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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Polaron G2 - Recovery System

I've posted more details of the G2 recovery system on our main website here:

We didn't get it quite finished for testing at last weekend's NSWRA launch, but hopefully it should be ready for testing on the next launch. So far it is working well on the table. It will need to get painted next. The update also includes a highlights video from this weekend's launch showing both pyro and water rockets.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Simple multi-stage Parachute Release mechanism

We have been using a simple parachute deployment technique on our multi-stage rockets for the past couple of years, and although we have posted pictures of it previously we have never documented it properly. So I've added a tutorial to the main website that explains how to make it. It takes only about 15 minutes to make and doesn't really cost anything.

The tutorial can be found here:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time to Backup

I thought I'd give you a friendly reminder to GO BACKUP YOUR DATA today. This week our main computer had frozen a couple of times in unusual spots. A reboot fixed it and the computer ran fine again. It had been a couple of months since I did a full backup of everything on the main drive, all of our apps, family photos and movies as well as all the rocket related data are on it. I normally tend to forget to do backups on a regular basis, so I decided to do a full drive image backup. Normally I run it overnight because it takes about 5 hours, but I had decided to do it during the day since I wasn't going to need the computer. The back up finished just fine. The very next day, the computer would not boot at all, and it turns out the hard drive had died!

Talk about dodging a bullet!! ...

I bought a new drive the next day and restored the backup to it. A couple of minor configuration tweaks and the new drive booted with everything installed on it. I sure wasn't looking forward to having to re-install all the applications, drivers, and none of the lost data.

So go do your backups now!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Day 97 - Flight day report

We've updated the main website with a full launch report from this weekend. The update is available here:

The update includes more photos, as well as highlights video of both flights. Both sustainer and booster videos are included in the highlights video.

"Dang ... that's the shopping list, not the launch check list"