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  #1  
Old 06-27-2011, 02:19 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Countdown checklist "apps?"

Hello All,

While for me, iPads and Smart Phones and Blackberries fall into the category of things that the folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia called "play pretties" (attention-diverting, often shiny toys or devices that teachers took away from kids in class), many young--and not so young--people are enamored of these electronic devices. This--along with a mention of a proofreading checklist by a friend of mine this evening--inspired an idea:

If these don't exist already, countdown checklist "apps" for various types of model rockets (streamer recovery, parachute recovery, featherweight recovery, tumble recovery, nose-blow recovery, break-apart recovery, helicopter recovery, glide recovery, multi-stage, payload, etc.) would be natural extra features to attract younger model rocketeers, and such "apps" would also be useful to older rocketeers. (They would be great for preventing missed checklist steps at public demonstration launches and contests, where distractions can easily enable such errors). They could work like this:

The "apps" could be designed so that each one (each countdown checklist, depending on the type of rocket) could be selected from a menu. When used in "Pre-Launch Mode," the text of a given selected checklist (say, for a streamer recovery rocket) would initially appear in black or white characters until the "Pick Up the Countdown" command was issued. After that, the first step in the checklist would flash in red or red-highlighted (and perhaps enlarged) text along with an audible beep until--after that step was accomplished--it would be "checked off" using a stylus or the pressing of a button, after which the text of that accomplished step would turn green (or be highlighted in green) and the next step would flash in red and beep. A "Review Mode" would allow the user to simply read all of the checklists (displayed in black or white text) without being prompted to "check off" each step in the countdown checklists.

What do you think?
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Last edited by blackshire : 06-27-2011 at 02:59 AM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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  #2  
Old 06-27-2011, 11:18 AM
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Many people prep more than one flight at a time. Such an app would necessarily have be able to handle more than one checklist.


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  #3  
Old 06-27-2011, 01:11 PM
Wildflysch Wildflysch is offline
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Iíve been lurking for a while and maybe this isnít the best place for a first post, but I do have a suggestion, a database. Since I couldnít find an app like that, I decided I would try to create something workable for myself. I figured a database would be the way to go and started looking at different versions of databases out there and decided to give Google Docs a try since itís, well, free. And it had the added bonus of being web based which means I can use it on my Droid, whereas I couldnít (as least as far as I could figure out) use MS Access on there.

I created a form in Google Docs that has all of the information I need in it to prep my rockets put together in a flight log kind of format. Some fields are fill in the blank, most are drop down or multiple choice, and many of them I have set to require an input before moving to the next page. My checklist is pretty small, as I mostly fly LPR and have just started in on MPR a bit, but I have each rocket in my fleet listed with recommended motors, recommended parachute/streamer size, etc. I also have other misc. sections to fill out such as weather, launch location, flight info, deployment (early, late, good, etc.), recovery (lost, damaged, etc.), altitude, and a section for notes. Some fields mirror flight cards you fill out at a club launches, and other fields mirror those in common flight logs.

The form is web based and I open it on my Droid to fill out when prepping a rocket for launch. I have it set up in 3 pages, the first being fields with all pre-launch items I fill out as I prep the rocket, the second regarding the flight of the rocket I fill out while making that recovery walk, and the third with information on recovery after I inspect it. When the form is complete it sends it to my Google Docs account and I can then look at a report of all of my launches. So I can see that while the kitís recommendation is a C6-5, deployment appears to be late regularly so in the future I might use a C6-3 with that rocket. Or if I consistently break a fin, I might decide to go with a slightly larger chute.

My particular form is pretty simplified just helping me keep straight what motors and parachutes to use along with a couple of other things, and would not be of any use to anyone needing a more comprehensive checklist for setting up dual deploy or anything like that. But I have little experience in working with a database and only spent about an hour putting it together, so Iím sure just about anyone could put together a really nice checklist using this and get pretty close to what they need. And Iím sure other database programs would work just as well, if not better.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildflysch
Iíve been lurking for a while and maybe this isnít the best place for a first post, but I do have a suggestion, a database. Since I couldnít find an app like that, I decided I would try to create something workable for myself. I figured a database would be the way to go and started looking at different versions of databases out there and decided to give Google Docs a try since itís, well, free. And it had the added bonus of being web based which means I can use it on my Droid, whereas I couldnít (as least as far as I could figure out) use MS Access on there.

Is there a way you could share your template for us other Droid users to use?
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  #5  
Old 06-27-2011, 11:30 PM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildflysch
Iíve been lurking for a while and maybe this isnít the best place for a first post, but I do have a suggestion, a database. Since I couldnít find an app like that, I decided I would try to create something workable for myself. I figured a database would be the way to go and started looking at different versions of databases out there and decided to give Google Docs a try since itís, well, free. And it had the added bonus of being web based which means I can use it on my Droid, whereas I couldnít (as least as far as I could figure out) use MS Access on there.

