I'm looking for some sort of payload or payloads, preferrably to build myself, to carry inside the payload bay. They can be electronic instruments like sensors or alitmeters, or some sort of experiment that doesn't necessarily have to be electronic. (Altitudes achieved will be about 400 feet on an E motor, 800 on an F, 1300 on a G, and 2000 to 2500 on H motors. 3500 on an I is possible.)
- Durability: This payload will experience 1 to 3 seconds of acceleration at up to 15 Gs during boost, as much as 50 Gs momentarily during ejection and parachute opening, and a sudden drop from 25fps to zero on landing. It'll get rattled around pretty hard, so it's got to be rather durable.
Size: It must fit into the payload bay. 9V, D, C, and CR2032-size (large button) cells will not fit; AAs fit singly, a cluster of 3 AAAs can just fit, and 12V mini camera batteries work.
Weight: Nothing over 6 oz.
Animals: No thanks. I'm not allowed to carry anything with a backbone, and I'm not big on biology anyway.
Cost: my budget is limited, but I can do anything under 60 bucks or so.
Skill: I can solder, but not incredibly well, so basic kits or stuff on stripboard I can do; SMD not so much.
Use: I'm not looking for an apogee sensor (like a Magnetic Apogee Detector, except if it can be integrated with a timer to calculate the time under the parachute and thus the altitude) or timer to control ejection of the parachute, but most anything else is game. Altimeters, directional finding transmitters, accelerometers, or spin rate sensors are good. Cameras are okay, but I doubt one can be find that's both that cheap and that small.
Holes: Since this is a scale model, I'd prefer not to have any holes in the outside, but a hole up to a quarter inch in size for a barometric pressure sensor or photodiode is acceptable. The model also has four scale antennae about 4" in length; one could conceivably be hooked up as a real antenna for a directional finder system or datalink.
I'm currently looking at a small number of devices: 3 altimeters and one sonic finder (i.e, it beeps at 105Db every 5 seconds after landing until you turn it off). None, unfortunately, are kits, and the altimeters aren't cheap.
The first is the Quest 'How High' altimeter. It's cheap, small, and I can try testing it against other altimeters. It's not as advanced or quite as accurate as other altimeters, but it works.
The second is the Perfectflite ALT15K altimeter. It's expensive, but very advanced and has continuous data collection that can be downloaded to a computer.
The third is the Transolve P7 altimeter. It's similar to the ALT15K, although it only reads at peak.
Finally, I have the Transolve Micro TransBeep. It's a loud beeper that's useful for finding a medium-sized rocket in a large field.
I haven't yet found any plans or kits yet that I like. I'm especially looking for a way to take the input from a photodiode and hook it up to a counter to visually display the spin rate (or total spins) of the rocket on a seven-segment display.
Sorry that this is long and rambling and rather specific, but the fora are the best place I know for stuff like this.