Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Ye Olde Rocket Forum (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/index.php)
-   Building Techniques (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6)
-   -   Launch Rod Poll (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=19468)

BobP_in_Nevada 04-07-2021 09:44 AM

Launch Rod Poll
 
Hi! Quick question. Do you ...

a) use the two-piece launch rods provided with most launch pads?

b) use a single-piece launch rod?

c) use a launch tower because you're really old school?

d) shun rods entirely in favor of rails?

Please assume this is for low-power (D and below motors) launching.

Details about your choice would be welcome. How "dangerous" actually is that mid-rod joint on the assembled rods?

Yup, it's the old "portability vs. utility" question. I don't necessarily mind hauling around a length of pipe to keep my one-piece rods in, but I'd just as soon not if there's no real value in it.

Cheers!

TigerHawk 04-07-2021 10:09 AM

Single piece launch rods. 36” long for 1/8” & 3/16” rods, 48” long for a 1/4” rod.

mojo1986 04-07-2021 10:14 AM

36" 2-piece from Estes. Never had a problem with it.

barone 04-07-2021 10:24 AM

Single piece 36”. Carry in a PVC tube. In addition to keeping the rods from getting bent, the PVC helps prevent rusting. I wipe them down with WD-40 before storing.

Earl 04-07-2021 10:30 AM

I have a single piece stainless steel 3/16" and 3/8" rods. My 1/8" rods have all been two piece for 45 years.

Never had an issue with a two piece rod.

Earl

ghrocketman 04-07-2021 11:17 AM

I use 1-piece stainless steel rods in 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4".
Have never used those flimsy 2-piece aluminum things.

Scott_650 04-07-2021 12:00 PM

Single and two piece launch rods. Single piece 36” long for 3/16” rods, 48” long for a 1/4” rod and a 1/8” two piece rod. Someday I’ll probably have a rail - when I can pick one up rather than have it shipped...

BEC 04-07-2021 12:18 PM

I generally use one-piece rods....back in my first rocketry period (1968-1974) I used 1/8 inch music wire from the hobby shop. I still have a couple of those. Today the 1/8 and 3/16 rods are stainless (3 foot 1/8 inch, 3 and 4 foot 3/16ths).

My current PVC tripod pads and three-pad rack are set up to carry launch rods in a case which uses two legs of the pad.

The two-piece rods (which haven’t been aluminum for a long time, GH) are usable but subject to easy bending at the roll pin joint. Carefully handled, they are certainly usable. If I was planning on using one I’d probably try to chamfer the socket end a little bit before assembling it so that the joint is as smooth as possible once assembled.

For PSII stuff I have a six foot steel 1/4 inch rod from the hardware store, which needs to be de-rusted before every use. I will probably cut it down to 4 1/2 or 5 feet now that TARC pretty much requires a rail. I do have a six foot 1010 rail pad as well. But all that stuff is beyond the “D and below” scope of the original question.

BRS Hobbies 04-07-2021 12:19 PM

A and B. Both options work fine.

LeeR 04-07-2021 02:03 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I have switched most new builds of rockets that used 1/8” and 3/16” to MakerBeam 10mm rail. I have both 900mm and 1500mm lengths (roughly 36” and 60”). Larger, including most mid-power, I use 20mm rail from 8020 (1” rail is essentially 25mm rail, so 20mm is a bit smaller). My 20mm rail is 48”. I have used a friend’s 96” rail for my Super Orbital Transport. I get my micro and mini buttons from rail-buttons.com. The new minis have flathead screws that fit flush into a countersunk button recess.

Here is a picture showing MakerBeam and 20mm rail, with their micro and mini buttons. A 1/8” launch lug is in picture for comparison. Also shown is my Rockwell JawStand with 20mm rail. My longer MakerBeam rail is silver, which is better in hot, sunny conditions.

I have flown an Estes V-2 using micro buttons, but would normally use minis.

tbzep 04-07-2021 02:14 PM

At home, 36" two piece aluminum 1/8" and 3/16". I never take them apart, but I did sand them ever so slightly at the joining ends to prevent a lip that the lugs could hit.

For my rack launcher used at schools, it's 1/8" x 36" steel one piece rods. I just wipe them and coat them with grease so they won't rust for the next year's launches.

When I did HPR it was usually 1/4" x 4' and 1/2" x 5.5' or 6' stainless. I still have them, but haven't flown HPR in a long time. For my largest rockets, I used my buddy's big rail pad. It was probably 8 or 10 ft long. I don't remember now.

