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model rocket altimeter

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Tarytoons

New Member
Does anyone have a good plan for an altimeter that could be used for model rocketry??
I'm somewhat new to the electronics field, but have a good basic understanding of most things.
any help would be greatly appreciated
 

Oznog

Active Member
Pressure sensor, a microcontroller, and an accurate ADC. The 10-bit ADC on the controller can do only fairly rough resolution. The microcontroller needs to do a bunch of math to make this work.

The pressure sensor needs to be designed to take in static air. That is, air whose pressure isn't being changed by the motion alone. This happens if the air intake faces the front or rear of the direction of travel. Ideally it faces to the side. Perhaps the air inside the rocket would do ok without an external port but it's hard to say.
 

MikeHibbett

New Member
Have you thought of using a small gps module? I'm making a unit up for some rocketeers here in the uk, but I dont yet know what the performance is like. It's nice and lightweight though.

Mike
 

Tarytoons

New Member
I'd be very interested to hear how the gps idea turns out.
ADC? Like I said, I know some basics but that one is beyond me.
 

MikeHibbett

New Member
Tarytoons said:
I'd be very interested to hear how the gps idea turns out.

I'll be posting the details here:
**broken link removed**

The module I'm using, the ZX4120, is small, lightweight and cheap. But any module should be fine.
If you drop me an email (details on the website) I'll let you know when it's done. It should be ready for early summer. Rocket people dont get out during the winter months over here!

Mike
 

Tarytoons

New Member
I was just thinking-doesn't that unit have a limit of 2g's??
Will that stand up to the g's produced at liftoff??
 

MikeHibbett

New Member
It has a dynamic limit of 4g, physical limit isn't stated. We are looking for altitude at apogee when hopefully it isn't expecting high acceleration!

It's very experiemental, not sure what kind of results we are going to get but will be fun finding out :eek:)

Mike
 

jbeng

Member
Tarytoons said:
ADC? Like I said, I know some basics but that one is beyond me.
ADC = Analog-to-Digital Converter
Basically, converting the analog altitude information into a digital form which can then be stored in memory as a set of data points or sent to a ground station via radio link. Transmitting the data could also be accomplished by converting the analog voltage to a tone via a VCO (a voltage controlled oscillator) then sent to the ground to be processed, recorded, etc. However, sending the telemetry data digitally would allow you to send multiple parameters via one radio link (ie. altitude, air temperature, etc.)
Oznog said:
Perhaps the air inside the rocket would do ok without an external port but it's hard to say.
I think it would probably work ok inside the main body of the rocket were it not for the parachute ejection charge. The pressure sensor might be damaged when that fires (unless it could be isolated). You might be able to put the altimeter system in the nose cone (payload bay?), but that might change the rocket's characteristics by making it nose-heavy.
JB
 

Tarytoons

New Member
jbeng,
Thanks for the info...like I said, I'm kinda new to this stuff. :D
Any suggestions on a mini telemetry unit??

You might be able to put the altimeter system in the nose cone (payload bay?), but that might change the rocket's characteristics by making it nose-heavy.
I can compensate for the tiny amount of additional weight; that's not a problem. 8)
 

jbeng

Member
Tarytoons said:
Any suggestions on a mini telemetry unit?
Unfortunately, I don't. That is, other than this link I found to a page from the National Association of Rocketry where they have a design for one with circuit diagrams, etc. : **broken link removed**
Hope it's what you're looking for. Sounds like a fun project.
JB
 

Roff

Well-Known Member
Tarytoons said:
Does anyone have a good plan for an altimeter that could be used for model rocketry??
I'm somewhat new to the electronics field, but have a good basic understanding of most things.
any help would be greatly appreciated
Did you do a Google search for "model rocket altimeter schematic"? Try it.
 
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