2019 Update of Which Rail Should I Get Debate

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BMcD

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I'm new here, and I'm taking a risk by posting this in the ground support rather than beginner section.

I have read many threads on here with great but sometimes conflicting information about launch rail selection. I have seen threads with great images of the various profiles, including this awesome image created by terryg.


In the image, it appears the "micro" button is quite tight in the Makerbeam slot. There are threads in which users have even reported that the early micro buttons from rail-buttons.com had a tendency to snag in the Makerbeam rail.

But all those posts are fairly old, and my question is whether this got sorted out at some point. For my 13mm and 18mm motor rockets, is the micro button from rail-buttons.com a good solution when paired with the 10mm x 10mm Makerbeam?

I would avoid the problem altogether by getting a 15mm rail, but I fear I will have problems flying 4 fin 13mm rockets from the 15mm rail. In fact, if someone can verify that a 4 fin 13mm body tube rocket with a micro button will fly off a 15mm rail, I will avoid the "which rail should I get?" issue altogether by simply getting the larger rail.
 

BMcD

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Well, after much additional reading on here, I ordered a 15mm x 15mm x 1800mm rail from Misumi that I plan to use with micro buttons for 13mm, 18mm, 24mm, and light 29mm motors. We will see how it likes an Aerotech Initiator on a G80 at some point. The existing pad will still support rods if necessary, so if I need to add a 1/8 rod for a particular smaller rocket I can.

In 1800mm length it was under $25 shipped, which is quite reasonable compared to getting a Makerbeam from Amazon.
 

NateB

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I just saw this post, I have been using the micro rail buttons with the makerbeam rail and have not noticed any issues. It is a little tight, but they slide on and off smooth and none of my rockets have snagged.

That said, you certainly found a better deal compared to the Makerbeam. Please let us know how it works out. I am surprised these small rails have not become more popular. I think they are better than lugs and rods in every way.
 

BMcD

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Shortly after I posted the above, I wound up cancelling the Misumi order and getting a (actually had to buy 2) five footish Makerbeam from Amazon. It appears that people are having success with rockets with motors well into the 29mm range with the Makerbeam, also, so I figured the smaller rail would fit more 13mm motor models than the 15mm Misumi.

Since I don't really have a good place to fly MPR right now, I figure the Makerbeam will be a better LPR choice all the way up through 24mm.

If I wind up finding a place to fly MPR, I will just add a 1010 rail for 29mm, which will give me plenty of room on the upside if I ever go L1.
 

neil_w

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Just for my own curiosity: why rails instead of rods and lugs for small LPR stuff like that?

If you ever fly with a club, the LPR pads will have rods.
 

BMcD

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For me, there are two reasons for the rail rather than the rod, and the second is far more persuasive than the first:
1. I've had some "rod whip" experiences with heavier LPR rockets off long 3/16 rods, and I expect (although I do not know) that the rails will eliminate this.
2. I think they are cool.
 

caveduck

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If you fly micro-buttons from a 10mm makerbeam, you should plan on bringing your own since most clubs don't yet have them. They *will* fit nicely in a 1/2" drill chuck, which many clubs including our use for their LPR pad rod holders.

A 10mm rail is much stiffer than a 3/16" rod. Rod whip is a big deal and the rail makes a major improvement.
 

BMcD

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I would expect it to be stiffer than a 1/4" rod, which is about 6.5mm in diameter. Am I expecting too much?
 

Reaper802

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So I ordered the 15mm x 15mm x 1800mm rail from Misumi. Only $12.00 for the rail but $12.05 in shipping, go figure. It arrived today and was packaged very well. The rail is very stiff. The micro buttons I ordered from rail-buttons.com look to fit perfectly. Mini buttons are just a touch too big for the 15mm rail as expected. Now I need to start working on a cheap base but that will probably need to wait until the apocalypse has passed.
 

BMcD

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As an owner of a 10mm MakerBeam rail (actually 2), I think you made a wise choice. I decided to get the smaller MB rail because I was afraid my smallest rockets would not fit on the Misumi rail (see posts above). In hindsight, the number of models that will fit a 10mm but won't fit a 15mm is infinitesimal. And the micro buttons seem like they could hang up (but have not hung up) in the tight quarters of the 10mm rail slot.
 

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