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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Wed, 16. May 18, 05:17

Hank001 wrote:...my kid bother and I got short on funds and though about making our own model rocket engines... Parental good sense prevailed. :D.
(Guess that is sort of why I'm still here to comment on it.)
..

I did that.

:)

(No parental supervision whatsoever. I didn't know what that was.)

Back in the day, you could go to the drugstore and by chemicals. I'd ride my bike to the drugstore (it was a bit further than just a walk) and buy what I needed to make "homemade fireworks." I was pretty close to trying out my own "rocket fuel" too. Thankfully, that didn't happen. I did end up blowing a hole in a neighboring school's soccer field, though... That rocket would have made it pretty a good ways, too, if it hadn't blown up, first. (Maybe it did make it a pretty good way? Or part of it, at least.)

Later, I started buying store-bought rocket engines. Of course, I'd use them to launch explosive devices since, what's the point otherwise? I launched a cricket, once, though. He didn't seem too impressed. Probably went higher, further and faster than any of his friends... ungrateful little bug. :) I climbed a lot of back-yard fences chasing after rocket stages when I was a kid.

Anyway - All of this was thanks to an old chem formulae book my dad, an engineer, gave me. But, he wasn't around to supervise the results so... stuff got blow'd the heck up!

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Wed, 16. May 18, 05:44

Morkonan said:
I did that.
Without much fear of a debate of MAC vs PC proportion (Because most but kids in our day would know the rivalry invovled.)

So I'll ask you. Estes or Centari?
The answer to life, the universe and everything:
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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Wed, 16. May 18, 05:51

Hank001 wrote:...So I'll ask you. Estes or Centari?
Estes. :)

I honestly don't recall "Centari" but it sounds familiar. But, Estes was everywhere so that's why I used when I needed a "standard" commercial engine size. Mostly C, sometimes D's if I had something big. (I believe that's how the size conventions went. Double letters in there,somewhere?)

I did figure out, somewhat, solid fuel motors. I was working on a liquid fueled motor... But, couldn't figure out how to control the valves. (Pin valves that were used for bicycle tires.) I do think the pharmacist would have sold me some industrial hydrogen peroxide, too... (He liked my enthusiasm, probably because he never witnessed the explosive results. :) )

PS - The key I had been missing was making a good clay nozzle for the engine. And, figuring out it wasn't how much fuel, but how it was shaped. I learned that after taking apart commercial motors.

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Wed, 16. May 18, 06:17

Morkonan agreed:
Estes. :)
Centari actually had the market until mid 60's. Later Estes bought them out. Unitl mid 70's it was all mail order. Went into rocketry clubs in the Air Force. HP & alcohol engines, and there were prohibitions like no metal bodies and a cap of 2000 feet and single stage for home built. Went through Stage 5 at Huntsville and shortly afterward the military put the kibosh on all amateur rocketry (Late 80's. Too many accidents.) Here it's back in vogue.

Somewhere along the line I remember they regulated the D as the largest hobby engine and they started making them with an ejection charge only so you couldn't multi stage. C was the largest multi stage. I still see model rockets at Hobby Lobby, but when you've as many of the launches from Vandenberg as I have something about toys pale. (Mostly because you can't go out and grab monohydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide at the drug store) :D Just kidding.

https://www.estesrockets.com/
The answer to life, the universe and everything:
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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Wed, 16. May 18, 08:00

Hydrogen peroxide & diesel fuel/kerosene = fun times... until you burn your backyard down. (I was NOT a firebug! I just wanted to go into space... )

Chute ejection charges were on everything. But, that's because they had a clay plug... Work it right, remove the plug, and you had a shaped blast to set off the next stage without having to buy staged rockets. Didn't always work well, though. I sort of stopped in the 70's, but still liked to think about "what ifs."

Back in the days of the "Boxcar Kids" I had also had these: The Mad Scientists Club.

I am likely responsible for half the costs of rising insurance rates in the neighborhood I grew up in. I once tried to electrify the fences so I could create a really big radio something... I must explain - Back in those days, metal (aluminum) fencing was all connected. Everyone shared fenceposts, etc. The neighborhood's fences were all sort of connected. Well, islands of connection, anyway. No, I wasn't successful in electrifying all of them at once. Darnit.. And, the crystal radio I had clipped to it didn't get fried, either. Weird. (No, I don't know why I had a crystal radio clipped to it. Likely because that was "what I had" and a Mad Scientist uses what is at hand.) The fuses finally tripped, though.

AND, to add to "things that aren't deserving of another thread" by linking something not quite completely different, but different enough -

https://www.evilmadscientist.com/

Some cool shennanigans, there. Mad Scientists have come a long way.

