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Zeus-cat
10-26-2006, 01:02 AM
The day was looking great in Ohio (sunny and no wind) and I decided to get in a few launches after work as I knew this would be my last chance to do that for months. With daylight savings time coming up my rocket launches will now be only possible on the weekends.

I always launch something small to check the wind, so I sent up my homemade Gyroc on an A8-3. Decent launch, but the little guy corkscrews badly on the way up. I need to adjust te tabs that hold the fins in place to get them to lay properly. Of course, I have said that same thing after the last 3 times I have launched it. Recovery is fine, no damage.

Up next is the first launch of Zeus. I designed it for a D12-7 or higher, but the first flight will be on a C6-5 to be safe. See the photo of Zeus ' engine just firing and beginning to lift off. The flight was very good and recovery was fine.

The third and final flight was my Anubis on an RMS E11 reload. See the sequence of photos showing liftoff (Anubis 1 through 4). Liftoff wasn't fast by any means, but she did OK. Lots of black smoke which allowed us to track her easily. We looked and looked for a parachute, but never saw one. We heard a nasty thump about 15 seconds after liftoff. We headed in the direction of the thump which appeared to come from a farm field that was just beyond a line of small trees. We saw the parachute, but couldn't get to the rocket as a fence was in the way. We found a way through the fence and made our way to the rocket. What we found wasn't pretty. The parachute never deployed and the rocket punched itself several inches into the ground. The nose, payload bay and top of the rocket tube were shattered. The really sad thing was I had my altimeter installed in the payload bayfor this flight. I gathered up the pieces and walked back to the car. See the Anubis Final photo for the damage.

The nose and payload bay are completely trashed. The altimeter circuit card was snapped in two and is a total writeoff. The Anubis itself can be repaired. I will cut off the top of the tube about halfway through the top gold band and install an extension. The nose cone I used for this flight was not the standard Anubis nose cone, so I still have that. My wife said she really liked the looks of the Anubis (and the name), so I think I can talk her into a replacement for Christmas.

For kicks, I kluged the battery assembly onto the remnants of the altimeter and was actually able to recover the flight data, at least up to the point of impact. Apogee was 782 feet and flight time was 14 seconds. I have no idea why the parachute did not deploy. Examining the RMS motor shows that the delay charge burned and that the ejection charge was gone from the top of the motor. The altimeter showed no sign of a disturbance at any time of the flight to indicate the nose seperated from the rocket. Oh well, looks like a new altimeter will be on the old Christmas list too.

The final photo is some idiot wearing a t-shirt he bought on vacation.

bikegod
11-05-2006, 03:53 PM
I really feel for you.

Today I launched the LPSLV that my daughter and I have been working on since march. The Big field was in use so I launched in a smaller field where I live.

RockSim told me I would get at least 400' out of a D12 engine, perfect for a test flight. Well either the rocket gained some weight or my D12 had little or no thrust. She probably went up aobut 80 feet and lawn darted before the ejection charge went off. The LPSLV has a long nose cone (10.3 from Semroc) and I drove it all the way into the ground through a bush as well. The bush stripped off a fin as well (I spent hours on that fillet).

On today's launch I also lawn darted my SLS Laser (on a D) and lost my SLS Jaguar (on a D from the same pack). The Jaguar went out of sight and though I could see the bright orange parachute, it drifted so far off into the woods that even a half hour of searching couldn't get me close to where it went down.

Luckily I didn't lose any of my RMS engines.

Zeus-cat
11-17-2006, 08:40 PM
I have good news to report. A friend at work repaired my altimeter. I have bench tested it and it seems to work. My friend worked as a TV/VCR repairmen for years before becoming an avionics repairmen fixing aircraft flight warning computers. He knows what he is doing.

The battery holder is the biggest area of concern. The battery holder got smashed up pretty good and he cobbled it togther as best he could. It doesn't look very good, but that's not really a problem.

The Anubis should be an easy fix after I order a tube coupler and short BT-60 tube from Semroc.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to test the altimeter properly yet as launches after work are out as it gets dark before I get home. That leaves weekend launches and the weekend weather has been crappy since he fixed it.

Sorry to hear about your results bikegod. That was one bad day.

Green Dragon
11-17-2006, 08:58 PM
I have good news to report. A friend at work repaired my altimeter. I have bench tested it and it seems to work. My friend worked as a TV/VCR repairmen for years before becoming an avionics repairmen fixing aircraft flight warning computers. He knows what he is doing.

The battery holder is the biggest area of concern. The battery holder got smashed up pretty good and he cobbled it togther as best he could. It doesn't look very good, but that's not really a problem.
.


Good to hear the altimeter will live again .. tough ( and costly ) loss.

MY brother is an EE and has repaired my altimeter and a couple adept timers after crashes or catos, truth is, these aren't as mystical as we believe, lol, although I'm impressed your friend repaired a broken circuit board ( did he fix it or make a new one ? )

one question = what brand / model altimeter was it, and what battery holder ?

most holders should be easy enough to source / replace, the one for my ALTS2 was replaced by a Radio Shack ' N-cell' holder an dit soldered right in .

~ AL

Zeus-cat
11-18-2006, 12:21 AM
The circuit board wasn't broken; I was mistaken when I reported that.

The actual damage wasn't as bad as I first thought. The altimeter chip and the battery holder were ripped off the board. My friend reattached the three leads from the altimter chip that are actually used and epoxied the chip back on to the board. The battery holder was a bit tougher as both ends were snapped off from the main body and only one end of the holder was still attached to the board. My friend glued/epoxied the holder back together and then wound a thin strip of aluminum cut from a Coke can to hold the battery holder together.

I tried going to Radio Shack, bu the local one quit selling chips, battery holders, etc and now only sells PCs, satelitte TV and cell phones.

Green Dragon
11-18-2006, 01:22 AM
Is that a perfectflite altimeter ? looks like thier newer model than the ones I have.

12 V lighter battery, same as Adept, by the looks .... that definately should be able to be replaced with the Radio Shack or other ' N ' cell holder ( actually for the 1.5v N cel, but the length is so close to the 12V A23 battery it works fine.

Even if your local RShack does not stock parts anymore, they should be able yto special order ANY part in the radio shack catalog ( our local stores are gettting the same way, no parts, just phones, computer stuff, entertainment junk,etc .... although I am semi-spoiled since there is a nice electronics shop near my brothers (30 miles away ) that caters to hackers, ham, and simialr enthusiasts, so they stock a good supply of components amidst the overstock computer parts and such .

If you can;t find the battery holder, let me know if you need one and I'll find one for you and send it on out .

~ AL

Zeus-cat
11-18-2006, 01:04 PM
Al,

Thanks for the offer, but the guy who repaired it for me found one online already. 50 cents for the battery holder AND $7 shipping. I am way to cheap to pay that much in shipping.

I'll go to the surplus electronics place nearby some Saturday if the current setup doesn't work out. I actually thought it might make more sense to leave the battery off the board and just run wires to it.

stantonjtroy
12-16-2006, 12:31 AM
My deepest condolences. Is there a fund to make donations to the Grieving family? :D
I must say I feel your pain. I lost a 1/43 scratched Saturn 1B in a similar manner. The irony for me was the parachute that failed to open was the one component I bought off the shelf. Oh well. We build em, we fly em, we fly em we (eventually) loose em.

Troy