2x Christmas Estes controller failure…

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MarsLander

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Frustrating. Got Estes starter sets for 6 & 4 yo grandkids for Christmas. Got a couple glue-less models built. Out to the field!

Both controllers failed to fire.

Batteries were new but off brand (Member’s Mark). Still frustrating.

Determined not to have this happen again.

What would be a good controller / battery combo for estes igniters up to G motors? Don’t want to build one.

Thanks!
 
Members mark alkaline.

I don’t want to futz with it. I want to get a controller battery combo that will just work.

Good controller, 30 foot, 6v/12v SLA or LiPO.
 
Easiest way to narrow down the problem is to hook up an igniter to the controller and test fire.
If it consistently fires then it's a problem in the field.
PS II controller is powered by 6 C batteries with an external power option.
Good luck.
 
Easiest way to narrow down the problem is to hook up an igniter to the controller and test fire.
If it consistently fires then it's a problem in the field.
PS II controller is powered by 6 C batteries with an external power option.
Good luck.
Yes, you can definitely get started with the Estes PSII with just the C batteries, and only worry about upgrading to a LiPo when you need it for more demanding use in the future.

Testing out your controller at home is a very good idea, so you don't get an unpleasant surprise in the field. Many of us have been there, especially when starting out with 9V battery controllers.
 
Thanks for that prompt. Whew...that is a lot of thread space. I spun through most all the threads in that search.

I'm sorry for not searching first, as is normal etiquette, I was on mobile and venting. Very frustrating to get the whole family out, the kids wound up, and ending up with a dud experience. Not the way I wanted the introduction to go.

PSII is about $50. C batteries about $15. $65 total. I don't want to chase C batteries.
PSII with LIPO and charger as I read...about $90 total + connectors if necessary. And you gotta futzs with connectors and I don't understand, nor want to understand balanced charging, JST connector limitations, etc, etc.

I want one that is simple, uses a normal battery that I can keep charged and ready.

My experience was always with my astron launch controller (long gone) that you hooked up to a car battery.

I think this is the right solution for me:
https://www.rocketryworks.com/antares-mid-power-launch-controller/
With Battery is $100, and I have a norco genius that I can use to keep it charged. Simple, connectors are done, 50 feet of cord, charging is simple, no JST connector limitations, etc., etc.

Any reason NOT to use this controller? (Seems like the only other one I can find, that is of this design, is the Aerotech, but you have to assemble it, it is $115, and you still have to buy the battery).
Easiest way to narrow down the problem is to hook up an igniter to the controller and test fire.
If it consistently fires then it's a problem in the field.
PS II controller is powered by 6 C batteries with an external power option.
Good luck.
Thanks for that. I'm convinced it was the aftermarket batteries. I'm not even going to attempt to try them again, I want a once and done solution...I think the Antares should work...I think...
 
(Seems like the only other one I can find, that is of this design, is the Aerotech, but you have to assemble it, it is $115, and you still have to buy the battery).

I have the Aerotech controller has worked great for 27 years, easy to assemble, easy to use.

I have the Aerotech controller has worked great for 27 years, (still working) easy to assemble, easy to use.
https://www.hobbylinc.com/aerotech-...bly-required-model-rocket-launch-supply-89381
https://d11fdyfhxcs9cr.cloudfront.net/templates/170652/myimages/interlock_in_8-04_1674501109548.pdf
 
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Thanks for that prompt. Whew...that is a lot of thread space. I spun through most all the threads in that search.

I'm sorry for not searching first, as is normal etiquette, I was on mobile and venting. Very frustrating to get the whole family out, the kids wound up, and ending up with a dud experience. Not the way I wanted the introduction to go.

PSII is about $50. C batteries about $15. $65 total. I don't want to chase C batteries.
PSII with LIPO and charger as I read...about $90 total + connectors if necessary. And you gotta futzs with connectors and I don't understand, nor want to understand balanced charging, JST connector limitations, etc, etc.

I want one that is simple, uses a normal battery that I can keep charged and ready.

My experience was always with my astron launch controller (long gone) that you hooked up to a car battery.

