HPR Launch Equipment Reccomendations

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

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

kitchw8436

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 9, 2018
Messages
103
Reaction score
114
Our local NAR chapter is considering stepping up to HPR launches. Looking for recommendations for pads and wireless launch controllers.
 
Our local NAR chapter is considering stepping up to HPR launches. Looking for recommendations for pads and wireless launch controllers.
Do you have members with the skills, tools, and willingness to fabricate the pads, if so its possible to build multiple pads for what a single pad from a manufacturer will cost (our club built 5 pads for what a single identical pad would cost from a well known vendor). As for wirelesses there are two options, and both are spendy Altus Metrum and Wilson F/X. You also have the option of again building one if the club has members willing to design and assemble it.
 
Our local NAR chapter is considering stepping up to HPR launches. Looking for recommendations for pads and wireless launch controllers.

Pads:
  1. https://www.knight-mfg.com
  2. https://www.frankumperformance.com
  3. or you can make them with Jaw Stands or speaker stands.
If interested, I can do a build thread with parts of either.

https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/lets-see-your-jawstand-rail-adapters.133685/
https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/speaker-stand-launch-pads-from-nsl-2022.173608/
Launch controller: Go with a premade or commercial system like the WilsonFX or Altus. We have had three other homemade systems in 20 years, and they fail in comparison to either of the mentioned systems in both reliability and durability.
 
Make sure you look into the NAR section grant for your equipment. That's good seed money that can help!
 
HPR launches??
Are you considering all from H to N motors with weights past 80 pounds? or have a limit on motor and weight?
The bigger the motor & rocket the larger and heavier the pad needs to be.

Our club has a couple of the knight-mfg pads and they are good for up to about 6-8 pound a maybe a small J motor.
I would guess the 'Jaw stand' pads have about the same limitation.
 
Our club recently bought a pad by Frankum Performance, and we have used a wireless system from WilsonFX for several years. I can't recommend either of them enough. Both are pricey, but they are excellent.
 
HPR launches??
Are you considering all from H to N motors with weights past 80 pounds? or have a limit on motor and weight?
The bigger the motor & rocket the larger and heavier the pad needs to be.

Our club has a couple of the knight-mfg pads and they are good for up to about 6-8 pound a maybe a small J motor.
I would guess the 'Jaw stand' pads have about the same limitation.

Knight Manufacturing makes bigger pads.
 
Ahh...went back and looked deeper and see larger pads.

Yes. I have a custom one that will launch up to a small M.

I also have two Frankum Pads. The Biggun is pretty huge,
 
Our local NAR chapter is considering stepping up to HPR launches. Looking for recommendations for pads and wireless launch controllers.
I built all the launch stands for our club.
For high power I used a modified John Coker design.
They work great.
If you have someone with welding skills in the club, he could build them.
 
I built all the launch stands for our club.
For high power I used a modified John Coker design.
They work great.
If you have someone with welding skills in the club, he could build them.

Same here, I have built the majority of our clubs HPR and LPR pads ( the MPR pvc pads, and Jawstand pads are the exception. Sourcing the material is easy...just don't purchase any of it online, go see a metal dealer (in the PacNorthWest) thats places like Pacific Steel, C'dA metals, Haskins etc or a metal salvage yard (many of them also sell new steel and aluminum). The time for assembly and welding is donated, setting up a club for HPR is a gradual process unless the club has large amounts of cash to spend (if our club had bought the 5 red pads I built from Apogee at current prices that would have been $2850, the steel to build them is only about $700-900 today).
 
If your club is just stepping up to high power, you will probably still have flyers who fly midpower. I agree with CWBullet that jawstands would be a good way to start. They should be able to handle H, I and small J motors. Get some tent stakes to hold the pads in place. Also, try to get a NAR Section grant to help you buy the jawstands. It’s $250!
 
My daughter and I built a lightweight rocket launcher a few years ago out of a watering tri-pod, a toilet ABS flange and a vetical 4" diameter ABS pipe that we screwed a 80/20 1010 rail into. Not knowing the thrust values of HPR motors, we figured it was a whole lot better than the single 3/16" rod we had been using to send up a few Estes C loaded rockets, so we continued the attempt to use this lightweight launcher for bigger rockets. It held up pretty well up to G loads. After that, no matter how we secured the launch pad with guy wires or tent stakes, the H and I loaded rockets knocked over the launcher or skewed it enough on ignition and lift off that we lost a few bigger rockets. After going out to Red Lake AZ and met up with Jim Byrne and G from Kingman AZ, we watched their "Coker" style launchers work flawlessly well beyond I loads. We thought, well that's cool. So we borrowed the idea and the design, approached NAR with a request for assistance, and after 3 months of gathering stuff from local metal supply warehouses, Lowes, Home Depot, and ACE Hardware, we set about to build our first launcher. Today, it's finally done. Thanks Jim Byrne and his group for the opportunity to learn. We hope to get back out to Red Lake at least once more before the heat sets in this summer.
 

Attachments

  • watering tri-pod HPR pad.png
    watering tri-pod HPR pad.png
    372.6 KB · Views: 0
  • Modified J Coker-Byrne HPR Pad.jpg
    Modified J Coker-Byrne HPR Pad.jpg
    95.2 KB · Views: 1
  • Mod Coker-Byrne Pad.jpg
    Mod Coker-Byrne Pad.jpg
    96.7 KB · Views: 1
Good looking pad (and workshop!)
Hmm … workshop is far too tidy! You could eat off that floor. 🙂

I can highly recommend the WilsonFx launch systems, but they are not cheap. However, they are very reliable and very flexible in the configurations you can choose from for club launching. You can start with a basic system and add to it as you need.
 
Took the completed HPR launcher to a local powder coater and came back with an nice finished look.

I know...first K motor off this launcher and the pretty crimson candy red finish and shiny diamond plate will be covered in black soot. Going to test it out this coming weekend at Red Lake by Kingman, AZ.
 

Attachments

  • finished launcher.jpg
    finished launcher.jpg
    95.1 KB · Views: 0
  • launcher close.jpg
    launcher close.jpg
    119.7 KB · Views: 0
For controllers, WilsonFX and AltusMetrum both make high quality units.

Both are modular - you can add pad boxes as the demand increases.

-Kevin
 
I built the 'X' pads the ICBM club uses. 20 years with no maintenance. Except for the legs, they are all stainless steel and will hold a 1010 rail or up to 1" rod directly.
 
Back
Top