Just FYI, a lot of the 1/8" Estes rods in more recent times are only about 32" long.

samb 04-07-2021 02:21 PM

b)

4 foot lengths of 1/8th and 3/16th steel rods are readily available at my favorite big box home improvement store. No joint to fail and a extra foot of guidance are my reasons. Get a small diameter pvc pipe with some end caps for storage, clean with a scotch brite pad after each use and you have a lifetime of launches.

Earl 04-07-2021 02:31 PM

For anyone who has never tried stainless for their launch rods, give it a try sometime. I think once you do, you'll never want to go back to steel. Of course, it is a little more expensive, but cleanup is well, basically a one-wipe deal. Actually, not even that if you don't want to. ;)

Earl

Joe Wooten 04-07-2021 02:45 PM

1/8" - ~24" brass welding rod
3/16 - 4' aluminum that came with Old Estes high power pad

Bluegrass Rocket 04-07-2021 03:53 PM

I only fly low power on my own and for several years I have used a 40” carbon fiber rod. Purchased at the local hobby store. Light weight and doesn’t bend.

SEL 04-07-2021 04:23 PM

I have a couple each of the 2-piece 1/8 & 3/16 Estes rods,
A few single length 3 foot 3/16”, a 4 foot 1/4”, a two piece 6 foot
1/4” rod that I bought from North Coast years ago, and 2 or 3 6 foot
1/4” “stainless” that aren’t.

Neal Miller 04-07-2021 04:44 PM

Granger, sells 72" X 1/8" Stainless Steel. A quick cut with the Dremel tool and you have 2
great 36" launch rods. I chuck the rod into a 1/4-20 collar that screws on to my Bi-pod , I keep all my rods in a PVC tube capped on the bottom and threaded end cap on the top.
I have 4 & 6 MM X 1 meter Stainless Steel Welding rods to use as 3/16"and 1/4" rods.

shockwaveriderz 04-07-2021 05:30 PM

I hope to be able to try out a 1/8" , one piece 4 ft pultruded carbon fiber tube that has a .072" carbon fiber rod epoxied internally. If it ever gets here from CA. Was ordered a month ago, and it's in USPS in Bakersfield CA

Gus 04-07-2021 06:27 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Most of the low power I fly comes out of towers.

Still my favorite is my old Medalist tower. Very flexible, but doesn't travel well. Hopefully someone will make them again some day.

For FAI flying I use one of several home made 40mm towers. The one in the photo uses single piece aluminum tubes but I've switched to aluminum tent poles. Shorter pieces so they travel more easily but two of them stacked are longer than the aluminum poles.

For my yearly flying out in Arizona I have an Apogee tower which I store at my Mom's. Very nice tower with carbon fiber rods. Really easy to change diameters, works great.

Finally, for low- or mid-power egglofters I've recently started flying off a rail using Apogee's fly-away rail guides. Egg lofters are kind of a pain to fly out of towers so this is a great improvement. Absolutely wonderful.

Blastfromthepast 04-07-2021 06:38 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I've always used a single piece rod for LPR.. 1/8 and 3/16. For boost gliders I use a 1 piece 48" rod. It's long enough to accommodate front engine gliders while still having at least 36" travel length. I've also got a launcher for my Carlisle Mark II Rock-A-Chute replica that uses a 5/16" wood dowel.

BobP_in_Nevada 04-07-2021 06:45 PM

Launch Rod Poll, phase 2
 
Thank you, everyone! It's always interesting to see how people do model rocketry. I spent last month reviewing the Model Rocketry magazine archives ... wow. So much changed, yet so much is still the same.

For the people using the two-piece rods, do you ever actually break them down?

Cheers,

mojo1986 04-07-2021 06:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
Thank you, everyone! It's always interesting to see how people do model rocketry. I spent last month reviewing the Model Rocketry magazine archives ... wow. So much changed, yet so much is still the same.

For the people using the two-piece rods, do you ever actually break them down?

Cheers,


Nope. Just pull the rod out of the blast plate/launch platform and throw it in the trunk. Try to protect it from getting bent in there.

Earl 04-07-2021 07:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
Thank you, everyone! It's always interesting to see how people do model rocketry. I spent last month reviewing the Model Rocketry magazine archives ... wow. So much changed, yet so much is still the same.

For the people using the two-piece rods, do you ever actually break them down?

Cheers,


I always beak mine down so they go back into the storage box.

My main low power rod (and pad) are my original Centuri Power Pad that cam with my Screaming Eagle starter set from June, 1976. Still use the same pad and rod (and deflector) for my low power stuff. In the intervening years I have sometimes used some of the other ‘lantern battery mounted’ launchers from both Estes and Centuri, as well as an Estes Big Foot pad.