I think this is the right solution for me:
https://www.rocketryworks.com/antares-mid-power-launch-controller/
With Battery is $100, and I have a norco genius that I can use to keep it charged. Simple, connectors are done, 50 feet of cord, charging is simple, no JST connector limitations, etc., etc.

Any reason NOT to use this controller? (Seems like the only other one I can find, that is of this design, is the Aerotech, but you have to assemble it, it is $115, and you still have to buy the battery).

Thanks for that. I'm convinced it was the aftermarket batteries. I'm not even going to attempt to try them again, I want a once and done solution...I think the Antares should work...I think...

DID you notice this ???

"

Rocketry Works is Closing "​

For the immediate future, customers can enjoy deep discounts on products site wide as we liquidate existing inventory. But we will not restock inventory as it sells out.

You can't add it to a cart, only a wish list and since they say are not restocking need to do more searching

1703558104338.png
 
Doug Pratt's controllers are all out of stock, and they have for some time which means he is not making them anymore either. I am still looking myself for what might still be out there
 
I still have a 6 position club controller of the JMRC design ; But I can't set that up just to do a quick park launch. [Pad box with 6 cords for each pad, plus launch battery. Controller on table to fire them with 6 buttons. Not good for someone with Mobility issues. I should put it up for sale this early spring.

I have the old Balsa Bill "Mighty D" controller on D batteries that works for such park launches, but he no longer makes it. The D batteries in mine are now about 8 years old but worked fine 2 years ago. We will see on New Years when I try to use it to launch a few 1/2A things in the front yard during the day. Last year was super freezing , the year before was warm like today.

Edit: it was a box with D batteries and a relay that sat next to the pad and a long wire to the pen like push button would close the relay and fire the ignitors at full power right at the pad for clusters even.
 
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If you're just doing simple whoosh-pop rockets in the park with Estes motors, there's absolutely no reason the basic Estes launch controller won't work. There have been some quality issues with them in the past, but I expect those have been solved by now. It's a simple enough device, getting it to work is easier and cheaper than a lot of alternatives. Maybe call Estes customer service and see if they can walk you through a diagnosis. I expect either they'll help you figure out what's wrong with the one you have or send you a new one that works.

I'm going to upgrade mine with 32 feet of 16-gauge wire and rechargeable Li-ion batteries, but that's it for whoosh-pop one-at-a-time.
 
If you're just doing simple whoosh-pop rockets in the park with Estes motors, there's absolutely no reason the basic Estes launch controller won't work. There have been some quality issues with them in the past, but I expect those have been solved by now. It's a simple enough device, getting it to work is easier and cheaper than a lot of alternatives. Maybe call Estes customer service and see if they can walk you through a diagnosis. I expect either they'll help you figure out what's wrong with the one you have or send you a new one that works.

I'm going to upgrade mine with 32 feet of 16-gauge wire and rechargeable Li-ion batteries, but that's it for whoosh-pop one-at-a-time.

I think it was the batteries ...
 
The other thing I had problems with after years of HPR, was not prepping the Estes wire correctly to not short in the nozzle when you pushed in the plug, had many 3 trips out to the pad to fix it for awhile till I remembered what to do.

James Duffy has a Youtube Video about this
 
Didn’t know Duffy was a thing. I learned this lesson in the early 70s with solar ignitors. Here is rocket as prepped. Spread leads at tip/pryogen, doubled ends. There is no question it was the batteries…

IMG_0131.jpegIMG_0133.jpeg
 

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If it's just a simple starter set for the kids, then just replace the batteries with fresh alkalines.
Save yourself $90.
If you get into clusters or composites then upgrade to a 12 v. controller.
 
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Yes have to provide your own alligator clips.
AeroTech discontinued the Copperhead igniters years ago along with the Copperhead Clip on the Interlock Controller.
I believe the Interlock Controller now comes with microclips.
 
I did all my tests on an Estes E Controller, but each of these has worked:
* Wire a lawn mower battery to the battery compartment
* Energizer Ultimate Lithium AAs
* 14500 LiPo ( same size as AA, but 3.7v each )
 
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