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Announcing Siegecraft Electronics - Circuit board based electronics mounting.

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HHaase

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Well, time to let this cat out of the bag. I'm allergic to cats and I kinda need the bag. I've decided to start dipping my feet into the rocketry business, expanding on electronics work that I already do in my existing hobby business. There are a lot of great altimeters out there, and a lot of great ways to mount them in smaller rockets..... but what about when things start getting larger? It turns into spaghetti real quick and that can be quite daunting for flyers that are new to electronics. My talent is simplifying the complex and making it accessible. Let me do the same for model rocketry.

I'm going to be offering circuit board based avionics mounting solutions, which eliminate nearly all internal wiring, and provides solid mounting solutions to your altimeters, batteries, and other electronics accessories. The below example puts together a Raven4 altimeter, Eggfinder Mini-Wifi switch, and either a 9v or 2S lipo battery mount. The only wires are the charges. No worries about connecting wires wrong, no worries about backward batteries, just mount and go.

These will be offered either as a ready-to-sell board via my online shopping cart, or on a custom/semi-custom basis to match your own needs. In-stock designs will ship in just a couple business days, doing a full-up fresh design will likely take 4-8 weeks from concept to shipping depending on the design and how busy I am.

First design should be up for sale within just a couple of days.


IMGP6757.JPG
 

Mike Haberer

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Well, time to let this cat out of the bag. I'm allergic to cats and I kinda need the bag. I've decided to start dipping my feet into the rocketry business, expanding on electronics work that I already do in my existing hobby business. There are a lot of great altimeters out there, and a lot of great ways to mount them in smaller rockets..... but what about when things start getting larger? It turns into spaghetti real quick and that can be quite daunting for flyers that are new to electronics. My talent is simplifying the complex and making it accessible. Let me do the same for model rocketry.

I'm going to be offering circuit board based avionics mounting solutions, which eliminate nearly all internal wiring, and provides solid mounting solutions to your altimeters, batteries, and other electronics accessories. The below example puts together a Raven4 altimeter, Eggfinder Mini-Wifi switch, and either a 9v or 2S lipo battery mount. The only wires are the charges. No worries about connecting wires wrong, no worries about backward batteries, just mount and go.

These will be offered either as a ready-to-sell board via my online shopping cart, or on a custom/semi-custom basis to match your own needs. In-stock designs will ship in just a couple business days, doing a full-up fresh design will likely take 4-8 weeks from concept to shipping depending on the design and how busy I am.

First design should be up for sale within just a couple of days.


View attachment 446994
Looking forward to seeing what combos you'll have. Lots of permutations...
 

HHaase

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Looking forward to seeing what combos you'll have. Lots of permutations...
You're tellin me! A lot will depend on what people need, so I'll be more than happy to take requests.

-Hans
 

boatgeek

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Will you have support for switches (your own, Missileworks, Fingertech, etc.)?

It would be nice to see some integrated systems (Eggfinder Quantum, Eggtimer Quark, spot for an Eggfinder Mini all on the same board).
 

HHaase

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Will you have support for switches (your own, Missileworks, Fingertech, etc.)?

It would be nice to see some integrated systems (Eggfinder Quantum, Eggtimer Quark, spot for an Eggfinder Mini all on the same board).
All depends on the design of the switch / module and if you want it removable or soldered down. Semi-permanent (I.E. soldered in place) installations will be easier. The first time I integrate a component into a board I have to create a 'footprint' in the cad software, so if I've done a component once then it becomes quicker to put into future designs.

Fingertech screw switch doesn't look like much of a problem at all, as long as the lugs can take solder.

The Missileworks WRC would likely need the screw terminals replaced with headers. I'd need to see the bottom of the board to know better what options may be out there. Screw terminals on opposing sides of a board do make things trickier if you want something to be easily removable and re-mountable. All depends on how you want to use it and if you need to move it between airframes.

Eggfinder stuff will be the easiest to make integrated systems with simply because the connectors aren't already installed and you can more easily use different connector styles that make plug-in modules possible without modification.

-Hans
 

jqavins

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That's a (Neil beat me to it. Again) nifty idea. Not only does it eliminate wiring but it also hugely simplifies mounting to a sled.

