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Thread: Wilson FX

  1. #61
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello David,

    What you are suggesting is pretty much what we've just done. With each individual's LCU-1 having its own unique designation, it will not be possible to trigger anyone else's pad box with your single pad controller. That is how its been from the beginning. The only difference is that we've separated Armageddon Mode into a separate controller. A club has no need for a single-pad controller as they already have an LCU-64 or LCU-128.
    An individual has no need for an Armageddon Switch, only clubs have that need. So separating the functions into two separate controllers is the best solution.

    Wireless units communicating with other wireless units is not the problem. It is already part of our system architecture that only complete and correct commands can be received or responded to. Any command that is not perfect gets auto-dropped by the system and ignored. There's just no way that the wireless units have anything to do with the problem. Wireless units do replace hardwired connections, but that's all that they do. The signals must still be full and correct for a pad box to be able to respond to them.

    I think I know what you mean by commands that are unexpected. But there's really no such thing with WFX systems. The single pad controller that was being used to fire an away cell was in Armageddon Mode where it should not have been. But you cannot call its signal to fire all the pads unexpected. In Armageddon mode it was doing exactly what it is supposed to do. The problem was that it should not have been in Armageddon Mode in the first place.

    The only way to insure that this does not happen again, is to do what the Wilson F/X team has done. We've removed Armageddon Mode from single pad controllers. Your "solution" for creating "pseudo random numbers" seems to be ungainly and unnecessary. And because it is a false random number, the possibility of it being inadvertently generated leaves the WFX system open to even more incidents. Trying to create random numbered message keys seems to be completely unnecessary. Why muck up a great system with extraneous signal noise? its unnecessary.

    I'll stick with our solution of separating Armageddon Mode and Single Pad controller mode into two separate controllers.

    Problem solved.

    As to there being "not much information on how the system works" on the website? Well if you read thru this whole thread from the beginning, you'll be amazed at how much information is available. I'm not a web-guy. I'm a hardware guy. And my web guy is family and its hard to get him to do any updating. It'll happen eventually. But for now what it there is pretty good,

    Let me know if you have any more questions. But you might as well know that I will not be giving our programming away. We've got far too much invested to give it away.

    Long ago when we first started doing Wilson F/X my wife said that it has to pay for itself or we can't do it.

    Every penny we've made has gone right back into the business in more research and development.

    Did you know we now have remote multi-pad bank voltage reading on the controller at the LCO table? You can read it by beeps or by an added text screen? 99% of the troubles folks have with Wilson F/X launch systems are bad batteries at the pads. Now we can "read" 'em and know!

    We've now got an LCU-128 controller that handles up to 16 banks of eight pads each.

    Our wireless units now operate out to mile line of sight even at Blackrock.

    We've got a new pad-box between the original PBU-8 and the PBU-1. Its the PBU-4 and sells for just $275.

    We never really thought about creating single pad systems. Our target customers have always been clubs. But suddenly individuals are wanting the same high quality in their own personal launch systems, hardwired and wireless that are available to clubs. So our own growth has caused this problem. Our solution is the best long term solution for the problem.

    We've been at this for well over 20 years and we are in it for the long haul. So our solutions have to work for the long haul too.

    Well that's enough for now. Let me know if you have any questions. I will try to answer them but I may not get to them for a couple of weeks. I've got to get back to building system components to fill a couple of very big orders.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson


  2. #62
    Join Date
    12th September 2015
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    3
    Actually, the wireless units do have a "secret Key" and they contain transmit and destination addresses as well as 32 bit CRC for each packet transmitted. If any of this information does not match at the receiver, the message is dropped by the receiver. The Wilson F/X wireless units are not intended to "filter" where the commands go, they are just "wire replacements" intended to replace the hardware extension cord. The wireless unit connected to a control unit becomes the root sender for all wireless units and transmits only those commands received from the controller. This point to multi-point protocol is encrypted so no other RF transmissions within range from other systems (not Wilson F/X) are ignored and suppressed in the transmission chain of wireless units.
    The important thing is to limit the use of "Armageddon-mode" to specific hardware labeled as such and as Vern states, to keep it quarantined.
    The second thing to do at a launch where several systems are brought together is make sure each pad box is taught its new address and to be certain each pad box is properly labeled with its bank address, and especially with individual units brought to the launch, that they are included in this to make sure they are assigned and taught as part of the overall system.

