Replace the Light Bulb in Your Older Estes Launch Controller With an LED (For Free, Almost)

 

Almost Free LED UpgradeWe have added a red LED to our catalog.  The bright LED fits in the socket of many older 6V launch controllers, such as the Estes Electron Beam, replacing the old-fashioned light bulb.  

We’ve tested the LEDs successfully in a couple of old Estes controllers we have laying around.  It seems to work fine with both the old and new Estes igniters, or,as the new ones are now called, “Starters.”

We haven’t tested then with any other igniters, such as the Quest Q2G2s yet, but they should make the older Estes controllers safe to use with the lower-current igniters.  

We would like your opinion of how well these LEDs work to replace the light bulbs in your older launch controllers.  So, we are offering you one for free. 

 

Well, almost for free.

 

The online shopping software we use at JonRocket.com won’t let us list a free product.  I could have fixed that, but it was easier to offer the LED for one cent.

Yes, you still need to pay for shipping.  But, shipping is free (in the US) if your order totals $40 or more.

 

This special offer is limited to one per customer and to the first 25 customers who order a one-cent LED.

 

Once you’ve tried one of these LEDs, please send us an email (or use the “Contact Us” link on our web site) to let us know what you think of it.

Aerospace Speciality Products

ASP WAC CorporalWe’ve added scale model rocket kits and parachutes from Aerospace Speciality Products to our online store. We approached ASP about carrying their kits after reading reviews in the Model Rocket Building Blog and at RocketReviews.com.  The reviews convinced us that ASP’s kits are of the best quality and are sure to please our customers.

ASP offers scale models in a wide range of sizes, from tiny rockets powered by MicroMaxx motors to large ones propelled by E and F motors.  Often several scale models of a single real-world rocket are available.  For example, the WAC Coporal is offered as a single-stage, MicroMaxx-powered kit (pictured) as well as a two-stage kit powered by a 24mm motor in the booster and an 18mm motor in the upper stage.

Estes Price Increase

Estes No. 2 Skywriter KitEstes has announced a price increase effective April 1st. The list price for about a dozen of their products will increase.  The affected products include the No. 2 Skywriter, Alpha bulk set, and their plastic parachutes.

We’ve updated the “MSRP” for the products on our site, but have kept our discounted prices the same for now. Our prices will be adjusted at the beginning of April as we restock the items.

 

JonRocket.com at NARCON 2014

We had a fun time at the National Association of Rocketry’s 2014 Convention, NARCON, in Cocoa Beach.

Our room had a wonderful view of the beach and ocean, but the event kept us so busy that we had little time to stay in the room.

International Palms ResortWe covered four tables in the vendor room with an assortment of rocketry products.

2014_03_01_08_39-000We had the pleasure of meeting many interesting people including Vern and Gleda Estes.

Bracha with Vern and Gleda EstesWe introduced a couple of new products which will be available from JonRocket.com soon.

Odd'l Rockets PigasusDesigned by Chris Michielsson, the Pigasus is a new kit from Odd’l Rockets.

Chris also designed the new plastic parachutes for JonRocket.com.

JonRocket.com ParachuteThe plastic sheet is part of a parachute kit which can be used to make a 12″, 15″, or 18″ parachute.

Bracha and I had a wonderful time at NARCON. We would like to thank and congratulate the organizers for bringing a world-class event to Central Florida!

GRITS Winternationals

Bracha and I just returned from the inaugural GRITS Winternationals regional rocket launch near Tifton, Georgia. Although the weather provided some challenges on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was cool, clear, and calm – a perfect day for rockets!

JonRocket.com Tent

We set up our tent on “Vendor Row” near the low-power launch pads. Our six-foot tall “Big Daddy Akavish” stood guard next to the tent. The cotton farm provided an excellent site for launching rockets, both small and large.

GRITS Launch

 

We had the pleasure of meeting several customers of JonRocket.com. It was also nice to meet a number of local people who had come just to watch the launch.  We sold a few ready-to-fly and easy-to-assemble rocket kits so we hope to see many of them at next year’s GRITS launch!

While Bracha took photographs from the ground using our DSLR camera. I took aerial photos and video of the event using the camera on my Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter.

Roger's Quad Copter

 

You can view our photos in the GRITS Winternationals Photo Album at RocketReviews.com. I’ll post a video of the launch later.

Semroc Update

SemrocCarl McLawhorn started Semroc Astronautics in 1967 in his college dorm room.  Today Semroc manufactures many of the model rocket kits we sell including replicas of classic designs from Estes Rockets, Centuri, and others. Carl died earlier this year, but his wife Sheryl, and son Bruce, along with other members of the family, continue to operate the company to the high standard set by Carl.

Unfortunately, the McLawhorn family has once again been hit by tragedy as Bruce is in the hospital in serious condition. His prognosis for recovery is good and we wish him a speedy recovery.

In the mean time, Semroc’s web site is off-line due to an issue with the domain name registration. The problem should be resolved soon.