Surprise, not criticism: it surprises me that you will be able to make money on configure to order combinations. I guess you'd add each new one to the catalog, so that the first customer has subsidized new product development? Would you be picky about taking custom orders based on your anticipation of future sales?

And here are two closely related suggestions. First, when designing for a board that can use a separate battery for ejection and air start charges, include traces for that which go to another pair of screw terminals. The terminals can be installed or left out, along with a jumper or two, all at the time of sale. That way you've got both configurations ready to go. The off-board battery would mean a little more wiring for the person who wants to fly that way, but the battery wiring is no more complicated than the charge wiring: just two wires.

Second, for configurations like that first one which includes a wireless switch, include as well the traces for a physical switch. Same deal as above; a pair of screw terminals that can be installed or left out and a jumper or two that can be installed or left out, and again you've got two configurations ready on the one board. Or four, if you do both of the off-board switch and the off-board battery.

Finally, it seems weird that the Eggfinder WiFi switch (apparently) has no mounting holes, and is supported by the solder posts only at one end; I guess that's more a comment for Eggfinder. Would you mount it with some mitigation, such as a couple of dollops of silicone at the other end?
 
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HHaase

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Joe;

1: I have no expectation of profit for a couple years, but my other business is in a position to offset that, so it's not a concern. You're correct that the design library would grow over time and I'd include custom designs into the catalog whenever possible. If it's something that I think is remotely possible to sell in the future I'd waive any engineering fee's. If it's something REALLY odd, or the customer requires I not sell it as part of the catalog, I'd likely charge engineering time for those situations.

2: I love modular ideas like that, so I do try to include whenever possible. I haven't done any layouts with dual batteries yet but I know that will come up. If the space is available I'd prefer to have both batteries on-board, but that all depends on size limits and what altimeters are being used.

3: There is a mounting hole on the mini-wifi, next to the voltage regulator. I planned on adding that in the next revision of the board but felt the mini-wifi is light enough that it wouldn't be required. I used some silicone in addition to the soldered pins to mitigate any vibration. Another mounting hole on the opposite end of the mini-wifi would be nice though.
 

jqavins

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I see the big hole near the regulator; I hadn't recognized it as a mounting hole because I expect to see those smaller and with metal around them. Anyway, that's in between the four solder posts. It's really vibration of the other end (long cantilever) that I was concerned about, so I guess we're thinking alike on the silicone. (And there's so much open real estate at that end; why would Eggfinder put little holes in those two corners? Oh well.)
1611081632041.png


For the off-board battery, what I was thinking of is when a flyer wants a big one, so it wouldn't fit. An on-board second battery is a good idea too, of course.
 

HHaase

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Not as much real estate as you think, the wifi module extends almost to the edge of the board on the opposite side. Same issue with the standard wifi switch too with having that end of the board hanging out in space.

-Hans
 

OZRoc

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I see the big hole near the regulator; I hadn't recognized it as a mounting hole because I expect to see those smaller and with metal around them. Anyway, that's in between the four solder posts. It's really vibration of the other end (long cantilever) that I was concerned about, so I guess we're thinking alike on the silicone. (And there's so much open real estate at that end; why would Eggfinder put little holes in those two corners? Oh well.)
View attachment 447019

For the off-board battery, what I was thinking of is when a flyer wants a big one, so it wouldn't fit. An on-board second battery is a good idea too, of course.
Mount the mini Wifi Switch this side up using a nylon post. That way you can see the LED's working. Identify the switch with its Wifi code over the space at the bottom of the image as shown. Use double sided tape to hold the unit in position under the WiFi module. All good.
Cheers,
Mark
 

HHaase

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It's a compromise regardless of which way you flip it. I oriented this way to keep access to the programming jumper pads. If programming either isn't an issue, or you don't mind having to remove it to program, I could easily flip it over and then use the three-pin header as more mounting strength.

-Hans
 

jaz

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I love the idea and thought about doing it myself but have never designed a board. I will for sure be a customer. Cant wait!
 

hball55

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That looks awesome. Definitely a mounted switch would be a plus plus to the design. I would think that a screw switch would be easiest/most popular.
 

