LOC Onyx is my second LOC kit and I purchased it as one of three
rockets that were around 3 inches in diameter. This diameter compliments my
collection. I had also purchased a RocketVision Grymm and the Estes Big
my 3" Comparison Page
The Onyx is the biggest of the three being
3.1" in diameter and 25.2" long, qualifying as a "stubby"
rocket because it has less than 10:1 ratio (8.1 to be exact). It also uses the
largest with a 29mm verses the 24mm mounts in the other two
The Onyx includes
a 14" long standard LOC paper glassine coated . It is pre-marked
for the fins and with lines. The 11.2" plastic nose cone makes
up the remaining length. There are three (3) 1/8" thick plywood fins that
are pre-cut. There are also two (2) 1/8" thick plywood centering rings.
The motor mount is 29mm and 6" in length. The recovery system consists of
a round 16" nylon and ~65" of 1/4" wide elastic along
with the standard LOC nylon loop for mounting the recovery system to the side
wall. There is an 1/4" launch lug to wrap up the components.
The instructions for the Onyx were printed on the
back of the 8½ x 11" card stock that displays the kit specifics
through the plastic bag that held the kit. There are only two illustrations, a
rear view and a side exposed view. These give some direction, however, the kit
is designed for those that have built some before and don't need picture-step
to picture-step guidance. The text instructions are clear and take the builder
from start to finish and give some insight into flying preparation. Also the
shock-cord mount has its own instructions separate.
I built this kit exactly as the instructions directed.
There were no surprises and all of the parts fit very nicely.
I don't understand why LOC doesn't use
fins that go to the motor mount (or even just some tabs) and had some
frustration with that fact during flight.
I built my own 24mm adaptor for this rocket. Here's what
- 1/2" length of 29mm tubing
- 4 to 6" length of 24mm tubing (I used
- masking tape
Take the masking tape and start wrapping at the top of
the 24mm tube about 1/8" from the end. Wrap fairly tightly and evenly.
Around and around and around until it looks to be about 29mm in diameter. Tear
off and test fit into the 29mm motor tube. It should be snug but not overly
tight. Once you have the right amount of masking tape at the top, repeat the
process at the bottom but making the tape even with the bottom of the 24mm
tube. Test fit until it is snug then take two passes of tape back off. Now take
a hobby knife and cut some horizontal slits (while holding the adaptor as it
would sit in the motor mount (up and down)) in the tape on the end. Make
several on three sides. Wiggle the knife so it opens up the slit slightly. Next
test fit the 1/2" length of 29mm tube and make sure it fits over the tape.
It's now ready for .
Using 30-minute epoxy, seal and make a small on
the both sides of the masking tape around the top of the adaptor (opposite of
where you made the slits). Be sure not to get epoxy on the face of the masking
tape as that will prevent the nice fit into the 29mm tube. Next using some
level of precision, fill the slits you cut with epoxy and then immediately coat
the inside of the 1/2" length of 29mm tube. Give it plenty. Then slide
with twisting motion the 1/2" length of 29mm tube over the masking tape
until it is even with the end. Wipe off any excess that got onto the face of
the exposed masking tape and the upper edge of the 29mm tube since this sits
against your 29mm motor mount. Run your gloved finger around the end of the
adaptor spreading the epoxy on the outer edges of the 24mm tube, masking tape
and 1/2" length of 29mm tube. Wipe off any excess that got into the 24mm
tube. Place this assembly on some wax paper with the 1/2" length of 29mm
tubing down. Once dry, make a small fillet on the top of the lower masking tape
the same way as you did on the top masking tape. That's it. You can modify this
technique and add a to the 24mm adaptor, however, you would either
need to glue the adaptor into the motor mount or still come up with a way to
retain the adaptor in the motor mount.
The Onyx's recovery system is assembled from its
own set of instructions. It consists of a length of braided nylon cord which is
knotted at both ends, and knotted with a 1" loop in the center. The two
knotted ends are taped to the inside of the with the knots on the far
side of the tape. Then it is coated with epoxy to completely cover the tape and
the knots. The top of the nylon with the 1" loop sticks out of the top of
the rocket and is used to tie the elastic shock-cord to.
