HHO Rocket

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Up For Grabs - Single-Stage Flown, Two-Stage Test Fired
Born On:
23:19, 17 December 2011 (CST)
Last Updated:
05:59, 18 December 2011 (CDT)


This project was for the build of an HHO Rocket from Volume 20 of Make Magazine.

To Dos/Status

  • 12/17/11 - This project is now up for grabs for anyone for whatever.
  1. Hardwire, test fire and package control electronics.
    • 4/24/10 - Hardwiring complete and test firing with two igniters inline with flight igniter wires successful.
    • 5/1/10 - Test fired flight electronics with steel wool instead of Estes igniters. With coarse steel wool fibers strung as a single filament across the igniter circuit's wires, we were able to get ignition with two igniters installed. Cut down the circuit board and started packaging into flight box. Need to be careful to protect the circuit from shorts or it might misfire in flight.
  2. Finish and test HHO Gas Generator
    • Managed to get the basics of the generator down. Successfully produced HHO gas from water. Now it is a matter of adjusting the system to produce sufficient quantities of HHO gas as quickly as possible for a launch. The shop's 12V regulated DC power supply gave the best results. Using the high potential DC power supply did not give sufficient current and the use of a 12V, 3A laptop power supply burned it out after 5 minutes of runtime.
    • 4/26/10 - Found a 12V 10A dumb DC car battery charger. Hooked it up to electrolysis system and produced HHO gas. As the charger's breaker trips above 12A or when system overheats, I could only add enough baking soda to the water to run the system at 10A. At this amount of power, I was able to fill a 2-liter soda bottle 3/4 full of HHO gas in 40 minutes. I will need to increase the system's amperage to get more HHO gas (will need a bigger power supply), and a bigger collection funnel (current one is smaller than the corianders, so some HHO gas spills over). Video 1 and Video 2 of HHO gas generator in action.
    • 12/17/11 - HHO Gas Generator needs a new funnel.
  3. Fill and static test/flight test a single stage.
    • 4/26/10 - Filled a 2-litre soda bottle with 3/4 HHO gas an 1/4 water. Fired it as a bomb (sitting on level ground with the mouth pointing straight up). Test went off well and proves the bottles can contain the propulsive explosion of the HHO gas.
    • 5/1/10 - Filled and launched a single stage with 1/2 HHO gas and water and the ignition electronics with a steel wool igniter. The launch went off and the stage flew about 100 feet. The only problem was that the inflation of the bottle from the HHO reaction caused the guide fins to break off. This may be due to the rigidity of the epoxy used to bond the fins to the bottle. Have detached and reglued the fins of both stages using silicone sealant which is much more flexible. Also, we may wish to perform the next launch with less water to get more altitude (less mass being accelerated upwards).
  4. Integrate and test flight two stage.
    • 4/26/10 - Aside from some tweaks, can fly a one or two-stage rocket.
    • 12/17/11 - Rocket will need fins and guide tube reinstalled and repaired, HHO Gas Generator needs a new funnel and flight electronics need repackaging for flight.



How To Build/Fly


  • WARNING: Plugging in the battery of the control circuit while the 'Arm' switch on and the 'Fire' switch off causes the circuit to fire. This was demonstrated when I had the circuit set up with the igniters plugged in, but fortunately no HHO gas loaded. The circuit did a complete fire of both igniters and continued to cycle through its firing sequence until the battery was unplugged.