I need a timer.

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n3tjm

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I am looking for a timer for a two stage rocket I mentioned in a different post. I need it to be affordable, able to fit in a 1" tube, and be in stock. I don't mind it being a kit. I prefer it being activated by break wire. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks
 

Voyager1

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The three that come to mind are the Altus Metrum Easy Timer
the PerfectFlite MiniTimer 4
and the Missile Works PET2+
There are probably others.
 

heada

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Without knowing what thread spawned this, I don't have the background for your requirements. That said, a breakwire is a pain to work with and prone to failure when compared to modern options. Accelerometer based trigger or integrated barometer based trigger, both with safety lockouts, can be had in the same footprint for somewhat similar costs so why not expand your options to include them?
 

n3tjm

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The thread that spawned this is Ed Millers Sonic Shock.

Reason why I like break wire is if the timer does not detect a launch for whatever reason, the second stage will never fire. The electronics will be in the booster. No electronics are going in the sustainer.

Break wire pretty much guarantees a launch detect. Its down side is you can have a premature second stage launch on the launch pad if the wire is broken prematurely. However, I think that is the lest hazardous risk since the rocket will still have stable flight and recovery. And the risk is minimal since the timer is the last thing that is armed and only once person has to be at the pad when that happens.

Easy Timer is to expensive for me.

I like the Pet2, a little on the pricy side but I'd consider it. (I used to have the first Pet timer and I loved it), looks like its OOP, and no one seems to have one in stock. The dual event capabilities would be a plus for my project too.

The miniTimer4 looks interesting.

Do you know if any of these timers can set off the igniters that come with Aerotech's 24mm loads?
 

cerving

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The problem with breakwires as a staging timer trigger mechanism is that they are prone to accidental triggering. You need some kind of secondary safety, maybe a pullpin power switch, which would be the last thing that you would do before you leave the pad area. With an accelerometer and/or baro-altitude check, that can't happen. [Shameless plug: The Eggtimer Quantum will do the staging function, has breakwire verification and baro altitude and/or velocity qualifications, fits in a 24mm tube, and will light an Aerotech igniter (depending on your choice of battery). It can also be armed remotely via WiFi/browser from your phone, 100' away from your rocket. The kit is $40]
 

n3tjm

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Perhaps if you posted the .STL files, we could print and test it and get some feedback to you?
The problem with breakwires as a staging timer trigger mechanism is that they are prone to accidental triggering. You need some kind of secondary safety, maybe a pullpin power switch, which would be the last thing that you would do before you leave the pad area. With an accelerometer and/or baro-altitude check, that can't happen. [Shameless plug: The Eggtimer Quantum will do the staging function, has breakwire verification and baro altitude and/or velocity qualifications, fits in a 24mm tube, and will light an Aerotech igniter (depending on your choice of battery). It can also be armed remotely via WiFi/browser from your phone, 100' away from your rocket. The kit is $40]
Wow. I didn't know the Eggtimer Quantum can do that. I just happen to have one. Looks like I am going have to get it out and play around with it. What is the Velocity qualification for starting the timer?
 

Charles_McG

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The altitude, vertical velocity (dAlt/dt), and breakwire qualifications are all checks that limit firing of the channel, not triggers that start the timer. The launch detect is an altitude threshold - configurable, but I don't recall the minimum. Once it crosses the LDA, the Quantum looks backwards in it's data to figure out when the flight actually started and uses that as the zero for the timing.
 

n3tjm

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Looking more into the Eggtimer Quantum, it looks like this might not be a good fit for this project.
 

bdureau

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I have coded a timer that can be used with my AltiDuo board. Timer starts when the launch is detected using a barometer sensor. you can select different timing using some jumpers. If you need any more details send me a pm
 

cerving

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The altitude, vertical velocity (dAlt/dt), and breakwire qualifications are all checks that limit firing of the channel, not triggers that start the timer. The launch detect is an altitude threshold - configurable, but I don't recall the minimum. Once it crosses the LDA, the Quantum looks backwards in it's data to figure out when the flight actually started and uses that as the zero for the timing.
The minimum LDA is 50', we generally recommend 100' or more. We put the 50' LDA in for someone who was using it in water rockets.
 

RocketTree

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Bear altimeters has a timer for good value.

edit: just noticed this was already mentioned above!
 

n3tjm

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Problem is using a barometric sensor. It would be getting it's reading from the bottom of the rocket since the timer will be on the booster.
 

jderimig

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If you are ok with breakwire, just use a cannon fuse that gets lit when the booster is lit. Very cheap and reliable. And much safer than a breakwire.
 

heada

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The Minitimer4 is accel based so that should give you better safety than breakwire and not need exposure to atmosphere.

I've used breakwire in the past and would roll my own with a accel or g-switch before going back to breakwire again.
 

n3tjm

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I've actually thought about doing just that. Similar to the old school staging back in the thermalite days. There are still obviously risks to doing that, which to me, are a lot more risky than break wire.

Probably should mention that this is a mid power rocket project. The rocket originally was built to fly on FSI 27mm Black Powder motors. Plan is to fly it on CTI 24mm F's
 

cerving

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Problem is using a barometric sensor. It would be getting it's reading from the bottom of the rocket since the timer will be on the booster.
The difference in altitude readings between the baro sensor being on the top of the rocket or the bottom is insignificant, unless your rocket is really, really long. The time difference between the motor igniting and coming up to pressure is going to be much greater than the time that it takes your rocket to travel its length... figure at least one or two seconds, depending on which CTI motor you pick. The CTI 24mm F's are almost all blues or whites, they light in a second or two, you'll probably pick up another 200' of altitude between the point that the igniter fires and when the motor actually kicks in.
 
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