Model rocket ignition-Model Rocket Igniter Controller - Robot Room

Having recently purchased a starter kit for an Alpha III Model Rocket I was unfortunately underwhelmed with the controller supplied in the kit. The main issue for me being the standard 9volt battery not producing enough power to the igniter to effectively light the engine and launch the rocket. The supplied controller is otherwise a good design maybe a little flimsy with the removable safety key which is great feature especially when children are around the launch area. The other problem is, well if your anything like me you will have no trouble losing that particular safety key. Instead of a removable key i opted for a dual action toggle switch and removable launch leads for safety.

Model rocket ignition

Model rocket ignition

When the key is in place, electricity is allowed to pass through the light bulb, through the keyswitch, through the Model rocket ignition, to the other end of the battery. I am using a lipo Modsl of the AA batteries. FirstFire Mini - 8" long The Aerotech "FirstFire Mini" starter fits those small composite propellant motors to ignite the propellant burning. See what it is, how it works and what you need. Connect With Us. You need only supply batteries. Payment Options.

Cleo rocos penthouse. Simple Rocket Launch Controller

Starter kit rocket launcher controllers are simple and inexpensive. The jar in the picture is a little too small but it was what I had made the last batch in so I decided to use it again. The shooters wire is great and has no negative qualities. You can use 3F but there is just less room for error and so Model rocket ignition lower confidence level. All are using copper wire. This igniter is now ready for dipping into the pyrogen and then it will be done. A standard pencil type Model rocket ignition iron works fine. CaleyC 3 years ago. A light bulb filament is made from tungsten and the bulb itself has a vacuum. I am using a lipo instead of the AA batteries. Thus: The regular controller presumably does continuity testing by passing a small amount of current through the igniter. Then you Model rocket ignition pull the rest out. Two rolled off onto the floor.

In this 'able I will be showing you how to make a wireless model ignition rocket system.

  • In this 'able I will be showing you how to make a wireless model ignition rocket system.
  • Homemade Wire-Wound Igniters.
  • Ignition Time, What's the Difference?

Model rocketry is a fun hobby for the entire family. Not only is it a wonderful excuse to go outside with the kids, but also it inspires young scientists and engineers. I am a proud member of the National Association of Rocketry NAR , which, along with the Tripoli Rocketry Association , has been educating the public and keeping the hobby going for over 50 years.

You need only supply batteries. The kits are available online and at some local hobby stores and hardware stores. After success with the starter kit, you can take the next step that reflects your interests or experience:.

Photographed above, this is my custom launch controller. It uses an external 12 volt rechargeable battery for vigor, low-resistance current paths for maximum igniter energy delivery, and multiple safety features.

The purpose of a launch controller is to supply power to the igniter to fire the rocket motor. The thin wire heats up when sufficient electricity flows through it, which causes the pyrogen to combust catch on fire , which initiates the burning of the solid rocket motor propellant.

The thin wire is melted or vaporized in the process, which usually breaks the circuit, stopping the flow of electricity. The Estes Electron Beam model rocket launch controller is included with all of the Estes starter kits. It is a marvel of cost-centric engineering, to keep the hobby entry price as low as possible. Four AA batteries are installed into the controller itself to supply power.

Approximately 17 feet of thin wire allows the user to operate the controller at least 15 feet from the launch pad. The end of the wire has alligator clips that connect to the rocket motor igniter. The safety key is a metal peg with a tiny rubber o-ring. To prevent an accidental launch, the key must be inserted into a tiny hole and held down while pressing the launch button. Since the rubber on the key and the metal strip inside the controller pushes back, the key automatically pops out the moment the user releases pressure.

This makes it unlikely that the rocket could be launched accidentally if the controller were dropped, set upside down, stepped on, or sat upon. There are no chips, LEDs, capacitors, nor are there any resistors. In fact, none of the parts are polarity sensitive. This means you could install the batteries backwards and the circuit would still work just fine.

Talk about an ideal minimalistic design! It would be difficult to beat the Estes controller on price. Consider what happens if the key is not in place. Electricity does not have a complete path even if the launch button is pressed. Therefore, ignition cannot occur by pressing the launch button by itself. Likewise, ignition cannot occur by pressing the keyswitch by itself. Both switches must be engaged to ignite the rocket motor. A hefty power switch is placed in series with an arcade pushbutton.

