igniter advice needed

Made a batck of simple igniters with a firestar kit just for some
Estes motors. Used some of the Ted Pella nichrome wire and was using
some of the leftover colored Estes igniter retainers. I actually gobbed
the pyrogen on thickly. It makes for an impressive igniter test but
they are actually turning out as duds for me! What I think is happening
is that the pyrogen starts to ignite, the plastic retainer melts and the
engines fail to fire! I am going to try masking tape next time. I
didn't have any when I launched last weekend so I used up some of the
stock igniters for launching.
I notice on the stock igniters that there isn't that much pyrogen on
the wire and they work just fine. Am going to dip a batch to resemble
the stock ones and see if that eliminates the problem. Does this sound
Kurt Savegnago
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Are you getting the igniter far enough into the motor? If the pyrogen is lighting, it should ignite the motor. If the plastic is melting but the motor's not lighting, either it's not far enough into the motor; or the pyrogen isn't lighting at all and the heat from the nichrome is what's melting the plastic.
Probably. Estes motors don't require much pyrogen to light them. Are you dipping them in the pyrogen or the primer? Or both?
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Hi Ray,
The firestar igniters only come with a pyrogen and not a primer agent that is to be used after dipping in the pyrogen. I believe I crammed the suckers into the engine but still had the duds. I am going to try to use the old masking tape trick from the old days to see if leaving a bit of airspace under the engine improves the reliability. Test fires of the igniters give a heck of a fireball so I really can't figure it out. Hope the twisted wire and nichrome igniters I made work on the composite motors when I try to use them. The Estes stock igniters work for me but I just had to try to make my own.
Best regards, Kurt Savegnago
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Had a launch at school recently and one student's motor didn't light. Had no extra igniters (because of some static igniter demos) and the kid REALLY wanted to put his scratch built up.
Took a piece of nichrome from his burnt igniter, smashed the middle with a pair of vicegrip pliers, bent it over, and loaded it up again.
Was a noticable ignition delay, but the B6 lit and he had a succesful flight.
Probably wouldn't have worked with a standard Estes controller, but mine uses a motorcycle battery.
I don't think the student had the igniter fully inserted the first time. Can't really recommend this technique, but it might work in a pinch.
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