Modern High-Power Rocketry 2
By Mark Canepa
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This Second Edition of Modern High-Power Rocketry contains more than 800 black-and- white
photographs and illustrations specifically created to introduce the model rocket enthusiast to the
exciting world of high-power rocketry.  Completely rewritten, photographed, and designed, this
book's 18 chapters and nearly 400 pages provides tips and simple advice on motor retention,
ejection charges, the high-power launch and building your first Level One, Level Two and Level
Three rockets.
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Here is a quick glance through a few of the subjects covered in each chapter of Modern High-Power Rocketry 2
INTRODUCTION
What is high-power rocketry?  How is it
different from model rocketry?  Is it
legal? Are there any rules?  How do I
find a launch site in my area? Are
there benefits to joining a rocketry
club? How do I join Tripoli or NAR?  
What is certification?  How old must a
person be to participate? Can teenagers
get certified, too? What is the biggest
high-power launch in the world? These
questions and many others are
answered in this introductory chapter of
Modern High-Power Rocketry 2
CHAPTER ONE: HIGH-POWER
ROCKET MOTORS
What is the fuel for a high-power rocket?  Is it
legal to own?  How is it stored?  Who are the
manufacturers of high-power fuel?  Is it liquid
or solid?  Where can I purchase rocket fuel?  
What is a reloadable motor? A single-use
motor? How is a hybrid motor different from
other high-power motors?  What does a rocket
label mean?  What is a Green Gorilla motor?  
Is it the same as a White Lightning motor?  
What is average thrust and why is it
important?  What is the center of pressure?  
How is it related to the center of gravity in
high-power rocketry?  Why do motors fail?  
What does a 700-pound high-power rocket look
like in flight? These questions and related
issues are addressed in Chapter One of Modern
High-Power Rocketry 2
CHAPTER TWO: LEVEL ONE CERTIFICATION
How do I obtain my Level One Certification? What motors are available?  Do I have to use a reloadable motor?  Where do I
obtain the paperwork?  Do I have to be a member of Tripoli or NAR to certify? What if I am under 18?  What if my rocket is
damaged during flight?  What is a delay element?  What does a relaodable motor kit look like?  How does it go together? Do
high-power rocket motors come with instructions? Are the instructions important? What is Black Powder? How is the motor
cleaned after flight? These and other questions are answered in Chapter One, where we also use an Aerotech H180W as an
example of how to assemble a high-power motor.  The pictures in this chapter are almost all new, with more close-up
photographs and information than ever.
CHAPTER THREE: LEVEL TWO CERTIFICATION
In this chapter we load three different motors: A Cesaroni Pro 38, an
Aerotech J350 and an Animal Motor Works K570. Each of these excellent
high-power motors are photographed in detail to help illustrate the basic
principles behind the various assembly techniques of the major motor
manufacturers.  The following questions, and many others, are also
answered: What is Level Two? How do I obtain Level Two certification?  Do
I have to take a written test?  How many questions are on the test?  How do
I study for the exam?  What is the passing grade?  Where do I get the
paperwork.
CHAPTER FOUR: MOTOR RETENTION
Motor retention is one of the most important aspects of a high-power rocket. What is motor
retention?  Is it really necessary in a high-power rocket?  What will happen without it?  How
come my rocket kit did not come with a retention system?  How do I install a simple system?  
What different designs are available?  What is a retaining ring in motor retention?  How does it
work?  Who makes them and where can I purchase one?  What is a motor adapter? What are
the benefits of an adapter?   This chapter covers all aspects of motor retention and, better yet,
provides real-life illustrations of the most common--and uncommon--methods available.  From
masking tape for small and lightweight rockets to aluminum retaining rings for 98mm M and N
motors: It's all covered in this chapter.
CHAPTER FIVE: HIGH-POWER
IGNITER'S
What is the difference between an electric
match and an igniter?  How do they both
work?  What motors will work with an
electric match?  What motors need an
igniter?  How do I hook up the leads of the
igniter?  What if it does not work?  What is
Blue Thunder and why do some people use
it with their igniter's or electric matches?
How do igniter's work in clusters and with
on-board ejection charges?  Can I make my
own igniter's?  This chapter will explain the
use of igniter's in high-power for motors of
all shapes and sizes.
