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Building a LPR launchpad

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DexterLB

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I want to build myself a small simple launchpad to launch my rockets, as the rocketry club in my town was dismissed :(

So, I've drawn it in SketchUp. What do you think? Should I start building it, or you have ideas from improvements?

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Boosterdude

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It's nice, but seems really compicated for a LPR pad. I use a tripod that I got at Walmart for 20 bucks. It's folds up small, light, and each leg extends making it easy to adjust for uneven surfaces.
 

nukemmcssret

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:y: I agree for an LPR launch pad it looks to complicated. I like the tripod Idea. Or just use PVC pipe and make a saw horse. I still like the tripod idea. I am getting up in age and bending over to hook up the igniter is killer. Thanks for the idea.






No matter where you go there you are! :cheers:
 
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rainyday101

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I second the camera tripod. I have a Walmart tripod also. All the adjustments for angling the launch rod are already there. Another great thing about the tripod is the lauch point is higher off the ground so you don't get on your hands and knees to hook-up ingniters. This also keeps the tip of launch rod high up in the air so you don't have to worry about kids getting their eye poked out by the tip of the lauch rod.
 

DexterLB

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Yeah, angling the rod would be a problem with my design. I'll think about it and if I don't come up with anything I'll have to sacrifice a tripod ;)
 

Boosterdude

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Yeah, angling the rod would be a problem with my design. I'll think about it and if I don't come up with anything I'll have to sacrifice a tripod ;)
Tripods are the way to go. I attached a drill chuck to mine so it's easy to remove/change the rods.
 

DexterLB

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Why was the club in your town dismissed?
The new government implied an idiotically high tax for running a modelling club and none could bare it so all but one rocketry clubs in the country were dismissed
 

DexterLB

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Tripods are the way to go. I attached a drill chuck to mine so it's easy to remove/change the rods.
That with the drill chuck is an excellent idea! Now all I need to do is find a suitable stable tripod.
 

jim fustini

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The new government implied an idiotically high tax for running a modelling club and none could bare it so all but one rocketry clubs in the country were dismissed
I am surprised OUR Goooberment has not tried that one on US. I know the BATF is still fumeing over losing the battle against us.
 

Micromeister

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Making a tripod launcher is really pretty easy from scrap 1/2 or 3/4" plywood if you really don't want to use a camera tripod.
I'm sure you'll be happier with something higher off the ground whichever way you go.
The tripod pictured is more the 30 year old now, it was fashioned after and estes port-a-pad from back in the 70's. deflectors can be made from tin cans or clay flower pots with ease.

I believe the most important feature one can build into their own launchers is EASE of Loading. This usually means getting the rod or Rods at least 30" off the ground;). I'm sure that's why we see so many Camera and Video Tripods transformed into LPR/MPR launch pads.

Relay Launcher-a-sm_ & Pad (1st)_11-11-72.jpg
 

greenrocketfish

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I found a launch pad on the Mercury rocket website that is very easy to build. He list everything and gives free plans. You would not need to have access to shop tools, just basic tools, drill, screw driver or brads depending on which way you go. This one also uses a drill chuck so you can change launch rods in seconds. If you have scrap lumber around and imagination you could do some neet stuff with it with very little cost.
hope that helps,
Lee :)

www.mercury-rockets.com
 

DexterLB

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I found a launch pad on the Mercury rocket website that is very easy to build. He list everything and gives free plans. You would not need to have access to shop tools, just basic tools, drill, screw driver or brads depending on which way you go. This one also uses a drill chuck so you can change launch rods in seconds. If you have scrap lumber around and imagination you could do some neet stuff with it with very little cost.
hope that helps,
Lee :)

www.mercury-rockets.com
Thanks for the great link! It's a wonderful design.

I've decided: I'm not using a tripod, I'm still young enough to bend over ;) . However, I'll add a drill chuck to my design, new drawing coming soon :p
I have all other stuff, I'm starting the build!!!
 

