Adept Rocketry - Product Information

With few exceptions, Adept devices are stand-alone instruments with integral battery holder, Integral Acceleration Sensing System™, and continuity detection for igniters and deployment charges. Most of the devices are microprocessor based. The smaller instruments generally run on a small lightweight 12-volt lighter battery, and the others on a 9-volt size battery. In all cases, battery life is substantial.

Many Adept devices are quite light in weight, and some will fit into the smallest of rockets. Adept devices are not intended for just large rockets. Many valid and worthwhile experiments and research can be carried out with small low-cost vehicles that will reach only a few hundred feet.

Several of the altitude devices are offered in two versions. For instance, the ALTS2 functions to 15,000 feet above sea level, quite sufficient for most rocketeers. The ALTS2-50K version functions to 50,000 feet above sea level and is available for those few flights that are expected to go higher than 15,000 feet. The higher altitude version has a slightly higher cost due to the extra time and effort for tedious calibration and testing for the much higher altitudes.

Sonic Location Beacons™

We offer four Sonic Location Beacons™ (Beepers) ranging up to the very loud Model SB50. These devices create 2,800 to 4,800 Hertz patterned beep tones that repeat every two seconds. Each device has a mute system to silence the beacon until deployment of the parachute. Sonic Location Beacons™ may be used to help locate model rockets, model airplanes, payload carrying balloons, and so on. These devices create repeating patterned beep tones at volumes of up to 115 decibels depending on the model. If your rocket is temporarily lost in the woods or in a cornfield, you'll surely be able to find it.

Radio Location and Tracking

Adept offers Radio Location and Tracking systems (telemetry soon to follow) that operate on the Amateur Radio (ham) bands.

Staging / Deployment Timers

Timers are used to control staging, drogue chute and/or parachute deployment, or other timed events based on some given time after first liftoff. Most of them are microprocessor based. Several models can furnish up to 12 amps of igniter current for over two seconds. They are capable of firing any igniter on the market, or a cluster of igniters.

Electronic Stagers™

The ES231 was designed to replace the dangerous and unreliable mercury switch, but it is infinitely safer. It controls ignition of the second stage of a two-stage rocket. The ES236 is a dual sequential version that controls both the second and third stage ignition in a multistage rocket. The third stage will only ignite after successful second-stage ignition. Stagers arm on valid liftoff, and ignite the next stage at the very first instant of deceleration due to motor burnout, or delay (coast) times may be added between stages.


Report a flight's maximum altitude up to 60,000 feet. A custom barometric pressure sensor combined with a logarithmic amplifier, a 16-bit analog-to-digital converter, and a microprocessor measure the nonlinear pressure vs. altitude relationship over this large altitude range. Most of the Adept altimeters read and report altitudes to the amazing precision (resolution) of one foot. They measure and report altitude directly, so there is no need for a conversion or lookup table or chart of any kind. They are completely calibrated for operation anywhere on this planet, and there are no user requirements for calibration or other such foolishness ever. They are very accurate, and they are the only devices on the market that are approved by NAR and TRA for official altitude records, etc.

Recording Altimeters™

Record altitude data throughout an entire flight. Dump data to a personal computer with included Dumping and Plotting Software. Data may be studied for altitude vs. time, velocity, acceleration and deceleration, parachute descent rate, and so on. Flight data are stored in reusable, nonvolatile memory modules.

Altitude Deployment

Some of our altimeters include special circuitry to fire deployment charges based on altitude. Deploy a main chute at the exact moment of apogee. Or deploy a drogue chute first, then a main chute much closer to ground (Dual Deployment™), and avoid those long walks on windy days.

Acceleration Switch Assembly ("A" Switch™)

Some Adept products (Timers, Stagers, and Recording Altimeters™) use a patented acceleration sensing system for sensing rocket liftoff, and to insure safety.

This First Movement Detector is designed around a patented double levered switch mechanism. Switch action is absolute with substantial hysteresis, and it absolutely cannot be affected by vibration as with a so called "G" switch. Approximately one G of liftoff acceleration will close the switch, and the switch stays closed until the end of thrust (less than 1/2 G). Arming occurs when the switch remains closed for half a second. If acceleration and movement upward does not continue for at least one-half second, the timeout operation will not be enabled. The system cannot be set off accidentally by dropping, shaking, bumping, falling over, etc.

The actual delay time for any Timer starts at the first instant the switch closes, but if the switch fails to stay closed for a full half second (0.3 second on some models), the circuitry will keep resetting. The First Movement Detector previously was offered as a separate product, ASA3 Acceleration Switch Assembly ("A" Switch™). It can be used to arm and control other devices on first liftoff, virtually any other device, including our competitor's products. Electronics is included to test that the switch stays closed for at least one-half (or 0.3) second.


Adept also offers numerous accessories to be used with the instrumentation. We have various types and lengths of interconnect cables, batteries and chargers, mounting hardware, memory modules, vacuum chambers for testing altimeters, and so on. With various cable lengths on so forth, it is possible for the rocketeer to choose the accessories that best accommodate his/her needs.

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