Adept Rocketry DCS1

Deployment Controller™

DCS1 - Price: $59.00 - Includes Modified CAB5-24 Interconnect Cable and GP-23A Battery.

The DCS1 is a single output Deployment Controller™. It has an altitude controlled deployment switch that is typically used to fire a deployment charge, based on altitude. In one mode the charge fires when the rocket reaches its maximum altitude (apogee), or the charge may be programmed to fire when the rocket descends to 500 feet above ground. The most common usage is to deploy a main parachute at apogee.

The DCS1 Deployment Controller™ is based on the ALTS1 / ALTS1-50K Maximum Altitude Altimeter with Deployment. It can be programmed to fire a charge at apogee, or at 500 feet above ground during descent. It can be used alone, or as a redundancy backup device alongside the ALTS1 / ALTS1-50K ( or any other altimeter). When a DCS1 is used alongside an ALTS1 / ALTS1-50K Altimeter, Dual Deployment™ can be implemented by programming one of them to fire at apogee, and the other at 500 feet AGL.

This device is used in rockets that will reach at least 300 feet altitude. The DCS1 may be used in any rocket configuration including multistage rockets. Individual ALTS1 units (or other altimeter devices) may be placed in each stage of interest to handle deployment for that stage.

The DCS1 measures 0.9” wide by 0.65” thick by 4.25” long. It fits inside a tube with a minimum ID of 24 mm, or 0.95 inch. The device weighs only 24 grams (0.85 ounce), including the battery. It uses a 12-volt alkaline lighter battery with a battery life up to 6 hours, so you need not be concerned about how long your rocket sits on the launchpad after the unit is powered up. The DCS1 is a totally stand-alone device including the battery holder, arming mechanism, and current source for firing a deployment charge. Nothing more is required except for the wires (interconnect cable) that connect to the On-Off switch and to the deployment charge.

This altimeter based instrument uses a custom absolute pressure device to precisely measure altitude values up to 35,000 feet in one-foot increments. It uses a 16-bit logarithmic analog-to-digital converter to precisely (one-foot resolution) measure the nonlinear pressure versus altitude relationship over this large altitude range. Once powered up, the DCS1 reports whether or not the deployment charge has continuity. It also constantly measures the ground-level altitude and waits for a quick 300-foot change upward. If programmed to do so the DCS1 fires the deployment switch at the very moment when the rocket reaches the maximum altitude. Or it may be programmed to fire the deployment switch when the descending altitude reaches 500 feet above the ground. Note: the DCS1 cannot be used for, and will not function for, maximum altitudes less than 300 feet.


  • Altitude Capability: to 35,000 feet Above Sea Level.
  • Lowest Maximum Altitude Usable: 300 feet above ground. Liftoff is detected when the altitude quickly increases by 300 feet.
  • Mach Compatible; the DCS1 uses Adept's proprietary Real Time Dynamic Lockout™ system that tracks speed in real time to ignore pressure glitches that occur when transitioning through the sound barrier, both in and out. This system is possible due to the extreme precision of one-foot resolution measurements.
  • Resolution of Measurement: one foot; system uses a logarithmic 16-bit A-to-D converter.
  • Calibration Accuracy Over Full Range:  +/- 10%, typical.
  • Uses 12-volt lighter battery and has a large integral capacitor to fire flashbulb or low-current electric match charges.
  • Battery Life: up to 6 hours.
  • Piezo beeper reports operational status including the continuity of the deployment device. One repeating beep if the deployment device does not have continuity, and two beeps repeating when the deployment does have continuity.
  • Output Switch may be programmed to fire when the altitude reaches maximum (apogee), or it may be programmed to fire during descent at 500 feet above the ground. This is user selectable via a single programming jumper.
  • Measures 0.9” wide by 0.65” thick by 4.25” long and fits inside a tube with a minimum ID of 24 mm, or 0.95 inch.
  • Weighs only 24 grams (0.85 ounce) with battery installed.
  • Accessories Required: one 12-volt alkaline lighter battery, and one cable (Adept CAB5-xx series) to connect an On-Off switch and to the deployment charge.


CAB5-24 Interconnect Cable
Price: $6.25 - 24 inches long. Connects DCS1 to On-Off Switch and to Deployment Charge.
CAB5-12 Interconnect Cable
Price: $4.99 - 12 inches long.
CAB5-36 Interconnect Cable
Price: $7.29 - 36 inches long.

Additional GP-23A Alkaline Lighter Battery; Price: $2.25.

GP-23A50 Alkaline Lighter Batteries (box of 50 at 50% Discount); Price: $56.25.

Shorting Jumpers are used to connect two connecter pins together in order to turn on the power for some of the Adept devices. Shorting Jumpers are also used on some devices to program certain values or functions. One jumper is used on the DCS1 to program the value for the Output Function, to fire at apogee when the jumper is not installed, and to fire at 500 feet above ground when the jumper is installed.

Shorting Jumpers
Price: $1.39 per pack of 10.

VCK2 Vacuum Chamber, Complete with Bottle.
Price: $16.79. Use for simulating flights, and for testing Altimeters with or without deployment.

Electronic Instrumentation is not compatible with the fumes and residue created by rocket motors and deployment charges. Seal holes and gaps in bulkheads and such with epoxy or removable putty.

Tac'N Stik Removable and Reusable Putty
Price: $1.99 per 2 ounce pack.

The perfect mate for the DCS1 when used in a dual redundancy backup system is the ALTS1 / ALTS1-50K, which would function as the primary device to measure altitude and to control deployment. The DCS1 would function as the redundant backup device to also control deployment. If one of the devices is programmed to fire a drogue chute at apogee, and the other is programmed to fire the main parachute at 500 feet above ground, then the technique of Dual Deployment™ can be implemented.

ALTS1 Maximum Altitude Altimeter with Deployment
Price: $72.00 - Includes Modified (no yellow wire) CAB5-24 Interconnect Cable and GP-23A Battery.

ALTS1-50K Maximum Altitude Altimeter with Deployment
Price: $89.00 - Includes Modified (no yellow wire) CAB5-24 Interconnect Cable and GP-23A Battery.

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