What's in your Range Box?

mtnmanak

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Great threads on the forum about buying/building range boxes. I went with the Milwaukee Packout system. Seemed to provide all the things I wanted in a new range box. For the past 10 years or so, my "range box" has been an eclectic mess of various bins, boxes and bags.

As I set about loading up this shiny new system, I found so much stuff I was carrying around I didn't need and tried to think of all the times I went to a launch and was like "Dang! I forgot that again."

Also realized the modular system would allow me to more easily tailor my launch packout - if I am just heading to the local farmer's field with the kids to shoot LPR/MPR it is a different consideration than driving 2-5 hours to go to an HPR launch (all the closest clubs to us are multi-hour drives) and planning to spend the weekend there.

Things I thought of (don't need all this stuff every launch, but trying to get my list of "things" as a checklist and create the modular boxes):

Updating as people post ideas
  • All Launches:
    • Motors
      • Motor Retainer caps
    • Igniters
    • Microfiber towels
    • Tape (various sizes as needed)
      • Masking
      • Scotch
      • Aluminum
      • Double sided
      • Duct
      • Mylar
      • Kapton
    • Scissors
    • Drill / Electric Screwdriver
      • Drill Bits / Screwdriver bits
    • 5-Minute epoxy
    • CA & Accelerator
    • Mixing sticks
    • Paper towels
    • Toothpicks
    • Elastic bands
    • Zip ties
    • Ziploc bags
    • Garbage Bags
    • Talc Powder
    • Powder Brush
    • Parachutes
    • Alcohol
    • Fly-away rails
    • Sandpaper / Emory Cloth
    • Wax paper
    • Plastic cement
    • Launch lugs
    • Rail buttons
    • Shock Cord
    • Screwdriver sets (large, small, mini)
    • Pens/Pencil
    • Paper
    • Go Pro / Video Camera
    • Hobby knife / Scalpel
    • Qtips
    • NAR/Tripoli cards
    • Dog Barf
    • Spare parts / Hardware
    • Pliers (Regular, Needlenose , hemostat, snap ring, etc)
    • Flashlight / Headlamp
    • Ruler / Tape measure
    • Push rods / sticks . etc
    • Clamps
    • Rice Bags / Weights to hold down parachutes, paper, etc
    • Compressed Air
    • Tarp / Ground Mat / Blanket
  • LPR/MPR Local launches
    • Rail / rod launch pads
    • Launch controllers
    • Motors
  • HPR Launches (long drive)
    • Motor Casings
    • Motor Cleaning
      • Brushes
      • Cleaning solution
    • Motor Adapters
    • Delay drilling tools
    • E-matches
    • Multi-meter
    • Batteries
    • Chute release
    • Altimeters
    • Battery charger
    • Electric wire
    • Wire Strippers / Wire cutters
    • Parachute / Shock cord protectors
    • Mounting putty
    • Super Lube / WD-40 / Silicon Dry-lube
    • Flight Cards
    • Spray Glue
    • Black Powder
    • Scales - Precision for black powder and larger scale for rockets
    • Charge Wells
    • Speedy Stitcher
    • Couplers
    • CG Jig
    • Rocket cradle
    • Inverter
    • Dremel
    • Socket sets
    • Hammer
    • Level
  • Personal protection/safety
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug juice
    • Allergy Meds
    • Tylenol/Motrin
    • Antacid
    • Nitrile/protective gloves
    • Safety glasses
    • Ear protection
    • Hat / Gloves
  • Comfort
    • Food
    • Water / Drinks
    • Chairs
    • Table
    • Pavilion / Tent / Umbrella
 

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mooffle

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That's a lot of stuff, enough to build paint and finish a rocket in the field! Modular is always a good plan and those style toolboxes are nice.
I can't say I'm that prepared, if a rocket breaks in the field it breaks, short of whats pictured I fix when I get home.
One tub o' rockets and a dedicated range box/launcher in one.
Lid has 1/4A through D with launch electronics in the middle, the sandpaper should be in a different spot. I got lazy with my cleanup after last launch.
Mid section has backup electron beams, igniters and superglue just in case. I just finished the launcher this summer so I still don't 100% trust my soldering or keeping the battery charged.
Bottom has a 12v battery, launch pad, masking tape, wadding, and leads made from an ungrounded extension cord.

The only thing not pictured is a solid launch rod, I ditched the 2 piece estes one a long time ago.

A big design constraint was that I wanted to be able to fit everything in the pictured kid trailer so I could bike to the park near my house.
 

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mtnmanak

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Great stuff, guys! Thanks!

