Scratch built pads...

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phaar

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I have seen lots of different scratch built launch pads out there. What would you all say is the best way to build a launch pad with not much trouble and cheap. I was thinking with PVC?? Anyone know how?
 

scadaman29325

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I live in Clinton, not ot far away. we have a club that meets at the church behind the Walmart in Simpsonville.

A bunch of really great guys (engineers, technicians, pencil pushers, teenagers, kids and rednecks thrown in for spice). The teens just won (placed 3rd for $6000) the in the National Eggloft, TAR. We meet the 3rd Saturday of each month, next meeting is July 17th. We are sort of informal right now (we'd rather launch rockets than discuss a meeting agenda), but we will be putting together some more formal items in the next few months now that we have a big time sponsor, Lockheed Martin.

We range low power to high power, our current field and only support low to low-mid (G+) right now, but we're looking for a bigger field in the area.

It would be great to see you there.


Launch pad?

We just built 16 billiard ball pads. We got the idea from ROCI club.ROCI

Give me shout at [email protected].
 

scadaman29325

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Originally posted by scadaman29325
...
A bunch of really great guys (engineers, technicians, pencil pushers, teenagers, kids and rednecks thrown in for spice). The teens just won (placed 3rd for $6000) the in the National Eggloft, TAR. ...
OH! I think I just relized that YOU are on of the teenagers!

Didn't even recognize our own NAR#, duh!

Saw a post from one of your fellow TAR winners, nice looking web site!

See you Saturday.

Phil
 

phaar

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Haha. I first read your post and I was very confused. Then i read the second. Anyway, see you Saturday. Can't wait to see those new pads. Also, we will be testing one of our new rockets. I think you might have seen it last month.
 

phaar

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By the way, I don't believe I have ever seen a billiard ball pads. Are they easy and inexpensive to build?
 

rabidsheeep

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i just took a tripod and some thick sheet metal... it works good...
 

scadaman29325

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I think Neil got the balls for free and had some scrap wood around.. He also had some metal scraps from work for most of the stuff. I believe he wound up purchasing all the screws, washers... and rods, I think the club owes him about $40 but I'm not sure if thats all for the 16 pads. The really are nice. Still got some touching up to do, like numbering.

Yeah, I was surfing here and saw another post that looked like one of you guys, that's where I found y'all's website. Have y'all established a vendor to buy your suplies from? I'm palcing an order this weekend from Commonwealth, I'd be glad to go through y'all or put some stuff on my order for y'all, maybe save some shipping cost?

Phil
 

AlexM

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We are hopefully going to sell Fliskits soon, as soon as I get the money to make the initial purchase, whenever that is.
 

ravenx99

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Originally posted by phaar
I have seen lots of different scratch built launch pads out there. What would you all say is the best way to build a launch pad with not much trouble and cheap. I was thinking with PVC?? Anyone know how?
Coincidentially, I just took pictures of mine. It's a modroc pad... won't take a lot of weight.



Built out of $3 worth of PVC and a thumb-screw. That's three elbows, one tee, and two 5-foot sections. One section is cut in half, producing the 2.5-foot legs that attach to the sides of the tee, and one 2-foot (or so) leg to attach to the middle. (The short leg gets cut to make the thing stand level when the other two legs are at a 45-degree angle to the vertical.) Drill the launch-rod hole all the way through, and let the rod stick out just a hair past the bottom hole. I used a 1/4-20 thumb-screw to hold the rod in place. I cut the threads with a proper tap, but on PVC you might be able to cut the threads with the screw itself.

None of it's glued together... it pops apart and stores in a mailing tube.
To adjust the launch-rod angle, you just depress or elevate the elbows on the long legs.

Add launch rod and blast deflector (which I stole out of my Estes setup) and it's done. I built this one because I get tired of kneeling down to hook things up. And because there are a couple places I launch that are nearly knee-deep in weeds... this puts my launch pad up above the brush.

