DIY launch pad

GregC

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Scott_650

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Cheap camera tripod (local thrift store, mega-mart or Amazon - $15-25), an Odd’l Rockets Adeptor (Sirius Rocketry, eRockets, Jonrocket) and a 3-4 foot length of steel rod 1/8” or 3/16” (I have one of each - they’re cheap) from your local home/hardware store. You can use a dollar store flower pot or old paint can lid as a blast deflector. Lightweight, stable (add a water filled milk jug for increased stability for bigger rockets or windy days), no need to kneel on the ground and reduced risk of eye injuries all for roughly $50. I use mine for solo launches for anything that uses a 3/16” launch lug or smaller - much easier to haul around than my bigger pad that I built from a folding metal sawhorse.
 

Grant_Edwards

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A friend of mine used a ceramic tile and it cracked from the exhaust heat. We were launching in the winter time here in NW Wisconsin.
I've never launched in cold weather using ceramic tile, but I guess that's not too surprising. If I ever do launch in the winter, I'll bring along a metal one as a backup.
 

Starz

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A friend of mine used a ceramic tile and it cracked from the exhaust heat. We were launching in the winter time here in NW Wisconsin.
Although here in so cal, it never gets below 60 degrees. Not in launching weather anyways.
 

Nateairman

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I was in this predicament a year or more ago when I finished a large one off rocket and realised that I would be able to fly it. (I never plan on flying until the actual build sims well)

Necessity is the mother of invention. I came up with a tripod stand that will accommodate 1/8" rod up to 1010 rail. It has an adjustable base for leaning and has a pivoting mast. It has become my all time favorite! (Unless flying with the kids, they like to do all the set up and it is too much for them.) I liked the stand so much I tried selling them but there was no interest. I am sure a creative problem solver with tools could make it happen.
The 1010 rail has a maker beam slid into it with some 3d printed friction parts and a mechanical stop. It is just visible in the photo with the Initiator. And as my mentor would say 'rocketry is more than a pretty paint job'
20210327_091903.jpg 20210605_152120.jpg
 

cwbullet

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I was in this predicament a year or more ago when I finished a large one off rocket and realised that I would be able to fly it. (I never plan on flying until the actual build sims well)

Necessity is the mother of invention. I came up with a tripod stand that will accommodate 1/8" rod up to 1010 rail. It has an adjustable base for leaning and has a pivoting mast. It has become my all time favorite! (Unless flying with the kids, they like to do all the set up and it is too much for them.) I liked the stand so much I tried selling them but there was no interest. I am sure a creative problem solver with tools could make it happen.
The 1010 rail has a maker beam slid into it with some 3d printed friction parts and a mechanical stop. It is just visible in the photo with the Initiator. And as my mentor would say 'rocketry is more than a pretty paint job'
View attachment 488358 View attachment 488359

Can you post a parts list and explain how this is built?
 

Nateairman

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Can you post a parts list and explain how this is built?
Base plate is 3/8" steel with 1/8" steel tabs bent at 120° and welded to the bottom side allowing the legs to rotate between the flanges. Holes are drilled and tapped for the leg pivot. Top surface is drilled and tapped for base plate leveling. Mast is tubular steel welded to the base plate with a pivot bolt that takes a smaller piece of tubular steel (top mast) that allows 1010 to slide in. There is also a vertical stop welded on to limit rotation of the top mast piece. The top mast has stop welded into the bottom and it is cross drilled for a threaded plug to be welded in that 1/4-20 screws lock the chosen launch rod in place. Basically thats it. Probably need a drill press, welder, torch, plasma cutter, various tap and die.

The final step is to paint as you see fit. A few people I have made them for say they are simply the best rocket launch pad they have ever owned. Their words not mine.
 

Nateairman

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Base plate is 3/8" steel with 1/8" steel tabs bent at 120° and welded to the bottom side allowing the legs to rotate between the flanges. Holes are drilled and tapped for the leg pivot. Top surface is drilled and tapped for base plate leveling. Mast is tubular steel welded to the base plate with a pivot bolt that takes a smaller piece of tubular steel (top mast) that allows 1010 to slide in. There is also a vertical stop welded on to limit rotation of the top mast piece. The top mast has stop welded into the bottom and it is cross drilled for a threaded plug to be welded in that 1/4-20 screws lock the chosen launch rod in place. Basically thats it. Probably need a drill press, welder, torch, plasma cutter, various tap and die.

The final step is to paint as you see fit. A few people I have made them for say they are simply the best rocket launch pad they have ever owned. Their words not mine.

Our last launch. Unfortunately I had a chute tangle and didn't have a full deploy. One fin was damaged and is repaired ready to fly again.
 

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mustcomedown

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Yep, that's what I use for LPR (1/8 × 36 and 3/16 × 48).

For blast deflectors, I drill a hole in the middle of a 39¢ 6×6" ceramic tile:

https://www.menards.com/main/floori...l-tile/vt1066hc1p4/p-1444428461603-c-6547.htm

They don't short out the launch controller leads when they fall, and they don't rust. The carbon wipes off fairly easily so they don't make a mess in storage.

For securing rods, I make aluminum "Adapters" with a 1/4-20 threaded hole in the bottom, and a "rod size" hole in the top, with a 1/4-20 threaded hole in the side for the thumbscrew that secures the rod. IIRC, a 1 foot chunk of 1" diameter aluminum hex bar stock was about $9 (that's enough for 6-8 adpaters). Here's the 3/16 version:

View attachment 487659

1/4-20 is the thread used by camera and lighting tripods, so you can use it with any number of tripods off Amazon starting at about $15. It works great on the tripod that came with my Craftsman laser level. Or you can mount 2 or 3 of them on a board atop a sawhorse. Here's one end of a sawhorse dual launcher I built last week (the blast deflector has been used for a a number of A/B/C engine launches and is about a year old).

View attachment 487662
Caution - Cutting or drilling tile can produce silica dust. Silica dust poses an inhalation hazard and can cause silicosis.
 
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