INA 125 Instrument Amplifier
for rocket motor test stand
The Setup

Test Stand Setup, Front View

Here are the four components together:

  • Test stand with load cell
  • Amplifier
  • Dataq 194RS
  • Laptop computer with serial port and WinDAQ software installed
  • Oh, and the rocket motor!

Test Stand Setup, Front View
Test Stand Components, Rear View
Rest assured that the laptop will not be sitting right there when the motor is ignited.  That's what that hank of audio cable is for, to separate the TestStand/Amplifier from the Dataq unit/Laptop by 20 feet or more.  I would also put something protective over the computer, even at that distance.  Great balls of fire have been known to fall from the sky during these static tests.

Fortunately, the WinDAQ software allows for a long capture time, so I can set everything up, start the computer recording, close the lid and put something over it, and mosey on back to the firing line at a leisurely pace.  The default is 12 minutes recording time, so I can even go for a quick coffee, search for my hearing protectors, set up the video camera, warn the neighbors, shoo away the cats, get some more coffee, and still capture the motor firing before serious jitters set in.

Thrust Curve Graphic
Click Here to see some test runs with this equipment, as well as a few with the larger 500lbf test stand.

Jimmy Yawn
Revised 12/3/04