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Need Advice on Altimeters
#1
A fellow club rocketeer has decided to sell his $60 altimeter.  

He said it has an internal battery that is recharged when plugging into a computer's USB port.
But doesn't that then require a computer program to interface with the unit?

I fly only LPR rockets, and I doubt that I'm ever going to progress for Levels 1 or 2.  Can't afford HPR.

What do you see as the benefit of investing in such a device, if I stay with LPR or MPR?  Or is there any?

I hesitate to invest that much in something I don't "need".
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#2
Sounds like an altimeter one or two from Jolly Logic.

USB ports have power, so it's like pulling it into the wall, no program needed.

They provide data on how high it went, and the Alt Two will give speed, and a slew of other data. What's that data worth to you? Possibly nothing. I've got several Altimeters, some costing much more.... but to me, the data is worth it.

Benefit? seeing how a rocket preforms on different motors, how changes to the setup affect things, real descent rates on parachutes...etc.
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#3
(06-14-2015, 11:13 PM)DBMcCann Wrote: Sounds like an altimeter one or two from Jolly Logic.

USB ports have power, so it's like pulling it into the wall, no program needed.

They provide data on how high it went, and the Alt Two will give speed, and a slew of other data.   What's that data worth to you?   Possibly nothing.   I've got several Altimeters,  some costing much more.... but to me, the data is worth it.

Benefit?  seeing how a rocket preforms on different motors, how changes to the setup affect things, real descent rates on parachutes...etc.

I have one Jolly Logic altimiter, not sure which version however the USB connector is not quite to standard and the only way it will reliably plug into my USB ports is using a USB extension.  So I know at least one or some of them are a bit finicky.  Regardless it's an easy fix and the USB extension cord is just a typical USB extension cord so you can pick it up anywhere if you don't already have one of them.
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#4
Sounds like you might be going about things a bit backyards. Usually a need motivates a purchase. You are considering a purchase and then trying to figure out if there is a need.

If you don't know what do with it, don't buy it. You could spend that $60 on more rockets.

But for the sake of conversation, I'll elaborate on what DBMcCann said.

With most LPR rockets, you're never going above 1000'. And if you do, you can probably float down gently with a streamer. So knowing how high you went may not be super useful. Now, if you are using parachutes and losing rockets, then gathering some data may help you prevent further loss. There are web sites out there that will tell you your descent rates based on weight and chute size, and then with an altimeter, you can measure altitude on lower impulse motors until you figure out at what point you are at risk of losing your rocket.

Also, some people have fun challenging themselves to see how high they can go. "If I build a little better and a little lighter, maybe I can add 100' to that last flight!"

It's all up to what parts of the hobby turn you on.

But back to my first sentence, if you are happy doing what you're doing and you haven't been nagged by a need to know how high/fast you went, then save your money.
John S.
NAR #96911
TRA #15253
MDRA
Level 1, 2014-Mar-15 -- Aerotech Sumo, H133BS
Level 2, 2014-Jun-21 -- Giant Leap Vertical Assault, J240RL
Level 3, 2016-03-12 -- MAC Performance Radial Flyer, M1101WH, 13,028 feet
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#5
I would agree that if you haven't a need to know the altitude that your rocket reaches then spend the $60 on more rocket supplies.

Oddly, the first question I most frequently get asked is "how high does (did, will) it go...?"

Personally, I use my altimeter data as a means to 'fine tune' my RockSim / ThrustCurve simulations.

If you decide to buy the altimeter make sure it's not the AltimeterOne as it sells new for $49.95.  If you're going to spend $60 then add another $10 and get the AltimeterTwo.
NAR 98451 L2; MDRA 024; BARC 001 (President)



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#6
I would be looking more at a Perfectflite Firefly at $24.95 its a great little altimeter as well as NAR certified as of Saturday June 20th IIRC.
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#7
Thank you all. Good advice, and prolly won't invest in one at this time.
Sport flying is about all that I'm after. And if I should suffer a CATO or lose it, I'd feel sick about it.
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#8
Understandable. At URRG II last year, I sent up a rocket that cost me $400, with electronics totaling $60, a motor casing and motor that totaled $240. Because my altimeter bay port holes were not correctly sized, both deployment charges fired while the rocket was going about 600 mph. It shredded. All I got back in usable condition was the motor casing and closure.

$608 gone in a poof!
John S.
NAR #96911
TRA #15253
MDRA
Level 1, 2014-Mar-15 -- Aerotech Sumo, H133BS
Level 2, 2014-Jun-21 -- Giant Leap Vertical Assault, J240RL
Level 3, 2016-03-12 -- MAC Performance Radial Flyer, M1101WH, 13,028 feet
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#9
(07-09-2015, 10:12 AM)Bat-mite Wrote: Understandable.  At URRG II last year, I sent up a rocket that cost me $400, with electronics totaling $60, a motor casing and motor that totaled $240.  Because my altimeter bay port holes were not correctly sized, both deployment charges fired while the rocket was going about 600 mph.  It shredded.  All I got back in usable condition was the motor casing and closure.

$608 gone in a poof!

Check out this link on the Adept web-page... Good general information on electronic bays and altimeter porting...
 http://www.adeptrocketry.com/staticports.htm
Fred Wallace
MDRA Lifer
TRA 5763, TAP
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#10
(07-09-2015, 10:12 AM)Bat-mite Wrote: Understandable.  At URRG II last year, I sent up a rocket that cost me $400, with electronics totaling $60, a motor casing and motor that totaled $240.  Because my altimeter bay port holes were not correctly sized, both deployment charges fired while the rocket was going about 600 mph.  It shredded.  All I got back in usable condition was the motor casing and closure.

$608 gone in a poof!

What altimeter were you using in this?
Jim Hendricksen
T 9693
L-3 Savannah Ga
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