DexterLB

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Actually, does that deflector really help for something (the big metal thing you secure to the rod with a screw, see first post's attachments)? Worse, can the rocket be scorched becuse of it?
 

spacecadet

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My launch rod fastens onto a tripod handle with a lab clamp. The tripod is still perfectly serviceable and just needs the occasional wash.
Eye-level launches have their advantages: they look better, and you hardly need a deflector, although it might keep the tripod a bit cleaner.

P8221770.jpg
 

Micromeister

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Thanks for the great link! It's a wonderful design.

I've decided: I'm not using a tripod, I'm still young enough to bend over ;) . However, I'll add a drill chuck to my design, new drawing coming soon :p
I have all other stuff, I'm starting the build!!!
The Idea is to keep as much of the burning particles of propellant from hitting the ground, this is another reason for elevating the launch pad 30 or more inches above the ground.

It's better to have a large flat our even slightly upturned deflector then a small downward facing deflector. as can be seen in the night launch photo posted earlier hot sparks travel a lot further then we normally see during day time launches.
 

Bone Daddy

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Greetings DexterLB

Just curious....................................

How do they determine what a club is?

Is a bunch of friends getting together and flying some rockets considered a club?

If you're looking to fly with some friends, you may want to consider a saw horse. You can get a few rockets ready and fly them in succession. This is the system used by DARS (Dallas Area Rocketry Society) - actually have several to keep things moving - and many others. (see www.dars.org)

When I fly alone (yes, I fly alone, when no one's around, when I fly by myself, I prefer to fly alone) I use a standard issue Estes pad someone had laying around. The darn thing just works as advertised. It's been on my list to build a tripod mounted pad, but so far it hasn't percolated to the top of the list yet.

Anyway, if you use a clothespin to hold your rocket a couple of inches above it, it makes no difference if your blast shield is horizontal or canted.

Lunar Lander on Launch pad post.jpg
 

Micromeister

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Greetings DexterLB

Just curious....................................

How do they determine what a club is?

Is a bunch of friends getting together and flying some rockets considered a club?

If you're looking to fly with some friends, you may want to consider a saw horse. You can get a few rockets ready and fly them in succession. This is the system used by DARS (Dallas Area Rocketry Society) - actually have several to keep things moving - and many others. (see www.dars.org)

When I fly alone (yes, I fly alone, when no one's around, when I fly by myself, I prefer to fly alone) I use a standard issue Estes pad someone had laying around. The darn thing just works as advertised. It's been on my list to build a tripod mounted pad, but so far it hasn't percolated to the top of the list yet.

Anyway, if you use a clothespin to hold your rocket a couple of inches above it, it makes no difference if your blast shield is horizontal or canted.
In your photo above, all that loose hay is exactly the stuff fires are started with. If your read the instructions that came with your portapad it stated to Clear all burnable debris around your launcher site. there used to be a little sketch showing a 6' radius around the pad. Perhap this isn't included anymore but it sure should be. As Smokey says "only you can prevent brush and grass fires" LOL!!!

Sorry I was thinking of another launcher thread, here are a couple views of what we DON'T see during daytime launches. Perhaps they'll be an eye opener, We're flying from launch racks 30" above the ground with Flat 6" square 16ga Stainless steel deflectors. My Cluster models are 36" above the ground with a 12" square deflector with directed ducts out two sides. It really is important to Clear your launch area of combustable materials or wet the area down with water before you start.

404lp04b_Nava Payloader-II 4D cluster Lift-Off_07-10-99.jpg


g-sm_Valerie Pratt cylume model on quest C6.jpg
 
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Bone Daddy

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Actually, since it was a hand me down, there were no instructions. How did they determine that 6 ft – not 7, not 5 – was the magic number to guarantee fire safety at a launch site? Look, let’s step back and assess the situation.

So, was there a 6’ foot diameter area devoid of every possible bit of combustionable material? No, but most of the remaining stems were plowed into the dirt. Does this make my launch a fire hazard? Absolutely not.