    Dan


  3. #63
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    18th March 2012
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    Apex, NC.
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    OK.... sorry for the interject.... but what is an Armageddon switch? Is it just a switch that fires every single pad simultaneously?
    Matt, Tripoli #14257
    L1 11/13/16
    L2 2/25/17
    L3 @ LDRS36
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  4. #64
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    7th February 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by kc9qzf View Post
    The important thing is to limit the use of "Armageddon-mode" to specific hardware labeled as such and as Vern states, to keep it quarantined.
    The mere existence of an Armageddon mode makes any pad controlled via a wireless connection unsafe. Perhaps I am too paranoid but as has already been shown, it doesn't even require malicious intent to cause trouble.

  5. #65
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    12th September 2015
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    I guess the whole topic of mass launching AKA drag racing can be debated but the users of any hardware will ultimately determine the level of safety.

  6. #66
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello David,

    Armageddon Mode was specifically designed for club use and at a club's request. TQC, the forerunner of the current QCRS, the group that puts on the Mid West Power launches asked for some way to do mass drag races larger than the eight max drag races with the normal controller and eight-pad pad-boxes of the Wilson F/X system. I'm a part of that group and was glad to help create the bad boy of controller modes, the Armageddon Switch. The "problem" that has arisen with the single pad controller that used to house the Armageddon Mode as one of its modes, only came into existence recently with the proliferation of Wilson F/X systems. We never dreamed that this would be a problem because we specifically designed Wilson F/X to be a club system.

    As one tool in the toolbox of a club, the Armageddon Mode was no less safe than any other tool when used properly. It was only when it was used without the safety protocols in place that there was ever a problem with Armageddon Mode.

    Now that we've removed that particular tool from the individual's toolbox, it will remain only in the toolboxes of clubs where it was intended to be used.

    I am sorry that you feel unsafe as a result of its very existence, but the move that we've made (at considerable expense out of our pockets) will keep a repeat of the "incident" out of the realm of the possible. The only way for it to happen again would be as a result of the actions of someone who intends to cause this problem. They'll have to steal an Armageddon Switch from some club or I suppose steal one from me.

    But laying intentional sabotage aside, the problem will not happen again. So I would hope that your fears would be removed.

    Hoping for a brighter tomorrow!

    Brad

  7. #67
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    An Armageddon Switch is a controller designed to work with Wilson F/X launch systems to create mass drag races.

    The normal protocols of a W-F/X launch system only allows one bank of pads to be armed at a time. If the LCO inadvertently selects two banks at the same time, the system will drop all of those commands and will wait till somebody turns off all but one bank at a time before sending out the "arming" command, continuity check command, and then the fire command. You can arm and fire up to 8 pads on a single bank of pads and that will take care of most drag races between a few friends.

    The Armageddon Switch bypasses the single bank safety protocol and instead arms and fires every WFX pad-box to which it is connected by hardwire or wireless. It is for Mass Drag Races ONLY. And now that we've separated this function from the single pad controller it will only be available to clubs who want the option available to them.

    That's why I say that the Armageddon Switch is not for the faint of heart. It is definitely the "Bad Boy" of controllers in the line of Wilson F/X launch system components.

    Brad

  8. #68
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    7th February 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketRev View Post
    But laying intentional sabotage aside, the problem will not happen again. So I would hope that your fears would be removed.
    The problem, as near as I can tell, is the result of the Wilson FX wireless units responding to commands originating from more than one other wireless unit. This lets anyone with one of those units command (intentionally or not) any wireless connected pad.

    Unless pad units are programmed to respond to only one LCU. Given the Armageddon fault, it doesn't appear that they are.

  9. #69
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    25th July 2012
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    Sorry David, but you still do not appear to understand how the WFX system works.

    The wireless units only transmit and receive commands from WFX controllers or transmit responses from WFX pad-boxes. They were never the problem.

    The only problem stemmed from one of our now "old-style" LCU-1/ARM controllers being inadvertently left in Armageddon Mode. Since we are removing them from circulation, the problem will be solved.