CHAPTER SIX: EJECTION CHARGES
Ejection charges are used to seprate the rocket and deploy the parachute.  They are used in single and dual
deployment rockets.  This chapter includes: The use of Black Powder in a high-power rocket and where it is
obtained. What is a delay grain and how does it work?  What motors use built-in ejection charges?  What
motors rely on electronics-activated charges?  How does the Cesaroni delay adjusting tool work?  What is a
plugged closure?  How do I connect my ejection charges to my altimeter? Where do the ejection charges go
in the average high-power rocket and how is the charge loaded? What is my ejection time to short or too
long?  What is a zipper? Most important, this chapter explains how much Black Powder is necessary in the
average rocket and where to find additional information to calculate the right amount for your rocket.
CHAPTER SEVEN: LAUNCHING THE HIGH-POWER ROCKET
This entirely new chapter explains in detail the basic operations of a high-power rocket launch,
including: What is the difference between the RSO and the LCO?  Who has the ultimate authority on
the field?  What are the minimum range and field sizes for a high-power launch?  How far out must a K
motor be placed?  An M motor? What is NFPA 1127 and how does it relate to high-power rocketry?
Where can I find the Tripoli and the NAR safety rules and codes? What information is required on a
flight card? What is a waiver and how do I obtain one from the FAA?  This chapter also covers in detail
the high-power launch pad.  What is the difference between a rod and a rail?  Is one better than the
other?  How do they mount in your rocket?  What are the benefits of a launch tower?  What is a
standoff and why do I need one for my rocket?
CHAPTER EIGHT: HIGH-POWER ELECTRONICS
This chapter will introduce you to all of the basics of high-power electronics. What is the most
common type of electronic device used in high power?  What is the difference between an
altimeter and a timer?  Are all altimeters the same?  What is Mach and how does it affect some
altimeters?  What do altimeters and timers cost and where can I find one?  How do I hook up
my ejection charges to the altimeter?  What are the most common causes of errors with
altimeters and other on-board electronics--and how do I prevent them?  What is a static port and
how is its size calculated?  Is a static port the same thing as a vent hole?  What is a beeper?  Are
there GPS units used in high-power rocketry?  This chapter contains dozens of new photogrpahs
and discusses the latest in high-power electronics.
CHAPTER NINE:  ALTIMETER BAYS
This brand new chapter covers the basics of altimeter bays in high-power rocketry and shows the reader how
to build seven different bays.  The chapter covers the fundamentals of a good bay design and answers the
important questions that every rocketeer faces when building his or her own altimeter bay: Why must the
altimeter bay in my rocket be kept isolated from the ejection charges? Where should my altimeter bay be
placed in the rocket?  Can the altimeter bay be removable?  What method can be used to arm the altimeter
once it is in the bay? Can I buy an altimeter bay that is altready assembled?  Can I move one bay from one
rocket to another? How do I cut a hatch in my rocket's airframe for a hatch-accessed bay? What types of
switches are used in altimeter bays? This chapter contains diagrams and photogrpahs that will make it easy
for the rocketeer to construct their own buy--or find one from one of the major manufacturers.
CHAPTER TEN: DEPLOYMENT AND RECOVERY
Did you know that recovery problems are the number one cause of mishaps and crashes in high-power
rocketry? The Up part of rocketry is easy--the real challenge rests with getting your rocket back safely. This
chapter will help you prevent errors in your recovery system.  Entirely rewritten and photogrpahed, Chapter
Ten goes through all of the common causes for deployment failure and will help you attain Level One
through Level Three certification. With diagrams and photos illustrating both dual and single deployment,
this chapter also covers the following issues: What are the advantages of dual deployment and how does it
work?  What is a recovery harness an how long should it be?  What should the harness be made of? how do
successful rocketeers attach their harness to the rocket?  What is the best descent rate for a high-power
rocket and where can I find a descent rate calculator for free?  How do I pack my parachute?  What are
shear pins and how do they work?  This chapter has it covered, and much, much more.
CHAPTER ELEVEN: BUILDING THE LEVEL ONE ROCKET
Once again, Modern HIgh-Power Rocketry uses a Loc HiTech 45 as a platform to demonstrate the basics of building an
entry level high-power rocket.  But this time an enitely new rocket is built and you will follow it from kit form, to
launch, and to the suprising CATO on the pad for its very first flight!  This chapter covers all of the basic construction
techniques:  What epoxy to use and why.  Replacing the open eyebolt with a closed bolt.  How to install postive motor
retention.  How to attach the parachute, launch lugs, and much more (including how to repair a damaged rocket).  In
addition, this chapter is one of several chapters in Modern High-Power Rocketry 2 containing Case History studies from
rocketeers who describe their own experience in reaching Level One certification with either NAR or Tripoli.
