by Rob Nee & John Pritchard

To become "LaunchNet"


News & Notes



Palm- RDAS Cable

Testing Status

Community & Contacts


This is software for Palm- compatible hand held computers for use with AED's Rocket Data- Acquisition System (R-DAS) flight computer and desktop analysis software for Model and High- Powered Rocketry.

The current release (Version 0.0.4) is alpha, meaning it is still under development but is functional enough to begin testing, and soliciting comments from other users.

With your assistance and feedback we hope to make this software the best it can be.



Version 0.0.4 alpha

This version adds help screens and cleans up some of the communications code. There were several bugs fixed in the configuration screens as well as the upload data screen.

Known Bugs

   (All known bugs will be repaired in the next release.)

  • Launch detect is zero
    Problem: Sets RDAS launch detect to 0g

  • RDAS-Palm sometimes loses communication with the RDAS.

    Workaround: Restart the RDAS

  • Uploading RDAS data from RDAS-Palm to the desktop AED-RDAS software

    Problem: Data may be incorrect

  • Desktop HotSync RDAS Data Files are not readable by the AED-RDAS desktop software

    Workaround: use RDAS-Palm File--Upload to read data into the AED-RDAS desktop.

  • Version 0.0.3 pre- alpha

    This is the initial release. It should be feature complete. Some things might not work however, and there may be debugging prompts and code still present for testing.


    News & Notes

    RDAS-Palm has moved to SourceForge, and changed its name to "LaunchNet"

    This page is now "launchnet.sourceforge.net"

    The RDAS-Palm mailing list has moved to Sourceforge:

    Launchnet Palm Field Assistant
    Launchnet Palm Field Assistant development

    Other Launchnet mailing lists include:

    Annoucements, news and schedule- updates for LaunchNet Sites
    Java desktop and applet client
    Java desktop and applet client developers
    Launchnet server application for Rhinojetty
    Launchnet server application for Rhinojetty development

    Next release: "LaunchNet-Palm 0.1 alpha"

    The next release of the RDAS-Palm configuration utility is planned for Spring 2002.

    Feature set:

    • RDAS flight computer configuration and management
    • Beaming and networking with rockets, engines, launches
    • Prelaunch flight prediction
    • Postlaunch flight information display

    Release version qualifiers: `alpha', `beta' and `final'.

    As in common practice, the version qualifier "alpha" refers to software released for testing and evaluation purposes only. Bugs are known to exist and can impact the utility of the software.

    A "beta" version has no known bugs and is expected to work as described, but is not "final" until field proven. This is an experimental software release as a product candidate for the next "final" release.

    A "final" version is no known bugs and has been tested to perform as described in all available features. This is a normal software release for general use.



    • Palm- compatible handheld computer
      • Palm
      • Handspring
      • Sony
      • IBM
      • Samsung
      • Kyocera/Qualcomm Smartphone

    • 425KB free memory

    • (For Version 0.0.3/4: Serial type Palm Cradle)

    The RDAS software for the Palm requires Palm OS 3.0 or later. The program is only 42KB but the datafiles downloaded from the RDAS are quite large, 384KB. You will need at least 425KB free and possibly more to successfully install this software and download flight data.



    The next release will have these features:

  • Configure the RDAS flight settings (recovery options, sampling, etc.)

  • Download flight data and save it on the Palm

  • Upload RDAS data directly to the desktop analysis software.

  • Set calibration values for the pressure and acceleration sensors.

  • As soon as we can, we will support RDAS-Palm connectivity via the infrared ports so a serial cradle and cable will not be required.

  • Future versions may have these features:

  • Flight analysis
    This will be implemented later to allow you to see how high the rocket went, how fast it went, when certain events happened etc.

  • HotSynched RDAS Data Files
    Conversion of the sampled data to the RDAS raw file format so the datafiles, once HotSynced, can be read directly into the desktop analysis software.

  • RDAS Extensions
    Support for RDAS add-ons like the igniter board and GPS module.

  • Realtime Flight Telemetry
    Support for integrating AED's realtime telemetry with the Palm.

  • Kyocera Smartphone
    Support for sending realtime telemetry to a web server for realtime web launches.


    (Future versions will support the Palm's infraread "beam" port communicating with the AED RDAS infrared module.)

    An RDAS and a Palm don't mate directly as both the RDAS cable and Palm Cradle (Serial, not USB) cable have 9pin female connectors. In order to connect them you need a male-male 9 pin (M/M DB9) cable.

    This adapter needs to be a "cross- over", or null modem type cable. This means the serial transmit pin of one end must be connected to the receive pin on the other and vice versa. Don't forget the ground connection.

    RDAS Pin Palm Pin Name Wire Color
    2 3 RX Yellow
    3 2 TX Green
    5 5 GND Black

    Here's a picture with the pins numbered.



    The software should be pretty easy to understand if you have used the desktop or CE software already. The menus contain the following items.

    Rename a previously stored data file

    Deletes the currently selected data file

    Download flight data from the RDAS

    Emulate an RDAS so the desktop software can download a selected data file.

    Software authors' info.


    Configure RDAS
    Similar to desktop software config screen

    Calibration values for sensors. Defaults should be fine.

    Testing Status

    Version 0.0.4

    While we have done a good deal of testing, we haven't flown the RDAS. (If we crash it we wouldn't be able finish the software.) We can download and then upload data to the desktop software but we can't verify it transfers correctly. We would like testers to confirm that downloading data to the Palm and then uploading it to the desktop software is the same as downloading it directly from the RDAS.

    Community & Contacts





    Last-modified: Fri Apr 5 19:08:46 2002
    Maintained-by: john@syntelos.org