G-switch timer – Vern Knowles

The timer is built using four small inexpensive CMOS integrated circuits. This allows it to run on just 3V from two small AAA batteries. U1 is a 74HC688 8-bit equality comparator. It compares the switch settings to the counter output and will set pin U1-19 low when they match. The actual counter is U2. It is a 74HC4060 14-stage binary ripple counter with built-in oscillator.

The G-switch itself uses a cantilevered metal bar that pivots down as the rocket accelerates upward. The metal bar actuates a small micro-switch that triggers a digital counter to begin the timing sequence. The timer is designed so that it will not start unless the micro-switch has been activated for a duration of at least 0.5 seconds.

G-switch timer - Vern Knowles

G-switch timer – Vern Knowles – The timer was built using a small prototyping circuit board and point-to-point wiring.

U3 is a 74HC74 D-type flip-flop that is used as part of the triggering logic. U3-12 will be low when the counter matches the switch settings. Consequently, on the next oscillator clock edge from U2-9 the flip-flop output at U3-9 will go low. This is the event that activates the 2N4403 transistor that fires the flash bulb.

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