How Reliable are Estes Igniters?

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What was your sucess rate with Estes


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ECayemberg

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How many motors in the clusters ?

What about large clusters ( 10 - 15 motors ) ?

Dave F.
I can't speak for Paul...though I do need to fly some clusters with him again SOON... but I used to use Q2G2 longs for 12 motor BP clusters. Since they're no longer available, I've gone to using plain ematches. Most recently used at LDRS to light a dozen 24mm motors on the ground. They work!

I may have to try those BP motor starters too!
 

SPRock

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We've gone to dipping ours in pyrogen, they work very well then. But out of the box new ones with the white/grey stuff don't have a great record for us. Had two fail in a cluster of two A's, as well as one out of two D's, that flight didn't end too well. Put two dipped ones in the motors, no problem. We've used DIY wire-wrap dipped igniters for fireworks fuses and composite motors with great success as well.
 

OC-Patrick

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Helped my son with a school science experiment with rockets. Launched 20 times with the Estes starters - 100% success rate. A first for me!
 

Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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Working on what, exactly? The answer will differ depending on what you're trying to light. Used as intended - Estes BP motors, my personal experience with the new "starters" is ~75%. With the older ones (black tips), it's probably more like 90%.
When installed correctly and fired by a good battery you should get better than 95% success. The new gray ones are less forgiving than the older black type. You MUST have the head of the igniter touching the propellant with the new ones.
I re-dip the new white tipped ones. I just have not found them to be as reliable.
Ok Thanks! Yes I see that if used right they're pretty reliable I guess. Also I see why dipping is good, to give it that extra flame
 

Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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You should stick with your homemade igniters proven never to fail! Why would you switch to something you have serious doubts about? OTOH, new rocketeers will likely have better results using Estes igniters(starters) than something they cobble together.
Yes You guys are right, I should stick to the igniter I'm most comfortable with and had the most success with. Those homemade e-matches are awesome and I based mine off of TKOR video actually
 

Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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Ok Thanks everyone for your replies! So In conclusion it seems like everyone had different experiences with them, though most of them were quite positive. It seems to conclude to how to properly setup the igniter
 

dpower

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Which size do you use for which motors?
Ive been using the regular size for all 18mm/24mm Motors. They’re a bit tight for B6/C6 nozzles, so I’ll get some small ones next time for those.

How many motors in the clusters ?

What about large clusters ( 10 - 15 motors ) ?

Dave F.
About 8 flights on my 5 motor 1:100 SV, 5 flights On my 7 motor HydraVII, and a few smaller clusters.
 

cwbullet

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It has to make you laugh. I launched last weekend and I forgot to pull the dipped igniters out of my box so all I had were the white ones. I had a perfect 3 of 3 ignitions. No failures. I have never had that luck with the white ones.
 

byoungblood

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My personal experience has been somewhere between 75 and 99 percent. I can think of maybe one or two times where the igniter lit, but the motor did not, probably because I did not get the tip completely against the propellant. I recall that motors with smaller nozzles seem to be a little more finicky, likely because there is less room for both the plug and igniter. 24mm motors don't seem to pose a problem.
 

DeltaVee

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Personal experience with the newer starters (igniters, dammitol!) is pretty good actually. In three years I've had maybe 3 not successfully light an Estes black powder motor. That includes a 3-engine scrambler and two twin-engine Estes K21 Gemini Titan. I wouldn't really put the reliability at 99% 90-95% perhaps.

I think it may come down to installation technique...
1) I put the engine, nozzle up on a table....

2) insert the stahteh (Boston accent), and place my index finger on the two ends as if I was going to push just hard enough as if to run the wires into my fingertip... (the ends of both wires are held in place by my fingertip ensuring the force runs down the wires into the head of the igniter which is now against the BP grain - see photo)
3) with my other hand, insert the plug...

Just don't use so much force that the wires bend...


I think this is how you get maximum reliability w/o the need to dip them.
 

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Nytrunner

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Agreed... btw I just checked out your clubs' web page. You have an amazing field at your disposal there!
Both of the fields are great, we've managed to build a good relationship with the landowner this year*!..Theyre even better when it isn't raining..... and when the cloud ceiling isn't 2500'

*said he can't even tell we've been there other than different treadmarks on the roads
 

Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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It has to make you laugh. I launched last weekend and I forgot to pull the dipped igniters out of my box so all I had were the white ones. I had a perfect 3 of 3 ignitions. No failures. I have never had that luck with the white ones.
No way! And yes it made me laugh
 
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