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Designing a parachute system/device

  1. Oct 11, 2008 #1
    I am trying to build a system to activate a servo at a unspecified point in time when a machine and remote looses their signal between another. When the signal is lost between the two, the new system must activate a servo. We are using radio transmitters, but I can't figure out how to tackle this problem. Any assistance would be LOVED!!!

    The biggest problem I am having is how to link these three things together. I was thinking about using a sensor that monitors the 2-way signal between machine and remote with a LED, then the LED turns on or maybe stops the LED when the signal is lost, then activates the actuator... i don't know...

    can i build a sensor that does this?

    Should I buy transmiter and put it on the plane and connect the reciever to a circuit that activates the servo? Im trying to make this happen without me doing it manually. Does this make any sense? This project uses mechanical and electrical engineering components and I design it
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2008 #2


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    I would think that a 'dead man switch' would be appropriate. Can you just dedicate one channel to a continuous broadcast that orders a relay to remain open? When the signal is lost, the relay should energize and trigger your 'chute system.

    edit: I guess that I mean 'de-energize'. I was thinking of the secondary rather than primary circuit.

    edit #2: I just noticed that you also have this posted in 'Mechanical Engineering', and Topher gave you a great response.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  4. Oct 13, 2008 #3

    THis will be another component I will do intensive research. A "dead-man switch" sounds like what I am looking for. I think we have an extra channel that sends a relay. I am curious, does the "dead man's switch" do all of this or do I need multiple connections and receivers/transmitters... lol basically, what hardware do I need to bring this to life...

  5. Oct 13, 2008 #4


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    A dead man switch simply means any type of device that requires some sort of effort (be it mechanical or electric or other) to STOP an action (such as closing a circuit) from occuring. If the (mechanical or electric or other) effort ceases, the switch closes.
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