Estes Pro Series II Igniters - 100% failure rate

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k-rad du0d

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I just burned through an entire pack of new Estes Pro Series II igniters on an F22. 0/4 success rate.

Do not buy.
 

awseiger

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I have yet to have one fail. What kind of launcher are you using? Use a 12V launch system, like a motorcycle battery.

Are you putting the igniter all the way up into the motor? Are you holding the button down long enough? Sometimes it takes a bit to fire off composite motors.
 

Pat.H

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Don't feel too bad I too have had a 100% failure rate as well. I think the first batch from the production line are flawed somehow..doesn't seem hot enough to ignite the rocket engine.
I went through an entire pack of 4 igniters on an F26-6FJ and no smoke no fire..
Igniters were all the way in, I use a 12v car battery for my launch system, even held the button down for a whole min just to make sure... but no joy

p.s. I stuck in a good ol copperhead and presto, there was smoke and fire and a successful launch after a couple of seconds....
 

Spooks

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I used a couple today using a Go pro launcher, actually used a 12v drill batt for the power source and everything went great!
 

k-rad du0d

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I have yet to have one fail. What kind of launcher are you using? Use a 12V launch system, like a motorcycle battery.

Are you putting the igniter all the way up into the motor? Are you holding the button down long enough? Sometimes it takes a bit to fire off composite motors.
Golly gee, thanks for all the instruction. I guess if I weren't so retarded it would have worked great.

Oh wait, I'm not retarded. I use a 12V launch system and have fired hundreds of composite motors in my lifetime, so I know what I am doing. The simple fact is that these igniters do not perform well. After burning through 4 Estes Pro Series igniters, I threw a Copperhead in and, what do you know, it fired perfectly.

Estes needs to scrap the whole line.
 

cwbullet

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Just a thought. What is the amperes on the launch system?
 

cavecentral

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Might be an oddity, but I seen one work at our last launch. For some reason the ignitor type was on the flight card and read by the LCO.
 

cwbullet

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Might be an oddity, but I seen one work at our last launch. For some reason the ignitor type was on the flight card and read by the LCO.
We do not do that. Is that common with your club?
 

cavecentral

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We do not do that. Is that common with your club?
No it was read because it was on the flight card. Every once in a while someone might mention it is a copperhead so people don't get too excited that it witll work.

The LCO read it because he never heard of them.
 

mcderek

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I'm 7/8 and the one that didn't work was in a AT Redline.
 

bobkrech

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I just burned through an entire pack of new Estes Pro Series II igniters on an F22. 0/4 success rate.

Do not buy.
Negative posts help no one. The only way a vendor knows if they have a problem is when the affected user notifies them.

Have you contacted Estes? If not, please call them. Estes has top notch qualtity control and tests 3% of their production which is above the NFPA 1125 requirements. Even so it's possilbe to get a few bad items that don't work properly and they want to know about it, since failures are bad for business.

Estes is one of the best companies at customer services. At the very least they will replace those igniters for you.

Again, please let them know.

Bob
 

accooper

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On our launch June 30th, One of the guys flew every composite he had with Estes igniters with out a hitch. Must be bad karma(or as we say in Texas Tarma). Or the rocket gods are mad at you, or you didn't hold your mouth right.

I still say you have to have a GOOD 12volts.

Andrew
 

cwbullet

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I would say 12 volts are enough. I have never had a failure in which I was not the problem.
 

Rocketjunkie

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I just burned through an entire pack of new Estes Pro Series II igniters on an F22. 0/4 success rate.
The F22 is original Black Jack. Notoriously difficult to ignite. The Estes igniters are marginal for the Estes composite motors.
 

cwbullet

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The F22 is original Black Jack. Notoriously difficult to ignite. The Estes igniters are marginal for the Estes composite motors.
I have never flown one, but have one in my box. I will stick to magnesium igniters.
 

awseiger

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Golly gee, thanks for all the instruction. I guess if I weren't so retarded it would have worked great.
Figured I'd check, as far as I knew you'd never launched one off. The internet is full of AP newbies complaining how the igniters "Suck", but they aren't using them right. I think I remember seeing one person trying to set them off with the electron-beam controller...
 

Pat.H

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Negative posts help no one. The only way a vendor knows if they have a problem is when the affected user notifies them.

Have you contacted Estes? If not, please call them. Estes has top notch qualtity control and tests 3% of their production which is above the NFPA 1125 requirements. Even so it's possilbe to get a few bad items that don't work properly and they want to know about it, since failures are bad for business.

Estes is one of the best companies at customer services. At the very least they will replace those igniters for you.

Again, please let them know.

