Exploring the Possibilities for Micro Launch Rails & Rail Buttons.

Micromeister

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I've noticed in several videos taken of Micro Model Launches our little .049"dia rods (Stainless or Plain Music Wire) do a good bit of rod whipping even in very short 9.0" Lengths. This has caused some heavier (Over 10g) models to take "Not the Best" flight path.

Personally I've used a number of different diameter and length Launch lugs to no real change in these observed conditions.

Over the past few weeks I've been exploring the notion of using a 10mm x 10mm launch Rail with tiny rail buttons as an option to standard launch lugs for micro models. I believe we've found a rail that is workable. and are in the process of helping Randy of Railbuttons.com in development of a button that will work on small LPR and Hopefully Micro Models as well. There is a very Long 280some post thread containing most of the research in the LPR forum if you'd like to follow the adventure.

To make a very long story short: I'm of the opinion yes we can use a "MakerBeam" 10mm x 10mm x 900mm (35.4")Long Extruded aluminum rail with models as small as T2++ and T3(.316" & .375"od). It may be possible in the vary near future to purchase 2-56" Nylon 2 or 3piece buttons from RailButtons.com or possibly make them ourselves for a few pennies more and a minor investment in 100pks of the necessary Nylon component fasteners. At this point I've only seen the very first prototype "Beta Test" Buttons for them and have done some experimenting with parts and procedures myself. Due to the Lousy weather we've been having the last few months I have not yet had an opportunity to Launch the Rail Button Set Up Test models but they slide and swing test fine.

The MakerBeam rails are available through Amazon.com in a 2-pack for about 25 bucks. I'm still toying with weather the entire 35.5" beam length is needed for micro work or a portion, but it would replace a standard 3ft launch rod on most launcher setups straight out of the package.

Don't have a fixed price or even if RailButtons.com will offer the Micro buttons yet. but if really interested I can make of list of the stuff I found to make our own with a tiny bit of customizing to reduce the overall button projection from the model body.
Couple photos of the MakerBeam 10mm Rail, my launcher base mounting solution and my Test T3(.375"dia) Micro Powered model for your viewing.
These buttons will not replace All Launch lugs but give an Option for our heavier slower lift-off models.
Hope this is sort of interesting.

Edit: One thing I forgot to explain; neither Randy or I have found a thing that will fit the MicroRAX 10mm rail shown below. Don't consider it if you are looking to purchase a micro size rail. Go with the MakerBeam 10mm x 10mm x 900mm rail.

Micro Rail Button-b4_Stk Blk Button BT-5 on 10mmRail(Gap)_03-28-14 .jpg

MicroRAX & MakerBeam 10mm Rail mounting parts_03-20-14.jpg

MakerBeam(L) & MicroRAX(R)_Profiles_03-20-14.jpg

MM 403_Micro T3 Streak(MicroRailButtonTest)_03-28-14.jpg
 

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  • Micro Rail Button-a3_.063 white on T3(.375in) Model_03-28-14.jpg
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  • Micro Rail Button-a2_Custom White .063 on T3 Model & Pts_03-28-14.JPG
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Micromeister

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Needed? Has nothing to do with the relative size compared to Standard, LPR or HPR models. Has everyting to do with Liftoff Mass and speed.
As mentioned in the first post. Excessive rod whip on some of the larger (over 10g) models DOES cause unwanted flight paths. I've had a flight or two fail to deploy before impact because of rod whip. For heavier Micro models or Micros you just don't want to use a rod with launch lugs, Micro Rails and Buttons look like a pretty good option to piston and/or tower launchers.

So No; Rails and Rail Buttons are not needed but a nice ground support option.
 

Micromeister

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Had our launch Saturday!
Breeze stayed up much of the morning between 10-16mph. models flying off our standard 1/8" and 3/16" Stainless rods were getting a good amount of rod whip and off path flights.
Used both the 10mm makerbeam and 20mm 8020 with mini and micro nylon buttons with models T3 to BT-60. Man what a flight path difference. I switched out the mini buttons with micros on the BT-55 Gold Strike launching on a B6-4 the heavy model flew straight as an arrow for the 35.5" 10mm rail in gusty conditions. Had a little trouble with some of the newly cut 1/16" long button barrels as I forgot to add a drop of glue to keep them from spinning on the 2-56" screw so I couldn't file the edges to get a looser fit on the rail slot. but that was really the only negative thing I can say about either Rail system. Both need to have tripod stakes or other tie downs as the wind does want to topple the entire launcher but once the bases were secured the nasty W four letter word didn't seem to matter any longer for flights to where the model was aimed:)

I am now going to proceed with experimenting with larger models to see where the tip off point will be. Can a mate 2 10mm rails to fly larger models Up to 3.3lbs with Micro Rail buttons with motor impulse values up to G?

As for Micro models I used 3 different T3 models one with 3 fins and two with different 4 fin arrangements all worked out fine and would have flown well if I'd not forgotten to fix the button barrel in place. As they were they barrel drag in the groove we just a little too tight for decent flights. I'm sure if I'd used a shorter rail they would also have done well.

On Monday I received a few more sample buttons from Railbuttons.com to test. These have slightly smaller diameter barrels once I cut down the projection they should be just about perfect for all models 1.8A through D12. We'll have to do more testing to see how far these little beauties will go.
 

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