Getting Started

I am still collecting topic ideas from the prior post, but several people asked how to get started in rocketry, and what is legal in the local neighborhood. Well, if there is no fire involved, it is probably OK, and so the air, water and baking soda+vinegar rockets are probably fine in just about any town. The later category makes for some sour showers though:

Reflexology

This thing really pops up fast since it quickly evacuates all of its fuel (>95% of its weight). With a regular camera, the human reflex is not fast enough to capture the rocket in frame (there is no signal before it pops). So I set up the camera with a 16mm wide angle lens and used the motor drive to fire off a stream of 1/8000 sec exposures.

These rockets can easily be found online and they are fun for the young kids. Just be careful not to point the back end at anyone while swinging it into to position. Every one I have tried to launch seems to pop off before I can remove my hand... As seen in my very first rocket video... with my wife chuckling at my folly:

(alternate site if YouTube audio is failing)

Next, we'll move to fire, because fire is cool.

More like this

For the 42nd installment of this photo-a-day thing, it seems appropriate to try to do some SCIENCE! to get an Answer. So, here's a composite of a bunch of images I took yesterday in order to investigate something: Graph paper shot with several different lenses, to look for distortion of the images…
I'm looking for a small (will always live in Amanda's purse) point and shoot camera and have so far narrowed the choices down to the following. Anybody have any advice on which one I should get (or an alternative, if you'd like to suggest one)? (Descriptions/details are from Amazon, for consistency…
What would adapting to climate change be like? A picture is worth a thousand words: But a second picture is worth a few thousand more! I saw the kids protecting their families from the rising tide at the beach and thought it was an amusing analogy. The running-away photo was just an unforeseen…
SteelyKid is spending a couple of days this week at "Nerf Camp" at the school where she does taekwondo. This basically consists of a bunch of hyped-up kids in a big room doing martial activities-- taekwondo class, board breaking, and "Nerf war" where they build an obstacle course and then shoot…

Water rockets are a lot of fun and can definately teach a lot about rocketry (especially when you get into making your own out of coke bottles and stuff, learn about center of pressure vs CG, etc). Excellent and safe place for kids to get started.

Best thing I've seen is the ones that have a remote release cable; these seem to be made a little better and hold in place while you put some real pressure into the bottle.

Wha??????

A,B, C engines are safe and legal in the city. Also, T engines (for tiny) are sweet and lots of fun. They're so expensive, though, to expensive for me when I was a kid anyway - so I made my own out of sulfur, potassium nitrate (which you can actually buy from the pharmacy) and sugar... Which is not so safe. Especially when you use the old, burnt paper casings again and again....

They're so expensive, though, to expensive for me when I was a kid anyway - so I made my own out of sulfur, potassium nitrate (which you can actually buy from the pharmacy) and sugar... Which is not so safe. Especially when you use the old, burnt paper casings again and again....

thanks...admin