Ballast v1: SNOX Alcohol Ballast Bottle

This design is a copy of the Spirit of Knoxville V ballast design, using a 3 liter bottle of alcohol, and a small solenoid valve to drain the alcohol. Ballast release rate should be calculated based on a calibrations of each of the actual bottle/valve assemblies.


  • JAC_101


  • December 6, 2010 - Ballast team not able to complete flight model in time, will fly prototype.
  • December 5, 2010 - Tested solenoid actuation with full alcohol load in cryo chamber @ -40C. Minimum cold activation voltage after 1 hour of inactivity is 10v. After first activation it seems to be able to activate on as low as 8v.
  • Now have a bunch of the tubing and fittings from SNOX - Dan


SNOX Ballasts

Ballast Level sensing



Ethyl Alcohol (Denatured)

Density: 789.20 kg/m^3

To do

Mounting/enclosure design

The bottle/valve need to be assembled into a VERY lightweight frame/box, ideally weighing 1/4 lb or less for all hardware except bottle/valve/tubing.


  • Determine the proper tubing for low temp use
  • From tubing size, determine fittings to use


  • All

Draft Design

After enhancing the photographs several times and applying a GUI Interface with Visual Basic, the photos generated:

Note: After SNOX 1, which this images is patterned on, the tubing segment between bottle and valve was lengthened to prevent leaks due to shifting/expansion/contraction. See new SNOX V ballast images added above.


(italicized items do not have specs firmly determined)

  • (1) 2MS10/3212DC Pneuaire Normally Closed Valve, 12 VDC - Have two
  • (1) 3-liter soft drink bottle. (usually found from generic drink brands in small grocery stores) - Have one
  • (2) 10-32 UNF-2B thread to ? diameter hose nipples for valve in/out ports - Have many from SNOX
  • (1) Bulkhead fitting from rubber hose to attach to bottle cap Might have some in SNOX box of fittings
hardware/ballast/v1.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/29 17:58 (external edit)
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license: CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki