THE AUTHOR IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH BALSA MACHINING SERVICES (BMS) IN ANY WAY. DESIGNS GENERATED BY THIS SOFTWARE ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO BE PRODUCABLE BY THAT COMPANY (OR ANY OTHER), NOR IS BMS REQUIRED TO CONFORM TO THE VALUES CREATED BY THIS PROGRAM. BMS HAS NOT BEEN CONSULTED ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THIS SOFTWARE, AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR IT OR ITS RESULTS IN ANY WAY. DO NOT CONTACT BMS REGARDING THIS SOFTWARE, ITS OPERATION OR LIMITATIONS. This is an independent effort that relies on industry standards, to which BMS contributes.
This program is freeware. You can distribute it freely, provided 1) you don't charge for it or the media it comes on, and 2) you distribute the entire archive, unaltered either by addition, modification or deletion. Author retains all rights, including, but not limited to, copyright, right of sale, modification or advertisement. This archive may NOT be included in any collection for which money is charged, regardless of intent, costs incurred or level of profit. You may not reverse engineer this program in any way. If any of these restrictions are violated, author may seek any and all remedies available to him at law, and violator will be responsible for all costs, charges, fees or other debts so incurred. By using or distributing this software, you agree to be bound by all terms and limitations set forth in this license.
NOSECONE is designed to dovetail Balsa Machining Services (BMS) semi-custom nose cones with Visual Center of Pressure (VCP). It is primarily intended for the model rocketeer, though others may find it useful, and are invited to send their comments to the author.
When started, NOSECONE will prompt you for the body material density. Remember the units you use here, as they will determine the units you must use when entering length and diameters to describe the body, and the units NOSECONE will use to describe the body after its calculations.
NOSECONE does not accept negative values or input which it is not able to completely convert into a floating point value. If you enter something NOSECONE doesn't understand or won't accept, it will ask you for the data again. The form of your input must match the following specification:
A whitespace consists of space and tab characters, which are ignored, and digits are one or more decimal ("0" thru "9") digits. If no digits appear before the decimal point, at least one must appear after the decimal point. The decimal digits can be followed by an exponent, which consists of an introductory letter (d, D, e, or E) and an optionally signed ("+" or "-") decimal integer. The maximum number of characters you can enter is forty (40). Pressing the "Enter" key alone will enter zero (0.0).
Next, NOSECONE will prompt you for a cylinder diameter and length. This is the left-most solid of the body, and must be a cylinder. (All BMS semi-customs are a cylinder on their left-most end.)
Now NOSECONE will prompt you for the next body's type. Selecting "1. None", terminates the data entry. NOSECONE currently only supports four solids per body, as that is the maximum available from BMS's semi-custom catalog. A parabola, tangent ogive (TanOgive) or conical solid with a zero (0.0) frustum diameter must be the last (i.e., right-most) solid of a body, and NOSECONE will not accept any more solids after one of these is selected and entered.
Each solid requires a left-hand diameter and a length. For cones, you will also be prompted for a frustum, which is the right-hand (tip) diameter of that solid, and must be smaller than the left-hand (base) diameter. If you wish the cone to come to a point, i.e., not have a "blunt tip", enter zero or just press "Enter".
For cylinders (including the first one) and cones with a frustum, NOSECONE will also prompt you for a "Cylinder Bore". This bore is cylindrical, and runs the full length of the solid. If you do not wish to have a bore in the solid, enter zero (0) or just press "Enter".
NOTE: Despite the restrictions stated above, it is possible for NOSECONE to generate bodies that are not available from BMS's semi-custom catalog. Consult their catalog, which is available on their web-site.
After the data entry is complete, NOSECONE will display the values determined for each entered solid including its mass and mass distance. Mass distances are measured from the left edge of the body. Then a set of total values for the body as a whole will be displayed, include total mass and overall (total) mass distance, which is measured from the left edge of the left-most solid. For example:
Solid #1; Type: Cylinder, Mass=3.268, Distance=0.500
Solid #2; Type: Conical, Mass=3.895, Distance=0.795
Solid #3; Type: Cylinder, Mass=0.561, Distance=0.500
Total Length=4.000, Total Mass=7.724, Distance=1.371
The program can be terminated at any time by pressing "Ctrl-C".
Thanks to Peter Alway, who, in his fabulous book Retro Rockets, published by Saturn Press, ISBN 0-9627876-6-3, clued the author to the existence of BMS in the first place.
Formulae used to determine the data given by NOSECONE are primarily from Machinery's Handbook, 22nd Edition by Oberg, Jones & Horton, published by Industrial Press, Inc., ISBN 0-8311-1155-0, LCCCN 72-622276, though they can be found in most any basic mechanics text or reference. Notable by its absence is the tangent ogive solid, which was solved with the assistance of Thomas Steinmetz; thanks, Stiney!