Launch Controllers

For launching by myself I made my own launch controller. NAR rules specify that for E power you must be at least 50′ away from the model and must have an electrically powered controller with a temporary on launch switch, and an arming switch or safe plug. I bought some heavy electrical cord from Home depot 55′ long, then got a heavy duty push button horn automotive button from NAPA auto parts. I wired an inline fuse holder that takes automotive blade fuses and installed a 3 amp fuse. The fuse is the arming switch. For power I used an older 3s 2100 mah lipo battery I had from RC airplanes. This puts out enough power that even when it is in storage mode(80% charged) it still puts out enough power to light aerotech igniters so you don’t really need to charge it much at all. Maybe once or twice a year to storage capacity only not even a full charge and I fly a LOT!. I like the particular horn switch I chose because it has a box attached that I could mount velcro to and put some velcro on the side of the transmitter near my left thumb. That way I can attach the switch to the transmitter and hit the button while still holding the transmitter for flying. I mounted the battery connection about 6′ from the button end so that when I’m holding the transmitter I’m not having to hold on to the battery weight, it can sit on the ground. You can also mount the battery near the launch pad and attach it to the launch pad leg with velcro. I also put a 3 prong electrical plug in line with the launch wires near the pad end, that way I can simply insert any length of extension cord and get extra distance from the pad!. On the end of the wires I solder a big blob of solder to make a ball. When I hook up my igniters, I simply wrap the igniter several times around the wires to the rear of the solder ball, it gives something for the igniter to pull against and ensures contact with the wire even when pulled on slightly. The solder ball will not corrode or rust and in over 1500 launches I’ve not had one misfire. Once connected to the horn button I wrapped the exposed connections with electrical tape to avoid any chance of shorting if dropped in wet grass, etc.

Components used:

Lamp Cord

Fuse holder

Horn buton

3 prong recepticle

3 prong plug: