PS> If I were in your position (already L1), knowing what I know now, I'd probably start with the Contrail 38mm motor set. Motors from G100 to a 45% J800, reasonable hardware and reload cost, good performance. I used the 38mm set to certify L2.
Reply to
Kevin OClassen
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
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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
Reply to
James L. Marino
Will,
Thanks for the link. Doug did a nice job with the video presentation. As he points out the key is using electrical tape to seal the end of the Pyrodex P canister. I've used 1/2 " PVC pipe and an end cap on one end. I cross the open end of the pipe with electrical tape making a cross on the open end. Then, I put layer around the perimeter of the open end to hold those two pieces more securely in place. For ignition I use a 1/2" to 3/4" long piece of 36 gauge NiCr wire. No coating on the wire, just plain. It is wrapped around the wire and inserted into the Pyrodex. I use a little wadding to hold the Pyrodex down in the base of the pipe by the end cap so the powder stays in contact with the NiCr wire. Works every time.
For homemade, motors with a delay and charge, I use Pyrodex P as well. Just seal the open end of the ejection charge opening the same way with electrical tape.
I don't know if it is necessary, but I also add an extra gram of Pyrodex P from what I would use if going with 4F black powder. I haven't used black powder in years and never had a problem in over a hundred flights.
John
Will Marchant wrote: > Thanks, John! I'm happy to have been misinformed and to learn that > Pyrodex is OK for use in rockets without a LUEP! Doug Pratt has some > information at >
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about using > his Nichrome based canisters with Pyrodex. I think that means you can > do a completely LEUP-less high power rocket if you fly a hybrid... > Best wishes, > Will > > John Wickman wrote: > > Will Marchant wrote: > >> The discussions I've seen about Pyrodex say the situation is the same. > >> The restrictions on selling it are much less than BP which is why it is > >> seen in many more retail outlets than BP. But the claim, by people who > >> have studied the situation much more than I have, is that if you intend > >> to use it in something other than a firearm then you need a LEUP. > >> > > > > Will, > > > > Thanks for pointing out the discussions about Pyrodex. I was not aware > > people were being mislead on the use of Pyrodex without an ATFE > > license. Actually, Pyrodex is not covered by Federal Explosives Law. > > Below is a statement from the Pyrodex MSDS sheet provided by Hodgdon, > > the manufacturer of Pyrodex. > > > > Regulatory Information: > > > > Pyrodex is Extremely Flammable. Pyrodex is not an explosive regulated > > by Federal Explosive Law, but may explode if misused. Pyrodex is not > > smokeless powder, but is approved to ship (DOT) and store (NFPA) as > > such. Pyrodex is not allowed on passenger aircraft, but may be loaded > > into ammunition which may be allowed. It may be shipped as a flammable > > solid by road, rail, vessel, or cargo only aircraft, or as an explosive > > by road, rail or vessel. While Pyrodex contains no nitrocellulose, the > > flammable solid proper shipping name is "Smokeless powder for small > > arms". DOT classifications follow: > > > > Flammable Solid (see 49 CFR 173.171): Smokeless powder for small arms, > > 4.1, NA3178, PG I > > Explosive: Propellant, solid, 1.3C, UN0499, PG II > > > > > > John Wickman > > > > -- > Will Marchant, NAR 13356, Tripoli 10125 L3 > snipped-for-privacy@amsat.org
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Reply to
John Wickman
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
Reply to
Kevin OClassen
James, Thanks again for the generous help. I found a hybrid motor group:
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asked the same question regarding the RATT website.
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the RATT website is being updated and a preview of the new site can be seen here.
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(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. Mar>Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in your travels
Reply to
lizardqueen
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
Reply to
James L. Marino
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
Reply to
James L. Marino
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?
Reply to
Kevin OClassen
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. Mar> Laura,
Reply to
lizardqueen

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,
Reply to
Gary
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
Reply to
James L. Marino
No problem, Laura. Reach me directly at jmarino1 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net.
Contrail looks like it has some pretty good numbers for it's motors. But... Are they CSFM certified for use in Kalifornia? I don't know... But I'll see what I can find out.
James
Reply to
James L. Marino
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:
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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:
Reply to
lizardqueen
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
Reply to
Kevin OClassen
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
Reply to
James L. Marino
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. Kev>
Reply to
lizardqueen
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's still back under construction, but their links work to the different motors and pricing if you click on "Products" at the top.. Their domain expired earlier this year and someone snatched the name out from under them before they could renew so they lost their primary website.. The above site is what they're working on to rebuild it.. They're not going anywhere.. I just picked up the H70/I80 casings as well as the L600/M900 set and they've still got reloads for all of them.. Dave is a good guy, but this is not their primary business.. They're a very old machine shop (Monterey Machine Products) doing aerospace parts since the 50's so don't expect them to be picking up and going anywhere anytime soon..
Reply to
cgiucf
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
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Kevin O
Reply to
Kevin OClassen

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