Has anyone used the new Estes Star Tech Igniters

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CalebJ

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There was a discussion about them here:

I don't think anybody's gotten their hands on the production version yet.
 

KILTED COWBOY

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There was a discussion about them here:

I don't think anybody's gotten their hands on the production version yet.
Thanks interesting. I did a forum search and came up empty. That's why the new thread.
Think I will order a pack and see how they do.
 

rklapp

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I heard they're slower so could be an issue with clustering.
 

CalebJ

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I heard they're slower so could be an issue with clustering.
I'm definitely interested to see more on that when testing is done. Slow is fine as long as it's consistent. But that might be too much toa sk.
 

neil_w

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I heard they're slower so could be an issue with clustering.
Too early to speculate, let's wait for some testing. I would hope that the new ones would be better for clustering, but we have to wait and see.
 

jrap330

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Interesting in their announcement Estes stated numerous times...it is a non pyrogen, non explosive.
 

rklapp

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BEC

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But about half a second slower...
Remember those videos are in 240 fps slow motion.

Interesting in their announcement Estes stated numerous times...it is a non pyrogen, non explosive.
Of course! Otherwise they'd be in the same regulatory pickle that gave us the current yellowish tipped "starters." I'm sure that was a fun tightrope to walk—coming up with something that worked noticeably better but doesn't draw the attention of those who want to restrict such things.

Just got a notice that Estes has upgraded it's igniters.
Has anyone had the opportunity to use them yet?
They go for $1.00 a piece so not cheap.

https://estesrockets.com/product/002303-startech-starters/
That's 50 cents more a package than the MSRP of the prior version. So a little over 8 cents more a piece. And, of course, we should start seeing them in recently produced motor packs/boxes as well.

I hope they bring a bunch to NSL....

I still have a few of those betas. Maybe I should grab an older Solar Igniter that isn't obviously damaged and do another comparison video.
 

hobie1dog

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Makes you never want to use the originals ever again.
 

rklapp

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Remember those videos are in 240 fps slow motion.


Of course! Otherwise they'd be in the same regulatory pickle that gave us the current yellowish tipped "starters." I'm sure that was a fun tightrope to walk—coming up with something that worked noticeably better but doesn't draw the attention of those who want to restrict such things.


That's 50 cents more a package than the MSRP of the prior version. So a little over 8 cents more a piece. And, of course, we should start seeing them in recently produced motor packs/boxes as well.

I hope they bring a bunch to NSL....

I still have a few of those betas. Maybe I should grab an older Solar Igniter that isn't obviously damaged and do another comparison video.
So maybe a quarter of a second...

 

tjgray693599

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The real question is when will they be available from AC Supply! I have a shopping cart that keeps getting larger as I wait for everything to be in stock.
 

dpower

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I flew a bunch of StarTech "starters" last weekend, some with an old 6v Solar Controller, most with my 12v relay controller.

With the 6v Solar Controller, there was a noticeable lag between pressing the button and motor start, though all worked fine, and certainly better than the previous glue-tipped starters. With the 12v system, single motor rockets, they started much faster.

For my Hydra VII, I soldered all starter leads together, in parallel, to ensure any failure would not be due to poor connections, including some additional "shooter" wire to get all 7 together. All were held in with Estes pink plugs. Motors were 4xB6-0 and 3xC6-5. It was launched with my 12v relay system. At launch, there was noticeable lag when pressing the button, unlike 7x Q2G2s or old-style MJG BP motor starters. By sight and sound, it was clear that not all motors started at the same time. Still, 6 of 7 motors worked. Post-flight-analysis showed all igniters worked, so my working theory is that the rigid set of starters pulled out before all 7 motors started. With Q2G2s and old-style MJG, the Hydra VII always started instantly and leapt off the pad.

While more testing is warranted, it seems unlikely I'll be able to use these in place of lower-current starters for large clusters. I'm looking at Quickburst Hot Shot dip, just need to find a source of 26 or 28 awg "shooter" wire. The 24 awg seems a bit too thick for C6 nozzles.
 

rharshberger

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I flew a bunch of StarTech "starters" last weekend, some with an old 6v Solar Controller, most with my 12v relay controller.

With the 6v Solar Controller, there was a noticeable lag between pressing the button and motor start, though all worked fine, and certainly better than the previous glue-tipped starters. With the 12v system, single motor rockets, they started much faster.

For my Hydra VII, I soldered all starter leads together, in parallel, to ensure any failure would not be due to poor connections, including some additional "shooter" wire to get all 7 together. All were held in with Estes pink plugs. Motors were 4xB6-0 and 3xC6-5. It was launched with my 12v relay system. At launch, there was noticeable lag when pressing the button, unlike 7x Q2G2s or old-style MJG BP motor starters. By sight and sound, it was clear that not all motors started at the same time. Still, 6 of 7 motors worked. Post-flight-analysis showed all igniters worked, so my working theory is that the rigid set of starters pulled out before all 7 motors started. With Q2G2s and old-style MJG, the Hydra VII always started instantly and leapt off the pad.