A large LED with resistor hidden by tape acts as the igniter continuity check. For the Estes igniter, the manufacturer says that the batteries need to put out at least milliamps at 6 V. Since electricity is going to flow through both switches, you need to make sure to use switches that are rated for such currents. Why the disparity? If you fail to use properly rated switches, they could melt.

If the igniter leads or alligator clips touch, the short circuit could destroy the batteries, melt the cables, and cause other damage. Or, a fresh igniter could immediately burn when a person was attaching it to the cable at the launch pad. This could be disastrous. The homemade controller uses a rocker power switch instead of a spring-return or key switch. The rocker switch and arcade pushbutton could both accidentally engage if the box were dropped.

When the controller is picked up again, the large launch button could be pressed. Or, if the controller is upside down or pressed up against something, the launch button could be engaged, causing harm during a short circuit or when attaching a new igniter. A simple correction would be to purchase either a rocker switch or keyswitch with momentary on. Given the same size cells as a 6 V battery, a 12 V battery delivers greater power to the igniter, resulting in fewer failed launches and possibly improved motor efficiency.

An LED is superior to a light bulb for longevity and physical shock resistance. Additionally, LEDs are polarity sensitive. That is, unlike a launcher with an incandescent light bulb, the launcher with an LED must have the batteries in the correct orientation for the continuity test to work. Okay, so my simple rocket controller is inferior to the Estes in several important areas.

It was a good try. In the next couple of pages, we'll look at the major improvements in my next attempt at making a custom rocket launcher. Home Patreon Links Books. Launching a model rocket. Fancy Launch Controller After success with the starter kit, you can take the next step that reflects your interests or experience: Reuse the starter rocket by purchasing replacement rocket motors, igniters, and wadding.

Robot Room model rocket launch controller. Simple Rocket Launch Controller The purpose of a launch controller is to supply power to the igniter to fire the rocket motor. Estes model rocket igniter before and after launching. A launch controller should be designed to: Avoid accidental ignition, particularly when a person is wiring the igniter at the launch pad. Efficiently deliver battery energy to the igniter, to avoid launch failure and to maximize battery life.

Estes Electron Beam model rocket launcher controller. Inside the Estes Electron Beam. The controller consists of a plastic molded case containing: Two springs for the batteries A handful of bent metal strips for connectors and switches A miniature lightbulb Several screws Some soldered wires There are no chips, LEDs, capacitors, nor are there any resistors.

When the key is removed from the Estes launcher, there is an air gap between two metal strips that prevents the flow of electricity. Neither the igniter nor the light bulb can touch both ends of the battery, so nothing happens. When the key is in place, electricity is allowed to pass through the light bulb, through the keyswitch, through the igniter, to the other end of the battery.

If the igniter is connected and good not broken or used , then the light bulb illuminates because current can flow. The amount of electricity passing through the light bulb is not enough to heat up and inflame the igniter.

Technically speaking, the light bulb has a much higher resistance than the igniter, so the light bulb consumes nearly all of the power. When the key is in place, the igniter is good, and the launch button is pressed, then electricity goes through the low-resistance launch button instead of the higher-resistance light bulb. This allows enough current to pass through the igniter to heat it up and start the rocket motor. Interestingly, the light bulb is turned off when the launch button is pressed, since no electricity will take the resistive path through the light bulb.

Homemade Simple Launch System Controller Here is a launch controller that uses the same basic circuit. Homemade launch controller in plastic container. There are some potential weaknesses to this particular controller. Lack of a Automatically-Releasing Safety Lock The homemade controller uses a rocker power switch instead of a spring-return or key switch. LED vs. Upgrade Okay, so my simple rocket controller is inferior to the Estes in several important areas.

To Solder or Not to Solder Crimping. Sitting around and crying or worrying about the world are both passive, energy-draining activities. We could use up a whole lot of energy an never ignite the pyrogen if that energy didn't produce a high temperature. A rechargeable battery should be fine. Yes, that is right if you don't care how high the rocket goes or how efficient your motor is. You should now have a functioning circuit once connecting the batteries.

Model rocket ignition

Model rocket ignition

Model rocket ignition. Collection list

The third method for providing that initial energy bump is not quite so clean. Rather than relying on transferring electrical energy into a chemical reaction, it uses a transfer of energy from one chemical reaction to kick off another chemical reaction. In the previous article we discussed hypergolic propellants. You could squirt in some of this spontaneously combusting stuff, light off a small bit of your fuel or oxidizer, and then the energy for that small fire could light off the rest of the propellants.