Bob
I took my burnt up igniters back to the hobby store where I bought them. The very nice manager there was going to bring it to the attention of the Estes representative last month when he was up.
I still have not heard anything back from the hobby store as to why they misfired and did not get any replacement igniters either.
I know that Estes is pretty good at quality control and testing, after all I have never had a black powder motor fail to ignite with the good ol reliable solar igniters. That being said the store manager had several other customers that have had failures with the new igniters that we all had to buy separate from the engines, and I think that is why everybody is a little miffed about it.
For me right now, I might just stick with the Aerotech SU's and Copperhead igniters that come with them.
 

bobkrech

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I took my burnt up igniters back to the hobby store where I bought them. The very nice manager there was going to bring it to the attention of the Estes representative last month when he was up.
I still have not heard anything back from the hobby store as to why they misfired and did not get any replacement igniters either.
I know that Estes is pretty good at quality control and testing, after all I have never had a black powder motor fail to ignite with the good ol reliable solar igniters. That being said the store manager had several other customers that have had failures with the new igniters that we all had to buy separate from the engines, and I think that is why everybody is a little miffed about it.
For me right now, I might just stick with the Aerotech SU's and Copperhead igniters that come with them.
AFAIK Estes does not have local employees at the distributor level. I'm guessing the well meaning store manager is dealing with the distributor's sales person, but I could be wrong.

Again. Hobby rocketry is a very small enterprise. Please contact Estes directly, either by calling (best) or by e-mail to customer service. They really appreciate first person information far more than third person information from a distributor's sales persons. You can provide far more information on what happened than the sales person can. Estes traditionally sends replacement items directly to the individual who experienced the loss.

Bob

Bob
 

be69ar

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I just burned through an entire pack of new Estes Pro Series II igniters on an F22. 0/4 success rate.

Do not buy.
...as I've stated elsewhere, we tested a huge number (thousands - all off of our E Launcher) of these before releasing them to the public...and considering our production history with our standard igniters, we have a pretty good handle on how to make them and make them work. I know this will sound very CYA, but we have been using them with the PSII composite motors here at the rocket ranch, launched off our E Pad (and new PSII pad) with the Estes 2230 E Launcher with an excellent success rate. Do we get a failure?...sure, every once in a while we get motor that doesn't light up...but we can usually say that it was operator error and while the igniter flashed, it didn't get the AP going...but those test flights have been rare. We formulated these igniters to work off of our E Launcher with 4 AA batteries and as long as they are fairly fresh, the igniter will light and has enough flash to get the PSII motors going if its in contact with the propellent in the motor case.

I'm not sure what happened with your 0/4 experience, but contacting Estes would have been a good first move. Without information from the user, we cannot determine if there is a problem or not. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't express yourself, but we have had very good success with these new igniters and your experience is the exception. I'd suggest contacting us through the website and we'll replace your igniters as warranty replacement.
Mike
 

shreadvector

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As with all composite propellant motor igniters (even if the instructions do not tell you explicitly to do so....) you should make sure that the pyrogen tip is in contact with the inner propellant surface. The best way to do this is to bend the tip sligtly - just below the pyrogen. Then, when it is inserted all the way into the motor, the pyrogen on the tip will be touching the propellant face inside and not floating in space in the gap (slot).

...as I've stated elsewhere, we tested a huge number (thousands - all off of our E Launcher) of these before releasing them to the public...and considering our production history with our standard igniters, we have a pretty good handle on how to make them and make them work. I know this will sound very CYA, but we have been using them with the PSII composite motors here at the rocket ranch, launched off our E Pad (and new PSII pad) with the Estes 2230 E Launcher with an excellent success rate. Do we get a failure?...sure, every once in a while we get motor that doesn't light up...but we can usually say that it was operator error and while the igniter flashed, it didn't get the AP going...but those test flights have been rare. We formulated these igniters to work off of our E Launcher with 4 AA batteries and as long as they are fairly fresh, the igniter will light and has enough flash to get the PSII motors going if its in contact with the propellent in the motor case.

I'm not sure what happened with your 0/4 experience, but contacting Estes would have been a good first move. Without information from the user, we cannot determine if there is a problem or not. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't express yourself, but we have had very good success with these new igniters and your experience is the exception. I'd suggest contacting us through the website and we'll replace your igniters as warranty replacement.
Mike
 

cavecentral

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With ignitors in general, I find 2 kinds of failures.

1) Failure for the pyrogen to get lit. Breaking the nicrome circuit without lighting, or shorting out, or needing more current.

2)The second type is the pyrogen burns, but the motor does not light.

I have the first happen with copperheads and with old ignitors where the dry pyrogen pops and gets blown off the nichrome without lighting. The ones I make fail if the pyrogen cracks (even a hairline) or age too much.

The second is usually not a hot enough formula, not enough pyro, or an oxidized motor core.
 

