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  1. #61
    Join Date
    3rd February 2009
    Location
    Falmouth, NS, Canada
    Posts
    328
    Sorry for what probably is a stupid question but; how do you attach the trailer to your tow vehicle with the tower section lowered on the trailer? I'm just not seeing it?

    Greg

    Quote Originally Posted by Kip_Daugirdas View Post
    I assembled the pad today for the last time. Not much is left to do. I have to make some wheel chalks and rebar stakes for the three trailer jacks and four guy wires.

    Now I plan to shift my focus to getting the rocket (Workbench 2.0) ready for its second attempt at 100K+.

    I'm really happy to have all the work done well in advance of the launch, past years have been some real sh*t-shows. This time I plan to arrive well rested and well prepared.

    Here are the pics (in daylight and I slid a rocket on there for ya!):
    Attachment 300287Attachment 300288Attachment 300289Attachment 300290Attachment 300291Attachment 300292Attachment 300293

    TRA 10756 L3
    CAR S922 L4, RSO
    VE1GCG

  2. #62
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    Quote Originally Posted by rms View Post
    Sorry for what probably is a stupid question but; how do you attach the trailer to your tow vehicle with the tower section lowered on the trailer? I'm just not seeing it?

    Greg
    Not a stupid question at all! I will post pics a bit closer to Balls (in a couple weeks) of the trailer packed up.

    For now I will try to explain it in words:

    The out riggers (8ft long steel support legs) are stored on the trailer as shown in this pic
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The lower 2m truss section remains attached to the trailer and is pivoted horizontally. Also the lower 8 ft section of rail remains attached to the tower.

    In the pic above you see a square open area in the welded platform directly underneath where the pivoted tower section is. That is where the top section of truss is stored for transport. The top 8ft rail section will prolly just go on the roof rails of my car.

    That's pretty much the entire assembly. It takes about 20 minutes to setup and break down.

    I'll have pics for you soon! If you or anyone else has questions about the design or wants specific dimensions, bill of materials, etc feel free to ask. I am more than happy to help - after all that's the point of this forum, at least for me.

    -Kip


  3. #63
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    For this pad, the wheels stay on the ground so wheel chocks are important as they keep the pad from shifting. There are two per wheel and I link them together with all-thread (5/16). This keeps them wedged tight to the tire and prevents anyone from accidentally kicking one out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Kip_Daugirdas; 9th September 2016 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,267
    I like the chocks. You'd think the stabilizers would be sufficient. I do have to mention that I may do the same thing, as anything worth doing is worth over-doing.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimus View Post
    I like the chocks. You'd think the stabilizers would be sufficient. I do have to mention that I may do the same thing, as anything worth doing is worth over-doing.
    I'm a pro at over-doing stuff These chocks really lock it down.

    Sorry about your knee, I'm dreading the day I blow mine out.
    Last edited by Kip_Daugirdas; 10th September 2016 at 03:53 PM.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by Kip_Daugirdas View Post
    I'm a pro at over-doing stuff These chocks really lock it down.

    Sorry about your knee, I'm dreading the day I blow my out.
    Thanks. It was a freak thing. I was doing something I've done a bunch of times, and it wasn't even unsafe. Found out it doesn't really take much.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    19th January 2009
    Location
    Stafford VA
    Posts
    6,744
    Quote Originally Posted by Kip_Daugirdas View Post
    For this pad, the wheels stay on the ground so wheel chocks are important as they keep the pad from shifting. There are two per wheel and I link them together with all-thread (5/16). This keeps them wedged tight to the tire and prevents anyone from accidentally kicking one out.
    With the out riggers/stabilizers and trailer jacks, the way we operate our trailer launcher is to put the stabilizers out and crank them down while the tongue of the trail is still very low. Once they are down, than we lift the tongue so the rail is vertical. This will take most if not all of the weight off the trailer tires. No need for the chalks at that point.

    That was a trick I learned with my old travel trailer. If I lowered the tongue all the way down then lowered the rear stabilizer jacks and than raised the tongue all the way back up, it would lift all four wheels off the ground. Made it very easy when repacking wheel bearings.
    Handeman

    TRA #09903 L3 3/29/2015

    "If you don't use your head, you have to use your feet!" my Dad

    Tripoli Central Virginia #25 - BattlePark.org

  8. #68
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240
    Quote Originally Posted by Handeman View Post
    With the out riggers/stabilizers and trailer jacks, the way we operate our trailer launcher is to put the stabilizers out and crank them down while the tongue of the trail is still very low. Once they are down, than we lift the tongue so the rail is vertical. This will take most if not all of the weight off the trailer tires. No need for the chalks at that point.

