Sunday, November 14, 2021

Lander Updates: Electronics box, Tank mounting, etc.

I haven't blogged in a hot second. My goal this year was to get something out once per month, so looks like I have a bit of a backlog at this point.

Since my past post: my car was totalled, moved all my stuff into a new house, and work has kicked back up. Recently, I have spent more time on the lander project, but not enough on parts that look... progressive. 

Also, if you are interested in supporting this project at all (be it component donation or whatever), feel free to shoot me an email at PSL58@ I'm going to start looking for some sponsors, and will most certainly add a sticker panel to the side of the rocket listing all the awesome people that have helped me along the way. I'm 24, and just out of school, so little stuff goes a long way :) 

The avionics box is starting to take shape. For reference, this is what the CAD looks like. The CAD is missing a battery, two PCBs, and a couple other components.

Here you can also see a glimpse of the KVH1750 IMU that I am using (donated by my homie Adam Weld, thank you! could not afford this myself).

Here is some of the hardware coming together. The metal plates were laser cut by Each of the divider plates is 3D printed with heat-serts (or whatever heated threaded inserts are called). The top plate, some avionics boards, and other components are still coming in.

You can see I have yet to print the connector end yet.
My lab also doubles as a guest bedroom, which explains the inflatable mattress lol.

I should have some more cool pictures of the electronics box coming soon, since there are a lot of parts on the way! I also will be finishing two more board designs soon. I scrapped my last board designs, because I realized I could abstract a lot of complexity by using USB devices and just using a Teenys 4.0 microcontroller rather than two STM32F4s with separate firmware and a silly dev environment.

Off in structures land, I have made some progress with tank mounting. I added the first tank and realized that what I had designed was certainly not rigid enough. I have since gone back to the drawing board.

The wobbly bastard

A close up of the tank welds I made.. They were to the external banding, and not the tank itself. I think I'm going to have to weld to the tank wall itself though on the new revision.

Also those bloody pins were tricky to bend into place.

Paddy's todo list for the rest of the 2021:
  • Power board finish
  • "Other Things" board finish
  • Tank mounts finish design, order parts, fabricate, mount tanks
  • Crane Mount design and fab
  • Pressurant tank mount design and fab
  • TVC actuators assemble, add in stop switches, make Odrive Enclosure, cut effector to size
  • Get all boards plugged together, powered, and doing things
  • Weld TVC mounts
Then 2022, I can focus on:
  • finishing my buddy's flight computer code (sorry for the latency on my end)
  • GNC / FSW and telemetry on the lander flight computer
  • Ground infrastructure --> cool pelican case typa dealio (I want to feel like I'm James Bond)
  • Propulsion work to the max
    • all plumbing, procurring rest of components
    • engine design, fabrication
    • thrust structure and gimbal