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represents a launch or test day, and describes the
events that took place.
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Day 107 - Williams, Servo Timer II production, Test
Evolution path of the timer.
The timer is small enough to fit inside of
T8 FTC rockets.
Part of the initial production run for these
Testing the production versions. Here it is
fitted inside a 90mm nosecone.
The other side of the deployment mechanism
showing the parachute door and servo motor.
Test launch with foam.
Coming back to the pad.
The rocket landed only a couple of meters
5 launches in all were carried out during
the launch day.
Dave's Big M to M project.
Blake and Dave prior to the N2000 drag race.
Good old rivalry between CGN and QRS. All good
Photo: Shane Miles
Samantha's L3 certification attempt on an
M1297. John being used for scale here.
June 20118:30am - 1:00pm
Doonside, NSW, Australia
Conditions:Calm, blue skies, perfect
flying conditions, temp ~20C
Team Members at Event:John K and
I've had a really busy the last 2 weeks
so only a quick update this week....
Servo Timer II
In the last few weeks we've been focusing on getting
the STII finally finished along with all the associated testing and
documentation so there hasn't been much
time for actual rocket building. Construction
of the timers has
been going a lot
faster now than the first few prototypes. I was
originally going to get someone else to do
the assembly on all the timers, but it
turns out that it's not that time consuming
so I am just making them in my spare time.
We only did a small initial run, but with
the great response from water rocketeers, I've had
to place an order for more components for
more of the timers. The support is very much
appreciated. We'd be very keen to hear from
the people who purchased the timers about
your experiences with them.
2 weeks ago we also did a few more test flights with the
production versions to make sure the
timers were behaving themselves properly with the new
firmware changes. We have now
flown the timers on close to 20 flights from
small to large rockets.
We also made a small test jig for the
timers so that it makes it easier to test each of them fully
after they are assembled.
Launch Day Report
We got to the launch site at around
8:30am to be greeted by
beautiful blue skies and virtually no wind.
The new launcher was quickly set up (I'm
definitely liking the new launcher) and the
first rocket was on the pad within 15
minutes. We did 5 launches in all some with
water only and some with foam. All the
rockets used the new STII. We were
particularly interested in the slow takeoffs
during foam launches to see how well the
timers trigger, In all the flights the
timers performed well.
On the third flight the parachute came
out, but either got tangled
around a fin or rail button. I think the
main problem there was that the shock cord was
too short and the
parachute didn't go past the end of the
rocket. So the parachute inflated right
about where the fin is. Because of the
flapping parachute the rocket had increased
drag and although it hit hard only minor
damage was done. The top two bottles on the
rocket were bent and nosecone fairing was
damaged, but the whole payload and
electronics survived without a problem and
will be re-used as is.
Here is a
brief video from the flight day.
Williams "Wildfire" Westernationals
In June I took the whole family to
Williams which is about 2 hours out of Perth
for Australia's largest pyro rocket launch
event of the year. Like last year it was an amazing
experience to see so many big rockets go up.
There were quite a few highlights including
an N2000 drag race between the CGN and QRS
guys, the "Mach Madness" competition, with
Dave and Simon taking out the top prize at
Mach 2.64 and some very interesting rockets
including Mike's "Shock Factor" ... with 850
feet of shock cord! There were quite a few
certification attempts as well from L1 to a
couple of people doing their L3.
Congratulations to all those who certified.
Chris even managed to break the sound
barrier on his L1 certification flight!
Andrew's micro-hybrid that went over 1000'
was very cool as well.
A big thank you goes to Dave and Mel for
organizing such a great event. All the
rocketeers were very well looked after. The
whole family really enjoyed the weekend.
I took plenty of video at the event, and
even now am still processing it. So far I've
put together a video of the drag race, and
I'm about half way through editing the first
of two highlights videos. Here is the drag
There is serious talk now about NSW
putting together an entry into the drag race
for next year. That should be a fun club
We also flew the HD camera on Dave's big
M to M project called "Starsky and Hutch"
(see photo on left), but unfortunately the
sustainer failed to light and crashed
heavily destroying the camera. We never
found the SD card so we don't know if the
video on it was good. In any case it was a
spectacular flight and I'll post some ground
footage of it soon. Luckily the cameras are
easily replaceable. Dave should be able to
repair the rocket and fly it again.