I will update the list above when people post.
 

mtnmanak

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That's a lot of stuff, enough to build paint and finish a rocket in the field! Modular is always a good plan and those style toolboxes are nice.
I can't say I'm that prepared, if a rocket breaks in the field it breaks, short of whats pictured I fix when I get home.
One tub o' rockets and a dedicated range box/launcher in one.
Lid has 1/4A through D with launch electronics in the middle, the sandpaper should be in a different spot. I got lazy with my cleanup after last launch.
Mid section has backup electron beams, igniters and superglue just in case. I just finished the launcher this summer so I still don't 100% trust my soldering or keeping the battery charged.
Bottom has a 12v battery, launch pad, masking tape, wadding, and leads made from an ungrounded extension cord.

The only thing not pictured is a solid launch rod, I ditched the 2 piece estes one a long time ago.

A big design constraint was that I wanted to be able to fit everything in the pictured kid trailer so I could bike to the park near my house.

Nice launch box! I created something similar for big cluster (5+ motors). Used the design of the "cluster box" by Boris Katan.
 

mtnmanak

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That's a lot of stuff, enough to build paint and finish a rocket in the field! Modular is always a good plan and those style toolboxes are nice.
I can't say I'm that prepared, if a rocket breaks in the field it breaks, short of whats pictured I fix when I get home.

Absolutely agree for when we go down the street to the local park / farmer's field. For those, we just bring our stuff and fly. If it breaks, we bring it home.

When we drive 5 hours for a multi-day high power launch, though, you want to be able to repair in the field so you don't waste the 10 hours of driving. For those launches, we bring the kitchen sink.
 

BABAR

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My most useful low power field tool. A shock cord stuffer. Can also make this out of a big aluminum straw, cut some notches in one end, round them so they don’t cut the cord. Makes it super easy for my big fingers to get cords deep into BT-5 and BT-20 rockets. This is an old pic, my new ones are aluminum bright colors so if I drop it in the grass it is easy to find.
 

mtnmanak

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What, no pliers? Regular, needle nose, hemostats, I bring them all. You never know what will need extraction.

Don't crush the dwarf, hand me the pliers (Firesign Theater album)

Wow, you're right, need to add those too! They are in the kit, need to be on the list.

List above updated.
 

mtnmanak

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View attachment 436631

My most useful low power field tool. A shock cord stuffer. Can also make this out of a big aluminum straw, cut some notches in one end, round them so they don’t cut the cord. Makes it super easy for my big fingers to get cords deep into BT-5 and BT-20 rockets. This is an old pic, my new ones are aluminum bright colors so if I drop it in the grass it is easy to find.

Great idea! I usually just use a section of launch rod as a stuffer, but love the idea of making something built for purpose.
 

mooffle

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I have this too, can't believe I forgot. One half of my old estes rod is bent into a hook for stuffing and unstuffing chutes. Also doubles as a tube glue applicator. It doesn't always make it to the range though.
 

Devin Batten

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I usually bring a flashlight just in case as well as a couple of the estes e2x ready to fly in an hour rockets to local launches. Ive found sometimes people will bring their kids with no rockets. They are cheap and help with the outreach and seeing a smile from a first rocket launch is always worth the $7.
 

mooffle

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Flashlight reminded me: post launch day I bring good pants, socks, long sleeve sweatshirt, and garden gloves. Helps with next day retrieval from the woods. Bug spray is seasonal dependent.
 

PatD

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What, no pliers? Regular, needle nose, hemostats, I bring them all. You never know what will need extraction.

Don't crush the dwarf, hand me the pliers (Firesign Theater album)
How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?
 

o1d_dude

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I have more than one range box...I’m sure everyone else does, too.

1. Main range box (tools, chutes, JLCR’s, flight logbook , spare parts, and miscellaneous greebles)
2. HPR hardware box (29-54mm)
3. HPR motor box
4. MPR motor/hardware box
5. LPR motor boxes (4, sorted by motor size)
6. Support range box (Baby wipes, vest, reload assembly tray, paper towels, ziplocks, bags, digital pan scale, dog barf in ziplock)

For a typical HPR launch I will take 1, 2, 3, 4, 6.

For a typical LPR/MPR launch I take 1, 4, 5, 6.

Of course I take a Home Depot orange bucket with lid as a trash can, a beach umbrella with cast iron stand, a folding table, folding chair, folding stool, and a few R/C airplane cradles for use as rocket cradles.

All this fits in the trunk of my Nissan Altima. My rockets go in the back seat in rifle socks. Tiny ice chest and a jumper battery go on the passenger seat floor.

You would not believe how many times I’ve been called on to jump start a vehicle at the launch.

My favorite was the time the Stanford University team vehicle needed a jump and I let them know I was a Cal Berkeley alum BEFORE handing them the jumper. Big, BIG, HYUGE collegiate rivalry there.

