good controller and launch pad?

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Alex » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00



1. Can anyone recommend a good launch pad. I had to dumb mine which comes in
the set. It was too fragile.
2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
button pushed for 10-20 sec.
Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes igniters which comes with
the D12-5.
Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

Thanks,
Alex

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Kevin Trojanowsk » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> 1. Can anyone recommend a good launch pad. I had to dumb mine which comes in
> the set. It was too fragile.

For smaller rockets, the Estes PortaPad works just fine.  You can build
something more sturdy from PVC, at minimal cost.

Quote:
> 2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
> good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
> button pushed for 10-20 sec.
> Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes igniters which comes with
> the D12-5.

Are you using fresh battaries?  Are your clips clean?  4xAA is
sufficient current to fire Estes igniters.  That said, I don't use my
small Estes controller, because I use some igniters that require higher
voltage to fire.

Quote:
> Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

Look around and you can find plans for building them, which is a lot
cheaper.  If you want to buy one, take a look at the offerings from
Pratt Hobbies -- http://www.pratthobbies.com.  Nice thing about their
setups is that they include the rechargeable battery and charger.

-Kevin

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Felix Cervante » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
>good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
>button pushed for 10-20 sec.

How warm is the weather?  The Estes launch controller does not work very
well when it is cold.  Switch to a 12 volt launch controller.  They are very
easy to build and you can find some plans at
http://www.rocketopia.com/Reference/electron.htm .  The Space Modeling
Solutions plans has had many good reviews.

Felix

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Chuck Pierc » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00


Alex,
This may be an example of the blind leading the blind, but being a BAR
getting backing into model rocketry, I'd asked questions very similar
to yours to this newsgroup and had received some very good advice.
The title of the thread is "Launch Controllers?" and the original
question was posted on 11/19.  My question was aimed more at the
controller for composite motors (which need significantly more
voltage, ampereage actually, than black powder motors), whereas I
think you're mostly interested in igniters for black powder motors.
Anyway, I'd encourge you to read through that thread; I think it will
be very helpfull.

Chuck
NAR 78629



Quote:
>1. Can anyone recommend a good launch pad. I had to dumb mine which comes in
>the set. It was too fragile.
>2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
>good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
>button pushed for 10-20 sec.
>Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes igniters which comes with
>the D12-5.
>Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

>Thanks,
>Alex

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Bob Kapl » Mon, 04 Dec 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
> How warm is the weather?  The Estes launch controller does not work very
> well when it is cold.  Switch to a 12 volt launch controller.  They are very

The only common batteries that work well inthe cold are nicad and lead acid
(i.e car batteries and gell cells). Dry cells, even good alkaline dry cells
are pretty poor in the cold.

        Bob Kaplow      NAR # 18L       TRA # "Ctrl-Alt-Del"

Kaplow Klips & Baffle:      http://www.nira.chicago.il.us/Leading_Edge/MayJun00.pdf
NIRA:   http://www.nira.chicago.il.us  NAR:    http://www.nar.org





 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Bill Nelso » Tue, 05 Dec 2000 15:07:46


: question was posted on 11/19.  My question was aimed more at the
: controller for composite motors (which need significantly more
: voltage, ampereage actually, than black powder motors), whereas I
: think you're mostly interested in igniters for black powder motors.

That depends on what you are using for igniting the composite motors.
The Aerotech Copperheads (tm) seem to require a bit more power than
an Estes Solar (tm) igniter. The same seems to be true for the
"bridgeless" aftermarket igniters.  If you use electric matches, the
current requirements are much lower.

--

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Bob Kapl » Tue, 05 Dec 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> 1. Can anyone recommend a good launch pad. I had to dumb mine which comes in
> the set. It was too fragile.

I'm partial to the Mini Chad Pad I built years ago. It's good for any
questes kit and most of the NCR/Aerotech stuff. Cost is just a few bucks
worth of parts.

Quote:
> 2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
> good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
> button pushed for 10-20 sec.

The ONLY cheap launch controller available today that's wortht he plastic
it's molded out of is the Quest pistol grip unit in their newer starter
sets. Functionally, it's the same as the one in the Micro Maxx silo. Replace
the 9v alkaline battery with the GE/Sanyo 7.2v nicad, and you;ve got a
decent launcher.

I gutted my old Solar launcher, replacing the 4 penlight cells with 6
nicads, and replaced the wire with 30' of 18ga lamp cord. The nicads finally
died after years of use, before I got around to replacing the light bulb
with a piezo buzzer. But by the time you make that many changes to the
current generation of launcher, you might as well build that from scratch
too.

Quote:
> Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes igniters which comes with
> the D12-5.

It is very common for the ignitors to be broken in the package. Return them
to the manufacturer for replacement.

Quote:
> Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

Build from scratch!

        Bob Kaplow      NAR # 18L       TRA # "Ctrl-Alt-Del"

Kaplow Klips & Baffle:      http://www.nira.chicago.il.us/Leading_Edge/MayJun00.pdf
NIRA:   http://www.nira.chicago.il.us  NAR:    http://www.nar.org





 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Donald B. Bel » Tue, 05 Dec 2000 04:00:00


Have you tried the new Nickel-Metal Hydride rechargeable AA batteries?  They
are able to supply much more amperage than the alkaline cells.


Quote:
> 1. Can anyone recommend a good launch pad. I had to dumb mine which comes
in
> the set. It was too fragile.
> 2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very
> good. It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep
> button pushed for 10-20 sec.
> Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes igniters which comes
with
> the D12-5.
> Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

> Thanks,
> Alex

 
 
 

good controller and launch pad?

Post by Sams Famil » Wed, 06 Dec 2000 14:10:03


Quote:

> 2. My launch controller which come with the Estes set doesn't work very good.
> It simply doesn't ignite the igniter or when it does I have to keep button
> pushed for 10-20 sec. Or may be it's the igniters problem. I have Estes
> igniters which comes with the D12-5.
> Should I buy a new better controller? Any suggestions on which one?

Ya know, I think Estes has been selling 6V controllers and 12V ignitors since I
first entered the sport in 1969 :)

My first lunch pad was part of the controller. (See the Electro Launch at
http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/rockets/nostalgia/70est102.html)

It was a 6V system and did not work well with the ignitors of that time. It was
upgradable to 12V, which we did, but even then, it seemed the batteries were
always dead.

So, we converted to the car battery system depicted here:
http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/rockets/nostalgia/70est100.html

I still use it today, usually with two 6V lantern batteries, but in a pinch,
I've lifted the hood on the car.

The real point is that four 1.5V alkaline batteries is marginal at best. 12V
from high capacity batteries works great.

Doug Sams