Tuesday, June 28, 2011

LDRB Party Report

Time flies, it has already been a week since the party.  Seemed to be quite a success, I think the birthday girl and her friends enjoyed it.  Water bottle rockets, Estes rockets, and a trebuchet throwing water balloons.  Quite an eclectic collection of activities.  It was a hot and humid day, so I think any water activities were well received.

Some assembly required prior to beginning the seige
First they assembled some Art Applwhite qbit and pyramid rockets.  As they were doing this I was trying to set up the Estes launch pad, however my ancient launch controller wouldn't work.  While I have a nifty Pratt Hobbies Go-box controller I purchased from Apogee I didn't have a working battery pack to hook it up to, and the car was parked in the lot too far away to reach.  Fortunately a friend showed up to watch the party and I put him to work fixing the controller (thanks, Brett).

I had some of the girls assemble the trebuchet.  I think they enjoyed hitting things with the rubber mallet the most.

After some practice they were able to get some good distance out of the water balloons with the trebuchet.  I had initially tried some small balloons (sold as "water bombs"), but they were too fragile.  I used some full size balloons filled to the size of a softball with water.


Target's Eye View
And yes, we all spent some time picking up balloon and string pieces from the field.

The water bottle rockets were a big hit, particularly the overhead launcher.  Here are some pics.
Party Favors!
Custom design takes flight
Splash up?
Once we got the Estes launch controller working we were able to do a few launches.

The Art Applewhite rockets flew surprisingly fast and high (A10-3T motor)!  The girls didn't do a great job gluing the tops (as the instructions stated), so the parachute charge blew through the top.  However, they had a great time with the first flight.  I will definitely use these again.
Launching a qBit
We also launched the Estes Oracle, and older model rocket that has a video camera in the nose.  Launched these on C motor.

Great shot of the Estes Oracle on launch

We launched Big Bertha and the BLU using B6-4 motors.  Both were good launches.  The kids enjoyed trying to catch the bomblets that came out of the BLU.

While I was picking up the motors from the hobby shop I impulse purchased an Estes ready-to-fly kit, the "Summit".   The rocket is surprisingly tall, given it comes in a box ready-to-fly.  The body is two equal length tubes, and it flew nicely.  If I had been more on top of things we would have set up to measure height of launch, but things were moving too quick for me to keep up.

Overall I received good reviews from the party.  A few technical glitches we were able to overcome.  The birthday girl seemed to enjoy herself, which is what it was all about, right? (no, not about me at all...)

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