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Photography by David Simpson and Linda Kennyhertz

G-METER AND ALTIMETER

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Double-duty aerospace instrument on a shoestring budget.

By David Simpson

Here’s an aerospace instrument you can build for $5 that will measure the crushing forces that a model rocket withstands and the rarified strata it attains. It isn’t exactly six-sigma technology in terms of accuracy, but it’s darn fun.

The device, which you install in the rocket’s payload compartment, uses 2 small bands of heat-shrink tubing that slide over a dowel to record the maximum G-force and altitude ...

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