This idea was born out of a frustration from last year. I was a Scout Master on a National Youth Leadership Training course and I felt that it took to long to launch multiple 2 liter soda bottle water rockets. So I started to look for launchers that could launch several rockets at once but I did not find what I wanted. After searching the internet I found inspiration from several sources and designed the RPL (Rocket Propulsion Laboratory) a multiple rocket launch control center. Not only can you launch water rockets but paper and solid engine rockets as well.
I designed it with lots of lights and switches that get the boys intrigued and relay involved. The launcher I use is located here https://www.instructables.com/id/paper-and-pop-bottle-rocket-launcher/
Here is a video of 4 rockets launching at the same time
Here is a Video from this years Timberline NYLT course with our final launch
Step 1: Parts List
(10) 5mm LED light Holder with Chrome Housing $3.00
(1) RED Momentary Push-Button Switch Off-(On) $1.85
(6) RCA Jacks Female Panel Mount Adapter $2.59
(1) Red 12V 20A Car Auto Cover LED SPST Toggle Rocker Switch $2.68
(5) AC 125V 6A ON/OFF/ON 3 Position DPDT 6 Pins Toggle Switch $7.95
(10) Dual Color Led 5mm Green & Red Common Cathode
(1) Electric Key switch Power On Off lock unlock 2 keys $1.28
(5) 25' RCA Cable
(6) Restiors 470-Ohm 1/4 watt
(5) Rectifier Diode 600V
1 Tool Box
1 1/4-1/2" thick scrap plywood
Step 2: Remove Bottom of the Tool Tray
I used a box knife to remove the bottom with some effort on the corners.
Step 3: Trace the Outline of the Tool Tray
Cut out the plywood on the line, I used my Dewalt Scroll saw
Paint the top of the board I sanded with 120 grit sanding sponge between coats.
Step 4: Print the Sticker
I went to the print shop and was able to print just one sheet.
Cut out the individual stickers from the sheet and place them where you want on the plywood
Step 5: Drill Holes
I fixed this on the PDF so you will not have this problem.
After the Pilot holes are drilled flip the board over and drill counter sink holes I used a 1 1/4" Forstner bit this is needed as the hardware is designed to go into thin metal panels and with out the counter sink you will not be able to attach the hardware securely .
Step 6: Drill Holes for the Hardware
Remove the nuts and washers from the toggle hardware so you can see if it will fit with the thickness remaining in the plywood
if you can attach the hardware you are good
When I attempted to attach the momentary switch I needed to drill the counter sink deeper so that I could fasten the nut and lock washer
With the toggle switch make sure you pay attention to the direction of the on and off direction I screwed up and did not. You can see that I needed to add a third counter sink.
Step 7: Install Hardware
You can see the extra holes that I needed to add by the Key Switch so I could tighten the nut.
Step 8: Add Hardware to the Tool Box
When fasting the hardware make sure that the cup on the center post is up it will make the soldering much easier.
Step 9: White Wire
Place heat shrink over every solder point as there is very little room for error.
I found that it was a real pain to try and hold two wires and solder them to the switch. I found a trick that I will show you in the next step.
Step 10: Black Wire
first tin each wire place a small amount of solder on the wire and the connector pin. This because the hardware is designed for plugs and not solder
the second trick is where you a jumping from one pin to the next. Striped 3/4" of the insulation at the location of the next pin bent the wire into a U shape and tinned. This allow me to manage one wire and not two or more,
Step 11: Red/Green LED
A resistor needs to be installed on the center wire of the LED. I soldered the resistor on and then placed a piece of heat shrink over the joint.
I needed to have a way to hold the LED and the wire, I found that By placing the LED in the holder I could solder and hold the resistor with needle nose pliers as it gets very hot.
After all 5 were completed soldered the black wire to the center and placed heat shrink over the entire exposed area. now determine which side is red and which is green of the LED. I used a 9v battery and some short leads to figure this out.
Step 12: Finish Black Wire
there is also the wire from the red LED and the final wire goes to the right side of the of the Red/Green LED located directly next to the switch. Tin all the Wires and the switch pin and then solder the wires together and then solder the big bundle of wires to the pin.
Step 13: Sorry
Step 14: Red Wire
Step 15: Green Wire
Step 16: Blue Wire
Step 17: The Power
Step 18: Update 1.1
Step 19: Some Helpful Hints
The boys are really into launching rockets and like to run up to place there rocket on a launcher. This results in them tripping on the RCA cable and unplugging it from the system.
Here is where I have some suggestions. I placed 4 traffic cones out side of the launchers and the control center and placed caution tape between the cones, forcing the Scouts to walk on the outside of the area and placing there rocket on the launcher away from the cables. I also covered the connections with the launcher with electrical tape providing protection from water and being pulled out and unplugged.
I made a Logo I printed them on White and Clear Stickers for the launcher and the Control Center.
I will continue to update as I learn new things.
Step 20: Estes Rocket Adaptor
1 RCA female adapter
6" Red wire
6" Black wire
2 Alligator clips