My next rocketry electronics purchase would be....

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If I could get it, my next rocketry electronics purchase would be:

  • Altimeter- basic, low cost? Full featured, programmable? What features important to you?

  • Simple radio tracking beacon

  • GPS radio tracker & receiver - what range do you need, really?

  • Onboard video or still camera - what resolution? preferred interface?

  • Other onboard stuff- eg: beeper, staging timer, LED FX, data telemetry, etc- please specify

  • Advanced/ wireless launch controller - how many pads?

  • Nothing- why: no money? no need? it dont exist? pet monkey would eat it? explain pls.


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FROB

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Just a quick survey to see what folks need or want the most of these days in terms of 'lectronics:
Any and all comments welcome!
Did i miss anything?

Thanks!
 
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blackjack2564

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You haven't been very specific on what size rockets. If high power, a tracker would be at the top after an altimeter of course.
 

Handeman

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Good question BJ, I didn't think of that. I just applied the question to where I am right now.

So, right or wrong. I picked a simple radio beacon because I'm just starting in with L2 rockets and the higher altitudes. When it comes to the electronic and what they do, that just isn't what "trips my trigger" when it comes to rockets. I just want to get the damn thing back.
 

CharlaineC

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well i'm a lpr and mpr gal curently i'm looking to build some simple radio beakis as well as some led strobes doe night flights. But I do want to build or buy an altimider that would allove not only allow basic functions but allow addional functions as well. with all data collected to be downloaded to the computer.
 

FROB

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Thanks for the answers so far! Keep 'em coming!

You haven't been very specific on what size rockets....
Good question BJ, I didn't think of that. I just applied the question to where I am right now.
True- I purposely didn't specify, as i want this to be an all-inclusive poll, so please answer for your current needs, regardless of what 'size' rockets you're into.

The reason for the poll is, i have a lot of ideas for potentially useful "rocket-tronics" that i'd like to produce, but i really need to prioritize- since it takes a long time and it will be years before i have them all ready and tested (were talking dozens of ideas here), and by then anyway there will be a pile of new ideas for sure. So i'd really like to hear exactly what you need, and make the items that will help the most people, and make the most difference to them, first. So please don't be shy! if you tell me exactly what you want, there's a good chance you will get it!
 

n5wd

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Just a quick survey to see what folks need or want the most of these days in terms of 'lectronics...
Well, I'm about to start building what should be my Level 2 rocket - a Binder Samurai that Santa brought for Christmas (complete with the add-on ebay). Bought some extra couplers and tubes to modify it for dual-deployment - the plan is to fly it on H's and I's a bit to get used to dual deployment, then go for a J or a K sometime this spring/summer (if we ever get a high power field again for DARS, or I can make it down to Hearne or one of the other few places that fly high power in Texas in the summer).

Gots my MAWD and BigRedBee tracker transmitter already as well as some personal doorknob hanging alarms that I'll modify as a audible rocket finder thingie, so the "must have" electronics are taken care of, I think. May add a different altimeter (if Adrian gets the new altimeters done by then) or a BeeGPS transmitter.

But, what I'd really like to do is start carrying a small high def video camera on board the flights, and I dont' have one of those, yet, either!

There goes the tax refund!
 
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kelltym88

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Definitely an altimeter. While only L2, an altimeter would allow me to start building e-bays and getting experience with them. I am starting to design upscales to allow for DD and so on. I am very "green" in this area, so if I get a chance to pick one up, that's what I'm going to do. So yes, an altimeter.
 

bigone5500

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I voted for the altimeter. I would just looove to have a parrot.
 

jj94

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I voted for an altimeter and a camera/video camera. I don't have an altimeter yet, but I gave most of my MPR rockets room for an altimeter. I'd really like to get an Alt15K or an MAWD from Perfectflite or a Parrot.:D The camera was also chosen mainly because it would be really nice to have good inflight pictures or video footage.
 

FROB

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Thanks for all the votes so far, and please keep them coming if you haven't voted yet. I'm leaving the poll on for perpetuity.

It looks like there's a definite trend forming- people seem to want more altimeters than anything else by a wide margin, with camcorders being the nearest runner-up.
Too bad polls are limited to 7 entries, otherwise i would have put high-end and low-cost /miniature altimeters in separate categories. I might do another poll to see what the split is there, as there hasn't been a lot of comments on that preference yet.
 

