Here's why this launch controller deserves to be in your box that you take with you when you launch rockets. First, it allows you to get really far away from the rocket if you want. The secure radio-link from the transmitter to the receiver out at the pad can operate up to 550 feet away. That's about 1-1/2 football fields in distance away. This makes it great for mid-and high-power launchers, where the safety code states you need to be further back.
Second, think of the convenience of only taking out a little box, about the size of an alarm clock, to the range. No more lugging out long cords or heavy batteries. It makes it easy to make a quick trip out to the launch range when you get the urge to put up a sky-ripping launch on a pleasant summer day. And just think about NEVER having to untangle a long spool of wire again. Can you picture how much easier it will be on setting up and tearing down the range?
And on top of those benefits, this controller is inexpensive; so your wallet can take a rest too. Why is it such a bargain? Well, considering the cost of copper in wires, (and this really doesn't have that much), it greatly cuts down on the price of the unit. Plus, you don't have to bring out a big heavy car battery to the field with you.
In addition to that, there are actually two channels in this controller. That means you can launch two rockets in quick succession. It doesn't have enough power to do two at once, but you can do one right after the first one takes off. It only uses 4 'AA" batteries after all.
It was originally designed for people that make amateur fireworks, so they could quickly go out and test a new shell design. But it still has launch-controller features.
For example, you can perform a continuity check of your starter. When you insert or hook-up a starter, the appropriate channel LED lights up brighter, indicating good continuity. And you can do this yourself while you are still at the pad without calling back to the range-head to see if you have a good connection. After you perform your continuity check, you're ready to launch.
Why might you not like this controller? Here are a few of the concerns that you should consider to tell if this is right for you:
First, the unit doesn't include a removable safety key. This is not something that you want to give younger children, because you can't control what they might do while you're not looking. It does include a sliding cover that must be opened prior to pushing the launch button, but since it lacks a removable key, it should be handled with caution. The launch transmitter is very small, about the size of a key chain remote. So you can simply keep it in your pocket so that younger modelers don't have access to it and start pushing buttons before you're ready to launch.
Second, there are no alligator clips to which you can hook up your rocket. You'll need to purchase the ones below or supply your own. Sorry… that is the way it comes from the manufacturer. If you have an old controller from a different launch system, you can simply cut off a small length of wire and the clips (less than 3 feet should be sufficient), and that can be inserted into the receiver box. Similarly, some starters, like e-matches have very long leads that can be inserted directly into the receiver box. Actually, doing that saves you the hassle of worrying whether the clips are clean and good contact is being made to the starter.
The third concern is that this controller does not work with Aerotech starters and Estes starters are not guaranteed to work. It only works with starters that have a small bridge-wire in the tip of the starter. It does work with Quest Q2G2 and ematches that come with many high-power motors. The reason it doesn't work with Aerotech copperheads or First-Fire starters is that they use graphite in the pyrogen to complete the circuit. It doesn't heat up fast enough, so it doesn't initiate a quick ignition of the pyrogen. This controller is digital, and pulses the electricity through the starter; so the graphite never really has a chance to heat up like a regular nichrome starter. With some models that were shipped, the Estes starters may not work either.
But the controller adds a level of safety to the range that you might not really think about. There are no wires leading to the launch pad, so there is no tripping hazard to worry about when there are spectators at the launch!
Finally, if you are into photographing your rockets, getting further back allows you to get a better view of the lift-off, so your pictures will turn out better!
*May work with Estes starters, but due to a change in the electronics, this is not guaranteed. We recommend using the Quest Q2G2 starters
If you are the person that likes to go out and have quick launches because the weather is often iffy in your location, this set-up is awesome. It allows you to take your whole family out to the range quickly without a lot of planning and preparation.
And speaking of "set-up and tear down," the time it takes is now only controlled by how fast you can set up the launch pad. The controller is ready to go at instant's notice. You can even attach the receiver box right to the pad to make set-up even faster! You don't have to unravel launch controller wires and walk back and forth to the pad to make sure everything is ready
That makes this a great accessory to have.
It can also be used as a back-up system at a club launch. Sure it only has a 9V battery and not enough juice to launch a cluster of motors; but how many times have you had to wait to launch because the main battery at the rangehead had to be changed out? Right. It happens all the time. This device is a good back-up system that is cheap insurance.
The Wireless Launch controller is a simple device that has a lot of advantages. Since we have to import them from Canada, please be aware that we may be on back-order every now and then. If you see them in stock, we recommend you buy immediately. Otherwise you may have to wait; these will be a quick-selling item.
To see how to use the Wireless Launch Controller, as well as answer the questions on what starters you're able to use, please watch the video below.
The launch controller supplies electricity to the starter that fires off the rocket engines. NEVER use a match and fuse to launch a rocket. A rocket is always ignited electrically so that you have control when a rocket takes to the air. I can't tell you the number of times that I've had to abort a launch at the last second because we heard a aircraft flying around. We had to know where the aircraft was in order to avoid a safety hazard. You can't do that with a fuse.
This 2 channel unit uses secure coded transmission at a frequency of 315 MHZ and will fire to a distance of 250 meters / 820 feet. These units offer a test & fire mode switch and low battery indicator. The power supply is 4 standard 'AA' batteries for the receiver and 1 / A23 / 12 volt battery for the remote. These systems are durable, reliable and fire from a good distance.
This Launch Controller Will Set Off These Starters:
- Estes Standard Starters (used on Black Powder motors) - NOTE: This is NOT guaranteed and we won't replace the unit if it doesn't work. Why? Because the resistance values on these starters varies greatly.
- Estes Sonic Ingiters (for small composite motors) - NOTE: This is NOT guaranteed and we won't replace the unit if it doesn't work. Why? Because the resistance values on these starters varies greatly.
- Quest Q2G2 Standard-Length Starters (for Black Powder motors)
- Quest Q2G2 Long-Lead Starters (for Black Powder motors)
- Cesaroni starters
If you are in doubt, fire off an starter. Right? You aren't going to say you can't waste the money burning the starter, are you? You might as well say you aren't going to take safety precautions either.
Q. Can it be modified to fire off Aerotech Copperhead or First-Fire starters?
A. No. It is a digital system, so you'd have to really gut the system to modify it to work. You might as well design your own controller if you want to do that. There are lots of other plans available on the Internet (check a search engine for yourself).
Q. Can it be used to as a back-up controller for in-flight deployments of parachutes?
A. Not really. The receiver is about the size of a nightstand alarm clock. That makes it rather bulky to fit into a rocket
Q. I lost my transmitter unit. Can I get another one?
A. Unfortunately, each transmitter is keyed to a specific receiver with a special code. This prevents one transmitter from interfering with someone else's receiver. This coding is done at the factory, and we cannot change it here. Basically, what this means is that if you lose the small transmitter, you'll have to replace the entire system with a new one. Sorry.
A. No. You'll need to purchase the launch pad separately. Since this controller can use only smaller starters and thus smaller motors, we recommend the Sky Launch System for those kits.
Random Selected Reviews:
it is a great system to have.
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