There was no imminent fire danger. The density of contiguous, combustionable material was nowhere near that would be needed to support a wild fire. The weather conditions - a quintessential hot, still and humid Texas summer day - were counter to the conditions needed to spread fire across thegaps in combustionable material.

It would have been impossible to start a sustainable fire with a flame thrower within 6 feet of the launch pad, but unfortunately I only had a fire extinguisher with me so I couldn’t test that hypothesis.

In all honesty though, the only real way to assess the situation (this is what all this was leading up to) would have been to have been there. And that serves as my open invitation to come on down to the great state and fly with me. I really don’t like flying alone, it’s just that the other option is even less fun.
 

Pem Tech

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My launch rod fastens onto a tripod handle with a lab clamp. The tripod is still perfectly serviceable and just needs the occasional wash.
Eye-level launches have their advantages: they look better, and you hardly need a deflector, although it might keep the tripod a bit cleaner.

Hey, the clamp idea is a good one, may try that out.
And what is the rocket on the pad? Very cool looking...
 

dragon_rider10

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For those of you who use tripods for launchers, can you post photos of how the rods attach to the camera plate? I've got a tripod that I planned to use for a camera, but not sure how to mount the rod to it. I like the drill chuck idea, and the above clamp is interesting. Not sure which would work best for me. It's not readily obvious how I would do it, and that is usually bad for me.

Incidently, my tripod, when folded and held sideways, looks like a Mad Max laser gatling or something. It's quite fun. I have been known hold it and often say "pew pew pew" when no one is watching. ;)
 

Micromeister

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For those of you who use tripods for launchers, can you post photos of how the rods attach to the camera plate? I've got a tripod that I planned to use for a camera, but not sure how to mount the rod to it. I like the drill chuck idea, and the above clamp is interesting. Not sure which would work best for me. It's not readily obvious how I would do it, and that is usually bad for me.

Incidently, my tripod, when folded and held sideways, looks like a Mad Max laser gatling or something. It's quite fun. I have been known hold it and often say "pew pew pew" when no one is watching. ;)
I can't speak for every camera tripad but "Most" come with a captive 1/4-20 machine screw that attaches the camera to the pad. I've used this machine screw with a 1/4-20 rod coupling as an intermediate adaptor for attaching different types of "rod Holders" along the way. Some Drill chucks have come with a 1/4-28 threaded hub, a couple might have 1/4-20? I generally use some sort of flat plast the can be attached directly with a short (1/4-20 x 1/2") MS to the Rod coupling or epoxy a coupling into a baseplate the can then be fitted with whatever alt-atzmuth rod holding fitting I make up.
 

Boosterdude

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Ok, here you go. From one John B to another John B.

This is how I did it, pretty easy. I also use a large blast plate to protect the tripod/chuck. I believe I got this tripod on sale at Sears for 12 bucks. Works great, it's light weight, and folds up small.





 

spacecadet

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Hey, the clamp idea is a good one, may try that out.
And what is the rocket on the pad? Very cool looking...

It's a version of our Black Knight sounding rocket from the 1950s, turned into a 4-stage small satellite launcher according to a sketch Nicholas Hill http://www.spaceuk.org/bk/bk.htm
foind in the National Archives.
The strap-ons and two upper stages were to be guided missile SRBs with the delightful names of Gosling, Rook and Raven (one of the rocket scientists was an amateur ornithologist).
As it never flew, mine is the first to do so. It's a wayward flier, needs really still air.
C6 and two B4 boosters to a B4-4.
About 1/25 scale, 2'6" overall.
Best of luck.
 

dragon_rider10

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I think i'm missing a piece of my tripod. That square thing you have the chuck attached to, it looks like my tripod has one...somewhere. Perhaps currently on the bottom of a camera. Must investigate. Looks likes it's going to be an awful rainy weekend again, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time.
 

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