Rocket Electronics

Electronics are used as onboard systems within high-power rockets. They can do everything from deploying parachutes, to recording max altitude, to tracking and recovery. I use exclusively off-the-shelf commercial products for such purposes. Below are some examples of these.


Altimeters are used mainly for deploying parachutes. They have a user-programmable interface which allows for different settings to be configured. I use the following altimeters in my rockets:

  • PerfectFlite StratoLoggerCF. This is a fairly new altimeter that will deploy a drogue, a main, and record flight data.
  • PerfectFlite StratoLogger SL100. This is simply an older version of the StratoLoggerCF. (I no longer use these.)
  • Adept Rocketry Adept22. This is a pretty old product that will deploy a drogue and main. However, this altimeter does NOT record any flight data - it simply beeps out the max altitude after every launch. (I no longer use these.)
  • MissileWorks RRC3. A great altimeter with 3 pyro outputs - drogue, main, and auxiliary. (The auxiliary output can be programmed for use in clustering, staging, and so on.) It also logs flight data.
  • MissileWorks RRC2+. This altimeter is essentially a slightly less-robust version of the RRC3. It will deploy a drogue and main, however, the drawback is that it does not log flight data.
  • Featherweight Raven3. A powerful altimeter with 4 pyro outputs. This is a highly-customizable product that can be programmed to do just about anything.
  • Featherweight Raven2. The Raven2 is an older version of the Raven3, but functions the same.


When flying to higher altitudes, one must use some sort of tracker to find where the rocket lands. I use GPS for this purpose.

  • BigRedBee 900 MHz Beeline GPS. Greg Clark (also an OROC member) over at BigRedBee offers lots of different RF trackers and GPS telemetry devices. Specifically, I use the 900 MHz Beeline GPS system (BRB900) as it does not require an amateur radio license to operate and use. The paired transmitter/receiver work together to send GPS coordinates back to the ground. After the rocket lands, you take the last reported set of cooridnates, enter them into a GPS unit (I use my smartphone), and walk straight to where it landed. You can't really do better than that!