Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by Azstrumm » Tue, 11 Jan 2000 04:00:00



Hi all.  What a wonderful weekend.  The SSS launch at Rainbow Valley this
weekend was a huge success.  Beautiful weather, flight after flight going off
without a hitch and lots of rocket geek bonding.  And to top it all off, I
certified NAR level 1. Many thanks to Peter at Space Modeling Solutions for his
help assembling parts for my homemade rocket prophetically named "Live Long and
Prosper".  Also KUDOS go out to Ron and Jerry at Access Rocketry for selling me
on the Kosdon hardware and helping to assemble the H-135 engine.  Unbelievable
to me that we now have two great distributors at each launch.  I plan on
helping them both to stay in business a long time.

Anyway, you're probably all in suspense about the cryptic subject line
mentioning redundancy.  I was fortunate enough to have engineered a bit of it
into my rocket for this attempt.  I designed this rocket with a mid-section
payload area for electronics so that I could make my first stab at dual
recovery.  Pulled my trusty PbP 4 event timer out of my last rocket and built a
nice little mount for it inside my payload section.  In the previous rocket I
had used the pull pin method that had come with the timer to signal the timer
to start.  I was using the timer there to airstart 2 D engines with flashbulbs.
 Had the flashbulbs wired in for a launch but had not yet taped them to the D's
along with a bit of black powder.  The small connector on the end of a length
of Kevlar string that bridged the 2 pins was in place over the pins glued to
the end of the rocket.  Well I guess they weren't making the best of contact
cause when I brushed against them, my timer stopped beeping.  Of course that
caused me to look down to see what had changed and 2 seconds later I was
blinded by two flashbulbs going off in my face.  Duh.  Probably best to not
leave the battery in the timer as I'm wiring up flashbulbs.  

Anyway, to get back on track about my cert rocket, that incident made me stop
trusting the pull pin method of starting the timer so I built a G-switch using
a microswitch and some weights.  I enclosed it in a small wooden box so it
would be unaffected by things flying around inside my payload section.  Since I
had never worked with Kosdon engines before and had no clue as to the
reliability of their ejection charges I worried that using timer ejection for
the main chute might be asking for a subterainian rocket excavation if my
drogue failed to deploy so I added a small microswitch on the lower sleeve of
the payload section so that it would be depressed as long as the payload
section had not separated from the engine and fin can.  I wired one output of
the timer through the switch and up to my main chute ejection charge flashbulb.
 I set the timer so that circuit would fire 11 seconds after liftoff.  The
delay charge on the engine was 7 seconds so if it went off first the switch
would open and disable the main ejection at 11 seconds.  A second timer circuit
was set for 30 seconds after liftoff and also went to the same main chute
ejection flashbulb.  

About midway into the SSS launch I was ready to go for it.  Engine was
assembled and screwed in, chutes were checked and packed and after ensuring the
arming jack was inserted in the electronics compartment, a new battery was
installed and the parts put together.  I went out to my effects gantry,
inserted a C6-0 for the effects smoke and fire and checked the operation of the
swingback gantry arms.  Everything looked great.  On my way back to get the
rocket for checkin, I spotted a shiny new penny on the ground - heads up.  Now
I knew I had it made.  Checked in with the RSO, put the beast on the pad and
wired her up.  A pull of the pin in the arming jack had the timer beeping out
the codes I wanted to hear so I stepped back and put up my arm.  My name was
announced and the observers got in place.  Sky was clear, countdown and I
pressed the button.  The C effect engine roared to life spewing fire out the
side of the launch pad as the lower swingarm pulled back.  Next the upper arm
pulled back, energizing the final launch relay.  A split second later the H135
roared to life and the rocket shot into the air, leaving my 10 year old
videographer searching up the column of smoke.  It rose straight and true.  At
apogee I saw a small puff of smoke but no chute.  About a second or so later
the bright red chute popped open and the rocket drifted down safely.  Wait!  My
drogue is yellow.   A walked about 100 feet south and picked up the rocket.
Only the nosecone and main chute had deployed but everything was in great
shape.  I walked the rocket over to Dave Falkner, explained my success in spite
of the engine ejection not working and he signed off on my level one.  What a
relief.  I was pumped that I had engineered myself out of certain disaster.  An
inspection of the engine case revealed that the charge had gone off but I
probably had not added enough powder.  I noticed that, looking down the Kosdon
casing from the ejection area, everything below the hole between it and the
delay area was completely burned and, with the large throat of the nozzel, I
probably needed an extra kick to make up for the energy that would be lost
going back that way. I had probably compounded that effect since I had added
baffles to the top of the engine tube to minimize the blast effect on the
chute.  

