Gadget Freaks, We Have a Problem!

By: 
August 15, 2005

Enthusiasts Joe and Brad designed a clever, electronically controlled, two-stage model rocket powered by a 9V NiCad battery. The heart of the electronic control system consists of a small FPGA with a soft-core processor that runs the control algorithm and logic. It uses a PWM signal from an accelerometer to determine the rocket's acceleration to trigger the ignition of the rocket motor in the second stage, separation of the booster from the sustainer, and the deployment of a parachute that allows the rocket to float gently back to earth.

Get Joe Peck and Brad Bruce's complete instructions on how to build your own two-stage model rocket here .

Two-Stage Model Rocket Parts List (Main Board)
Part Description Allied Part #
10K O resistor 895-2676
49.9K O resistor 895-2440
200K O resistor 895-2406
68 O resistor 895-2892
0.1 muF 25V ceramic capacitor 213-0110
10 muF 16V tantalum capacitor 644-1026
Red LED 670-0002
Green LED 670-6701
2x8 pin header 518-22331
2x5 pin header 518-22331
1x3 pin header, middle pin pulled 518-22252
1: 518-2233 is a 2x36 header. Cut it down to create the 2x8 and 2x5 headers.
2: 518-2225 is a 1x36 header. Cut it down to create the 1x3 header.

Additional parts required for main board:
Altera EP1C3 cyclone FPGA; Altera EPCS1 configuration flash; 40 MHz Osc, Epson SG8002CA; Max 604, linear regulator. (Note that several of these components could be replaced with components offered by Allied with minimal redesign or verification.) See website for daughter board parts list.

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