Dear Manufacturers: Make the Igniter Leads for BP Motors Slightly Longer

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cbwho

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Just keep some sandpaper and an emery board in your pocket on launch days. Keeps those igniter clips clean and ready to conduct current. :)

Yesterday, had lots of unreliability. Two issues, the leads were filthy, I tried scraping them with the launch disk but it wasn't until my brother scratched them with a pocket knife they started to work.
The launch rod became sticky as well. I used a square of Estes tissue to help. The black powder exhaust built up soot.

Better clips out there? Should I get alligator clips? Gold plated ones? Should I soak them in vinegar?
 

Scott_650

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Yesterday, had lots of unreliability. Two issues, the leads were filthy, I tried scraping them with the launch disk but it wasn't until my brother scratched them with a pocket knife they started to work.
The launch rod became sticky as well. I used a square of Estes tissue to help. The black powder exhaust built up soot.

Better clips out there? Should I get alligator clips? Gold plated ones? Should I soak them in vinegar?
The clips that come with the standard and E Estes and the Quest controllers are a bit flimsy - just about any small alligator clip is an improvement, most of the primary online vendors have decent replacements or go down the Amazon rabbit hole 😉. Keeping those clips clean is important, vinegar will work but a small emory board or piece of fine-ish grit sandpaper is a must in the field. I use electrical contact cleaner on mine.

Launch rods get gummed up but it doesn’t take anything too special to clean them - steel wool or a rag and some spray solvent/lube will usually do the job. Let them get really dirty and corroded and you’ll need a wire brush and auto carb or brake cleaner (use caution - stuff can be nasty on your hands or painted stuff).
 

brockrwood

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Dear Estes and Quest and Manufacturers of Igniters for Black Powder Motors: Make the leads for the igniters slightly longer. Another inch or so should do it. That way, I can clip my igniter clips to the ends of the longer leads and get them out of the way of the exhaust blast of the motor. That will save a lot of time in cleaning and scraping dirty igniter clips.
It will also make clustering easier as I will have long enough leads to just twist them together into two leads: One positive and one negative. The “whip clip” works but it is a hassle.
 

dpower

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The new Estes StarTech starters are a big improvement over the corn-starch ones. It'll take a while before the pipeline gets emptied of the old ones, so I ordered a few packs directly from Estes until that happens. They're not as good as the original Solar Igniters, but do produce a good flame with 12v, and a tiny flame with brand-new 6v batteries. They don't act as fast as Solar igniters, so may not be great for clusters, I need to try that one of these days.

That said, I agree it would be nice if the leads were a bit longer, like the Q2G2s were, but it's not a major issue unless clustering.
 

brockrwood

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The new Estes StarTech starters are a big improvement over the corn-starch ones. It'll take a while before the pipeline gets emptied of the old ones, so I ordered a few packs directly from Estes until that happens. They're not as good as the original Solar Igniters, but do produce a good flame with 12v, and a tiny flame with brand-new 6v batteries. They don't act as fast as Solar igniters, so may not be great for clusters, I need to try that one of these days.

That said, I agree it would be nice if the leads were a bit longer, like the Q2G2s were, but it's not a major issue unless clustering.
I will keep my old igniters safely stored away for use when I launch my cluster rockets! I guess I need to launch everything using the homemade 12v launcher I created for my cluster rockets.
 

BABAR

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I can't say I've ever felt the need for longer igniter leads with Estes motors. I mean, it couldn't *hurt*. The igniter clips get blown away from the motor very quickly after ignition.

I feel like I should post this again here, for those who didn't see it in the other thread.

I like including the paper, gives more to grip on, also likely may Protect the inside of the clip from the motor exhaust, Doesn’t really matter if the outside of the clip gets grimy, it’s that contact surface the matters. Very nice.
 
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