By Robert Krausert, November 2009
TRA 10821 L2
Hobby of rocketry started in winter 2004 after talking with a co-worker. I dropped by his office to ask a question about a product, and he (John Cox) was handling a small electronic circuit board. I asked what it was, and John explained that the device was a timer so he can delay his camera from taking pictures until closer to apogee. What? Apogee? He explained that he’s part of a club that flies high power rockets. What? High power like E motors? He explained bigger. He explained and I began to become interested.
I purchased my son a hobby rocket for Christmas. I purchased and built one as well. We flew them over at the local school grounds and we were getting hooked. Decided this was for me, so I ordered several rocket kits. A LOC IV and PML Ariel were the two I started with. Ariel was modified and had dual deploy. OK, I’ve never flown high power and never built anything beyond Estes at this time. I joined TRA and joined OregonRocketry and went to the June 2005 launch. Finally after I over came nerves and a nasty sunburn, I prepped and flew the LOC for my L1 certification. All I remember at that moment is that Vern Knowles was signing my paperwork. OK, jazzed and ready for more – I purchased an I211 and got Ariel ready to fly. OK, I just (an hour before) flew my first H motor. Now I’m getting ready to fly a dual deploy rocket on an I211. Went up, and my nerves were a mess. Then at apogee I could see the drogue come out. Immediately went over to shake John’s hand. He reminded me it’s a good idea to watch where it goes. The main came out at 800 feet and landed on the road just east of the flight line.
So all that was cool UNTIL… Vern Knowles was ready to fly AngelFire from the south hill. Launching on an M and air starting 3 J350’s and then 3 J350’s. My son and I are standing on the flight line road watching. See the rocket fly was amazing. But it was the concussion sound from the motor that hooked me forever. My son and I looked at each other and said [bleep] yah!!
Received my L2 same year at Rocketober.
Ever since I’ve gotten more and more involved with the club and in 2009 was elected club president of OregonRocketry.
Amazing how many people and friends I’ve met along the journey. Favorite motor type is White Lightening. Favoriate motor is a J350, but soon becoming the K250. Began a tradition of doing 8-way and 10-way drag races at Sheridan launches. In 2009 was the first time my equipment had failed and we had no drag race. 2010 will be different. Favorite rocket is Back-Off, which has completed 39 flights. Never flew in 2009, as I was busy. Back-Off will pass the 40 mark in 2010. Also Back-Off has only flown on G64, G79, and G80 motors, except a drag race on a F motor. All, yes – white lightening. Biggest rocket is Happy Feet at 17.5 feet tall; 7 motors in the booster and 1 in the sustainer. Its test flight proved I needed a bigger center motor for boost. 2010 projects include a 4” glassed rocket and 2” glasses dart.
During the day I work for Intel Corporation, a fantastic company and been there for 13.5 years. Before then I was involved in the Laser Light Show industry, but go too old for the late nights after about 9 years.