This is a common means for starting kerosene also called RP-1 engines. The massive F-1 engine used as part of the Saturn V vehicle was lit by a hypergolic ignition system for the main combustion chamber. The fourth and last method that I can think of for supplying that initial energy bump again starts with electricity, but instead of generating a localized spark or heat, you transform the electrical energy into a laser.

I will not even begin to pretend that I know much about lasers other than the fact that they can provide a very focused, directed beam of energy, photon energy in this case, to exactly where you want to put it. I have a friend in Germany who has experimented with using lasers for rocket engine ignition.

Well, not always. But that also means that you have to light the fire well. In your combustion zone, you do not want to ignite just one small space, i. That can be extremely dangerous to the point of tearing apart the engine. Or maybe, because of these pooled, unburnt propellants, you get mixture ratios that cause hot streaks. A localized phenomenon of a slight ox-rich ignition could burn a hole right through a combustion chamber wall. I have seen the kind of damage that can be done in a turbine due to ox-rich hot streaks for just fractions of a second.

Ideally, what you want is for your propellants to arrive and, blammo, everything it lit. To overcome this issue, we turn back to the simple analogy of the fireplace. There, we go from the localized effect of the match, to perhaps a ball or two of crumpled newspaper, to shavings or kindling, to larger sticks, to eventually the logs.

So there is a cascade of events from small and localized to large and generalized. I will give you two examples of how we apply this concept in rocket engines. The J-2X gas generator has a pyrotechnic ignition system.

Okay, but is that the whole story? It all starts with electrical current running through an igniter wire. The electrical resistance of the igniter wire causes heat as the current passes through. You can think of the pryogen as being like the stuff on the head of a match. Other flammable substances are often used but the idea is still the same.

That little fire in the initiator ignites the solid propellant and the solid propellant then shoots hot gases into the GG during the engine start sequence to ignite the hydrogen and oxygen just as they arrive.

Pyrotechnic igniters like this are highly reliable. If that electrical current arrives, everything beyond that is pure chemical chain reaction that produces a powerful blast of ignition energy. On the negative side, such an igniter can only be used once. I guess that you could inspect and refurbish elements of the piece, but considering the trauma of the process it experiences, it is easier and cheaper to simply replace the whole thing.

Another example of the concept of using an ignition cascade can be found on the J-2X in the form of the torch igniter used for the main injector. While the RL10 was already flying, the use of hydrogen as a propellant was still something relatively novel. For the J-2 main injector they developed a torch igniter system. That system was later adopted and modified slightly for use as the ignition system for the Space Shuttle Main Engine main injector and both preburner injectors.

The torch igniter concept starts with an electrical spark from what really looks like your ordinary automobile spark plug. But such a spark is very small, very localized. So what you do is swirl into that localized area just a little hydrogen and oxygen. This is the kindling. The electrical potential across the gap of the spark plug causes the gasified propellants to ionize and become very hot, hot enough to start to spread the fire and, from that, thereby creating a flame front. That flame is then directed into the combustion zone just as the rest of the propellants are reaching the injector.

The whole igniter system is effectively a torch ejecting a flame into the combustion zone. Continuity testing was not a primary consideration in its design. The regular controller presumably does continuity testing by passing a small amount of current through the igniter.

I don't know how small that would need to be to not actually ignite the rocket engine. Reply 8 years ago on Introduction. The model rockets are ignited by specialized igniters that are available nearby model rockets in stores. Each igniter contains some conductive material with very high resistance. When current is passed through an igniter, it heats up enough to ignite the propellant. Add Teacher Note. Did you make this project?

Share it with us! I Made It! Easy-to-Make Polyhedral Kaleidoscopes. Reply Upvote. What program did you use to make that? Please e-mail me a link, sam. One question: does one ignition completely drain the 9V battery? Could I use a rechargable one? Thanks, I'll try to get a rechargable one, I've got a charger that has two 9V battery ports.

NVDevastator 6 years ago. You should make one with a key for safety like the commerciall ones. Nice ible tho :. EET 7 years ago on Introduction. EET eatpie Reply 7 years ago on Introduction. RocketMan 7 years ago on Introduction. PyroWork 8 years ago on Introduction. PyroWork eatpie Reply 8 years ago on Introduction. Unfortunately, the device has been disassembled for a while so I can't make a video of it.

Simple Model Rocket Launch Controller - Robot Room

Having recently purchased a starter kit for an Alpha III Model Rocket I was unfortunately underwhelmed with the controller supplied in the kit.

