Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Estes Rockets App, Part 2

After my previous post, I reacquired my smart phone and downloaded the Estes' app. It appears that my initial reaction was over enthusiastic. I found the main tab, which is essentially a way to access their on-line catalog, is not up to date. I looked for some of the new rockets that were announced in the last Sport Rocketry and they were not there. The next tab is an altitude predictor. I should have guessed this, but it isn't even a bare bones sim program but rather is just a database of rocket/recommended motor/altitude, like you see in their literature. It is not even as complete as the prior tab as the Majestic isn't included. Others probably are missing also.

The feature that most interested me was the 'Virtual Altitrack'. You access it in the third tab. Basically, you pace off a baseline distance between 50-500 feet and set it in the app. Your position should be perpendicular to the wind to maximize the accuracy of a 1-station track. You then track the launch, pressing the 'get altitude' button at apogee. A one station track is not going to be that accurate and I question my ability to accurately point my device, however, this might be fun to play with.  I am still like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to my smartphone.