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FUN, This is how you make lightning strike your yard 3 times in 5 minutes. FUN

gary350

Well-Known Member
Spring is here, it is time to have some fun with lightning. I have been doing this for 20 years.

I buy a 3 pack of small Estes model rocket engines so I can make 3 stick rockets. I set up the 3 rockets in the back yard about 5 feet apart on 3 seperate launch pads. I use 3 dead man switches to fire off the rockets 1 by 1. A dead man switch is a normally closed switch that is held open with some thing like a piece of wood or anything that can be pull out suddenly with a 100 foot long NONE CONDUCTIVE kite string. Connect the switch to the electric ignitor and the battery. Put a plastic zip lock bag over the rockets to protect them from humidity and moisture while you wait for the next thrunder storm.

I put about 1000 feet of wire on a spool but in only needs about 500 feet of #30 copper wire on a spool just like they do on a fishing reel. Attach the copper wire to the bottom end of the 24" long stick rocket.

Have all 3 kites strings about 100 feet long ready to unroll to the back door of the house.

Next time you see a thunder storm coming remove the protective plastic bags that cover the Estes model rocket engines and their ignitors. Roll the 100 foot long strings out to your back door. During a thunderstorm count the seconds between lightning strikes you will notice a pattern. As the storm gets close lightning strikes might be 4 minutes apart but during the very worse part of the storm lightning strikes might be 20 seconds apart. Use a watch time 15 seconds then fire off rocket #1. The rocket will pull the copper wire into the sky and it discharges the cloud then lightning comes down the wire to your back yard, BOOM it is so loud it shakes the house and sounds like a bomb exploded in the back yard. After the next natural lightning strike time 15 seconds again and launch rocket #2. BOOM again another big explosion in the back yard. After the next natural lightning strike fire off rocket #3. BOOM another big explosion sound in the back yard.

My neighbor use to say, why on earth are there so many lightning strikes in your back yard I can stand at my window and watch them 1 after the other it is so loud it shakes my house and knocks the pictures off my wall.

LOL :)
 
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DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
If I did this it would scare the [email protected] out of my fiance! (She doesn't like storms, I love them!)
 

ianjthor

New Member
Spring is here, it is time to have some fun with lightning. I have been doing this for 20 years. I buy a 3 pack of small Estes model rocket engines so I can make 3 stick rockets. I set up the 3 rockets in the back yard about 5 feet apart on 3 seperate launch pads. I use 3 dead man switches to fire off the rockets 1 by 1. A dead man switch is a normally closed switch that is held open with some thing like a piece of wood or anything that can be pull out suddenly with a 100 foot long NONE CONDUCTIVE kite string. Connect the switch to the electric ignitor and the battery. Put a plastic zip lock bag over the rockets to protect them from humidity and moisture while you wait for the next thrunder storm. I put about 1000 feet of wire on a spool but in only needs about 500 feet of #30 copper wire on a spool just like they do on a fishing reel. Attach the copper wire to the bottom end of the 24" long stick rocket. Have all 3 kites strings about 100 feet long ready to unroll to the back door of the house. Next time you see a thunder storm coming remove the protective plastic bags that cover the Estes model rocket engines and their ignitors. Roll the 100 foot long strings out to your back door. During a thunderstorm count the seconds between lightning strikes you will notice a pattern. As the storm gets close lightning strikes might be 4 minutes apart but during the very worse part of the storm lightning strikes might be 20 seconds apart. Use a watch time 15 seconds then fire off rocket #1. The rocket will pull the copper wire into the sky and it discharges the cloud then lightning comes down the wire to your back yard, BOOM it is so loud it shakes the house and sounds like a bomb exploded in the back yard. After the next natural lightning strike time 15 seconds again and launch rocket #2. BOOM again another big explosion in the back yard. After the next natural lightning strike fire off rocket #3. BOOM another big explosion sound in the back yard. My neighbor use to say, why on earth are there so many lightning strikes in your back yard I can stand at my window and watch them 1 after the other it is so loud it shakes my house and knocks the pictures off my wall. LOL :)
Hey there Gary,

Im very interested in trying this out with a good friend of mine. I understand this could be pretty dangerous hence the long lead on the dead man switch. Could you give me some more info on what rocket motors I would need? I was parting out what I thought I would need to get a good connection but it sounds like you are using a much smaller and inexpensive setup than I was looking at.

Specifically what rocket motors and what model rocket body you recommend to getenough altitude, and also how you affix the copper coil so that it doesnt interfere with the flight.

Thank you for any insight you can give me

Regards,
Ian
 

gary350

Well-Known Member
I used #28 enamel coated copper wire wound up on a fishing real. Glue light weight stick to an Estes model rocket engine tie wire to bottom end of stick. When rocket goes up wire goes up too. Don't leave any slack in wire or rocket will break wire on take off. You need the perfect storm where lightning strikes are coming very regular like every 20 seconds apart this makes it easy to time each rocket launch. You want rocket to leave launch pad about 3 seconds before next predicted lightning strike. NOVA TV show did this they have it on video do a search for it that was 30 years ago maybe 35. You could actually being preventing someones house from getting struck by random lightning strikes by discharging the clouds 2 seconds early with a rocket. It was fun i did it several times.

I did the Ben Franklin thing a few times with kite string covered with carbon. Rockets & copper wire works better.
 

ianjthor

New Member
Any specific size rocket motors you suggest for this? Im buying a pack with 3 different sizes for now
 
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gary350

Well-Known Member
That was long time ago about 1985. I remember Estes B & D rocket engines. D was a booster engine to carry heavy loads. B was the upper stage rocket. B engines seemed like they will out fun a D engine in a race but I never could tell which one goes the highest. I think if you shoot B & D at a 45 degree angle across a 1 mile field you probably find B got there first and went the farthest. They go a good 1/2 or more. 1/2 mile of #28 wire is not much look it up find out how much it weighs. I remember using both B & D but don't remember which one was best.
 

atferrari

Well-Known Member
Hola Gary
How and actually where do you afix the wire to the rocket?

No chance of a simple sketch?
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It occurs to me that the wires used to remotely fire the rocket will be very good at conducting lightning.

Mike.
 

gary350

Well-Known Member
It occurs to me that the wires used to remotely fire the rocket will be very good at conducting lightning.

Mike.

There is NO long wire to fire the rocket the wire is about 12 inches long. Normally closed switch is held open with a pop cycle stick as mentioned already. Plastic non conductive fishing line 100 ft long is used to pull out the pop cycle stick to fire the rocket 100 ft away as mentioned already. We were inside the garage with 8 ft door open with very good farad cage. Lightning takes path of least resistance it follows #28 copper to the ground every time. BOOM it shakes the garage and house like a dynamite explosion. LOL. We did this many times every summer for 10 to 12 years.
 

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