Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Nike Smoke Videos

I fought off a cold last week, and then on Saturday I had a big launch to attend, so I took some time off from building and #Rocketober posting.

But I've finished a couple videos in the mean time, so I'm sharing them here.

The Estes Pro Series II Nike Smoke, seen above, is a great rocket. It took me far too long to build - nearly a year - because I had too many projects on the table at once. But it came out looking great, and I've now flown it twice.

The first flight was on September 17, in Berwick, Maine, the same day I successfully did my high power rocketry level 1 certification flight.

My new NAR card with the certification on it came last week in the mail, by the way.

Very exciting!

The Pro Series II Nike Smoke (you have to make that distinction, because Estes now has a smaller, low power, BT-60 Nike Smoke) has a 29mm motor tube, which means you can fly a wide variety of larger motors in it. For these flights, I selected an Estes G40-7 composite motor. These motors were manufactured for Estes by AeroTech, who makes mid and high power rocket motors, both reloadable ones and single-use.

The G40 is a single use motor. It's a really fun one, with plenty of thrust, but a decent burn time of just under 2.5 seconds.

Compare this with the G80, another popular motor. The G80 is much higher thrust than a G40, is much louder, and burns out much faster. Both AeroTech and Cesaroni make G80 motors. The AeroTech motor burns out at about 1.5 seconds, and the Cesaroni at about 1.2.

AeroTech G80 thrust curve

Cesaroni G80 Thrust Curve

G80's are fast, fun, and loud. But for the money, I like a little extra burn time, so I was glad to get my hands on a few G40's.

The weather in Berwick was nice and sunny, but a rather windy. To keep my rockets on the field, I used a Jolly Logic Chute Release, set to open at 400 feet above ground.

The second flight was this past weekend, on October 15, in Amesbury, Massachusetts. The Amesbury field is smaller than the Maine field, and even though the winds were lighter, we had to be more cautious. With winds blowing out of the east, all rocket flights had to be kept to a lower altitude, to avoid rockets getting caught on the large power lines to the west of the field.

Again, I flew the Nike Smoke on an Estes G40-7 motor, and again, I used the Jolly Logic Chute Release, this time set to open at 300 feet. On the advice of the Range Safety Officer (or RSO - the person who's responsible for safe operations on the field), I angled the launch rail ever so slightly upwind.

Unfortunately, this time, I had my handheld camera on a lower resolution setting all day, so my video footage came out a little grainy. But on this flight of the Nike Smoke, I taped a small camera to the side of the rocket.

A cheap and easy way to get fun POV flight footage is to use a small keychain spy camera, called an 808 camera. These are (usually) very cheap little cameras which look like a car key fob. Some are of higher quality than others. Since they sometimes just stop working, I bought several of them for about $6 a piece.

Attaching the camera to the rocket is easy. Simply wrap some electrical tape around the rocket and over the camera.

The Quest Magnum Sport Loader with an 808 camera taped to the side

Here's the video.

You can probably hear the loud howling sound over the music. You hear that in a lot of 808 camera rocket videos, and it's from the electrical tape. The wind rushes over the tape and causes it to vibrate, acting like a large reed.

What I find funny about this footage is that, at first, it sounds like someone excitedly yelling "Whoo!" but as the rocket accelerates, it changes into a sound resembling a scream of unmitigated terror.

But I got a nice view of the fall colors on the ground.

I'll be back up in Maine this weekend. I hope to have some more video soon.

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1 comment:

  1. Daniel - congrats on your Level 1! I'm probably going to build one of my PSII Argents with a Level 1 certification in mind. A G40 looks like a good choice for the Argent though its really going to get up there - a Chute Release is on my "must have" list. Thanks for all the great info and inspiration!