Astro Cam Rehab

All to often a mishap occurs and a rocket gets damaged. Find simple (and not so simple) techniques to get the bird back in the air.
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#1 Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:41 am

This Thread appeared originally on the old Sagitta Cantina forum. It is being resurrected to not only finish the project, but see post 15 for an additional reason


posted Jan 12, 2016 by bernomatic
So last weekend I was working on the new Rocket Bunker, clearing out an old closet when I came across something interesting I had seen in a while. It was an old Astrocam from around the turn of the century (sounds really old now, doesn't it?)

This thread may run on for a bit more than a first aid treatment on a rocket, but will hopefully use some procedures you can use in similar or maybe even different situations.

The patient presented in two parts, the nose cone and the rest of the body, the shock cord having long ago disintegrating.

We will cover the Nose Cone first (since I have some pictures already taken).

We can see the Nose Cone covered in some foreign substance. It is hard and brittle and portions fleck of the Nose Cone while other portions are more resistant to attempts to dislodge it. A history of the nose cone is articulated by the patient, and we discover that many years ago when it was being utilized, the Nose Cone had suffered a few hard landings and it's seems had partially given way. To prevent light from seeping in and exposing the film frames, Duct Tape had been run along all seams to keep the light out. Also, in an attempt to keep dust off the mirror and keep from scratching same, the forward part of the housing for the mirror had been taped off using masking tape (obviously different form of residue is visible on the mirror housing. All parts seem to be intact with the exception of one, the shutter closure mechanism seems to be missing.
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[Last edited Jan 12, 2016]
Last edited by bernomatic on Tue, 19 Sep 17, 01:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Photo Bucket Picture Replacement
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#2 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:42 am

bernomatic said Jan 12, 2016
WARNING Acetone may dissolve certain plastics. Check first on an inconspicuous place (base of the nose cone shoulder away from any shock cord anchor point) to determine if the acetone can be used on that plastic nose cone.
Unfortunately I did not take photos of the entire task of cleaning up the Nose Cone as to keep myself from getting despondent, I at first went about it in a very slow, piecemeal, way. I would sit for about ten to twenty minutes and using a cotton swap and acetone, work on a small area at a time to work off the old adhesive.
Then one night as I began to despair of ever getting the gunk off, I grabbed an exacta knife and gently scrapped along the sides.a goodly portion of the dried adhesive flaked off easily and with little pressure, I was on a roll. When I got to where I thought I would start scraping up the nose cone shell, I stopped and got some cotton balls. Seeing how in my intial efforts the acetone had no or little effect on the plastic housing, I went all out and soaked a cotton ball in the acetone and rubbed the remaining residue off the nose cone.
[Last edited Jan 14, 2016]
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#3 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:44 am

luke-strawwalker said Jan 14, 2016
So did it dissolve or not??

Are you resurrecting this thing with any particular purpose in mind or just for kicks and "posterity's sake"??

Been thinking of gutting mine for a housing for one of those new keyfob cams...

Later! OL J R :)
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#4 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:44 am

bernomatic said Jan 15, 2016
No it did not dissolve in this case, but the pics are in my other wallet... I put the warning up so that some other rehabber didn't get all PO'd by using acetone on plastic only to watch said nose cone melt away.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I was planning on using it to take pictures, but maybe back to a condition where it could. The only part that I think is missing is the shutter to prevent accidental exposure. The fin can has a fin missing and I think there is something nasty crusted up in the body tube, which I will deal with in future posts.

All that being said, I really don't think that this version has any real collector's value as when I bought it in the 90's, Kaybee Toys was trying to dump them for somewhere around $10 for the rocket and launch set. I bought two or three at that price, just to get the launch pads.

I don't know what happened to the other rockets. over the years, but I have heard there are places you can get the 110 film to use with them. Today's have to have it now generation would never be able to cope with the wait though
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#5 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:58 am

bernomatic said Jan 16, 2016
Here are the cleaned up Nose cone pics
Cleaned up Astro Cam Nose Cone.jpg
Cleaned up Astro Cam Nose Cone.jpg (11.59 KiB) Viewed 1741 times
Cleaned up Astro Cam Nose Cone front view.jpg
Cleaned up Astro Cam Nose Cone front view.jpg (14.17 KiB) Viewed 1741 times
[Last edited Jan 16, 2016]
Last edited by bernomatic on Sun, 24 Sep 17, 00:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Photo Bucket Picture Replacement
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#6 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:58 am

Commander said Jan 31, 2016
Luke, if you do decide to gut the thing, could you let me have the internals? In specific I am looking for the "safety lock" which covered the shutter during prep and recovery and kept the film from being accidentally exposed.

<instruction sheet>

I'd be willing to reimburse you for the postage.

Thanks
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#7 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:59 am

luke-strawwalker said Feb 12, 2016
Yeah, If I ever do... not sure when that'll be, if ever...

How did you lose the lock?? IIRC (my Astrocam was one where you actually had to assemble the friggin' thing BY HAND... as a KIT... NOT the "pre-made" ones that came already built... so I guess it was from the "early days"... mid-late-80's I guess??)

IIRC the lock was inserted into the rails in the housing BEFORE the shutter rails/assembly (sliding shutter with spring and "hold open" string) were glued in on top of it... I remember the instructions saying to "glue in the lens with a SINGLE DROP of liquid cement placed on the rim with a toothpick... then the slider lock went in, then the actual spring-pulled shutter on top of that. (IF I recall correctly). Wouldn't think the thing could come out of there without the camera having to come apart...)

Maybe I'm misremembering... I dunno.

Anyway, best of luck and if I DO gut the camera, I'll let ya know...

Later! OL J R :)
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#8 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 01:59 am

Commander said Feb 12, 2016
Well, It was probably lost during one of the incidents which caused me to start taping the damn thing together. As can be seen above, the housing for the "lens" is separate from the the main nose cone. I think it was lost on one of the harder landings when things began to separate. I wasn't sure at the time whether I wanted to use plastic cement to glue it all back together as I didn't have the instructions, it being one of the prefab versions, and didn't feel comfortable messing with the insides too much.

Speaking of insides, I purchased a baby bottle brush to give the inside of the booster vehicle a good cleaning. Also since one of the fins broke off the fin can and became lost, I purchased some sheet styrene to replicate a new one.

Pictures will have to wait. I am being pulled in a myriad o ways over my model rocketry and have to try and spend time wisely (especially if we want to become a forum as good or better as "those other guys".
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#9 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 02:00 am

bernomatic said Feb 13, 2016
Thank you Jeff, I appreciate the offer.

So, on to the Booster.

-The outside doesn't look too bad and will probably clean up well with a damp sponge and soap.

Image

Image

The fin can is missing one of the fins and we'll deal with that in a bit.

[Last edited Feb 13, 2016]
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#10 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic » Mon, 23 May 16, 02:02 am

bernomatic said Feb 13, 2016
The inside of the aft end doesn't look too bad. Not really sure about the engine block, but it will suffice for now.

Image

The inside of the fore end is a different matter.

Image

The shock cord (which is the cloth covered elastic type) is all deteriorated and missing. Some sort of residue is visible which I hope isn't mold. The edge around the rim is a little roughed up
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