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Digibarn Devices:
Prototype of a rocket tracking light
(MITS Product #1)
(not in digibarn collection)

Thanks Michael Holley for this story of the very first product produced by MITS, which went on to produce the Altair 8800 microcomputer.


This prototype of a rocket tracking light was built by Forrest Mims for an article in the September 1969 issue of Model Rocketry.
Forrest Mims, Ed Roberts, Bob Zaller and Stan Cagle formed Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) to sell this kit to
model rocket hobbyist.


This product line was not successful but the company later launched the personal computer revolution with the Altair 8800 computer.
The photo was taken by Michael Holley in April 2007 at the "STARTUP: Albuquerque and the Personal Computer Revolution" exhibit in the
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

From Michael Holley:

I found copies of Model Rocketry on the web. This is the magazine that Forrest Mims wrote about a "Transistorized Tracking Light for Night Launched Model Rockets" in September 1969. This was the first product that Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) produced. The press release announcing the formation of MITS was in the December 1969 issue.

This prototype of a rocket tracking light was built by Forrest Mims for an article in the September 1969 issue of Model Rocketry. Forrest Mims, Ed Roberts, Bob Zaller and Stan Cagle formed Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) to sell this kit to model rocket hobbyist. This product line was not successful but the company later launched the personal computer revolution with the Altair 8800 computer.

I have converted these into text and produced PDF copies. I also have a photograph of Mims' prototype that I took at the Startup Museum in Albuquerque. See the attached PDF file: "The Theory and Construction of a Transistorized Tracking Light for Night Launched Model Rockets By Capt. Forrest M. Mims Model Rocketry", September 1969.

You can get complete scans of Model Rocketry magazine here:
http://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/rockets/ModelRocketry/ModelRocketry.html

Forrest Mims magazine articles.
22. MODEL ROCKETRY
22.1. Feature Articles
22.1.1. "Transistorized Tracking Light for Night Launched Model Rockets," September 1969, 9-11.
22.1.2. "Fundamental Photo Interpretation," December 1969, 32-33.
22.1.3. "Model Rocketry in Vietnam," January 1970, 23-25.
22.1.4. "Ram-Air as a Method of Rocket Control," February 1970, 28-32.
22.1.5. "Shape and Flow Book Review," February 1970, 36.
22.1.6. "Ram Air Control: Part II," March 1970, 11-13.

Michael Holley
www.swtpc.com/mholley

Curator: Thanks Michael, now we know that MITS stands for!

 

See Also:


MITS Altair 8800


Our MITS@40 Celebration



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