HoodedHawk

September 2014


I have a lot more pictures from our day on Block Island, RI in August. However this one was just used for his birthday invites and I kinda like it:

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

We didn’t have any live critters to put in the payload, so Preston picked a flower.

We managed to launch the rocket 9 times tonight. For the last launch (not shown, unfortunately), I put the little micro flashlight from my keychain into the payload. It was past dusk, so hard to see – but with the flashlight in the payload area, the nosecone of the rocket was totally lit up! So nice to see this light dropping from the sky. That last one was the easiest to track!

I would have caught this last one on video, but Preston kinda launched a wee bit prematurely: “Ten, Nine, Ignition! ” What happened to 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1??? Again, very happy for that launcher key while I was attaching the igniter. Oh well, it looked really cool.

Engines were C6-5’s, the largest that fit in this rocket. This particular rocket has a plastic tail area with a twist-on engine stop, so it is really easy to reload with a new engine. Nice design, and quite sturdy.

I like the new igniters these engines come with: they have little plastic plugs that you push in to hold the igniter securely into contact with the engine. Back in the day when I was launching rockets as a kid, it was just a bare wire, and we had to use tape to hold it in. Many false ignitions/failures. But these new igniters with the plug to maintain contact work like a charm!

The launcher we used has a neat little “key” that you have to insert, and then you also have to hold down an “arm” button (which lights up an indicator light). While holding the “arm” button down, you then press the “launch” button to fire the rocket. This is a very safe mechanism. I just had to tell Preston to “remove the key” while I was attaching the launcher leads to the engine igniter – that way there was no way he was going to press the launch button by mistake and fire it off in my hands!

I remember using a small metal toolbox as my launcher. I drilled some holes in the top and put in a toggle switch, a light, and a button switch. Worked the same way as today’s pre-made ones – though I didn’t use a key; you used the toggle switch to “arm” the launcher (lit the light) and then the button switch to launch. Wish I could find that little launcher – would be cool to let Preston use it. But it is long gone. :(

Favorite quote from the launches: “I got it! Hey!! That’s hot!”

Second favorite quote: “Whaddya mean the kids have to chase after the rocket? Next time we are bringing Dylan!”

Preston and Olivia off to school; Kindergarten and First Grade!

Preston and Olivia off to the bus stop, first day of school.



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