HHaase

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That looks awesome. Definitely a mounted switch would be a plus plus to the design. I would think that a screw switch would be easiest/most popular.
That's where the 'semi-custom' kicks in, because there's a lot of completely valid ways to handle things.

-Hans
 
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Tobor

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Well, time to let this cat out of the bag. I'm allergic to cats and I kinda need the bag. I've decided to start dipping my feet into the rocketry business, expanding on electronics work that I already do in my existing hobby business. There are a lot of great altimeters out there, and a lot of great ways to mount them in smaller rockets..... but what about when things start getting larger? It turns into spaghetti real quick and that can be quite daunting for flyers that are new to electronics. My talent is simplifying the complex and making it accessible. Let me do the same for model rocketry.

I'm going to be offering circuit board based avionics mounting solutions, which eliminate nearly all internal wiring, and provides solid mounting solutions to your altimeters, batteries, and other electronics accessories. The below example puts together a Raven4 altimeter, Eggfinder Mini-Wifi switch, and either a 9v or 2S lipo battery mount. The only wires are the charges. No worries about connecting wires wrong, no worries about backward batteries, just mount and go.

These will be offered either as a ready-to-sell board via my online shopping cart, or on a custom/semi-custom basis to match your own needs. In-stock designs will ship in just a couple business days, doing a full-up fresh design will likely take 4-8 weeks from concept to shipping depending on the design and how busy I am.

First design should be up for sale within just a couple of days.


View attachment 446994
Just saw this thread and... OMG! I have had a similar concept bouncing around in my head for about a year now. Although I never intended to commercialize it, the option remained tethered.

Anyhoot, I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavour. Looking forward to seeing the ways in which your concept can be expanded.
 

HHaase

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I was hoping to have the first boards of the Raven/Wifi design available this weekend, but found one small glitch on the printed markings on the board when doing the final QA inspection. I reversed the markings for the 'main' and 'apogee' on the screw terminals. Functionally they test out just fine but the last thing I want to do is having somebody popping the wrong charges and losing a rocket. So I'm pushing the official "For Sale" date to mid-February. I'll update the board data and get them ordered in the next day or so.

The good news is the battery options have been sorted out fully and the same price will get your choice of either a 9v battery mount or a 2S LiPo mount. Pricing should be up soon too one I get the final pricing on a few components.
 
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Mike Haberer

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Food for thought. I've been reading a recent thread where the discussion revolved around using LiPos vs. 9V batteries for altimeters. While most altimeters can use a wide voltage range, it's the amperage that is of concern. 9V's are amperage limited due to their internal construction, whereas LiPo's have little internal resistance, and on a dead short, can fry an altimeter. The right way to use LiPo's is to include a resistor in the firing circuit to limit the amperage. It would be a value added feature if your boards included this for LiPo's, taking away yet another thing to worry about.
 

Mike Haberer

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Do you think LabRat Rocketry pull pin switches (single for DD, double for redundant DD) would be possible? They are my preferred switch. I would use them with Eggtimer Protons or Quantums (w/ Wifi on board) or Quarks with a WiFi Switch for redundant power safety (ala Tripoli rule that was rescinded).​
 

HHaase

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Definitely a valid concern with the limit resistors and a lot does depend on the battery choices. I know the current design has a couple ohms resistance as part of the mosfet in the wifi switch, but adding current limit resistors to the individual firing circuits would be stupid easy to do and wouldn't add cost. I hadn't been too concerned with it on this design since the Raven documentation specifies that a 9V or 1S are fine without the limit resistors. That was another change I was going to make after I found my silkscreen error, moving to a 1S instead of a 2S based on the Raven instructions. But altimeters with larger batteries definitely will need to have current limits as part of the design philosophy.

As to the labrat switches..... I believe they would be easy to incorporate. Just roll them 90 degrees and the pins on the microswitches would solder straight into the board. For something like that I'd need a schematic and basic dimensions to get started. I already have a few Eggfinder things on the bench, and since it's a 'business expense' I can always order more to do more prototyping without guilt. I expect to have quite an extensive altimeter collection as the library grows.