Rocketjunkie

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Timers. My next cluster build will use timers for outboard ignition. Thermalite is getting too hard to find and mine is so old it's getting inconsistant. I already have the first 2 essentials, altimeters and a tracker.
 

FROB

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Timers. My next cluster build will use timers for outboard ignition. Thermalite is getting too hard to find and mine is so old it's getting inconsistant. I already have the first 2 essentials, altimeters and a tracker.
Ok , a few easy questions for you if i may:
How do want to trigger the timer to start?
How many timer/pyro outputs per unit ?
How do you want to power it ?
How do you want to program it?
what time range per channel ?

I think a universal timer for simple airstarts / staging / booster recovery needs at least 2 or 3 channels to cover all the uses i can think of- is there any point to more than that ?
 

Rocketjunkie

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Ok , a few easy questions for you if i may:
How do want to trigger the timer to start?
My preferred method is g-switch. The acceleration should be maintained for about .25 seconds to be considered a valid launch. A break wire or pull plug would be my second choice. (Open circut to start timer.)
How many timer/pyro outputs per unit ?
One. I would use multiple units when needed. My Motoreater design has 8 outboards so I could use as many as 4 units. For staging, the timer would be in the part of the rocket containing the motor(s) to be lit.
How do you want to power it ?
External battery, 3-12V. Isolate the electronics and include a cap or supercap to power the electronics during the pyro firing period. Regulate the battery voltage to whatever the electronics requires and use the battery direct to fire the pyros. Powerup debounce circuit should be able to handle long bounce times (1 second?) for users of the twist & tuck method.
How do you want to program it?
DIP switches, either straight binary or BCD. If a multiple channel timer, a separate switch for each channel is preferred. Read switch on powerup and store in memory. Do not rely on switches maintaining their state during flight.
what time range per channel ?
Most useful would be 0-25.5 seconds for airstarts and staging, 0-255 seconds for recovery. If using BCD switches, 0-100 seconds. Another possibility would be to use one position for sec/.1 sec select and use the rest for 0-12.7 or 0-127 sec ranges.
I think a universal timer for simple airstarts / staging / booster recovery needs at least 2 or 3 channels to cover all the uses i can think of- is there any point to more than that ?
I could use up to 4 channels but I prefer separate units for each. Then I can install only what is needed. You also need some kind of indicator so the user can tell if the unit is enabled. I prefer a beeper that can also be used to indicate continuity of the pyro like most altimeters use. (I know this will increase parts cost but it's worth it.)
 

Diosces

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Well, I'm about to start building what should be my Level 2 rocket - a Binder Samurai that Santa brought for Christmas (complete with the add-on ebay). Bought some extra couplers and tubes to modify it for dual-deployment - the plan is to fly it on H's and I's a bit to get used to dual deployment, then go for a J or a K sometime this spring/summer (if we ever get a high power field again for DARS, or I can make it down to Hearne or one of the other few places that fly high power in Texas in the summer).

Gots my MAWD and BigRedBee tracker transmitter already as well as some personal doorknob hanging alarms that I'll modify as a audible rocket finder thingie, so the "must have" electronics are taken care of, I think. May add a different altimeter (if Adrian gets the new altimeters done by then) or a BeeGPS transmitter.

But, what I'd really like to do is start carrying a small high def video camera on board the flights, and I dont' have one of those, yet, either!

There goes the tax refund!
n5wd, Sounds like a great project. Please post your Samurai build when you do it. I've built several Binder kits--last was a custom carbon fiber layup on the Jaguar Mike has great kits. I have an fg Devastator on order. After that I'm considering doing a carbon fiber reinforcement of either the Velociraptor or Samurai. Keep us posted.

For this poll I voted Radio Tracker, will be needing one when I abus...I mean test my modified Jaguar on warp 9 reloads.
 
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Viperfixr

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I am in the market for another altimeter so I can go dual altimeters in my next build project. I am very happy with my PF MAWD, but after looking at almost everything else out there, I'll be probably buying the Missile Works RRC2 Mini. I am not thrilled with the push button/LED light programming--looks more complicated than it needs to be. But, it has a lot of features for a good price. The others are nice, but expensive.

I want the idiot-proof simplicity of the MAWD, the data download features of the Parrot, and the size/price of a RRC2 Mini. Where is THAT altimeter??? How about just the first two for under $125?
 

dlb

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I'm like Blackjack, a Tracker, love the one he has!