I created a form in Google Docs that has all of the information I need in it to prep my rockets put together in a flight log kind of format. Some fields are fill in the blank, most are drop down or multiple choice, and many of them I have set to require an input before moving to the next page. My checklist is pretty small, as I mostly fly LPR and have just started in on MPR a bit, but I have each rocket in my fleet listed with recommended motors, recommended parachute/streamer size, etc. I also have other misc. sections to fill out such as weather, launch location, flight info, deployment (early, late, good, etc.), recovery (lost, damaged, etc.), altitude, and a section for notes. Some fields mirror flight cards you fill out at a club launches, and other fields mirror those in common flight logs.

The form is web based and I open it on my Droid to fill out when prepping a rocket for launch. I have it set up in 3 pages, the first being fields with all pre-launch items I fill out as I prep the rocket, the second regarding the flight of the rocket I fill out while making that recovery walk, and the third with information on recovery after I inspect it. When the form is complete it sends it to my Google Docs account and I can then look at a report of all of my launches. So I can see that while the kitís recommendation is a C6-5, deployment appears to be late regularly so in the future I might use a C6-3 with that rocket. Or if I consistently break a fin, I might decide to go with a slightly larger chute.

My particular form is pretty simplified just helping me keep straight what motors and parachutes to use along with a couple of other things, and would not be of any use to anyone needing a more comprehensive checklist for setting up dual deploy or anything like that. But I have little experience in working with a database and only spent about an hour putting it together, so Iím sure just about anyone could put together a really nice checklist using this and get pretty close to what they need. And Iím sure other database programs would work just as well, if not better.
Welcome! Your database version sounds perfectly usable and helpful. It sounds similar to the multiple checklists ("Parachute or Streamer," "Featherweight or Tumble," and "Boost-Glide") that are included in the Appendix to the "Industrial Arts Teachers Manual for Model Rocketry" (see: http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/ca...anual/ia66.html ). Your database's additional features (such as listing the rockets' recommended motors and recommended streamer/parachute sizes) would also help to prevent those types of mistakes that we've all made, particularly when prepping models in haste and/or in distracting situations, such as at public or school launches.
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http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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  #6  
Old 06-27-2011, 11:52 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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The web-based form sounds pretty interesting. And I love your tag line!!

Earl



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(Ok, ok. That's a slippery slope. I'll stop there)

Hmmmm.....I have this strange urge to mention something about a herring, but I said I'd stop there.

Anyone interested in a shrubbery......??

.....
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:41 PM
Wildflysch Wildflysch is offline
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Thanks, it works for me. In actuality, it turned more into a flight log than a checklist, but I made sure to include all the information I wanted to have available to me during prep (the checklist) built into it too. I should have some free time tomorrow and will see what I can do about getting a template up. I did not check about the sharing options when I put it together. I know I can email the form (or links to the form) to others to use, but all of the information goes to my database file on Google Docs. I'm sure there's got to be a way to just copy the whole thing and post it as an attachment or something so others can move it to their Google Docs and I'll do that. It should be pretty easy for anyone to modify to fit their needs.

I had two versions. The first was much nicer from a form standpoint in that depending on your selection in one field, the contents of the following fields changed to just those that apply. For example, if I selected the Baby Bertha as my rocket, it would then send me to a page with motor choices specific to the Baby Bertha.

However, as nice as that was filling out the form, when I needed to update/add more rockets, the more "pages" I had to keep organized. But the big problem was when looking at the data submitted by the form in the database itself. Instead of motors used being in one column, there was a separate motor column for each rocket and then several other subsequent entries relative to a specific item, and the number of columns grew such that I had to scroll forever to find everything. And when I generated a stat report, the data was all split up everywhere.

I modified it so that the recommended motor, parachute, and launch rod diameter info is all included with the rocket names in that selection field. I decide/double check on the motor there, and then select which motor I'm actually using, out of a list of all my motors, in a different field for the log. I don't remember if I kept a copy of original version or not, but if I did, I'll include both when I get to it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:53 PM
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Does anyone remember this?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Flight Data Sheet.pdf (30.6 KB, 58 views)
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
The web-based form sounds pretty interesting. And I love your tag line!!

Earl



"Help, I'm being repressed!"


(Ok, ok. That's a slippery slope. I'll stop there)

Hmmmm.....I have this strange urge to mention something about a herring, but I said I'd stop there.

Anyone interested in a shrubbery......??

.....


Neeeek!
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:47 PM
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Or you could just go here:

Think Geek Monty Python
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