But most of my low power flying has been off the Centuri Power Pad and it has been probably 30 years since I have used any other low power pad. High power was all custom rigs with either 3/8” or .5” rods.

Earl

PaulK 04-10-2021 10:57 AM

All of the above, but mostly one-piece rods, unless I'm really tight for space. I prefer plain steel rods from the HW store, the SS ones I have don't seem as stiff. 36" x 1/8", 48" x 3/16", 60" x 1/4" - store them in a piece of PVC, steel wool and oil after every use. For NRC, I fly nearly everything off a piston with no tower, using 36" long aluminum rods and 34" piston tubes. Egg Lofters I'll use a tower and piston combo. Lastly, I occasionally use a 48" mini rail if I want to completely eliminate rod whip.

frognbuff 04-10-2021 11:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
Thank you, everyone! It's always interesting to see how people do model rocketry. I spent last month reviewing the Model Rocketry magazine archives ... wow. So much changed, yet so much is still the same.

For the people using the two-piece rods, do you ever actually break them down?

Cheers,


Bob - I have to ask. Are you the recipient of a Silver Snoopy? Very prestigious!

BEC 04-10-2021 02:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulK
All of the above, but mostly one-piece rods, unless I'm really tight for space. I prefer plain steel rods from the HW store, the SS ones I have don't seem as stiff.

This is definitely a trade for ease of cleaning in my experience.

I have experimented with carbon fiber tubes/rods. They work nicely, but most of my pads use a sort of setscrew arrangement to retain the rod and this leads to crushing, which is not good.

Lee, do you do anything special to keep the micro buttons from binding if they get a little off axis in the Makerbeam? I tried the micro buttons when they first appeared and was disappointed with the results. I'd love to use it but if the model isn't exactly downwind of the beam they bind for me.

LeeR 04-10-2021 03:50 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC

Lee, do you do anything special to keep the micro buttons from binding if they get a little off axis in the Makerbeam? I tried the micro buttons when they first appeared and was disappointed with the results. I'd love to use it but if the model isn't exactly downwind of the beam they bind for me.


Bernard, the micro buttons work better if you shorten the length. I took calipers to the core, or barrel, and used a numbered drill to bore a hole in one end of a metal rule. I press the button in, and use an X-acto or single-edge razor blade to trim. The rule just happened to be a good thickness for this.
Here are pictures I took a few years ago. I have also used Plastruct or Evergreen styrene H-channel. I will have to look at package when I am back home to get the specific product #. We are in Florida until Monday.

BEC 04-10-2021 03:55 PM

Thanks, Lee. I vaguely remember this now, and see that the micro buttons on the one model I have them on right now are shortened some, but I probably didn't do it as carefully.

I have done one model with the Plastruct H-beam as well. Maybe I need to fly it a little more to get a better feel for how that works (or doesn't) for me.

LeeR 04-10-2021 04:02 PM

Bernard, I read somewhere a couple years ago that somebody just used a small screw, like a #2 maybe? I was afraid that would tear up the rail, but maybe not. If MakerBeam gained in popularity, Randy Milliken at rail-buttons.com might be tempted to redo them. The new mini buttons he has are a big improvement over the original, in terms of looks. Both old and new, though, work really well on the 20mm rail.

BEC 04-11-2021 01:15 AM

The nylon screws in the rail-buttons.com micros is a 2-56, so I suppose just the screw itself might work, with a little side-to-side slop in the rail groove. Hmmmmmmm......

added: after a quick look at that, I can see why the sleeves. I also looked at the old Nova Payloader I have them on (shortened) and it slide reasonably well, actually, on the rail. More study and experimentation is in order.

BobP_in_Nevada 04-14-2021 09:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by frognbuff
Bob - I have to ask. Are you the recipient of a Silver Snoopy? Very prestigious!


I hope I won't draw too much shame when I say I am not. But I'm a lifelong fan of Snoopy, and making a Silver Snoopy icon seemed appropriate for this forum. My general icon is a "The World Famous Writer and his Secretary" screen-grab from "The Peanuts Movie".

(For those who don't know -- can't imagine that in this forum -- the Silver Snoopy is an award given by the NASA Astronaut office to NASA workers or contract workers (not management!) who have gone above and beyond in service to the goals and needs of the manned spaceflight mission. I've never worked for NASA.)

Neal Miller 04-14-2021 09:22 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
I hope I won't draw too much shame when I say I am not. But I'm a lifelong fan of Snoopy, and making a Silver Snoopy icon seemed appropriate for this forum. My general icon is a "The World Famous Writer and his Secretary" screen-grab from "The Peanuts Movie".