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Wed, 16. May 18, 08:30

Morkonan wrote:
And, the crystal radio I had clipped to it didn't get fried, either. Weird. (No, I don't know why I had a crystal radio clipped to it. Likely because that was "what I had" and a Mad Scientist uses what is at hand.) The fuses finally tripped, though.
Crystal sets sometimes actually worked better in some places using the "Ground" as the "Antenna". Your "crystal" (if it wasn't a diode) survived because the current reversed... and it did what it was suppose to. If it was a true galina (lead crystal) then I've seen them survive a lightning strike on the antenna that fried the "cat's whisker". (Yes it was spark gapped. Jumped the gap and vaporized the spark plug... or at least blew it somewhere.) At about age 12 my life changed when a Lafayette store opened in town. My career in serious electronics (besides changing tubes in TV's) started by building their kits. At the time Radio Shack was second banana.
What killed Layayette was they were too into vacuum tubes.
Ahhh the good old days when I could drag a neighbor's TV into the garage and nine out of ten bring it back to life. Know what I mean?
The answer to life, the universe and everything:
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mrbadger
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Post by mrbadger » Thu, 17. May 18, 13:46

I was in Sainsburies yesterday, our local supermarket, and overheard this chap complaining about the amount of spices there where to choose from. As he said "I don't see what's wrong with good old british black pepper".

The ignorance of some otherwise quite possible fairly capable people astonishes me.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Morkonan
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Post by Morkonan » Thu, 17. May 18, 19:27

mrbadger wrote:...As he said "I don't see what's wrong with good old british black pepper".

The ignorance of some otherwise quite possible fairly capable people astonishes me.
"The ignorance of some otherwise quite possible fairly capable people astonishes me." <- This.

How does someone go through life this far and successfully avoid learning where pepper comes from? ("Comes from usually" that is. It's not, necessarily, exclusive, to certain regions. I have no idea if there is any commercial growing of pepper in the UK, though I'd kinda doubt it.)

I'd like to point out that the UK has benefited from it's Empire period, which brought in great wealth in the form of foreign goods, especially spices. Curry dishes seem to be really popular in the UK and I would not be surprised at all for a young person to think curry was a native spice.

Still... People being able to rise through the ranks of adulthood to become mostly functioning members of human society should, at least, accidentally learn some things that aren't in their own backyards.

Maybe there should be a class in school that teaches stuff like this?

"Things you should know so you don't look stupid 099?"

Water is wet.
Salt does not come from plants.
Wood is more flammable if it is first soaked in wood.

Alan Phipps
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Post by Alan Phipps » Thu, 17. May 18, 23:01

@ Mork: "Wood is more flammable if it is first soaked in wood."

You know, I never knew that! I must look stupid now. :D

Also in cookery and survival, I thought that sufficient salt for a healthy diet could come from certain plant ingredients? (Seaweeds and certain roots maybe?) Also from certain animal body parts and fluids of course. Sure, seawater is the main economic volume source of common salt.

I guess that knowing about trivia and stuff is always a matter of degree and that what may be common knowledge to some will seem obscure to others. Change the topic and the tables may be turned.
A dog has a master; a cat has domestic staff.

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Fri, 18. May 18, 00:23

@ AP

Allow M the grace of hitting edit and substituting Gasoline (Petrol, Diesel fuel) or simply adding "grain alcohol" after the wood. Edits, lovely things when you're keypad thinks it's smarter than you are and isn't. :roll:
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OmegaKnight
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Post by OmegaKnight » Fri, 18. May 18, 07:29

@Alan Phipps
While I'd agree that the oceans have a fair bit of salt in them,
most Table salt you find in a supermarket comes from a salt mine.
(You can get sea salt but it usually costs more.)

Edit #1 - Spelling
Last edited by OmegaKnight on Fri, 18. May 18, 07:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Fri, 18. May 18, 07:44

OK said:
While I'd agree that the oceans have a fair bit of sail in them
Not so many sails as they used too. :roll:

(No joke, I think these wells and most spelling and grammar checkers butt heads. Sort of a battle of electronics wits.)
The answer to life, the universe and everything:
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OmegaKnight
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Post by OmegaKnight » Fri, 18. May 18, 07:51

damn these infernal electronics
(and my lack of proof reading)

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Hank001
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Post by Hank001 » Fri, 18. May 18, 08:01

OmegaKnight said:
damn these infernal electronics
(and my lack of proof reading)
Seriously, I'm beginning to believe more the former than the latter.

(I put it that way because my system keeps changing the word "latter" to "ladder" and I have to physically edit it back. It also wants to change "because" to "caused". )
The answer to life, the universe and everything:
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OmegaKnight
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Post by OmegaKnight » Fri, 18. May 18, 08:54

Yeah sometimes I think these things are trying to be too smart for their own good.

Speaking of...
Wood is more flammable if it is first soaked in wood.
You know with a few barrels, a bit of pipe and some back yard engineering you could burn wood and turn it into tar/creosote/diesel/petrol and gases.
So you could soak wood in wood (derived petrol) so that it's more flammable.

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