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Flight Log Improvements

Flight Log StatsYou can now manage your Flight Log at Community.RocketReviews.com.  Log in using your RocketReviews.com email address and password.  Then click the “My Flight Log” link in the “My Account Menu.”

The Flight Log dashboard will be displayed with brief statistics about the information in your Flight Log.  At the top of the dashboard is a menu bar.

Click the “Rockets” button in the menu bar to see a list of the rockets in your Flight Log.  Click “Add Rocket” button to add a new rocket.

Click the “Flights” button in the menu bar to see a list of the flights in your Flight Log.  Click the “Add Flight”  button to add a new flight.

The new Flight Log feature in the RocketReviews.com Community uses the same database as the existing Flight Log feature at RocketReviews.com. But, it offers a much nicer interface for entering and editing flights.

The new Flight Log interface allows you to select the units for information. For example, when you enter an Altitude, you can choose to enter the altitude in feet or meters. There are more types of information you may record (and additional types will be added later).

Adding images and other files is easier than ever.  You can click the “Add Files” button and select images to add or just drag and drop the files into the web page. The files will begin uploading while a progress bar is displayed.

You can now add “Tags” to each flight. Tags are used to categorize your flights.

Soon you will be able to list flights and view statistics for flights based on the tags. This will allow you to, for example, compare your boost glider’s flights with other glider flights or list all the rockets flown at a recent club launch. While the site will recommend tags, you can create your own. This will allow you to do things like view all of the flights recorded by a group of your friends.

See: Adding a Flight to Your Flight Log

 

The RocketReviews.com Community

RocketReviews.com CommunityAfter a false start a few months ago, I’ve reintroduced the RocketReviews.com Community.  RocketReviews.com Community adds a new layer of social interaction on top of RocketReviews.com.

The most obvious new feature is the collection of Forums where members may discuss various rocketry topics.

The RocketReviews.com category of the Forums includes content originally posted to RocketReviews.com.  Currently, it has just one forum, the Reviews forum, but more will be added later.

When a review is published at RocketReviews.com, a topic is automatically created in the Reviews category containing a summary of the review and a link to read the full review. You can comment on the review by posting a reply to the topic.  This replaces the review comment feature which was a part of RocketReviews.com.  Replies to a review’s topic will be displayed on the review page at RocketReviews.com along with a link to the Community forum.

For example, look at the Scratch – Uranus Explorer 2 review at RocketReviews.com.  Scroll down to almost the bottom of the page and you will see boxes containing the comments made about the review.  Below the comments, there is a link to join the “discussion of this review at Community.RocketReviews.com.” Click the link and you will be transported to the discussion of the topic at Community.RocketReviews.com.  If you log into Community.RocketReviews.com (using the same email address and password that you use at RocketReviews.com), then you can post a reply adding your comments to the discussion.

The integration of RocketReviews.com into the Forums includes an easy way to create links to information you have created at RocketReviews.com.  When you are editing a post in a Community Forum, click the “My Media” button (if you don’t see the button in the editor’s tool bar, then click the “More Reply Options” button or the button to select the “Full Editor” at the bottom of the form).

When you click “My Media,” a pop-up window will be displayed with tabs along the left side.

My Media Window

Click a tab to display a list of items you can add to your post. For example, click the “Rockets” tab and a list of the rockets you have entered into RocketReviews.com will be displayed.  Click on one of the displayed rockets and a snippet of BBCode will be added to your post.  When your post is displayed, the BBCode will be replaced with a graphical ink to the page about your rocket at RocketReviews.com.

Rocket Link

Another tab allows you to select “Statistics” to add to your post. For example, you can add BBCode to display statistics for your most recent flights (as recorded in the RocketReview.com Flight Log).  When the post is displayed, the BBCode will be replaced with a table showing the statistics for the selected date range. The stats will be updated once a day, so they will be up-to-date every time they are viewed.

The ability to easily create links to your content at RocketReviews.com is just a small example of how the RocketReviews.com Community will enhance RocketReviews.com.  The Community web site will grow to incorporate and enhance most of the functionality of RocketReviews.com, making it easier to use, more useful, and, I hope, more fun.

– Roger

RocketReviews.com Moved to New Server

Over the past weekend, I transferred the RocketReviews.com website to a new server. One of the hard drives on the old server began showing signs of failing, so I decided to move RocketReviews.com and the other sites I host to the new server.

The new server is very similar to the one used before. It has an Intel Xeon Quadcore processor and 4GB of memory. It’s running RedHat Linux and is located in one of Softlayer’s data centers in Dallas, Texas, with direct connections to the largest and fastest internet backbones.

The only real difference between the new server and the old is that the new server has three 500GB hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration while the old server had just two 500GB drives configured individually. The RAID system provides protection in case a drive fails. If one of the drives fails, a new one can replace it without turning the system off.

