Saturday, July 30, 2011

ServoChron™ UART Diagnostics Mode Revealed!!!

U.S. Water Rockets has released the MSP430 Application UART Driver package for the MSP430 LaunchPad based  ServoChron™ Dual Servo Parachute Recovery Controller UART Diagnostics Mode!
ServoChron(tm) 2 Dual Servo Rocket Parachute Recovery System

This mode is the first in a series of special "easter eggs" included in the  ServoChron™ 2 firmware that you can use to take advantage of new technology never before seen in a Water Rocket Servo Controller or Timer. Not even pricey prefabricated timers seen advertised all over the internet have such advanced features as the FREE ServoChron™ 2!
To take advantage of this new feature, you will need to download a terminal emulation program (if you do not already have one as part of your Windows installation) as well as the MSP430 Application UART Serial Port Drivers for the MSP430 LaunchPad. See the documentation at the link below for more information!

The ServoChron™ 2 can communicate directly with a personal computer using the MSP430 Application UART which is built into the MSP430 LaunchPad. This feature provides USB to RS-232 conversion hardware connected to the MSP430G2231 microcontroller which communicates over a backchannel link over the USB debugger interface. With this mode, you can get a readout of all the current settings as well as diagnostic error codes which may help in troubleshooting.
Follow this link to the WRA2 Water Rocket Forum Topic where you can download the MSP430 Application UART Drivers and get the instructions!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

FREE Dual Servo Recovery Controller Firmware Now Available!

U.S. Water Rockets proudly presents the first firmware update for the exceptionally popular  ServoChron™ Servo Timer Parachute Recovery Controller. The new firmware update effectively doubles the functionality of the Original $4.30 ServoChron™, and it can all be yours for the incredibly low-low price of FREE!

ServoChron™ 2 Features:· Dual servo control
· Built on ultra-affordable MSP430 LaunchPad Platform ($4.30)
· Operates on 3.7V-10V DC. You may use various power sources from a single lightweight Lithium Polymer rechargeable cell up to a standard 9V battery.
· User defined servo positions for each servo
· User programmable delay for each servo from 0.000 to 30.000 seconds in 1 millisecond increments
· USB Firmware update (with included cable! No special programming hardware to buy!)
· Edge sensitive trigger input with automatic polarity detect
· Trigger input capable of sensing contact open or close events shorter than 10 nanoseconds
· Innovative 2-button operator interface with easy to remember setup
· 3 Status LEDs
· UART (Serial) diagnostics mode
· Dimensions: 2.0 x 2.6 inches (50.80 x 66.04 mm)
· Weight : 0.635 oz (18 grams)
· Includes testing and arming operational modes
· Fully RoHS compliant. Contains legal levels of lead and hazardous materials
· Revised and improved instructions!

Purchasing information:
The ServoChron™ 2 firmware costs NOTHING including FREE Download. 

You will need to purchase your own MSP430 LaunchPad board, servos, and battery. See the assembly
section of the user manual for full parts list and prices. The total Bill of Materials for a complete dual deploy system,
assembled, and ready to fly will be approximately $15US.

To see the ServoChron™ 2 in action, check out the youtube video:

For complete instructions for building and operating your own ServoChron™ 2, click the following link: ServoChron 2 Tutorial and Downloads Page

If you have questions or suggestions for new features, drop us a line at the ServoChron™ 2 Topic at the WRA2 Water Rocket Forum.

In closing, we would like to thank everyone in the community for their feedback and suggestions. We believe that this new update will address the comments we have received.

Thanks for the feedback!