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  #11  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:14 PM
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tbzep tbzep is offline
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At home, 36" two piece aluminum 1/8" and 3/16". I never take them apart, but I did sand them ever so slightly at the joining ends to prevent a lip that the lugs could hit.

For my rack launcher used at schools, it's 1/8" x 36" steel one piece rods. I just wipe them and coat them with grease so they won't rust for the next year's launches.

When I did HPR it was usually 1/4" x 4' and 1/2" x 5.5' or 6' stainless. I still have them, but haven't flown HPR in a long time. For my largest rockets, I used my buddy's big rail pad. It was probably 8 or 10 ft long. I don't remember now.

Just FYI, a lot of the 1/8" Estes rods in more recent times are only about 32" long.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:21 PM
samb samb is offline
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b)

4 foot lengths of 1/8th and 3/16th steel rods are readily available at my favorite big box home improvement store. No joint to fail and a extra foot of guidance are my reasons. Get a small diameter pvc pipe with some end caps for storage, clean with a scotch brite pad after each use and you have a lifetime of launches.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:31 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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For anyone who has never tried stainless for their launch rods, give it a try sometime. I think once you do, you'll never want to go back to steel. Of course, it is a little more expensive, but cleanup is well, basically a one-wipe deal. Actually, not even that if you don't want to.

Earl
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:45 PM
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Joe Wooten Joe Wooten is offline
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1/8" - ~24" brass welding rod
3/16 - 4' aluminum that came with Old Estes high power pad
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2021, 03:53 PM
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Bluegrass Rocket Bluegrass Rocket is offline
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I only fly low power on my own and for several years I have used a 40” carbon fiber rod. Purchased at the local hobby store. Light weight and doesn’t bend.
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2021, 04:23 PM
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SEL SEL is offline
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I have a couple each of the 2-piece 1/8 & 3/16 Estes rods,
A few single length 3 foot 3/16”, a 4 foot 1/4”, a two piece 6 foot
1/4” rod that I bought from North Coast years ago, and 2 or 3 6 foot
1/4” “stainless” that aren’t.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2021, 04:44 PM
Neal Miller Neal Miller is offline
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Granger, sells 72" X 1/8" Stainless Steel. A quick cut with the Dremel tool and you have 2
great 36" launch rods. I chuck the rod into a 1/4-20 collar that screws on to my Bi-pod , I keep all my rods in a PVC tube capped on the bottom and threaded end cap on the top.
I have 4 & 6 MM X 1 meter Stainless Steel Welding rods to use as 3/16"and 1/4" rods.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2021, 05:30 PM
shockwaveriderz shockwaveriderz is offline
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I hope to be able to try out a 1/8" , one piece 4 ft pultruded carbon fiber tube that has a .072" carbon fiber rod epoxied internally. If it ever gets here from CA. Was ordered a month ago, and it's in USPS in Bakersfield CA
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2021, 06:27 PM
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Most of the low power I fly comes out of towers.

Still my favorite is my old Medalist tower. Very flexible, but doesn't travel well. Hopefully someone will make them again some day.

For FAI flying I use one of several home made 40mm towers. The one in the photo uses single piece aluminum tubes but I've switched to aluminum tent poles. Shorter pieces so they travel more easily but two of them stacked are longer than the aluminum poles.

For my yearly flying out in Arizona I have an Apogee tower which I store at my Mom's. Very nice tower with carbon fiber rods. Really easy to change diameters, works great.

Finally, for low- or mid-power egglofters I've recently started flying off a rail using Apogee's fly-away rail guides. Egg lofters are kind of a pain to fly out of towers so this is a great improvement. Absolutely wonderful.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2021, 06:38 PM
Blastfromthepast Blastfromthepast is offline
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I've always used a single piece rod for LPR.. 1/8 and 3/16. For boost gliders I use a 1 piece 48" rod. It's long enough to accommodate front engine gliders while still having at least 36" travel length. I've also got a launcher for my Carlisle Mark II Rock-A-Chute replica that uses a 5/16" wood dowel.
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