Introduction: Handheld Rocket Launch Controller

Picture of Handheld Rocket Launch Controller

Handheld Rocket Launch Controller



Before I start I want to acknowledge that I did not use a locking switch. When we made this unit we could not get one locally and ordering one online takes a week or more to our location so I decided to add an audio indicator and a visual indicator to let the user know that the unit is armed.

To make this you will need:
(part list from The Source in Canada I believe many of the part #s are the same as Radio Shack in the US)

1 project box. I used a 3” x 2” x 1” box - item # 270-1801
2 micro toggle switches - item # 275-0624
1 momentary push switch - item # 275-0618
1 LED lamp assembly (I used this one because it comes complete and I don’t need to do anything extra to make it work. It is rated for 12 volt) - item # 276-0011
1 electronic buzzer (the one I used fits nicely into the side of the project box and is 6VDC) - item # 273-0054

To run the power from the box to the launch pad I used a couple of banana jacks I had leftover from another project and I just grabbed 2 solderless banana plugs item # 274-0721 I used speaker cable for the power cord and 2 alligator clips at the end.

To power the unit I use 2 9 volt batteries so you will want to get a package of 9 volt snap on connectors item # 270-0324.

Layout how you want your box to look and feel and drill the holes you need for your switches, LED, power plugs and power input line and ground out. I did all the drilling first just double check your sizes before you drill most items will have sizes on the package.

Once you have your holes drilled then install all your switches, LED and buzzer. I have my 2 9 volts velcroed onto the bottom of the box so I can swap them out in a hurry.

Solder all your lines and you're off.

If you need help I have added a crude circuit diagram to the top of this walkthrough. the only problem I found on the diagram is I have the buzzer ground feeding back into the positive this is a mistake do not feed it back into the positive run it through to the ground.

If you have a locking switch then use it please. Replace one of the switches that are in the diagram for the locking switch or change it to accommodate the lock. I plan on making a second version of this controller at a later date and will be putting some sort of locking switch in even if it is one similar to those used on the estes starter kits.

I hope someone may have found this useful it is my first time making a walkthrough and didn’t really plan on doing one when I made the unit. I started doing rocketry so my Son and I would have a hobby we could do together as he grows up, we have fun with it. Some other Dads in our little town have started doing it too so when asked for info I decided to try and do this.  Enjoy please feel free to comment make suggestions. I know the unit is far from perfect so please expand on the idea. It does work we have tested it but as I said I know there is room for improvement.

check out the quick little video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Bjen8FZcM&feature=share&list=PL_xiyKuSo0hMYjzCSt28EoipQZRuVziLv

Comments

bwh13 (author)2013-10-11

Awesome controller. Gotta make that soon

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Bio: I dabble in electronics and rocketry. Started with rocketry in the spring of 2013 so my son and I had something we could do as ... More »
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