(For those who don't know -- can't imagine that in this forum -- the Silver Snoopy is an award given by the NASA Astronaut office to NASA workers who have gone above and beyond in service to the goals and needs of the manned spaceflight mission. I've never worked for NASA.)


And that is why Snoopy is so famous he has done literally everything.
Hail the original JOE COOL

tbzep 04-14-2021 09:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
I hope I won't draw too much shame when I say I am not. But I'm a lifelong fan of Snoopy, and making a Silver Snoopy icon seemed appropriate for this forum. My general icon is a "The World Famous Writer and his Secretary" screen-grab from "The Peanuts Movie".

(For those who don't know -- can't imagine that in this forum -- the Silver Snoopy is an award given by the NASA Astronaut office to NASA workers who have gone above and beyond in service to the goals and needs of the manned spaceflight mission. I've never worked for NASA.)

I had to do a little reading to see when the award began. It seems to have started in 1968, which was before the May 1969 Apollo 10 flight and the reason for my curiosity of its origins. The Apollo 10 command module was named Charlie Brown and the lunar module was named Snoopy. I wonder if the award was on their minds when they named their ships.

TigerHawk 04-14-2021 09:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
I had to do a little reading to see when the award began. It seems to have started in 1968, which was before the May 1969 Apollo 10 flight and the reason for my curiosity of its origins. The Apollo 10 command module was named Charlie Brown and the lunar module was named Snoopy. I wonder if the award was on their minds when they named their ships.


I believe there was a Snoopy stuffed animal that launched and returned with them also.

frognbuff 04-14-2021 01:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobP_in_Nevada
I hope I won't draw too much shame when I say I am not. But I'm a lifelong fan of Snoopy, and making a Silver Snoopy icon seemed appropriate for this forum. My general icon is a "The World Famous Writer and his Secretary" screen-grab from "The Peanuts Movie".

(For those who don't know -- can't imagine that in this forum -- the Silver Snoopy is an award given by the NASA Astronaut office to NASA workers who have gone above and beyond in service to the goals and needs of the manned spaceflight mission. I've never worked for NASA.)


Two employees at ULA received the award for their work on the Commercial Crew program (I was not one of them; they are my colleagues). So, it isn't just for NASA employees - it can go to anybody the Astronaut Office chooses to honor!

LeeR 04-15-2021 04:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
Thanks, Lee. I vaguely remember this now, and see that the micro buttons on the one model I have them on right now are shortened some, but I probably didn't do it as carefully.

I have done one model with the Plastruct H-beam as well. Maybe I need to fly it a little more to get a better feel for how that works (or doesn't) for me.


I finally threw off the blanket and got off the sofa to go find the styrene beam part number — it is snowing again! :( We just got back from Florida, and figured it would be warm here upon our return ...

Anyway, I thought I used Plastruct, but it is Evergreen H-beam #285, so maybe what you used is a better fit? To look for any other possible styrene parts, I have to go to Denver. Sadly, no more hobby stores up north.

BEC 04-15-2021 06:51 PM

It looks like what I bought from Amazon when we were discussing this before (not sure where) was the number #286 Evergeen H-beam. That's what's on the one Nova Payloader that has a couple of lengths of H-beams glued on.

Sunny and mid-70s here today. (sorry....a little)

LeeR 04-15-2021 09:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
It looks like what I bought from Amazon when we were discussing this before (not sure where) was the number #286 Evergeen H-beam. That's what's on the one Nova Payloader that has a couple of lengths of H-beams glued on.

Sunny and mid-70s here today. (sorry....a little)


I’ll have to look at the #286. I do recall that when I bought what I did, there were several sizes and it was somewhat of a guess which one might be the best to use.

We have a couple inches of snow accumulated, but it has slowed down. I have a guy coming to aerate the lawn next Thursday, so I was planning to water the lawn anyway. It just needs to stops snowing in a day or two!

BobP_in_Nevada 04-16-2021 08:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by frognbuff
Two employees at ULA received the award for their work on the Commercial Crew program (I was not one of them; they are my colleagues). So, it isn't just for NASA employees - it can go to anybody the Astronaut Office chooses to honor!


My comment has been edited for more completeness. Thank you!

BobP_in_Nevada 05-16-2021 01:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
I always break mine down so they go back into the storage box.


I'm favoring this approach, but most people can never get a two-piece friction-fit launch rod apart again.

What's your secret? Any special prep or treatment on the pins?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:26 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.