    That was a trick I learned with my old travel trailer. If I lowered the tongue all the way down then lowered the rear stabilizer jacks and than raised the tongue all the way back up, it would lift all four wheels off the ground. Made it very easy when repacking wheel bearings.
    Some of my roll stability is provided by the wheels and the outriggers share the rest. I don't think I would want to take all the weight off the wheels with the thin wall/small x-sect tubing this thing is made of.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    Getting ready for Balls is always a lot of work and that's all I'm doing this weekend...

    As promised some pictures of the launch pad ready to roll (pun intended). The trailer is really small so there isn't much room for anything else. The spare tire for the trailer will go in my car, I couldn't easily find a place to mount it. The top 8 ft section of rail will go on the roof rails next to my ski box. Perhaps next year I'll add some features so I can throw more stuff on the trailer - this year it's kinda bare-bones.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also welded up some stakes. They are 18" long and made from 1/2" rebar. I cut some washers out on the plasma cutter for the 'nail head' and added a ring to clip a carabiner or slide a rod through to help pull them out of the ground.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you see me on I80 Thursday morning, wave or something
    Last edited by Kip_Daugirdas; 17th September 2016 at 07:28 PM.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    9th July 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    1,267
    Good lookin' trailer. The weekend after next, I plan to get going on my build again. I'll be cutting it close to take to GHS this year, but I'm only bringing it to show off. I won't have any 1515 rail for it yet.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    It's cold out so I'm taking the time to improve the trailer.

    1.) Remove the blast deflector from the trailer and anchor it to the ground.
    2.) New guy-wires. Made from 1/8" stainless steel and Kevlar on the adjustment side.
    3.) Increase the utility of the trailer.

    Today I'll focus on #3. I drive all my gear out to Black Rock with my Subaru Impreza hatch so space is a premium. One thing that takes up a load of space is the collapsible ladder (I'm using the little giant kind). I wanted a solution where I could transport it on trailer. Easy means minimal ratchet straps, padding, or added structure to the trailer. I came up with a what you see below. It's two 3/4" plywood boards bolted into existing holes in the trailer. The ladder remains in the A-frame position and one ratchet strap holds it snug to the trailer. No padding, no fancy carrier, etc. It looks funny but I think it'll work!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #72
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    The old blast deflector does a good job at sending dirt and flame away from the pad and I wanted to keep it at a 45 degree angle. This pic provides good evidence to its effectiveness:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The blast deflector will no longer be attached to the trailer. In February I welded up an aluminum frame so it could sit on the ground and be anchored with three rebar stakes. I added three 5lb weights to the back end of the tower where the blast deflector once was to aid in raising it. Also I cut and crimped four stainless steel 1/8" diameter wires for guy lines and will use Kevlar rope on the adjustment side.

    All of the improvements to the launch pad this year are done. We'll see how the changes help in launching my rockets more vertical this summer.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Kip_Daugirdas; 1st April 2017 at 08:04 PM.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    Here's a pic of the frame with the blast plate removed. Nice thing is that the plate can be easily replaced if it gets too rusty or beat up.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #74
    Join Date
    15th October 2016
    Location
    Huntsville AL
    Posts
    846
    That's a really nice setup.
    My old IREC team could learn a thing or two.

    (but who welded those stake plates to the frame piece?)
    "I'm at least 70% confident about whatever I say (90% of the time)"- college me

    NAR 101195
    Level 1: Big SAM, 9/10/16

  15. #75
    Join Date
    2nd June 2013
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    240

    Large High Power Pad Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Nytrunner View Post
    That's a really nice setup.
    My old IREC team could learn a thing or two.

    (but who welded those stake plates to the frame piece?)
    I did and I'm definitely not a welder - I had to TIG the frame too.

    Let's just say I'll be sticking to composite fins for my rockets.
    Last edited by Kip_Daugirdas; 3rd April 2017 at 11:30 PM.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    15th October 2016
    Location
    Huntsville AL
    Posts
    846
    Quote Originally Posted by Kip_Daugirdas View Post
    I did and I'm definitely not a welder - I had to TIG the frame too.

    Let's just say I'll be sticking to composite fins for my rockets.
    Hah! TIG is a bugger sometimes. Something about having to coordinate 3 limbs makes things a whole.lot more annoying than MIG.

    Still, that's a great rig that looks like it can grow with your launch needs. Really cool!


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