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Thread: WilsonFX

  1. #1
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
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    Glennville, GA
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    17,711

    WilsonFX

    Anybody ever bought one of these systems? They look promising. He does not appear to answer emails, but the site is in development.

    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Retired Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    20th February 2009
    Location
    Cayuga, Indiana
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    12,460
    I believe this is the new system that Tripoli Indiana will be using at Thunderstruck this year. Gus P. would know the details/specs that led to purchase.

    Last edited by dixontj93060; 2nd February 2012 at 04:01 PM.
    L3, TRA #11847
    Tripoli Indiana #132
    Tripoli Central Illinois #59
    Central Illinois Aerospace (NAR) #527
    Chicago Rocket Mafia, "Big Bucks" Dixon
    ___________________________________

    Quiet little voices creep into my head. -- We Were Promised Jetpacks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    25th August 2009
    Location
    Carol Stream
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    2,949
    QCRS uses Wilson F/X systems and we have great luck with them. They are top notch as far as quality goes. Let me know if you still have trouble getting a hold of Brad. I will get you in touch with him.
    L3-TRA 12636
    QCRS BOD/Prefect. Princeton, IL
    TWA Bong, WI
    Chicago Rocket Mafia "The Hot Tub"
    Public Enemy Aerospace
    Beep-Beep-Boop-Boop

  4. #4
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
    Location
    Glennville, GA
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    17,711

    Ok

    I will try to contact again. Thanks.
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Retired Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Posts
    1,105
    WOOSH also uses the Wilson F/X. It works well. We're pleased with it. We've had it for several years - I'd guess about 6 years now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
    Location
    Glennville, GA
    Posts
    17,711

    Link

    I guess I could give a link: http://wilsonfx.com
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Retired Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    26th January 2009
    Location
    PCH
    Posts
    3,138
    Prelude: I have no relation with Wilson FX. My opinions with the system are based on evaluations I conducted as we made an effort to rebuild our launch system for our club.

    My recommendation: go buy one. Dan Fox (an industrial/electrical engineer by profession) has worked with Brad to design a tremendously capable system that is aimed at safety, reliability, and expandability.

    The boxes are built around microcontrollers which control each pad based on a data stream that is multiplexed over a standard 3-wire connector. As a result, the boxes can be daisy-chained, branched, or any other means you can think of to get cables to the pad. This makes range setup a breeze. Dan is also nearly finished with a wire-replacement transceiver for the system -- rather than having a single pad wireless box, the same control packet protocol is sent wirelessly, making an n-pad away cell setup effortless, and extremely safe; if packets are lost or dropped or scrambled, the wireless unit shuts the bank down until the interference is solved. The relay boxes (one and eight pad configurations) can be field programmed, if necessary, to reconfigure the range.

    The boxes are waterproof; one of QCRS's 8-pad boxes sat underwater for three months (in a storage tote, weighed down by pad cables), and all that needed to be replaced was the continuity check pushbuttons. A prototype system made it through a microburst in Florida, floating around on soggy sod for two hours without incident.

    The relay connections are bladed directly into the pad output cables, to prevent arcing/bridging. All relay outputs are protected with diodes.

    The digitally muxed system enables various sequences of tones to allow human evaluation of system state; armed banks remain quiet until a pad on that bank is armed, warning bystanders of an impending launch. If the bank is armed, and personnel remain at the pad, pushing any of the continuity check buttons at the pad disarms the pad box so you can yell at the LCO safely. Continuity and arming status is reported at the main controller. The main controller also includes a fill/dump switch for hybrid operation.

    The default operation for the main pad box does not allow multiple banks to be armed simultaneously, to prevent launching a rack while loading another. The single-pad master control unit can be field reprogrammed to launch multiple racks simultaneously for Midwest Power-style drag racing.

    All systems are interchangeable and expandable; a single pad box purchased for personal use can be used as an away cell box on a multi-pad system, and will still retain its individual box ID, even after being field-reprogrammed to function in the multi pad layout.