-Hans
 

Mike Haberer

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Definitely a valid concern with the limit resistors and a lot does depend on the battery choices. I know the current design has a couple ohms resistance as part of the mosfet in the wifi switch, but adding current limit resistors to the individual firing circuits would be stupid easy to do and wouldn't add cost. I hadn't been too concerned with it on this design since the Raven documentation specifies that a 9V or 1S are fine without the limit resistors. That was another change I was going to make after I found my silkscreen error, moving to a 1S instead of a 2S based on the Raven instructions. But altimeters with larger batteries definitely will need to have current limits as part of the design philosophy.

As to the labrat switches..... I believe they would be easy to incorporate. Just roll them 90 degrees and the pins on the microswitches would solder straight into the board. For something like that I'd need a schematic and basic dimensions to get started. I already have a few Eggfinder things on the bench, and since it's a 'business expense' I can always order more to do more prototyping without guilt. I expect to have quite an extensive altimeter collection as the library grows.

-Hans
Cool. I'm want to standardize on 2S LiPos, since that is what you need for the Eggfinder and it's easier to use the same batteries across all components, for the ability to swap easily and for having the same connectors.
LRR #4.jpg
LRR #8.jpg
 

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HHaase

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The current design of the pull-pins I'd have to roll them 90 degrees to get the pins into the circuit board, and add a bracket. So there may be some space concerns depending on the airframe diameter but I can definitely do it.

Going to ping Chris though to see what ideas he may have for a more PCB friendly version though to streamline it a bit and make it somewhat cleaner.
 

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When you are done with development on the current Raven board, I would love to see a "teeny" version with an Eggtimer Quark, a switch, and a 2s LiPo holder. I am agnostic on what switch you use, though I am most familiar with the Missileworks screw switches. This would be for single or dual deploy in smaller airframes. It should easily fit in 29mm airframes, and possibly 24mm if you are careful in the design. I would probably be using it in 38mm-2.6" airframes though.

Let me know if you want a firmer order before starting development. I'm not in a rush, since I can't fly much for the next couple of months anyway.
 

HHaase

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When you are done with development on the current Raven board, I would love to see a "teeny" version with an Eggtimer Quark, a switch, and a 2s LiPo holder. I am agnostic on what switch you use, though I am most familiar with the Missileworks screw switches. This would be for single or dual deploy in smaller airframes. It should easily fit in 29mm airframes, and possibly 24mm if you are careful in the design. I would probably be using it in 38mm-2.6" airframes though.
I'm sure there will be plenty of interest in Quark's, so I just ordered a Quark and a Quantum. I already have an Apogee and Proton as well for future development.
 

jqavins

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Food for thought. I've been reading a recent thread where the discussion revolved around using LiPos vs. 9V batteries for altimeters. While most altimeters can use a wide voltage range, it's the amperage that is of concern. 9V's are amperage limited due to their internal construction, whereas LiPo's have little internal resistance, and on a dead short, can fry an altimeter. The right way to use LiPo's is to include a resistor in the firing circuit to limit the amperage. It would be a value added feature if your boards included this for LiPo's, taking away yet another thing to worry about.
I should think that current limiting for protection of the altimeter should be the responsibility of the altimeter. Sure, if some manufacturers don't do the right thing, then having it as an option on the integration PCB is the next best thing. Me, I'd rather buy an altimeter with the appropriate current limiter.
 

HHaase

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Some updates......

It'll be a couple weeks till I have a Quark on hand to start development, but it's on order along with a Quantum.

LabRat pull-pins are a GO, Chris and I have been working on a concept that'll be more PCB friendly. May take a bit to percolate the first revision through but sounds promising so far.

-Hans
 

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Hans
the link "Click To Enter The Siegecraft Electronics Web Store" appears to be broken,I wanted to have a look at what you have to offer so far.
Can't wait till you get your boards set up for eggtimers.
 
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HHaase

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Right now I don't have any rocketry stuff on the website, it's still all pinball related. Just got hammered with a couple big orders for my main resellers so I've been buried trying to kick that out the door.

I'm hoping to have the first rocketry stuff for sale mid-February, will be ordering the corrected boards over the weekend. Looks like whatever glitch you had must have been temporary as the links appear to be working now both from my signature and from the profile page.
 
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