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SMT Designs, Male, 66, from Kenmore, WA
- SteveThatcher was last seen:
- Jan 12, 2020
- Oct 18, 1953 (Age: 66)
- Home Page:
- Kenmore, WA
The products are the result of over twenty-five years of rocketry and a life long career as an electronics design engineer. One of the first things I designed for rocketry was the Veri-Fire launch controller back in 1991 because of copper head igniters. Back then I was part owner of Impulse Aerospace who sold the launch controller (in case you are as old as me). If you want to read a bit of history, then comtinue with the January 2002 issue of the Washington Aerospace Newsletter that includes an article I wrote about the Monroe, Washington launch site.
- Owner SMT Designs
When I started doing electronics in rockets (early 90s), it was certainly in its infancy and expensive by today's standards. My very first electronics for a rocket was a staging timer that I designed.
The first commercial altimeter I used was the Co-Pilot that was sold by Public Missiles Limited with their CPR3000 system in a Mini-BBX circa 2000. I liked the modularity of the CPR3000, but there was always too much to do in the field. Match wires had to be fed through holes and an external switch had to be connected every time you setup for the next flight. I decided early on that I would work on my own design scheme for e-bays and modular electronics.
I incorporated those ideas into a rocket fondly called BOO... (Bat Out Of...). BOO version 1 was probably around 2000 and now we are at BOO version 6 (circa 2010).
BOO 6 still flies with a PerfectFlite altimeter and a newer Blue Tube bay. It is a 38mm minimum diameter rocket capable of being flown on a 1080ns case with a J570. It was the first completely re-useable e-bay design that I did. You could go ahead and mount the dual deploy electronics bay in any rocket with a 38mm body tube center.
BOO, however, was pre-dated by a L3 rocket design that I did in 2002 where I had created a two piece 54mm e-bay in a 98mm airframe. The first section was removeable and had deployment posts on the bottom end only. The other end had connectors that plugged into mating connectors that were in the fixed section. The fixed section had indicator lights, batteries, arming switches, and the other set of deployment posts. The idea was to be able to re-use the expensive altimeter bay in other rockets.
I have always experimented and tried to improve my skills when building & flying rockets. When the Slimline motor retainers came out (sold by Giant Leap Rocketry), I used them exclusively for motor and electronic bay retention. In the earlier days, Giant Leap also sold a small 38mm bay that had a Slimline clip ring on the top and mounted through the delay charge well hole on a standard forward motor closure.
I designed a small module (quessing circa 2006) with a PerfectFlite MiniTimer3 powered by two 2032 coin cells . The four posts on top were connections to an electric match and a wire loop to turn the module on. I would turn the timer on, then "install" the motor at the launch pad. The timer was pre-set for whatever "motor ejection delay" I needed. It has served reliably for the past years.
Two Years Ago
With the advent of affordable 3d printing, I have spent the last two years developing a series of components to allow for re-use, re-configuration, and reliablity.
On a history note, this was a prototype bay for a MadCow Rogue4 fiberglass rocket (the altimeter has gone onto uses with the finalized parts here in the store) that I designed last year for Hellfire 22 at the Bonneville Salt Flats (great venue and a great group of people - fly there if you can).