Tracking Theodolite

Let us know about the items you use to launch your rockets, anything from pad ideas to new launch controllers.
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Commander
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#1 Tracking Theodolite

Post by Commander »

Yes altimeters are all the rage now-a-days, but last I heard, you had to punch a hole in the side of your rocket to use them. How much altitude do you lose from the drag on that hole. Of course GPS units can be sent aloft, but if you had to deal with all the inaccuracies in dealing with GPS units like I have (and I'm talking high end land surveying units, not like the ones in your car) you might question some results also.

On top of that, there is the additional height killing weight both of these high tech solutions add to the rocket.

Of course the old tracking transits used by clubs were just too much of a hassle to use. I could give a lecture on the possible errors and mistakes possible with them, plus they were often inaccurate themselves.

So my solution?
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The pictures are of just a quick throw together of the idea with some of the components that just came Sunday. I am still waiting on some parts for the horizontal dial which will be the standard protractor. I did think about a digital compass, but couldn't find one with the precision I wanted. Plus the inclinometer pictured may be able to also do that function, but I have to investigate some more.

Anyways, the mock up shows the hologram site on a picatinny rail that is attached (right now) to a camera tripod. The inclinometer will be attached later on by a better method than the zip tie. It has a magnetic side, so one solution would be to use a strip of metal in place of the wood and attach it using the magnets. This has its benefits and possible problems. The benefit is ease of removal for other uses (measuring rod angles, for one), but I worry about the unit falling off or even being knocked off.

In conclusion, the new tracking gun will be much easier for even youngsters to use with much less chance of error.
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#2 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by Commander »

Oh, one thing I didn't mention. When using the hologram site, you put the dot (or cross, or circle) on the rocket in the air and you're good.
Last edited by Commander on Sun, 16 Feb 20, 16:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#3 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by Commander »

I really wish I could manually focus a camera in this day and age.

Anyway, I tried to gety a pic looking down the site, but the circle and dot came out as one large blurry dot.
HOLOGRAPHIC SITE 1.jpg
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HOLOGRAPHIC SITE 2.jpg
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Too late tonight to futz with it. maybe at a later date.
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Joe Wooten
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#4 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by Joe Wooten »

OK, Now I read it Bernie..... :D

Never noticed it before. Looks like a neat idea.
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#5 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by Commander »

Since I have been let go from work due to the Co-Vid 19 panic, I have been able to spend some time putting together a more robust version of the tracking scope.
credit: Starport Sagitta
credit: Starport Sagitta
Tracking Theodolite.JPG (517.85 KiB) Viewed 2866 times
I moved the holo site forward to give the required eye relief per the instructions.
I have decided that on a new way to get the horizontal angle, but have to wait to get a different camera tripod.
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#6 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by Commander »

I wanted to do some trails and checking of the tracking theodolite, but with due to not being able to get a new pair of glasses I don't know how accurate I can get. :(

The site is mounted on an square metal extrusion, and I have to try and do a "bore sight" aim. :shock:
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luke strawwalker
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#7 Re: Tracking Theodolite

Post by luke strawwalker »

Great idea... Looks like a winner. Sorry to hear about your job.

Later! OL J R
My MUNIFICENCE is BOUNDLESS, Mr. Bond...
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