Air starting w/ IgniterMan matches

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Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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In the instructions for the IgniterMan kits, they say to make sure to use a 12V launch system, and after a few ground tests this weekend, I discovered that they mean it! A 9V just didn't have the juice to get one going.

That being said, has anyone ever tried using an IgniterMan home-dipped e-match for airstarting, and if so, what did you use for a power source and controlling electronics? My Black Sky 2-channel timer only has room onboard for one 9V, and I'm wondering if I need to scrap the idea of using a home-dip for my second stage.

My plans for using dipped E-matches to light the upper stage came to a crashing halt when I noticed that the igniters do not fit through the motor nozzle throats. So I decided to try some Ignitermans.

The igniters are made from wire wrap wire and measure 1.6 +/-0.1 ohms each. I connected a Radio Shack 9V (8.4V actually) nicad as the pyro supply for the GWiz LC deluxe. The igniter lit just fine during a ground test.

Now if the weather ever cooperates, I will try it for real.

Also be aware that the output FETs of the BlackSky timer are physically very small and will not tolerate anything approaching a short circuit on the output for any period of time. Anything over 2 ohms is OK but less than that and you are taking your chances.

For staging/air starts I recommend dipped E-matches and a series 2 or 3 ohm resistor (with a 9V battery) on this timer. E-matches in ejection charges don't seem to become shorted after functioning but it does happen when staging/air starting.

I am pretty sure that the output FET's are IRF7101s (that is what is in my AltAcc) and you can look up the data sheet on the web if you want to learn more.