Topics

Fall Meeting

Mike Nowak
 

In past years, we had one annual meeting in January to plan the entire year.  In order to better plan our "off season", we will have a brief meeting this Saturday at 11:00.  As of now, it will be held at the field before the launch.  There are only a few, but important agenda items:

2018 Officers
- This includes president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and senior adviser.  
Our section is dependent upon individuals to volunteer their time to manage launches, including storing and setting up range gear, communicating with new members and scout groups.  MTMA DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT A STRONG CORE OF OFFICERS.  If you have time and the motivation to help (you don't need experience), please step up and volunteer.  On a personal note, I will not be returning as president and not hold an office in 2018.

2018 Club Launch Calendar
- As of now, we have been scheduling launches on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from March through November, with the Sunday of the weekend as backup.  The questions are:  Is this too often or not often enough?  There has been a lot of discussion about reducing to once a month.  We need to decide.

Winter range gear maintenance.
- Our rack launcher needs massive repair or rebuild.  Our stand alone pads need work as well.  We need to set up plans to include who will do what, when they will do it and where they will do it.  We have some very talented members that can help but need their committment

Christmas Party
- John Ulizzi is volunteering to host a Christmas Party at his home.  Preliminary date is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  Thoughts?

As of now, the meeting will be held on the field before the launch.  This is subject to change due to weather, and may move indoors to a local restaurant.  We will at least have a speakerphone and hopefully skype for those who want to participate remotely.

If you want to share your ideas before the meeting, respond to this post.  That should help to stimulate discussion.

John Ulizzi
 

Hi All,

I will jump in and share a few of my ideas here and maybe get some conversation started. See my comments inserted below.

John U.

On Nov 8, 2017, at 7:40 PM, "\"Mike Nowak" <MikeMNowak@...> <MikeMNowak@...> wrote:

In past years, we had one annual meeting in January to plan the entire year.  In order to better plan our "off season", we will have a brief meeting this Saturday at 11:00.  As of now, it will be held at the field before the launch.  There are only a few, but important agenda items:

2018 Officers
- This includes president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and senior adviser.  
Our section is dependent upon individuals to volunteer their time to manage launches, including storing and setting up range gear, communicating with new members and scout groups.  MTMA DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT A STRONG CORE OF OFFICERS.  If you have time and the motivation to help (you don't need experience), please step up and volunteer.  On a personal note, I will not be returning as president and not hold an office in 2018.

I agree with Mike 100% on this. Although I also understand not everyone has the time. When I was nominated and elected Vice President this past year, I expected to have more free time than I ended up having. I am happy to remain on as VP if the club will have me, although I don’t know how much more free time I will have. But I shouldn’t have any less.I think the key here is effective use of our time, and that applies to all of us. I’ll get back to that in a bit. I don’t see myself as a candidate for president, not only because of the time commitment but I am also not the diplomat that is required for that position. That being said, I have seen quite a bit of new blood on the range this year, and to those of you that have enjoyed yourselves enough to return for several launches, this is your club as well ! It is what you ( we ) make of it. If you have had fun, and plan on launching more next year, consider stepping up to an office...

2018 Club Launch Calendar
- As of now, we have been scheduling launches on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from March through November, with the Sunday of the weekend as backup.  The questions are:  Is this too often or not often enough?  There has been a lot of discussion about reducing to once a month.  We need to decide.

While I like to punch holes in the sky as much as anyone, twice a month, especially in our weather, is nice. Or is it? That means that twice a month someone has to commit to watching the weather like a hawk, making a last minute call on which day the winds will be the lesser of two evils, being chided for not making the right choice, and THEN bringing and setting up the launch gear. My suggestion would be to back off to once a month, but make that one launch a fuller day, like from 10 to 5. This raises several questions. Is the field still ours on the other weekend? Say we commit to launching the second weekend. Is the field available to us on the fourth weekend  as well, or do we lose it ? If it is available to us, what are the qualifications needed to launch on that weekend if it is not a club launch?  Seems many of us have our own gear to launch with, and could do so without it being a “club launch”. I belong to a local chapter of a national motorcycling organization that has gone through some of these same issues. At one time there was a ride EVERY Saturday. There was no need for organized rides, as there were enough active riders that 6 -10 showed up on any given weekend. A Yahoo group helped to sort out details. But then the herd thinned, as inevitably happens with every organization. We agreed to schedule one monthly ride the first Sat of the month, the local director did that, and if anyone else wanted to ride on any given Saturday, they simply posted it, and any that wanted to join did so. It worked, and has worked for several years. I recommend we do the same here. Pick the 2nd or 4th Saturday as our official club launch, and make it a longer day. Further, I recommend we rotate launch officer duties ( that can be sorted out at our January meeting, or even at the Christmas Party. Must you be an officer to be the RCO on any given launch day? I suggest we rotate thru officers, and even active club members if permitted, to share the load on this. Also, and I am as guilty as the next guy, try to show up early and/or sick around afterward to help with set up and break down of range equipment.