    The pad beepers are LOUD. The buttons are solid. The interface layout is natural and makes it hard to screw up on the range; if Tim can make it work at the MWP night launch, you KNOW it's got to be easy to operate. And the system is priced approximately on par with what it would cost to build from scratch.

    The multi-pad MCU can operate up to 64 pads per system (8 banks, 8 pads each), which is more than enough capacity for most any club. If you need 128 pads, add another MCU, it's the least expensive box!

    For the amount of R&D and coding that has gone into each box, the system pricing is a steal. HIGHLY recommended.
    Last edited by daveyfire; 2nd February 2012 at 07:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
    Location
    Glennville, GA
    Posts
    17,711

    Great

    That is very reassuring. It seems like I have not found one person that does not sing it praises. The plus is the launch cords are easily acquired at Lowes or a Walmart. That is a great feature.
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Retired Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    21st January 2009
    Location
    Johns Creek, GA
    Posts
    671
    Very slick. Anyone know what the pricing is?
    --David

    SoAR #345, W4DKZ, NAR #87417 Level 2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Location
    Savannnah, Ga
    Posts
    7,328
    Here is the data on system direct from FX:

    Just to give you the basics, the Wilson F/X Digital Launch Control System works first time every time. Its the only system that's been in use by Tripoli Quad Cities since we've been a stand alone Prefecture. TQC saw every phase of the system from the original 4 pad, let's see if this concept can work to the current 64 pad system. It's Hypertech and Aerotech hybrid system compatible. It is available in wireless (but that obviously costs more). It also works in the hard-wired mode conencting the launch controller with as many pad-boxes as you have available, but currently only 64 separate pads at any one time unless you add an A or B switch in which case you can make that up to 128 pads or even more if you wish. The system is built with around a 64 pad launch controller and the basic Bank-8 pad pad-box. There are also individual pad boxes available.

    It's all relays and ignition batteries(you supply) at the pads. The communication wiers between the conttroller and the ppad boxes are simple grounded outdoor extension cords. They are relatively inexpensive and easily replaced. Because the signals between the controller and the pad boxes are all digital (as are the signals from the pad boxes back to the controller) And because the pad boxes are programmed from your controller, they always remember what thier bank and pad designation until you change it by reprogramming them (takes seconds when you get the knack of it). If you want a bank of pads at 100 feet out form the contoller, you lay out one 100' outdoor extention cord connected to your conroller and to your pad box hook up your 12 volt battery at the pads and yuo're ready to fly. If you want a second bank of pads at 200 feet, just add another 100' extensiopn cord and another pad box and battery andf yuor ready to go with two banks of pads. The longest distance that I've had extension cords running this system was 1000', but only because that's all the extension cords that I had. I did connect 2000 feet of electrical cord just to see how things worked and the system could care less how far out it went.

    Our current Wireless modules are only conceptual modules that cost about $150 each. You would need one at the launch controller and one at the pad. These are not the production models but were just concepts. We should have production modules ready for sale by July at the latest and the cost should be about half of the concept wireless modules. The concept modules worked perfect out to 1500 feet (used for ALL away cell flights at last year's LDRS in California, Lucern Dry lake bed). I brought mine along only to find out on the first day of LDRS, that the club's wireless was toasted. I offered mine and it worked flawlessly for the whole launch.

    There's a safety feature built into my system that only allows one bank of pads (A thru H) to be fired at any one time. But I also haev what is called the ARMAGEDON Switch. It is a simple switch that is programed to by pass all bank safeties in order to simultaneously fire all padboxes connected to the system. Massive DRAG Races are now possible and you know that every pad box gets the signal to fire at the same time. If you have enough battrery power you can fire an infinite number of igniters at once.

