Imagine there are pictures!
I didn't take any, because, honestly, unless you're a fellow rocketeer, you're only going to recognize the final product as a rocket! But, I've got the motor mount (massively overbuilt motor mount at that) installed in the Screamin' Green Meanie, and have the re-enforcing fillets drying. Also started construction on the Estes Big Daddy. Again, overbuilding the motor mount. Both of these have 24mm motor mounts, and I have a Rouse-Tech 24mm reload case. This means I can get some pretty powerful F-class motors in both these rockets, so they need the motor mounts overbuilt to handle them.
I've got my choices for L2 project down to 2. I just haven't made a final, final decision. It's a tough decision, and I don't want to make a choice and then immediately wish I'd gone the other way.
Before I ramble on about my 2 choices, an explanation of a few concepts in rocketry! You may have built a low-power Estes rocket before, for boy or girl Scouts, or 4-H, or similar. Or just for fun. Or not. Anyway, when one of these is launched, in order to get it back, a parachute is ejected by a small explosive charge in the motor. It just pressurizes the body and pops the nose cone off, pulling the parachute out, and letting the rocket come down safely. This is what's called "motor ejection" or "single deploy." It's used even in high-power, up to even L2 sized motors. It's simple, mostly reliable, and as long as you don't mind walking, you get your rocket back. Depending on how high your launch is, there is of course some drift as air currents carry the parachute-slowed rocket in the direction of the winds. But what if your launch altitude is, say, 8,000 feet? How about 16,000 feet? Heh.
Enter "dual deploy." With dual deploy, you use electronics - usually an altimeter - to deploy 2 separate recovery systems at predetermined times. The usual way it's setup is a small parachute (referred to as a "drogue" parachute) or even a streamer is deployed at or near apogee (max altitude). This slightly slows the rocket's descent, but doesn't allow for much drift, as the chute (or streamer) doesn't slow it a lot. Then, at a predetermined altitude (much lower), the altimeter fires off another charge, which deploys the "main" parachute, that slows the rocket to a safe touchdown speed. If you choose the main's deployment altitude correctly, you don't have to drive to the next county to get your rocket back. ;)
Now onto my L2 rocket choices/dilemma...
Everyone (and I do mean everyone) in the club is recommending the Performance Rocketry G3. It's a very good rocket. It's all G10 fiberglass - even the motor mount and nose cone. It comes standard setup for dual deploy, which is nice for high power K type motors which will push it to over 11,000 feet. Plus the learning experience of setting up dual deploy and the like would be cool. And, you can build it so you can convert between normal old-school motor ejection and dual deploy at will. So I wouldn't "have" to use dual deploy at all, until I'm ready / want to. I know, though, that the main reason people recommend that one is because it's L3-capable. L3 requires electronics/dual deploy, so you've got to get experience with that area of the hobby. I actually have no plans to go for L3 certification. The reload cost alone would mean that I could only fly at that level about once a year if that. And it just seems silly to do the research and documentation required to get the cert, if you're not going to use it often, or at all.
The other kit I'm considering for L2 is a more simple design, but one I like a lot. A Polecat Aerospace 5.5" Goblin. This is a simple, motor ejection based, 54mm motor mount rocket. Easy to build, very tough, and a definite MPR - L2 HPR workhorse. Kit cost is a little less. There's no provision for electronic/dual deploy, so if I end up wanting to get into that area of the hobby, I'd then need another kit (which would end up being... the G3). I like the looks of the Goblin design; it's a classic design that's available in every size from micro all the way up to gigantic L3 beasts.
So I'm not sure. A couple guys from the club are bringing their G3's to the meeting, to sell me on the kit, so maybe after I've seen the G3 in person I'll be more sold on it. It's not that I don't like the G3 at all, I'm just not sure I "need" it. Though, it is extremely versatile. Can fly it on a simple, cheap G with motor ejection, and then a few quick swaps and drop in a high end K with dual deploy and fly it to over 11k feet... Sure, the Goblin can fly on a K as well, but it's motor-ejection only so you're going to get drift. A lot of drift. :D
I'm probably going to make my long EVE Online post mid/late next week. I'm 1d 12h away from a Drake, and I'm definitely enjoying the depth of the game, even though I'm not playing a huge amount. Most of my gaming time is happily spent rampaging Norrath. :D Though lately not so much rampaging as harvesting things for a brat 10 year old from Village of Shin... Hehe. Kunark, hailed by almost everyone as the best content in EQ2, is only a few levels away for us, though! I can't wait to see what the fuss is about. Kunark in EQ1 was very cool, so I've got high hopes for Kunark-EQ2. Literally everyone that plays the game says it's the best content available. So, we'll see!