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Ok to extend an Estes launch controller?

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dhkaiser

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I am stepping up from Estes PS2 to Wildman Drago and thinking I should move further away from the launch. Would extending the cord on the Estes blue controller work OK?
 

Bat-mite

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What motors are you considering? For BP motors, the Estes Pro Series controller, and even the "E" launch controller, will give you enough distance.

If you are using APCP motors, you'll want at least 100' for H and below. That means more than tripling the supplied amount of wire. That is going to up your resistance, and thus current draw, but I don't know by how much.

Doghouse has a nice little launch controller that you can use with a car battery, and comes standard with 100' of wire.
 

jadebox

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The 30' cable on the Estes E launch controller is okay for up to G motors.

Launch Safety. I will use a countdown before launch, and will ensure that everyone is paying attention and is a safe distance of at least 15 feet away when I launch rockets with D motors or smaller, and 30 feet when I launch larger rockets.\

If you wish to fly the Drago on a larger motor, you need Level 1 certification and should fly with a club that will probably have the right launch equipment.

-- Roger
 
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dhkaiser

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Jadebox,

I have recently joined Tripoli and intend to fly both G and H motors. I willl use the Drago for my Level 1 flight later this month at a club launch. In the mean time I intend to fly G motors including G80 and G 125. The Tripoli guide lines are upto G = 30ft, H = 50ft. Actully I would be more comfortble with the 50ft+ with the G motors, that is why I was considering extending the cable on the Estes E controller.
 

jadebox

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I have recently joined Tripoli and intend to fly both G and H motors. I willl use the Drago for my Level 1 flight later this month at a club launch. In the mean time I intend to fly G motors including G80 and G 125. The Tripoli guide lines are upto G = 30ft, H = 50ft. Actully I would be more comfortble with the 50ft+ with the G motors, that is why I was considering extending the cable on the Estes E controller.
Very cool! I'm happy to hear you have a club that you can fly with.

I wouldn't recommend making the Estes E controller's cables longer since that would increase the resistance and the wires on the Estes controller are probably just as thick as needed to suppport the 30' length, so wouldn't hold up to being longer. So, I wanted to let you know that the E controller is okay for G motors.

A larger distance, though, may be better for safety and for being able to watch the rocket's flight. You might consider replacing the entire length of the controller's cable with a longer, heavier one. But, at that point, it might be easier just to build a new controller. For your own use, it doesn't have to be anything fancy -- though many have as much fun designing and building launch controllers as they do rockets!

-- Roger
 

samb

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Certainly no rule against setting back further than the safety code says; our club routinely sets up mid-power pads at over 50 feet. Good for viewing, recording and safety. If by "Estes blue controller" you mean the E Launch Controller I think you'll find that the 4 AA batteries are less than satisfactory when lighting higher impulse motors. Estes has the Pro Series II™ Launch Controller for that purpose and other vendors (Pratt, BMS) have 12 volt systems that I think would be worth a look.

https://www.estesrockets.com/rocket...tems/002240-pro-series-iitm-launch-controller

https://www.pratt-hobbies.com/products.asp?cat=9

https://www.balsamachining.com/
 

BRS Hobbies

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I agree. You will want to upgrade to a launch controller with more power for Aerotech E thru G motors. I haven't tried it but have heard good things about the Estes PS II launch controller. The Pratt GO box is another good option.

Best regards,
Brian
 

Steve Shannon

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You could build a relay box to put at the pad and control it with your Estes controller.
 

dhbarr

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G125 is an L1 motor in the US, FWIW.
 

dhkaiser

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Thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions. I believe I will go with the Go Box as it is easily extended. Thanks again.
 

samb

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That document was created by Doug Sams, a master of several disciplines.
 

tmacklin

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I built my own launch controller based on Vern Estes original circuit as shown in G. H. Stine's Handbook of Model Rocktery and use the battery in my truck and a 100 foot 16-2 extension cable to the pad. I've also begun selling the same item which comes with 42 feet of 18-2 cable. I also take a 12 volt sealed lead/acid rechargeable battery for times when my set up is remote.
 

Micromeister

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Any Estes controller can be converted to use 12V gel cell battey with a 16/2 standed copper (Lamp cord or zip Cord) external drop with a couple alligator or 30amp battery clips.
Replace the 18/2 or 20/2 wire suppled with 50 ft of 16/2 Lamp cord to your micor clips. You will also need to change the 6V continuity lamp to 12V by either using a 12V bulb or converting to LED with resistor. Hardest part of this is part is getting the Estes controller open:)
 

bobkrech

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Jadebox,

I have recently joined Tripoli and intend to fly both G and H motors. I willl use the Drago for my Level 1 flight later this month at a club launch. In the mean time I intend to fly G motors including G80 and G 125. The Tripoli guide lines are upto G = 30ft, H = 50ft. Actully I would be more comfortble with the 50ft+ with the G motors, that is why I was considering extending the cable on the Estes E controller.
Download this 2 page safety code summary. https://www.tripoli.org/Portals/1/Documents/Safety Code/SLP - May 2016.pdf

Goto V. The Distance Tables. Goto minimum safe distance commercial launches.

The minimum separation distance for an A-G* motor is 30' except for the * which means A-G motors exceeding 80 N average thrust are to be flown at the H minimum separation distance because they are considered high power motor and also require L1 or higher user certification.

The minimum separation distance of a single commercial H, I or J motor is 100'. For a complex, either clustered or staged, rocket using multiple commercial motors with a total installed impulse between 160 Ns to 1280 Ns, the minimum separation distance is increased to 200'. (Straight from NFPA 1127, the basis of the TRA Commercial High Power Safety Code.)
 

dhkaiser

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Download this 2 page safety code summary. https://www.tripoli.org/Portals/1/Documents/Safety Code/SLP - May 2016.pdf

Goto V. The Distance Tables. Goto minimum safe distance commercial launches.

The minimum separation distance for an A-G* motor is 30' except for the * which means A-G motors exceeding 80 N average thrust are to be flown at the H minimum separation distance because they are considered high power motor and also require L1 or higher user certification.

The minimum separation distance of a single commercial H, I or J motor is 100'. For a complex, either clustered or staged, rocket using multiple commercial motors with a total installed impulse between 160 Ns to 1280 Ns, the minimum separation distance is increased to 200'. (Straight from NFPA 1127, the basis of the TRA Commercial High Power Safety Code.)
Thanks for the clarification. I was looking at that table and reading the clear distance as the safe distance, I now see the difference.
 
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