Sunday, May 26, 2013

Tutorial: Now to strengthen your Payload Electronics for rough launches and landings

Our latest tutorial shows how we discovered that our rocket electronics had failed due to the shock and vibration forces from launching and landing, and the steps which we took to correct the failure.

During the course of fight testing our ServoChron Servo operated Parachute Ejection Electronics, we had a mysterious failure that was traced to minor damage of the MSP430 LaunchPad Printed Circuit Board. We were able to diagnose the failure and traced it to the source and then designed this method to prevent future mishaps of this nature.

This tutorial shows our technique using an MSP430 LaunchPad, but we also use this technique on other rocketry electronics. The same method can be applied to altimeters and accelerometer boards or radio control receiver boards, as well as boards you may have built yourself like an Arduino project and similar projects.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

How to add a Clark Cable Tie Release to your Water Rocket Launcher

We have just published a follow up Tutorial to our recently released Water Rocket Launch Tube Construction Tutorial which shows the latest refinements to our popular Clark Cable Tie Launcher tutorial. Since that tutorial was published, we have found ways to make it easier to build, so we created a completely new Cable Tie Release tutorial which includes the updated instructions showing the build process using all of the new techniques.

The new tutorial all but eliminates precise measuring and cutting, and still results in a professional looking launcher that works reliably every time! This tutorial will work with practically any launch tube, but is ideal for rockets with unrestricted nozzles.

The link below will take you to the page for this new tutorial on our main website:
Construction Tutorial: How to make a Clark Cable Tie Release Mechanism for Water Rockets

If you wish to view the entire listing of our Water Rocket Construction Tutorials, then please click the link below which will take you to the full list:
Full listing of Water Rocket Construction Tutorials

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How to Modify an MSP430 LaunchPad so it will work with both Breadboards and BoosterPacks

We have discovered an even simpler solution to the issues that some people have had with the decision to install male headers on the MSP430 Launchpad than the solution we documented in our previous tutorial. The new solution is much easier and faster, since it completely eliminates desoldering the male headers from the LaunchPad board.

Not that the old tutorial was difficult by any means, since it was based on a really clever trick for removing soldered components, but the new tutorial shows an even nicer solution that can be done in 2 minutes or less, and essentially costs nothing!

Click here if you would like to see the original tutorial and learn how to remove the male headers quickly and easily so they can be replaced with female headers.
The best part about the new method is that when completed, your MSP430 LaunchPad will be compatible with both Breadboards and BoosterPacks!
Click on the link below to check out the new MSP430 LaunchPad Tutorial, which we have named the "Horizontal Stabilizer" modification, which is a tribute to the Rocketry/Aeronautical naming theme that TI has been using for the MSP430 LaunchPad family of products.