Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bug fixes released in version 1.1 of free instructions

I found a really irritating bug in the free instructions eBook. When the contents link in chapter 1, "Ian Clark Cable Tie Release" was clicked, then that link and every other link in the eBook would result in a pop-up registration form.

A previous bug that was fixed without rolling the version level was the link to the Plutoid 1B fin templates to a PDF file that didn't work. That one was caused by the software creating the PDF file automatically putting the extension "PDF" in capitals and the actual file name extension was in lower case which is standard formatting.

The release dates were also corrected from August (vol 1) and September (vol 2) to September and November or December respectively. The earlier dates were a projection before the project was even started. The current dates have not changed since the project actually got started. Don't worry, you should not expect the dates to keep sliding. I am still on track.

These bugs plus some other typographical errors and some format corrections and improvements were uploaded today as version 1.1.

If anyone runs into any other mistakes or problems, please leave a post here or send an email to me at gary@waterrocketmanual.com or both.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weekend With Grandkids, Stomp Rockets and Water Rockets

I had some of my grandkids visiting yesterday afternoon and again today. Yesterday my little 2+ year old grandson came to me and said "Papa, Papa...rocket, rocket," and kept repeating it until I relented and went out with him and my 6-year-old granddaughter and we did stomp rockets until we wore the rockets out. I made a mental note that my next batch of stomp rockets needed to be made more robust and more of them. They both just love them. We shot them in the air, into a tree in the yard several times, across the road into an empty field, at a fence, at my teenage "grandson" (not really a blood relative--nephew of my son-in-law) and trying to get them to land in a plastic tub (got close but never quite succeeded).

Then today, we were doing water rockets. We had just been doing bounce or "squash" recovery but we did some parachute recoveries and they loved that, at least until a slight wisp of a breeze came up and they drifted half a block away. That is one advantage of bounce recovery -- you can get a little more accurate with the recovery location.

When my teenage "grandson" and I retired to play Age of Empires III on two computers and my home wireless network, it wasn't long before my granddaughter was bugging me to go fly rockets some more. Unfortunately for her, I felt we should finish the video game first and then she finally got entertained by Nanna until they went home.

What a great couple of days! Back to work now...

Water Bottle Rocket Profiles for Fins

I have been working the last few days on a page that will be added to the web site. The page will be "Bottle Profiles for Fins." This may not seem like a very interesting topics but it actually is quite a time saver. I have prepared "exact" profiles for every bottle I have in my several cubic feet of supplies, put hem onto a gridwork and turned them into pdf files for downloading, viewing in a browser, and printing. You can then layout your fins for your water bottle rocket so that they will fit the curved sides of the top of the bottle (bottom of the rocket) that transitions to the nozzle (bottle neck and mouth). It saves tons of time in trying to fit them by trial and error. This page is almost ready to go so you should check for it now here: http://www.waterrocketmanual.com/bottle_profiles.htm. Then it will be back to work on the main manual so it will be ready before the end of September.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Welcome to the blog for Gary's The Complete Water Rocket Manual and related publications. I will be posting the progress towards releasing volume one and two here as well as other interesting information about water rockets and launchers. This is an open Blog and all are welcome to comment or ask questions. You can also contact me personally at gary@waterrocketmanual.com.

Currently, I am working on chapter 5 and am on track to complete volume one sometime in September.

This is brand new so don't be afraid to be the first to post.