LOC/Precision - LOC IV {Kit} (PK-48) [1985-]

Contributed by Chris Kiekens

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Diameter: 4.00 inches
Length: 47.50 inches
Manufacturer: LOC/Precision
Style: Sport

LOC/Precision-LOC IVBrief:
An easy to build 3FNC rocket, built for my first shot with a reloadable motor.

Construction:
The kit contains a 4" kraft paper body tube, two centering rings (plywood) included, nose cone, 36" chute, elastic shock cord, 3 plywood fins, 29mm motor mount, and a 1/4" Launch Lug.

This was a really easy kit to build. I spoke to LOC briefly regarding the fins, as they don't use TTW construction. I was concerned, but was told that during testing the TTW fins were crushing the motor tube on hard impacts. Who am I to argue? I have faith in Barry, so I built the fins "stock". I used an eyebolt for the shock cord, and added a couple of feet of strap nylon to boot. I didn't look too closely at the instructions, so I couldn't testify as to their accuracy. Having built several kits before, this looked to be a straightforward construction job. Per typical LOC style, everything fit in its place, and required no coaxing. I left the rear centering ring off till the end to give the small fin tabs a good once over with epoxy on the inside of the body tube.

I used nothing but epoxy for construction, and tried Elmer's Fill 'N Finish for the first time.

If I were to add anything to this kit, it would be another centering ring (I added one) and eyebolt for the shock cord.

Finishing:
I am still learning different ways to remove the spirals, and I came mighty close this time. I expect that my next effort will get rid of them entirely. The Elmer's Fill 'N Finish was the closest I came to entirely filling the spiral's yet. The rocket looked great when it was done. Some decals would have been nice, but I suppose that no decals gives you the opportunity to be creative in your finish as well. I had planned to get some vinyl cut for it, but the day after it was built, the conditions were great for a launch, so up it went! I liked the rocket so much when it was finished that I took it to a local automotive paint shop for a final finish. They painted it for free, and did an awesome job! Gloss paint sure does show up a lack of finishing skills!

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

LOC/Precision-LOC IVFlight:
The only motors I was willing to fly this day were G75 black jack motors. I sure love the smoke! As I said, this was my first shot with a reloadable, and never having seen it done, I was concerned that there may be more to it than it seemed. Especially after seeing sooo many people on RMR suggesting that you get someone else to show you the first time. No problem, I hope it isn't just luck, and they continue to be easy for me.

I used cornstarch packing material for wadding, and added some machine threads to the rear CR for motor retention, along with a bolt, and a washer. I installed one on either side of the motor tube, but only put one in for the flight. The rocket went together without issue, and on to the pad. I can count the number of AP motors I have burned so far on my fingers, usually I only have BP to burn.

It took what seemed like forever to light the motor, some smoke started to trickle out of the hole cut in the red cap, and I held my breath... Then it took off, and up and GAHN! Great flight, slight wind cock, but it was a little windy. It landed in the worst possible location, with soy fields all around, it chose the road to land on. It suffered minor fin damage, and lots of scratches to the beautiful paint job! Hmm, maybe I should ask for a refund on the paint job! The fins stayed on just fine, and will be easily repaired (only aesthetic boo-boos anyway). The short delay (6 seconds) seemed about right, and the chute popped just after apogee.

Recovery:
The shock cord that was supplied was used in flight. I added 3 feet of strap nylon to it, which I attached to an eyebolt with a quick link. The eyebolt was on the forward centering ring, along with 2 washers, and two nuts to hold it tight. Realizing that I would not be able to get inside to tighten the nut ever again, I doused it with epoxy prior to installing the centering ring. The corn starch peanut packing material seemed to do the job, as I used all of the supplied BP, and there was not a scorch or burn on anything. It drifted for awhile, and not surprisingly, hit the ground! It ended up about 1000 feet away from the pad, where it was recovered by the enthusiastic young guy I brought along for the task of running after it.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
The price of this kit was great. I picked it up from Hobbylinc for just over $50(US), anything I added was on the floor in the basement, so $50 is about what it cost me. I hate it when $50 becomes $100 during the build! I can't think of one bad thing to say about this kit, other than I wish it was twins!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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J.S. (November 1, 1999)
This is was my first High Power Rocket and my certification project (Level 1). Loc makes great kits and the transition to HPR is easy. The review is thorough and quite accurate in many respects, as the model will benefit from reinforcing the fin joints w/either with epoxy/FG on the fillet or better yet, extending larger fins thru the BT to the Motor mount. The fins extend below the bottom of the BT and "butt strikes" (even under canopy) tend to crack the fin joint loose. (My LOC IV needed fin reinforcing after each flight). I would like to know if anyone experienced this problem: On my first flight I used an Aerotech G55, which really put it up there, but the ejection heat must have damaged the stock white cardboard motor tube.... I couldn't get the Vulcan H100ss to fit for my next flight (certifiction) as the tube had collapsed somewhere ahead of the G55. So much for certifying that day. I extracted the whole works inside and replaced the stock kit motor tube with much sturdier stronger phenolic tube... no problem now!
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M.K. (April 1, 2000)
Although I enjoy flying this rocket, I am disappointed by the fin design (true of all Loc/Prec models I have built). What would a few more centimeters of wood cost on the fin tabs? My Loc IV has been repaired every time I fly it, it is truly an epoxy sculpture. I guess I could 'glass the fins, but I really don't want to redo my paint job. My advice- if your looking for a 4" model to get into high power, check out Public Missiles instead. Their stuff is virtually indestructible.
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S.F. (January 1, 2001)
The LOC IV was my first attempt into mid power rockets. I assembled the kit as per instructions and it was very easy to build. My rocket landed in a tree on its second flight, and broke a fin at the joint, despite glue fillets. I brought the rocket back home and used 2 oz. fiberglass and finish cure 20 min epoxy to reinforce the fins. This has made the fins extremely durable and the rocket is an outstanding flier on a RMS G64-4. To reinforce the fins, I first epoxied them into place and let them dry. Them I cut a piece of glass cloth slightly bigger than the area to be covered. I went down one fin, over the body tube and up the other fin. Then I repeated this until all fins were glassed.  after the cloth was cut, I mixed enough epoxy to cover all surfaces I was immediately working with. Then I carefully laid the cloth on the fins and rocket and smoothed it out with a squeegee until the cloth followed all contours and flat on the fins. After this has been done to all sided, sand it smooth and apply a second coat of Finish Cure 20 min epoxy. When that is dry add the glue fillets along the fin joints let that dry and sand and paint. This is an excellent rocket for those wanting something bigger then an Estes. It is straight forward and easy to build. It is straight forward and easy to build. If you reinforce the fins the rocket will fly straight and true for a long time. The review was right on the mark. I also found the rocket to be everything the reviewer said.
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R.A.V. (November 4, 2001)
The review was right on the mark. The LOC IV was an easy build and finished up real nice. As the other comments stated the fins could use some work and a heat shield would be nice for the chute. Flew great on low Aerotech G motors and that big red chute made it easy to spot as it slowly floated back down. I launched with zero wind so it didn't drift very far at all but if there was wind it would drift quite a distance I'm sure. Even with that big red chute and slow recovery speed it still popped a fin on landing. Gave it some good epoxy fillets and it should be fine.

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