# Estes's Ignitors and the Plug

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#### jrap330

##### Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
would something like this work?
where is the certainty that ignitor is toching propellant?

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
where is the certainty that ignitor is toching propellant?
The rocket literally rests on the igniter.

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
I wonder how many of pyro dipped igniters that Estes has made by now. Bill said they were going to distribute them to clubs last summer. Anyone use them yet?

Someone (probably in this forum) asked if there will be a trade in program, old for new.

#### cbwho

##### Well-Known Member
Over the weekend, I thought I had a failed ignitor but I accidentally hooked the two red leads using Estes better controller instead of a black and red. Oops!

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yesterday, I tried my 1st launch since Aug. I had 2 out 3 ignitors fail. Removal of the ignitors revealed they broke. Now when I did my 1st launches in July and Aug 3 ignitors failed. So out of 5-6 launces I have had 5 ignitors failure. Yet as a BAR 15-20 years ago I had maybe 3 failures (broken) in 2 dozen flights. Now I know as an engineer wire will not degrade over time, unless you use it/bend it etc. I installed all ignitors at Home, Engine vertical on a bench, being careful and insuring completer insertion. Is it the Plug? When a newbie had issues earlier this year, one response was to forget the plug and tape,. I defended the plug by saying they are great and very few issues. So much for that opinion. These are the old black pyrogen ignitors and I hate wasting them. 2nd Question- since most clubs use car batteries has anybody just gone back to nichrome wire (Black Powder motors), make a loop in the wire, insert and use wadding or tape to hold. Nichrome works perfectly on 12v lantern batteries. If yes any idea of the gauge?

Estes, please ship redesign ignitors as promised.

Unrelative topic...my one flight was a Black Brant II on a B6-4 engine...beautiful flight to over 300 feet (guess). The B4 engine I tried in July....was underpower. So go built a BB II and fly it on B6's and maybe a C5 and forget what used to be said.."Launch it and lose it"...on a D engine.
The best advice I've found on TRF is to dip the Estes igniters in Testors Silver paint. Testors paint is flammable. No need to deal with pyrogen or pyrogen and BP combo. Works great, simple and super easy.

I bought the bottle on Amazon. It will last a lifetime.

I use the plugs all the time, no issues. You just need to use the right one on each engine and it's not intuitive. There are two sizes of plugs for some engine sizes, depending on the size of the nozzle. I can never remember which is used for which. I always fit a plug into the nozzle before I insert an igniter to make sure I have the right size.

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#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
The best advice I've found on TRF is to dip the Estes igniters in Testors Silver paint. Testors paint is flammable. Works great. I bought the bottle on Amazon. It will last a lifetime.
I've not heard this one before. Why silver?

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I've not heard this one before. Why silver?
Don't know. The guy said silver, I bought silver. It may have something to do with what they put in the paint to make it silver colored, perhaps aluminum powder?

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
Don't know. The guy said silver, I bought silver. It may have something to do with what they put in the paint to make it silver colored, perhaps aluminum powder?
Very interesting indeed. Have you done any standalone tests with it, and maybe even took some video?

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Very interesting indeed. Have you done any standalone tests with it, and maybe even took some video?
Sort of. After I first dipped some I lit one using a 2S LiPo (7.4V) on my worktable (because it was sitting there and handy). It flamed up right away and the flame lasted for 2-3 seconds, so it's definitely better than the untreated igniters.

#### neil_w

##### Marginally Stable
TRF Supporter
Sort of. After I first dipped some I lit one using a 2S LiPo (7.4V) on my worktable (because it was sitting there and handy). It flamed up right away and the flame lasted for 2-3 seconds, so it's definitely better than the untreated igniters.
Sounds like fun, I'll have to try it.

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Don't know. The guy said silver, I bought silver. It may have something to do with what they put in the paint to make it silver colored, perhaps aluminum powder?

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Does not compute...

#### prfesser

Don't know. The guy said silver, I bought silver. It may have something to do with what they put in the paint to make it silver colored, perhaps aluminum powder?
Almost certainly. Aluminum powder---atomized or flakes, depending on the desired appearance---is the most commonly used pigment for silver and certain metallic-look paints.

