SS Estes Style Clips?

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Kruegon

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I've heard of people using the Estes style clips in stainless steel for replacements on launch controllers. Web searches aren't turning these up. Any idea where to find them? I find they work better on Estes igniters than alligator clips. Thanks.
 

AfterBurners

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I've heard of people using the Estes style clips in stainless steel for replacements on launch controllers. Web searches aren't turning these up. Any idea where to find them? I find they work better on Estes igniters than alligator clips. Thanks.
I have some extra clips laying around, but they are copper if you want them you can have them if they will work for you?
 

Kruegon

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I have some extra clips laying around, but they are copper if you want them you can have them if they will work for you?
Thanks, but these are going to be for our outreach launch controller. It'll be set up for somewhere between 8, 12, or 16 pads. I haven't finished designing the system yet. Since they'll be getting abused by kids, I was going to use the SS and keep them clean and protect them with a teflon spray I have. And before you ask, no it won't interfere with the electrical contact.


I wish I understood relays systems better. Our club has Doghouse controllers. We have 3 pad boxes and two header boxes. I wish I understood how he built the pad boxes. There's a circuit board with small relays in it that I can't figure out how to reproduce.
 

Handeman

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How many wires go out to the pad box, 1 for each pad plus one extra? If that's the case, there is one wire for the coil of each relay and and single return that connect to the other side of all of the relay coils.
The Battery at the pad connect to the Normally Open (N.O.) contacts on all relays. The other side of the N.O. contact goes to one clip on a pad. The other clip comes back to the other side of the battery.

When a wire from the controller is energized, the relay coil for that wire is energized and the contacts close and passes battery voltage to the igniter clip, through the igniter and back to the battery.

If you want to have a little additional safety for welded contacts in the relays, use relays that have two sets of N.O. contacts and run both clips through the relay, that way both contacts have to weld before it stays hot.
 

Kruegon

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How many wires go out to the pad box, 1 for each pad plus one extra? If that's the case, there is one wire for the coil of each relay and and single return that connect to the other side of all of the relay coils.
The Battery at the pad connect to the Normally Open (N.O.) contacts on all relays. The other side of the N.O. contact goes to one clip on a pad. The other clip comes back to the other side of the battery.

When a wire from the controller is energized, the relay coil for that wire is energized and the contacts close and passes battery voltage to the igniter clip, through the igniter and back to the battery.

If you want to have a little additional safety for welded contacts in the relays, use relays that have two sets of N.O. contacts and run both clips through the relay, that way both contacts have to weld before it stays hot.
On ours, each pad box has a battery and one RJ45 patch cable. The pad box has an "armed" strobe light and 4 continuity test buttons with one buzzer. The header box has a key, launch button, 4 lead arming toggles and a 3 position slide selector. The patch cables from each pad box connect to 3 RJ45 connectors. That's it. The header box would be easy to duplicate, but I don't need another one of those. I can duplicate everything in the pad box except the circuit board with the small relays. I'll have the boxes tonight. I'll open them and post a pic of the relays I'm referencing.
 

Handeman

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On ours, each pad box has a battery and one RJ45 patch cable. The pad box has an "armed" strobe light and 4 continuity test buttons with one buzzer. The header box has a key, launch button, 4 lead arming toggles and a 3 position slide selector. The patch cables from each pad box connect to 3 RJ45 connectors. That's it. The header box would be easy to duplicate, but I don't need another one of those. I can duplicate everything in the pad box except the circuit board with the small relays. I'll have the boxes tonight. I'll open them and post a pic of the relays I'm referencing.
There are 8 wires in a RJ45 ethernet cable so my guess is they are using 4 of them to power the coils of the 4 relays, one for the strobe light and the remaining three are probably for return so you can fire multiple relays at the same time without burning up a single return wire. I think you're problem is going to be figuring out what wire does what. The continuity check and buzzer should be wholly contained in the pad box and not wired back to the header box.
 

shreadvector

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Stainless steel liquid flux is mostly "pool acid". You can use a drop of pool acid with regular solder.
 

Micromeister

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We've been using 1-1/8" Smooth Jaw test clips since 2002. Once I changed over all of our Club & my personal Launch systems- this 304 Stainless clips with 303 stainless spring out last every other type "Micro-Clip" by a factor of 20. I purchased 100 clips in 2000, we just reordered in November of last year:)

Below is a pictorial of how I've worked out soldering these Stainless steel clip to our 18 gauge Stranded copper lead wires using standard 60/40 Solder with a Stainless steel flux. Hope this helps.

Soldering StainlessSteelClips(Pictorial)-b_09-07-12.jpg


MicroClips-b3a-sm_Stainless Steel(185dpi)_07-30-06.jpg
 
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Handeman

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We've been using 1-1/8" Smooth Jaw test clips since 2002. Once I changed over all of our Club & my personal Launch systems- this 304 Stainless clips with 303 stainless spring out last every other type "Micro-Clip" by a factor of 20. I purchased 100 clips in 2000, we just reordered in November of last year:)

Below is a pictorial of how I've worked out soldering these Stainless steel clip to our 18 gauge Stranded copper lead wires using standard 60/40 Solder with a Stainless steel flux. Hope this helps.
What and where do you get SST flux? A previous post mentioned "pool acid" which didn't really help at all.
 

