Hacking remote control car for Rocket Pad Launcher

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Voltboy, Jun 17, 2010.

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  1. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
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    Hello, I'm currently trying to build a remote control igniter for my rocket. What I used to do before was using steel wool to light a match which ignited the rocket, so I had a long wire with a switch to close the circuit. Now I want to have some fun and try to build my own remote controlled igniter.

    Bought a really cheap remote control car and my plan was to simply take the motor connection and instead use it with the steel wool bridgewire. At the first try the steel wool just slightly burned which was not even close enough to light of the match, then I tried to use a darlington transistor to instead of connecting the motor wires directly to the bridgewire I conncted the + to the base and the bridgewire then was connected to the collector and to a +9V. The wool still didnt burn enough, I replaced the wool with a little electric motor to check my design was correct and the motor worked perfectly (rotating when pressing the remote control).

    My first guess is that the voltage to the motor is pulsed and so the wool doesnt heat enough from pulse to pulse to heat enough.

    Any ideas guys?

    Thanks
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I strongly recommend against using the cheap toy radio remote as a rocket ignitor.

    There would be few if any safeguards in the transmitter and receiver against false activations. You might find the receiver triggered at a very inopportune moment, and suffer injuries.

    Please abandon the idea, as it is not safe.
     
  3. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
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    Thanks for your advice Sgt, but I will keep on working on this project. I turned on the car for over 15 min and there were no false activation, I know its still not safe enough, but at least I want to do it for fun, maybe I dont even get to use it in rockets.

    To check if the voltage was pulsed I added a LED instead of the motor, and visibly there was no flickering.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Does changing it to a spring loaded system appeal? You could release the spring with a solenoid powered by your darlington.
     
  5. Bychon

    Member

    Mar 12, 2010
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    I think the problem is in using steel wool. It was not designed as a fire starter and is not dependable. You could use very sophistocated electronics, and the steel wool would still be undependable.

    Have you heard of electric matches?
     
  6. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
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    I'm trying to save you from yourself.

    I do have some background knowledge in these things.

    I started building and launching model rockets when I was a young lad.

    Then I joined the Marines, and was formally trained as a radar systems/missile fire control technician on the McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II's.

    After my tour of duty was up, I went to work at a large aerospace/defense company where I worked on airborne radar/missile fire control systems.

    What I'm trying to tell you is that what you wish to attempt is not safe.
     
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  7. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    The OP is advised to pay attention to the safety precautions.
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
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    You'll find a lot of the regulars were into model rockets. There is a reason launchers have a safety key, the suckers have one heck of a backblast.

    I don't see any way a wireless setup could be made safe, unless you have a cord 10 feet away from the launcher with a safety key.
     
  9. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
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    Thanks to all for concerning on my safety. I might sound really stubborn but I wont abandon this project.


    Yes, electric matches seem to be the perfect solution, but due to my location it is pretty hard to obtain those. I was trying to get some nichrome but cant find it anywhere, I was thinking of maybe getting some from a car cigarette ligther or from a hairdryer.
     
  10. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    I admire people with guts!

    Feeling of acomplishment must be not obviated.

    It is always rewarding watching the widow of an idiot collecting his medals and / or salary!!!
     
  11. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
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    Do we see Darwin at work here?
     
  12. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    I think everyone has made what points there are worth making here.

    To the OP: the cautions were well-meant.
     
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