    Even the original LCU-1 single pad controllers had a unique address so that their commands were likewise unique and only capable of being responded to by WFX pad-boxes which had been intentionally programmed with the LCU-1s unique address to which they can respond.

    The "Armageddon fault" as you call it, will no longer exist as no individual out there will have a controller with Armageddon Mode in it. So the problem will no longer exist.

    Brad

  10. #70
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    19th January 2009
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    Tucson, Az
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    Is there a price list available for your products and are there smaller multipad controllers then the 64 pad (which is over kill for our size club)?
    more rockets then cents

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketRev View Post
    Sorry David, but you still do not appear to understand how the WFX system works.
    If that is the case, it is due to the stunning lack of information available on your web site. There is nothing there that indicates in any way that pad boxes are programmed to respond to only one controller. If they can be tied to a single controller, that limitation is pretty fragile since the Armageddon mode bypasses it.

    Consider a simple case: I show up at a launch that is using the WFX wireless system. I also have a LCU64 and WR1, what is preventing me from activating any of the wireless pads? Other than my good nature.

  12. #72
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    12th September 2015
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    I guess nothing more than your ability to ignite a motor in the parking area. If you consider Mis-use as a standard by which you judge all things then why would you want to have access to a rocket or even a motor vehicle?

  13. #73
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    25th July 2012
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    Hello Terryg,

    There is no smaller WFX multi-bank/multi-pad controller available at this time. Its mostly a matter of the economics of scale. The cost difference between a 32-pad controller (four-banks of 8-pads each) and a 64-pad controller (eight-banks of eight pads each) is the cost difference of four switches on the controller with their internal wiring. That's about $40. So yes, if you really just want a 32-pad controller I could produce one for you at a cost of $210. But for the additional cost of those four switches extra bank switches and a bit more internal internal wiring you would double the potential number of pads and banks that your controller could handle.

    Most clubs that buy WFX systems are doing at least some high power rocket launches and that most often means at least four separate banks of pads at varying distances. The first bank is for model rockets (25-50 feet from LCO), the second bank at 100 feet, the third bank between 200 and 300 feet away, and a fourth bank at 500 feet or beyond. So they start out needing four banks of pads at a minimum. But then they get swamped with more Estes and Quest rockets and need to add another low power bank. Or they've got some very serious high power fliers who want a pad at 1000 feet. Suddenly with only a little bit of growth in their club, their launch controller is no longer big enough to handle the volume of flights that are needed. It is not just the number of pads that you should think about one must also think about the number of banks of pads that you need. Four banks of pads at four separate distances would be a bare minimum. The vast majority of clubs will end up in need of more than just four banks of pads.

    If they'd started out with just a 32-pad controller then they'd have to ship it back to Wilson F/X for reprogramming and re-manufacturing to add more bank switches. Shipping alone would cost more than the $40 savings they thought they were making by getting only a 32 pad controller. The remanufacturing to add more switches is difficult because it would not be safe to drill new holes into their 32-pad controller enclosure without first disassembling their 32-pad controller in order to add the new switches. I'm sure you've heard the expression, "time is money." I could add the new bank switches and reprogram the controller, but that would take at least a few added hours and the cost would go up accordingly. So I do not manufacture less than a 64-pad controller.

    The current price list for Wilson F/X components is as follows:

    LCU-64 controller for 8 banks of 8 pads each $250
    PBU-8 a bank of 8 pads $500
    PBU-4 a bank of four pads $275
    PBU-1 a single-pad pad-box $125
    WRU-c Wireless WFX transmitters must start with two $300 for the pair

    Hope that will help.

    Brad

  14. #74
    Join Date
    7th October 2013
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    Portland, OR
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    Gave my single-pad system (pictured earlier) a workout at BALLS a few weeks ago. Brad swapped out my Armageddon switch for an LCU-1 controller (no Armageddon mode) as he reported earlier for all existing customers. Strangely, my PBU-1 quit working for some mysterious reason (perhaps a short somewhere) but once again, after some troubleshooting with no luck, Brad promptly sent me a new one well before I left for Black Rock.

    Below are a few shots of how I set up my system.

