I thought video taping what they actually do in flight should give people a better understanding why they don't work the way they think they should.
There is a small digital video camera looking through a lens at a set of three mercury switches. Two are mounted the way people would typically mount them and the other is mounted upside down. They are wired to an LED each so you can see when in flight they actually activate. There is also a light source (white LED) above them so the mercury can be clearly seen. There is also a barometric recording altimeter mounted on the side to correlate the activation timing of the switches vs altitude/speed.
The parachute will be set to deploy later than normal so we can see what happens through apogee and somewhat beyond. After we have flown it I'll post the results to our regular website again.
Here is the MicroLab before being installed in the rocket. The rocket will be a Polaron style rocket of around 9.5L. capacity. The rocket is made up of the old Acceleron V bottles so we will be launching it at only about 110psi.
Back view with power turned on
View from inside the experiment