Monday, April 20, 2009

Roborocketry Quad Pad Launch Rack

I wanted a heavier launch pad or row of pads that could accomodate multiple launch rods and not have to be staked down. We usually use hooked stakes when using the Estes standard and E launch pads, especially when launching larger rockets such as the Mean Yankee (Estes Mean Machine).

You can build your own multi-station launch pad with common parts from the local hardware store.

I had looked online at several from various launch pictures that were made out of wood saw horses. I was about to go the same route until I came across some nice heavy guage steel folding saw horses at Lowes.

I wanted both the elevation and azimuth to be adjustable, so I bought some angle brackets, carriage bolts, lock washers and wing nuts to be able to tighten, loosen and adjust as necessary without tools.

I then attached heavy duty grounding clamps to these that conveniently hold launch rods of various diameters very nicely. They also have a hole that works great for the carriage bolts hooked to the angle brackets. We have used the same clamps with 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" rods just fine.

We used four blast deflectors from some of our estes launch pads.

Another feature we added were ignitor lead standoffs made from wire coat hangers.

The standoffs have really done the trick for keeping the wires and clips free from the blast of the rocket motors. It is amazing how clean they stay using this feature.

So for a little bit of time and a very modest budget, you can build your own four staion launch pad. Sorry I didn't make a detailed parts list on this project, but hopefully the pictures will do the trick. I bought everything for this at Lowes, so one trip should do the trick!

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