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events that took place.
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Day 112 - Looking Up
Axion IVd with out-rigger boom, with a
counter weight on the other side.
The HD cam is mounted in a protective cover
on the end of the boom.
First launch at 120 psi.
On the pad, ready for launch.
Parachute deployment at apogee.
Coming down under parachute.
Axion VII, flying in a jet foaming
11 seconds from being made portable.
Sometimes the tall grass just isn't soft
I wonder if it will fly around corners now.
~$5 worth of damage.
Just as parachute is ejected from the
Lindsay and David watch as rocket lands.
Looking back at the launch crew.
Launch day over.
Setting up at the Astronomy Open night.
Phil setting up his "Titan". Polaron G2 on
More of the display.
Some of the club members manning the stand.
Peter Berg of Berg's Hobbies.
October 2011, 8:30am - 11:30am
Location:Doonside, NSW, Australia
Conditions:Calm, mild and overcast,
Team Members at Event:John K and
During the week I made up 6 new 90mm spliced
pairs of bottles, as we had just about run
out of the old ones. I used the asymmetric
splice #5 technique for these, but
simplified one step in the procedure and
that was to make the reinforcing strip out
of a bigger 2L bottle. This allowed me to
overlap the strip on the smaller diameter
bottle, and was able to glue it all in one
step, rather than making up a separate patch
as in step 28 in the
described procedure. This of
course only works for smaller bottles. For
splicing 2L bottles you would still need the
This weekend dad was in Adelaide so I
only took a couple of the smaller rockets to
the NSWRA launch at Doonside. You really
need two people to help set up and launch
the bigger rockets. I flew the Axion IVd
rocket with the camera boom that we used
a couple of years ago to look at the nozzle. This time
we used the HD camera and turned it thr other way and
looked at the parachute deployment. Having
the camera out on a boom gives you a better
perspective, but causes more drag on the
rocket. The rocket was flown in this
configuration 3 times. All three flights
went well, but because it was overcast, as
usual the colours get washed out. It also
didn't help that the camera was pointing up
towards the sun.
I also launched the Axion VII rocket with
the jet foaming insert flying in a jet
foaming configuration, but because of the
very low acceleration, the timer never
triggered on launch and the rocket crashed.
When I picked up the rocket, the timer was
still in the armed state so I tried moving
it up quickly and it triggered just fine,
and deployed the parachute. I know the Assemtech G-switches always have a range of
triggering values and this particular
G-switch may be at the upper end of this
range. We need to build a test stand to
compare the range of triggering G-forces.
We will most likely use the break-wire
option on the timer for the very low G
launches to make sure the timer triggers.
(The reason the break wire option was added
in the first place)
The other launches that used water only,
at the same pressure and same size nozzle
were fine in detecting the launch.
Damage was only minor though, with 3 of
the bottles buckled and the nosecone fairing
and corriflute framework bent. All the
electronics, servo and timer were fine, as
were the bottle fairings, tornado couplings
and the entire tail section. The cost of
repairs is less than $5.
One thing the video looking up finally
answered was how we loose our rubber bands
from the parachute door. We normally only
thread the rubber band through the hole
rather than make a knot in it to allow it to
stretch evenly, and allow for redundancy if
only one side of the rubber band gets
released. The other end in that case just
comes out through the hole. If you tie a
knot in it, after about a week that
stretched part of the rubber band will
deteriorate and break. In the video you can
see that the door flaps back and forth in
the air stream after deploy and it shakes
the rubber band out. I always thought it was
a result of the deploy event.
Also a big thank you goes to Lindsay
Handmer for helping me out on the day with
rocket setup and launches.
Here is a
short highlights video from the day:
NSWRA - Macquarie University Astronomy
In the evening we helped man the NSWRA
stand at the astronomy open night. It went
really well with lots and lots of people
coming to have a look and chat to the club
members about rocketry. I'd say there were
close to 200+ people that came to have a
look and at times they were a couple of
lines deep. Hopefully some of the people who
we talked to will attend a Doonside launch
or two to see how real rockets fly. We had
our Polaron G2 rocket on display as well.
Otherwise the open night was really good
for all the other displays, and I even got a
chance to go look through some telescopes at
night with the kids that the astronomy guys
had set up. The kids really enjoyed the
I took some photos of the stand just as
we were setting up, but once people started
arriving it got too busy and I forgot to
take more photos.
The Shadow has also been progressing
since the last update. See
the most recent updates:
We've finally decided to bite the bullet
and start migrating all the videos from the
current YouTube channel to a specific Air
Command Water Rockets channel. I've been
wanting to do this for quite a while since
the existing channel was only ever intended
to be a temporary one. We have a number of
videos spread across Vimeo, MySpace, YouTube
and several other hosts so we will
consolidate all these into the single
channel. It will be easier to make up
playlists of related videos and keep them
all organised, especially as they relate to
each project. I'm also hoping to upgrade the
YouTube channel so we can provide extra
The biggest drawback is that the comments
from people will be lost, links to the
videos will be broken, but if I don't do the
migration now, it would just get worse into
the future. I am backing up the comments
though. Expect videos to start disappearing
over the coming weeks/months from our
current channel, and they will be
re-uploaded to the new channel over time. I
will also update the links to the video from
this website, or where I can.
Some of the older videos were also
uploaded only in lower resolution, so where
I can I will re-compress these again at
higher resolution before uploading and
re-edit some of them where it will help
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