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Launch Pad Trailer (Now complete)

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Tonimus

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This is going to be a very slow moving thread. Especially since it's so damn hot out.

Assembled HF trailer, being painted OD Green:


When you're large, it's easy to lift up to paint the underside:


A nearly 60 feet tall antenna tower, after we fought it for HOURS:


After cutting the retainers off and pulling the antenna apart with the truck, we ended up with three 19 feet sections of tower:
 
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TopRamen

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Sweet!
Can't wait to see what you build!
Obviously something for HPR, but it has my interest, as anytime you start a project by painting things OD Green it usually looks badass when you're done.
 

Tonimus

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Yeah, it'll be HPR. 1515 rail primarily, with 1010 rail as an add-on. Up to 20-25 feet of rail possible.
 

soopirV

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Anyone else unable to see the pictures until you click on them? Not sure if it's my network connection or something to do with the forum...
 

RocketRob

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Awesome! Ill be watching this, as I also need to build one for my club!
 

Tonimus

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Anyone else unable to see the pictures until you click on them? Not sure if it's my network connection or something to do with the forum...
Some firewalls don't allow photo hosting links through.
 

cwbullet

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Yeah, it'll be HPR. 1515 rail primarily, with 1010 rail as an add-on. Up to 20-25 feet of rail possible.
If I were making a launch trailer, I would use the base rail as a Unistrut rail. The I would add unistrut buttons to the back of a 1515 rail. Ken Allen has them in aluminum. This way you can slide the 1515 into the Unistrut. One of the biggest issues most clubs have is having to swap out rails. This would make it quick and effortless. You just have to figure how to lock the 1515 rail into the unistrut .

You can do the same with a 1010 by adding 1515 to the back of it. It would slide into the 1515.
 

Tonimus

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If I were making a launch trailer, I would use the base rail as a Unistrut rail. The I would add unistrut buttons to the back of a 1515 rail. Ken Allen has them in aluminum. This way you can slide the 1515 into the Unistrut. One of the biggest issues most clubs have is having to swap out rails. This would make it quick and effortless. You just have to figure how to lock the 1515 rail into the unistrut .

You can do the same with a 1010 by adding 1515 to the back of it. It would slide into the 1515.
That was the idea with the 1010 and 1515 rail. I don't think our club uses any unistrut. I could be wrong. How heavy is too heavy for 1515 rail??
 

cwbullet

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It depends on who you ask. I use the cut off of about 45 lbs.
 

Kip_Daugirdas

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It depends on who you ask. I use the cut off of about 45 lbs.
I'd say 45lbs if it's unsupported 1515. But 1515 with a backbone like a truss can handle 150lbs easy.

I've flown my 130lb 17ft tall two stage off 1515 with no issues. Just use a 1/4" or an M6 bolt and a threaded insert of some sort in the rocket.

Also I bought the 1.5x3 (1530) section for the rail for my launcher. It is way stiffer 1.5x1.5 (1515) section which will help prevent warping when assembling it to your tower and you can have a longer section that is unsupported.
 

Tonimus

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1530 is a good idea if I need extra unsupported length. The way I'm thinking of attaching the 1515 rail, I'd be able to remove it and replace it with unistrut if I needed it later.
 

Handeman

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Our trailer launcher used a 20ft piece of unistrut on the antenna mast. There are not that many people that use unistrut, but you can get it in a 20 ft length. We have two 8 ft 1515 that are connected and have unistrut buttons on them that slide into the unistrut. We like the single piece of unistrut with the multi piece 1515 added to it. Just seems stiffer that way. YMMV
 

cwbullet

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I'd say 45lbs if it's unsupported 1515. But 1515 with a backbone like a truss can handle 150lbs easy.

I've flown my 130lb 17ft tall two stage off 1515 with no issues. Just use a 1/4" or an M6 bolt and a threaded insert of some sort in the rocket.

Also I bought the 1.5x3 (1530) section for the rail for my launcher. It is way stiffer 1.5x1.5 (1515) section which will help prevent warping when assembling it to your tower and you can have a longer section that is unsupported.
That is probably true.
 

markkoelsch

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Anyone else unable to see the pictures until you click on them? Not sure if it's my network connection or something to do with the forum...
Likely a security setting on your viewing device.
 