CHAPTER TWELVE: BUILDING THE LEVEL TWO ROCKET
What are the requirements of a Level Two rocket?  What motors are available?  How much does a Level Two rocket
cost?  Can it be scratch-built or must it be constructed from a kit? Do I need to use shear pins?  What type of altimeter
bay works well with this rocket? Can the bay be built from scratch?  How do you cut fin slots in the airframe? These and
related questions are answered in Chapter 12, where we use the construction of a large Loc rocket kit--a Bruiser EXP--to
illustrate the step-by-step techniques used in the completion of a Level Two project.  Entirely new, this chapter also
features Case History stories from rocketeers who have successfully achieved Level Two certification.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: CLUSTERS, AIRSTARTS AND MULTI-STAGE ROCKETS
An investment in multiple motors can pay big dividends in excitement and fun. Chapter 13
covers it all. From basic cluster rules to construction tips and techniques, and how to ignite
multiple motors successfully.  This chapter provides information on timers and their use in
airstarts and where to mount them in your rocket.  See what a 345-pound clustered rocket looks
like when it leaves the pad, and learn how to protect your wiring for airstarted motors.  This
chapter uses the construction of a seven-motor clustered rocket to illustrate center of pressure
and center of gravity issues and ways to move the center of gravity forward in your rocket.  
Among other things, this chapter also covers multi-stage rockets and the basics of  putting
together your first two-stage rocket.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: LEVEL THREE AND BEYOND
Welcome to the leading edge of high-power rocketry!  In this entirely new chapter you will learn how to
successfully obtain your Level Three certification with the Tripoli Rocketry Association or the National
Association of Rocketry--the first time you try.  This chapter reviews the paperwork, the rules, the motors, the
pitfalls, and the differences in certification between Tripoli and NAR.  This chapter also contains several Case
Histories from rocketeers all over the world who share their stories with you as they travelled down the road to
Level Three.  Chapter 14 also contains valuable advice from TAP and L3CC members all over the country who
relate their observations of what it take to get certified on your first attempt.
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: BUILDING THE LEVEL THREE ROCKET
Do you think a Level Three rocket has to be expensive?  How about building one for $300?  How about $200?  
Can it be done for around $100?  The answer to these questions is yes--and we'll show you how.  In this new
chapter in Modern High-Power Rocketry, we construct a fully-functional Level Three rocket from scratch for
a little more than $300--and we show you how several "do-it-yourself" steps along the way can reduce the
price to half that cost!  You will see each component as it is assembled and learn where to obtain parts for
your Level Three project, and how materials from your Level One and Level Two rockets can be used  for
Level Three as well.  And we don't just build a rocket that never flies.  This rocket launches to more than
7,500 feet for a picture perfect flight and recovery.
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: BUILDING YOUR FIRST LEVEL THREE MOTOR
In this chapter we once again use an Aerotech M1419 to illustrate the assembly of your first
Level Three motor.  All of the photographs have been redone with cleaner, tighter angles to fully
illustrate the typical assembly of this powerful 98mm motor.  This chapter illustrates the
assembly of the forward closure and placement of the fuel grains in the liner.  It shows the
reader the importance of the o-rings and the assembly of the nozzle and aft closure.  The chapter
concludes with a helpful chart that compares the motors used for Level Three built by all the
major manufacturers in high power.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: CLEANING RELOADABLE MOTORS
Keeping your relaodable motor casings and closures clean will help protect one of your
biggest investments in high-power rocketry.  In this chapter you will learn how to clean the
typical reloadable motor.  what solvents are used?  What do you do with the old parts?  Are
all parts disposed of--or can some be used again? How soon after flight should you clean the
motor?  Is it possible to still clean a motor that has been sitting for six months, or longer?  
This chapter will cover all the basics, and will also point out some of the major differences
when cleaning Aerotech, Cesaroni, or Animal Motor Works motors.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: INTRODUCTION TO SCRATCH-BUILDING
With a little time and practice, some rocketeers can make just about anything fly.  In this concluding
chapter, completely rewritten and re-photographed, you will learn the basics of scratch-building.  You
will see UFOs, flying tetrahedrons, bowling ball rockets, minimum-diamteter rockets, and massive scale
projects. You will learn where to find the best source materials for scratch-building and how to upscale a
rocket from a kit, or downscale a rocket from the real thing.  You will be shown the basic tools of the
trade and how to cut centering rings, bulkheads and motor mounts.  This chapter will give you the tools
necessary to move forward into what is one of the most rewarding aspects of modern high-power
rocketry.
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