Hello from Austin, Texas !

This forum is for new members to introduce themselves and tell us how they got started in water rocketry.
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:47 am

Hello from Austin, Texas !

Post by lambsoft »

Hello !
I hope to find other folks here who, unlike my wife and kids, think water rockets are cool and that the time spent with them is time well spent :razz:

I started with a simple vinegar & baking soda bottle rocket and when that disappointed in terms of unreliable and uncontrolled launch, not to mention the poor altitude I found water rockets.

I liked the idea of something so simple and relatively safe ( no flames are involved ) and that I could build at home with no real expertise. I am NOT a rocket scientist after all...

I created 2 Clark cable tie launchers and thought these were the hard part to perfect but I think I have them nailed down.

I have moved on to the rocket and while the rocket itself is really just an inverted bottle its the trick to deploy the parachute that has me all worked up. Its a challenge to solve...

I really really really wanted a not electronic / gravity / physics based solution and while we were able to get a few successful launches ( yeah, I take my kids with to the school field for launches so I don't look like the crazy old man who likes to play with water rockets - I blame it all on those kids - its for the kids... ) We were able to place a parachute stuffed into the nosecone and it deployed maybe 75% of the time just because it was there right on top and when apogee was reached the cone was no longer being pushed onto the end of the rocket... I was not happy enough and so I have begun the process of crossing over to the dark side...

Enter the Arduino solution... I had tinkered with Arduino a few years ago and so have almost all I needed - give or take a few BMP180 or BMP280 sensors and some SD card readers for data logging.

So right now I am in the final stages of development and testing in my lab ( aka my study ).

What I do realize is just how much pressure those real rocket scientists must experience on their launch day... Its nerve wrecking !!!

More to come. I'm glad to have found a place to vent and talk H2ORockets !!!
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Re: Hello from Austin, Texas !

Post by anachronist »

I have a non-electronic deployment design that relies on the fact that an object in the nose will experience four different phases of force: (1) aft force during launch, (2) forward force due to drag during coast, (3) zero-G at apogee, and (4) forward force (again) due to drag during descent. I designed a weighted spring-loaded toggle that moves forward and back through all these stages, finally triggering a release mechanism during descent. Currently it's all 3D-print designs. The release I haven't quite worked out yet; it needs to be a hair-trigger thing.

In the meantime, I bought and built the Eggtimer Quantum logging altimeter, driving a small servo. That works too.