Tonimus

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No pics. Today I cut off the motor/winch that raised and lowered the antenna. Next weekend we install a hitch on my car, which will make transporting the trailer much easier. The trailer itself lives at my house until my buddy's backyard landscaping is complete.
 

cwbullet

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I am eagerly following to watch you build. Please post a lot.
 

Tonimus

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Hitch went on fine a few weekends ago. Pulls the empty trailer fine. This weekend's progress: I bought a new CO2 tank for my welder, got all new PPE, new welding consumables, and bought 40 feet of angle iron. Next weekend, cutting and welding starts.

I have gas:
 
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Tonimus

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Update:

36" long 1" diameter steel rod and pillow block bearings arrived today for the pivot. I got no work done on the trailer this weekend. I blew out my knee 2 hours before I went off duty for the week. Tore my meniscus... Might get a little work done this weekend. We'll see how the knee feels. Hard to weld when it's hard to move around.
 

Handeman

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OMG, so sorry to hear about the knee...

I have nothing against pillow blocks, but why wouldn't the shaft through a hole in a steel plate work just as well. The number of times the launcher would be raise and lowered might be what, 1000 times over the life of the launcher? Having the shaft just slide in a hole in a piece of plate steel that many times shouldn't wear either piece enough to have any effect on either. A shaft through a hole would require much less maintenance then a pillow block over the life of the trailer. A little grease, maybe, vs. lubing the pillow block and maybe replacing them once or twice.

The reason I bring that up is we have a launcher that is 20+ year old that just has a shaft though a hole as the pivot point and it shows no appreciable wear. It should be good for another 20 years. The friction of just the shaft in a hole might be more then a pillow block, but not enough more to make any difference it the force need to lift or lower the launcher. I think that pillow blocks would have been replace several times already because of weather since the trailer has sat outside everyday for 20+ years now. Sometimes simpler is better.
 

Tonimus

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I do hear what you're saying about the pillow blocks. I went with them because I plan on lifting the tower by using a winch on the bottom end of the tower. This is going to put a lot of load on the pivot point. It was a trade-off. I may end up replacing them a few times, but I went with a standard 1" shaft, so replacements will be easy to procure.
 

Tonimus

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My knee is finally about 75%, so I can get around pretty well. Here's Sunday's progress:



















 

DRAGON64

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Very nice progress, looking forward to the completion of this project!
 

Tonimus

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More progress. Showed my buddy how to weld, too.








Stored until next weekend:

 

BDB

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I'm jealous of both your launch trailer and your shop!
 

georgegassaway

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Very nice project.

Seeing the photo, with the end of a disassembled 60 foot tower sticking out from the back of a trailer, I wanted to relate an incident that happened to Chris Taylor a few years ago.

He had a very small utility trailer, sort of like the one below.



He was towing it using a small car. He did not have a lot of stuff piled on top of it, the profile was sort of low.

While he was driving back from the field one day, and slowing at na intersection. Apparently the vehicle behind him was tailgating and perhaps the driver’s seat and vehicle’s hood was “tall”, I do not recall him saying what the other vehicle was. Anyway, they ran into the back of his trailer and damaged it very badly, he was unable to drive with it. It was their fault 100%. But a contributing factor was that they didn’t see the end of the trailer… maybe not even see the trailer at all.

I know this is a longer ad bigger trailer than what Chris had. But still, I mention this to recommend adding some sort of high visibility posts, ideally an extra pair of taillights, that would be high enough for a driver behind to see them more easily. Could perhaps be designed to be hinged so they could be moved out of the way if they interfered with the use of the pad. Now if the pad sticks out for the back like the first photo, then that would ideally use something attached to the end of the pad itself, removed once at the launch site

Sort of the same reason why so many vehicles now have a duplicate brake light in in the rear window or high up on the back of tall SUV’s and such, in case the following driver is too close to see the brake lights closer to the ground.

No guarantee that some stupid driver would not run into it anyway, but a pro-active form of “defensive driving” to add some extra lighting (or something of high visibility) higher up.

- George Gassaway
 

Tonimus

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George,

I'm already planning on swapping out the existing lighting for LEDs and adding magnetic lights that I can put on the end of the boom while in transit.
 

Onebadhawk

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Tony,,
I've seen pics of your shop before...
I didn't realize there was a lift in it..
Is this shop at the ship to address I have for you ??
Would you mind a cot in one corner,, my wife says I snore, but I don't think I do...lol...

Teddy
 
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