I got them a long time ago. If you have problems with him, he might
have tried to impress me. He did deliver product to me although I can't
remember how long it took to get it to me. I ordered in anticipation of
future usage of the igniters. As it turned out, I got my home made
stuff to work. (Albeit with a bit of help with a relay ignition system.) :)
FireFox (http://www.firefox-fx.com /) sells davey clone match heads. You
supply lead wire and a pyrogen dip. I have had great results using their
1/32" double sided copper clad board and Copell wire to make my own match
heads. Look here (http://www.sparksrocketry.com/igniters.htm ) for an
excellent tutorial to make match head/chip type igniters.
It will be well worth your while if you have a do-it-yourself type of
personality like me ;-). I tried regular nichrome (From McMaser-Carr) on
regular 1/6" double sided board (from Rat Shack). No matter what folks say,
even with the ruby whatever flux, nichrome is a bitch to solder (with
whatever lead free solder). The Cople from FireFox is great stuff because it
has a copper/chromium mixture rather than a steel/chromium mixture and
solders rather easily. I have had GREAT results using this (And I don't
shout in caps very often).
BTW, I never had much of a gripe with copperheads, I just wanted to
experiment with other types of igniters that I could make on my own which
led to conductive bridgewire dips and eventually to "chip/davey" type
Been there done that. The problem with using nichrome on the chip type
igniters is that to get the solder to stick well you have to get it real hot
which will cause the copper to lift from the board. The copell is MUCH
easier to solder due to it being copper/nickel rather than steel/nickel.
Are you saying that all Nichrome is steel/nickel?
If so, I say "poo poo".
I have dozens of pounds of 80/20 Nichrome. Zero iron content. Brand
names are Tophet A or Chromel A.
The "C" type is chock full of iron and can rust.
I have yet to solder it. I just twist it to the leads or use it by
-Fred Shecter NAR 20117
For regular ground ignition of motors I've actually had good luck with
using 22 to 26 gauge wires, depending on the engine throats and 30 to 36
gauge nichrome. Have used the acid flux and silver solder for soldering
but I have had extremely good luck with just using a wire wrap tool from
Radio Shack. Now given this is my technique for motor ignition and a
misfire only leads to just replacing the igniter and trying to launch
again. I would use everything in my power to try to use the most
reliable system for ejection charge activation. My igniter success is
due entirely to advice given here. I also constructed a relay ignition
system with three 7.5 amp-hr gel cells. I'm sure that has played a part
in reliable ignition. I have a relay box I built in the late 60's from
the Model Rocketry magazine. How the heck I didn't kill myself with it
as I used something like 20 gauge wire for all the internal connections,
including the contacts from the relay! It worked but I always wondered
why I had to replace a bunch of fuses! I did have it fused. Needless
to say, I retired the unit but still have as a link to the past.
Mark Daughtry, SR wrote:
I am using the firestarter kit and am getting close to the end of the
first kit. I have a refill but I also have an igniterman kit on the
shelf that has an extra coating. I've only been back at the hobby for
9 months and not sophisticated enough to mix from scratch.
Grinding bp with a pestle,.. hmmm.
I wouldn't suggest using Dave's 'igniters' for recovery ematches. For
much more consistent results on 9v and REAL nitrocellulose instead of
However, their primer is not to be trifled with. Even a small batch is
pressure sensitive when dry so mix wet as suggested (goggles, gloves,..) and
dispose of the remainder when done.
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