Thursday, June 26, 2014

Low Cost Altimeter With Servo Deploy!

U.S. Water Rockets is pleased to announce the release of the LaunchPad AlTImeter, the Model Rocket Altimeter that you build yourself using the FREE plans and software that are available for download on our website!   
The LaunchPad AlTImeter was designed to meet the needs specific to both Pyro Rockets and Water Rockets,  and it is packed it with useful features.  Even so, the designers worked tirelessly to keep the project cost very low!  


Some of the main features of the LaunchPad AlTImeter design include:
  • Peak Altitude Report (up to > 32,000 feet)
  • <1 foot (30 cm) Altitude Resolution
  • Automatic Apogee Detection with Deploy Trigger Outputs
  • Configurable Deploy Output Polarity
  • Configurable Deploy Delay
  • Automatic Launch Detection detects slow acceleration  (small nozzle water rockets)
  • Direct Servo Deploy Driver Output
  • ~3.3V Digital Deploy Output
  • Visual and Audio Feedback
  • Low Power Texas Instruments MSP430 Microcontroller Core
  • Low Cost
  • Easy to build (Extensive Documentation on
  • Free Plans and Software Downloads
  • Operates from 3.7VDC to 10.0VDC (Max 6.0VDC if Servo is used)
  • Weekly Tutorial and Demonstration Videos (Click Here to Subscribe)

To keep the cost to the end user as low as possible, we chose the Texas Instruments MSP430 LaunchPad development board as the core for the platform, and added a few simple components to create a very easy to build project.  By using the MSP430 LaunchPad as a starting point, we have provided a path for those who are using our previously released ServoChron Servo Timer system to upgrade to a fully functional peak recording altimeter with servo motor deploy.
To lean more about the LaunchPad AlTImeter and find out how to make your own, please visit the new section of our website: Click here for the LaunchPad AlTImeter Documentation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Water Rocket Chase Camera Mark II

We've just posted an update to our Water Rocket Chase Camera Project which shows how we repaired and improved the Chase Camera Pod that was destroyed in the collision with the Rocket Thrust Water Column in the first part of the project.  The new design was modified so that it would avoid meeting its demise in the same way, and we achieved some success in preventing the damage with the new style Chase Camera design, while obtaining some amazing exterior footage of the rocket through the entire flight.

The project update is available on our website at: and the video for the new update is on our YouTube Channel at:

Don't forget that our Big Announcement is only 2 days away. You're not going to want to miss this one!