The main issue for me being the standard 9volt battery not producing enough power to the igniter to effectively light the engine and launch the rocket. The supplied controller is otherwise a good design maybe a little flimsy with the removable safety key which is great feature especially when children are around the launch area. The other problem is, well if your anything like me you will have no trouble losing that particular safety key.

Instead of a removable key i opted for a dual action toggle switch and removable launch leads for safety. Did you use this instructable in your classroom?

Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson. All materials are shown in first photo except for the Zippy Compact mah Battery and panel mount fuse assembly which were added after my first version failed to impress with a standard 9volt battery. Required Materials. Firstly I cut all of my cable to length and applied the relevant lugs and heat shrink. Also you may like to solder connections to the panel mount fuse and banana plug sockets prior to installing them in the panel.

Coming from an electrical background I'm big on insulation so all connections I have used heat shrink. You could also use plain insulation tape or not worry at all as long as clearances are ok at the component terminals. You will also need to take your length of twin cable speaker cable and solder your banana plugs to one end and alligator clips to the other. The length of cable you use will depend how brave you are but I recommend at least metres.

The exact layout can be customised to suit yourself. I decided to make mine like a playstation remote with a horizontal layout as seen in the intro picture. The toggle switch mounted to the left and the pushbutton to the right. The panel mount fuse is located in the middle towards the front edge. The Toggle switch and panel mount fuse require a 13mm hole drilled, the pushbutton is mounted with a 20mm hole drilled using a hole saw.

The banana plug socket are mounted on the leading edge of the controller and require a 6mm hole. Depending on the Project box you use you may need to be fairly exact with your layout making sure to allow for battery installation and still being able close the lid once all is complete.

The wiring required is very simple and all the information required should be found in the attached pictures. My apologies for the rough wiring diagram, it is only intended as a guide and the symbols used may not be exactly right.

You will have to attach your twin cable with banana plugs to the sockets mounted on the box and the alligator clips to a suitable size resistor test purposes only or sacrifice an actual engine igniter. If all is well what you will see should be something similar to the attached video clip. Question 2 months ago. Reply 2 months ago. That was as compact as I could make it allowing for adequate space between components. Question 1 year ago.

Answer 1 year ago. Reply 1 year ago. Not sure and exact number. What I do know, I've launched a dozen rockets and the li-poly still shows full charge. My bet is your rocket engines run out before the battery does. I currently have 2 12v launch systems that are a bit bulky to lug around for low power launches, so am def. I'll post photos etc. Thanks for the answer!! Reply 4 years ago. Nice, neat package.

I especially like the battery. When I built mine, they didn't exist, so I have heavy leads to clamp to an external battery. Here's an alternative for the banana plug and dedicated fire wire. I like to stand way back, not as much for safety as to get a better view of the launch and flight. It also gets the kids well away from the launch pad, as they really like to fire the rocket.

I use a standard AC extension cord for the connection. At the controller, use a short length of cord with a female replacement cord end. At the launch pad, a short pigtail with a male plug and a couple small alligator clips makes the final connection.

Then just grab your 25 or 50 foot outdoor cord when you head for the range, and you're all set. Thanks for your feedback and ideas. A better view is always good, those rockets get out of sight really quick. I have an idea for an improvement.

Include a speaker and digital readout. When you push the button, the counter starts counting backwards with an audio voice counting 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, Ignition with some Apollo rocket noises , 2, 1, liftoff rocket launches.

Thanks, that's a great idea. I actually looked into installing an audio file countdown but I wasn't able to fit it into the slimline project box I went with. Use a plug from an old extension cord as the key; twist together the wires from the plug to short the plug. Not as pretty as your solution but it works. Add Teacher Note. Preparation Firstly I cut all of my cable to length and applied the relevant lugs and heat shrink. Layout The exact layout can be customised to suit yourself.

Did you make this project? Share it with us! I Made It! Solar Class. I hope to build one of these soon. Zoom Question 1 year ago. LOL I dunno.. I have a few rocket motors ; I currently have 2 12v launch systems that are a bit bulky to lug around for low power launches, so am def. Heyup 4 years ago. Toby Robb 4 years ago. Great instructable, easy to follow and with good pictures, i like it! RandyPerson 4 years ago.

SpaceBuckaroo 4 years ago. Prfesser 4 years ago. Nice instructable, neat execution!

Model rocket ignition

Model rocket ignition

Model rocket ignition