Art Applewhite Rockets - From Deep in the Heart of Texas
   The Forte' Launch Controller
Simple, Safe, Reliable and Compact
This is not a kit, it comes completely assembled
The Forte' Launch Controller with covers closed
The Forte' Launch Controller in launch configuration with internal battery
User's Manual in PDF format
Includes Pad Cables for 4 pads, 2 - 50 foot, 14 ga. extension cables and 8 stainless steel alligator clips

Includes Pad cables for 4 pads,2 - 25 foot, 14 ga. extension cables and 8 Chrome-plated alligator clips

Includes Pad Cables for 4 pads and 8 Chrome-plated alligator clips but no extension cables, these are available locally for less than the cost of shipping.

Note: Due to shipping restrictions the battery can not included but is readily available from any Wal-mart or auto supply store.
The Forte' - Simple, Safe, Reliable and Compact. A self-contained, four-pad launch controller in a rugged, water-resistant, polypropylene case.  These launch controllers are ideal for rocket clubs, TARC teams, Junior ROTC corps, and Scout troops that need a durable and reliable launch system. 

The control panel has a water resistant snap down cover.  The generous 12" x 6" x 8" internal space allows room to store cords, accessories and a 12 volt lead acid, riding lawn mower battery (not included).  All electrical components, including switches, connectors and wiring, are rated at 15 amps or higher.  All 4 pad positions are individually selectable.  The controller is capable of 4 simultaneous launches (drag race) or cluster motor ignitions.  The built-in continuity tester draws a maximum of 10 milliamps and is safe for all igniters including ematches.  The continuity tester operates whenever a pad is selected and continuity exists.  Its 2700 Hertz, 75 decibel tone provides an unambiguous indication that can be heard over a wide area to indicate that the pad is armed. The heavy-duty launch button is removable and serves as the safety interlock to prevent accidental launches. 

Included with all versions of the Forte' launch controller are:
1. A 3 foot power supply cord with 50 amp alligator clips for connection to either an internal or external 12 volt power supply (battery). 
2. Hand-held, push-button launch switch rated at 20 amps with a 3 foot connecting cord.  The launch switch is housed in a water resistant casing and protected with a weatherproof rubber boot. 
3. Two pairs of pad cables with commercial-grade, solder-less banana plugs, 8 alligator clips and Velcro cord ties.

The only thing you need to add is a 12 volt power supply (battery) and extension cables for the Economy version only.   Both of these items are available at Walmart and elsewhere at a cost of less than I can get them and ship them.   Parts which require periodic replacement such as pad cables and alligator clips are also available separately (See below).

Note: This controller has it's limitations.  It is designed primarily for model rockets but may also be used for high power rockets provided care is taken to ensure enough current reaches the pad to ignite the motor when long cables are used.  Extension cables should be of high quality, 14 or 12 gauge wires.  16 gauge extension cables should only be used for distances of 25 feet or less.

Click on pictures to enlarge
The Controls
Top row - Pad select switches
Left - Continuity and Launch button connector
 Right - Pad cable connections

Hooked up
The controller configured for a launch with internal battery
The Battery (Not included)
fits inside the controller's box
                    Battery connection
Internal Battery connections
50 amp clamps


The Launch Button
(included with all versions)
The Pad
                    cables (two sets required)
The Pad Cables
(2 pairs, enough for 4 individual pads
included with all versions)

Large 12" x 6" x 8" interior storage space

Recommended Batteries
(one required, but not included)
Left - Auto Zone, Right - Wal-Mart
50 foot extension cable
25', 3 wire 14 ga. Extension Cable
The color and style may vary slightly
(2 included with Standard set)
                    foot extension cable
50", 3 wire, 14 ga. Extension Cable
The color and style may vary slightly
(2 included in Deluxe set)
Chrome Aligator Clips
Nickel plated alligator clips
(8 included with Standard and Economy sets)
Stainless Steel Aligator Clips
Stainless Steel Alligator Clips
Will last a lifetime
(8 included with the Deluxe set)

Replacement Parts
Launch Button $25 each
Pad Cables - $20 per pair
For 2 individual launch pads, two pair are required for 4 pads
Nickel-plated Alligator clips $1 per pair
with care these will last a couple of years
Stainless Steel Alligator Clips $2 per pair
with occasional cleaning these will last many years
25 foot, 14 ga, 3 wire extension cord $25 each
You can usually get these cheaper at your local Wal-Mart but if you can't you are welcome to buy them here.
50 foot, 14 ga. 3 wire extension cord $45 each
You can usually get these cheaper at your local Wal-Mart but if you can't you are welcome to buy them here.
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Art Applewhite Rockets
Copyright 2011