Introduction: Pyro Rocket Metal Launch Pad for Less Than $20

About: I studied Electrical Engineering and a lot of other things. I'm always driven by my passions. Please visit also my Youtube channel.

Welcome to my "ible" #38.

In the recent past I've already built a modular system, that allows you to use the PVC water rocket launch pad,

with pyro rockets...

Well, let me say pyro rockets are a bit more "unpredictable" (aka the solid fuel motors reach temperatures up to 1,000 Celsius degrees), therefore I've decided to have a dedicated launch pad, made of metal. Browsing on Internet, I've seen the cost of the original one (made by Estes Rockets), would be around £17, therefore I thought: "Can I build a better product (made entirely of metal), with the same amount of money?"

Well, the answer was... YES!!!

Anyway, for this Instructable you need...

1x Christmas Tree stand 35cm (£5.56)

1x Saucepan Steel Lid - aka blast deflector (£3.95)

Be sure the metal is stainless steel, otherwise your rocket motor will burn a hole in it.

1x Screwed spacer sleeve Internal thread M5 20mm hexagonal (£3.50)

1x 4mmx100mm Steel Rod (£2.79)

12x Zipties (£1)

4x Tent Pegs (£1)

2x Electrical connectors

A Drill (Please use safety glasses)

A 4mm drill bit for metal

A Punch hole/graving tool (to mark the points you have to drill)

A Caliper

Step 1: ​Attaching the Zip Ties to the Legs of the Stand

You basically need to create an eyelet (using 3 zipties), to slide the tent peg in.

Repeat the same operation for the 4 legs.

In this way the launch pad will be firmly attach to the ground, during the launch.

Step 2: Removing the Knob From the Lid and Screwing It to the Sleeve

Unscrew the knob from the lid and attach it to the M5 sleeve.

Once you have done that, you can slide the lid into the Christmas Tree stand, securing it using 3 thumb screws.

Step 3: Put Your Pyro Rocket on the Blast Deflector

I want to launch my Rocket Drone

using this launch pad...

therefore I have to put the steel rod (rail for the Rocket Drone), at the right distance, in order to have my Rocket Drone at the centre of the blast deflector.

I've marked the point (I will later drill), using my punch hole/graving tool.

The alignement of the rod has to be accurate as much as possible, because the perfect orientation of the rail "guarantees" a straight trajectory of the rocket.

Looking through the launch lugs, you should have a perfect alignement with the point marked on the blast deflector.

Step 4: Drilling the Stand and the Lid

Once you have done that, you have to drill the stand.

Using a caliper, take the measurement from the centre of the lid, to the hole and try to transfer the same distance to the stand.

Firstly use a permanent marker, once you have checked the alignement, you can use again the graving tool, to mark the point you will later drill.

When you are using the drill, please use safety glasses and be sure to be away from flammable things (like your carpet). The steel removed during the drilling phase, can become very hot.

Step 5: Attaching the Rod (Rail)

Slide the rod into the stand and the lid (from the bottom), securing it using 2 electrical connectors.

In this way the launch pad will be ready in seconds.

Step 6: 3,2,1... Ignition!

If you need to build the controller, that allows you to launch your pyro rockets, the "ible" is available here...

Before launching your rockets, please be always sure the launch pad is fixed to the ground (using 4 tent pegs).

Have fun and be safe!

Please follow the model rocket safety code, as model rockets may be very dangerous if used inappropriately.

Step 7: Upgrade - Adding the RC Mini Smoke Machine

Following the instructions of my previous 'ible'

You can build a mini smoke machine that simulates the condensation of Liquid Oxygen, before the launch of the rocket.

As you can see, I've attached the remote control to the launcher (which has been scratch built as well).

In this way, I'm able to control the smoke machine remotely, adding the smoke effect to my model rocket, before launch.

Using a piece of 5mm Correx, I've built the base I attached to the launcher, using 4 zip ties.

Using a 20cm piece of pvc hose, I've made an extension that directs the smoke to the fuselage of the model rocket.

The final effect is very good, isn't it?

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