Winter range gear maintenance.
- Our rack launcher needs massive repair or rebuild.  Our stand alone pads need work as well.  We need to set up plans to include who will do what, when they will do it and where they will do it.  We have some very talented members that can help but need their commitment

The rack launcher, or at least most of it, is currently in my possession, although the last time part of it was handed back to me, it was with express orders from two of you ( I won’t mention any names ! LOL ) to never allow you set eyes on it again. While I wanted to rebuild it last season, I am starting to see the wisdom of your comments. It’s toast. It is large and cumbersome, and the fact that it is now old and creaky makes it worse. We need new stuff guys, it is that simple. I don’t know what our budget is, but I am guessing Mark can shed some light on that. Our controller is very capable, we need launchpads of the same caliber to make this work. Our high power pad is likely repairable, some drilling and re tapping and general sprucing up is all that is needed there. I would suggest that we invest in a Midpower pad, one that sports a 2020 rail. I plan to build or buy one myself over the winter and will share my findings with the club. For a Low power rack, I have several suggestions/ideas. I much favor the style of the old beat up PVC rack over the current cumbersome and difficult to adjust rods on top of storm fence posts pounded into the ground. I really do not like those at all. I have a plan ( in my head) for a rack that would be similar in style to the PVC unit but will when disassembled will pack up into a much more compact package. This would also make the “ equipment guy”s job a bit easier. Skybusters/Tripoli has a very nice low power rail. Its individual launch rails are very well done, easily and independently adjustable for windage, and different size rods are swapped out via Insta bit collets, like you find on a cordless impact driver. It is pretty slick, and I think we could even improve on the leg supports to make it break down more compactly. I would be happy to build this thing over the winter. I have the skills, the tools, and ( over the winter) the time to do it myself  My problem is sourcing the pieces parts. They are all available at McMaster Carr, as that is where they were sourced to build the one the other club has, but I cannot find them. And if you don’t know what you are looking for at McMaster Carr, you are kinda SOL. And I am a self labeled computer retard. So, if someone would help me source the parts from McMC, I would be happy to make the thing. Or we could have a launch build party over the winter and do it as a group. Alternatively, there 


Christmas Party
- John Ulizzi is volunteering to host a Christmas Party at his home.  Preliminary date is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  Thoughts?

As of now, the meeting will be held on the field before the launch.  This is subject to change due to weather, and may move indoors to a local restaurant.  We will at least have a speakerphone and hopefully skype for those who want to participate remotely.

If you want to share your ideas before the meeting, respond to this post.  That should help to stimulate discussion.

John Ulizzi
 

Sorry, I meant to save the draft and sent the message unfinished instead...

On Nov 8, 2017, at 7:40 PM, "\"Mike Nowak" <MikeMNowak@...> <MikeMNowak@...> wrote:

In past years, we had one annual meeting in January to plan the entire year.  In order to better plan our "off season", we will have a brief meeting this Saturday at 11:00.  As of now, it will be held at the field before the launch.  There are only a few, but important agenda items:

2018 Officers
- This includes president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and senior adviser.  
Our section is dependent upon individuals to volunteer their time to manage launches, including storing and setting up range gear, communicating with new members and scout groups.  MTMA DOES NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT A STRONG CORE OF OFFICERS.  If you have time and the motivation to help (you don't need experience), please step up and volunteer.  On a personal note, I will not be returning as president and not hold an office in 2018.

2018 Club Launch Calendar
- As of now, we have been scheduling launches on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from March through November, with the Sunday of the weekend as backup.  The questions are:  Is this too often or not often enough?  There has been a lot of discussion about reducing to once a month.  We need to decide.

Winter range gear maintenance.
- Our rack launcher needs massive repair or rebuild.  Our stand alone pads need work as well.  We need to set up plans to include who will do what, when they will do it and where they will do it.  We have some very talented members that can help but need their commitment

Alternative to building launchers, we could purchase them. Fade To Black Rocket Works is back in business, and seems to be a viable source. I had a conversation with Fred, the owner,  a month or so ago, and while he doesn’t advertise multi rod rails he can certainly build them…

But either way, having the right launch gear not only makes our launches more enjoyable, it also makes the equipment set up, breakdown, transport, and storage go much easier...

Christmas Party
- John Ulizzi is volunteering to host a Christmas Party at his home.  Preliminary date is the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.  Thoughts?

We did this last year, and IMHO it worked out well. I would be happy to do it again. Last year it was on a Sunday, I’m going for a Saturday this time and if the party evolves into a late night drinking building session, well, so much the better… If I might say so myself, those of you that were not there missed a good time !


As of now, the meeting will be held on the field before the launch.  This is subject to change due to weather, and may move indoors to a local restaurant.  We will at least have a speakerphone and hopefully skype for those who want to participate remotely.

If you want to share your ideas before the meeting, respond to this post.  That should help to stimulate discussion.