JPVegh

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I appreciate hearing all experiences with all rocketry related products, both good and bad. I can make up my own mind on how much to rely on such posts.

In this case I can only take the OP at his word that he is an experienced AP user and that the motor ignited right away with a Copperhead after 4 failures with the PS2 ignitors. I've had my own issues getting BlackJack motors to light using a variety of ignitors. I'll admit that some of the time it has been my fault. Other times I was very careful about sanding the grain and placing the ignitor and I still had problems, eventually they all lit. I've never had one fail to light when using thermalite, I sure miss that stuff.

I do trust Estes and the results that they have obtained in their own testing with the PS2 motors and the E controller. I have several packs of the PS2 ignitors that I have yet to use. I expect that they will perform well.
 

cavecentral

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I appreciate hearing all experiences with all rocketry related products, both good and bad. I can make up my own mind on how much to rely on such posts.

In this case I can only take the OP at his word that he is an experienced AP user and that the motor ignited right away with a Copperhead after 4 failures with the PS2 ignitors. I've had my own issues getting BlackJack motors to light using a variety of ignitors. I'll admit that some of the time it has been my fault. Other times I was very careful about sanding the grain and placing the ignitor and I still had problems, eventually they all lit. I've never had one fail to light when using thermalite, I sure miss that stuff.

I do trust Estes and the results that they have obtained in their own testing with the PS2 motors and the E controller. I have several packs of the PS2 ignitors that I have yet to use. I expect that they will perform well.
If there is an issue, I'd suspect they work, but don't age well.
 

dwmzmm

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Agreed; I had issues with two E9's malfunctioning on me several weeks ago at a joint club launch and contacted Estes via their website (and filed MESS reports). Estes responded to me almost immediately and asked for more documentation (photos & batch manufacturing dates). They offered to replace my StormCaster (lost on an E9-8 due to no ejection charge) and my 1/8 scale Black Brant - II (FSI kit) on an E9-4 (nozzle blowout). I chose their new V-2 kit as a replacement for the BB - II and they also gave me a choice of either 2 packs of D12's for the E9's (due to Hazmat costs) or a kit up to $40, so I chose the Long Tom multistage kit. All three kits arrived a few days later.
 

blackbrandt

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Golly gee, thanks for all the instruction. I guess if I weren't so retarded it would have worked great.

Oh wait, I'm not retarded. I use a 12V launch system and have fired hundreds of composite motors in my lifetime, so I know what I am doing. The simple fact is that these igniters do not perform well. After burning through 4 Estes Pro Series igniters, I threw a Copperhead in and, what do you know, it fired perfectly.

Estes needs to scrap the whole line.
If you think you know what you are doing, why did you ask a question?
 

3boydad

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AFAIK Estes does not have local employees at the distributor level. I'm guessing the well meaning store manager is dealing with the distributor's sales person, but I could be wrong.

Again. Hobby rocketry is a very small enterprise. Please contact Estes directly, either by calling (best) or by e-mail to customer service. They really appreciate first person information far more than third person information from a distributor's sales persons. You can provide far more information on what happened than the sales person can. Estes traditionally sends replacement items directly to the individual who experienced the loss.






Bob

Bob

Estes replaces a bad warped rocket fin with 3 rockets one being a v2. i think they have great customer service
 

k-rad du0d

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With ignitors in general, I find 2 kinds of failures.

1) Failure for the pyrogen to get lit. Breaking the nicrome circuit without lighting, or shorting out, or needing more current.

2)The second type is the pyrogen burns, but the motor does not light.

I have the first happen with copperheads and with old ignitors where the dry pyrogen pops and gets blown off the nichrome without lighting. The ones I make fail if the pyrogen cracks (even a hairline) or age too much.

The second is usually not a hot enough formula, not enough pyro, or an oxidized motor core.
The pyrogen was completely burned on all 4 igniters. I suspect there simply was not enough or it burned too fast to actually light the motor.
 

k-rad du0d

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Just a thought. What is the amperes on the launch system?
I was using a fully charged 12V, 7.0AHr battery that I have used many times with Copperheads and First Fires without issue. Every igniter fired, they just didn't have enough oomph to ignite the motor.
 

Handeman

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As be69ar said, they had almost no failures using a 4 AA battery launch controller. Maybe the 12V systems are too powerful and vaporize the bridge wire, causing the pyrogen to break apart/explode instead of just burning. What is left on the wire burns but isn't enough to light the composite motors.

Do you get a quick, loud pop when you fire the igniter with a 12V system?

Even the solar ignites for the BP motors pop the bridge wires on 12V systems. The BP motors are so easy to light you probably don't notice any difference. The PSII igniters may be much more sensitive to over current ignition.
 
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