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Backyard Rocketry Model, Amatuer, Experimental, and High Power Rocketry. Vehicle and Motor/Engine Design, Physics and Math, Fabrication, Flights, Testing and Evaluation. Share your rocket projects here!

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Old 05-13-2014, 06:37 AM   #1
Nickwantsaero
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Default Control Box?

Hello everyone!

I've been tasked to design and build a control box for my university's rocket club. However, I have NO IDEA where to begin. Need at least 30 switches and LEDs would be awesome. Electronics are by no means my strong suite, so I'm wondering if any of you could help me out with some questions I had:

- should I build from scratch or buy?
- If build, what materials will I need?
-If buy, from where?
-how do I build it?
-how do I program the switches?

If you have any more information that could help me out, it would be much appreciated!

Thank you!
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
gattispilot
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I guess it depends on what you want it to do. If just to launch a single rocket then just a simple circuit.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Mode...ch-Controller/

http://makezine.com/projects/10-rail...mega-launcher/

http://www.robotroom.com/Model-Rocke...ontroller.html
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
Urwumpe
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Like said above, the first question you have to answer is:

"What is it supposed to do?"

The more precise you can answer this question and the shorter this answer is, the better you can build it.

Yes, you can get a lot commercially-from-the-shelf, usually no need for special projects. But since you say university, it is of course understandable, if you want to make it an academic project.

What you must pay attention to: If you plan handling the igniters, you need to pay extreme attention to safety. This is not just the German speaking there, but also the guy who does not want to be responsible for the loss of somebody else's hand. For example, shorting every line to the igniter to ground when "safe" instead of just opening the circuit, so that any accidental spark is prevented. Keeping the circuits for separate igniters isolated is another topic there.

Last edited by Urwumpe; 05-13-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
Ripley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickwantsaero View Post
 I've been tasked to design and build a control box for my university's rocket club. However, I have NO IDEA where to begin. Need at least 30 switches and LEDs would be awesome. Electronics are by no means my strong suite...
Hi Nickwantsaero.
I'm not into this at all, but these (bolded) sentences of yours made a bell ring anyway.

Have a read at this first:
http://www.nar.org/NARmrsc.html

Have fun, and be safe (as Urwumpe already stated).
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:25 PM   #5
Ghostrider
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Well, if you were tasked with designing and building it yourself, buying it is out of the question already. Now the question is, since you have no experience on such projects and no idea on where to begin, why on Earth were you tasked with it? I mean, it's normal to task people with a fair idea of what's to be done with a challenging objective, but that's not a challenge, it's sadism.
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