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Sparker Reference Guide

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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Unread postAuthor: sockdog » Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:31 am

ok, so here's my problem

i have never seen flint igniters in that shape, or any shape that will work(i don't live in the US)

stun guns are illegal (and rightly so) here.........not sure but i MIGHT be able to obtain a cattle prod......can that work?

i saw a how to(another site) for a flyback thing but that only works if you have the right transistor.....can't recognise one from another and can't see any success there(although i have an old moniter i can get the flyback from)

camera ignition could be possible but idk how to go about it

tesla, spark strip, marx.........pffft

i have tried a set up which set of a cap-gun cap but although it set off the cap it did not ignite anything 1nce(not a potent enough cap?)....anyway the BBQ igniter did ignite it when that didn't so no luck there

BBQ igniters are largely useless, frustrating etc etc etc but that's the besst(shudder) option i've seen

any help??? please reply or pm me with anything

EDIT: i recently bought a piezo thing, havn't mounted it yet. approx. 3mm spark but i don't think it's quite enough and looks like it won't last
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Unread postAuthor: theBOOM » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:07 am

Sockdog maybe some specs on the cannon your planning to use it on?
If its a medium to smallish cannon you could even pull off a good spark strip (4) with a mini piezo igniter from lighters, but I wouldnt push it that much, if any1 thinks its not possible to get 4 sparks I got my pics... :twisted:

Nways a good sparkeer from a lighter will generate a little less than a 3/8 of an inch FAT spark which is good...considering that the 10 dollars one can do that or even LESS! Anyway if your willing to pay good cash I'd go with an ELECTRICAL piezo igniter... their easy to use , you just get an AAA battery and put it in.. screw the cap in and you get a spark every second by pushing the button... Downside is, their not too cheap at my local lowes I believe they are 25 bucks

Btw the cheapest and considering where you live the easiest to build would be the camera ignition system and its not hard at all.. I personally have never tried it beacause I don't like so much bulkiness but if you dont care then go right ahead. I've heard that you only have to re-rout some wires and your good to go and you get a nice spark from them... There are some instructional videos on youtube (visiaul) but im sure you can get some at instructables or just search on google.. Camera tazer or something.

Hope this helped :roll: I'll answer if you have any questiones

Boom :twisted:
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Unread postAuthor: sockdog » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:37 am

thanks for the info...MUCH appreciated

be4 i waste money on a disposable camera.....

i noticed the piezo type thing i obtained is not run on AAA(bummer, but i can make it run on that....or 9V) puts out brightish approx. 3mm spark but it needs to be earthed......seems durable enough.......will that be sufficient? if so will a spark strip be in order?if so should it be mounted vertically(because of gas density) or any particular place?should i just buy a disposable camera and use this to zap people...lol

somewhat unrelated Q. it says i'm watching this topic(ie. "Stop watching this topic") but it didn't say jack when you posted...am i missing something....(it's prob. be obvious i spose)

why is two sparks better than one? i have seen "they are ___ much better" but not why...is it because of the density(and thus height/not so height) of gases (i don't have a chamber fan) and the spark needs to be where the butane meets the oxygen or is there another reason?

btw: bbq igniters cost $3 something in bunnings($6 in other places) so they're not that dear but put out no more than 2mm spark

.....................................................
specs

i have seemed to misplaced my tape measure...so i measured with a ruler therefore this is not accurate

3" * 20" chamber.....I know that's waaay off the c:b it should be but it's my first launcer(i modified it severel time instead of building another)

reduces to 2.5" * 3"(pure guess) that reduces to my barrel(tennis balls weren't accurate enough for my liking)

1.5" * 46" barrel sleeved in something it fit good enough in(too filthy to read outer pipe since i did the sleeving today & the pipe was dirty and i'm lazy)
...................................................

what a spiel...

EDIT: does the too-large-chamber effect anything other than wasted energy, noise.........(ignition for example!)if so how???should i shorten it?

another EDIT: piezo is definately run on custom batteries.....covered in sticky crap for some reason.......
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Unread postAuthor: theBOOM » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:41 pm

Ok first off your ignition, you said that your ignition created a 3 mm spark which considering the size of the chamber your planning, this wouldnt be IDEAL but you could pull it off by making a good sparkstrip which is evenly spaced across the chamber (go for 2 ignition points). This leads me to the question : why is two sparks better than one? Ok its simple, the more sparks or ignition points you have the more flame fronts are produced ... ex. If you have 3 ignition points evenly across your chamber there will be 3 "explosiones" so to call it.. Also this depends on where you put your ignition points.. It is important that you try to get them in the center of your chamber and the reason for this is... lets say you have a 1 inch diam chamber 5 inches long... and the ignition is at the 2.5 inch mark... When you ignite the fuel mixture 2 flamefronts will be created 1 going back and 1 going forth..thus creating more pressure, this giving you more power... All this stuff about ignition MIGHT give a noticable increase in performance but sometimes the increase isn't noticed if you arent using a chronometer to measure the exact speed your ammo is traveling.