Continue reading RocketReviews.com Moved to New Server …

Supporting Bruce McLawhorn of Semroc

Earlier this year, Carl McLawhorn passed away leaving his wife, Sheryl, and son Bruce to run Semroc. Now, the family is facing more emotional trauma as Bruce is in the hospital. Admitted suffering from an intense form of the flu and pneumonia, his kidneys stopped functioning forcing him to be placed on dialysis. Bruce’s long-term outlook is good, but he has a long road to recovery and the family is already experiencing financial hardship.

Members of the rocketry community are coming together to support Bruce, Sheryl and Semroc by sending donations by PayPal to sales@semroc.com.

Jeffery Smith is auctioning a built and finished FlisKits Nomad with the proceeds going to support Bruce and his family.

2013 Holiday Rocketry Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. The shopping (and, coincidentally, the holiday) season is upon us!

Below is a list of Holiday Sales offered by rocketry vendors this year. This list will be updated as new information becomes available. Please leave a comment if you wish to add or update any information. Thanks!

Altus Metrum

This weekend only, Friday, 29 November 2013 through Monday, 2 December, 2013, the first 40 TeleMega direct orders placed through the Altrus Metrum web store will receive a special $50 pre-order discount (regular $400, now $350).

Archetype Rocketry

During Archetype Rocketry’s Black Friday Weekend Sale you can purchase a Cable Cutter at the following discounts:

Friday (Nov 29) Single Packs – $20 Redundancy Packs – $30 Saturday and Sunday (Nov 30 – Dec 1) Single Packs – $22.50 Redundancy Packs – $35

Binder Design

With the purchase of any of Binder Design’s

Continue reading 2013 Holiday Rocketry Sales …

Performance Improvements

I’m aware that the RocketReviews.com web site has been performing slowly at times, but I’ve addressed the issues and the site is performing much better now.

If you found RocketReviews.com to be slow in the past, please visit the site now and let me know if you are still having problems. You can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page at RocketReviews.com to contact me.

For those interested in the details, a number of issues were causing the problems. These issues came together in a “perfect storm” a few days ago causing the site to be down for a few hours.

The main issue was that the database engine’s parameters were not tuned very well. It was using more memory than physically exists on the server. Combined with some inefficiencies in the way the database was being used, this caused a high load on the entire server. A monitoring program rebooted

Continue reading Performance Improvements …

Free Android App Measures Diameters

A new Android app which measures diameters may be useful to rocketry hobbyists. ON Diameter is a free app which measures the diameter of an object such as a model rocket body tube.

You place the object to be measured anywhere on your Android device’s screen then move three cross points to align with the object’s boundary. The object’s diameter and area will be shown on the screen. You can toggle the units to select inches or millimeters.

The screen shots above show the app being used to measure several items as well as the screens used to calibrate your device for accurate measurements.

The ON Diameter app is available from the Google Play store.

Estes-Cox Recalls Two Model Rockets Due to Risk of Impact Injury

Affected: Estes Red Rider #2484 and Helios #2487 Almost Ready To Fly Model Rockets and Their Packaging

Consumers should stop using these products immediately. Estes-Cox has notified the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission of this recall. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Names of Products: Red Rider and Helios Almost Ready-to-Fly Model Rockets

Units: Red Rider 6,890 Helios 4,252

Manufacturer: Estes-Cox Corp. of Penrose, Colo.

Hazard: When flown with the new booster accessories being marketed for these rockets, the rocket’s flight can become unstable causing the rocket to change direction while under thrust, posing a risk of impact injury to people nearby.

Incidents/Injuries: Estes-Cox has received no reports of incidents or injuries.

Description: This recall involves the Red Rider Almost Ready-to-Fly model rocket and the Helios Almost Ready-to-Fly model rocket. The Red Rider rocket (item #2484) is 18.6 inches (47.2 cm) long, 1.33 inches (34 mm) in diameter

Continue reading Estes-Cox Recalls Two Model Rockets Due to Risk of Impact Injury …

Some Exceptional Deals on Quest Aerospace Products

BP Hobbies has some Quest products, including motors and a few OOP kits, at closeout prices.

Quest is selling their Aerospace One kit at 50% off the list price on their web site.

 

 

 

 

RocketReviews.com Site Updates

Look for more designs to be indexed in the Rocksim Library and the OpenRocket Libray. I updated the “spider” which searches the internet for designs. It now also looks inside zip archive files. This has already added dozens of designs to the indexes.

I made the “thumbnails” displayed in Photo Albums larger. The pages will take longer to display, but the photos look much better.

I added a “Search” tab to the Rocketry Plans and Instructions index. This will make it easier for you to find plans or instructions without having to search the entire site.