Use of Bottled air

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Tim Chen
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Tim Chen » Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:08 pm

Actually, in the US, we have all sorts of laws designed to make it illegal for us to harm ourselves.

But I understand your points. I think we could just make sure people use only commercially available parts with the right ratings. That should be good. It looks like Steve went AWOL again, I hope he's still visiting. He was wrting some proposals up.
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby U.S. Water Rockets » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:39 pm

We're cool with helping make Water Rockets more appealing by opening the competitions to people with compressed air tanks as long as we stick to the goal of keeping a level playing field. We're not as excited about changing any of the other rules since we've spent a lot of effort complying with them. The rule requiring 2 flights in 2 hours is actually pretty important in that it mimics the way a lot of other world records are validated. Many records require two successive runs averaged together so that weather conditions can be factored out. In addition to that, the time limit helps insure competitors are not flying "disposable" rockets that are only designed to fly one time and not survive. We don't think that would be really legitimate.

Other than that, keep up the interesting discussion, guys.
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby WRA2 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:43 pm

air.command wrote:
WRA2 wrote:I have another question for George,

What types of regulators are used on SCUBA tanks legally?


From a legal point of view one can connect anything they like to an air tank whether it be a commercial regulator or something they build themselves. There is no law that prevents one from holding a rubber hose against the air outlet of a tank, or whether they add a fitting to make it easier, or add a piston and spring to make a simple regulator. Even commercially produced regulators are not governed by any "laws". However, it is in the interest of regulator manufacturers to adhere to materials and design standards and norms established by the industry. Selling products that are faulty or harmful will not keep them in business very long.

At least in Australia and in the USA SCUBA regulator manufacturers don't need to have any certifications to sell their regulators. Within the EU regulators require to be certified to get the 'CE' label in order to be sold. But after they are sold, there are no laws that prevent one from modifying them.

This is because laws never prevent you from doing harm to yourself. Laws are there to protect harm done to others and their property.

Where the law comes into it is if the results of your actions cause injuries to someone. This does not relate specifically to things that you connect to a tank, but ANYTHING you do. such as droping a hand pump on someone's foot. Then they can sue you for injury.

Therefore it is in the rocketeers best interest to use equipment that adheres to standards and follow best practices when doing anything associated with water rocketry in order to minimise the risk. My recommendation would be that if the rocketeer is not confident that something they've made is safe, then there are two options: Either keep themselves and others well away from it in case it fails, or not do it in the first place.

I must stress that this is not an endorsement for people to start buying any old tanks and attachments and adapting them for use with water rockets. There are commercially available adjustable pressure regulators, gauges and hoses that are suitable for water rocketry. This is what we use.


Those are some interesting points George, This is one of the reasons why we originally went with compressors only. What if we were to require that a regulator be used and that such regulator be designed for the gas used which is air? That keeps everyone safe and prevents someone from using an "unregulated supply" and also prevents the "home brew" modifications and regulator swapping which could get someone in trouble safety wise. We could require it be shown in their submission package (ground video) and that the team would be required to provide make/model of their regulator and also their tank certification info as well.
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby WRA2 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:51 pm

U.S. Water Rockets wrote:We're cool with helping make Water Rockets more appealing by opening the competitions to people with compressed air tanks as long as we stick to the goal of keeping a level playing field. We're not as excited about changing any of the other rules since we've spent a lot of effort complying with them. The rule requiring 2 flights in 2 hours is actually pretty important in that it mimics the way a lot of other world records are validated. Many records require two successive runs averaged together so that weather conditions can be factored out. In addition to that, the time limit helps insure competitors are not flying "disposable" rockets that are only designed to fly one time and not survive. We don't think that would be really legitimate.

Other than that, keep up the interesting discussion, guys.


The 2 hour time limit is not going to change. The only topic under review is the use of bottled air and when all is said and done their will be no advantage of using a tank over a compressor. The goal is to make the competition available to a wider group of hobbyists. One of the most frequently asked questions is if a team can use a SCUBA or firefighter breathing tank to power the rocket. Most of these questions come from people that already have access to these.

Did you guys fly your new rockets yet?
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby sporter2k5 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:43 am

Tim Chen wrote:Actually, in the US, we have all sorts of laws designed to make it illegal for us to harm ourselves.

But I understand your points. I think we could just make sure people use only commercially available parts with the right ratings. That should be good. It looks like Steve went AWOL again, I hope he's still visiting. He was wrting some proposals up.


I'm still here. Family activities are taking priority for the time being, but I am working as time permits. Nice to know you guys are thinking about me in my absence. LOL! :oops:
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Cloud Dancers » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:46 am

Is it only SCUBA tanks that are going to be allowed in the future or can I use a breathing tank like those used by firefighters or mine workers? Those are a lot more accessible for me?
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby nonickname » Sat May 09, 2009 12:35 am

Air tanks used by firefighters are generally classed as a scba/scuba (self contained breathing apparatus), so who knows?

Personally, the WRA has set rules that should be adhered to if you enter one of their contests. The only other consideration with bottled gas is pressure/safety. Pressures of up to 3000 psi can be reached with pcp rifle pumps, so there goes a level playing field with pressure. A homemade stirrup pump (two stage) could reach 500 psi.

So I'm not sure of the exact reason why they discourage bottles..
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby WRA2 » Sat May 09, 2009 10:15 am

nonickname wrote:Air tanks used by firefighters are generally classed as a scba/scuba (self contained breathing apparatus), so who knows?

