The RL-1 is a custom design that was developed to add certainty to the ignition process of launching model rockets. There are two modular devices connected by a standard 3.5mm, 3 conductor wire. Each modular device is described as TX and RX.


  • The RL-1 TX is the hand held unit with the red rubber boot. It provides a 10 second countdown visible through multi-colored LED’s.


  • The operator must begin the countdown sequence by momentarily pressing the WHITE reset button.


  • After “RESET”, the operator initiates the launch sequence by holding down the RED countdown switch for the duration of the 10 second count. If the button is released for any reason, the count is disabled, the counter resets to TEN and the button must be engaged again the start the countdown.


  • The RL-1 TX stops the count at the end of the countdown cycle and initializes an activation signal that is transmitted to the RL-1 RX (receiver unit) thru the 3-conductor wire.


  • The activation signal initiates a timing circuit in the RX module that is configured for a 3-5 second period. Once the circuit is enabled, the solid state relay engages the battery to the rocket engine contact leads. The BLUE LED in the RX unit is lighted for this time period.


  • At the end of the 3-5 second period the circuit is disabled, making it safe to approach the launch pad (the BLUE LED in the RX unit turns off).


  • To begin the the launch sequence again, connect the ignition wires to a fresh rocket engine, momentarily press the WHITE RESET button and then start the countdown again by pressing and holding the RED button.


  • A depleted charge on any internal battery will result in erratic operation. The countdown sequence will skip, and the launch circuit may not engage, or may not engage fully. Always keep fresh batteries available during launch activities.


  • The RL-1 TX device operates on a single 9-Volt battery.


  • The RL-1 RX device contains TWO CR-123 batteries for the ignition process. It also contains a switch.


  • The switch enables the internal batteries in the down position. In the UP switch position, an external battery may be used.


  • The external battery connects to the +(red) and – (black) binding posts.


  • The external battery circuit was designed using a rechargeable 7.2 volt RC battery and a rechargeable 12 volt lead acid battery typically found in a uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).


  • The BLUE cable that is installed on the RL-1RX to the launch pad are copper wires within a special insulating material allowing the cable to remain flexible in very cold weather launch environments.



  • The proper hook-up sequence to the rocket engine uses the following steps.
  • Failure to follow these steps could result in an unwanted ignition and personal injury;


  1. Connect the 3.5mm cable between the RL-1 TX and the RL-1 RX units.
  2. Turn the RL-1 TX unit ON.
  3. Press the WHITE reset button on the RL-1 TX unit.
  4. Make certain that the BLUE LED in the RX unit is OFF.
  5. Connect the ignition leads to the rocket engine.
  6. Move to a safe distance prior to starting the launch sequence.


Safety Note: if using an external battery, do not reverse the polarity of the battery inputs. Damage could result to the ignition components and may render the RX unit in-operable.


Observe battery polarity indicators when installing fresh CR-123 batteries inside the RX unit.


Safety Note: it is the users responsibility to operate the launcher in a safe area away from dry brush, debris, homes, airports and flight paths, roads, children’s playgrounds, forested areas, etc.


It is NOT recommended, NOT necessary, to use a 12 volt automotive battery.


The latest project is the "STROBE". This device is small enough to place inside a rocket that has a clear tube container built into the nose of the rocket. It simply flashes white LED's that are placed on either side of the circuit board. The strobe effect is visible from a fair distance to aid in tracking the rocket in the event line of sight is lost at any point during the launch. The additional clear tube container provides a method of displaying the strobe at the launch pad.

The device is powered by TWO - 3volt (CR1025) lithium coin batteries.