Got an Arduino for my birthday, and I'm sooooo excited!

Okay, so you're probably thinking "What the heck is an... arr.. arr... thing?" Well, I'll tell you: It's an open source electronics prototyping platform, so I can make my own rocket payloads and robots and whatever else strikes my fancy.

We used an Arduino last semester for our USLI payload at Iowa State University. We started out using a PIC, which is similar but way more complicated. So we switched over to Arduino and the project moved along five times faster.

I'm looking forward to all of the different projects that will come of this. My first project will probably be a very simple robot, so stay tuned for that!


Pictures and Video!

I love Skidmarks.

Hybrid M-motor that never went :(

He's probably thinking "Not my day..."

From this --^

To this --^

Stinger on the pad.


June Launch Report <-- Boring Title But VERY Interesting Article

No matter what safety precautions you take, at the end of the day getting beaned on the noggin with an Aerotech Sumo coming in ballistic at a couple hundred feet per second is bad for your health. Just saying.

Despite that little incident (the victim is doing well now, but everyone was freaked out of their breeches at the time), the launch was a smashing success! (No pun intended).

First off, there was an M motor with three outboard J's that were going to airstart. The M cato'd.

Then there was a big Hypertek M motor that would fill with nitrous oxide but was having issues with the ignition system. No joy there.

Then there was my L2 certification attempt. We won't even talk about that.

Just kidding, we will. So I passed the test, no sweat. I had studied for it several times before but never got around to taking it for one reason or another. Then I got my rocket ready to fly: Stinger on a J285. I'm so brilliant. I certify L1 on an I285 which is a huge I, and certify L2 on a J285 which is a baby J. That way I can use the same rocket, same casing, same average thrust... It's amazing they even let you do it that way.

But then it came down to launch time. Despite my 4-caliber stability margin, the rocket had issues on the ascent. I'm still analyzing the video to figure out what went wrong, and I'll post it on YouTube later for you all to analyze as well. But something fishy happened. It corkscrewed a little and increased drag so much that what should have been a 5000' flight turned out to be a 1500' flight. Therefore, a 15 second delay for the motor eject was waaaay too long. The main was set to deploy at 500, but I'm not sure which deployed first, the drogue or the main. I guess I will have to look at the video and figure all these things out. But the point is that it was going way too fast when it finally ejected, and the rocket separated and I failed my certification.

Oh well.

There were some other cool things about the launch, like an L1500, and a minimum diameter H399. Mach 1.25 on the H399! But I'm too lazy to cover every launch in great detail, and besides, reading about it just isn't the same thing as actually being there.

I'm going to build a new rocket for July, so stay tuned for some build pics.