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Fireworks Launching Platform

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Fireworks Launching Platform

Unread postAuthor: clide » Tue May 22, 2007 5:56 pm

Well the 4th of July will be here before you know it, and this year I was hoping to build a remote control launching platform for the fireworks.

I have a 12 channel RF relay board that I think I can use, and I think I can design a platform that will work for me, but I'm still not quite sure what I am going to do for the ignition.

I know that electric matches would probably be easiest and possibly even cheapest, but are there any alternatives that don't need to be replaced each time? One thing I've been thinking of is building what would essentially be a spring loaded lighter that you manually reset each time.

I'm just wondering if you guys have any other ideas or advice on remote ignition of a standard visco fuse.
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Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Tue May 22, 2007 6:39 pm

I've used a glowplug from an RC car with a 12v motorcycle battery and relay, with the end of the fuse touching the RC plug. Takes a minute to heat up, but it worked fine. Hope that helps a bit, heh.

Model rocket engine igniters or electric matches are probably the easiest way to go.

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Unread postAuthor: ShowNoMercy » Tue May 22, 2007 6:41 pm

I dont know if it is a bit on the ghetto side, but steel wool attached to some current will ignite and light off fuses.
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Unread postAuthor: VH_man » Tue May 22, 2007 7:09 pm

get a bunch of REALLY small guage magnet wire, and get a rechargable NICAD battery used in RC cars, around 1100 MAH. coil the wire aorund the fuse..... attatch battery..... make fire......

i use this method to remote-ignite my failed attempts at homade rocket-fuel.

jsut for kicks, i tried doing this to a pile of at least 10 books of ground match heads..... the flame went up at least 25 feet....... might have acutally worked to fuel a small rocket.......... but anyway just try that........... you will be suprised how well it works.

EDIT (Steel wool will work too as the "thin guage" wire)
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Unread postAuthor: iPaintball » Tue May 22, 2007 7:45 pm

You can use nichrome bridge wire to make instant heating glowplug type ignitors. I actually did this last year, and it worked quite wonderfully. The best thing about nichrome wires: They don't have to be replaced! (Unless they are damaged...) I just used a single ignitor hooked up to a car battery. If I had had an R/C relay, god only knows what I would have done with it... :D
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Unread postAuthor: super spuder » Tue May 22, 2007 7:59 pm

use a batery operated BBQ lighter, no need to be replaced every time. ust hook it up to a remote switch ,just hit a switch and instant flame.
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Unread postAuthor: pyrogeek » Tue May 22, 2007 8:03 pm

BBQ ignitors create a small spark. It won't ignite a fuse, at least reliably.

Your best bet would indeed be the NiChrome/steel wool approach.
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Unread postAuthor: super spuder » Tue May 22, 2007 8:36 pm

um....they have a flame coming out of them
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Unread postAuthor: clide » Tue May 22, 2007 9:56 pm

I've thought about glow plugs, but didn't know/couldn't find much about them. Is that literally like a minute? I'd like something fairly responsive, like less than 2 seconds preferably.

Doesn't steel wool burn up when you run a bunch of current through it?

That nichrome wire sounds pretty good, anybody know what kind of current it pulls? My relays are rated at 12V 20A. Duh, just realized that I could measure the resistance of the stuff if I find it, but if anybody has it handy I would appreciate if they could get a reading before I try to hunt it down.

super, that sounds like a great option, but I have never seen any battery operated lighters around, just the sparkers. Have you seen them at any store in particular?

Thanks for all the help so far.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue May 22, 2007 10:53 pm

Ok here what you will need:

Bow
Arrow
Cloth
Turps
Lighter
Some shooting skills

Now you need to tie the cloth around the arrow tip, dip it in some turps light it on fire and hope you hit the wick :wink:

Just joking,
A even more ghetto idea then SB15's would to make a trail of petrol...or

Have you seen the MythBusters episode where Adam makes a remote lighter? He actually uses a proper ciggie lighter so you should D/L the episode and see how he makes it.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue May 22, 2007 10:58 pm

MrCrowley wrote:Ok here what you will need:

Bow
Arrow
Cloth
Turps
Lighter
Some shooting skills

Now you need to tie the cloth around the arrow tip, dip it in some turps light it on fire and hope you hit the wick :wink:

Just joking,
A even more ghetto idea then SB15's would to make a trail of petrol...or

Have you seen the MythBusters episode where Adam makes a remote lighter? He actually uses a proper ciggie lighter so you should D/L the episode and see how he makes it.


OH OH OH! I saw that episode. Now what did he use that for again? Was that the one where they were testing the myth about filling a pringles can with hydrogen and igniting it and the pringles supposedly would stay in place even though ti thre the can off?

EDIT: As for nichrome, I'm pretty sure that's what the filament in toasters is made of. All I know is it has a high resistance so it heats up a lot, but it also has a high melting point.
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Unread postAuthor: Killjoy » Tue May 22, 2007 11:06 pm

bend a paper clip into a spiral so that you can fit the fuse between the turns, then hook up to a car battery with a relay. This will heat up almost instantaniosly and ignite the fuse.
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Unread postAuthor: GalFisk » Wed May 23, 2007 1:15 pm

0.25W 10 ohm carbon film resistors glow red hot at 9-12 volts, and usually survive multiple firings. They're also dirt cheap.
The paper clip method sould also work nicely, but you need thick leads (jumper cabler or similar) or they will heat up as well.
Nichrome ignition works as well, is probably more work to set up but quite reliable. The resistors draw ~1A, I think nichrome draws about the same.
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Unread postAuthor: clide » Wed May 23, 2007 8:41 pm

Thanks for the help.

Just remembered that I had some nichrome wire that I took out of a busted heater. Looks like it will work pretty good. I'll be sure and post it if I get something decent built.
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Unread postAuthor: ShowNoMercy » Wed May 23, 2007 8:47 pm

What kind of fireworks will you be launching? Here in Jersey everything is illegal so I dont really know much but are you launhcing the big ones?
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