Sunday, 29 May 2011

USB extension

For the test stand I am planing on using an ardwino to both control and log data from the rocket and associated equipment. I am planing on having it connected to a computer via USB where it will communicate with a "dashboard". By dashboard i just mean a simple display with some buttons to control and displays about whats happening. I want to be be a while away from the stand so i will need some sort of extension. I have thought of using something wireless possibly using packet radio, but I decided to keep things simple and use a RJ45 usb extension. their quite cheap ($10 from ebay) so i am not sure how well they will work, or how far they will go. From what i have read they can go 45m but bandwidth is verry limited. All i am sending is some serial information so i am hoping it will go at least this far.

I also need to incorporate some safety systems. I think this can be as simple as a physical arming switch which connects the pressurisation solenoid and igniter to the power supply.

Also while talking about the igniter I plan on using a simple bridge wire covered in a slow burning smoke mixture. For the power supply, for some solids in the past I have simply used two rather large 12V batteries in series but if i have time i would like to make something slightly more sophisticated, maybe a capacitor discharge circuit, or spark generator (attached to the bridge wire) from a single cylinder engine. The later will have issues with EMF but since it will be only on for a second before the test it shouldn't matter.

In the peroxide department i have enlisted the help of a chemistry post grad who will hopefully be able to help me with HTP production. We should be meeting next week to discuss methods etc.

Also in the impractical business ideas department..... Selling regenerative desiccant air dryers! One of those things that are way overpriced for what they are because they are a highly specialised item.

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