Saturday, October 10, 2015

How to make High Pressure Water Rockets Part 2

Long ago we decided that if we could hold the Water Rocket World Record for 10 years, that we would publish the details of how we made our High Pressure Water Rockets, to help get more people interested in competing. Little did we know at the time we passed the 10 year mark that there was a group in Capetown, South Africa who were already secretly designing a rocket similar in design to ours.
U.S. Water Rockets X-14 High Pressure Water Rocket
Our very first World Record was 1,421 feet (433 meters), set on September 2, 2004. For qualification, we had to average two flights in a 2 hour time period. Those flights were 1,382 feet and 1,450 feet high. The average of the two flights was the 1,421 foot world record, surpassing the former World Record held by Anti Gravity Research of 1,242 feet. In the following few years, we incrementally raised the record multiple times, culminating in a record of 2,044 feet. 
By September of 2014, no other team had surpassed our 1,421 record from 2004, so we began work on a series of videos explaining how we build these rockets. The videos are available on our YouTube Channel along with many of our other experiments and tutorials. Additional information can also be found on our website at if you are interested in learning more. If you'd like to compete against the new record holder, Ascention III, then visit to see what it takes to qualify your rocket!
Part 2 of the video series explains multiple methods we created to eject the parachute from our rockets. These designs date back over 12 years, and our early work seems primitive by modern standards, yet it was enough to hold the record for an astounding 11 years!
Various Parachute Ejection Systems are Explained in Part 2 of our Video Series
Check out the video here:
Part 1 of the video series discusses the most difficult part of the High Pressure Water Rocket, the Pressure Vessel. The video explains several methods for making this component and includes detailed animations and live action video of actual rocket builds, explaining the processes. Check out the video, and let us know what you think!
Important: High Pressure Water Rockets can be very dangerous. They can explode and cause great harm, or they could impact something and cause injury or property damage. Always follow the appropriate safety precautions when working with these kinds of rockets. Be safe!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to make a Water Rocket Launcher for Gardena Nozzles

In our Blog Post from February 3, 2015, we announced that we had created a 3D printable Water Rocket Gardena Nozzle and subsequently provided a link to the printable object on Thingiverse. Several people wanted to know how to build a suitable launcher for this type of Water Rocket, so we created a new Tutorial set that explains the procedure in detail.

Gardena Water Rocket Launcher
We have created a Video Tutorial that explains how to make the Gardena Launcher, and also a nice Web version of the tutorial that you can reference. The Web version of the tutorial is available on our website at the following link:

If you want to view the Video version of the tutorial, you can see it on our YouTube Channel, or in the embedded player below:

Monday, July 27, 2015

How to get rockets and other things down when they get stuck in a tree!

Last fall, when we were hurriedly conducting some final experiments and recording some video from our onboard Mobius 1080P Tower Camera before the winter, our Water Rocket became stuck in a tall tree. The rocket, which was made from a large number of 1.5 liter bottles spliced together, contained 3 onboard cameras and an experimental payload and one of our DIY homebrew parachute deploying altimeters which had custom firmware with some new features in it.

We thought that with the increased popularity of multirotors and model rockets, that there would be a lot of people who could benefit from our years of experience in how to safely recover things which get stuck in trees.

We really wanted this expensive rocket and all of the video and experimental test data which it had collected back, so we attempted several methods for recovering the rocket. We threw things at it to try and dislodge it, we tried to toss a rope over it, but it was too high to reach. We had to drive all the way home and bring back our Tree Recovery System. This device was created about 10 years ago when our World Record Setting X-10 Water Rocket got stuck in a tree.

In our latest tutorial, we show you how we built this device and how you use it to recover things that come stuck in trees. Check out the links to the web tutorial, and watch the online video we posted to YouTube, which we link to below.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mobious Action Camera Water Rocket Tower Camera Project

Have you ever wondered what a Water Rocket launch looks like if you were standing on the nose of the rocket looking down? Well, we were curious to know how it w...ould look, so we created our "Tower Camera" made from a Mobius 1080P Action Camera installed in a custom made waterproof enclosure. We launched the camera several times and were able to create some spectacular onboard footage.

