The phone application, InsaneRockets, records video, captures data, and helps with tracking down landing location when installed in a high powered (G and higher motor) hobby rocket. Warning: Launching rockets with a phone onboard is risky and a mishap could destroy the phone! When I started writing the phone application, it was not my intention to make a publicly available version. However, in the past year I have continued to enhance and add features for my personal use. Then, I noticed I could create a feature rich application for everyone to use and benefit from. I hope you enjoy using this application, quite a bit of late night hours have been put into its construction.
Hardware Limitations Android:
- Prior to launching, if using your phone to assist in recovery with GPS, confirm your phone has a GPS - telemetry GPS derived by wifi will not operate in the field. Limitations may vary depending on the android device you have. These may include: Max Gs reported, inclusion of Barometer data, speed of instrument updates, and resolution of video/audio data.
- Gs: The values of older phones typically are maxed on each axis at 2Gs. Known +/- Maxes: Galaxy S-2Gs, Galaxy S5-2Gs, Galaxy S7-8Gs, Galaxy S8-8Gs, Galaxy S9-8Gs LG G5-8Gs, LG G6-8Gs, LG V30-8Gs, Moto G-2Gs, Nexus 4-4Gs, Nexus 5-2Gs, Nexus 5x-8Gs or 16Gs(depending on hardware), Nexus 6-2Gs, Nexus 6p-8Gs , Pixel XL-16Gs, Pixel 2 XL-16Gs
- High Battery Consumption & More: Some phones consume much more battery and run hotter than others such as the Nexus 4. It is recommended to at least review this section and then test to see how fast your phone battery drains over the span of an hour with Insane Rockets running. That way, on launch day, you are not in for any surprises.
If you are worried your phone could overheat or your battery is draining fast, use these steps to reduce battery consumption:
- Do not turn on battery saver: While it sounds great in theory, it disables the functionality of our App. Settings > Battery > Battery saver should be OFF, with Turn on automatically OFF as well. This option typically disables network traffic, it can disable gps type data as well.
- Turn off BlueTooth: Searching for your devices at home and in your car wastes your battery and generates heat.
- Turn off Auto-update Apps over cell network: Open Play Store > Settings > Auto-update apps and either turn off or set to Auto-update apps over Wi-Fi only.
- Turn off Sync: Recommended for very power hungry phones like the Nexus 4: Open Settings > Accounts > Your Account Name > Then tap your account. Turning these off will stop unexpected transfers from occuring on launch day. You can turn them back on after recovery.
- Turn off Wi-Fi: This is really only necessary if you have cell service. Important - Make sure you go into Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced and turn off Scanning always available, Network Notification for public networks and THEN turn off Wi-Fi. If this is not done, Wi-Fi is not really off.
- Reduce abrupt bumps on phone: Every time a bump occurs, a launch event could be triggered. While Insane Rockets will detect this as a false launch, CPU is consumed to capture video, audio, and data prior to realization of the false launch.
- Endurance Tests: The Nexus 5 should last over 7 hours with these optimizations. The Nexus 4 should last 4 hours with these optimizations.
- Overheating: If the outside temperature is over 90° F (32°C), there is the possibility of overheating. What you need to monitor is the battery temperature. The phone will shut down at 140°F (60°C). Insane Rockets will begin speaking the battery temperature in its cycle when it exceeds 100°F (37°C). To avoid overheating:
- It is ALWAYS good to assemble your rocket in the shade. The electronics bay has very little ventilation.
- On hot days, when the rocket is on the rail, try to have the phone/camera facing on the shade side, rather than sun side.
- Rockets painted darker colors will tend to have much hotter electronics bays. If it doesn't mess up your color scheme, add some chrome monokote adhesive on top of the bay, being careful to retap your vent holes. This will also make your rocket easier to track.