Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tiny altimeters

The progress in modern electronics never ceases to amaze me - I always thought that the Perfectflite PNUT - a scant 0.7 x 3" in dimensions - was small, especially given the wealth of data it provides. However, there are some very nice small altimeters that don't connect to a computer's USB port. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Jolly Logic Altimeter 2, which not only will measure the peak altitude of the rocket, but will also give a host of other information like engine burn time, max acceleration and speed, coast time, time from apogee to ejection, and so forth. It's a really nice product, and the company president, John Beans, stands behind his work. I am very much looking forward to his Altimeter 3, which will transmit data via bluetooth to a smartphone. How cool is that?

My latest acquisition is Perfectflite's latest product - the Firefly. This very tiny altimeter is only 1 inch long by 0.7 inches wide, and weighs a scant 0.12 ounces with the battery. Unlike other Perfectflite altimeters, it gives the peak altitude and speed via a series of blinks of an LED, rather than a sequence of beeps. I can't wait to try this puppy out - it should fit in almost any rocket!

Plus, at only $25, the price won't seriously hurt the wallet.