This blog covers the day to day progress of water rocket development by the Air Command Water Rockets team. It is also a facility for people to provide feedback and ask questions.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Glueing and PCB layout

Splicing and Couplings

This week it's been a bit of a mixed bag. Now that we have the PL Premium glue, we are gluing together pairs of 1.25L bottles. These glued sections have a thread at either end allowing us to join them to other sections. We have 6 made up, and two more will get made today. They will be used in constructing boosters and rockets bodies as well.

To join these together we have also been experimenting with making simple "Tornado" couplings. We are still waiting for the glue to dry before we do a full pressure test. We've made up four of these so far and if they work well, we have the materials to make a lot more. They weigh around 7 grams. The other nice thing about these couplings is that they have a 19mm hole which is about 6 times bigger in cross sectional area than the Robinson couplings we have been making. This leads to better internal efficiencies and also means we can put a long 19mm launch tube through them.

The simulator predicts well improved altitudes for rockets made out of the spliced pairs and the tornado couplings.


We have also been doing repairs to the two crashed rockets from last week. This will require a little more work since the nosecones and deployment systems need to be rebuilt.

PCB Layout for Flight Computer V1.5
As a part of making life easier when doing repairs we have been finalising the PCB layouts for the next iteration of the flight computer. We are going to do a small run of these PCBs and make up a number of the computers so that we can quickly replace them should they become damaged. The board will be about 43mm x 55mm in size or about 30% smaller than what we have been making on the prototype board. It will have dual servo motor outputs making it suitable for single and dual stage rockets. It also has a buzzer for audio feedback of mode changes as well as helping to locate it in tall grass.


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