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Old 10-30-2005, 10:09 AM
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Royatl Royatl is offline
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Default PortaPad over the years

Ok, trivia time.

So, I'm looking around the house, trying to organize things, and I notice I have a bunch of Estes Porta-Pads, some dating back 30+ years, and I notice that no two are alike (ok, that's stretching a bit, because I've got a number of the current version). I've got a burgandy version (the oldest) that is taller and has a bigger center section. I've got an orange one that has a smaller center, the tips of the legs are different, and it has one less bracing piece. Then there's a yellow version that is lower, wider, and has a small center. Finally I have a bunch of the current black lightning bolt designs.

Given that injection molds wear out, I guess it makes sense that they have to get new ones made, and take it as an opportunity for a redesign, but what ideas went into the redesign?

Later today I'll put up photos of the versions I have, so we can see if there's any more, and we can speculate as to why there are so many versions.

Boy, won't this be fun!

Remember, this is limited to Estes Porta-Pads (or Porta-Pad II) and Centuri equivalent.

I don't care about the MPC/AVI/Canaroc pad (though that might be a semi-interesting subject), or the Quest pads, or the MRC pads or the Estes BigFoot or Firing Line pads.

This message is going up on both RocketryForum *and* Ye Olde Rocket Forum.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:41 PM
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CPMcGraw CPMcGraw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royatl
Ok, trivia time.

So, I'm looking around the house, trying to organize things, and I notice I have a bunch of Estes Porta-Pads, some dating back 30+ years, and I notice that [I]no two are alike ... Given that injection molds wear out, I guess it makes sense that they have to get new ones made, and take it as an opportunity for a redesign, but what ideas went into the redesign?

Later today I'll put up photos of the versions I have, so we can see if there's any more, and we can speculate as to why there are so many versions...


First thing I can think of is reduction of the amount of plastic needed to accomplish the task -- less plastic per unit means more units per given quantity of raw plastic...

Second, hand-in-hand with the reduction of material, is the simplicity of the design -- reducing the complexity of the mold(s), speeding up the production process, reducing the wear-and-tear on the mold over a given period of time...

Third, the opportunity to use more advanced plastic compounds which don't require the same temperature to liquify, yet still give the same degree of rigidity and strength (though I believe the earlier yellow, and even the red, versions were much stronger than the current black "lightning bolt" version)...
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:57 PM
Green Dragon Green Dragon is offline
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hmm. I've never seen a burgundy version, so post pics when you can :-)

In my own 'stash' I have a couple of the orange versions (one converted for flight), then the yellow versions ( were they next in line ? ... anyone have catalogs handy for the years used ?

if you look at the yellow version, looks like the legs were turned over, to lower the center of gravity, note the end 'slope' is now opposite the orange version, like they just added a 'triangle' at the center to change the angle ?

I also have two BLACK versions that match the yellow one, not 'lightning bolt'... and then one of the lightning boly jobs.

~ AL

ps: speaking of launch pads - does anyone have one of the old orange 'lantern battery' launcher pieces ( the actual part for the battery ) ? seem to have misplaced the one for my Challenger 1 starter set, along with the small flat deflector, if anyone has that as well . ?
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