It works great and it's pretty darn cheap, light and compact when broken down. Setup takes all of thirty seconds, unless you drop the launch rod.
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by phaar
I have seen lots of different scratch built launch pads out there. What would you all say is the best way to build a launch pad with not much trouble and cheap. I was thinking with PVC?? Anyone know how?
A 2x2 foot slab of pressed fiber board.
A 1x1 foot sheet of 1/16" steel.
Drill a hole in each corner and put in a wood screw.
Drill a 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4 " hole near the center.
Put a cabinet handle near one edge to carry it with.
Get rods to fit the holes (go for 4 foot).
Get a length of PVC to fit the rods in, and two caps for it.
Bend a piece of sheet metal into a quarter circle, fold a tab over 90 degrees on one end, and drill a 1/4" hole in the tab to slip over a rod: blast defelctor.
It's done and ready to carry to the field.
 

Cajunman06

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Here is one shot of my pad. It will swivel and tilt as much as you want. All made with PVC, a short piece of aluminum angle and various screws.

C
 

limd21

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Tilt on my pad comes from sticking a hunk of something under one leg. Swivel comes from picking it up and turning it.
 

Cajunman06

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Well, if you live in a area like I do, the simplest way is to just shove the launch rod down into the ground in the direction you want to launch. As wet as the ground is around here, you don't even have to worry about a fire. How's that for simple?
 

DynaSoar

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Originally posted by jcrocket
Interesting, neither the pvc pad in the photo nor Ray's will tilt, but that was one of the 'must haves' in my survey.

Joel. phx
The only pad that won't tilt is one that's built into the ground.
 

Micromeister

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heres a inexpensive little alt/azimuth adjustable thingy made from 4" of 1/2" x 1" alum angle, a 3/8-16 stainless flat head MS , 3/8"16 wing nut and an 8/32 brass or nylon thumbscrew. really works well or 1/8" and 3/16inch launch rods.
 

ravenx99

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Originally posted by jcrocket
Interesting, neither the pvc pad in the photo nor Ray's will tilt, but that was one of the 'must haves' in my survey.
I don't think you read my post closely enough. The joints are left uncemented so you can adjust the angle. The thing won't only tilt, it easily tilts to the maximum allowed by NAR code.
 

Johnnie

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360 degrees of adjustment...move the lever over and adjust in any direction without moving the pad. This is a ball~n~socket tension design.
 

Johnnie

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The pad will tilt in any direction with the flip of a lever.
 

Johnnie

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4 legs for stability.. here the pad is pictured next to an unfinished Estes V2.

In my opinion, and take it for what it is worth to ya, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple & Stupid)
1) The fins stabilize the rocket, and if it is windy, the rocket will stabilize into the wind...there fore fly straight up. The rocket will fly into the wind regardless. NASA never tilts a pad because it is windy.

2) The pad should have a low center of gravity. Rod whip from a rocket sitting on a pad on a windy day can reek havoc. Broken lugs from falling over, you've all seen it. So what if you have to get down on one knee to put the leads on the igniter, prepare in advance.

3) I have converted to the rail...soon you too will see the light...for anything MPR and above that is. Rod whip is too unpredictable.
 

phaar

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I have a nice pad right now i was just wondering of new designs. My pad now has a 4' rod that is 1/2" so I don't get ANY rod whip. I am soon going to get it extended to 8'.
 

shinbone

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I'm still not sure what a billiard ball pad is.
Anyone have a pic or two?
 

Ray Dunakin

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Originally posted by jcrocket
Interesting, neither the pvc pad in the photo nor Ray's will tilt, but that was one of the 'must haves' in my survey.

Joel. phx
Well, the original post at the beginning of this thread didn't say anything about tilting. However, you can easily adjust the launch angle on my pad simply by shoving small sticks or rocks under the legs. :)
 

phaar

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Well, if you don't mind, I may try your pad out Ray. It looks very easy to build with a low budget. Plus, it looks really stable and durable.
 

scadaman29325

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Originally posted by shinbone
I'm still not sure what a billiard ball pad is.
Anyone have a pic or two?
I feel dumb... I can't figure how to post a pic...help

I keep browsing to it with the button at the 'attach file' but it won't come up in preview...?
 

shinbone

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How do you attach to the ball?
Is there a rounded out area it sits in, or does it just sit flat?
 
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