Psion Palmtop for Water Rocket Applications
This is my Psion palmtop while editing the SEAM page:
General note taking
Instead of writing my launch data on paper, I type them on the site into
the Psion. Any necessary calculation can be made in any application. In Word
I can add tables as well as sketches.
A regular stopwatch has the disadvantage that only one or two times
can be taken per measurement. While launching water rockets, it is nice to
be able to track multiple events.
1) Launch 2) Sustainer leaves the booster 3) Apogee 4) Begin of deployment
5) Chute fully open 6) rocket is back to earth
Tracking multiple events with the Psion is easy: it has a built-in voice
recorder which records directly on its internal memory. I announce all major
events of the flight. At home I transfer the Psion voice file to the PC.
Here I can measure with high accuracy the duration of every period of the
flight using almost any sound tool. Disadvantage of this method: one gets
the numbers only later at home, not on the launch site.
Of course the recording (MP3
file, 156kB) holds much more information than the bare times, you can
comment anything what happens and also catch eventual bursts of emotions
If you want instantaneous, but less exact timing results, there are freeware
stopwatches with multiple lap times available.
Calculating the formulas for my SEAM system is easy with the built in
Sheet application. I write all flight data into this launch sheet right on
Explicit WR Calculations
I am working on some add-ons on Bruce Berggren's EXPLICIT excel
calculations. The basic sheet works well already. So, if I think in the field
of a new combination to launch, I can do the simulation of the time to apogee
in seconds ( I mean: quickly) with the Psion on my knees.