Does anyone know where I can get some plans to build a good launch pad? One
that uses PVC piping and can utilize several size launch rods? Thanks!
> Hmm.. try searching sunsite for the "Plumbers Dream" or something
> those lines.
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> Hmm.. try searching sunsite for the "Plumbers Dream" or something along
> those lines. At my trip to Monroe WA, I saw that over 1/2 of the HPR pads
> were of the same sort.. What amused me was the flower pot blast
> but what ever works..
> John Y.
>> Hmm.. try searching sunsite for the "Plumbers Dream" or something
>> those lines.
>I'll second that. I've built a "plumber's dream" and it is a great
>launch pad. I upscaled the plans to use 1.25" pipe rather than the 1'
>pipe but that was because the home depot was out of the cross T piece
>in the 1" size. I fly mostly Estes A through D sized rockets but my
>broadsword is about 3' tall and the pad has no problems with it. It's
>also very easy to disassemble and store. I highly recomend it. Mine
>cost about $20 but everything was bought at home depot. Good luck.
You need a 10' length of PVC pipe (1.5" is fine)
three Ts, a 1/2 to 1" straight threaded gate valve (depends on how big of
a launch rod you use and how much tilt you want), a small *** in the
same thread size as the gate valve, and fittings to attach the gate valve
to the PVC pipe (usually two--a reducer and a PVC to iron pipe thread
adapter). The only expensive thing is the gate valve, usually around $5
for the small ones to $8 for the large ones.
You'll be making a pad that looks like an H when seen from the top:
| | <--removable outriggers
| ^ |
cross bar with three Ts
permanently glued in place
to assure orientation
And an inverted T when seen from the side:
O-| <--gate valve is vice for launch rods.
| <-- removable upright
First, cut six 16" lengths and 1 24" length of 1.5" PVC. This uses up a
whole $2 piece of pipe :-)
The only glue joints are in the cross bar. Friction fit two 16" pieces of
PVC into each of two Ts. Glue two 18" sections into opposite ends of a
T. A 24" section friction fits into the open end of the T, and becomes
the centerpost of your pad. Hold it plumb and glue the open ends of the
other Ts into cross bar so that the Ts on the cross bar are at 90 degree
angles to the center. (You don't get much time to adjust the angles, so
practice once or twice without the glue).
Put the fittings at the top of the upright, and***the gate valve on,
which will act as a clamp for your launch rods. Any plate with a hole in
it can be a blast deflector.
The pad disassembles into the cross bar, the upright, and 4 outriggers.
You can scale it, but it would be pretty heavy in a 4" diameter pipe size.
My opinions only.
Register as guest, and use the same for password. Construction with
pictures of several nice looking PVC launch platforms are described.
Or check out my "Tripod Mount Launch Pad" design in the Jan/Feb issue of
"Sport Rocketry" (p. 20). Pictures and descriptions should still be
available on the NIRA web site at:
I detail how to make a launch pad from a camera tripod and a keyless
drill chuck adapter that will accept rods up to 1/4 inch diameter. Even
if you get a moderately expensive camera tripod (like for video cameras
available at discount stores), the whole thing should cost you less than
$50.00. The easy part is, that after you have the camera tripod, (which
allows for adjustments to pad height and angle) there are only three
other parts (Drill chuck adapter, 1/4 x 20 thread stock and 1/4 x 20
threaded connector) that you really need for mounting the rods to it!
You could also use the drill chuck concept on top of one of the ROL
platform designs. My article describes how to add a few more inexpensive
parts (nailing brackets that only cost a few dollars) to make the
assembly more stable. Using this design you can interchange between
launch rods of different diameters very quickly, in about the same
length of time it takes to change a drill bit in a
keyless chuck :-). If you are concerned about too much weight on the
top of the camera tripod obtain a heavy duty model tripod like for full
size VHS cameras (some are made to hold 10 pounds); that's what I use
for my heavy stuff. Others have mentioned on the RMR news group that the
tripod design can be scaled up using a larger drill chuck and tripod,
such as the base for a HAM radio antenna mast!
As for a good blast shield, also in the same issue of "Sport Rocketry"
(p30) is my article on "Ablative Blast Shields". The 6 inch diameter
parabolic (bell/nose cone shaped!) or fluted deflectors I describe cost
only a few dollars to make (molded from floor lever in the top of
a 3 liter pop bottle) and should work well on any design. Pictures and
descriptions should still be available on the NIRA web site at:
Bruce S. Levison, NAR# 69055
> Does anyone know where I can get some plans to build a good launch pad? One
> that uses PVC piping and can utilize several size launch rods? Thanks!