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Pumpkin drop event

Telemetry ideas for my son's science project?


My son is working on a 9th grade science project. He is experimentally determining the optimum amount of water to launch a water bottle rocket at a given pressure. I've used those Estes model rocket altitude finders in the past, but they are not very accurate. Can any of you tech savvy folks out there help with ideas for inexpensive electronic telemetry? I've seem some stuff online, but I trust you guys more than some random posting. We are perfectly happy with a unit that would download the data after flight as opposed to transmitting to a ground receiver.

I have to admit that I steered him toward this project for selfish reasons. I coach the Science Olympiad team at the middle school where I teach. One event is producing a water bottle rocket that remains aloft longest without any recovery system. I figure I'll put the kid to work to help out my team! :cool:
A easy way to determine height is to add something like a fishing reel to the base/launchpad
Tie a line to the rocket and let it drag as much line from the reel as the altitude - easy to measure on the ground after launch.

Not very scientific but most likely readily available :D

Or how about a laser range finder ?
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Full Circle
How high does a bottle rocket go?

Here are some nice altimeters from Apogee Components (model rocket company) although they are slightly more expensive than what you found.

Price: $42.75
APRA altimeter

Price: $49.95
Altimeter One by Jolly Logic

I have used the second one, Altimeter One, for model rockets before and I believe it is rather reliable. However, it will only record the peak when the altitude is over 50 feet. I am not sure if a bottle rocket can go that high. On the other hand, it does have a "Current" setting that displays the current altitude +/- about 2 feet. However, you will need a camera to record that height.

The first one has a minimum height of 40 feet to start recording altitude.

Hope this helps!:)
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