24th December 2012, 04:17 PM
New Club starting and could use a 12V launch controller
I am starting a model rocketry club and could use a bit of help if another club has upgraded or someone has a spare unit.
The club itself is located in Petawawa Ontario Canada on a military base. So far I have received Range control authorization, clubs association approval and Base Commander's permission. And a great launch site considering the area is heavily wooded except for an open drop zone. Now that winter has started things are on hold until warmer weather. Some discussion about launches from frozen lakes as they give a great open area and soft landing in snow. However, it's not as much fun to launch in the cold. Planning on March for a demonstration launch to bring in new members.
Equipment wise I have been working to get safety equipment, megaphone, signage and general club administration. Also working on my own certification and RSO qualification. Lots to do. Fortunately I am gainfully employed and can afford toys (but not limitless funds).
There are a few HPR launch controllers available but frankly, they don't look any better than the home made ones (but are a lot more expensive). I think long term I will make a good one with all the ideal features. However, my electronics skill is not where I need it to be yet and I need to have something in place for March. Seems like a long time but real world issues mean a very busy February.
So, if anyone can help a new club it would be much appreciated. I can guarantee that it will be used to grow the hobby.
26th December 2012, 04:49 PM
I don't have one that you can have but I just got done building my own controller. It will do 2 9V batteries and/or a 12V battery. I can email you the specs. and design if you wish?
Originally Posted by Hal8472
26th December 2012, 08:40 PM
Great to see a new club starting up in Ontario! Are you thinking of chartering as a CRA or NAR section? I've been looking for a club in southwestern Ontario, but Petawawa is way to long a drive. Good luck!
26th December 2012, 09:02 PM
Not sure if you've looked at the Wilson F/X units, but if you haven't -- do.
Originally Posted by Hal8472
http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...483#post293483 is why I like ours.
It doesn't "look any better than [a] home made one" but it's WAY BETTER. Sealed boxes, brilliantly simple wiring aided by some slick microcontroller programming, industrial-grade relays, and expandable to 64 (or 128) pads. And you aren't paying a significant premium over buying the components and wiring the whole thing yourself. (I looked at doing this when we bought ours. No such luck.)
There's a reason it's been used at LDRS 29, LDRS 31, every Midwest Power, Florida Winternats, and Thunderstruck -- it's bulletproof. Dan and Brad have been working on this since 1995 and it really shows.
If you need to start smaller, there is also a single pad controller available that can later on be added into the multipad system, too.
Originally Posted by stickershock23
Originally Posted by gregzo
And Rev. Brad is on here from time to time, supporting his product: http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthr...578#post367578
Originally Posted by blackjack2564
27th December 2012, 02:41 AM
Andrew, I also cannot stop singing the praises for the Wilson F/X system.....Best investment our little club EVER made! Of course, its not just that....that makes a club....your getting a good start picking up all the small equipment too. Pads? Ohhhh. you'll never have enough, fire extinguishers, lots of stuff that you've never thought of.....Next time or anytime you fly elsewhere make a mental note of that clubs equipment and, start making a "shopping list".
The most important thing you'll need is PEOPLE, lots of dedicated people with drive and, talents who never walk away when things get slow or tough.
Good Luck, be patient and, i hope this little club grows beyond your wildest dreams!
Gustav Piepenburg. Chicago Rocket Mafia...aka "The Firestarter", Public Enemy Aerospace. Indiana Rocketry Founder/Member. Tripoli TAP.
27th December 2012, 04:40 AM
Thanks for all the comments. I am hearing tremendous support for wilson fx. It also looks like I can start small and grow the system as the club grows (which is good).
I am working towards CAR certification. Seems the best match. They also have been very forthcoming with support. Sorry, it's far for Southwestern Ontario. I am hoping that because the airspace is controlled it might mean a larger clearance provided that the military pilots aren't in the air. I am trying to say that it might be worth the trip but also realize your access to the american side.
Thanks for all your help
21st January 2013, 07:00 PM
Are you flying your rockets at the airport to the north of town? North of the airport looks like its all open space. Good luck in your endeavours.
