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Radio Rocket

Check out the Radio Rocket Tag for blog posts about this project or Follow the Rocket’s Adventures on Mastodon!

N3VEM Radio Rocket

I’m currently dabbling with some rocketry stuff with the kiddos, so of course I had to start playing around with ways to stick some radio stuff in the rockets.

The Rocket - Version 1

Radio Rocket

Version 1 was a modified mid-power Aerotech Initiator Kit, made longer to accomodate the electronics and antenna’s, and equipped with a larger than stock parachute because of the extra weight associated with the extra components. We crashed that one…
Radio Rocket Crashed

The Rocket - Version 2

Version 2 of the rocket is ‘under construction’ and is currently being designed aorund a 38mm diameter airframe. The smaller diameter should enable version 2 to get a bit more altitude from the same size engines (you know, less drag and all.)

The Electronics Sled

The lead picture is of the version 2 electronics sled that slides into the rocket. This carries the LoRa radio and sensors for telemetry. The APRS radio will get it’s own sled, which will be closer to the nose of the rocket.

APRS

The version 1 rocket had a lightAPRS for APRS packets. I detailed in the lightAPRS groups.io group the modifications that I did so that I could get more packets through faster, since at the relativly low altituides this rocket will reach, the flights will be short. The plan is to put the same, or a similar, APRS radio into version 2.

LoRa

Onboard the rocket is a Teensy 4.1 with a 70cm LoRa module and some other sensors. The LoRa radio allows the rocket to send telemetry data, and also receive some basic commands from the ground station.

Ground Station

To communicate with the rocket, the current ground station is based on a Libre Computer LePotato single board computer, and a 70cm Adafruit Feather w/ LoRa, as the companion radio to the LoRa module on the rocket.