Home made rockets?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jamesmcd, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. jamesmcd macrumors 6502a

    jamesmcd

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #1
    Hey all,

    After using and experimenting with mentos-coke rockets, I was wanting to actually build some more powerful rockets i.e. using some sort of gas and maybe... petroleum? Diesel? Avgas?

    Anyone know of some good DIY rocket websites or perhaps have your own advice? BTW, I do have access to a university chemistry lab ;)

    - Jacques
     
  2. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #2
    1. Take coke bottle.
    2. Half-fill with water.
    3. Take one small chunk of pure Calcium, make sure it's still got the oil on it.
    4. Drop into Coke bottle
    5. Screw lid on really, really quickly.
    6. Shake, throw and run.

    If you get through stage 5 you're doing well.

    I suggest Calcium because using anything with a bit more "pop" such as Potassium is difficult.

    If you've nicked the Calcium from the lab and you have it in a paper bag in your jacket, make sure it's a really sunny, dry day. Nothing worse than rain soaking through the jacket into the bag chock-a-block full of Calcium...or so my friend can vouch for anyway...
     
  3. jamesmcd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jamesmcd

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #3
    Nice suggestion, however I was thinking more on the lines of building the rocket, i.e. out of plastic, wood etc., rather than using a coke bottle.

    The mentos-coke rocket is lots of fun, but a) it costs money for the coke and mentos, and b) it gets coke friggin everywhere, and my university carpark security guards frown upon this.
     
  4. UKnjb macrumors 6502a

    UKnjb

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Hi!
    Brilliant to know that people like you are out there doing what you are proposing to do....

    This is a just a record of admiration and support, nothing specific to suggest about proper rocket making.

    But while you are preparing stuff and getting ready, may I suggest two books to read? One has the best (IMO) title in the world "Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition - Science Slightly Over the Edge" and has a chapter about some Californian geeks who specialise in DIY explosions (BIG explosions!).

    The other is "Backyard Ballistics", which says it all.

    Keep us informed (or at least ask your surviving next-of-kin to keep us informed) of how it all goes? :D
     
  5. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
  6. jamesmcd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jamesmcd

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #6
    Heh, will do...


    Ooooo Home made IEDs! This is sounding fun.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Steady on, now, Homeland may read this site...

    EDIT: Ooops, sorry, I didn't notice that you live in a free country.
     
  8. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #8
    How high does a Mentos-coke rocket go?

    The compressed-air / water rocket I built for one of the engineering classes I had went about 220 feet up. Just wondering if that'd be high enough.
     
  9. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
  10. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #11
    I don't know about down in NZ but here in the US they have kits. You get a cardboard tube and various bits for fins and nose cones and a "motor" The motor is a small solid fuel rocket engine.

    The big brand is http://www.estesrockets.com/
     
  11. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    #12

    Well now you're screwed. They're gonna come get you for insinuating that we don't live in a free country. Don't you know that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms?! :D
     
  12. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a

    Tanglewood

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #13
    Well if you like random projectiles made from everyday things you can't go wrong with a potato launcher!

    It can be as simple as some ABS or PVC pipe, a potato, Aquanet, and a lighter.

    or as complicated as this:
    [​IMG]

    For more info check out the Spudtech.com.
     
  13. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2001
    Location:
    Tuttlingen, Germany
    #14
    I designed my own rockets and launch pad a few years ago. I constructed the rocket, but never got around to building the pad. The rocket itself was made from thick construction paper (almost like bristol board), and the motors were small ones from Wal-Mart or someplace.

    I passed the rocket, design schematics, and motors down to a friend of mine when I left for university, and he followed the instructions I left to build the launch pad. Apparently everything worked perfectly and he was averaging a couple hundred metres of air every launch, re-using the very same rocket I put together with a glue gun and a pair of scissors :p

    Pretty much anything that involves fire, explosions, and speed is great fun to build on your own. Books and guides be damned...engineer it for yourself and have some real fun! There's nothing more satisfying than designing something on your own from scratch and seeing it actually work as intended.

    Actually, on one of the links already posted, I saw mention of a tennis ball mortar. I had no idea other people had that idea too...I built one of those way back in the day as a twist on a potato launcher. Good times...
     
  14. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #15
    hahaha wooo, i think some kid got a dawin award for keeping potassium in his pocket (not in oil) and it cought fire, gave him some pretty bad burns. :p

    here's a Video about Alkali metals, in case your interested, or you just like to see stuff being blown up:D :D

    Linky!
     
  15. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #16
    ooh yes, these are VERY fun, and usualy quite safe,
    but i live in a city, near an airport so i cant launch them at my house. I have to go the desert or something.
     
  16. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #17
    I saw one in Wallyworld the other day that had a small 110 camera built it. It took 4 pictures at the top of its arc.
     
  17. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #18
    I've done this once, several years ago.
    It was great fun making the thing.

    A thick cardboard tube, the engine, a wooden cone (head(?)), a piece of string, a plastic bag and some scissors-cutable wood to use for wings.
    When the engine died, it ended with a small blast inside the rocket, ejecting the top cone (which is attached with the string). A long strip of plastic acts as a parachute.

    The guy who taught the workshop had the electrical launching pad. The launch button wasn't that big, but it was covered by a security cover plastic thing. Which was rather cool. :cool: :-D

    We then measured the hight these things went. Trigonometry ?

    Mine didn't do that bad.

    It would be great fun to try this again.

    You will have to keep us posted on your rocket now...

    ;)

    Cheers
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    get a thin long cardboard tube and mix up some glycerin and sodium chlorate (weed killer) it turns into a sort of paste, stuff the tube with the paste with a fuse going down the middle and put a washer in the bottom so it all comes out a small hole, secure the washer by perching needles through the cardboard under.

    anyway add fins and a pointy cap and light.
     
  19. medea macrumors 68030

    medea

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madison, Wi
    #21
  20. jamesmcd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jamesmcd

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #22
    Wicket, you guys rock. Thanks for all that information. I have some light reading to do it seems. :cool:
     

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