Win one for the Gipper!
 

caveduck

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That's a pretty good list.

The way I build my avbays, I need a socket driver set. I also bring along a small adjustable wrench-of-1000-uses, and a HF micro screwdriver set in addition to some regular screwdrivers and an electric one.

There's also a set of needle files and bigger flat + round files. For me they get a LOT of use on glass rockets. Before glass I didn't need them.

I also find the smallest size vise-grips very useful in the field (maybe goes under pliers).

My tape set looks a little different:
  • Sticky masking tape (not blue) - 3/4"
  • Blue masking tape 24mm
  • Green masking tape, 1/4" pinstriping width for ersatz MPR motor thrust rings
  • Mylar tape from ULine - 1/2"
  • Kapton tape 1 mil x 1" wide. Tolerates much higher temperatures than Mylar but not shiny.
  • 3M VHB double-sided - NOT the foam-core stuff, it fails much more easily
  • Oddly I have little use for duct tape nor aluminum tape...
Basically I take my main workbench toolbox to the field (a Craftsman 26"); that way I never forget tools anymore. Other Sterilite bins are for parachutes, nomex, shock lines, electronics equipment, etc.

Also I have a 300W sine-wave inverter and a 25' extension cord in the truck, so I can take my Dremel and soldering iron 'cause I always end up repairing and finishing sleds. I also bring a set of numbered-size drill bits, same reason. The inverter also runs a Hitec LiPo charger. Side note, you cannot use a cheesy square-wave inverter with modern 4000 series Dremel tools with the ESC...they just will not run with square wave like the old 381's would.

Oh yeah, small straight butane torch for shrinking heat-shrink tube and some other uses. You want a cigar-lighter or kitchen jet type one; they put out a lot more heat than ordinary lighters. I have these but there are tons of options: https://www.ebay.com/i/303504866237?chn=ps&mkevt=1&mkcid=28

You also need stick(s) for pushing spent reloads out of motor casings, getting the canopy over the top of the ez-up, etc, and a hammer for staking down said ez-up. Some of my sticks have sandpaper glued around the end, and one has a slot for screwing in HPR nose cone tips.

Big Yeti cooler and large amounts of water for desert launches. Not quite range box fodder, but not something you want to forget!
 
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mtnmanak

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That's a pretty good list.

The way I build my avbays, I need a socket driver set. I also bring along a small adjustable wrench-of-1000-uses, and a HF micro screwdriver set in addition to some regular screwdrivers and an electric one.

There's also a set of needle files and bigger flat + round files. For me they get a LOT of use on glass rockets. Before glass I didn't need them.

I also find the smallest size vise-grips very useful in the field (maybe goes under pliers).

My tape set looks a little different:
  • Sticky masking tape (not blue) - 3/4"
  • Blue masking tape 24mm
  • Green masking tape, 1/4" pinstriping width for ersatz MPR motor thrust rings
  • Mylar tape from ULine - 1/2"
  • Kapton tape 1 mil x 1" wide. Tolerates much higher temperatures than Mylar but not shiny.
  • 3M VHB double-sided - NOT the foam-core stuff, it fails much more easily
  • Oddly I have little use for duct tape nor aluminum tape...
Basically I take my main workbench toolbox to the field (a Craftsman 26"); that way I never forget tools anymore. Other Sterilite bins are for parachutes, nomex, shock lines, electronics equipment, etc.

Also I have a 300W sine-wave inverter and a 25' extension cord in the truck, so I can take my Dremel and soldering iron 'cause I always end up repairing and finishing sleds. I also bring a set of numbered-size drill bits, same reason. The inverter also runs a Hitec LiPo charger. Side note, you cannot use a cheesy square-wave inverter with modern 4000 series Dremel tools with the ESC...they just will not run with square wave like the old 381's would.

You also need stick(s) for pushing spent reloads out of motor casings, getting the canopy over the top of the ez-up, etc, and a hammer for staking down said ez-up. Some of my sticks have sandpaper glued around the end, and one has a slot for screwing in HPR nose cone tips.

Big Yeti cooler and large amounts of water for desert launches. Not quite range box fodder, but not something you want to forget!

Great Stuff! Added a bunch to this list, thanks!
 

mtnmanak

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Added "Motor Retainer Caps" - In order to display rockets that can't stand up on their own on the rocket wall, I often use stands and the stands usually don't fit through the retainer caps, so on more than a few occasions, I have gotten to a launch and then remembered that I left all the screw on caps sitting on the shelf at home.

Won't ruin your day, plenty of field options to retain motors, but it sure does make you angry!
 

mtnmanak

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Ha! Was reading through the list and realized I forgot to list Motors & Igniters/E-Matches. Kind of fundamental :rolleyes:
 
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