Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Design, buy parts, and build or buy a kit and build?

In 2002 I began considering designs for a level 3 attempt.  Then I bought RockSim and in May of 2006 started designing "Tercero 2":

However when I considered the costly and piecemeal approach to buying parts for Tercero 2 it was mentally difficult to get started.  Earlier this year I decided to instead buy a kit as my level 3 certification vehicle.  The scale replica of the Nike Smoke from BSD rocketry:
This photo is from their web site but mine will be painted with these authentic colors as well.  This will be my biggest rocket ever at 7.5 inches in diameter and 8 ft. 11 inches high!  This is a great kit with a nice 4 foot long fiberglass nose cone and well machined parts... except for the plywood bulkheads.  
     There are four bulkheads and three of these are too small to fit snugly inside the tube coupler.  I contacted Just Rockets via e-mail and told them about this but never got a reply.  I arrived at another solution and you'll see that fix in another blog post.  
     One final note is that I plan to violate the K.I.S.S. principle slightly by adding a video camera to this kit.  I have a spare MiniDV camera and the onboard videos I've seen in the past are just too cool to skip in my project.  More details on this later as well.

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