This is the Draco control board, a rocket guidance/steering system that could in theory be used to stabilize as well as record and transmit the flight of model rockets. I developed this board for my own personal use, but wasn’t too sure as to the rocket I would use for it, so I decided to cram it full of features so that I could use it for multiple purposes. Here are some hardware features:
- 10 servo outputs
- 3 detonator circuits for launching rocket/deploying parachute
- Camera interface connector for 808 style cameras
- Atmega2560 MCU
- RFM95HW Long-Range (LORA) radio transceiver
- Micro SDCard Connector for logging
- LSM9DS1TR IMU for accurate positioning and orientation
- SAM-M8Q GPS module
- Multi-purpose connector
- MS5607 Barometer
I used the newest version of KiCad to create this project. One of the features of KiCad is its ability to model the PCB in 3D, which is something I would later use to create a rocket-mount for the board:
As well as creating the design using KiCad, I also made a single working prototype of the board for my own use. I got the PCBs made using the ALLPCB service, and assembled it using hot air soldering techniques.
This board will most likely be later utilized in my rocket or high-altitude balloon projects. The prototype I built worked pretty much first try, except for the IMU, which I had to re-heat and re-solder until it worked.
In addition to the main Draco board, I also soldered up a second USB-powered board, which contains an Arduino Nano and LORA radio. I will use this board to receive and transmit commands to the Draco board. But first, I have to build the thing that uses this board!