Any serious cluster flyers out there?

bad_idea

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I used a flash pan to light the 30 motors.


You can see it in the very bottom right of the picture. I used a section of coupler that I had laying around. Put a bulkhead in the bottom and made 2 centering ring templates from my open rocket sim. Drilled a 3/8 inch hole for each motor and inserted a 3/8 inch diameter piece of metal tubing in each hole with about 3/4 of an inch of metal tubing sticking out the top. To use it I put about 8 grams of pyrodex inside the pan. Slide the rocket down the rail and match the tubing up to each motor. The weight of the rocket keeps the flash pan in place. Light the pyrodex with an ematch, it blows flame right into the motor nozzles and off she goes.
I cant take credit for the design, found it on an old post somewhere on the forum. But it sure does work.
I had been thinking of something similar for larger clusters, since they get expensive to light with a separate ematch or other starter for every motor. Ducting the flash seems to be the way to go, based on the unreliability I've often seen reported for open pans. I was thinking of using motor mounts to slip over the end of the motors rather than ducting straight into the nozzles though.

Are you using Pyrodex for slower burning than BP, or for another reason?
 

SDramstad

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I had been thinking of something similar for larger clusters, since they get expensive to light with a separate ematch or other starter for every motor. Ducting the flash seems to be the way to go, based on the unreliability I've often seen reported for open pans. I was thinking of using motor mounts to slip over the end of the motors rather than ducting straight into the nozzles though.

Are you using Pyrodex for slower burning than BP, or for another reason?
I have a bottle of 3F pyrodex left over from an earlier project so I have extra on hand. Also I do believe it does burn slower uncontained and throws more flame around then 4F. One other thing. The first flashpan that I built, I wanted stainless steel or brass for the tubing but the hardware store only had 3/8ths inch tubing in aluminum. First launch melted every single tube........ I built a new one with brass and it took minimal damage from the 1 flight I used it for. Hope to get at least 3 or 4 flights in before I have to rebuild it again
 

gdjsky01

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I did not wish to start another thread. However if this is not appropriate here LMK. I have the MJG black powder starters. When you use them, for clustering (which is why I purchased them), do you use the plastic plugs to hold them in? Or what? Tape? Can you show upclose please? And I assume they are always wired in parallel? I believe the club's launch system is already Quest Q2G2 safe, so I believe that will make it MJG safe as well (yes I know, hook one up first and see).
 

Buzzard

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I have used the MJG BP igniters on several clusters, as has another club member. I used poster putty to hold the igniters in place as it seals well. Also some 1/4" tape over the putty, just in case. I have a North Coast Rocketry Cluster Duck loaded and ready to go (1xE12-6 + 6xC6-0s) when weather allows here in North Texas (Dec launch cancelled). Will use the MJG igniters.

Chas
 

bad_idea

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I did not wish to start another thread. However if this is not appropriate here LMK. I have the MJG black powder starters. When you use them, for clustering (which is why I purchased them), do you use the plastic plugs to hold them in? Or what? Tape? Can you show upclose please? And I assume they are always wired in parallel? I believe the club's launch system is already Quest Q2G2 safe, so I believe that will make it MJG safe as well (yes I know, hook one up first and see).
I don't have photos, but what I do is very simple. I push the heads through a small blob of Scotch poster putty (a trick I picked up here on TRF), stick the heads as far into the motor cavity as they will go, and press the putty in behind it to seal and stick to the nozzle. I always wire in parallel, and I do test for continuity safety outside of motors with every new set of launch equipment I encounter. These starters require very little current to fire - I popped five or six (maybe more, I forget) with a used AAA battery once. My Estes E controller will fire them on a continuity check, so be careful!
I have used the MJG BP igniters on several clusters, as has another club member. I used poster putty to hold the igniters in place as it seals well. Also some 1/4" tape over the putty, just in case. I have a North Coast Rocketry Cluster Duck loaded and ready to go (1xE12-6 + 6xC6-0s) when weather allows here in North Texas (Dec launch cancelled). Will use the MJG igniters.
I guess I must be that other club member. :cool:

Looking forward to seeing the Cluster Duck, Chas. That one has intrigued me for a long time.

