Washington Aerospace Club
National Association of Rocketry Section 578
Tripoli Rocketry Association Prefecture 41

1/10/09 Meeting Minutes

Meeting began shortly after 7:00PM on January 10th, 2009 at Peace Lutheran Church in Puyallup.

Officer Elections

Elections for club officers took place in late December. The officers for 2009 will be the same as those for 2008:

  • President: Kent Newman
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Carl Hamilton
  • Launch/GSE Operations: Mike Wyvel

Old Business

Recent ATF Inspection

Andy Casillas had his magazine inspected by the ATF recently and found the new agents to be much more particular than in past inspections. While Andy's logs passed inspection without a hitch, the agents insisted that he put the magazine in a locked enclosure (even though it's is in his locked garage) or add 1/4" steel hoods to protect the locks. The agents wanted the changes to be made ASAP, but Andy was able to delay the work. He built a small "enclosure" around the magazine from 2x4s and sheet rock (1 hour rated) and that was enough to satisfy the agents; inspection passed.

Mid/High Power Launch Controller

We will continue to use our existing mid/high power launch controller this year. Bill Wyvel was kind enough to replace the old key switches in the system with new toggle switches. This, however, doesn't comply with the NAR or TRA safety codes which require a removable interlock in the launch system. Bill will order key switches to remedy the situation in time for the April launch.

New Business

Club Goals for 2009

Kent was unable to make the meeting, so we'll hear his 2009 goals for the club at the next meeting.

Carl's goals are to do a better job of publishing meeting minutes, improve the club's online registration system for membership and FITS, and get all the right people subscribed to the members email list. It's somewhat ironic that I'm typing these minutes the day of the February meeting.

2009 Launch Directors

Denny Smith and Mike Wyvel have already graciously volunteered to be the launch directors for Fire In the Sky 2009. Thanks guys!

We are looking for launch directors for our April and October commercial launches. Mark Lyons has offered to be LD in the past and we think he would be a great candidate for the April launch. Carl is waiting to hear back from Mark as to whether he would be interested or not. Robert Simpson-Clark has thrown his hat into the ring as the LD for the October launch if nobody else is interested.

New Launch Controller

We are still working on getting a new mid/high power launch control system. Denny Smith knows somebody that he says would be interested in doing it for the cost of parts. Denny will follow up and report back as he learns more. It would be great if the new system was ready for the April launch so that we could test it before FITS, but this probably won't happen so we should be ready to use our current system until after FITS.

New Launch Site

Through Dave Davis, a new potential launch site west of the Cascades has been discovered. The Bartleheimer farm near Snohomish has hosted pumpkin hurling events in the past and might be a suitable location for launching mid and high power rockets with a low ceiling. Mike Wyvel was going to try to take a look, but the entire area is still flooded from the late December snow and rain.

Pick-up Launches

Dave Randall and Robert Nech have been organizing pick-up launches at 60 Acres for the last couple of months. They will try to keep up a monthly schedule. Make sure you're subscribed to the Northwest Rocketry email list in order to receive announcements for these casual launches.

Show and Tell

It was "all things GPS" night. Dave Randall brought in the Garmin dog tracking system he has been using to track his rockets. He has two transmitters (in order to track two separate stages) and a single tracking unit. The system is nicely put together and packaged, with a minimum of components to deal with. He has been able to extend the radio's range by using a receiving antenna that he built himself. However, there have been a couple of instance where he lost radio contact with the transmitters that he is still trying to figure out.

Carl Hamilton brought in his BeeLine GPS, Kenwood radio, and Garmin GPS. This does the same thing as Dave's dog tracking system, but with more pieces and wires. Carl has used his setup on quite a few flights and it has saved his bacon on almost every single flight. He as even able to track his rocket inside a house.


Andy Casillas
Bill Clugston
Bill Wyvel
Brad Wright
Bryan Whitemarsh
Carl Hamilton
Dave Randall
Denny Smith
Mike Wyvel
Robert Simpson-Clark
Scott Bowers

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