Fade to Black Rocket Works Contest pads

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2009
Reaction score
Fade to Black is happy to announce a new pair of contest style pads.

Made of 3/8" steel rod topped with the FTB exclusive TRI-Pad receiver, the Contest pad stands 44" tall at the blast deflector and adjusts easily with a simple twist of a knob.

The Contest pads are available with the standard sleeve style receiver or the Elite style keyless chuck.

Prices are $39 each for the Standard and $49 each for the Elite.

See https://www.ftbrocketworks.com for more details.



I have one of your pads and is great. However, after yesterday’s launch, the screw on chuck head became stuck with a 3/16 inch rod in it. I ended up having to take it off the mount. Any suggestions???
Maybe try warming the whole thing up with a heat gun or hairdryer to 110 ℉ ~ 130 ℉, let it sit for a minute and then give the jaws a few squirts of liquid wrench. After the chuck is back to room temp open it up.

No one really makes these anymore. A true loss.
Are you referring to the pad or the chuck?
Yes. The pad. I Have several FTB pads. I love them. I wish I purchase one of these.
Is there an interest in this style pad still? I can see a fair amount of usage especially on setups where the pads need to be spread out.
I would say yes. I can especially see an interest in the heads.
They look to be a modification of the SPAD pad style head. What would the max launch rod size need to be, 3/16" or 1/4", I am guessing 3/16 as the style of base would preclude heavier rockets.
We used a Spad-pad type system at DART for a little while, but stakes don't work very well in our "sandpit" launch area. Our solution was to get decent but inexpensive photo tripods from B&H (Smith-Victor P900 IIRC) and combine with drill chucks (cheap ones, bulk buy from Amazon) and 22 cent ceramic tile blast deflectors from HD. Only one part has to be fabricated - a 1/2-13 bolt 3/4" long which gets drilled and tapped on the bottom for a 1/4-20 tripod stud. That adapts the drill chuck to the tripod. You also need to drill a 1/8" to 1/4" hole in the blast tile with a ceramic bit. $40 all up plus 10 mins of work to drill/tap the bolt and deflector. (If you have built actual Spad pads they are less expensive in materials but there is a fair amount of work to fab the heads).

They work great...the 1/2" chucks will hold anything from a micro-maxx rod up to a 10mm MakerBeam rail, they're fully adjustable including height, and will hold a 2 lb MPR rocket without any flex in the base. The drill chucks have to get replaced occasionally as they are cheap and tend to corrode but a squirt of WD-40 once in a while will delay the inevitable. I can totally understand having a chuck get jammed :)
Looks like the Facebook page is now called Fade To Black Rocket Works. Just checked...and it's going to cost me LOL!!