This is what I've understood from alot of people... and consindering you have a ehh pretty big chamber I would get 2 igntion points so you can ignite your fuel mixtures more reliably.

Your chamber is fine but if you do decide to make it with does dimensiones I would get a long barrel 7 ftish +- will do...

BTW. when you get parts for your chamber... oh wait arre you building a spray and spray?

Boom :twisted:
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Unread postAuthor: sockdog » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:38 am

i'd have replied friday but the power went out...then i was away for the weekend....

anyway, thanks again for the info/advice, i'll try that camera thing (if piezo fails)...at least one has to work

to clear some stuff up, it's already built(hence the lack of proportionality) and has been working on bbq igniters for some time

i'm not sure what you mean by "spray and spray" but guessing the meaning............. yes i do spray butane in the chamber, unmetered (though i tried making a meter out of poli pipe & a helium quality balloon -yes baloon-, which i havn't yet sufficiently tested...but with some fiddling around it'll work if it doesn't already)

ty again :)
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Unread postAuthor: MasterBlaster » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:39 pm

I use my own type of ignition system,
It's like a pilot hole with a badrbecue lighter In the
Pilot but I put a load of hot glue and eletrical tape
Aroound the gap to make it airtight although I woldnt
Reccomend it for use in a hybrid as it is too crude.
It iis very effective as there is a flame instead of a spark
Will uplad a vid as soon as my
Paint is dried.
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Unread postAuthor: MasterBlaster » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:40 pm

I use my own type of ignition system,
It's like a pilot hole with a badrbecue lighter In the
Pilot but I put a load of hot glue and eletrical tape
Aroound the gap to make it airtight although I woldnt
Reccomend it for use in a hybrid as it is too crude.
It iis very effective as there is a flame instead of a spark
Will uplad a vid as soon as my
Paint is dried.
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Unread postAuthor: rcbif » Wed May 18, 2011 6:51 pm

Question......

Can anybody give me the dimensions of the common BBQ grill ignition shown on page 1 ? More specifically, the overall length, threaded portion diameter, and the length from backing plate (wide diameter part button next to button) to end tip? Thanks!
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Unread postAuthor: MetalMSTR » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:55 pm

not sure if necropost, but might be usefull
have you seen those electric fly killing things, they look like a tennis racket and kills the flies with a electric shock
they have a rechargeable battery and if you place lese enough the contatcs it makes a nice stapark gap
maybe we can hack one of those and get a nice ignither, the are quite durable, if i do it (since im on vacation and have some free time) ill try to hare some photos of it and maybe a video
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Unread postAuthor: Mr.Tallahassee » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:34 pm

I hate to do this to an old thread like this but... This ignition is from an electric fly swatter. Definitely watch the video as well.
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Unread postAuthor: saefroch » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:32 pm

It's a sticky, you're not kicking anything up. It's stickied for a reason :)

I'm seriously considering trying that ignition method...
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Unread postAuthor: Mr.Tallahassee » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:22 pm

It's well worth the $3 from Harbor Freight. :D Any run of the mill ignition coil should produce about 60kv. I love it but I need to figure out a way to connect the ground on the fly swatter circuit with a switch. Solenoid switch maybe?
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:09 pm

Well I visited the site for nostalgia sake and checked up here (I haven't been here in over 3 years!). I will add the fly swatter ignition to the guide.
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Unread postAuthor: Zeus » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:46 am

Good to see you back RCMan, there was a topic by Hotwired here that may be of interest.

IIRC you do like your HV, any new projects recently?
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Unread postAuthor: Biopyro » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:23 am

In the UK stun guns and their ilk are firmly illegal, and frankly they're a bit big and use an unnecessary amount of current. Battery BBQ grill igniters have traditionally been a pain to find, and piezo igniters with a good spark length are impossible to find to buy.

I've had good luck with salvaged boiler piezos, but that's hardly reliable enough.

I missed shooting and had access to a well equipped workshop so I thought I'd throw together a cannon. I needed a new igniter and have had good luck buying things from asia recently. I saw a BBQ grill igniter on ebay and went for it.

I'm really impressed with it. It sparks a solid 1cm between the terminals with nothing connected, and that means it's plenty for my spark strip. The current is low enough that it's very bearable if one gets a shock, and that suggests to me that is will not erode my foil spark strip much. All for £10 delivered. I love the future.

This probably isn't news at all for those in the US, but as a UK resident, it's great.
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