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Micro Buttons (RailButtons.com) Beta Test

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JMZawodny

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OK here is what I am thinking for my Openbeam pad...starting with the tilt head I designed a couple years ago, I am going to make a longer support and attach the beam with a couple screws and add some support guides. I have a good buddy w/ sheet metal equipment that can make the blast deflector :cool:
I bought length of 3/16" steel rod and cut off a 5" length. It does not quite slip into the rail grove, but a 3/16" drill easily shaves a little metal off for a nice snug fit. I then drilled and tapped two holes through the rail for #6 (or #8) set screw. I then press the rod into the rail and secured with the pair of set screws. This 15mm OpenBeam 1-meter long micro-rail will plug into any pad that accepts 3/16" rods. The same technique can be used with the 2-meter long MiSumi 15mm rails without any need to drill out the end of the rail slot. The 3/16" rod, once the end is deburred, will slide in snugly.
 

JMZawodny

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Many thanks to Greg and John for the testing they have already done on the microbuttons. Being able to test on a day where wind would have really been a factor on a rod added to the validity of the test.

To address one of the concerns, I've looked into having the spacer part of the buttons custom made to half of the length it currently is which will be 1.5mm or about .06". I've sent out some additional buttons to both John and Greg to see if they can cut trim them down to that size and see if the fit is better. I've done the same and it looks much better, but haven't had a chance to fly one that way yet. If all goes well, I will pursue moving forward with the custom part. BTW, the tooling charge isn't cheap and the minimum run would be 25,000 pieces, so I would like to make sure we get it right the first time and appreciate the patience to get it right.

If there are others with the makerbeam or openbeam that would like to test as well, let em know and I can get some out to you as well.
Personally, I think the fact that the MiSumi rails comes in 2-meter lengths and is dirt cheap ($7.40 for a 2-meter length) will make their rail quite popular. I have both the 15 mm OpenBeam and 15mm MiSumi rails ready to test and would be happy to mount buttons on low power and mid power rockets that I'm nearly finished with. As one of your customers, you should have my address on file if you would like me to run some tests. Either way, I'm sure SEVRA members will help you by buying some of those 2500 packs-of-10 micro-buttons (it sounds less daunting that way).
 

rocketguy101

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Man oh man, I love this rail!!! The Alpha and Monarch came off so straight and smooth, everybody was impressed!! We had rockets on our 3/16 rod weathercock. Our club members are definitely interested in obtaining these micro buttons. I have two more Openbeam rails that I am donating to the club for future launches.

I dunno, seeing an Alpha on a rail just made me giggle...

DSC_6345.jpg


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DSC_6306.jpg


DSC_6288.jpg
 

RandyM

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I will have the micro buttons available on the website very soon. Waiting on product that should ship this week. Initailly I will only have the long buttons that can be easily modified. The shorter version is in process, but will take a while before the tooling is made, samples run and ok'ed and then productions time.
 

JMZawodny

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Planning to test the OpenBeam 15mm 1000mm rail at the SEVRA launch tomorrow. I mounted a pair of home-made micro buttons on an Estes Big Bertha. They look very nice - better than a milk straw. I also picked up a hundred 2-56 screws with Binder Heads and will be seeing how those work with micro buttons on a MiSUMi 15mm 2000mm rail.

MicroButton on Big Bertha.jpg
 

rocketguy101

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Planning to test the OpenBeam 15mm 1000mm rail at the SEVRA launch tomorrow. I mounted a pair of home-made micro buttons on an Estes Big Bertha. They look very nice - better than a milk straw. I also picked up a hundred 2-56 screws with Binder Heads and will be seeing how those work with micro buttons on a MiSUMi 15mm 2000mm rail.

View attachment 174099
They do look a lot snazzier than a standard old lug, don't they?
 

caveduck

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Neat stuff - I'm looking forward to never having to put a tube type lug on any model rocket ever again. This takes care of all the cases where a tower isn't feasible. But I doubt Estes will ever change the 1/8" rod + paper straw formula since it will forever be somewhat lower cost. Just ordered a couple pairs of beams.
 
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rocketguy101

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Neat stuff - I'm looking forward to never having to put a tube type lug on any model rocket ever again. This takes care of all the cases where a tower isn't feasible. But I doubt Estes will ever change the 1/8" rod + paper straw formula since it will forever be somewhat lower cost. Just ordered a couple pairs of beams.
seeing how straight my Alpha flies off the rail made me a believer...in Oklahoma, "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain" weather-cocking is a big issue along with rod whip. The Makerbeam rails Randy mentions are 10mm x 10mm. My pics and beta test were with the 15mm Openbeam rail. I ordered the 10mm and it should be plenty for MPR, I am going to fly my Leviathan off of it.
 

Micromeister

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PhlAsh

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The 'launch lugs' on the Estes Darth Vader TIE Fighter are easily broken and lost. On Joe Zawodny's prompting, I replaced them with microrail buttons and it's flown great ever since.
 

Micromeister

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+1 on this. A shorter spacer should solve the binding on the MakerBeam rail I sometimes saw with the full-length spacers.


Yes.
You can always do what I'm currently doing. Make up a spacer plate and cut the shoulder down to what you want. Couple photos below show the set up. It's designed to do two sets of screw and spacers at the same time. Cut off with a Sharpe #11 X-Acto or single edge Razor blade for best results.

