On a cold January morning in 2008 my wife and I arrived at a remote launch site on a high plane 30 miles west of home. The site is a 50 minute drive from our city. I had carefully prepared a new rocket for this launch. I had a 38mm RMS "I" motor. After greeting the rocketeers on site I set about assembling the motor and putting fresh battery in my e-bay to power the deployment altimeter.
When everything was ready I asked who brought the launch controller. Randy had the launch pad, but said Jay had the controller and we could see that Jay had not made it to this launch. Harrison of the North had a good controller too, but he was not coming.
We are a resourceful people, so we started to cobble together a remote hookup from parts on hand. By the time we had something workable it was obvious I would need to launch from about 30 ft from my rocket. This was not a safe distance.
I was so annoyed that I missed arming my altimeter and we all watched as my new rocket plunged into the ground several hundred feet down range.
Gloria and I resolved to build our own launch controller so that we would never face that situation again. Over the next few weeks I spend way too much money building a controller and launch pad, but they worked well and are still working well to this day.
We have built several launch controllers since, and these have been embraced by NAR and TRA groups in our area. We decided it is time to share our passion. It's not easy finding quality launch equipment, and most of us are not interested in building a controller from scratch. This is the origin of IMPLS Launch Systems.