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Last updated: Feb 21, 2009
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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 Lake.  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.

Discussions

  • 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.  Road trip!

  • 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 site.)

  • 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 transmitter.
  • Lyle Merdan brought a prototype of his new fin alignment jig.
  • 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 4-H project.
  • 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.

(Alan Estenson)

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