Estes Hydrogen rocket / not working

My son received one of the Estes Hydrogen rockets as a gift a while back, and we finally got around to trying it yesterday. Everything
seemed to function fine, but the rocket wouldn't launch. I'm guessing that the igniter is bad, because I could never see it glow red (as the instructions state). Is the glow visible during the daytime? Anyone have any suggestions on debugging this thing? Are there replacement parts (e.g. the igniter)? Estes is shut down until the new year, so I can't ask them.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I think you'll find that you've moved the O-ring down too far at one of the connections. Slightly wet them, and make sure they are all (and I do mean ALL) seated properly. You must put the rocket itself on tightly, as well.
I'm not aware of any replacement parts, but I've had some spectacular 'night' launches with them. The problems I've had (thus far) have always come from moving the O-rings out of position.
David Erbas-White
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On 29 Dec 2005 09:22:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not personally owning one, and JOOC, how long does it take that sucker to "gas up"? It does appear to be a pretty cool concept.
My middle son is doing a science fair project on utilizing renewable resources for hydrogen production through electrolyisis, and it takes a fair amount of time just to produce a weensy bit.
tah
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Tod A. Hilty
Hilty Information Systems
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snipped-for-privacy@weinerboy.org wrote:

About a minute or so...
Biggest problem is not releasing the gas prematurely (due to the nature of hydrogen), the o-rings must ALL be well in place.
David Erbas-White

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What are the pellets about ?
Also, can you see the igniter glow red ?
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AlMax wrote:

Citric acid to make the water more conductive.

Yes, especially with new D cells, but I did it at night which might make a difference. Bear in mind that the thing will drain batteries pretty quickly. You also have to make sure that you pull the 'cord' tight as they make 'sure' you're 15 feet away when it launches.
David Erbas-White
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Well, I'm still suspecting my igniter (or a bad electrical connection). I cannot get the igniter to glow red under any circumstance, even in near total darkness. Any suggestions at this point?
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Have you tried using new batteries? Make sure you're using top-quality alkaline D cells, not some cheap store brand.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I reiterate that you need to make sure that you've pulled the 'safety cord' tight, or the connection isn't made. Bear in mind the igniter won't glow until that final step, but if you haven't pulled the 'cord' tight, it won't make that last connection to the igniter.
David Erbas-White
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David Erbas-White wrote:

How far does He have to pull the cord, after "slack"?
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Dave Grayvis wrote:

Or, more importantly, how tight is "tight"?
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Yes, the cord's pulled tight, and the batteries are brand-new. I'm guessing that I've got a connection problem, since the igniter at least LOOKS perfect...
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

your experience sounds the same as mine. I called Estes and the nice lady sent me a new base, but it made no difference. so I must suspect something in the tower, most likely the ignitor. eventually when I get a round-tu-it I will mail the entire pile of junk back to them. for the price I don't think I should have to debug the thing.
by the way, the marble in the level on the top of the base is an interlock for ignition. the base must be dead flat level or no circuit to the ignitor.
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