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Multiple Rocket Control Center

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As a long time Boy Scout leader I have found Instructables as a invaluable resource. So here is my first attempt at helping the community with my first instrucable. 

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 http://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
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gwOMeyAVykg
 
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Step 1: Parts List

(5)   RCA Phono Female Jack Plug Solder Type Audio Video Cable             $2.99
(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

KlockworkKevin10 months ago
Awesome Instructable- would definitely come in handy in a water bottle rocket contest so rockets could be launched closely and you wouldn't have to worry about the wind picking up between launches and messing with the results. Great Work!
The pest part is there is no longer boys who do not get to launch there rocket as many time as they want in the time allowed we can now really cycle through the rockets

great instructable would you be able to upload a schematic for all the wires with where all they go labeled similar to how some car maintenance books are set up? thanks.

jng110 months ago
How do you use normal batteries directly into sprinkler valves. The sprinkler valves input is 12VAC power but batteries output DC
KoolAide jng17 months ago
Sprinkler valves (or Irrigation Control Vales) are 24 VDC. I have built several different launchers using them. I like to use 4- 6 volt batteries. The big brick ones.
Hi Man,

Very nice project, much more professional than others i've seen;
especially with the printed stickers!

Just wondering if you could post a proper schematic to help me (and many others for sure) with the build.

All in all a very good project - I will be doing it shortly.

Thanks -
TheAppleSauceMan
jgtedtow10 months ago
That's so awesome!
Nicks8110 months ago
Awesome instructions, well done. Functional, simple and very clear
ak47freak10 months ago
Very nice! i may make some thing like this but smaller maybe in a "just bigger than your pocket" tacklebox.
Where did you get the key switch from? I need a few for some projects i'm working on and i cant find any near me that aren't $15+.
Springville Johnson (author)  ak47freak10 months ago
I got them from Ebay
Lectric Wizard10 months ago
Very well done project & Instructable !!!! Glad to see that key switch. It is a vital part of any "pyro" system. Thanks for sharing you good work.
TheGeek198410 months ago
Great 'ible, just an fyi, in an easy way to get heat shrink on a wire that is connected at both ends is by a process we call 'jeweling' where I work. Whatever needs to be on the wire is slipped on beforehand. Just thought you'd like to know for next time. Great build!
Springville Johnson (author)  TheGeek198410 months ago
Thanks for the comment. I believe that you are referring to my note on the red wire. that you can not place heat shrink where it connects to the switch. the reason you can not get heat shrink at this location is that the "U" shape of the diode is too small and the heat shrink "shrinks" when you try to solder it on.
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