This blog covers the day to day progress of water rocket development by the Air Command Water Rockets team. It is also a facility for people to provide feedback and ask questions.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Water Rocket Labs

Well finally after many delays and procrastinations, I've uploaded the website extension. Originally it was going to be a separate entity, but I have decided to just make it a sub-section of the new site. This also makes it logistically easier to administer.

"Water Rocket Labs" was developed to help water rocketeers make better decisions about building their rockets. The site provides data and analysis about various aspects of water rocketry including materials and their performance.

The focus is not only on the data itself but also on the procedures and test equipment used to obtain the data. This allows others to follow the same procedures and compare their results against the data presented at the labs. The data is cross linked to the experiments, test procedures and test equipment used to obtain them.

Some of the experiments included in the site have been published before on our main site, however, there is a range of experiments we had not published before. With the previously published results I have trimmed them down only to the relevant information.

We will continue to update our regular site with launch reports, articles, construction details etc, but all new science or engineering results will go into the Labs section.

There are around 80 pages of information in the extension. Some sections are still sparsely populated, but we now have the framework to add more data as we obtain it.

Here it is:

We invite people to submit their data to the Labs that will hopefully help others make better decisions about building water rockets.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Water Rocket Launcher Article

Over the last month I've slowly been putting together an article to help explain the range of different launcher design options rocketeers have when building their own.

The article is available here:

Along similar lines as the recovery guide I've tried to include lots of links to examples showing how the different components have been implemented by the water rocket community.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Moving Main Website

I've been putting it off for long enough, so this weekend I have started relocating our main website. Up until now we have been hosting it on a free 50Mb partition we get with our ISP. The problem was that we were running out of room, well for quite a while now actually, so a lot of the actual images had to be hosted elsewhere.

To expand the 50Mb partition just wasn't possible with this ISP without signing up for actual 'hosting' where they wanted another $50 setup fee and then an extra $110/year for 100Mb of space. That was just ridiculous. So we have gone with an alternative hosting company where we only pay $70/year for 10Gb of space.

The usual domain: will be replaced with . We've had the domain registered for quite a while but it was getting forwarded to the people telecom site.

I will be replacing the people telecom pages soon with forwarding pages to the new site, and eventually remove them completely. If you have links with they can simply be replaced with as all the underlying website structure remains the same.

The site is now live but there may be a number of disruptions over the next week or so.

The extra space will allow us to upload the website extension we have been working on and have had to put on hold until we had more space. We'll also now be able to add extra features to the site, that weren't possible before.


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Testing beyond 300psi and old videos

This week dad set up new test equipment for us to use so that we can test beyond 300psi. Which is what our high pressure test panel went up to. We now have test capability up to around 800psi, though we would need to replace the air hose with a high pressure one for the upper range. We mostly wanted to see at what pressure the fiberglass bottles will fail so that we know what the safe launch pressure is.
We now have a nice giant pressure gauge which makes it easy to see.... even by those at the back of the classroom. :)

As we look to upgrade Acceleron V to higher pressures we have to check the individual components to see if they will be up to the job. Here dad was testing the thin plastic tubing we are using for the sustainer air supply line. It goes between the baseplate release mechanism and the staging mechanism with a non-return valve along the way. It says on the side it is rated to 50psi operational pressure. We have been pressurising it to 130psi (having previously tested it to 180psi) With our rocket pressures now nearing 250psi, this was always likely to be a weak point ......

Here it is still holding around 630psi! ....If you notice in the background, the whole experiment is now covered with a pile of concrete pavers.

Old Videos

About a week ago we noticed that some of the older videos on our website weren't playing. I'm not sure how long it's been like that. These mostly covered flight days 1 to 55. It turns out MySpace changed how videos are embedded and that broke all the existing embeded URLs. *sheesh*

So tonight I've gone back and fixed up all the embedding code to reflect how MySpace wants to do it .... until next time. We've stopped using MySpace around day 55 for our videos and now almost exclusively upload to YouTube.

I must go back and check over other broken links on the website as some things have disappeared. I try to fix them as I come across them, but there are always new ones. If people come across broken links please let me know and I'll try to fix them if possible.