I know I didn't spend any time talking about the actual
construction and that is truly because it is straight-forward and quite
For , I didn't use anything to fill the spirals
and just started in with several coats of Plasti-Kote Sandable . I coated
the plywood fins heavily with primer for the first coat . . . and I mean
heavily. I sanded back most of this primer and did it again. The third coat
allowed everything to look smooth. I then painted the entire rocket with Kylon
Gloss Orange paint, per the recommendation and desire of my 3 year old son. LOC
doesn't provide any decals and since I was in Arizona, where this entire rocket
was built and finished, I grabbed an Arizona sticker to commemorate
Overall, for CONSTRUCTION I would rate
points. Instructions are adequate if you have built other rockets. It
has quality components that fit together without sanding. The main detractions
are that the fins are not through-the-wall which for a 29mm powered rocket I
would like to see. There is no provision for motor retention. Also this kit
should have some decals to spice it up.
here! This file is set
up with an added mass object that is used to set the weight equal to my
finished rocket (16 ounces) and adjust the to 16" without motor.
As I mentioned before I
was in Arizona when I built this on a vacation. We planned this trip to Arizona
and it just so happened that there was a launch on 12/23/00. So I packed this
kit and 3 assembled rockets into a box and shipped them to Arizona.
I had to rely on the vendor at the launch for motors and
I was able to buy a 2-pack of F23-7 BlackMax motors. So, all set and
ready to go.
I prepped the Onyx using a RocketMan RHFS12 Round
Heatshield that I purchased from the same vendor. After setting up and
positioning for a picture . . . which I was not successful in getting . . . I
It was an excellent flight, with nice black smoke and
very straight. It was just before when the ejection charge blew. The
descent on the supplied 16" round parachute was quite fast and it landed
within 50 feet of the pad. Upon landing one of the fins separated from the body
tube. The fillet and paper tore away on one entire side and it was just hanging
by the paper on the opposite side just past where that fillet ended.
Well, since I wanted to use both of my EconoJets I
decided to try to repair this in the field. I had some SuperGlue and soaked the
paper under the separation and held the fin back in place. After about 1/2 hour
I checked it and to my surprise it felt really strong. I showed another
rocketeer for a second opinion and then decided to go for it. The fact that I
was flying on F23's helped my decision since it is a low thrust motor.
For the second flight I added a second parachute
(18"). The second launch was also very straight and ejection was just
before apogee. Descent, although better, was still somewhat fast. No damage
this time though.
For FLIGHT/RECOVERY, I would rate this
points. The descent rate is simply too high for this rocket. Even if it
weighed in at the manufacturer's specified weight of 13 ounces, the minimum
diameter parachute should be around 30" for high descent rate of 15 fps.
My kit came in at 16 ounces so I would expect needing an even larger one.
Secondly, the fin came off. This is probably due to the high descent rate,
however, the surface mount fins didn't seem to help the situation.
Overall, the Onyx has great looks and assembles
quickly. It uses quality parts. Its lack of decals, motor retention and the
parachute size detract from it. Experienced fliers will adjust for all these
things on their own which probably draws many builders to this kit, however, as
a kit it appears to be lacking some. I give the kit an OVERALL rating of
(Contributed - by Chip Jenkins)
Single stage rocket.
All of the parts were contained in a plastic bag and they were all intact and
high quality. The airframe had a very small spiral groove, the fins were top
quality plywood, and the was sturdy plastic. The centering rings were
also quality plywood. The parachute provided was hot pink in color and 15"
The instructions were contained on the back of the title card that was in
the bag. There was not a great deal of detail in the instructions and for the
simple design of the Onyx, it was not necessary. The parachute retention was
contained in a small bag by itself and had its own instruction sheet. The
airframe was pre-marked for the placement of the fins and the launch lug and
assembly was straight forward and simple. This rocket is a good choice for
someone that is new to mid-power rocketry. No surprises or unexpected troubles.
The parts were all glued together using 2 ton epoxy, the instructions direct
you to use epoxy throughout. After everything was glued, I applied healthy
epoxy fillets to each fin and to the launch lug.
