Saturday, August 30, 2014

FLARE Flight Test

The Powered FLIC replacement model got a first flight test on August 28 at the schoolyard soccer field on August 28, 2014.

The "FLARE" was very stable with the 1/2A3-4t engine, no wiggle or coning.
The engine ejected but the nose cone came off so it didn't come in ballistic.
No damage, the card stock tail cone was just a little wet from the grass.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Little Green Men SOLD OUT! sold out of the Little Green Man kits in two days!
More L.G.M. and Pigasus kits are on the way to

Time to order more nose cones . . .

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Makes A Better LPR Parachute? Part 2

Some vendor parachutes have paper reinforcement rings. Those can easily tear. The rings included in the Odd'l parachutes are plastic.

The red and white colors are highly visible from the ground.
The scalloped gore design looks great on sport and scale models.

Why didn't I go with a 24" parachute?
What was the last model you made using a 24" parachute?
The 18" parachute is the best selling size. You can still make one 12", 15" or 18" from one chute kit.
Have a model that needs something bigger? Simply tie on two parachutes and have them recover side by side.

The new parachutes are included in the Pigasus and Little Green Man kits.
DFR Tech kits use the new chutes in their kits.
They are available for sale from (with the JonRocket logo in the center) and Balsa Machining Service (generic, no logo)

Monday, August 25, 2014

More Kits!

It seems like all I bag up now are Pigs and Martians!
These two have been very popular so far, 75 Pigasus kits have gone out since last April.
I know, that doesn't sound like a lot. It's quite a bit for a one man operation. got more Pigasus and Little Green Men kits yesterday. will get a litter of pigs and a batch of Martians in the mail tomorrow, the first time they will be listing the L.G.M. rockets!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Makes A Better LPR Parachute? Part 1

Last September I started drawing what I hoped would be a better LPR parachute. It turned out to be a bigger task than expected.
Printing on poly sheeting is not the same as printing on paper.
Flexible, rubber plates are used and the graphics are handled differently.

The parachute has a historic look. It resembles the recovery parachutes from the Apollo missions.
The NASA parachutes had 64 gores, this parachute has only 32. When looking at a 18" parachute with 64 gores it can mess with your eyes and become an optical illusion.

The parachute can be made as a 12", 15" or 18" size. Shroud lines to make the 18" chute are included, you simply cut shorter lines for a smaller parachute.
Three different spill holes are indicated, a 3", 4" and 5".

The reinforcement ring locations are set farther to the outside edge of the parachute. Some vendor parachutes have the ring locations too far away from the edges.
The dashed cut lines are thinner, the cut lines shouldn't detract from the looks of the parachute.

Some LPR parachutes seem thin at 1 mil or one thousandth inch thick. I wanted something stronger and decided on a 1.5 mil poly sheet.
See next post for Part 2

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little Green Man Parts!

In today's mail I got laser cut fins and centering rings for the LGM and Pigasus kits!
More kits to bag up!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"FLARE" Shroud Design

I made the first drawings of the conical base stability model, tentatively called the Flare. (The Bell Bottom name is already owned by Hot Rod Rockets.)
The shroud was drawn up using the Payload Bay Transition Tool
CLICK HERE then transferred to Corel Draw.
Only three will fit on a 8 1/2" x 11" card stock sheet.

One feature in the upcoming kit revision - 
The hard to cut launch lug hole will be pre-punched. You can see it indicated by the black dot in the upper left shroud.
For now - print, fit, redraw - repeat!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Green Man Sold Out!

The first batch of Little Green Men sold out in one day!
As soon as I get engine mount centering rings, more will be made up and go out to all the Odd'l Rockets vendors.

One email asked: "Why did you just make a few?"
When I started Odd'l Rockets I would make up a "batch" of 30 kits at one time.
Some sold well, others just sat. You don't want to be stuck with custom cut parts that can only be used in one design. Most all the parts in the L.G.M. are specialized.

Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Little Green Man Kits!

After two prototypes, test flights and too many revisions, the first seven Odd'l Rockets 
kits have been bagged up! I'm hanging on to #1, the remaining six kits are available from:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Upscale Break-Away - The Castaway!

Ari Krupnik (Iter on TRF) built an upscale of the Odd'l Rockets Break-Away called the Castaway.
Ari and his daughter Leah started with the 1" diameter Break-Away kit
His larger version is made from 2.6" diameter tubing.

It has flown with F, G and H engines.
The complete thread with videos is HERE

It's great to see one of your designs in a larger scale.
I'm still waiting for someone to upscale the Pig!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Odd'l Rockets Little Green Man C6-5 Flight

Jimmy Yawn shot a great video of a Little Green Man flight at the recent NEFAR launch.
Scroll down to the 12th video

Monday, August 11, 2014

Powered FLIC Replacement

The combo kit was pretty successful with school groups. Some teachers like to show students other methods of stability.
I'm almost out Shuttle FLICs. Quest doesn't offer them on the website anymore.
The Shuttle looks great but I need to find something appropriate as a substitute.

The Corkscrew demonstrates a different kind of stability. The FLIC replacement model should do the same.

Over the past four years I've had great luck with the Hot Rod Rockets Bell Bottom design. Stable and seemingly indestructable! Something like this would be a perfect fit.

