February Meeting Minutes (2/21/2009)
The February 2009 MASA meeting was held on the 5th
at the Science Museum
A total of 14 people attended the meeting.
Next Launch: The next regular launch will be
on Saturday, February 28th at Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear
This will be a mod-roc launch (max 1 lb).
Next Meeting: The date, location, and
topic (NARCON review?) of
the March meeting will be announced soon. The March, April,
and May meetings will NOT be held at the Science Museum.
Possible MASA display at MarsCon scifi
convention in Bloomington. Anyone interested?
NARAM Fly-It / Take-It: Remember to
build a rocket (or two) this winter to donate for kids to fly and
take home with them at NARAM 51.
NSL: Memorial Day weekend in Wisconsin.
Dues: 2009 dues for new and renewing
members may be paid anytime. Dues remain at $12 family, $10
individual, and $5 junior. If you choose to have paper copies
of the Planet newsletter mailed to you, we are asking for an
additional $6 to cover printing and postage. (PDF versions of
the Planet are always available for download from the MASA web
Badge entries? The contest for the
2009 MASA badge design is still open. Only a few entries
have been received.
Reports from TARC mentors
FAR changes are now in effect - model rocket
definition goes all the way up to 53 ounces, propellant to 125
grams. No more LMR notifications!
Show and tell:
- Glen Overby had a "sonic rocket locator" - a $1 door alarm
from Harbor Freight. Glen also had a BigRedBee
- Lyle Merdan brought a prototype of his new fin alignment
- Dave Schaffhausen brought along his L1 cert rocket.
Ground Support Equipment (GSE)
The topic for the evening was GSE. In particular, home
built or modified launch controllers and pads. Nearly everyone
in attendance brought along an example. We reviewed the
fundamental requirements (interlocks, cord lengths, etc) and some
good parts sources.
- Alan Estenson brought along his 6-pad controller (seen at
most recent MASA launches) and his simple 2-pad controller (seen
in a past issue of the Planet).
- Glen Overby had his 3 channel launch controller. It
features a pad-side disarm feature. Glen also brought a
homemade head for a pvc pad. It featured a swivel made
from a plastic ball.
- Dave Whitaker brought a stock Quest controller, an Estes
Electron Beam controller modified with longer lead wires and 12
volt operation, an Estes Command Control, and a Pratt Hobbies
launch controller for hybrid motors.
- Tim Barr brought his classic 2 channel relay controller and
his pad made from aluminum extrusions.
- Ted Cochran brought his 12 pad controller and one 6-pad
relay box as well as his single pad launch controller.
- Caleb Boe brought his 8 pad controller that he built as a
- Jason Colt brought his custom launch controller. He
built it based upon a hand-crank flashlight, so his launch
controller is "green".
- Dwayne Shmel had his highly modified Electron Beam that he
extended into a 3-pad controller.
- Lyle Merdan brought an example that he built of the simple
GSE plans found on the NAR web site.