# Launch pad for Richter Recker

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#### FLRockets

##### Member
Just wondering what others have used successfully to launch the Richter. Just completing mine and tried to put it up on my estes pad...its so tall that it tips the pad over. Suggestions welcome...thanks!

#### LaneKG

##### Well-Known Member
FL Rockets,

I went with rail buttons since there are rails available at our club launches. The Richter Recker launches have been impressive. I have done D12s and E9's.

I would opt for a more sturdy launch pad.

Welcome to the forum and checkout our club web site www.sears572.com We have monthly launches in Southeast Alabama.

Thanks,

Greg

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
On the Richter Recker, because it needs so much headroom, I opted also for rail buttons.

www.railbuttons.com

Very stable flight, and does noes not wobble on the pad with the buttons.

#### rbeckey

##### Well-Known Member
If you want to stick with your pad, pin the legs down with tent stakes, bent coat hangers, etc. or wiegh them down with a brick or something.

##### Well-Known Member
Pegging down the pad's legs with stakes made from a wire coat hanger is Estes' recommended way of using the standard pad to launch large rockets - it's in the instructions for the Mean Machine. With a 5mm rod and the legs staked down, I've launched some large model rockets from mine, including the 9' tall Rogue Aerospace Space Needle.

However, the legs aren't the only concern. The plastic mount which holds the launch rod has to be screwed really tight to prevent the wind blowing a large rocket like the Space Needle over. I've always managed to get the Space Needle away, but usually needed to tighten the nut a bit more and be careful that I didn't break either the screw thread, the mount or my thumb.

#### cls

##### Well-Known Member
you can build a decent pad using Ray Dunakin's method. you might have some of this stuff laying around the house.

get a 3/16" x 4' steel rod from the hardware store ($1.50) get a flower pot for blast plate get a section of 4x4, maybe 10" get 4 angle irons, brackets, whatever. stand the 4x4 up on end, drill a 3/16" hole in the top, screw the angles on the bottom, voila! if you need more stability, screw a 12" section of 1x2 furring strip to the angles. the downside is this pad doesn't stow easily - the angles protrude no matter what you do with it. still, not bad for free. #### jflis ##### Well-Known Member Ray's launch pad design is elegant and easy making use of very easy to find parts. Another idea that is suitable for the Richter Recker would be the X-form pad that we have at: https://fliskits.com/products/free_dl/simple_pad.pdf Very simple X made from 2X4's with a small square of plywood to stiffen it up a bit. Another problem with using the Estes plastic pad, even if you stake it to the ground, is that the Richter Recker has enough mass and a long enough "moment arm" that a breeze would probably *snap* the plastic of the pad itself, if not the rod holder. jim #### FLRockets ##### Member Thanks for the responses. Gotta love this forum. Hello, Another good pad is the Estes #2238 Porta-Pad E Launch Pad. This pad is very heavy duty and is great for larger rockets. It holds 3/16" and 1/4" launch rods. Best regards, Brian #### FLRockets ##### Member I beefed up to a 3/16" rod and anchored the legs. So far it seems to have solved my problem. Haven't tried it with wind yet, but on a windy day I've got a feeling that launching the Richter will just be the beginning of my problems! Thanks again. #### Mad Rocketeer ##### Well-Known Member Easy Mods To Ray Dunakin's Pad Originally posted by cls you can build a decent pad using Ray Dunakin's method. you might have some of this stuff laying around the house. get a 3/16" x 4' steel rod from the hardware store ($1.50)
get a flower pot for blast plate
get a section of 4x4, maybe 10"
get 4 angle irons, brackets, whatever.

stand the 4x4 up on end, drill a 3/16" hole in the top, screw the angles on the bottom, voila! if you need more stability, screw a 12" section of 1x2 furring strip to the angles.

the downside is this pad doesn't stow easily - the angles protrude no matter what you do with it. still, not bad for free.
This downside can be easily overcome. Just use long bolts and wing nuts to attach the angles to the 4x4. Voila! Slip out the bolts to detach the legs for storage. The legs will probably nest nicely until they begin to get bent over time. Furring strips can be attached with bolts and wing nuts too, for easy on-site conversion when needed.

For easy rod conversion, try this.
Cut the 4x4 into two pieces. Roughly, halves would do. The top portion will be drilled for the rod. Several different top sections can be prepared for different rod diameters, rails, etc. Metal tubing may be used in the hole (if a suitable inside diameter is available) to make it more durable.
The top can then be attached with:
(A.) More bolts / wing nuts,
(B.) A collar of 1x4 wrapped around the point where the 4x4 blocks meet (Just drop the top in.), or
(C.) (Perhaps more elegent) Use the legs to hold them together (One bolt goes through the top block and the top of each leg; one goes through the bottom block and the bottom of each leg.). Be sure to make one set of holes (call 'em East-West) a bit higher or lower than the other set (North-South) so the bolts don't collide in the middle. You may have to drill extra holes in the angle irons to make it work out right.
The flower pot or other blast deflector can be reused in most or all configurations.
The bottom section can be hollowed out and weighted to make it more stable (though heavier) is desired. Just make sure the bolts can still go through.

Still Simple. Still Cheap. More Portable. More Versatile.

##### Well-Known Member
Thought of another way to connect a top half and a bottom half. Get some heavy dowling, maybe 3/4"+, drill into both the top and bottom sections (See my mods above) for a snug fit, then glue it into the top section. Put it in the center, and when you drill in for the launch rod, drill on into the dowel too, for extra length for that hole. An extra dowel could be used somewhere off center to prevent rotation, if desired.

Oooh! Better still. Instead of cutting the 4x4 into two blocks, just drill the 4x4 in the center for a 1"+ (depending on the launch rod diameter) dowel. Then drill the dowel for the launch rod, making the fit snug for the dowel and tight for the rod. Use different dowels for each rod diameter you want to support. You can glue (or otherwise fasten) the rod into the dowel, if desired. Optionally, a screw or long peg (possibly a thinner dowel) could be inserted horizontally to prevent the launch-rod holder/adapter dowel from rotating. If the holes are concentric, centered, and snug, there should be no reason to worry about twisting though. Just don't put any leg attachment holes through the central launch-rod holder hole.

Horizontal pegs or screws could also help in cases where the launch-rod tries to go up with the rocket. A Kaplow Klip arrangement or a screw and washer, as in motor retention, could be used for dowel retention as well. If doing that. I'd recommend drilling a screw hole beside the dowel hole, then digging into the side of the larger hole to intersect the smaller one and gluing a captive nut in there (again, much like motor retention). This nut would be held in not only by glue but also by being wider than the hole in the wood above it. Then run a machine bolt down the thin hole into the nut. You could also glue a bolt into the hole, attaching a wing nut to the exposed end, but that would leave a permanent "spike" on the top that's bound to get ya some time.

Makes for a very versatile system that loses very little in simplicity or cost.

If tilting is desired, a two part block could still be used. Round the corners of the bottom of the top block on one pair of sides (Think North & South.) Attach plates (wood or metal) to two of the sides (Think East & West.) of the lower block, and attach the upper block to the same plates (using a single large bolt and wing nut), leaving a gap betwen the blocks so the upper one can rotate when the wing nut is loosened. The rounded corners help and allow the gap to be smaller.

Brainstorming designs is fun!