Flight Computer

Ive had a bit of a break from Water rockets since December, but my other projects are getting to be finished so I can put some time back to water rocketry.

One of the decisions I came to over the break was that I needed to increase my recovery percentages. While I put a lot of work into the tomy timer design it just didn’t give a high percentage of recovery. I calculated I was running around 50 – 60% of a successful recovery. I also deduced that it was the releasing of the elastic band from the timer that was the trouble. I could get it 95% of the time to release while testing it on the ground, but in the air with the force of the air rushing by was a different story. It was hard to test in this scenario. So I ended up loosing a lot of wrockets disappointingly only getting to fly a wrocket once after building one.

I have had my eye on George from Aircommands computer deployment system, and when he had a new batch ready I jumped at the chance to get one. I used trusty paypal that evening and george shipped it the next day.

I got the model with the onboard gravity switch for launch detect

Aircommand Water rocket Flight Computer v1.6 with launch detect

Aircommand Water rocket Flight Computer v1.6 with launch detect

I also had to get some micro servos to use with the computer. There are many available from Hong Kong on Ebay, but I ended up getting 4 from an Australian ebayer for a few dollars more, but had it within 2 days.

The specs of the servos I got are

* Nylon gears
* 3 pole wire
* Weight: 8 grams
* Torque: 1.4kg/cm@ 4.8V and 1.9kg/cm@ 6.0V
* Speed: 0.1 sec / 60o at no load
* Operating Voltage: 3.0V – 7.2 V
* Dimensions: L 23mm x W 12mm x D 26mm
* Universal RX plug

Micro Servos with battery for scale

Micro Servos with battery for scale

I had a little issue with the servo motors running for 2 seconds after the servos had swung its full arc. George was great and gave me advise of which setting to change in order to get this right. ALl is working well now. Here is a video


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 10:19 am and is filed under Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


5 Responses to “Flight Computer”

  1. Mat G Says:

    Hi Todd,
    Good to see you back up and going again.
    You won’t regret your purchase of Georges computer. They’re very well made and reliable.
    I’ll have to look at upgrading to the v1.6 soon myself.
    I look forward to seeing some videos of your flights with the computer.


  2. todd Says:

    thanks Mat, yes they are very well designed and made. I am very happy with it. I will have to remember to add a link to georges Flight computer page for other visitors.

    Im looking forward to getting some more wrockets built and flying … :)

  3. George Says:

    Hi Todd,

    Glad to hear you’re back in the world of water rockets. I’m looking forward to your flight reports. Suggestions are always welcome about ways to improve the flight computer. I’m already working on the next version that will add more functionality and be a bit smaller. :)


    – George

  4. todd Says:

    thanks for dropping by George. I will be happy to give feedback on my flights using v1.6. So far in ground tests Im very happy with it … :)

  5. himanshu Says:

    i want to use FC v1.6 in my water rocket. But i am finding difficulty in purchasing it. Can u please tell me from where can I get this FC and what is its cost….I will be very thankful to you..