    Another wonderful item in the Wilson F/X System is flier continuity checking at the pad and the same continuity check at the launch controller. It is so nice to be able to know that your igniter has continuity at the pad BEFORE tyou walk back to the flight line. And the LCO will know if your igniter burned out without firing your motor without you having to go out and check first. IT is a VERY simple system to use because all the finess is built in. This system was designed by rocketeers, built by rocketeers, and the current 64 pad sysetm has been beta tested for 9 years and it continues to perform flawlessly. And it has been tested NOT just in the lab, but by the toughest test of all, use by rocketeers for EVERY Mid West Power launch that's ever been.

    Now for costs:
    64 pad hybrid ready launch controller - $250
    Each 8 pad bank box (with eight 25 foot igniter leads with either 5 amp or 15 amp aligator clips) $450 each
    Single Pad boxes and single pad controllers are $125 each (The single pad controller is also programmed to be an Armagedon switch)

    Cluster Boxes are available on a custom basis. You let me know how many igniters you want to fire at once and I'll build to order. The 8-pad Bank-Box with only a few seconds of time can programmed to be used for an 8 motor cluster box or an 8 rocket drag race. Or you can leave it the way it is and just pretend that each of your up to 8 motors is a separate pad and fly them all at once. the sysetm doesn't know the difference. I can also ptrovide you with as large of relays as you think you need.

    So far I've sold two 32-pad systems, to two separte clubs (TQC and WOOSH), one 8 pad system for Wisconsin's Rockets For Schools, and two 16 pad systems to two newer clubs that are just getting going.

    If you buy a 32 pad system (four 8 pad bank boxes) for $1800, I will give you the 64 pad contoller and an Armagedon switch free of charge. That's a 32-pad complete system for $56.25 per pad.

    For a 64 pad system (eight 8-pad bank boxes) I will throw in the 64 pad controller, the Armagedon switch, and lower the total price to $3200. That's a 64 pad complete system for $50 per pad.

    If you have 16 (or more) individuals who would purchase thier own Wilson F/X single pad pad boxes with controllers, I would toss in the 64 pad launch controller for free.

    The Wilson F/X system all works together, 8 pad bank boxes and single pad pad boxes. Yuo just string them together on 16/3 outdoor extension cords (with enough batteries at each pad box) and you are ready to go. You can put 64 pads out 1000 feet and you will only need ten 100' 16/3 outdoor extenson cords (about $14.00 each last time I checked) to connect them all together.

    I would like to know how somebody thinks that they will be able to modify a fireworks system for use as a launch control system. I'm not saying it might not be possible, but I would say that I doubt that it would work well. On the other hand, the Wilson F/X launch Control System works right out of the box as is without any modifications.

    Let me know what questions you may have.
    Jim Hendricksen
    L-3 Tripoli 9693
    [ICBM, Orangeburg,SC R.I.P.] - QCRS ,Princeton ILL - MDRA , Price Maryland - Woosh, Bong Wisconsin- ROCC, Charlotte NC , ICBM Camden SC
    "Made" member of Chicago & Carolina Rocket Mafia
    Rocketry...........an exact science.......but not exactly !!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    25th January 2009
    Location
    Glennville, GA
    Posts
    17,711

    Fireworks

    Fireworks systems work. I have tested them on rockets, but they will not do drag races - similar problem to the quick burst system.

    The modification is higher power lipo batteries. Cobra firing systems loaned me one to test. It worked flawlessly if you you do not mind not having drag races.
    -----------------------
    Chuck Haislip
    NAR/Tripoli Level 3
    Retired Prefect ICBM - TRA #60

    Level 1 - LOC Minie Magg; Level 2 - PR Broken Arrow;
    Level 3 - 10 inch Nike Smoke
    2015 Ns for Year: 1315 Newtons
    My rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.

    Come fly with ROSCo or ICBM in Camden SC => http://rocketrysouthcarolina.org

  12. #12
    Join Date
    25th July 2012
    Location
    Sterling, Illinois
    Posts
    72
    BTW - just in case you didn't already know, Chuck Haislip and the ROSco/ICBM group ended up buying a Wilson F/X launch system. They later added to their system which is now a full 64 pad system with 7 of their 8 banks of pads being wireless.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson


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