Introduction: Advanced Model Rocket Flight Computer!
I was in need of a high-end model rocket flight computer for my newest rocket that controlled itself without fins! So I built my own!
The reason I decided to build this was because I construct TVC (thrust vector control) rockets. This means that there are no fins but the rocket motor at the bottom is gimballed back and forth during launch to keep the rocket on course and upright! Thrust Vector Controlled rockets arent actually ilegal since they are not guided by gps or setpoints but are rather made to just keep the rocket straight up.
So what can this flight computer do?
Well the flight computer has a 6 axis inertial measument unit to measure the rockets orientation, a very prescise barometer to determine how high the rocket went, 3 pyrotechnic channels to deploy parachutes, light a second stage motor, etc. It also has a communication LED and Buzzer so the person will know when the rockets about to launch!
Before we get started on the files I used and how I built it I just want to say that it can be used on all model rocket that have a diameter greater or equal to 74mm.
Video covering the flight computer in detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiqfD_PRsNg
- Printed Circuit Boards (Available for download) :)
- Teensy 3.5
- 5050 SMD LED
- 5* 1 OHM resistors
- 3* 470 OHM resistors
- 1* 40 OHM resistor
- 1* 10 uF capacitor
- 1* 1 uF capacitor
- 4* terminal blocks
- 3* N Channel Mosfets
- SMD slide switch
- Buzzer (to make sounds of course)
- Soldering Iron
- Heat Gun (If you have one)
- Solder Paste (If you have a heat gun)
- 60/40 Solder
- ESD Tweezers
- ESD Mat
Step 1: Things to Know!
Okay, so now that we are ready to start, you will first need to download the pcb files and send them to a manufacturer like JLCPCB or you can purchase all of the components including a pcb as a kit from my website: https://deltaspacesystems.wixsite.com/rockets. To download the pcb files go to: https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/UniverseRobot...
At the pcb manufacturer make sure the pcb height is 1.6mm, and the copper weight is 1oz. Then choose the color for the soldermask (the color of the pcb) and the silkscreen (the color of the text). Then choose how many you want (5-10 is probably good) and ship it off! Once you have all of the parts at your house you are ready to begin assembly!
Step 2: Soldering and Assembly!
Now your are ready to start the fun stuff!!! First you will put some solder on one of each pad of the smd components by heating up solder until it melts on the tip of the iron then let the solder flow onto the copper pad. Once you have done this you will get all of the SMD components and while touching the pad with the soldering iron place the component. Once the molten metal has cooled heat up the rest of the pads with the iron while putting solder in. Then you are done with the hardest part and you are ready to move on to the through hole components! For the through hole components place them through the little copper holes and put some masking tape on the to keep them on. Then flip the board over and solder one of the pins. Then take the tape off and align the component, then proceed to solder all of the pins on.
Congrats, you have finished the bulk of the assembly process!
Now 3D print the two mounting brackets that are avaliable here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4308686
Once you 3D printed them screw them on the screw hole in the flight computer with M3 screws. Now you have completed your flight computer! Next up: coding!!!
Step 3: Coding and Testing!
Okay now you will need a usb-a to usb-micro cable to be able to plug your flight computer into your computer. Also download the Arduino IDE. Once its downloaded, download Teensyduino and make sure that it downloads to the arduino libraries folder. Now copy and paste the code avaliable here: https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/UniverseRobot...
Make sure to copy both sketches; OmegaSoft_1.052 and I2C. Then select Teensy 3.5 under tools in the Arduino IDE and hit upload on the top left of the screen. It will then upload the code from the computer to the flight computer! Then the code is on the flight computer and once you plug in servos you are ready to test! Also if you tilt the computer over 40 degrees in any axis it will make the LED red indicating an abort has occurred!
Time to launch!!!
Step 4: Launch!!!
Before launch make sure your TVC mount is able to move cleanly and its not jammed. Then insert a rocket motor and a igniter before pressing the red button and launching!!!
Thank you everyone! I have been working on this project for 10 months now and putting all the effort I can through 4 iterations and 50 revisions of code!
Omega Avionics Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiqfD_PRsNg
Find out more here on my website: https://deltaspacesystems.wixsite.com/rockets
Thingiverse 3D printable files: https://www.thingiverse.com/DeltaSpaceSystems/abou...
Arduino Project Hub: https://create.arduino.cc/projecthub/Delta_Space_...
Question 4 months ago on Step 4
hi, I want to build one but i need help with the pcb, the resistors, the mosfets and the buzzer, can someone help me please ?
Question 2 years ago
Hi, What are the dimmensions for the PCB?
2 years ago
i assume that the 470 ohm resitors are for the led but don't know where the others go
Reply 2 years ago
No the 470 ohm resistors for the pyro channels
3 years ago
This is so awesome! I wanna see it in action!
3 years ago
Reply 3 years ago