    I wanted to come up with a slightly more elegant solution than just setting my wireless unit (WRU-1) on the ground out at the pad. A camera tripod and heavy-duty “gear tie” from Home Depot solved this issue.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then this was my “pad station” with PBU-1, lawnmower battery, tripod, and WRU-1.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lastly, here is my full setup with my tower and WFX launch system.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then when it was time to launch, I “retreated” in my pickup, and then set up my other WRU-1, LCU-1, power adapter, and battery on the tailgate of my truck. As to be expected, Brad's system worked perfectly every time! It was great having the easy setup/teardown, and not being limited on distance, direction, etc. Plus, the little nuances like being able to check igniter continuity from the controller end was nice. Doubt I'll ever go back to wired units... I really wish our club had gone this route.

    It sounds like a lot of guys on here (such as UhClem) don't really understand how this system works.
    Wilson Alness
    www.wilsonalness.com
    TRA #13848, L3
    NAR #83247, L3
    L1 - PML Small Endeavour, H128W
    L2 - Binder Excel Plus, J350W
    L3 - Performance Rocketry/Wildman Competitor 4, M1297W

    "Never flying a commercial motor again..."

  15. #75
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello Wilson,

    You mentioned that your club did not go the Wilson F/X route.

    As soon as I hear that sort of thing, I get curious.

    Were you talking about your club going with some other company's wireless system for an away cell?

    OR

    Are you talking about your club going with a whole launch system from somebody else?

    I am understandable curious. Could you post some details?

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," and "the other" Wilson

    CCBW of Wilson F/X (that's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer)

  16. #76
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    26th November 2009
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    Could be the economics of the club situation might be the reason? The quality and accolades are there for your system Brad. Kurt Savegnago

  17. #77
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    7th October 2013
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    Responded to Brad ("the other Wilson") in a private email.
    Wilson Alness
    www.wilsonalness.com
    TRA #13848, L3
    NAR #83247, L3
    L1 - PML Small Endeavour, H128W
    L2 - Binder Excel Plus, J350W
    L3 - Performance Rocketry/Wildman Competitor 4, M1297W

    "Never flying a commercial motor again..."

  18. #78
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello All,

    Wilson F/X at BALLS-24:

    Wilson Alness sent me a couple of you tube links and I found a third, from a flight at Balls 24 of a rocket called "Sunday Silent" by Steve Heller. It flew on a research motor an O3800. The flight went 62K feet above the playa. What is especially great about this flight is that it used Wilson Alness' single-pad wireless Wilson F/X launch system. And in all three videos you can actually see some of the launch system itself. Free publicity yeah!



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc2P...ature=youtu.be

    Hey Wilson.... thanks for loaning your system to Steve for this flight. very cool!

    I do have to ask... do you know if that was Manny Balistero in the "77" sweatshirt and holding the radio tracker at the auxiliary LCO table?

    Thanks for sharing the great videos.

    Brad

  19. #79
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    7th October 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketRev View Post
    Hello All,

    Wilson F/X at BALLS-24:
    Yes indeed - ALL of my BALLS flights this year ran off of Wilson F/X. As I've stated before, I wouldn't dream of using anything else now for launch systems. A great investment indeed!

    In getting ready for BALLS, Steve mentioned to me that he was thinking about "buying some cheap fireworks launcher off Amazon" for his flight. Rest assured I made certain that wouldn't happen! Steve's flight was the first launch of the day Saturday and I was on his ground support crew, namely launch controller duties as seen in the above videos. When Steve pushed the button, you can see the big thermite igniter light almost immediately, and then the motor takes a few seconds to think about what it wants to do... And yes, perfect launch and recovery to 62K AGL, and the bird came back with hardly a scratch on it!

    You can see several various WFX components in the 2 videos Brad linked to above - namely my LCU-1 and WRU-1 transmitter at our "base station." Then my tripod setup out at the pad end which also worked perfectly throughout the weekend.

    And yes, that is indeed Manny Ballestero in the "77" sweatshirt and working the TeleMetrum base station. (And me of course in the black T-shirt/blue baseball cap.)