21st January 2013, 11:29 PM
We have a nice area which is a drop zone training area, left of the TransCanada Highway, just north of the City. Those on Google maps gives a fairly large open area suitable for HPR depending on wind conditions. Ontario is heavily forested so finding anywhere is great.
14th December 2016, 11:12 PM
Hello Andrew Wilson,
Glad to hear another club is starting. Some of the greatest growth we see in this hobby is from new clubs. Way to go!
I also happen to be another Wilson. Clearly we must be related! I happen to also be Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson which makes me the Wilson of Wilson F/X Digital Control Systems. And since you are looking to get a launch system for your club we ought to spend some time chatting about your options.
There are other manufacturers of "club sized" launch systems out there. I really suggest that you look into them. The only way to learn is to do the research. Just be sure that you understand what the real differences are between the various systems that are available. Doing serious comparisons is not easy, but you and your club will be far better off for doing the research.
Another thing to note is that there are some club sized home-made systems out there as well. But be very careful about what they claim. Oftentimes, the report that gets published was put out soon after their homemade system was completed. Everybody is happy with it and there's nothing going wrong. I know a club whose "home-made" 32-pad launch system worked fantastic for the first three years. They never published just how much it cost them to build or how many man-hours it took to build. But they were so proud of their system that they bragged that another club took their design and built their own 32-pad system.
When their system failed miserably, they decided to rebuild it. At a club meeting where they were considering rebuilding or buying a Wilson F/X system, it was revealed that their rebuild would cost them $1800 and it would then be "better" than one of my systems. I was asked to look at the schematics for the redesign that were presented to the club. I emailed them saying that their redesign would not fix the problem that they were experiencing. But I was ignored. After $1800 was spent to rebuild their system... sure enough, they are once again having the same problem that their "fix" was supposed to remedy. And remember the club that used their design to build their own system? They were so tired of having to fix their system after almost every launch, they bought a 32-pad Wilson F/X system.
Now there are lots of folks out there who sing the praises of Wilson F/X launch systems. Its only natural as there are now 29 clubs across the USA (and Australia) who are using Wilson F/X systems. You can check out several threads here on TRF that talk extensively about Wilson F/X systems.
My systems are designed to grow with your club and I guarantee my electronics for 10 years. Nobody comes close to that. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson
15th December 2016, 02:40 PM
Tripoli Gerlach began using the Wilson F/X system at BALLS starting this past year with zero issues. This is the Tripoli Mid-Ohio system 'on loan' and we have had zero issues with it since its purchase about 3 years ago. Highly recommended.
Gary Dickinson - Prefect
Tripoli Mid Ohio #31
TRA #5520 - L3 - TAP
6th January 2017, 07:37 AM
Just shipped club system #30 to Tripoli Houston. It is a 32-pad system with three banks using PBU-8w 8-pad pad-boxes with built in wireless units. Yeah!
And we can ship to Canada.
How big of a system do you need?
Brad, the "Rocket Rev." Wilson
6th January 2017, 05:25 PM
wish I could help ya with a controller, but there are ways to help making launching on frozen lakes nicer.I used to launch on a lake I also ice fished on.its an awesome time with some tip ups set up for fishin and launch rockets! I should say awesome time IF prepared. I did it a few times just takin rockets out,but it was more work than fun.
one is have a snowmobile. makes it nice for shagging rockets, getting supplies out to the launch area, and packin snow down for a path out onto the ice and around the launch area.
I built a sled to pull the supplies out on the ice with. actually, it was my ice fishing sled, but it served a 2nd purpose with a few modifications( removable rocket racks.) made it nice for shagging rockets,too
a shanty with one of them reddy heaters is nice to warm up in.
. I( actually we) had a car hood we would drag out on the ice and start fire on. a friend built a campfire grille similar to this:
and would have a pot of soup goin. fire was pretty good for cookin up some hot dogs,too. also a pot of coffee and hot chocolate. it was a LOT of fun. we'd get people out snowmobiling or fishin stop by to see what we were up to with the rockets or just stop and warm up and chat for a bit. it was a LOT of fun.