This project is an ignition system for estes model rockets. It is powered by a 9V battery, so the rocket engine has a 99% probability of igniting correctly. It has a safety switch, an armed LED, and a launch button. It closely matches the safety specifications of the commercially available ignition system. this project is relatively easy, takes about 1 day, requires drilling, and soldering is optional.
disclaimer: I will not be responsible for any damage, personal injury, or death resulting from the use of this ignition system. always use the correct rocket, engine, launchpad, and recovery system. never allow anyone within 15 feet of the rocket when the ignition system is armed.
Step 1: get the supplies
Here is the list of supplies. They are all available at radioshack.
momentary-on pushbutton switch (launch button) Catalog #: 275-644 2.69
red LED assembly catalog # 276-270 $1.99
SPST lighted safety toggle switch Catalog #: 275-601 $4.99
9V battery clip (only 1 needed-pack of 5) Catalog #: 270-325 $1.99
9V battery Catalog #: 23-875 $3.99
5"x2"x2.5" project enclosure Catalog #: 270-1803 $3.69
4:40 round head machine screws (2 of the 1" length needed-pack of 42 assorted lengths) Catalog #: 64-3011 $1.99
4:40 hex nuts (6 needed-pack of 30) Catalog #: 64-3018 $1.99
#4 flat washers (4 needed-pack of 100) Catalog #: 64-3022 $1.99
#6 spade tounge connectors(2 needed-pack of 10 #6 and #8 connectors) Catalog #: 64-3044 $1.99
45 feet of 18AWG solid wire Catalog #: 278-1223 $5.99
Mini 1-1/4" Alligator Clips (2 needed-pack of 12) Catalog #: 270-380 $2.79
total cost: $36.08
drill with 1/4" and 1/2" bits(
Step 2: prepare the project enclosure
drill two 1/16" holes through the front of the project enclosure as shown in the second picture for the ignition terminals.
drill a 1/4" hole in the middle of the top of the project enclosure and two 1/2" holes halfway between the middle hole and the ends of the project enclosure as shown in the third picture.
Step 3: install the components in the project enclosure
install the the safety switch in the bottom hole, the LED in the middle hole, and the launch button in the top hole. install the scews with the heads on the outside, washers, and nuts in the front holes as shown in the sixth picture.
Step 4: wire the components
wire the components as shown in the seventh picture. twist the wires that go to the rocket around the screws between the two nuts on the inside of the project enclosure. use the component leads and only as much of the wire as necessary. save the extra wire. connect the battery clip to the battery and secure the battery inside the project enclosure with electrical tape.
Step 5: check the wiring
turn on the safety switch ensure that the wiring is correct. if the wiring is correct, the LED on the safety switch and the armed LED will turn on. turn off the safety switch and close the project enclosure. secure the project enclosure closed with the screws.
Step 6: make the launching wires
make 2 long wires of identical length using all the remaining wire. they must be at least 15 feet long. crimp the spade tounge connectors onto one end of the wires and the alligator clips onto the other end.
construction is completed
Step 7: launching the rocket
read the manual of your rocket. clip the alligator clips to the leads of the igniter in the prepared rocket on the launchpad. fully extend the wires and make sure that all people (including you), animals, and flammable objects are at least 15 feet away from the rocket. connect the spade tounge connectors to the screw terminals. turn on the safety switch to arm the rocket. press the launch button to launch the rocket.