Sunday, March 18, 2007

The project changes course...Going UP!

Hi Everyone,

This starts the second chapter of Bryan's project. Bry and I have always wanted to put his project in a rocket. It was too much to do for this science fair, but now that that is done and we have this equipment, it is a great time to start.

Bryan and I found ourselves in Pearlridge at we wandered into the Hobby Company to see what we might convert to a video carrying rocket. We started talking with the young employee there and discovered he was very into rocketry. Turns out he is building a large High Power Rocket of a custom design and was looking for a video payload. PERFECT! We decided to collaborate and that is how I was introduced to Jesse Bradley, 16, of Waialua High School.

Jesse is a remarkable young man. He has a passion for the hobby of rocketry and has been the force behind the Waialua Rocketry club and getting a bunch of people involved in the sport. He also started the Rocket Extravaganza event at his school, where he runs a demo of 20 some rockets being launched in front of the entire school assembly. He was amazingly organized and was effectively delegating responsibility to teams for the event. Pretty cool.

For the video payload, I disassembled Bryan's science fair project (with permission) and built a basic cardboard and straw prototype. That helped be figure out where everything was going to go and how much it might weigh.

I took that prototype down to see Jesse and he gave me a bunch of components of the rocket that I could build the project with. Over the next two weeks I built the payload bay, installed the components and wired it all up.

I also started talking to my friend Hank (KH6HAK) about it and he got involved building the ground station, with some speciallized antennas and amplifiers. It was great fun to be involved with the prototyping of the device, and I was hoping with Hank's gear to get better results than we got with the science fair format.

That's all for now,...more later.


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