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Monocopter Launch Rack

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JAL3

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I recently tried to build a club launch rack for MMX rockets that would address the perception that MMX is often a pain to deal with. I did this in the hope that doing so would get more people in my club to fly them. As I was doing this, I also was working on a club monocopter rack. My club has several monocopter fans and it is seldom that we do not have a few launched. Doing so, however, requires either switching out the rods on the main club rack or the use of specialized pads on the ground. I have noticed that there are few sights more sad than watching a bunch of middle aged men, many of whom have physiques that would have them venerated in Polynesia or on the Sumo circuit, crawl around on the ground and groan as they try to get to their feet. Wanting to improve the general quality of life for all of us, I set about trying to come up with a design that would be flexible, be able to handle multiple monocopters and keep us from crawling around on the ground.

One of the big problems I foresaw was the amount of room needed for each station. There would be little problem with small copters but the guys at my club like BIG ONES. Ken Kryszak in particular has a 2 stage monster that flies on a pair of 29mm Gs, the first motor igniting the second after it burns out. It takes plenty of room. I mentioned this dilemma to Ken and he told me that my problem was that I was thinking linearly instead being open to other ideas. He was right. I was thinking in terms of a linear rack.

Ken gave the me idea and I tried to run with it. (Please remember that fat, middle aged men don't run to fast) I went to Lowe's and bought 4 steel angles. Each was an L1/8x1x36.

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JAL3

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Now that I had the arms, I put them in the spray booth and began to prime them with Duplicolor white primer. I ran out after only 2 were done because I was using the same prime on the MMX rack and that had sucked it up.

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JAL3

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Because that primer was expensive, I changed tack. I finished priming the arms with a brushed on gray metal primer that I had used on the MMX system when the white ran out.

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JAL3

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The heart of the system was to be a NEMA 1 electrical trough. I ordered one that was 6x6x36 along with a pair of endcaps. I specified that I wanted it with a hinged lid.

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JAL3

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The trough end endcaps were treated to the same gray primer.

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JAL3

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The primer took a long time to dry but when it was dry, everything got a second coat.

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troj

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A dedicated Monocoptor rack... Now that's just cool!

-Kevin
 

JAL3

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For this rack and the others I have planned for my club, I have settled on a standard base. This is a steel sawhorse available at Lowes.

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JAL3

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The sawhorse has a pair of holes mounted 30" apart. This spacing was marked on the bottom of the trough.

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JAL3

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The holes were then drilled with a 5/16" bit.

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JAL3

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The box was then test fitted on the base I had set up for the MMX rack.

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JAL3

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Since that seemed to work, I installed a bolt and lock washer on each end of the base on the bottom and installed an e-clip on the top side to keep the bolt from falling out when the rack is disassembled. To hold the box down I used a fender washer and a wing nut.

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JAL3

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With the base tied down, each end cap was secured in place with 3 each of 1/4"x3/8" bolt, lock washer and nut. This gave the assembly some rigidity.

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JAL3

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The lid to the trough came with a pair of screw to keep it shut. I wanted to make it easy to open out in the field so I ordered some knurled head screws to replace them.

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JAL3

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I also didn't want to lose these replacement screws out in the field so I ordered some keepers as well.

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JAL3

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The result promised to be much easier to deal with out in the field.

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JAL3

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I wanted the box to more or less match the base so I masked of the knurled screws.

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JAL3

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The box was then sprayed with a Krylon yellow automotive paint.

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JAL3

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It got a total of 3 coats and could have used another one but I ran out.

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Peartree

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This still looks linear. I'm very curious about what comes next. Very cool.
 

rstaff3

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What size monos is this going to be used for? I've had a couple of mid power monos that gave my pad a decent shake. It's two 3'+ long 2x4s notched and bolted together so it's pretty heavy. I'm wondering about the height and foot spacing of yours. Looks perfectly fine for Arts stuff but for some weird mid power mono (?)
 

TheAviator

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This still looks linear. I'm very curious about what comes next. Very cool.
I'm going to swing a guess here, but each "rod" (more like nib) is going to be vertically offset from the others, so that the first rod is on the base and can fly a small monocopter, the second is up higher than that, and can fly a little bigger 'copter, and so on until the last one that can fly ANY monocopter.

EDIT: Oh wait... that wouldn't work... only the last one would be able to fly anything, the rest could only fly the really little ones... well, in any case, there are ways of vertically offsetting the rods so that each can hold a different size monocopter.
 
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JAL3

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What size monos is this going to be used for? I've had a couple of mid power monos that gave my pad a decent shake. It's two 3'+ long 2x4s notched and bolted together so it's pretty heavy. I'm wondering about the height and foot spacing of yours. Looks perfectly fine for Arts stuff but for some weird mid power mono (?)
The hope is for everything from MMX to a high end G.

1/4" is going to be the normal rod but the center station will have 3/4 and 1/2" The outers will have 1/8 and 3/16 on request.
 

JAL3

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I'm going to swing a guess here, but each "rod" (more like nib) is going to be vertically offset from the others, so that the first rod is on the base and can fly a small monocopter, the second is up higher than that, and can fly a little bigger 'copter, and so on until the last one that can fly ANY monocopter.

EDIT: Oh wait... that wouldn't work... only the last one would be able to fly anything, the rest could only fly the really little ones... well, in any case, there are ways of vertically offsetting the rods so that each can hold a different size monocopter.
Some of that is in the right direction but not as you may think. Its going to be easier to show than to describe. There will be 5 stations. 1-4 should handle radii up to 33" the 5 will be limited only if something drags below the datum plane.
 

JAL3

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The arms have not been mentioned for a while because I don't know how to weld. I gave them to a member of my church who can weld along with an extra angle. I asked him to cut off 4 pieces of the 5th angle, each 3" long and then weld one piece to the end of each arm, turning the end of the angle from an L into a square tube.

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JAL3

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I also gave him a length of 3/16" thick bar, 1.5 inches wide. I asked him to weld it into a rectangular box measuring 3x5-15/16". I called this piece the saddled.

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JAL3

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From the bar stock left over, I had him cut me 4 pieces, each 4" long. I called these the plate washers.

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JAL3

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Each of these steel pieces was cleaned up with a wire brush and then primed with white.

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