Clustering Question

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Active Member
Jun 17, 2002
Reaction score
I've been eyeing the Fliskits Dueces Wild at my local hobby shop, and it looks VERY cool! However, I'm a cluster newbie and was wondering about igniting clusters.

Will a 12V lantern battery put out enough current to reliably ignite a 2 or 3 motor cluster, or do I need a car or motorcycle battery?

A quick forum search on clustering found some great tips, but I didn't see anything specific about lantern batteries (sorry if I missed it).

Thanks in advance!
An alkaline lantern battery will work for 2-3 motors and Estes igniters. For more, a lead-acid or NiCad battery is strongly recommended. You need a battery that will provide lots of current. Also make sure all the igniters are good.
Before installing the igniters, look into the nozzle and make sure no clay is covering the black propellant. Gently scrape it out if necessary. After installing the igniters but before connecting them together, check continuity of each igniter. They should read 1-2 ohms each. Connect in parallel.
That settles it, looks like I'm off to the hobby shop for a Duece!! :D

BTW, another search found a great clustering thread. If anyone else is yearning for clustering info, check out this thread. Some great info and links from jflis himself!
YES the square 6 volt battery works for the duece it looked scary as the motors lit one at a time but it did work on mine. I bought another one and wired them in series so as to make the 12 volts and it did work better but not as good as a car battery. if you are having trouyble getting a car to your launch sight try a lawn tractor or mot
from my Black and Decker Cordless Drill.

it sends em up when you just think about pushing the launch button!
I built Binder's Mangablaster. My total parts investment was maybe $30.00 A buddy of mine assembled it in a couple of hours. It uses a starter solenoid from a 1990 Crown Vicky to dump as much as 200 amps straight to the igniters. Even two year old home made igniterman units (six together) fire the moment you push the button. IMHO this is the way to go. No misfires..period.
Originally posted by Hauptmann
That settles it, looks like I'm off to the hobby shop for a Duece!! :D

You're going to enjoy this kit :) Check out the others too, when you get a chance!
Igniterman was a kit that you could buy to make your own igniters from 28 and 30 guage wire. The kit contained a bridging solution that coated the tips of the wires with a compound that acted like the stuff on an Estes Solar igniter. For AP motors there was a pyrogenic solution that contained magnesium. This stuff was dipped onto the basic igniter and turned it into what was basicly an electricly controlled sparkler. If done correctly, you get 100% sure fire ignition from even the hardest to light motors. Igniterman went under last year or so but a lot of us still have a good supply of material. Magnalite makes a similar setup except that with their kit, you have to buy prebridged wires from them.
Originally posted by jflis
You're going to enjoy this kit :) Check out the others too, when you get a chance!

Plunked my money down and brought one home, and ya know, this kit has something that's getting hard to find: "The Grin Factor." Even while I'm building it, I'm sitting there grinning like a little kid! Seems to happen less and less with commercial kits these days, but this kit has it in spades.

Judging from what others have said, my grin is only going to get bigger when I launch it! :D
If your gonna be clustering, duece and up.. do yourself a favor, go back to your hobby shop or other retailer and pick up on the the 7amp/hr Hobbico gel-cell 12v batteries. I've just replaced one i've been using steadly for over 10 years. they are rechargable and will outlast any lantern battety many times over. for about twenty buck. simply outstanding for 2 3 and sometimes 4 motor clusters.
When I use my big launch system I use a 12vlt deep cycle battery for the low/mid pads and 24vlts for my high power pads it works very well