It's a BT-5 based model that flys high with inexpensive 13mm engines. Streamer recovery works well for smaller schoolyard recovery.
My model won't be a copy of the Hot Rod Rocket design. This was a great kit.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

L.G.M. Instruction Face Card Art

I've finished the face card art for the first instruction page.

This involved a dozen photographs of the second prototype in different lighting.
The best was picked and cropped around the outside lines.
Color enhancement was done, then contrast and brightness.
A tip vortex was drawn off the legs and flame and exhaust off the back end.

I'd rather give the customer an actual picture off a real finished model instead of a model drawn in 3D.

After I get in two more flights using C6-5 engines it'll be time to bag them up!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

UP! Cup Streamer Packing Tips

Most Odd Ball rockets take a few extra minutes to prep for flight.
The UP! Cup is different and takes some extra care.
The 20mm engine mount tube is over sized for a reason. A streamer is taped to and wrapped around the engine casing making a "slip" friction fit in the engine mount tube.
The instructions say to wrap the streamer around the engine casing in a  spiral, like a barber pole.
Wrapped this way, the streamer unfurls about half the time.
Here's a better way to wrap the streamer:

Tape the end of the streamer at the top of the engine at an angle.
Wrap the streamer down the engine to the bottom of the casing.

At the nozzle end, flip over the streamer tail making it bend at the bottom.
Continue wrapping, now going up to the top of the engine.

When you reach the top, turn over the streamer again and wrap a spiral down to the nozzle end again.

Continue until the streamer is fully wrapped around the engine.
The streamer shown here is a thin red plastic, 1" wide x 20" long.
That length provides a fit that keeps the engine in the mount and still allows for an easy ejection.
The back and forth spiral wrap will unfurl after it is ejected from the rocket.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Product - Odd'l Rockets Flame Resistant Shock Cord

Years back, elastic shock cords contained more cotton.
Now elastic contains a larger percentage of polyester. Polyester easily burns.

For better protection, I've developed a Flame Resistant Shock Cord.
It is specially treated with a flameproof solution.
Each package contains 8 yards (24 feet) of 1/8" wide treated Elastic.

NOTE: This elastic cord is "flame resistant" not flameproof.
Will it guarantee a flawless recovery? No.
But your shock cord will last much longer being less susceptible to burn through and breaks. is the first vendor to carry the shock cords.
I know - "Where's the 1/4" wide shock cords?
If these sell, the wider shock cords could follow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Whatever Happened To . . . 3/16" Raise Springs?

I've sold a few thousand of the 1/8" rod RAISE Springs.
This was one of the first Odd'l Rocket's products.
I had very positive responses on the springs. Chan Stevens did a great review on Rocket Reviews: CLICK HERE

But the question came up: "Why don't you make them for 3/16" rods?"

I contacted the vendor and had ten of the 3/16" springs made up.
It was over $150.00 for the initial set-up fee. After sending these out (with shipping, this first small run of springs ended up costing over $18.00 each.

On the forums I asked if anyone was interested in trying them out. Seven 3/16" springs were sent out, understanding that a "review" would follow.
I never got a single report back!
If you ever volunteer to do a product review, please follow through and send your comments to the vendor.

The interesting thing about the 1/8" Springs - When a rocket sits on the "arm", the weight of the model locks the spring on the rod. On the 3/16" spring it didn't seem to grab the rod as well.
Larger rockets are heavier and too much weight could slide the spring down the rod

The old Centuri Rocket Positioning Spring worked well if you kept it away from the engine hook! Estes also sold the springs for a while.
I thought this was something Centuri had made for them. It turns out they were wheel retainers for larger R/C airplanes. You would simply slide the wheel on and twist the spring over the axle.

Recently I bought a Centuri Starter Set on Ebay. Included was an original rocket adjustment spring. I was curious to try them side by side with the Raise spring.
I could barely get the Centuri spring over the 1/8" rod that came with the set. It wasn't adjustable!
The Odd'l Raise Spring slides up and down the rod by just pinching it with two fingers.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

First and Second Prototype Comparisons

The previous posts showed the first prototype build.
To the left is the second Little Green Man Prototype and the final kit version.

Anytime an original design is finished, I'll look at it close and wish some things were different.
This design went through subtle changes between the first and second versions.

The finished model is on the left.
The belt buckle is slightly smaller and an oval shape.
If you cut it out carefully, the buckle will have a black border.
The hands now have individual fingers. The finger and toe nails are now green.

The angle of the feet are turned up, closer to vertical.
The feet are a bit larger.
The green toe nails are bordered in black and have a more defined shape.

The upper half of the model stayed pretty much the same.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Odd'l Rockets Little Green Man Prototype Finished!

This was a fun one, a little like the Pigasus in some of the design elements.
It uses the same nose cone, engine mount and body tube as the Pig.
I added a white card stock tooth. It looks much better than the clear area on the water slide decal.
There are many visual levels to this design. The eyes are raised, the white tooth looks raised and the small hands aren't in line with the two front legs.

I didn't show it in the build pics, the pipe cleaner antennas were white glued into the holes drilled earlier.

From some angles the LGM looks a little angry.
Straight on it just looks goofy.

Here's the view from the back, I've yet to add the ray gun on the left side.
The angled out feet will provide base drag and could improve stability.
A 12" Odd'l Rockets parachute rounds out the build.