Ready to fly

Ready to fly. I removed the reed switch and now power is turned on by plugging in USB power briefly and turned off by via a shutdown command. I also added a little more structural support for the boards, re-soldered the GPS receiver to increase the amount of solder holding it in place and hot-glued the GPS coin-cell battery in place. If all goes well, we'll launch the maiden voyage tomorrow at a park west of the foothills - and hopefully the rocket will miss the lake that's close by...


I did some range testing and was able to drive a couple of kilometers from my house while successfully getting real-time GPS data sent to the base station there. Here's the data converted by and displayed by google earth.


Software is ready although I suspect that there is a hazard or two left in the multi-threaded code. I have seen the firmware hang-up, usually when using the diagnostic serial port, so I'm a little worried but have reviewed the code several times and suspect I'd have to dig into some of the libraries to go further and/or try to debug the system using a desktop development environment. I'm betting I misunderstand how to use some of the mbed functions. Unfortunately there is not enough time for that right now.

I wrote a quick&dirty companion desktop application using the Xojo development environment to communicate with the rocket as well as manage and display data. It can read and parse the data file from the rocket and display map locations, accelerometer and light sensor data in graph form and all data in tabular form (to make it easy to export to a spreadsheet or other processor like gpsvisualizer). The result of shaking the electronics while recording is shown below.


Next up...the moment of truth. Will it fly? Will it collect data?

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