Many kids these days have never known life without the Internet, Google and shiny icons, and relate better to smartphones and touch screens than to wires and buttons. The MMC was born out of wanting to do something new and fun with the hobby of model rocketry – and get more of the family involved!
To us, the biggest problem with launching a rocket has to do with power. Most launchers work by short-circuiting batteries across the igniter.
With that in mind, our first task was to find a way to deliver a controlled amount of power to trigger the igniter in the engine. To do that, we created our own custom circuit board. It may not have been pretty, but it did the job!
From there, we developed a 4-wire sensing system to detect if there were any problems with the igniter. See how it was all developed in the following gallery:
To make it all fun and user-friendly, we decided the best way to report this information back to the hobbyist was to use a smartphone.
To accomplish this, we added a Bluetooth Low Energy chip to our circuit board and wrote an app (iPhone and Android). Lastly, we added a Missile Toggle Switch and cable disconnect for an extra level of safety – and to make it even more fun.
After extensive testing and no small number of refinements, we were very excited to make the BlueNose MMC available to others. Click here if you are interested in getting your own!
We ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in August 2013 on Indiegogo to help create the first batch of MMCs. It was a great experience and facilitated buying components in bulk along with having a custom printed circuit board made. We would like to thank the following people and everyone else who helped make this project a success.
- Ron Heigh
- Brad Leese
- Donald Papp
- Greg Scratchley
- Rob Shaw