Let's Make Robots!
Rocket_launch_controller.JPG261.75 KB
Launch_controller.bas717 bytes
2-D_vector_rocket_equations_with_air_drag.pdf62.69 KB

This is my new project, containing a cluster model rocket with integrated mini DV camcorder and a Picaxe based rocket launch controller with 2 digit 7 segment display.

Sor far I have finished the launch controller. Circuit diagram and program attached. The displayed time before ignition can be adjusted between 0 and 99 seconds by pressing alternately one of the two push buttons (plus, minus). If the two push buttons are pressed at the same time, the countdown starts. A LED indicates if the the igniter is properly connected to the terminal block.

The rocket is a 2 engines cluster kit, called Gravity Rider. I like this rocket, because it looks not like a common rocket. I have built the rocket already but have not finished the paint job, chute etc.

The camera (720 x 480 dpi with a 16 GB micro SD card) is from the Chinse Ebay called taobao:

The simulated flight plot of the rocket looks as follows:

I have also derived some important rocket equations with air drag. If somebody wants to dig deeper into rocket science, please see attachment. Maybe I will use the equations later to write an own simulation program or use it for an advanced flight computer.


Rocket finished but windy and rainy weather here in Shanghai :(


Rocket launched but onboard camera had a malfunction. Tests on dismantled camera showed that the camera has an internal short circuit, probably caused by the acceleration and vibration of the rocket.


New rocket cam test by my colleague Mattias from Beijing.

He used a mini DV HD camcorder on a RTF model rocket with a modified objective:


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MarkusB's picture

The camera is damaged :(

Hope the one on Joe works better.

fritsl's picture

Your'e amazing, MarkusB!

Thanks for sharing, it is fun to follow :)

MarkusB's picture

Thanks, Fritsl!