UhClem

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Micromeister

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What and where do you get SST flux? A previous post mentioned "pool acid" which didn't really help at all.
Fuxall flux is the Acid based Stainless steel flux I use. Available at most Welding supplies.

Edit: I've also used a material called Rubyfluid Stainless Steel flux from Amazon.com seemed to work OK with standard solders instead of silver solder.
 
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Incongruent

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What and where do you get SST flux? A previous post mentioned "pool acid" which didn't really help at all.
I don't know about SST flux, but Pool Acid is Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) dissolved in water and is sold as 'muriatic acid' in hardware stores.
 

mn-rocketry

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I'm pretty sure it was Ted Cochran who discovered these stainless steel clips many years back, and he eventually got NARTS to resell them. They're made here in Minnesota by Lakewood Products. You can order them direct from Lakewood, but, last time I did so, they had a minimum order of 100 clips.

https://www.lakewoodproductsinc.com/products/alligator-clips/

When I went to solder them, I stopped by my local hardware store. I found one of the "old timers" who works there and described what I was trying to do. He disappeared into the back room for a while, and then reappeared with a dusty bottle of flux. "Should work", he said, "Been back there for a long time. Wouldn't know what to charge for it, so you can just have it." (Of course, I was a regular customer there - known as the guy who bought stuff to fix pinball games.) I love local hardware stores. :)
 

Micromeister

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I'm pretty sure it was Ted Cochran who discovered these stainless steel clips many years back, and he eventually got NARTS to resell them. They're made here in Minnesota by Lakewood Products. You can order them direct from Lakewood, but, last time I did so, they had a minimum order of 100 clips.

https://www.lakewoodproductsinc.com/products/alligator-clips/

When I went to solder them, I stopped by my local hardware store. I found one of the "old timers" who works there and described what I was trying to do. He disappeared into the back room for a while, and then reappeared with a dusty bottle of flux. "Should work", he said, "Been back there for a long time. Wouldn't know what to charge for it, so you can just have it." (Of course, I was a regular customer there - known as the guy who bought stuff to fix pinball games.) I love local hardware stores. :)
While Credit for the discovery of these Outstanding micro clips is not an issue, Putting out miss information is not helpful. In fact, the only manufacturer of Stainless Steel 1-1/8" Smooth Jaw Test Clips in the USA, is Lakewood Products. It was not however Ted how discovered them nor did he get NARTS to carry them, Though he may have given the final approval for NARTS to purchase & resell them.

In Fact I researched and found these clips in late 2000. Our club Narhams converted all our Launch gear with them in 2001-2003.
Tom Ha (former head of NARTS is also a member of Narhams and I gave him the contact info hoping NARTS would be able to offer these outstanding Stainless Steel clips to the NAR membership in smaller quantities then the 100 clip minimum order from the manufactuer. I believe Tom Ha showed them to Ted at one of the Trustee meetings.
Hope that clears this up a little.
 
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soopirV

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Stainless steel liquid flux is mostly "pool acid". You can use a drop of pool acid with regular solder.
That's interesting- do you think that would work on Nichrome too? I've heard good things about Ruby Fluid, but have struggled to find it (granted, I haven't explored the ends of the earth...just Ace and Home Depot). Guess it can't hurt to try.
 

mn-rocketry

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While Credit for the discovery of these Outstanding micro clips is not an issue, Putting out miss information is not helpful. In fact, the only manufacturer of Stainless Steel 1-1/8" Smooth Jaw Test Clips in the USA, is Lakewood Products. It was not however Ted how discovered them nor did he get NARTS to carry them, Though he may have given the final approval for NARTS to purchase & resell them.

In Fact I researched and found these clips in late 2000. Our club Narhams converted all our Launch gear with them in 2001-2003.
Tom Ha (former head of NARTS is also a member of Narhams and I gave him the contact info hoping NARTS would be able to offer these outstanding Stainless Steel clips to the NAR membership in smaller quantities then the 100 clip minimum order from the manufactuer. I believe Tom Ha showed them to Ted at one of the Trustee meetings.
Hope that clears this up a little.
My apologies, I shouldn't have stated that in the manner that I did. If I did once know the correct chronology, that has faded over the years. I didn't intend to misdirect any credit due to you or other NARHAMS members.

What I should have said is that Ted learned of these clips in some manner, presumably through his contacts with NARHAM members, and then brought them to the attention of the members of our Minnesota NAR section. We previously weren't aware of the product and manufacturer despite the fact that the manufacturer is almost literally in our own back yard. (Lakewood Products is located five miles down the road from my workplace.)

They are a great clip for launch systems, and I thank you for putting in all the work to find them and spread the word to others.
 
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