#### gldknght

##### Well-Known Member
Not sure what you mean about break glue do you mean the adhesive strip attached to ignitor?? As for chutes, you have more experience than anyone...you launch every week...but I sure you stated this also. Install chute at the launch pad to avoid the "sticky" plastic. I like you, use small chute chutes or the 18 incher mostly "tied/twisted" together so I can recover in my small field. The wadding/dog bawf is installed at home so I can get in and out quickly since it is a public park.
Pack your estes chutes at home, out of the wind the morning of the launch, but dust them with talc or baby powder before packing to prevent sticky chutes. DO! NOT! USE! corn starch. any humidity and that turns into goo.

#### jrap330

##### Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Hard to get "baby powder" nowadays....most powder is corn starch. But I will look, next time I am at the store.

#### Mike Haberer

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Hard to get "baby powder" nowadays....most powder is corn starch. But I will look, next time I am at the store.
Not hard to find on Amazon...

Pure Talc...

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
Almost certainly. Aluminum powder---atomized or flakes, depending on the desired appearance---is the most commonly used pigment for silver and certain metallic-look paints.
For paint pigments, tis coated flake Al (more surface area than atomized=less metal needed). Coating typically stearin or stearic acid to maintain shine. Without coating, Al surface will quickly oxidize in atmosphere and form a dull grey aluminum oxide layer atop it. Often around 325 mesh-size (average around 44-microns). Amateur fireworkers in countries where pyro Al is not easily available have extracted it from various metallic paints as a very expensive way to get Al powder.

All my "new" Estes plain wire (and glue tip, meh) igniters get that white crap removed and are redipped in NC/BP+ a little metal. Rocket company pyrogen kits are fine, but the mark-up is crazy. If you've ever gone through more than one company pyrogen kit, you should consider making your own. I can make essentially a lifetime supply of igniter dip comps for about $10 in chems and solvent. Well, that$10 would make me about a pound of comp, and I'm using milligrams/igniter. Simple to whip up, way cheaper than kits if you will use a lot, stable essentially forever, any variety of heat/sparks desired, and safe if you're not drying them over a campfire.

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#### prfesser

Hard to get "baby powder" nowadays....most powder is corn starch. But I will look, next time I am at the store.
Plus around $20, give or take, for their cheapest Retail Package shipping, more if you're ordering a bunch of other stuff (great resin selection). Their description is that it is about a 5-gallon bucket size. That's a lot of chute powdering! And uncertain grain size so might require milling (or mortar n pestle--the stuff's pretty soft). Maybe best for a club purchase? A better option for cheap talc might be a local pottery/ceramics supplier that you can easily find online. They're all over. Talc might be shown as "Texas" or it's chemical name magnesium silicate or magnesium silicate hydrate. The one by my place sells pounds for 75 cents each, less in quantity (plus tax and gasoline for the 25 mile drive through the countryside). Also can be a good source for sodium silicate solution (waterglass) for fireproofing and toughening; smaller sizes available and generally cheaper at any size than the driveway sealant at HD and other big box stores, at least at my ceramics guy... And other fun stuff, too (rocket nozzle mixes!!!). Last edited: #### prfesser ##### Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter Plus around$20, give or take, for their cheapest Retail Package shipping, more if you're ordering a bunch of other stuff (great resin selection). Their description is that it is about a 5-gallon bucket size. That's a lot of chute powdering! And uncertain grain size so might require milling (or mortar n pestle--the stuff's pretty soft). Maybe best for a club purchase?

A better option for cheap talc might be a local pottery/ceramics supplier that you can easily find online. They're all over. Talc might be shown as "Texas" or it's chemical name magnesium silicate or magnesium silicate hydrate. The one by my place sells pounds for 75 cents each, less in quantity (plus tax and gasoline for the 25 mile drive through the countryside).

Also can be a good source for sodium silicate solution (waterglass) for fireproofing and toughening; smaller sizes available and generally cheaper at any size than the driveway sealant at HD and other big box stores, at least at my ceramics guy...

And other fun stuff, too (rocket nozzle mixes!!!).
More like a 1-gallon bucket. Talc is among the softest of minerals; what I bought does not seem to have large particles. I suspect that if there were any large particles, the shaking that the stuff gets during transportation would break them down. I got it along with other composite materials, partly to use as a cheap epoxy filler. My nearest pottery supplier is either 2 hours away or 3.5 hours, depending on what I want.

Best -- Terry

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
More like a 1-gallon bucket. Talc is among the softest of minerals; what I bought does not seem to have large particles. I suspect that if there were any large particles, the shaking that the stuff gets during transportation would break them down. I got it along with other composite materials, partly to use as a cheap epoxy filler. My nearest pottery supplier is either 2 hours away or 3.5 hours, depending on what I want.