MicroRailButtonTrimJig-a_.063in Face&Back Alum. Plates 05-18-14.jpg


MicroRailButtonTrimJig-b_2-Shoulder Spacer ready_05-18-14.JPG


MicroRailButtonTrimJig-c_Sharp #11 X-Acto knife Shave_05-18-14.JPG


MicroRailButtonTrimJig-d2_Shoulder Spacers Trimmed to .063in_05-18-14.JPG


MicroRailButtonTrimJig-e_2-56 Thread Nylon screw trimming_05-18-14.JPG


MicroRailButtonTrimJug-g_6sets Micro Rail buttons Trimmed_05-18-14.JPG
 

BEC

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Yup, that's the plan if the short spacers aren't forthcoming.

I looked at my test mule Nova Payloader last night and saw that I had shortened the spacers some (by eyeball) but apparently not enough.
 

RocketMike

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So after reading both threads, I'm a tad confused. Was a standard rail ever decided on for each of the button sizes? At what point in rocket size does one move from the micro to the mini button?
 

Micromeister

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So after reading both threads, I'm a tad confused. Was a standard rail ever decided on for each of the button sizes? At what point in rocket size does one move from the micro to the mini button?
There are a couple options:

Mini Rail buttons now available from Randy work perfectly with 20mm x 48" rails available from McMaster-Carr and others these 8020 rails are .787" square. I prefer the two slot on opposite sides over the 4-slot as it is Stiffer. McMaster Cat #5537T117 is the one I purchased 13.09 Plus 5.48 S&H.

Micro Buttons work exceptionally well with "MakerBeam" 10mm x 900 (.3937" x 35.43"long) Available from Amazon.com in 2pks. these two pks in black anodized alum. were 19.83 Plus 5.40 S&H making each rail about 12.62.
Amazon is now offering 10mm x 1500mm (.3937" x 59.05"long) Black anodized alum. rails also in 2pks. for 27.00 plus ups.

Over the last few months several of us have been experimenting with these rails using increasing motor levels to see where one should go from one size to another.
To my way of thinking If you're flying BP motors only. it is possible to fly 1/8A- F for the same 10mm rail using micro rail buttons.
if using lower power APCP motors E-F & G's should be flown from a 20mm rail with Mini-buttons. beyond that I have no idea as I do NOT fly APCP period.
 

RocketMike

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There are a couple options:

Mini Rail buttons now available from Randy work perfectly with 20mm x 48" rails available from McMaster-Carr and others these 8020 rails are .787" square. I prefer the two slot on opposite sides over the 4-slot as it is Stiffer. McMaster Cat #5537T117 is the one I purchased 13.09 Plus 5.48 S&H.

Micro Buttons work exceptionally well with "MakerBeam" 10mm x 900 (.3937" x 35.43"long) Available from Amazon.com in 2pks. these two pks in black anodized alum. were 19.83 Plus 5.40 S&H making each rail about 12.62.
Amazon is now offering 10mm x 1500mm (.3937" x 59.05"long) Black anodized alum. rails also in 2pks. for 27.00 plus ups.

Over the last few months several of us have been experimenting with these rails using increasing motor levels to see where one should go from one size to another.
To my way of thinking If you're flying BP motors only. it is possible to fly 1/8A- F for the same 10mm rail using micro rail buttons.
if using lower power APCP motors E-F & G's should be flown from a 20mm rail with Mini-buttons. beyond that I have no idea as I do NOT fly APCP period.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm flying BP motors only right now but I've always wanted a rail launcher since back when I was a kid and saw the C rail in the Estes catalog. Just never got around to getting one. I'm using a standard Estes Porta Pad with the rod right now but I'm wanting to build my own pad so I'm pretty interested in this. It's still a "future project" right now but the rail button threads caught my eye.
 

JMZawodny

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I finally got the opportunity to test the 2m-long 15mm rails from Misumi. These have a slightly wider slot and needed a screw with a little larger head than what works on the OpenBeam rails. I went with a 3-48 binder head screw and tapped the same nylon should washers others are using with the 2-56 screws on OpenBeam. I also went with metal screws since this µRail is intended for mid-power launches. I installed the µRail buttons on a Rocketry Warehouse 38-Special and launched it twice at the December 6th SEVRA launch. The first flight was on a CTI F50 SkidMark and then again on the CTI F240 VMax. Here is a pic of the latter flight. The Misumi rails work great for mid power.
IMG_2389_Small.jpg
 
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Micromeister

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I finally got the opportunity to test the 2m-long 15mm rails from Misumi. These have a slightly wider slot and needed a screw with a little larger head than what works on the OpenBeam rails. I went with a 3-48 binder head screw and tapped the same nylon should washers others are using with the 2-56 screws on OpenBeam. I also went with metal screws since this µRail is intended for mid-power launches. I installed the µRail buttons on a Rocketry Warehouse 38-Special and launched it twice at the December 6th SEVRA launch. The first flight was on a CTI F50 SkidMark and then again on the CTI F240 VMax. Here is a pic of the latter flight. The Misumi rails work great for mid power.
View attachment 248881
It may be great for mid power but the misumi rail is way to flimsy for me. I purchase the 2m rail thinking it might have some use so far I haven't found a good one. As Everyone as been saying for months one we have a perfectly GREAT 10mm square stout rail that is now available in 1500mm (59") that can and does handle motors from 1/8A through F BP motors and likely will be good with composite G's as well. I paid more for the shipping from Misumi then the cost of the rail. For me on the east coast it is cheaper to buy a 2pk of Makerbeams on amazon.

Randy's micro buttons fit the 10mm Makerbeam perfectly, all we need is a slightly shorter shoulder and we'll be in Spades! I'm custom cutting down the shoulders on my Micro buttons making them work perfectly. Yes the Makerbeam 10mm x 10mm x 1500mm are a little more expensive and come in a two pack but a total of 27 dollars including shipping isn't a bank breaker. and gives you an extra should you need or want to sell on to a buddy.
 

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