    Always glad to provide publicity.
    Wilson Alness
    www.wilsonalness.com
    TRA #13848, L3
    NAR #83247, L3
    L1 - PML Small Endeavour, H128W
    L2 - Binder Excel Plus, J350W
    L3 - Performance Rocketry/Wildman Competitor 4, M1297W

    "Never flying a commercial motor again..."

  20. #80
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello All,

    Time for an update from Wilson F/X. Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away.... Chuck Haislip asked two questions..."How many clubs have purchased a Wilson FX launch controller? Do you use the wireless?"

    Well the latest answer to that question is 23. There are now 23 clubs across the USA using Wilson F/X Digital Launch Control systems. And of course, for those who have followed this thread, you'll know that Chuck's own club started out with a 32-pad launch system with two wireless away cells back in January of 2014. They were club #10 to purchase a Wilson F/X system.

    The Orangeburg group went on to purchase another four PBU-8 eight-pad pad-boxes and four more wireless units so that they now have 6 of their 8 banks of pads with wireless and a full 64-pad launch system.

    The groups that purchased WFX systems since the first of this year are: Tripoli Michiana; the Piedmont Area Rocketry Club in OK; and a high school in Coulee Dam Washington state.

    The family is growing with more clubs in conversation about a Wilson F/X system right now.

    Well that's the latest.

    Let me know if you've got any questions.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson

  21. #81
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    7th October 2013
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    Portland, OR
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    Thanks Brad for the update! Glad to hear that WFX is continuing to propagate nicely. My single-pad system continues to purr along and will be seeing some action next weekend.
    Wilson Alness
    www.wilsonalness.com
    TRA #13848, L3
    NAR #83247, L3
    L1 - PML Small Endeavour, H128W
    L2 - Binder Excel Plus, J350W
    L3 - Performance Rocketry/Wildman Competitor 4, M1297W

    "Never flying a commercial motor again..."

  22. #82
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello Again all you Wilson F/X users.

    Just thought I'd let you all know that your numbers are increasing. Club #29 just bought a Wilson F/X digital control system.

    Who will be #30?

    Brad

  23. #83
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    26th November 2009
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    Well Brad, When you have a fully debugged, turnkey system like you offer that folks like, you don't have to try hard to sell 'em. Best of luck with future sales. I'm impressed. Kurt
    Last edited by ksaves2; 1st July 2016 at 07:52 PM.

  24. #84
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    25th July 2012
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    Hello all you Wilson F/X users and fans.

    As a result of customer requests, there's a new WFX product ready for market. Its a PBU-8w: an 8-pad pad-box with the WRU-c wireless unit built right into the pad-box.

    It has all the same features as our PBU-8, including volt measurement of the battery at the pad and remote voltage reading of that same battery at the pad from the controller. But now the WFX wireless unit is built right into the 8-pad pad-box.Click image for larger version. 

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    The price tag is $650 so you save a bit of cash and you save some space in your storage container.

    Let me know if anybody has any questions.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson

  25. #85
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    25th August 2009
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    That's awesome!! Good work, Brad.
    L3-TRA 12636
    QCRS BOD/Prefect. Princeton, IL
    TWA Bong, WI
    Chicago Rocket Mafia "The Hot Tub"
    Public Enemy Aerospace
    Beep-Beep-Boop-Boop

  26. #86
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    23rd March 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by RocketRev View Post
    Hello all you Wilson F/X users and fans.

    As a result of customer requests, there's a new WFX product ready for market. Its a PBU-8w: an 8-pad pad-box with the WRU-c wireless unit built right into the pad-box.

    It has all the same features as our PBU-8, including volt measurement of the battery at the pad and remote voltage reading of that same battery at the pad from the controller. But now the WFX wireless unit is built right into the 8-pad pad-box.Click image for larger version. 

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    The price tag is $650 so you save a bit of cash and you save some space in your storage container.

    Let me know if anybody has any questions.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson
    So Brad, any chance of converting our existing 8-pad boxes to the new system without breaking the bank? BTW, Tripoli Mid Ohio provided their Wilson F/X system to Tripoli Gerlach for BALLS 2016. We had ZERO issues n the desert!
    Gary Dickinson - Prefect
    Tripoli Mid Ohio #31
    TRA #5520 - L3 - TAP

  27. #87
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    25th July 2012
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    Sterling, Illinois
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    Hello Gary,

    I'm glad to hear that Wilson F/X worked so well at BALLS 16. Though I must admit that I'm not surprised. I tested the system not to many years ago, at the last LDRS that was held at Black Rock. I tested the wireless out to 1.1 miles and it worked without a hitch except at that extreme distance I had to hold the transmitter at the LCO table up to eye level.

