DIY satellite dish bracket launch pad

Discussion in 'Ground Support' started by Tyler P, Oct 8, 2018.

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  1. Oct 8, 2018 #1

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

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    A member of the Rocketry Fanatics facebook group posted a DIY launch pad made from an old satellite dish. This got me thinking about what I could do with our old dish mount, so I got to work.

    I started by removing the dish from the corner of the house and then I removed the dish portion, as I didn't plan on using it. I kept all the related hardware.

    This is what I started with:
    [​IMG]

    I actually did modify the dish arm. I cut the elbow off with a sawzall and kept the longer of the two pieces to use as the upright. I then stuck the straight piece into the mount to joint the two brackets.

    A cool feature of these brackets is that I can adjust the angle for multiple uses and storage.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I cut down the front lip of the old dish holder and dremmeled the edges down smoth. I installed a block of wood underneath which I drilled to accept 1/8 and 3/16 rods and they're held in place by the set screw 10-32 bolts you see. The wood was drilled and tapped and threads CA hardened. They should hold up for awhile.

    [​IMG]

    The wood block is held in place by two screws through the old dish holder.

    [​IMG]

    This is how it sits with with the 3/16 rod and blast shield in place.

    [​IMG]

    The angle will be slightly different, which is a good thing, when the rail is mounted to the old receiver mount. I drilled the blast shield for 1/4 bolts and reused the dish mounting nuts and button-head bolts.

    [​IMG]

    So now I have a great bracket for launching all of my collection from low power all the way to high power when I go for my L1 cert next season. Next up on this build will be making the folding feet, installing a 1" rail, and making sure it is stable enough to handle an H motor rocket.
     
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  2. Oct 8, 2018 #2

    Estesbasher

    Estesbasher

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    Good thinking Tyler, Looks darn good to me.:cool:
     
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  3. Oct 8, 2018 #3

    tightwad

    tightwad

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    Damn good idea. I wish that I would have kept my Sat dish when we had it upgraded. Lesson learned.
     
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  4. Nov 7, 2018 #4

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

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    So, I ordered up my rail and it arrived today. I'll be continuing this build in the next few days. Looking at doing a pvc pipe leg/base setup to keep it relatively light but still sturdy enough for at least an L1 rocket, possibly L2. Will have to see just how rigid I can build it.
     
  5. Nov 9, 2018 at 12:17 AM #5

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

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    The first part of the build is finished which is attaching the rail to the base.

    I drilled 3 x 1/4" holes in the upright and then installed 3 x 1/4-20 carriage bolts with the heads facing towards the rail back.

    Next, I slid the rail down on the bolts and tightened them down. It was at this point I realised the the box structure of the upright would be crushed when I tightened the bolts, so I ripped down a piece of wood to insert in the upright. I redrilled for the bolts in the wood and reinstalled the bolts.

    The 1/4-20 bolt heads slide nicely into the 10-10 rail slots and then the bolts get tightened down and holds the rail nice and tight. All the nuts on the base use the same size socket, so only one tool is needed to setup and tear down, or make adjustments, or tilt to load the rail. The rail is also very easy to remove or install for ease of transport.

    I also ordered the rail-stop with the rail, so I can easily set the height of the rocket above the blast deflector.

    Next up is making a stand to install the base on.
     

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  6. Nov 9, 2018 at 9:10 PM #6

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

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    Got some more materials and worked on the base today. Honestly, a Jawstand would be easier but this is cheaper for now.

    I need some 4" bolts to attach the wood base to the stand, but that's pretty much it. I'll drill the feet to be able to peg it down. Sand bags would also work but they're heavy to lug around.

    I'm not 100% sold on this setup but it'll be functional, at least.
     

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  7. Nov 10, 2018 at 3:43 AM #7

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

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    20181109_215547.jpg Put a fork in this one, it's done. After getting the base-plate bolted down to the frame, I'm actually pretty pleased with how it works.

    I'll definitely have to peg it down for side-to-side stability, but it can support the full weight of the rocket when it is tilted down for loading.

    Not bad for about $50 worth of parts. Everything else was leftovers and recycled stuff.
     

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