Copperhead Igniters

I'm just getting into composite motors (I'm a BAR) and have some new F-20
motors. I've heard things about reliability problems with the copperhead
igniters. Are there better igniters out there that can be purchased (I do
not want to make my own just yet). Can the Aerotech motors be used with
FirstFire/FirstFire Jrs. If so, which ones should be used. Thanks for the
help.
Reply to
Glenn and Laurri
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Never had a single problem with Copperheads in last 2 years, many launches.
Reply to
Robert Allee
Try the copperheads. When/if they fail use first fire. When you get tired of that treadmill buy a magnelite igniter dip kit.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
>>If so, which ones should be used. Thanks for the help.
Reply to
Colour Coded
I asked this same question a year ago when I got back into rocketry. There's quite a few out there that say how bad the "crapperhead" igniters are. Now it may be a question of the particular motor but, I feel it's just bad practices in inserting and connecting the leads. Try not to put sharp bends on the igniter. After you get the igniter inserted fully into the motor, place a piece of paper/tape(I usually use used Estes igniter paper) on one side of the copper strip and attach one igniter lead/micro-clip. Place another piece of paper/tape on the opposite side of the copper strip and attach the other lead/micro-clip. What you end up with is one side of each micro-clip having contact with each side of the copper strip. The only other thing I can suggest is to use a 12 volt system. I've had 1 copperhead not work so far and I think that was because I was trying too hard to bottom out the igniter in the motor and probably flexed it to hard and caused a short. All in all, they should work fine.
Stones
Reply to
stones
This should be in the FAQ.
Your techniques bypass the most common failure modes. Folding, the bogus clip, and the micro-shorts.
Good job.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Try the copperheads that came with the motor first. I think that most ignition failures can be traced to improper installation of the igniter, or punctured leads. I separate the leads on my copperheads with the bic lighter, and they work well like that. Before I used to separate the leads, I used tape on each side of the lead, and that worked well too. I separate the leads because it makes them easier to hook up. As for installation, be sure that the igniter is fully inserted in the motor, and in contact with the delay grain.
-- Joe Michel NAR 82797 L1
Reply to
J.A. Michel
i'd advise to take a match and heat the end until the two metal strips part and attach regular clips to them. never had a failure with this technique but others have had problems with either the special clips or the tape a-la Quest Tiger tails(tm)
Reply to
tater schuld
Copper Head are ok, You have to be very careful and inspect for short on the sides. But I usually have good luck when I use them Most of the time I use Quick Burst Twiggy's for AeroTech F & G's. Even thought CopperHead usually work, sometime with the smoky motors the model just sits on the pad as the motor comes up to pressure. With Twiggy's, even the smoky motors zoom off the pad. I like them
Reply to
Bruce Canino
I tend to agree with that, also handle with care, and use 12 volts. So far I've had pretty good luck with 'em despite the bad reputation they seem to have.
I did get a few that were just bad - I think they were just really old and didn't have the fire that fresh ones do. They were with some motors that had been in the hobby store for a very long time.
I've also noticed that old motors (3 or 4 years or more) tend to be the ones with "bonus delays." The fresh ones normally perform as expected. I'm talking 24 & 29 mm reloads from Aerotech here, not black powder or other manufacturers, mind. Your mileage (or delay, as the case may be) may vary!
Later!
Reply to
Tim B
I've had great results by using AT's copperhead clip. The single most important thing with copperheads, no matter what method, is how you handle them. Carefully straighten them out, being careful not to crease them in any way. Run your fingers down the edges a few times, both ways, to help remove any slivers that might cause a short. Don't use the rubber band (or the cap that comes in reloads), to hold the igniter in place, use a piece of masking tape. Insert the copperhead, carefully "probe" for the slot, then push it in till it stops. Bend the remaining strip toward the side of the nozzle, and place a piece of masking tape over the nozzle to hold it in place. As an added measure, I use a pencil, or small screw driver to poke a vent hole in the tape over the nozzle. If you go with the tape over a jaw of each clip method, be careful if your clips have teeth. I've seen these kinds of clips "bite" through the tape, and even through the copperhead itself. If your clips have teeth, I'd use electrical tape, instead of masking tape, as the electrical tape has some elasticity and is less likely to get "bitten" through. David
Reply to
Dlogan
I just throw out the copperheads and use the FirstFires anyway.
(I used a Copperhead once - lit OK on the second try; had to fiddle with the clips to clear a short.)
-dave w
Reply to
David Weinshenker
I've had problems with them in the last 2 years. The garbage bags that I tie using Crapperheads keep coming undone. I guess they exhibit the "memory effect".
Mark Simpson NAR 71503 Level II God Bless our peacekeepers
Reply to
Mark Simpson
ROTFLMAO!
Reply to
Dave Grayvis
If you've got the new F20s (one piece casing, delay egection of yellow plastic with hex end) then just use what came with the motors. The new F20s and new copperheads work VERY well.
FirstFire Jr or other similar SMALL DIAMETER ignitors should work fine.
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD" >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD!
Reply to
Bob Kaplow
My biggest complaint was that they ship from the factory with the sharp bnds already in them. Foldng them and sticking them into that little protective straw is what does most of the damage.
I was just visiting my Coppertail Cemetery over the weekend, while cleaning up the workshop. What's the current price for scrap copper?
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD" >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD!
Reply to
Bob Kaplow
Give them to my kid. He uses them to light firecrackers (chemical batch test:) ) at the new HE test site.
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
I'll take em. Heck I'll even take tigertails too.....
Reply to
tater schuld

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