    As to the chances of being able to convert your current Wilson F/X PBU-8 units into PBU-8w units with built in wireless..... There are a couple of difficulties.

    1) I had to move the placement of the circuit board on the inside of the lid in order to fit the WRU-c circuit board on the same surface. So any of the PBU-8 units that were already built with the circuit board built into the middle of the lid would have to have the PBU-8 circuit board mounting holes re-drilled in order to make space for mounting the wireless circuit board.

    2) Then I'd have to drill four new holes in the same lid for mounting the Wireless unit circuit board.

    3) Then I'd have to drill four more holes for the thru the surface LEDs for the wireless unit.

    4) And on top of that, I'd have to drill and manually cut a brand new Double-D hole for mounting the antennae into the lid.

    5) All of the drilling is difficult and actually a bit dangerous with the switches in place, so I would have to disassemble the lid on the PBU-8 and that takes time. And as the old saying goes, "TIME is MONEY." Redesigning the lid to fit a wireless unit was relatively easy. And machining a brand new lid for a PBU-8 with built in wireless was just a case of adding the extra 8 holes in the lid which was relatively easy. But doing it to an existing PBU-8 would be costly in terms of labor because I'd have to do so much disassembly in order to do it safely.

    6) There are also two very different versions of the circuit boards inside of a PBU-8. The current version is a single circuit board with all the relays and everything else on the same circuit board. With the current version it could be done, even if it would be expensive.

    But WFX does now own an X-Carve programmable drilling/milling machine. That may make it possible to drill the new holes in an existing PBU-8 lid with only having to remove the PBU-8 circuit board. But at this point it is only a possibility. All I can say is keep your ears open. If we can do it, I'll let everybody know. But please don't hold your breath.

    The earlier version of the PBU-8 circuit board actually used TWO circuit boards mounted one on top of the other. The second circuit board houses the 8 relays for the PBU-8. The older style relays were a lot larger than the ones we are currently using which required the second CB for just the relays. Unfortunately this earlier two-circuit board design for the PBU-8 barely had enough space to fit the earlier version of the stacked circuit boards inside. The old design does not have enough room inside for mounting a built in wireless unit no matter how hard we would try.

    Well, I need to get back to work. Keep an eye out here on the Rocketry Forum. It seems to be a great place for sending out notices.

    Just remember: "There's no such thing as a free Launch! Somebody always pays."

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson

  28. #88
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    17th May 2010
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    Wilson F/X pre purchase questions

    Hi Brad,
    I have heard good and seen good things about your "Wilson F/X" system
    One of our members has a single pad wireless set-up and several folks have used it and love it.
    Thanks for the great system.
    Our club "Southern Arizona Rocketry Association"(SARA)
    has been considering up grading our current launch system to include one of your systems.
    The questions that have come up are:
    1. For the WRU- do you need one unit per bank?
    2. How long can the extension cords be from a pad box (500')?
    3. Is there or could there be an external connection for a range siren when the pad boxed is armed?
    Again thank you for all your effort.

    Ken Weaver
    Vice President, SARA
    NAR #545, Tripoli # 93
    Ken Weaver
    vid2u@aol.com
    AMA L-852268
    KG7EXK
    NAR 77872 L1

  29. #89
    Join Date
    25th July 2012
    Location
    Sterling, Illinois
    Posts
    68
    Hello Ken,

    Thanks for checking out Wilson F/X. If you don't mind my asking, who's the member with a single-pad wireless Wilson F/X system? I'm just curious.

    As for questions, I'm almost always ready to answer what I can. For some Technical stuff I defer to Dan Fox, the "F/X" of Wilson F/X, for those who may not already know.

