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TOPIC: New launch equipment

New launch equipment 2 months 1 week ago #2550

  • Mario Perdue
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OK, I give up. After a previous post (since deleted) here and a couple of phone calls, I've decided to throw in the towel. I will be continuing my work on a wireless launch control system as a personal project that is unrelated to ROCI in any way. I will also be backing away from the day to day needs of the club so someone will need to step up to that. A person, or group, needs to take over dealing with the AMA and the FAA. Someone also needs to step up to refurbishing the existing launch controller and pads; this is in addition to making new cables and building new pads.

Someone may also need to step up to handle the planning of the NARAM sport range as I'm not 100% sure I will be involved in model rocketry any more.

Any money received by donations to ROCI via my PayPal account will be forwarded to Gary ASAP.
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New launch equipment 2 months 1 day ago #2559

  • Mario Perdue
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At the meeting before the launch yesterday we discussed the new launch equipment that we are building and its cost. This forum thread is where we will discuss the progress of the new pads and the new control system. If you have any questions you can post them here or contact the person in charge of that item directly.

I am leading the development of the Launch Control System with consultation from Terry Bush, Greg May and anyone else who cares to contribute ideas.

Mark Newton is leading the development and construction of the new Launch Pads. He is being assisted by Tom Laird and Jon Whisenand. Contact Mark if you have ideas for improving the launch pads.

I will be creating a breakdown of the costs associated with the launch controller ASAP so you can see what we are up against. It's not going to be cheap but, for all the reasons discussed at the launch, it is the best way forward. I'll also be posting updates on things as they are built and tested. This will be a system that relies on software to work so it will be very configurable. That means that we can easily add some functions in the future and also reconfigure the user interface as we find out what works well and what doesn't. I plan to have a working system for full testing at our May launch.

Mario
Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by Mario Perdue.
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New launch equipment 2 months 1 day ago #2560

  • Allan Howard
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Thanks Mario for patiently answering the questions I had at yesterday's meeting as a newbie concerning the preparations for NARAM.
I've got a couple of more. Since a number of folks will be using the new wireless controller, we'll need to mistake (or fool) proof it as much as possible. I remember you said that it will require training, but I'm sure someone will push a wrong button or two during the excitement. Also, I seem to remember you said that only one main control unit would be built but plans were to possibly have an extra "field" unit. Should we consider an extra controller? Because if that fails, then we might be dead in the water.
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New launch equipment 2 months 1 day ago #2561

  • Mario Perdue
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IMHO, training should occur for any launch system. I’m spending a lot of time working on the user interface trying to insure that it is intuitive and easy to understand and use. Part of that is to design it so it is difficult to do it wrong. I’m trying to make it so it always fails in a safe way. That said, someone wanting to cause problems will be able to do so if they are determined to. That is one of the reasons that the RSO will have a system wide kill switch.
The main control box is actually the simpler of the two devices and could be something we have a spare of. Otherwise, the internal parts, pre-programmed, could be spared and swapped out in a reasonably short time.
Last Edit: 2 months 1 day ago by Mario Perdue.
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New launch equipment 2 months 1 day ago #2563

  • Allan Howard
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Thanks! It seems that with "fool" proof designs, a fool will stay up nights in order to discover a way to get around it.
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New launch equipment 1 month 4 weeks ago #2564

  • Mario Perdue
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I've just updated my notes file on this project and added cost estimates for each of the two major devices (I still need to work up an estimate on the RSO box.) If you are interested in seeing this I can create a PDF file and put it on the site where it can be downloaded. It will be periodically updated as I work through things. My estimates on Saturday may have been a bit high which is good because it will cover unexpected things without going over what I stated then. The numbers I've put together are in line with Saturday's estimates so it could vary plus or minus from there but I believe them to be accurate to slightly high.
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