DIY telescope stand launch-pad build thread

Starz

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Hi,
I have been getting from LPR to MPR and need a new launch pad. I found an old telescope stand that I'm going to repurpose into a launch pad.
Screenshot 2021-11-03 9.54.00 PM.png
 

Starz

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Today, I picked up a steel rod for the launch rod.Screenshot 2021-11-03 9.55.27 PM.png ]
It is quite dirty though. What's the best way to clean it? Is there any additional prep needed?
 

Voyager1

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You might find that you’ll need to peg the tripod feet into the ground. With a longish rod mounted on that you will have a very high center of mass, particularly with a heavier mid power rocket. I wouldn’t launch from that without securing it.

Also, is that rod stainless Steel? If not, then you can expect rust and corrosion once the APCP exhaust has its way. I would keep it clean with the scotchbright pads and WD40. I find Steel wool too abrasive.

You will also require a decent blast shield.

Other than that, enjoy the transition to MPR.
 

DigBaddy

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If you happen to use a 12v battery for a relay-based launch system, there's your hang from the center of the tripod ballast.

My mild steel launch rods have done well with an initial sanding with progressively finer grades of paper and coated with basic turtle wax. After a launch, some steel wool cleans them right up, then on goes a coat of wax (same process as a car, buff off once it dries). No rust and super slick.
 

BigMacDaddy

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FWIW -- CRC 2-26 is another anti-rust coating that can be used instead of WD-40. CRC 2-26 is also great for treating electrical contacts to minimize corrosion.

Also something like this with a short bungee might also be good to stabilize the tripod...
 

Voyager1

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What's the process of doing that?
Well, my usual process is to use a vinegar-soaked rag to clean most of the exhaust residue from the rod. If there is any baked on residue I use the pad with a little WD40 or, as suggested above, CRC, to remove it. I then wipe the entire rod, or rail, with WD40 for storage.

If you use this, or similar, technique after every launch day your rods and rails will stay clean and uncorroded.
 
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Lord Rory Gin

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Hi,
I have been getting from LPR to MPR and need a new launch pad. I found an old telescope stand that I'm going to repurpose into a launch pad.
View attachment 488575
You can use the eyepiece tray to hold some extra mass like a rock or a bag of sand. That will give you additional stabilty. If it were my setup, I would place my 8ah battery on there and use a large blast deflector (i.e. not the 5" Estes version).
 

Back_at_it

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Today, I picked up a steel rod for the launch rod.View attachment 488576 ]
It is quite dirty though. What's the best way to clean it? Is there any additional prep needed?

No real "prep" is required but you will wan to maintain the rod after a days of launching. I keep a small can of WD40 in my range box and use it to wipe down the rod before putting it away. Just wipe it off with a paper towel and WD40 and you're good to go. Also prevents any rust or corrosion. If you do happen to get some surface rust, a light rubbing with a Scotch Bright and WD40 will take it right off.

Do yourself a favor and get a piece of PVC pipe to store and carry the rods. I have a 1" piece that is 6' long. It's comes in handy when you are carrying multiple rods.
 
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