    1. For the WRU- do you need one unit per bank?
    You can plug as many Wilson F/X pad-boxes as you'd like into a single WRU-c wireless unit. At the early "Thunderstruck" launches in Indiana, I connected four or five PBU-1 units for their four or five pads they used as their away cell. I attached them all to a single WRU-c wireless unit using 25' and 50' extension cords. It worked great. It really is a replacement for hardwiring a pad-box to the controller. But most clubs use one wireless unit per bank of pads. And with our almost brand new addition to the WFX line, the PBU-8w, a club can purchase an 8-pad pad-box with a built in wireless unit. We also sell a PBU-4w which is a four-pad pad-box with a built in wireless unit.

    2. How long can the extension cords be from a pad box (500')?
    There might be more than one answer to this question depending on what you mean by "extension cords"?
    a) Communications line: If you are asking how many extension cords can you connect between a controller and a pad-box and have the system still work, the answer is up to 3000 feet. I believe that's the industry standard for digital signaling. I've only ever connected twenty 100' extension cords together to test Wilson F/X (that's all I had). The system worked fine. But you might not be talking about communications lines so......
    b) Igniter lead extensions - You might instead be asking about how long of an igniter lead you can use between a pad-box and a pad. Personally, the longest igniter lead that I've ever hooked up to a Wilson F/X pad-box was 75 feet. There was a special away pad that sat about 65 feet or so from the regular 500 foot pads at a couple of the Mid West Power launches. The owner didn't want it close to the others, but I insisted that it be operated from the club's Wilson F/X system for safety reasons. So I put a 50' 16/3 outdoor extension cord between the pad-box and the igniter lead. It worked perfectly for all of its flights, but they were all single motor ignitions. I've never done a specific study on maximum igniter lead distances. Some of the variables would be, battery voltage/amp availability, quality/type of igniter, cleanliness of alligator clips, and condition of the rest of the igniter lead itself.
    c) If there's another meaning that you're talking about... let me know......

    3. Is there or could there be an external connection for a range siren when the pad boxed is armed?
    OK, right now there are actually three warning signals that are activated when any Wilson F/X bank/pad is armed: A piezzo buzzer on the LCU-64/128 controller starts to scream, the piezo buzzer on the pad-box starts to scream, and there is also a light on the pad-box that lights up. The piezo buzzer on the pad-box by itself is usually considered loud enough. One club Rocketry of California, ROC, did have me build them a system with EXTRA-LOUD piezo buzzers on each of their 8 PBU-8 pad-boxes. You really don't want to be standing near them when they start to scream. If that's what you are talking about, then that's an easy already used solution. If you are looking for a separate central "range" siren, then I suppose that that could be done as well. But I really like the idea of a buzzer at each bank of pads to warn that the bank is "armed." If a single range central siren is used to warn of an armed bank of pads, it might be loud enough that a flier might not realize that the bank of pads he or she's working on has been armed. But that's another question.
    Or are you asking about a range siren like is used at some launches to signal a dangerous situation like an incoming ballistic rocket?

    Does that answer your questions? Let me know.

    Brad, the "Rocket Rev.," Wilson

  30. #90
    Join Date
    17th May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    164

    Wilson F/X pre purchase questions

    Hi Brad,
    Thanks for the great launch system and thorough reply.
    The member that has the single pad system is Kevin Westfall.
    Now for clarifications for my slow "brain"!
    1. WRU- why do some clubs choose to use one WRU/bank?
    2. Yes, I was asking about communications line.
    3. Now the biggie!
    One of my duties over the years has been, community outreach and as a part of that, attracting new members.
    SARA has held a yearly event called Desert Heat for several years and has had anywhere from 500 to 1500+ attendees-flyers and spectators.
    I will walk the crowd and ask what brought them, and what they liked the most and least.
    A common response is: "The Show!" ,
    In that light and to also get the attention of the younger generations, and to enhance safety.
    I am looking on how to incorporate audio-visual in to our launch system.
    To that end, I am looking at controlling "Walk, Do Not Walk" led lights and also a countdown announcement.
    Trying to figure how to attach audio file?
    I have to present a request for this system, to the board, so prices would be necessary.
    I am in favor of acquiring a system and just need to be able to have all the info, in place for the board.
    Thanks again!
    Ken Weaver
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ken Weaver
    vid2u@aol.com
    AMA L-852268
    KG7EXK
    NAR 77872 L1

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