Kevin Cook's

AWESOME Model Rocket Launch Controller Project

I had an old model rocket launch controller that I built in college that could launch up to 3 model rockets at once.  Pretty cool in it's day, but now that I have 2 boys who will be getting into Cub Scouts, etc... I wanted to upgrade it!!!  I had been thinking of doing it for some time, but never had the time.

Oddly enough, the thing that made me finally do it was actually WORK related!  I got an e-mail that asked if anyone had any knowledge of Model Rockets at work, and responded that I could help.  It turns out that we are going to do a little rocket launching event at the Microsoft campus in Charlotte for the Windows Vista and Office 2007 Product Launch.  How cool is that???

I now had more of a reason to get it done, and I was taking a much needed holiday vacation anyway, Soooooo - I volunteered to make the Launch Controller and Launch Platform.  :)

I just did a quick wiring diagram for those interested - (.jpg - .vsd - .pdf)

Since this project was completed, I have gotten back into Rocketry in a BIG way!!!

Deciding on the layout of the switches.  The old controller is on the right, it could launch only 3 rockets. :)

Holes drilled, some switches mounted.

All switches mounted and wired up!

A Closer look at the wiring on the back of the panel

A Closer look at the wiring in the bottom of the can.  I used a large can in case I want to add internal rechargeable batteries at some point.

No security key, no power. :)

Key in - Power applied.
Green = Continuity Loop / Unselected
Red = Selected.

Rockets 1, 2, 4, and 7 selected.

All rockets selected. :)

Armed - When you arm the system, the buzzer you see in the close ups sounds.  Next step is to push the red FIRE button - Then WHOOSH!

All Labeled Up!

The DB25 Port and the Power Jack.

Another look inside - This is with the addition of another green LED for a power indicator, and the 8 main green LED's cut off the main bus (Negative) and connected to the empty side of the DPST switches to show continuity through the engine igniters. - See the description on my wiring diagram.

The beginnings of the Launch Platform.  Yeah - I know - Clean up the garage KEV!!! :)