Personally, the WRA has set rules that should be adhered to if you enter one of their contests. The only other consideration with bottled gas is pressure/safety. Pressures of up to 3000 psi can be reached with pcp rifle pumps, so there goes a level playing field with pressure. A homemade stirrup pump (two stage) could reach 500 psi.

So I'm not sure of the exact reason why they discourage bottles..


Use of tanks or bottled air was prohibited until the rules were amended to allow them.

The discussion to amend the rules to allow bottled air can be found here:

http://www.wra2.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=254

The rules allowing use of bottled air (SCUBA tanks or firefighter breathing tanks) went into effect on the 1st of January 2009.

See the amended rules at:

http://www.wra2.org/WRA2_Class_A_Rules.php See section II

There are a couple of reasons that air tanks were discouraged.
One was that fact that the tank allows for a "rapid fill" and launch more commonly referred to as a "stomp rocket" and the advantages that a "rapid fill" would give the competitor using a tank in the "turnaround time" to meet the 2 hour time limit between flights.

Remember that only air is allowed (no CO2, Nitrogen, Propane..etc.) as other gasses have different properties which could be used to gain an advantage (like LCO2 or LP) used in a phase change rocket.

Good Luck and welcome to the WRA2 forum. :WRA2: :WRA2:
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Aquafire » Sat May 09, 2009 3:26 pm

Cloud Dancers wrote:Is it only SCUBA tanks that are going to be allowed in the future or can I use a breathing tank like those used by firefighters or mine workers? Those are a lot more accessible for me?


If I understand the changes then the firefighting take would be one of the best alternatives because they can only be filled with air and this way you could easily prove you were not using some more compressable gas like Co2.
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby sporter2k5 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:44 pm

David and Lisa,

Thank you for taking my ideas into consideration before your membership and making the changes to the rules I suggested. I didn't expect one person could have an impact on a big organization and was pleasantly surprised that you were not just paying lip-service to my thoughts. I haven't been here for quite some time and I just got back on (don't ask me how I remembered the password). I hope to spend more time here and make plenty of other suggestions!

Thanks! :D
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Spaceman Spiff » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:33 pm

sporter2k5 wrote:David and Lisa,

Thank you for taking my ideas into consideration before your membership and making the changes to the rules I suggested. I didn't expect one person could have an impact on a big organization and was pleasantly surprised that you were not just paying lip-service to my thoughts. I haven't been here for quite some time and I just got back on (don't ask me how I remembered the password). I hope to spend more time here and make plenty of other suggestions!

Thanks! :D


Hey Steve! Nice to see you again! I hope you got your family situation worked out and will hang out some more. It's summer and I need more water rocket people to chat with. 8)
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby WRA2 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:16 pm

sporter2k5 wrote:David and Lisa,

Thank you for taking my ideas into consideration before your membership and making the changes to the rules I suggested. I didn't expect one person could have an impact on a big organization and was pleasantly surprised that you were not just paying lip-service to my thoughts. I haven't been here for quite some time and I just got back on (don't ask me how I remembered the password). I hope to spend more time here and make plenty of other suggestions!

Thanks! :D


Welcome back Steve,

The WRA2 listens to everyone. We created this forum to unite the water rocket community and have built this into the wold wide one stop place for all water rocket information. We're all about listening to our members here. Some people must think we're a big monolithic group like NAR that changes direction like turning around an aircraft carrier. We want really straightforward rules that insure a safe and level playing field for everyone and you don't need an accountant and a lawyer to decipher for you. We ameneded the rules because the objective here is to make the changes popular opinion of our members want. We're more interested in bringing people together and getting everyone involved. We hope you will continue to provide your insights in the future!"


:WRA2:
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby sporter2k5 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:59 am

WRA2 wrote:
sporter2k5 wrote:David and Lisa,

Thank you for taking my ideas into consideration before your membership and making the changes to the rules I suggested. I didn't expect one person could have an impact on a big organization and was pleasantly surprised that you were not just paying lip-service to my thoughts. I haven't been here for quite some time and I just got back on (don't ask me how I remembered the password). I hope to spend more time here and make plenty of other suggestions!

Thanks! :D


Welcome back Steve,

The WRA2 listens to everyone. We created this forum to unite the water rocket community and have built this into the wold wide one stop place for all water rocket information. We're all about listening to our members here. Some people must think we're a big monolithic group like NAR that changes direction like turning around an aircraft carrier. We want really straightforward rules that insure a safe and level playing field for everyone and you don't need an accountant and a lawyer to decipher for you. We ameneded the rules because the objective here is to make the changes popular opinion of our members want. We're more interested in bringing people together and getting everyone involved. We hope you will continue to provide your insights in the future!"


:WRA2:


That's great to hear! I look forward to participating more in the coming months.

When will the 1000 foot challenge be coming back?
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Cloud Dancers » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:38 pm

sporter2k5 wrote:
When will the 1000 foot challenge be coming back?


I second that. Even though going 1000 feet is hard it gave me something to shoot for. Will you still offer the same prizes?
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Re: Use of Bottled air

Postby Spaceman Spiff » Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:25 pm

I think I was a lot more motivated when I was competing for the prizes. I still plug away at my reinforced FTC's but I fell less of a sense of urgency to get them done without the contest. I hope you restart it soon!
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