So anyway I'm really buzzed that I've made that first plateau.  Thanks again to
all who helped, encouraged and congratulated me.  Now the true test lies ahead
- to see if my checkbook can survive.

Art Martin

 
 
 

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by Joel C Simo » Tue, 11 Jan 2000 04:00:00


Congratulations!

I suppose it's too late for that lecture about "keeping it simple" for your
cert flight.....

Sounds cool!  Glad it worked.

Joel

 
 
 

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by Sean Guilda » Wed, 12 Jan 2000 04:00:00


Azstrummer wrote :

: And to top it all off, I certified NAR level 1.

Way to go Art! Sounds like the *** was really pumping!

Sean Guilday
Level 1  Soon!

 
 
 

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by azstrum.. » Thu, 13 Jan 2000 04:00:00




Quote:

> Congratulations!

> I suppose it's too late for that lecture about "keeping it simple"
for your
> cert flight.....

> Sounds cool!  Glad it worked.

> Joel

Joel, thanks for the congrats.  Yeah, I doubt I'll ever keep it
simple.  I just get too big a thrill out of a successful engineering
challenge.  Now a more serious challenge for me right now is to
understand why I can't see my own posts using the AOL newsgroup
service. Sounds like I just need to bite the bullet and do all my news
posting and reading via Deja.

Art Martin

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by Rick Jame » Thu, 13 Jan 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

>   Now a more serious challenge for me right now is to
> understand why I can't see my own posts using the AOL newsgroup
> service. Sounds like I just need to bite the bullet and do all my news
> posting and reading via Deja.

That doesn't always work either.  I like Deja, but when it's down, it
can be very frustrating.

By the way, I share your enthusiasm with your level I project.  I have
a horrible time building anything "stock".  I've read all the warnings
about K-I-S-S and I agree and understand.  But...

Anyway I'm building a LOC IV for my L1 attempt.  I can't help it, I'm
replacing the elastic shock chord with tubular kevlar, and I'm going to
attach the fins to the motor tube somehow.  But I promise, that's it!
--
Rick James
NAR#73338

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Level 1!!! Boy do I love redundancy.

Post by azstrum.. » Thu, 13 Jan 2000 04:00:00




Quote:


> >   Now a more serious challenge for me right now is to
> > understand why I can't see my own posts using the AOL newsgroup
> > service. Sounds like I just need to bite the bullet and do all my
news
> > posting and reading via Deja.

> That doesn't always work either.  I like Deja, but when it's down, it
> can be very frustrating.

> By the way, I share your enthusiasm with your level I project.  I have
> a horrible time building anything "stock".  I've read all the warnings
> about K-I-S-S and I agree and understand.  But...

> Anyway I'm building a LOC IV for my L1 attempt.  I can't help it, I'm
> replacing the elastic shock chord with tubular kevlar, and I'm going
to
> attach the fins to the motor tube somehow.  But I promise, that's it!
> --
> Rick James
> NAR#73338

> Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
> Before you buy.

What the heck Rick.  Go all the way - internal guidance.  Then tell the
guy qualifying you that if he doesn't sign you'll home in on him.

Art Martin

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.