Ignition Systems

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Aerobee300

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I'm really getting about tired of messing with the 4 AA batteries in my Estes Porta Pad launch controller .... does anyone have a good, simple to build, wiring schematic - or plans - for a decent 12V (car battery) system ???

I'm in process of building a 3-D cluster rocket and a couple of E powered rockets .... the AA's just arn't cutting it !
 

Fore Check

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Check out this link to Rocketry Online's Info Central on building a 12V relay launcher: https://www.info-central.org/support_relaylauncher.shtml


If you don't want to mess with building one, and have the money available, Pratt Hobbies makes an *excellent* self-contained 12V rechargeable system. It's lightweight, user friendly, and is just awesome. I love mine, and would recommend it 100% of the time. I've used it to launch a 4 x E cluster a couple of times, and when you press the launch button, those motors kick off right now. I beilieve that Doug at Pratt has since updated his 12V launcher - I have a Surefire II system, which I believe is no longer available. I'm certain that the latest version is just as nice, if not better.

But, it *does* cost in the neighborhood of $100.

It has all the bells and whistles - recharging unit, voltage test meter, a test circuit, and a thermal overload fuse to protect the battery in the event of a short circuit.
 

Aerobee300

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Awesome Fore Check .... those plans are just what I was after !!!
 

Fore Check

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Don't forget to read the notes at the bottom of that page submitted by Eric Ohmit. His suggestion to replace the phono jack connection of the hand controller to the relay system is apparently a good one.

My Pratt system is certainly quite similar, except that the battery is contained in the unit. The hand controller is connected to the battery/relay unit with a telephone cable, rather than an RCA type phono cable. Probably for the reasons cited in those last couple of paragraphs.

One other suggestion - based on the design of the Pratt system.

The Pratt system has no safety key. The hand controller itself is used as the safety key - simply unplug it unless you are in the act of launching. This effectively works just like the key.

If you don't mind unplugging the hand controller in between launches, you can omit the key from the controller.
 
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