Best -- Terry
I stand corrected. I got my 5s turned around. Their web description states that their 5-lb talc is approx 1/2 gallon! https://uscomposites.com/fillers.html Ooops. Still quite a lot! But I hate getting inaccurate information and am embarrassed to have given such. Moving that decimal point over a single space is an order-of-magnitude difference--not trivial...

#### shockie

##### High Plains Drifter
could graphite lubricant powder or spray be used instead of talc on plastic or nylon chutes or would it discolor them?

#### Sooner Boomer

##### Well-Known Member
It could be used. It will probably discolor them. Powdered graphite is second only to air float charcoal for making/spreading mess. It's also more flamable. NOTE: almost every finely divided material, whether flamable in its normal state or not, can cause a dust explosion. I'm not saying it will. I've never see one with normal mod rock proceedures. But the risk is there.

#### shockie

##### High Plains Drifter
It could be used. It will probably discolor them. Powdered graphite is second only to air float charcoal for making/spreading mess. It's also more flamable. NOTE: almost every finely divided material, whether flamable in its normal state or not, can cause a dust explosion. I'm not saying it will. I've never see one with normal mod rock proceedures. But the risk is there.
Cool. I was just asking because I didn't know. Thanks.

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
It could be used. It will probably discolor them. Powdered graphite is second only to air float charcoal for making/spreading mess. It's also more flamable. NOTE: almost every finely divided material, whether flamable in its normal state or not, can cause a dust explosion. I'm not saying it will. I've never see one with normal mod rock proceedures. But the risk is there.
Well, I do believe lampblack would easily beat out both charcoal and graphite in the messy department. And as a fuel, it easily beats graphite, too.

Graphite actually makes a pretty crummy fuel, and is definitely not more flammable, or useful in fireworking comps, than even the crappiest charcoal, or we'd be making BP with it. Matter of fact, that graphite coating on commercial BP granules like Goex is an opacifier that regulates (that is, slows) burn speed of the powder grain by lowering infrared energy transfer from the surface to the grain center. And it's lubricant properties keep commercial BP grains more free-flowing. We also use it to lube motor tooling core spindles to make motors easier to release after pressing/ramming. And, (as testament to it's poor burning capacity), it is sometimes used as an ingredient (alongside bentonite/cat litter and grog) for pounding rocket motor nozzles--But it's pretty much never used in fireworking comps because it is pretty worthless, and the very few pyro comps that contain graphite also are horrible and pretty much never used (but somebody had to try, right?).

Personally, I'd stick with talc unless you want black fingerprints all over your rockets and everything else. But you'd definitely have an easier time seeing an all-black chute (and mostly black rocket) contrasting with the sky/background cloud coloration! Fire hazard when ejected as a powder puff from a chute? Probably only slightly less negligible than using talc--there's just such little likelihood that flaming particles from your ejection are ever going to meet and ignite that tiny puff of powdered graphite (or talc) from a chute popping--little temporal overlap there, and powder amounts needed are small.

But if you're determined to use graphite it costs $4/pound from my main chem supplier, and probably much more expensive as a lubricant powder at Home Depot or the auto parts places, though talc is still available at a fraction of that cost (circling$1/pound per perfesser's online search and from my local pottery guys), more expensive if bought as baby powder from Walmart/Amazon). How much ya really need? Any "risk" with graphite is of mess, not fire.

#### cbwho

##### Well-Known Member
Why are you guys suggesting to use talc? It's hard to find as it causes cancer for some. Best to avoid it.

The problem is the garbage bag chutes. Thin mill nylon is the way to go.

#### SharkWhisperer

##### Well-Known Member
Why are you guys suggesting to use talc? It's hard to find as it causes cancer for some. Best to avoid it.

The problem is the garbage bag chutes. Thin mill nylon is the way to go.
Well, unlike the litigation about the Johnson & Johnson product that was found to contain carcinogenic asbestos (commonly co-localized in talc deposits), there really is no prospective evidence of any definitive linkage between pure talc and and mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Or J&J wouldn't still be on the shelves of every Walmart and CVS. And it is simple to find around here. I'd guess elsewhere, too. Unless it all got hoarded along with the buttwipe. Love nylon, but if you're using plastic like a gadzillion LPR/MPR rockets still do, you can either wear a hazmat suit, stand upwind when powdering your chutes, try graphite, or worry about something probably a little more hazardous like crossing a busy street.

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
The Amazon link above is for talc powder. When you receive it and says corn starch instead of talc, then return it.