Building The Rocket Doctors Recommend Most (Part 1)

OK, what to work on next? There are three “deadlines” corresponding to club launches for which I want to build a theme or contest rocket: Semroc Swift Boost Glider for July’s glider contest, scratch The Rocket Doctors Recommend Most (TRDRM) for August’s odd-roc theme, and Glencoe Jupiter C for September’s plastic model conversion contest.

Earliest “deadline” is the Swift, but I expect that’ll be a pretty quick build. No paint! Or not much. And if it doesn’t get built, I have other gliders. The Jupiter will take longer and is needed for the contest, but that’s not for another four months. TRDRM is needed earlier and potentially a can of worms. I think that’s got to be the top priority.

Not only is it a scratch build… not only is it an un-simmable odd-roc… but I’d also like it to do double duty as my night launch bird. And I don’t mean just hang a battery and LED on it, oh no, I have to make it more complicated than that. That’s three strikes right there. So it’s time to work on it.

The good news is, I’m not going to be painting it. It’ll require some stinky glue, but that I can do in the garage. This will be a project I can do on rainy days. Which are in no short supply.

So here are four medicine bottles and a BT-50 tube. In the bottoms of all four bottles, and the tops of three, I’ve drilled a 1″ diameter hole the tube fits in pretty snugly. The pink bismuth bottle’s neck was a little too narrow so I cut it off. With the lid glued on, it won’t be obvious.IMG_2568


Stacked onto the tube they look like this:IMG_2570


So that’ll be the core of the rocket, and there’ll be, er, some fins… and a motor mount — a thrust ring and a hook, anyway — and the LEDs and… um…

Okay, okay, I’m totally making this up as I go.

The fins will I think be balsa laminated with cardboard cut from medicine boxes. The bottles and tube alone weigh about 4 oz, so by the time I add the fins and electronics and recovery and motor I’m guessing the liftoff weight will be upwards of 8 oz. So probably a 24 mm motor.

Lots of design features to figure out and make decisions about, crucial ones that will govern the rocket’s stability and performance, so naturally what I spent the most time on tonight was prescription labels. I didn’t want to leave the existing labels on the two prescription bottles for two reasons. First, privacy: there was information about my and my wife’s prescriptions on there. And second, size. I want the LEDs (which will be on the outside of the tube and inside the bottles) to be visible, so I don’t want the labels obstructing too much of the bottles’ lateral area.

So I peeled the old labels off — soaking them in GooGone helped — and designed some replacements, printed at a smaller size than the originals:trdrm-labels-copy

And I just noticed a cut and paste error in the address for “Quest Drugs”. A crucial mistake which must be fixed.

(I’m not so paranoid about privacy as to put a fake address for me on the labels — who knows, if I lose this rocket I may be glad I used my real address — but I’m blurring it for blog purposes. Sorry.)

With those labels out of the way, I can take care of piddling details like trying to make this thing fly.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s