There is a note on the instruction card for the 24mm motors, that says they
are to be used with LOC's MMA-1 adapter. This adapter is not included.
The recovery system has a nice hot pink rip stop nylon parachute with ample
gage nylon leaders sewn to it, the 3/8" elastic is about
72" long and is secured by LOC's standard method of attachment. This
entails a nylon string that is looped, tied, and then epoxied to the inside of
the airframe. Then, the end of the shock cord is tied to the end of the loop
that protrudes from the top. Just make sure to glue the nylon string down far
enough to fit the nose cone it without interference.
I asked my son how he wanted to have this one finished. For some strange
reason, he wanted green. (go figure) Green it shall be I said, but it's going
to be fluorescent green and not grass green or leaf green. After a few coats of
sanding followed by primer, I sprayed on some fluorescent green paint.
Strange thing about that fluorescent paint, it doesn't finish very smooth. To
compensate for that, I sanded the paint after each coat with 400 grit
sandpaper. Once I was satisfied with the amount of paint, I coated the finished
rocket with clear paint. I applied the LOC decal and was finished.
I got the self stick decal by a little bit of calling around. The kit did
not originally come with any decals but, Magnum's website says that there is
one included with every kit. I e-mailed them and was told that there should
have been one and to call LOC to get one. Upon calling LOC I was told that they
were discontinuing the decal so that all of their rockets didn't have a
"predetermined" personality. But, they also told me that they had
about a dozed or so left that they had just sent to Magnum. I e-mailed Magnum
again and was told that he would mail a decal to me. I wanted the LOC decal
because I wanted everyone to know that the quality product that they were
looking at was, in fact, a LOC/Precision rocket.
out of 5
Recommended motors are D12-3, E30-7, F50-9, G40-10. I chose to go somewhat bold
with the first flight, so I used the F-50. There was not retention provided and
I didn't take the opportunity to add anything. It is just as easy to use
masking tape for motor retention sometimes. I just poured some parachute
protection in and packed the chute in. It lifted off fast, real fast. Flew
straight and true and went out of sight; well out of my sight because I'm
nearsighted. But, when the chute popped, we followed it to the ground for a
nice landing. No trouble at all.
out of 5
½ out of 5
(Contributed - by Alex Jordan - 01/06/05)
The LOC Onyx is a stubby 3 inch mid power single stage rocket with 14 inch
chute recovery. The fins are glued directly to the body tube with no tabs. It
has a 29mm motor mount.
This was my first 3 inch and LOC/Precision kit. I didn't know what the quality
of the parts would be but they turned out to be great. The contents of the bag
- 2 3" x 29mm plywood centering rings (1/8" thick)
- 1 6" x 29mm motor mount tube
- 3 1/8" inch thick fins
- 1 14" x 2.1" body tube
- 1 3" nose cone
- 1 3" x 1/4" launch lug
- 1 14" chute
- 1 1/4" inch wide shock cord
- 1 shock cord mount
Construction was easy, and all the steps were in logical order. The first
step is to assemble the motor mount and insert it into the body tube. Next,
glue on the fins. The body tube is premarked, so no templates were required. I
then used an Estes style shock cord mount to mount the shock cord, followed by
attaching the NC and chute. Finally, I put on the launch lug. The parts fit
nicely together and required no sanding. The only thing LOC should fix is the
fins. They should have tabs that go all the way down to the motor mount tube
and not just be surface mounted.
No special techniques are required to finish. Just prime and paint. I painted
mine with Rustoleum primer and then a yellow body, blue nose cone, and black
out of 5
My Onyx has flown twice on F20-4s. Each time it flew straight as an arrow to
about 1000 feet and recovered undamaged under the 14" chute. The F20-4 is
a great motor for this kit.
Recovery was flawless both times. Chute could be a bit bigger but it is OK for
small fields. The shock cord is elastic and was held in the body tube by a
piece of paper (Estes style).
½ out of 5
This is a great kit and would be even better if LOC/Precision put fin tabs on.
It is a fun and simple build and a great flier. I will fly again many times on
F20s and maybe a G38 or G40 once they go back into production.
½ out of 5