Speaking of clusters for DARS launches, I got an Estes Leaper as a freebie in their recent Star Orbiter sale and had planned to add a couple of tubes to the side and fly it Saturday either on three A10s or on a pair of C5-3s (vented out the top) and an A10. Guess I have another month to decide now.
 

gdjsky01

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Thank you @Buzzard and @bad_idea ... this coming launch will be a very simple 2x24 Dynastar Flamethrower (2xD12) and a Flis Deuce (2x18). I have never used the MJGs so wanted some advice. I thought I'd try them with the Flamethrower.
Clustering is sort of becoming a 'thing' with me. I have the Flis Deuce (2xMMX and 2x24mm versions). I have a long ago dusty built USR Swarm 12x24mm I don't think I have ever done more than 3x. I had a THOY Nighthawk (7x29). Now all I have is it's motor mount awaiting a new host. Then there is my OD 3x29 which looks a lot like a similar LOC kit. It too has sat for a long time. Recently I completed a Rocketarium SA-2 that is 3x18. And I recently completed a USR Hitest that is 2 stage 3x24. From the 'good years' in the 2000's I have more motors than anyone should, so i am looking to the fun and challenge of clusters to burn through some. :) I have the MJG's, the eBay generic orange matches, and I have some Procast dipped normal estes starters. Of course I also have the higher amperage Magnalite type starters.

The system's I use are club 12v systems and my own relay driven 12v system. I have connected MJGs to my own controller and nothing happened. I was using a power supply and when armed, the system seem to be providing about 19ma which did not set off a single MJG. It has a continuity LED and an "I am arm'd" buzzer. I did the same test with some ebay orange matches again with no fire.


Turns out I HAVE the poster putty! I was using it to hold components on PCBs while I turn it over and soldered them. So I will give that a go!
Thank you again!!
 

lakeroadster

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I did not wish to start another thread. However if this is not appropriate here LMK. I have the MJG black powder starters. When you use them, for clustering (which is why I purchased them), do you use the plastic plugs to hold them in? Or what? Tape? Can you show upclose please? And I assume they are always wired in parallel? I believe the club's launch system is already Quest Q2G2 safe, so I believe that will make it MJG safe as well (yes I know, hook one up first and see).

Regardless of which igniters are being used, a clip whip simplifies clustering, IMO.

While I am not using the MJG black powder starters, the e-matches I use are very similar in design. The e-matches I use have a plastic cap over the pyrogen to prevent it from being impacted prior to use. I take that plastic cap and use wire cutters to cut in half, and then use that plastic piece to hold the e-match in position, and then use green frog tape to secure the sub-assy to the motor.

A piece of rolled up dog barf would also work in lieu of the plastic pieces.

Hope this helps.


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SolarYellow

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That will of course work but the Chinese matches available from Amazon or eBay are much cheaper and I have never had a failure in hundreds of uses.

I searched both places and didn't find anything that looked like an ematch we're talking about. Got a link or a search term that will bring them up?
 

lakeroadster

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I searched both places and didn't find anything that looked like an ematch we're talking about. Got a link or a search term that will bring them up?
Use keywords "Fireworks" and "Ignitor"

Be aware that these fit 24mm BP motors (I've used them on D12's), but will not fit 18mm BP motors (I've tried them in C6's)

 
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jmasterj

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I searched both places and didn't find anything that looked like an ematch we're talking about. Got a link or a search term that will bring them up?

They're cheaper but 100% less legal than MJG's unregulated ematches. I found them in one Google search. And I understand I'm not being particularly helpful.
 

terryg

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Just received some MJG black powder starters. Is there an equivalent out there for the red tubes that held the Q2G2's in place?
 

jmasterj

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Just received some MJG black powder starters. Is there an equivalent out there for the red tubes that held the Q2G2's in place?

You can use putty or tape to hold them in. I followed the example of someone here and just use the same masking tape I use for painting, the blue stuff.
 
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