ATMEGA168 BT
Computer Battery

Image by zeni666
Just a test of a minimal configuration of an ATMEGA168 (programmed with the Arduino GUI) that is communicating through bluetooth with a computer.

80 ft. Fire Shower
Computer Battery

Image by jurvetson
Best viewed large.

I get butterflies in my stomach for a few weeks before a maiden launch of a big project, in this case the Telstar Logistics V2.1, my largest project. For a sense of scale, my kids fit inside (before finishing the build, of course =)

Did I build it strong enough over the past year? Do I believe the detailed computer simulation? Will the launch rail be long enough to get to speed? Was 30 lbs of lead bricks in the tip of the nose cone the right amount to for a stable flight? Have I properly configured the redundant G-Wiz HCX avionics computers? And most critically, will the batteries perform in the heat? Will the N2801 motor hold together (o-rings under intense heat and pressure)? Will the custom energetic igniter overpressure the motor? Will the graphite nozzle crack? Will my unusual design for staged deployment of multiple parachutes work (can only be tested in flight)? Do I have the right number of shear pins? Do I have the right amount of Kevlar to prevent the parachutes from melting? Have I kept the black powder dry for parachute deployment (my last V2.0 came back ballistic because of this)? Are the parachutes the right size for a proper landing (too small, and the fiberglass cracks, too large and they may drift miles away)? And so on… This is a partial list.

Perhaps it reflects a lack of confidence that I decided to start with the biggest U.S. motor you can buy, just in case I don’t get a second flight.

Well, it was a perfect flight, with a crackling roar of molten titanium sponge and a gentle deployment of the parachutes and soft landing, with no damage to the airframe. She’s ready to fly next weekend if I can find a N2000 motor case for BALLS.

I just got back and have a ton of photos, and some ground videos to share of each of my seven flights. You can see one of the videocams on tripod in the foreground of this photo.

Setting Up Gigapan
Computer Battery

Image by cogdogblog
I set out today to give a test ride to a new camera device, the GigaPan, a computer controlled camera mount designed to make large detailed images of landscapes and such.

However, it;s a long story, but I am without my spare battery and charger for my Cabon Powershot (left it in some hotel on the east coast), so I did not have juice for a panorama.

This spot is on the edge of the Mogollon Rim looking south over the town of Pine, Arizona.

I will return when I have juice!


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