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-   -   MythBusters Drill Battery Launcher (http://www.oldrocketforum.com/showthread.php?t=8470)

DeanHFox 01-20-2011 06:31 AM

MythBusters Drill Battery Launcher
 
Does anybody have plans for creating a 12v drill battery launcher as seen on Mythbusters last night? Looks like a nice approach for schoolyard launches (compact & very easily held).

Just curious, thanks!

ghrocketman 01-20-2011 08:16 AM

I dont have any plans for this either, but found it VERY interesting.
Thought their E9 "skyrockets" with 8 large nuts they were launching were IDIOTIC.
They should have used motors with some REAL kick like an E30.

BEC 01-20-2011 08:46 AM

I wondered about that launch controller as well. As you say, compact and effective.

gpoehlein 01-20-2011 08:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
I dont have any plans for this either, but found it VERY interesting.
Thought their E9 "skyrockets" with 8 large nuts they were launching were IDIOTIC.
They should have used motors with some REAL kick like an E30.


Actually, that would have defeated the purpose of the myth - an E30 would NOT simulate fireworks rockets like the BP E9 does. And remember that the nuts glued to the top were to find out experimentally how much weight an E9 would lift (although they really could have just looked in the Estes catalog for that info, but that wouldn't be very photogenic).

I agree that the rechargable power pack was an interesting power source for a launcher - But I just use a rechargable jump pack for the car for launches when needed. It too recharges with a wall wart, and can serve double duty in my car for inclement weather.

Greg

DeanHFox 01-20-2011 09:34 AM

Greg, I like the jump start power pack idea, too...I confess that I have an ulterior motive on the MythBusters controller...it just LOOKED SO COOL. I soooo want to whip one of those out at a launch. :)

Swampworks 02-04-2011 07:58 AM

I actually used to used a drill battry for my launch system. My biggest problem was designing a connector that fit to the contact locations. The batteries I had all had recessed contacts and you can't just use a large alligator clip because the contacts were opposing each other. I ended up using a block of wood drilled out to accept the shape of the insert on the battery and mounted some brass coiled strips that would "uncoil" to reach the contacts. It worked fine but I eventually switched over to a "jump start" pack.

rockets4kids 02-04-2011 11:23 AM

It is interesting to watch how the cordless drill battery launchers on Mythbusters have evolved over the years. I recall an early episode where they simply touched bare wires to the contacts. In fact, my current launcher is nothing more than a drill batery and a 100 foot extension cord with the ends chopped off. I didn't even have to chop off the ends as my neighbor did that for me with his lawnmower. I just pulled it out of his trash can.

However, I am not sure that a cordless drill battery is the best way to go. I have reason to believe that the high current draw during launch, even as short as it is, may dramatically reduce the lifespan of your cordless drill batteries. I had two batteries that held a charge quite well at the beginning of a launch season and were completely dead by the end.

Given the cost to replace cordless drill battery packs vs. the cost of a small SLA battery and charger, this is certainly something worth considering.


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