In order not to burden the family during this time, we are not placing any restock orders with Semroc. But, we have every reason to believe that Bruce will be okay and that Sheryl and Semroc will be back as strong as ever.

If you wish to make a contribution to help Bruce and his family with their medical bills and other expenses, you may send a donation through PayPal to Semroc’s email address, sales@semroc.com. Sheryl will forward the money to the family’s church which is administering a fund to support Bruce’s family.

DFR’s Atlas V New Horizons Kit

On January 19, 2006, an Atlas V launched from Cape Canveral Air Station to prepel NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on its three billion mile journey to Pluto. When New Horizons reaches Pluto in the Summer of 2015 it will be travelling about 30,000 mph, too fast for it to be able to slow down to got into orbit around Pluto.  Instead, New Horizons will snap photographs and capture data as it passes within 6000 miles of Pluto’s surface.

DFR’s scale model of the Atlas V in its “New Horizons” AV511 configuration is JonRocket.com’s latest addition to our online catalog. This is DFR’s most detailed kit to date with many 3D printed parts and a pre-applied vinyl wrap on the body tube.

DFR Technologies New Horizons Atlas V

 

Parasite Gliders

Guillow Delta DartWhen I was young, my favorite rocket was the Estes Omega.  I had saved for weeks to purchase the Omega and the Cineroc movie camera payload for it.  I flew the Omega only once with the movie camera. But, I flew it many more times without the camera.

At the time, it seemed like a really big rocket. And it flew using really big (and scary and expensive) D motors.  Although it was a two-stage kit, I always flew it as a single stage rocket.  After all, two D motors were even scarier (and more expensive).

For some of the later flights of the Omega, I attached two small gliders to the rocket. The little foam gliders would separate and glide back to earth as the rocket came down under its parachute.

The little foam gliders I used back then were delta shaped, looking sort of like the Space Shuttle’s orbiter which was still just a design on the drawing board at the time. Manufactured by Guillow, the gliders cost 25 cents each.

The gliders were designed to be hand-launched or launched with a rubber band. But, I stuck a small dowel into the foam hook on the bottom of the front of the glider. Then I cut a small section out of a launch lug.  I glued the launch lug section onto the rocket’s body tube centered between two fins and just high enough above the fins so that the glider would hang on the lug with the back of its wing resting on the fins.

After I placed the rocket on the launch pad, I’d hang the glider on the launch lug segment.  At apogee, the glider would fall off and glide down on its own.  The Omega’s mighty D engine was powerful enough to allow the rocket to carry two parasite gliders at once.

We recently added Guillow’s Delta Dart gliders to our online catalog. These are almost the same as the gliders I used so many years ago.  The are are a little lighter than the ones I remember.  And they cost a little more than 25 cents each. But, they work just as well as parasite gliders.

 

Shopping at a Launch

JonRocket.com TrailerLook for the JonRocket.com trailer at local launches in Central Florida.

On-site at launches, we sell a large selection of model rocket motors as well as many of the other supplies and accessories you may need for the launch. The items we normally stock include:

  • Model Rocket Motors (up to G total impulse)
  • Igniters
  • Recovery Wadding
  • Parachute Protectors
  • Parachutes (from 6 to 120″ in diameter)
  • Streamers
  • Streamers
  • E-Matches
  • Ejection Charge Refills
  • Ejection Charge Cannisters
  • O-Rings
  • Motor Adapters
  • Launch Lugs and Rail Buttons
  • Adhesives and Tape
  • Batteries

For convenience, we normally keep most things that we sell in the trailer, so please feel free to ask Bracha or I for whatever you need at a launch.

To make it a little easier for you to see what we have available on-site, you can visit the JonRocket.com Mobile Web Site on your smart phone or tablet. The mobile web site allows you to browse the selection of items that we have available at launches.

In addition to the items listed on the Mobile Web Site, we usually also bring a small selection of rocketry kits, parts, toys, and other items which we display on tables under our shade canopy. If there is anything from our on-line catalog that you would like for us to bring to a launch, please let us know.

We usually attend each ROCK launch in Oviedo, Florida, on the first Saturday of the month.  We try to attend the NEFAR launch on the second Saturday.  We occasionally attend the TTRA or SRA launch on the third Saturday.

We accept cash and credit cards for your on-site purchases.

Quest Water Rockets

We recently Quest Water Rocketsadded Quest’s Water Rocket kits to our catalog. We didn’t sell them in the past because we thought they were just cheap toys.

But, a few weeks ago we watched our grandson and his friends play with a set and we were impressed. The water rocket sets are well designed and constructed. And kids love them.

We found that you do have to be careful. Follow the directions to the letter and you’ll be safe and have fun.  Specifically, make sure that you use the included stake to hold the launch pad to the ground so that it doesn’t tip over when the rocket is launched. Make sure that the nut and bolt on the top of the pad are tight.  And, before each launch, ensure that the string is threaded through the hook near the bottom of the launch pad.