While more testing is warranted, it seems unlikely I'll be able to use these in place of lower-current starters for large clusters. I'm looking at Quickburst Hot Shot dip, just need to find a source of 26 or 28 awg "shooter" wire. The 24 awg seems a bit too thick for C6 nozzles.
Try making your own igniter wire using 30 gauge wire wrap wire and twisting the wires together, I then use 40 gauge nichrome wire wrapped not soldered. My dip of choice is BKNO3-V. When made from the gauge wires I use the igniters usually will fit the smallest Aerotech 18/20 nozzles and other small nozzles I have tried.
 

dpower

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Try making your own igniter wire using 30 gauge wire wrap wire and twisting the wires together, I then use 40 gauge nichrome wire wrapped not soldered. My dip of choice is BKNO3-V. When made from the gauge wires I use the igniters usually will fit the smallest Aerotech 18/20 nozzles and other small nozzles I have tried.
I was reallly hoping to find manufactured starters. I'd rather spend what limited time I have for rocketry building & flying, not twisting wires together, wrapping nichrome bridge, and dipping, especially with arthritic hand joints. We've had almost a continuous supply of modest-cost cluster ignition with Solar Igniters, then Q2G2, then MJG, so perhaps I'm spoiled. That said, I will try making some of my own, a learning opportunity even if I don't do it long-term. I've ordered some 28 awg with thin wall insulation, and will use the tried-and-true wires-in-a-drill method for making twisted pair.

I did a little more unscientific bench testing of StarTech, visually comparing them to Solar with a 12v controller, wired together as a cluster of 2. Solar have of course a faster burning coating, but more interestingly, 2 of the StarTech burned the bridge wire before the coating ignited. Solars regularly burn through the bridge wire at 12v, but the faster burning coating mitigates this issue. Inspection of these particular StarTech showed that the coating didn't sufficiently envelop the bridge wire. At 6v, they may have been fine, since the bridge wire doesn't typically burn through. Next time I fly StarTech in a cluster (Just 2, 3, or 4), I'll inspect them for this, and use clip-whips instead of twisting the wires together.

I did one test of a Sonic simultaneous with a StarTech at 12v. The Sonic has a FAR far more energetic coating, and really sparkles. They're more costly, $6/4 vs $6/6 retail, even more so considering the StarTech will be included with motors. I'll fly my next couple 7 motor clusters with Sonic to see how they work. It seems likely that these won't be around for long - now that Estes no longer makes any kits requiring the E30, I'd guess that they're just selling existing stock of the Sonic Igniters.
 

BEC

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I still have a few of those betas. Maybe I should grab an older Solar Igniter that isn't obviously damaged and do another comparison video.
I was taking some comparison videos today while trying a QuickBurst product. Here is a straight StarTech vs. old but undamaged Solar igniter comparison. As before, fired by my PSII controller which is running on a small 3s LiPoly battery. 240 FPS video taken by my iPhone 7+. Sorry about the slightly soft focus. But it shows what you want to know pretty clearly. Solar on the left, StarTech on the right. I think the StarTechs are going to be fine, except, maybe, for clusters…bit then clustering with the old Solar igniters wasn’t always the greatest either….
 
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rklapp

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I was taking some comparison videos today while trying a QuickBurst product. Here is a straight StarTech vs. old but undamaged Solar igniter comparison. As before, fired by my PSII controller which is running on a small 3s LiPoly battery. 240 FPS video taken by my iPhone 7+. Sorry about the slightly soft focus. But it shows what you want to know pretty clearly. Solar on the left, StarTech on the right. I think the StarTechs are going to be fine, except, maybe, for clusters…bit then clustering with the old Solar igniters wasn’t always the greatest either….
View attachment 474771
Cool. For some reason, I had to download the video to watch it.
 

dmo

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I'll fly my next couple 7 motor clusters with Sonic to see how they work. It seems likely that these won't be around for long - now that Estes no longer makes any kits requiring the E30, I'd guess that they're just selling existing stock of the Sonic Igniters.
The F26 and F50 are back and require a Sonic, so the Sonic should be around for a while.
 

dpower

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The F26 and F50 are back and require a Sonic, so the Sonic should be around for a while.
Probably just selling off stock, none of their current kits have those as a recommended motor, and they’re no longer in the catalog.
 

dmo

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Probably just selling off stock, none of their current kits have those as a recommended motor, and they’re no longer in the catalog.
Right they have not been in the catalog since 2018, but they are on the Estes sight now, and on the AC Supply sight as "New". So, it looks like they may be bringing them back. Perhaps for a yet to be announced kit?
 

neil_w

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Right they have not been in the catalog since 2018, but they are on the Estes sight now, and on the AC Supply sight as "New". So, it looks like they may be bringing them back. Perhaps for a yet to be announced kit?
I'd be *really* surprised if they brought them back. Estes makes its money selling motors that it manufactures, not rebadged Aerotechs like those.

If they do come back it would signal something interesting going on there, although I'm not quite sure what it would be.
 

cerving

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Estes has some patents for composite motors... maybe they've dug them up and decided to give it a go. They relate to creating a granular composite propellant and pressing them into a case... sounds like a job for Mabel.
 

neil_w

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Estes has some patents for composite motors... maybe they've dug them up and decided to give it a go. They relate to creating a granular composite propellant and pressing them into a case... sounds like a job for Mabel.
That would be great... but the F26 and F50 being sold now are specifically rebadged Aerotech motors. If Estes comes out with it's own composites (which would be a mighty interesting development) then I would expect the motors to be at least slightly different (that is, not exactly F26 and F50).
 
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