We have plans to use the Tower Camera in some of our future Water Rocket experiments, which we will be discussing in more detail in the future and of course we will be documenting on our YouTube Channel. If you don't want to miss any of the action, you should subscribe. We would appreciate your show of support with the subscription.
The YouTube video which we produced about this project is embedded below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tutorial: How to Build a High Power Water Rocket

This week we have published a lengthy tutorial that discusses a number of methods which we have developed over the past 12 years of building High Power Water Rockets. As the World Record holding Team, we have learned a lot, and we've decided that publishing a tutorial on the subject should generate interest in building more rockets like these, and will hopefully help generate more interest in Water Rocketry.
This is a very complex subject, and it involves a lot of techniques that have never been duplicated by anyone else. As this is such a involved subject, we have broken the tutorial into a number of different topics which will spread the material out over a multiple part video series. Each "episode" will explain in detail a specific aspect of High Power Water Rockets, and go into detail with instructions showing different methods for making the various components.
Each video will include detailed diagrams to show you the techniques and instructions as clearly as we know how, in addition to actual build and testing footage of some of our famous Water Rockets, which you may have seen on the internet or on Mythbusters. 

The first episode of the series is linked below. If you appreciate the effort that goes into making these videos, please click on the like buttons, subscribe, and leave us some feedback with your comments and suggestions. Stay tubed for more videos and updates.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3D Printed Custom Gardena Water Rocket Nozzles

Our latest video introduces a new method for making Gardena (Garden Hose Quick Release) Nozzles for Water Rockets which we have been experimenting with over the past few years. What we have been doing is designing and testing various Water Rocket components that can be 3D printed. We're really impressed with the quality and durability of these parts, and we're ready to share what we have learned about 3D printing with our friends in the Water Rocket Community. We hope that as 3D printers become commonplace, that some of our work will be helpful to others.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the 3D Printer is in the time it saves. There was a time when it could take 30 or 40 minutes to make a single nozzle, and so if we were making multiple rockets or spare parts, it could take a whole day of work. With the 3D printer we just punch in that we want 6 identical copies and go away to work on something else (or sleep). We return later and collect 6 perfect and identical parts! It's amazing!
The complete article and the 3D files you use to print your own nozzles are available on our website here:

Check it out and watch the video we linked to in the article and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slow Motion 3D Video Highlights

Last week, we published a tutorial and video showing how anyone can make 3D video using a simple 3D Camera Rig that anyone can build. This week, we take the concept to the extreme by mounting a pair of high speed cameras to the 3D Rig and recording 3D Slow Motion Water Rocket launch Videos!
We also put together a short video of 3D Slow Motion Water Rocket Launch Highlights, from various launches we have done over the past few years. You will be able to see 3D Camera Tests, Chase Camera Launches, and some good old fashioned bottle launching fun! Check out the Slow Motion 3D Video on our YouTube Channel here:
In case you missed it last time, you can read the 3D Camera Rig tutorial at the following link:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

3D Water Rocket Video Tutorial

A while ago, we created a Dual Camera Rig, which is used to make 3D Videos and Photos, and we used it to take a number of 3D videos of our experimental Water Rocket launches. Since the weather has been too cold for conducting experiments, we decided to catch up on some of these older projects which we documented but never formally published.
On our website, we have released a new tutorial, showing you how we built the 3D Camera Rig, and how to use it. We also included some instructions for how to combine the 3D photos and videos you take with the 3D Camera Rig into stunning 3D images you can view with Red/Blue 3D glasses and YouTube Videos you can view with one of several 3D viewing options available on YouTube. They even have modes that you can use with no glasses at all (sometimes called "crosseyed" viewing).
You can read the tutorial at the following link:
We have also compiled a short video montage of High Definition 3D Video clips which we have recorded over the past few years using the 3D Camera Rig. Check out the 3D video samples on our YouTube Channel below:
We hope you enjoy the 3D Videos, and would love to see any videos that you create using our 3D Camera Rig concept.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Staging Mechanism for Air-Start of Multi-Stage Water Rockets

Over the past few weeks, we've been engaged in a discussion on the Water Rocket Forum after we posted a video we found on YouTube about a toy Water Rocket which we had never seen before. The toy had a unique launching system where the rocket is tossed in the air and a lanyard attached to your wrist activates a launching mechanism when the rocket reaches the end of the lanyard.
A forum member going by the name "Bugwubber" took up our challenge to reverse engineer the toy, and was able to figure out the system by analyzing the video frame by frame. He came up with some diagrams and a video showing how it operates.
We built on Bugwubber's work, by combining it with our own Radial Deploy System to create a concept for our own type of staging system, for which we have started a new project series to share our work. 
A unique feature of the system is that it has the ability to be initiated while in flight at any point in time, simply by changing the time delay after launch. Instead of the typical staging system that will only fire at burnout, this new system is cable of delaying until a more favorable booster firing altitude has been reached. This ability is known as "air-start" in rocketry terminology, so we adopted it for this design as well.
We've linked to the first video to kick off the new project, showing our concept and an animation illustrating how it operates. We hope you will follow along as we continue to build and test this idea in the coming months!