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Water Rockets!


East Texas Active Deployment System
Parachute Tube
Prelimenary results of the parachute tube
Secondary results of Parachute Tube testing
Related Links
Contact Me

My Launchers
You need a reliable launcher or too much time will be wasted in the field fiddling with it. Here are a couple that have worked well for me:


I started out with an "Americanized" duplication of Ian Clark's original Cable Tie Launcher (see link below,) using plans compiled by Bruce Berggren and posted on his Water Rocket Garage web site (see link below.) I suggest you start with one of these launchers as well, because it is simple, all parts are available at the local hardware/plumbing center, it is cheap, fast to complete, and it works amazingly well! Bruce has detailed construction drawings and a parts list so you can print it out, go to the store, and then build your first launcher in an hour or two.
Ian is in the UK, and I asked him if he ever dreamed the cable tie launcher would come into "world-wide" use.
Ian replied: "I was rather shocked at the reaction to the launcher though, obviously, it filled a need, and certainly it worked far better for me than any of the other methods I had tried. A lot of others must have had the same problems."
I will not go into much detail here about building my first launcher, as Bruce has done such an excellent job posting his construction plans. Just look for areas to make minor improvements, such as using a hose clamp to help hold the cable ties, and freely adapt it to the materials available to you. There is really only the o-ring seal size and placement and the launch tube dimensions that are critical, the rest is open to experimentation and adaptation.

Click here to visit Ian Clark's Web Page detailing the original Cable Tie Launcher.

Click here to enter Bruce Berggren's Water Rocket Garage launcher instruction page.



This is the second launcher I built. It incorporates several features I wanted in my second launcher. I wanted to have the capability to launch many different types of rockets. This is why there are two launchers - one for open mouth rockets, the other for reduced nozzle rockets. The launch heads are 36" above the launch platform to allow launching of rockets with trailing fins on struts. The launcher assemblies are free of hoses, etc so that cylindrical fins can be used. The launchers can be tilted to compenate for wind or for an intentional trajectory launch. The launcher platform is water-proof and stable. The launcher incorporates a safety release you can pull remotely to release pressure. Several check valves are used to keep air and water where I want them. There is a port that will allow an air pressure resorvoir to be connected, to see if it aids launching larger rockets. This launcher was designed to incorporate an air cylinder to release the rockets. I am using the manual release while I hunt for parts needed for the remote air control circuit. Pressure is courtesy of a 12v compressor for now - A SCUBA tank setup is planned.

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