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Science of a Battery Operated BBQ Ignitor?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Science of a Battery Operated BBQ Ignitor?

Unread postAuthor: xequa » Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:44 am

Hi everyone!

I want to make an ignition system that doesn't take up a lot of room and lets me move the components around the gun in order to improve appearance without losing functionality.

Kind of a light-by-wire setup, if you will.

I've seen a few articles here about how to rewire a disposable camera circuit, but as far as I can tell, they all involve an ignition coil, which tend to be pretty large or require hard to find parts.

On my current gun, I've got a battery operated barbeque ignitor. Push the button, and it goes tick-tick-tick pretty darn rapidly. I bought it off of ebay, and it works perfectly every time. But I had to spend $30 to get it. I know this thing must be simple... does anyone know how to build one of these things? It would solve all of my problems.

Here's a link to the one I bought on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/Gas-Grill-Electroni ... dZViewItem

Thanks guys!
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Fri Nov 23, 2007 3:49 pm

Yeah, I got one of those too, they're pretty awesome.

I don't know the exact design, but it involves feeding an oscillating signal to a transformer.

You can replicate this with a 555 timer, like the circuit here:

http://tacashi.tripod.com/elctrncs/555sstc/555sstc.htm

He uses a flyback coil in his design, they're pretty bulky though. Hope that helps some.
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:02 pm

ok here is the link to Charbroil where i get my replacement at.

http://www.charbroil.com/CharBroilWarra ... uctID=1020

Yeah they're $30 bucks wah, they are worth it.

part number v
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Yea, that's definitely going to get you at least a tazer.

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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:17 pm

I think the only place you can get those is online. I tried to find them in stores all around where I live. They all sold the grills that have them, but not the unit itself as a replacement, though they did have plenty of piezo's. I've tried to figure out how they work, but I'm just going to build an inductor coil. I suppose you could build an inductor with a 20 gauge primary coil and 26 gauge secondary coil, that could be pretty small. Though I can't say for sure how well the wires would hold up to the heat.
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:22 pm

BigGrib wrote:ok here is the link to Charbroil where i get my replacement at.

http://www.charbroil.com/CharBroilWarra ... uctID=1020

Yeah they're $30 bucks wah, they are worth it.

part number v


yeah thats the nifty little trick that the bbq companies do to ya, they don't sell replacements in store. Hence the link above
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Yea, that's definitely going to get you at least a tazer.

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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:53 pm

You guys are terribly unlucky, not being able to find battery powered BBQ igniters in stores, then having to order them online for outrageous prices such as $30.

I should really start selling the battery powered BBQ igniters that I buy (in store) for $4.95.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:54 pm

SpudBlaster15 wrote:You guys are terribly unlucky, not being able to find battery powered BBQ igniters in stores, then having to order them online for outrageous prices such as $30.

I should really start selling the battery powered BBQ igniters that I buy (in store) for $4.95.


Are you sure they're the electric ones that spark several times a second just by holding the button? Cause the stores I went to always had at least one piezo that they tried to pass off as electric.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:59 pm

They use 1 AA battery, and produce ~10 sparks per second if you hold down the button.
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Unread postAuthor: Eddbot » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:23 pm

yeah, that's the one, my grill at home has one , i tried to harvest it but my dad caught me
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Unread postAuthor: xequa » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:44 pm

Hmmm nice to see you all have the same problem I do! I'm going to try to dismantle the 2-lead one I have to see if I can reverse-engineer it. If I find things that look interesting, I'll post pictures of it so you folks who are more adept at electronics at this level can help all of us learn to build one ourselves. They really can't be that difficult, can they??
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:57 pm

They may be harder to dissassemble than you think, they're usually potted in epoxy.
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Unread postAuthor: xequa » Sat Nov 24, 2007 11:30 am

Yup, Turbo, you were right. Even my bigger one is 100% epoxy. Boo!! Back to the drawing board... I emailed a few of those bbq companies, asking if they had schematics I could see (though I have no hope of understanding them yet), so we'll see where that goes.

I may have to go to a darn technical school and ask a professor!
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:24 am

The circuit in the battery operated BBQ sparkers is probably nearly identical to a generic stungun circuit.

An oscilator and a high turns ratio transformer. Pretty simple really. The oscilator could be a basic 555 circuit. A moderately high power transistor, a diode or two and a home made transformer is all it would take. The tricky part of a "home-rolled" high voltage power supply is keeping the high voltage where you want it. That is probably why the battery operated BBQ sparker is potted in epoxy, that is the easiest way to insulate everything to the high voltage.

It is a lot cheaper to just buy a $15 stungun (or a "caseless high voltage power supply", aka a stungun removed from it's case), or keep hunting for an online source of the BBQ sparkers that doesn't overcharge.
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Unread postAuthor: xequa » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:18 am

Good advice, Colonel, thanks for the info!
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:28 am

xequa wrote:Yup, Turbo, you were right. Even my bigger one is 100% epoxy. Boo!! Back to the drawing board... I emailed a few of those bbq companies, asking if they had schematics I could see (though I have no hope of understanding them yet), so we'll see where that goes.

I may have to go to a darn technical school and ask a professor!


You don't really need to understand how it works to build one. You just have to know what goes where, and where not to stick your finger.
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