Model Rocket Launcher Is So Serious, It Has A Briefcase

What could be more thrilling than launching a complex rocket that you built yourself? For starters, launching it with literally anything better than the stock ignition system would be a step in the right direction. How about a briefcase full of fantastically fun overkill?

[FastEddy59] is in the middle of building a model rocket complete with a Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system to help with stabilization. Much to our delight, he’s designed an equally ambitious controller to spice up the launch sequence with security codes and a physical key. And what’s a launch controller without a giant emergency stop button to shut down everything? Incomplete, if you ask us.

Under the carbon fiber-wrapped acrylic hood, there’s an Arduino MEGA engine and an NRF24 LoRa module for transmission to the rocket. There’s even a DHT11 temperature sensor to verify that launch conditions are ideal. It’s still a work in progress with plenty of features to come, like fancier labels and plenty of launch-appropriate sound files for the hidden speaker. There’s a lot to this case, and [FastEddy59]’s video brief is ready and waiting on the pad after the break.

[FastEddy59] plans to hold the first launch in a few months, and we sincerely hope he outfits the rocket with a camera.

22 thoughts on “Model Rocket Launcher Is So Serious, It Has A Briefcase

  1. Hope he’s got a camera pointing at the flamey end of the rocket. I still enjoy watching shuttle launches on youtube – those few seconds from -10 to +30 or more still give me goose bumps.

    Come to think of it, has he got a waterfall sound-suppression system?

      1. It’s both.
        The reflections of heath and sound can damage the launch vehicle so the ‘water deluge system’ is designed to mitigate the effects of launch on the vehicle as much as on the launch pad.

  2. Great build, thank you for sharing it.

    I built a rocket launch controller for my grandson some years ago. It wasn’t nearly as nice or elaborate as Eddy’s, but I did include a 100 uA meter movement and low-current loop-test to allow the operator to verify continuity through the igniter without setting it off. As you would imagine, the meter could also measured the system battery voltage.

    One thought on the ergonomic design:
    I question the positioning of the antenna so near the E-stop. If the purpose of the E-stop is truly for safety, then there shouldn’t be anything near it that one’s hand or fingers can get hung up on (during that typical moment of panic just before an E-stop smack-down). If nothing else, I can envision that antenna being broken off at some point.

    The other thing I’m thinking is that is that if this antenna is radiating control signals to the rocket, you don’t want it too near the operator anyway. You want your RF controlling the launch, not dissipating into a nearby meat-bag.

    But again… cool project.

    1. The plan is to have a cable running from the controller to the antenna on a separate tripod so it will be out of the way. Also I literally care purely about aesthetics not functionality haha. But I hold the side of the controller with my thumb over the E-Stop button so no problems there…

    1. Maybe I am just confused, but isn’t the whole point to make the E-stop as easy to access as possible? Maybe put it in the back so you don’t accidentally rest your arm on it, but at the same time make sure nothing is in the way.

      1. I care purely about aesthetics not functionality haha. But I hold the side of the controller with my thumb over the E-Stop so no problem. Also there will be a cable running from the controller to an antenna on a separate tripod, this is currently just temporary while I wait for the cable

  3. Lots more stuff to go wrong. I launched my high powered rockets with a spool of 150 ohm twinlead (yea, who uses that?) with a pair or small aligator clips on one side for the aerotech type igniters, you had to put tape over one side of each side of the igniter, and a couple of big clips to hit on a car battery. I never had a failure. Than again there was nothng to go wrong. I try and save complexity for places where it is either mandated or necessary. On a high powered rocket you have enough other stuff to worry about besides the launch system.

    1. The rockets he’s launching aren’t high powered, they’re medium power at best and have active thrust vector stabilization, so I think the complexity might be warranted as systems need to be validated and started in succession before liftoff.

  4. It’s both.
    The reflections of heath and sound can damage the launch vehicle so the ‘water deluge system’ is designed to mitigate the effects of launch on the vehicle as much as on the launch pad.

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