Need Launch Pad Plans/Ideas

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Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2003
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In our Ex-Rocket Club one of the members who seems to have left the face of the earth?? Built a lanch pad out of a metal saw horse. It had 6 positions, used pie pans for blast deflectors, and somehow had couplers that had a screw in it to allow you to put in launch rods up to around 1/4" if I remember right. Has anyone seen plans for something like this?? Got ideas?? Need Input!!! Need Input!!, as the robot Johnny 5 said.

Rocket Trike and I are trying to come up with decent launch equipment. I think Mr Trike is going to take care of the launch controler and I got the pad.

Thanks guys!!! :D :D

I build most of the equipment for my club. I have a Rack or satellite system head design that may help. No welding is involved but you will need a Drill press, and hand taps.

basicly the head consists of 2 - 2inch long pieces of 1" x 1/2" flat aluminum bar. Offset these pieces 1/4" to allow rod angle adjustment (about 30 degrees either way). I chose to limit rod selections to 1/8" and 3/16" with a single 8/32 x 1" brass or nylon thumbscrew retainer. the pivot is a 3/8" x 2" Flat head stainless steel machine screw taped into the stationary side and clamped with a 3/8-16 wing nut. each of the 6 heads drop into a 3/16" hole in the Rack body secured with a 1/4" machine screw which allows azimuth adjustment. We use 16ga porcelain on steel blast deflectors or 16ga 6" square stainless steel plates. but the small clay flower pots will work if placed up side down on the rods. heres a photo of the head

I've also used two pieces of 1/2" plywood and through bolts, these have a tendency to get weak over time and I wouldn't suggest this type for any rods larger then 3/16" but it is a bit easier to fabricate;) I'll post a pic of them next.
Hope this helps.

Sorry after I posted the pic I noticed this is NOT the head I just discribed it's basicly the same idea but fits a 3/4" support stake rather than into a rack system. I have a pic of the Rack head somewhere I'll post it as soon as I can.
Well I thought I had a photo of the completed heads apparently I do not, I will remedy that this evening, heres a very low res (50dip) copy of the part drawing. hope that will get you started.
I'm not sure how he did it, but the multi rod launcher that we use for Quark incorporates a metal sawhorse, and the rods are mounted on camera tripod like swivel heads to allow you to position the rod to adjust for wind. Gives full 360degree maneuverability.

We also have a second one that sits really low to the ground, and the rods are mounted directly into the wooden rail, and pounded out coffee cans are used for blast deflection.


I seen a launch controller that looked like it couls handle a few pads. Do you know where we could get one or get the plans to make one. I am looking at the Six Pack from Pratts hobbies but you can launc only 1 rocket at a time. Which would cut out drag racing which is a crowd pleaser. Or anyone else who know where we can get one.

Ours uses a hollow core mounted on a pivot point. Angling is accomplished with a turnbuckle attached to one side. The launch leads are connected to the wiring inside the core by banana plugs, with micro clips for connecting to the ignitors. The launch rods themselves are retained inside a ceramic ring with a hole drilled down the center, and a screw hole drilled in the side with a thumbscrew to make them adjustable for various sized rods.

I wish I had a better picture, but this is all I can dig up right now.

PS: That's my naked Tres on the left. :eek:


An old sawhorse...a few eyebolts, a few regular bolts with nuts, and some scrap wood...

A close-up of the arrangement... actually learned the eyebolt trick here on TRF... The rods are just glued into the wood blocks.

Great for low power stuff...I wouldn't think it would handle HPR too well...!!!

My thinking is not bad for a little cash...

I spent more on the get the stripes...LOL
Rocket Trike found a picture of the old launchpad. Looking at all the sugguestions and pictures gives me more ideas. How imporatant is it to you to be able to angle off the launch rods, like Stewarts pad?? Ours was fixed and to me really didn't matter to me, we just put a rock under a leg if we needed to angle it.

Oh yes, before I forget, thanks guys your all a big help.

The gears in my head are tuning, would you buy something like this to keep from having to make it yourself??


I'm retired... so to me the building is the fun part... you know...
making something that wasn't there before...
I'm not sure I've ever seen a pad similar to these for sell anywhere... though, somebodys got to build it...

Good Luck...!!!
Originally posted by rocket trike

I seen a launch controller that looked like it couls handle a few pads. Do you know where we could get one or get the plans to make one. I am looking at the Six Pack from Pratts hobbies but you can launc only 1 rocket at a time. Which would cut out drag racing which is a crowd pleaser. Or anyone else who know where we can get one.


Tom a 6 pad controller like the one pictured is a very easy upgrade from a simple launch control circuit. Simply install in 6 to 8 postion Heavy duty rotary switch in circuit after the launch/start button. The rotary switches used in my own and Narhams launch controllers were purchased from Allied Electonics on line
19 series 15amp power tap rotary switch #948-7280 (mfg #19001-8ul Grayhill) solder lugs. I like to have an OFF position so I use the 8 contact type. Currently this rotary switch is around 29.72 each plus shipping.

Drag race can be easily accomplished with a simply exterior add-on that links two sets of micro-clips to a single pad connection point on the controller. For safety reasons, especially if you have lots of folks at your launches it's better to do this to avoid accidental dual launches;)

I'm sure I have a simple contoller circuit diagram at the house, I may have to scan it. Maybe another TRF ground support tech could post a rotary switch contoller wiring diagram they already have.
Alta-Azimuth adjustments are an extra headache but there are as many ways to accomplish it as there are stars in the heavens.
I like Stewarts Eye-bolt solution for personal launchers but without some kind of angle limiting stops I wouldn't suggest it as a Club rack launcher option. I'm sure with a little thought some kind of add-on could be attached to prevent the swing bolts from exceeding the 30 degree from vertical angle limits. Other than that, Great looking launcher Stewart:)
Got the photos scanned last night of the rod holder I discribed earlier. These 1" x 1/2" aluminum bar 2 piece heads were the second easies I've made. Only type simplier are the plywood squeeze type which warp and get fussy after a few years;)
Hope this helps