Keith and I both hope to be able to attend "Thunda Down Under" in
2015, and I've sent the organizers email requesting information on what
it takes to be treated as an on-site vendor.
Of course, it's always more fun to be at a launch when you have something
interesting to fly! Thus, while Keith and I might each show up with a
modest "travel rocket" of some sort... I've started pondering possible
larger "Altus Metrum" group projects. Since transporting a large
airframe to Australia would be a hassle, I wonder if a group project to
build an airframe in-country makes more sense? To that end, I'd be
pleased to know if any of our friends and customers in Australia want to
sign up to help with such a project?
My thoughts would be to engage in some group-think about project scope
and goals, then hope friends in-country would take on the sourcing and
preparation of suitable airframe materials. Depending on who wants to
participate and how tasks get taken up, we might plan to arrive a bit
early to help with any final assembly or other preparations,
installation of suitably fresh Altus Metrum electronics, etc.
So, to all our Aussie friends... does this sound like fun? If so,
please chime in with a reply. I don't expect the email associated with
such a project to be too heavy a load for this list to carry, but we can
always spawn a dedicated lists.gag.com list if I'm wrong.
I flew my TeleMega, serial #1639 with 1.4.1 at Balls in a 2 stager.
Ran into a few problems, as follows:
1. Unable to connect in to TeleDongle in idle mode. I had previously
found that I couldn't get a connection with the TeleMega in channels
7-9, so I was using channel 3 for this flight. I was unable to get a
connection in idle mode in Channel 3. I haven't explored other channel
or tried to re-create this problem.
2. RFI issue with Beelines. The rocket had 4 Beeline trackers in it as follows:
- 1x 100mw 70cm GPS aprox 30" above the TeleMega on 434.350
- 1x 70cm beacon aprox 6" below the TeleMega on 438.850
- 1x 16mw 70cm GPS aprox 48" below the TeleMega on 434.350
- 1x 70cm beacon aprox 48" below the TeleMega on 438.350.
With any combination of the beacons turned on, attempting to startup
the TeleMega in pad mode would result in battery voltage beeps, pad
mode beeps followed by silence, on both the radio (I was listening in
to 434.850 on my FT1DR) and buzzer (ie, no continuity beeps). After
spending an afternoon troubleshooting this, it was determined that
turning on any combination of the Beelines prior to startup would
cause this, but turning them on after the TeleMega was transmitting
didn't result in any adverse affects.
In investigating the manual post-flight, I did note the point about
twisting wires, which I did not do on this flight as I hadn't seen it
previously. I'm not certain that that would have fixed the issue or
not. It would be really really great if there was a separate manual
for each product. It's very easy to miss things when you are
intentionally skipping a significant portion of the manual since it
doesn't relate to the product you are interested in. Additionally,
this is the only time I've seen a suggestion in a manual to twist
wires. This comes in a section of the manual, that in most other
rocket electronics manuals, is reserved for things like "how to attach
wires to screw terminals" and "how to not have battery issues", which
experienced fliers have a tendency to already know and skim.
3. Accel calibration with temp. After spending an afternoon at the pad
troubleshooting the above issue, the rocket sat overnight and was
powered up within 30 minutes of sunrise. I was unable to get the
TeleMega into pad mode until it had been in the sun for 10 minutes, at
which point, it went into pad mode and read a Z accel of -5.1m/s/s. We
left the rocket in the sun for the next 45 minutes and in that time,
the Z accel when it was being held vertically had migrated from -5.1
to -3.3 to -2.2 and was continuing its upward trend. The accelerometer
was previously calibrated at room temp 2 weeks prior to the launch.
4. Angle lockout for staging-not so much a bug as it's probably
exactly what it's designed to do, but I had the telemega setup to do
staging and also staging inhibit on a backup timer. The TeleMega was
to stage if conditions were after burnout, >4 seconds into flight, <25
degrees and >400m/s. I had an additional circuit acting to open the
igniter circuit on a timer I was using for backup. This was to occur
if the angle exceeded 25 degrees at any point. Shortly after the
breakup, the inhibit circuit fired as anticipated. What I didn't
expect was for the fire circuit to fire as the rocket rolled back
within 25 degrees of vertical 2 seconds later. Fortunately the igniter
had already ripped out of the motor, so no harm was done, but this
could have been interesting had it not.
Anyway, hopefully this helps alleviate frustration for at least
someone. I understand the issues now and they're more annoyances that
I can live with than anything. As I hadn't seen them documented
previously, I figured I'd put them out there. Let me know if anyone
has further questions or needs more elaboration.
Altus Metrum's 2014 Black Friday Event
BLACK FOREST, Colorado USA
Altus Metrum announces two special offers for "Black Friday" 2014.
We are pleased to announce that both TeleMetrum and TeleMega will be
back in stock and available for shipment before the end of November.
To celebrate this, any purchase of a TeleMetrum, TeleMega, or EasyMega
board will include, free of charge, one each of our 160, 400, and 850 mAh
Polymer Lithium Ion batteries and a free micro USB cable!
To celebrate NAR's addition of our 1.9 gram recording altimeter, MicroPeak,
to the list of devices approved for use in contests and records, and help
everyone get ready for NARAM 2015's altitude events, purchase 4 MicroPeak
boards and we'll throw in a MicroPeak USB adapter for free!
These deals will be available from 00:00 Friday, 28 November 2014 through
23:59 Monday, 1 December, 2014. Only direct sales through our web store
at http://shop.gag.com are included; no other discounts apply.
Find more information on all Altus Metrum products at http://altusmetrum.org.
Thank you for your continued support of Altus Metrum in 2014. We continue
to work on more cool new products, and look forward to meeting many of you
on various flight lines in 2015!