2nd: a real full featured Altimeter( with multi channels out, all programmable) with GPS and transmitter all rolled into one package.:)

opps and any LED thing-a-mabobs, measured in watts
 
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Adrian A

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I want the idiot-proof simplicity of the MAWD, the data download features of the Parrot, and the size/price of a RRC2 Mini. Where is THAT altimeter??? How about just the first two for under $125?
The answer to your last question is sitting on my workbench, and it's called the Raven. The idea for it is to combine the simplicity and approximate price of the MAWD (with transfer kit), the approximate size and data recording performance of the Parrot, and the output flexibility of the high-end hobby altimeters like the Parrot, mission control, ARTS, etc. In parallel, I'm also making an even lower-cost version called the Wren that doesn't have an accelerometer or a built-in data transfer, but it will be smaller, simpler, and cheaper than the RRC2 Mini. Both should be available this spring.
 

talkin Monkey

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I voted for the video as I already have 2 RRC2 minis sitting in my L1 (turned overweight, overcomplicated and L2 in size now) and have a MAWD on the way from Wildman for the several simpler Class One~L1 size projects that I have in various states of construction around the house/"Build Complex".

Noise and smoke are more interesting to me than high performance ( and a need for tracking) at this point. So for me, decent video that I could stuff into an on board SD card and replay later and share with friends and peers would be a cool toy.

Scott
 

MarkII

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My next electronics purchase will be...

... my first one! :D

I don't know what that will be yet, because I don't have any plans to get anything right now. (No money, which is very quickly leading to no house, no car, no food... All because of no job.)

But when I daydream, I think about getting something simple (and cheap), like a DIY night launch set-up. I dream about getting one of the night launch kits sold by Leading Edge.

I also imagine doing videos someday, too, and I especially like the Boostervision cam.

MarkII
 

Threemorewishes

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GPS device. As the prices drop I am getting closer and closer to buying one.
 

Richard

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I have a BeeLine tracking transmitter, it has never flown, and a FT-60R HT on the way, but while working on getting my amateur radio license for the BeeLine I got a little interested in electronics. Having known nothing at all about the subject previously, it was all new and now I can stop thinking about electronics. I did not just test for my technician's class ticket, I took and passed technician, general, and extra scoring a perfect 35/35/50. The ham licensing materials presented a nice structured introduction to basic communication electronics.

Since then there has been a stream of little brown packages magically appearing on my stoop from places like DigiKey and SparkFun. This is beginning to irritate my dear wife and I am very grateful for her tolerance of my varied amusements.

Right now my son John and I are working on a car alarm project for his entry in next years Cub-scout pine-wood derby race. So far we have a bank of flashing LEDs synchronized with a range of siren sounds and interrupt driven control buttons to emulate different operation modes along with an RS232 interface, but we just got a nice little package with some accelerometers, some flash memory chips for storing voice ("Step away from the car!"), and a couple of TI transceiver chips to implement a remote control. We are learning so much and having a tremendous time and I think the knowledge we are gaining will be the foundation for a wide range of rocket related electronic project.

What will be our next rocket electronics purchase? Hopefully nothing at all!

Best Regards,
Richard
 
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troj

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I have two things I plan to acquire....

1) Yaesu VX-8r, to simplify tracking my BeeLine GPS. I already have a working setup; I'd just like to switch the receive radio to one with an integrated TNC.

2) Altimeter rated at 100g

Nothing to fancy....

-Kevin
 

Peartree

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Parts to build a multipad launcher for my personal use and for our annual Cub Scout launch.

Does that count?

As for prebuilt electronics, I'm still thinking about getting my L1 this fall (more likely next year) so I only beginning to consider the purchase of an altimeter.
 

DexterLB

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I'm for onboard camera - you most probably can't build it yourself, and the most important - it's the coolest gadget of them all!
 

rocketgroupmike

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ARTS 3 ! If it ever comes out... I see the ARTS 2 is temporarily out of stock, so maybe soon???
 

cjl

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I've already got a good selection of altimeters (2 RRC2Xs, an R-DAS, a Parrot), so I'd be most interested in a good tracking setup, preferably GPS.
 

mikec

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It looks like there's a definite trend forming- people seem to want more altimeters than anything else...
On the flip side, I think there are enough altimeters on the market already, and I'd be more interested in something not really available, like a lower-end, FCC-licenseless tracker of some kind.
 

Marsman

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I agree- a low cost tracker system that doesn't require a Ham license.
 
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