Getting the launch pad off the ground

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KILTED COWBOY

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Thought I would pick your brains for some ideas.
My 60+ yr old knees do not like kneeling on the ground anymore.
Any ideas on elevating so I can attach the clips to the igniters while standing?
Thought about putting it on a folding table, but then the rod is too high to slide the rocket on.
Figured you "Rocket Scientists" can help this ol' cowboy out.
Thanks
 

mbeels

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I have seen some launch pads on saw horses, with tilt over rods. It was pretty convenient.
 

samb

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For many model rockets in the A,B,C impulse range I use a camera tripod with a keyless chuck from a sacrificed hand cranked drill to hold the 1/4 inch launch rod. I'll see if I can add some pictures later.
 

kuririn

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Assume you mean elevating your existing launch pad and not buying a new one?
A small round 3 legged table sounds like it would work. As long as the legs are not too tall for you to slide the rocket on the rod.
You may want to secure the launch pad to the table with bolts or screws. Or epoxy it on if portability is not an issue.
Also consider that the higher up your launch pad goes the easier it is to tip over.
A broad base or hold down weights may be needed.

If you have an extra tripod lying around you can convert it to a launch pad with this:
https://www.siriusrocketry.biz/ishop/oddl-rockets-adeptor-camera-tripod-adapter-1045.html
EDIT: Just saw Sam's post. If you don't have a spare chuck and/or you don't want to or are able to machine components then the Adeptor is a good choice. Laters.
 
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KILTED COWBOY

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kuririn, using a camera tripod with that adapter is an awesome idea.
I even have a tripod in the closet doing nothing. I can tilt it sideways to slide the rocket on the rod.
This will keep me flying without knee replacement.
Thanks so much going to order one now.
 

KILTED COWBOY

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Thanks for the link. I found the same product at sirius rocketry.
Your link had some great stuff also.
Think i am going the tripod way
 

mbeels

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I first read this thread title as: launching the rocket is only step one, step two is motors on the launch pad and sending that into the air as well.
 

lakeroadster

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..... I even have a tripod in the closet doing nothing....
I had the same thought and was going to use a 35 mm camera tripod I already had from back in the 1980's. In the end it was very unstable once the launch rod was installed. Just wasn't strong or sturdy enough.

Larger tri-pods, such as those used with video recorders, telescopes, etc. work pretty well though.

As was previously discussed a really stable and simple platform is to use a saw horse.

Launch Horse.jpg
 
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MALBAR 70

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I too use a camera tripod and the Odd'l Rockets Adeptor. One of the best things I've come across as an alternative to an Estes launch pad.
For a bit more stability I'll use a Bungee cord and an old 10lb barbell weight hung from the center of the tripod.
 

BABAR

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hcmbanjo

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I brought out the Odd'l Rockets Adeptor for the same reasons you mentioned.
My right knee is touchy and I got tired of wet knees connecting up an igniter on a grass field.
Another benefit - with the rocket at waist level you can also get better launch pictures!

I've seen a few pictures where the tripod legs are extended all the way out.
For stability you only need to extend the legs two "clicks", not three.
The Adeptor will fit a 1/8" and 3/16" launch rod, not a 1/4" rod.
A camera tripod launcher is good for up to an E engine. I wouldn't go any higher.
 

BABAR

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I brought out the Odd'l Rockets Adeptor for the same reasons you mentioned.
My right knee is touchy and I got tired of wet knees connecting up an igniter on a grass field.
Another benefit - with the rocket at waist level you can also get better launch pictures!

I've seen a few pictures where the tripod legs are extended all the way out.
For stability you only need to extend the legs two "clicks", not three.
The Adeptor will fit a 1/8" and 3/16" launch rod, not a 1/4" rod.
A camera tripod launcher is good for up to an E engine. I wouldn't go any higher.
One other HUGE advantage is SAFETY. Scare me to death seeing people lean down over Estes pads on the ground, afraid someone’s gonna poke their eye out. adeptor gets it up high enough it is above eye level.

Okay, show of hands, how many people, say after 6 months of ownership, actually still HAVE the cap that is supposed to go on the tip of the rod when it is not being used, let alone how many actually use it?!
 

MichaelRapp

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Okay, show of hands, how many people, say after 6 months of ownership, actually still HAVE the cap that is supposed to go on the tip of the rod when it is not being used, let alone how many actually use it?!
I have it....just don't exactly know where it is. Last I saw it, my cat was holding it in her mouth by the fluorescent streamer and meowing like she had a mouse. I think it is now under the bed somewhere.... :)
 

dhbarr

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If other people are around a used igniter tube with a tape flag works pretty well.
 

Big-Bob

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I am also 60, and worked in the A/C field for decades. My knees are shot. Right now I'm still getting down on my knees (with the help of a cheap Walmart pillow) but getting back up is quite painful. I will have to come up with some way of raising the launch pad in the not too distant future. I use only low power (mostly Cs and Ds) so it doesn't have to be a super strong structure. I have considered using a 2' folding aluminum step ladder. I have a stool I made by removing the back from a cheap Walmart computer chair. I can sit in that and easily reach something 2" tall. Everything has to fit in a Jeep CJ-5. I even considered mounting something to the hood of the Jeep. My biggest issue however, is the sometimes long walk to retrieve the rocket.
 

Brad Willmore

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I had the same thought and was going to use a 35 mm camera tripod I already had from back in the 1980's. In the end it was very unstable once the launch rod was installed. Just wasn't strong or sturdy enough.

Larger tri-pods, such as those used with video recorders, telescopes, etc. work pretty well though.

As was previously discussed a really stable and simple platform is to use a saw horse.

View attachment 389628
I'm building something similar out of one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/WORKESS-WK-S...ocphy=9032339&hvtargid=pla-607824267325&psc=1
It's pretty easy to carry and very sturdy. Waist high and folding legs.
What's got me befuddled is finding the right rod mounting system. I'd like to put two launch pads on. I ordered some pivot mounts from a drum trap set, but they are way too big. If anyone has any good ideas on where to get something that will mount all launch rod sizes and can still be canted and turned I'd appreciate it.
 

kuririn

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If anyone has any good ideas on where to get something that will mount all launch rod sizes and can still be canted and turned I'd appreciate it.
http://launchpad.hofle.com/
Replace the PVC leg assembly with the saw horse.
Instead of drilling holes in the pipe for your launch rods bolt on a pair of used drill chucks (like samb).
You can then use any size rod from 1/8 to 1/4".
 
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Donnager

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dhbarr

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Of course, the launch rod is stuck in the ground through the actual deflector plate, hidden beneath the boostplate.
 

John Taylor

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I am also 60, and worked in the A/C field for decades. My knees are shot. Right now I'm still getting down on my knees (with the help of a cheap Walmart pillow) but getting back up is quite painful. I will have to come up with some way of raising the launch pad in the not too distant future. I use only low power (mostly Cs and Ds) so it doesn't have to be a super strong structure. I have considered using a 2' folding aluminum step ladder. I have a stool I made by removing the back from a cheap Walmart computer chair. I can sit in that and easily reach something 2" tall. Everything has to fit in a Jeep CJ-5. I even considered mounting something to the hood of the Jeep. My biggest issue however, is the sometimes long walk to retrieve the rocket.
Perhaps a chute release is in your future, I've got ms and my recovery team (grandson) has discovered girls. So the long walks were hard. Do I just started using a JLCR.
 
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