NOSECONE

Nose Cone Mass/Distance Calculator

LICENSE AND RESTRICTIONS - IMPORTANT! READ THIS!!!

THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED AS IS, WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY GUARANTEE OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE AUTHOR, HIS AGENTS AND ASSIGNS, ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSSES USERS MAY INCUR BY USING THIS PROGRAM OR RELYING UPON ITS RESULTS. USERS ARE SPECIFICALLY WARNED THAT THIS PROGRAM'S RESULTS ARE UN-VERIFIED, AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR ACCURACY OF DESIGN.

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.

PURPOSE

NOSECONE is designed to give masses and centers of mass (mass distances) for solid nose cones turned from balsa or bass wood. It assumes a uniform density, and is therefore not applicable to hollow bodies or units made from more than one material.

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.

REQUIREMENTS

OPERATION

NOSECONE is unitless, i.e., it does not keep track of units nor convert entries in differing units to a common base. You are responsible for entering all data in a common set of units for mass and length. BMS's catalog gives the density of their materials in pounds per cubic feet (lb./cu.ft.), but this is rarely helpful for the model rocketeer, who most often works in grams or ounces per cubic inch or cubic centimeter. Below is a table converting the BMS densities to other unit bases:

lb./cu.ft.oz./cu.in.g./cu.cm.oz./cu.cm.g./cu.in.
Competition Balsa8.0741.128.004522.10
Hard Balsa15.139.240.008483.94

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:

[whitespace][digits][.digits][{d | D | e | E}[sign]digits]

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

Finally, NOSECONE will ask if you would like to have a graphic representation of the body generated. Press "y" and "Enter" to render the graphic.

The program can be terminated at any time by pressing "Ctrl-C".

THE GRAPHIC

Mass distances for each solid are represented by a circle. The mass distance for the entire body is represented by a circle with crosshairs. Bores are represented with a dashed line. For Windows users, the graphic can be copied to the clipboard for inclusion in other graphics programs with the Edit, Copy command. Also, check out the options under the View menu item when the graphic is selected.


Typical Windows graphic

KNOWN BUGS

CREDITS

The author thanks BMS for its fine work and dedication to the model rocket building community.

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!

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

I'm anxious to hear if you find this program useful and eager to learn of any bugs or errors you find. I'd also enjoy hearing about any enhancements you'd like (including other solids and their formulae) and other operating systems you'd like to see supported.

Mark Fisher


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