AltWizz Arduino Rocket Altimeter Computer

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Introduction: AltWizz Arduino Rocket Altimeter Computer

I had a goal to produce a flight computer that could be used for dual deploy and recording flight data but was cost effective.

I have made several variation for different purposes. My main device is set up to track flight data at around 25hz or 25 readings/second, as well as 3 output pyros. 2 for deployment charges and 1 set up for air starting a motor.

I also have built others for smaller rockets down to a BT55 tube that either only have one charge or only do data logging. If you want any additional information please let me know.

Step 1: Getting the Parts

For this you can mix and match from different places/parts to build the same thing. For the sensors I have codes for both the MS5611 and the BMP280. I also bought parts in bulk and from china to save on prices in the long run.

What 2 buy:
1x - Arduino mini - $3.20/each

1x - MS5611/MPU6050 Sensor - $10.85

1x - MicroSD Card Reader - $0.99

3x - 1n4001 Diode - $0.48/3-pack

3x - N-Channel MOSFET -$2.85/3-pack

3x - 10K resistors - $0.24/3-pack

1x - 150mAh 30c 3.7V Lipo - $3/each

4x - 2 Pin Terminal block - $0.76/4-pack

1x - PCB Prototype board 4X6 cm - $0.66/each

Total = $23.03/device (I was able to get cost down to $16.93/device)

Tools you will need:

Soldering iron/Solder

Hookup Wire

Helping hand (useful for soldering but not necessary)

FTDI USB to TTL Serial Adapter (for programming arduino pro mini)

USB Mini cable

Hot Glue Gun (Optional)

Step 2: Putting the Pieces Together

Before you solder anything lay everything out on you pcb so you know where everything is going to fit. Make sure you leave space in at least 2 of the corners for screw holes(the one on the board were super tiny).

Also I labeled the 4 terminal blocks. S = switch / A = apogee / M = main / I = Ignition (air start)

Next I soldered the headers on the Sensor and the Arduino but I left the front 6 row off the arduino for programming. (I just hold it in place when programming) .

Now solder all of the components to the board and wire everything up as shown in the schematic(sorry not the best at making schematics).

For added security you can use a hot glue gun to insulate the exposed connections. Just don't cover the hole in the sensor.

(Picture of my final product coming soon)

Step 3: Program It

Hook up the arduino and use the arduino ide to add the program.

!! IMPORTANT !! Change the main deployment altitude in the code to what you would like it to be. (Will soon be updated to jumpers to change altitude)

While it is hooked up press F8 to open the serial monitor in the arduino IDE to make sure everything is wire correctly and functioning right.

You should see it go through the sensor checks and then start outputting the current alt.

Step 4: Launch It to Space

Place it in an ebay with proper holes for reading the pressure.

I would recommend flying it one to make sure the reading are right before adding any charges in it.

Information:

Sizing holes for altimeter

Step 5: Read Your Data

After you flight turn off your switch and then you can remove the SD card. The files have an extension of .AWD but the data is just CSV format. You can either load the data into excel and plot it to a graph or use the software I have made.

The software is only for windows and require .net 4.5 or higher.

You can download the software from here.

If you use Excel the data can be imported like a CSV file. It is formated as follows:

Altitude, Time, Acceleration reading, Main Fire, Apogee Detected

Everything is still in development so always check back for changes. I will have them here as well as my website and github page.

I am also working on an android app.

More picture and information to come.

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    14 Discussions

    1
    canine rocket technologies
    canine rocket technologies

    Question 1 year ago

    I want to turn this into a pcb. How do I change the altitude in he code? Also if your adding Bluetooth functions, please tell me in advance before I get the pcbs manufactured

    0
    megaraph600
    megaraph600

    Answer 7 months ago

    Canine Rocket Technologies! Now I now where you get your plans, hehehe. Love your channel btw

    0
    DoyleE
    DoyleE

    Question 1 year ago on Step 2

    Your link to the MicroSD Card Reader goes to a six pin reader not an eight pin reader that is pictured on the breadboard illustration. So how is the six pin reader hooked up to the arduino? And can you make the image clearer in order to read the pins on the reader, arduino, and other components? This looks like a great project to put together and code.

    Thank you for your kind assistance.

    0
    gbr789
    gbr789

    1 year ago

    This looks awesome and is exactly what I'm looking to make myself (although I'm not sure I have the necessary know-how).

    I'm a little confused; the wiring diagram shows a bmp280 pressure sensor but all the code seems to relate to the MS5611/MPU6050 sensors. Is there a diagram with the MS5611/MPU6050 wiring? Otherwise I wouldn't know where to start.

    Edit: OK so after inspecting the code and a little googling I've concluded that if I use just a MS5611 sensor (without the MPU6050 accelerometer) and delete the few bits of code that mention the accelerometer I'll have a functioning chute deployment computer that just doesn't log acceleration etc. It seems the accelerometer is only used for data logging and not deployment. Good.
    I'm hoping I can substitute the SCL and SDA pins on the MS5611 for the SCK and SDI pins on the BMP280 in the diagram respectively. Someone correct me if I'm wrong (not that I expect a reply, I don't know why I'm writing this really...)

    0
    BP_Yeah
    BP_Yeah

    Reply 1 year ago

    Were you able to fix it?

    1
    gbr789
    gbr789

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes! I have a (hopefully) working circuit ready to fly in my next rocket. My assumption about substituting the SCL & SDA pins for the SCK & SDI pins was correct and the accelerometer is only used for data logging purposes so not needed for deployment.
    I have tweaked the code to allow testing at ground level with just a few meters of altitude change and everything looks good :)
    I had trouble getting my igniters to fire until I realised I was using the wrong MOSFETs. Make sure you use FQP30N06L MOSFETS and not FQP30N06 - The L is important!

    0
    BP_Yeah
    BP_Yeah

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for the tip! I have difficulties to understand the MOSFET wiring. I notice that some cables seems misplace in the diagram but the code is rock solid. OP has lots of different project on the same build so I understand you gotta adapt. Thanks OP and Thx gbr789!

    0
    gbr789
    gbr789

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah from memory the MOSFET wiring should be like in the image I've attached. Note I had to flip the 1n4001 diodes as they are shown the wrong way round in the OPs diagram.

    altwizz.jpg
    0
    BP_Yeah
    BP_Yeah

    Reply 1 year ago

    Bingo! You solved my problem! Thanks bud. I really appreciated your time! I was looking at the positive with the diode and mannnn this doesn't make sense ! Now it does. Cheers!

    1
    ChrisA359
    ChrisA359

    1 year ago

    Yo man great job, can you post the altimeter only project? Much appreciated.

    0
    starguywisc
    starguywisc

    1 year ago

    I went to your website today and my antivirus popped up & said there was a virus/malware of some sort. You might want to look into this. Nice job on the altimeter. I think I'm going to build one. :)

    0
    ЕвгенийВ27
    ЕвгенийВ27

    2 years ago

    Could you post a file for the BMP280 sensor and one fuse?

    0
    JoshuaW139
    JoshuaW139

    3 years ago

    Would you mind including the MPU6050.h library that you used for your AltWizz?

    0
    jdbwizzard
    jdbwizzard

    Reply 3 years ago

    I have updated the github page to include the 2 libraries used.