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Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:48 pm
by mdutch
Here you see the Aeropac motor retainer (sans the screw cap) done so to better view the aft end. Although I did use the screw inserts that come with the retainer you can see that I like to embed the screws in epoxy as well.

One should note that even though you can get the cap to screw all the way down onto the screw heads, when you place your motor case into the retainer, that the cap will not go all the way to the screw heads then. Especially if you are using a snap ring case.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:48 pm
by Alexander
This is looking awesome, keep up the good work.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:07 pm
by mdutch
Since the whole air frame is blue tube I won't be fiber glassing it, but I do need to fill the spirals before painting it.
The other day I picked up a tube of glazing putty and here you see that I've done the Altimeter Bay and I'm working on the Drogue Bay.
The glazing is easy to use, it dries very fast, and you can easily sand off the excess

I still have the Main Bay and the Fin Can to do, I also have some saw kerf marks to fill on the fins, but for that I'll use Bondo as they are a bit deeper than the spirals are.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:46 pm
by mdutch
So I started working on the Altimeter Bay

Here you see the four sections of all thread that are spaced so I can put two of my altimeters in the bay.
I have all of my altimeters mounted to the same type of sled so I can install anyone of them in any of my Alt bays.
(This includes any of my rockets from a 3" air frame up to a 7.5" airframe so far.)
You also see how the 'U' bolts are mounted here. The space between the bulk heads is approximately the distance of the inner sliced coupler which the bulk heads will sit on. There is a lot more I do with this but for now this is ready for the two couplers to be epoxied together.

So here the Altimeter Bay is epoxied together for now. I still have to install the charge contacts and wells yet, and the key switches but I'll show that in detail as I do them.
So for what I did here I first assembled the two couplers and then bolted the bulk heads in place. Then I slid the inner coupler assembly out and prepared my epoxy using US Composites 3 to 1 mix I did a batch large enough to coat the inside of the outer coupler and then used West systems adhesive filleting blend to make part of the epoxy thicker which I spread on the Drogue side of the bay. Then I slid the inner assembly into the bay and set it aside to cure.

Not to start a glue thread here but this is what I like to use for epoxy. I used to use all West System but found US Composite to be of the same quality at half the price. What is nice is that the West filleting blends also work with US C.
The 405 is nice because you can add as much as you like to get any consistency that you need from syrupy to a heavy thick paste.
Actually the 405 can even be used in BSI epoxy but one should note that the thicker you make your mix, the shorter the cure time will be.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:35 pm
by mdutch
Now I'm working on the charge connectors, I'm making 4 lead sets for this rocket. Each lead is a length of 26 gauge two lead wire, two connectors soldered on and some shrink tubing. With an 8-32 screw and nut through the connector

Here are the two drogue sets installed in the bottom of the bay.

The interior walls are shiny due to being coated with epoxy.
Here is what it looks like on the exterior of the bay.

Each lead now has a couple flat washers set between two nuts, once you go to install your e-match on the leads you place the stripped end of the lead on the screw post slipped in between the washers and then tighten the top nut. This gives you a good solid through the bulk head connection to your ejection charges with out the possibility of the burnt BP harming your altimeter(s). Also the charge wells are just CPVC pipe caps. I have a 8-32 screw holding each cap thru the bulk head. CPVC is stronger than PVC as it is used for water supply lines. It is not aluminum but it does hold up quite well to several charge events before you need to replace them, and their much less expensive than aluminum too.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:00 pm
by mdutch
Here is the top bulk head of the Altimeter bay.


You can see the leads and the charge wells here. As this end is towards the main chute bay I'm using bigger charge wells here. The Drogue end has 3/4" caps and the Main end has 1" caps. You can see that I have used the 1" caps once before. They do still have a lot of life left to them so I'm not worried about their integrity as of yet.

While I was at it I also soldered leads onto my key switches seen here.

I like using these barrel switches because they are durable and easy to use and install. Normally you need to drill a 1/2" hole and install them with a back nut. But I have found that if you drill a 7/16" hole you can start them and then use a crescent wrench to finish screwing them in. Of course you have to file a couple flat areas on the outer flange like I did on these to use a crescent wrench.

I will say this method works best with cardboard, phylonic, or thicker air frames. You will probably need to use the 1/2" hole back nut installation on thinner fiberglass airframes for these switches

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:34 pm
by mdutch
Here are the two switches installed:

As I mentioned before, due to the thickness of the airframe I was able to screw these switches in alleviating the need for the back nut.

Take note of the stop nuts on the threaded rod, they are what my altimeter sled rests on, by installing a second nut at the top of the sled it will keep them from shifting up or down in the bay.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:53 pm
by mdutch
So this is one of my sleds that are a standard build that fits most of my altimeters.
The battery clip is a standard 9volt battery holder

This here is one of my Perfectflite MAWD's, the tubes mounted on the sides of the sled are spaced to fit on the all thread that I have mounted in the altimeter bay.

I have most of my Perfectflite MAWD's and Stratologgers mounted on this size sled.

Re: XXtreme Blue

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:03 pm
by mdutch
I have been needing to make new sled to fit my MARSA54L altimeters but I still want to be able to use them in most of my rockets.
So this is what I've come up with:


This following photo shows how both altimeters will fit into the altimeter bay.

As you can see here none of the charge wires or switch wires are connected, and neither altimeter is all the way down onto the stop nuts. But you should be able to get the idea how everything is mounted and attached from this photo.