An altimeter

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guy97
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An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:06 am

Hi guys and gals,
I was thinking on the way home from the AYRC about altimeters and how we could prove them. I was only thinking this because I may need to replace my teachers altimeter. It broke when my rocket crashed. I was thinking about a separate battery and a led display for the max height. I don't know much about the electronics involved but can solder up a few parts ( my birthday present was a soldering iron). Just thinking and brainstorming at the moment. Would be nice to know how far my rockets go.

Thanks people,
Mathew
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Re: An altimeter

Postby Lamp » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:34 am

G'day Mathew,
If you are not looking for an altimeter to be used for deployment, but just want something to give you maximum altitude, maximum velocity and peak acceleration in LPR/MPR, I believe the altimeter 2 is probably what you are after because it is very small and comes in its own case so you do not need an altimeter bay, although it is already assembled. I think Blake could get one in for you.

If you are looking to make your own, there are people here could help you with the design (not me...I know nothing), but it would be heavier and bigger than the altimeter2. If size and weight do not matter so much....go for it! :D
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Re: An altimeter

Postby ogivemeahome » Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:25 pm

Hey

I have an 'altimeter one'. Very easy to use, displays max altitude (that's all), charges from a USB socket.

Take care with your soldering iron - if you're using lead solder, you don't want to ingest any of it.
You won't know it's poisoning you until you've had a good dose.
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Re: An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:51 pm

Hi guys.
First of all. Thanks for the responses
Secondly. I really wanted to start understanding how to make an altimeter or flight computer. I am willing to learn as much as I can
Thirdly. I was thinking we could put together some new ideas into this altimeter. Maybe a separate battery so it has little chance of smashing the board ( battery broke my teachers new altimeter :cry: ) and other things like that

Regards,
Mathew
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Re: An altimeter

Postby OverTheTop » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:56 pm

Take care with your soldering iron - if you're using lead solder, you don't want to ingest any of it.
You won't know it's poisoning you until you've had a good dose.


Don't panic too much about lead in solder. Nothing to be afraid of! I have been soldering for over 40 years (started when I was eight) and am only slightly mad :shock:
Just remember to wash your hands after soldering. Good habit to have anyway!

Lead-free is ok to use, just dial the temperature up 30degC and be a little more patient. Otherwise largely the same, although joints look more granular and less shiny. I still prefer the leaded.
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Re: An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:29 pm

When I was starting out I spent an entire hour soldering something. Breathing in the gas. Felt like I had a lung full of smoke ( probably did )
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Re: An altimeter

Postby OverTheTop » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:13 pm

I did forget to mention not to breathe the fumes. Sorry about the omission... :(

This applies particularly to the new lead-free fluxes. Usually much more active and aggressive.
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Re: An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:03 pm

Anybody know of plans or a kit altimeter for a low cost :D . The main idea of this was to create a low cost, user friendly and user designed altimeter to test how accurate simulators are and other things
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Re: An altimeter

Postby PK » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:46 am

I designed one last century. We built maybe 50 or 60 of them over the years. Very simple, very low cost and, by the time the firmware hit V7 point something, pretty schmick too. Had remote controlled arming and programming. Mach proof (velocity based) apogee detection...

Unfortunatley, most of the parts are now obsolete.
I have a box with "Altimeter project" written on it, inside are some Bosch digital baro sensors, micro's and stuff. The idea being to recreate pretty much what you are talking about. Worth mentioning though that there are one or two very low cost altimeters out there you can just go buy.

If Whooshtronics puts one together, then the cost is gonna break down something like:

Battery $1
Sensor $5
Micro $2
Beeper $1
PCB $1.50
Misc components $2
Assembly $5
Beer $5

So, change from $30
Add logging and a USB interface and you're up another:
USB connector $1
EEPROM $1
USB interface IC $2
and a bit more time to build the software.

PK

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Re: An altimeter

Postby Scoop1261 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:49 am

PK wrote:........and a bit more time to build the software.


Does that mean more than $5 in beer then?
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Re: An altimeter

Postby Kryten » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:15 am

I'd probably buy one.
I was looking at buying an Altimeter One, but I'd prefer to support Whooshtronics.
How big would the unit be? What size battery?
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Re: An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:32 am

I would definitly be buying one if Whooshtronics made it. I think if you made the USB version, We could use it for the AYRC next year. Sub $30 would be a bargain. I Would also recommend putting a LED display for the altitude as well.

Regards,
Mathew
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Re: An altimeter

Postby PK » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:36 am

Kryten wrote:I'd probably buy one.
I was looking at buying an Altimeter One, but I'd prefer to support Whooshtronics.
How big would the unit be? What size battery?


The prototype I put together was slightly smaller than a uMad and ran from the same battery.
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Re: An altimeter

Postby PK » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:03 pm

The real challenge here is avoiding feature creep.
There answer to "What features should I design into a new altimeter" always ends up being "Everything!"
at which point it gets expensive and difficult.

In practice, every plot of baro alt vs time ends up looking pretty much the same, adding the complexity and cost of logging on a single sensor device is thus a bit of a waste of time.

I'll be putting together a simple, cheap, peak alt recording, dual deploy altimeter. I might add some kind of remote arming, because that is just plain useful, but that's about it..

PK

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Re: An altimeter

Postby guy97 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:13 pm

Ok so if you make a dual deploy altimeter, How much is it going to be or is that the prototype you were talking about
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