My cheap and stupid (but kinda nice) LPR display and storage system

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neil_w

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I while back I was trying to decide how to store my rockets. For the moment my focus is LPR, and my system is designed accordingly. After not all that much thinking, I came up on a system that I kind of like. Thought I'd share.

While in an Ace Hardware, I discovered this guy:
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459120900.329364.jpg

That is a 5/8" PVC coupler, $0.39. Never saw one in Home Depot but they have a nice bin full at Ace. I subsequently noticed that the coupler fits quite nicely (and not too surprisingly) on a 5/8" hardwood dowel. Or, maybe the dowel needs a wrap of tape for a snug fit.
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459120916.260709.jpg

A 5/8" dowel is, of course, just about the right size (with a wrap or three of tape) for an 18mm engine mount. And so, I started to epoxy these couplers to various things. I got a little round plaque from Michael's for a buck, stuck some rubber feet on the bottom and glued my coupler on top. For $1.50, that's my "nice" stand, which I can use for beauty shots:
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459120970.428136.jpg

To take to launches, I glued a bunch onto a nice heavy piece of melamine shelving.
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459120986.116327.jpg

This guy will hold 6 rockets pretty securely on a table at a launch.

For an 18mm model, I don't need much more than a ~4" piece of dowel, with enough tape wrap to make a good fit in the engine mount. For some reason I'm enamored with using foil tape.
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459120948.499523.jpg

Stick one end in the rocket, and the other in a stand. I also put a notch in the dowel to accommodate an engine hook.

For a 24mm model, throw a spent engine on the end and we're good.
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459121006.443941.jpg

For my Astron Elliptic II, a 13mm model with an engine block in the back *and* front, I needed a custom size. So I found a dowel size that fit and glued it to a short stub of 5/8" dowel:
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459121022.512376.jpg

It works nicely:
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459121036.913750.jpg

So the point of the whole thing is, my various stands are motor-mount agnostic. For each rocket, I take about 3 minutes and cut and/or assemble (as necessary) a dowel for it, and keep that with the rocket. Then I can stick it into whichever stand is appropriate at the time. 13mm, 18mm, 24mm, custom, whatever.

My eventual plan, which has not yet come to fruition, was to glue a zillion of these guys to a 6" shelf hung from my pegboard. I stopped short of doing that because I couldn't decide if I wanted the locations to be pre-determined. So for now I have three rockets on my *previous* launch board and I just clamped that launch board to the shelf. Final arrangement is TBD.
ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1459121111.861415.jpg

So that's basically it. Nothing fancy, nothing special, but dirt cheap and easy and flexible. For rockets that can stand on their own, you don't necessarily need anything like this, but because I don't have much depth, the stands hold the rockets very securely and I don't have to worry about them getting knocked off a shallow shelf. I can store some on the pegboard horizontally, but once I work out the details properly I'll be able to store them more densely on the stands because I can get almost 2-deep, even on a shallow shelf. Eventually I'll almost certainly end up using a combination of both.

This system is not really suitable for larger and/or heavier rockets, but that's not an issue for me right now.
 
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Made an angled mount the other day, just for fun. Cut one of the couplers off at an angle, sanded it flat, and glued it to the end of a new plaque. Voila. Again, the neat thing here is that this will work with all my rockets (well, at least any that are not too large; I should have used a bigger plaque.)

Sadly I don't have any rockets at the moment that would benefit from being displayed at an angle, so for now it's a paperweight.

ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1460683013.180767.jpg

ImageUploadedByRocketry Forum1460683026.572511.jpg
 
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This is a neat idea, but I have to ask- why use the coupling? Couldn't you just drill out the board and stick the 5/8" dowel in? I did something similar, sorta- I took a bunch of 1x4 that were 4-5 feet long, and drilled holes at an angle every 6 inches or so. At the top I nailed on a toothed picture hanger, and then on the wall of my shop, I installed a horizontal 1x2 with small wire nails in the face every inch or so. After populating the 1x4 with dowels (cut to different lengths to allow for different fin sizes) and rockets, I hang the 1x4 from one or two of the wire nails. This allows me to move them around to adjust the spacing, and also take them down to bring to a launch.
Here's a photo of it installed, I'm at work, only thing I had.
iPhone 10Mar2014 633.jpg
 
This is a neat idea, but I have to ask- why use the coupling? Couldn't you just drill out the board and stick the 5/8" dowel in? I did something similar, sorta- I took a bunch of 1x4 that were 4-5 feet long, and drilled holes at an angle every 6 inches or so. At the top I nailed on a toothed picture hanger, and then on the wall of my shop, I installed a horizontal 1x2 with small wire nails in the face every inch or so. After populating the 1x4 with dowels (cut to different lengths to allow for different fin sizes) and rockets, I hang the 1x4 from one or two of the wire nails. This allows me to move them around to adjust the spacing, and also take them down to bring to a launch.
Here's a photo of it installed, I'm at work, only thing I had.
View attachment 288258

What I did was very similar, but I just screwed the dowel onto the board. Eliminates the plastic bulge.
 
This is a neat idea, but I have to ask- why use the coupling?

I'll give a nice careful list of reasons that makes it seem as if I thought about it *before* I started gluing these things everywhere:

1) I can glue these to pretty much any surface, like the crappy melamine/particle board shelves I started with
2) They're 100% consistent always; I don't have to spend any time checking fit or anything. Every mount is the same.
3) Defined "stop" point midway; dowels always insert to the same depth
4) Very smooth interior surface; dowels insert very nicely
5) They're cute and I like them

But obviously they're not strictly needed, as your very impressive fleet storage photo demonstrates (there's a lot of great stuff in there, do you have any more detailed shots of your fleet?)

If I were going to be doing a lot of angled mounts like yours, I would no doubt quickly tire of cutting the couplers and would probably abandon them.
 
I'll give a nice careful list of reasons that makes it seem as if I thought about it *before* I started gluing these things everywhere:

1) I can glue these to pretty much any surface, like the crappy melamine/particle board shelves I started with
2) They're 100% consistent always; I don't have to spend any time checking fit or anything. Every mount is the same.
3) Defined "stop" point midway; dowels always insert to the same depth
4) Very smooth interior surface; dowels insert very nicely
5) They're cute and I like them

But obviously they're not strictly needed, as your very impressive fleet storage photo demonstrates (there's a lot of great stuff in there, do you have any more detailed shots of your fleet?)

If I were going to be doing a lot of angled mounts like yours, I would no doubt quickly tire of cutting the couplers and would probably abandon them.

Lol, I assure you I meant no disrespect whatsoever! Thanks about my fleet- I don't have anything handy, but can tell you they're all clones- I spent a few years when I got back into the hobby printing plans from online for the kits I used to want but never built. Last few years have seen my time and wallet focused on high power, but my kids and I still love to head to the park with a rack of Estes.
 
Just to be clear, those would be 3/8" couplings. PVC is sized by ID, not by OD. They are pretty uncommon, as very few people use smaller than 1/2" PVC.
 
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