Misumi 15mm rail vs Makerbeam 10mm rail

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Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2019
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I have for several years (but not all that many flights) used a black Makerbeam 10mm rail as an LPR option on my Jawstand pad (which, when it was $35 on Home Depot clearance several years ago, was quite the bargain). I have never had a rocket hang all the way up on the MB rail such that the rocket did not leave the rail, but others have, and I have always suspected I was losing a good bit of impulse as the rocket climbed the rail.

While I don't measure my LPR altitudes, rockets off a rod just seem to go higher (not scientific at all, sorry).

I use the rail-buttons.com micro buttons.

When I put a rocket on the Makerbeam rail and slide it up with my finger under the motor mount, I can feel it bind from time to time as I slide it up the rail, particularly if I intentionally tilt the rail and induce a little bit of side load, like might be caused by a slight crosswind. I have read on here that silver Makerbeam rails bind less than black ones. I don't know if that's true. My MB rail is black.

When I bought the Makerbeam rail, it was after cancelling an order for a Misumi rail, something I have looked back on with regret since I came to believe the Makerbeam was eating up my Newton seconds.

I finally got frustrated enough with the Makerbeam rail that I was ready to try something new. Part of the motivation for the 10mm MB rail in the first place was that in my mind-sim I thought
1. a 15mm beam would have a larger slot, and
2. the larger slot with the same button would allow more movement of the buttons, and
3. more more movement of the buttons would lead to more binding.
But if I was getting something new, I wanted to change up everything, because I really don't know why the Makerbeam seems to offer so much more resistance than a launch rod.

Amazon did not have the silver 15mm Makerbeam XL rail in the 1500mm length I wanted, and you have to buy a package of four now, so I once again ordered a Misumi 15mm rail from Misumi. It was about $45 with shipping. This time I did not cancel. Interestingly, the rail came shipped in what appears to be a 6 foot long thick wall 3.25" or so body tube, lined with what appears to be a four or so foot long 3.25" stiffy coupler that exactly fits inside. Bonus, if a nosecone exists. If not, carrier and storage for launch rods and rails, so smaller bonus.

I have not mounted the silver 15mm Misumi rail, and I have made no flights with it. But sliding a rocket along it is much smoother than sliding one up the 10mm black Makerbeam rail, even if I tilt and twist the Misumi just rail a bit to side load the buttons. I don't know if it's because silver is better than black, or if it's because 15mm is better than 10mm, or if it's because Misumi is better than Makerbeam, or if this is all placebo. The Misumi still offers more resistance than a launch lug and a rod, but it offers less than my old rail.

I will report back once I get a chance to use it, which might not be for several weeks, since my fellow flyers (my kids) have other weekend activities.