# How should I store my igniters?

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#### Cmac

##### Well-Known Member
I don't like dealing with all of the packaging in the field.
So I unpack all my motors, store them and plugs in a tackle box then put the igniters in a ziplock.
I'm concerned that by doing so, I'm contributing to misfires. Especially ones that don't get used and hang around until our next trip to the field.
I feel like the igniters are more secure and less apt of getting damaged in the factory package.

#### timbucktoo

##### Well-Known Member
Staff member
Global Mod
All my igniters sit in my garage in range box. Temps vary from 50-90 degrees. Never had one fail. I’m talking about CTI, AT, Quickburst and homemade.

#### Cmac

##### Well-Known Member
All my igniters sit in my garage in range box. Temps vary from 50-90 degrees. Never had one fail. I’m talking about CTI, AT, Quickburst and homemade.
Oops, I should have pointed out that I'm talking about Estes.
If I were to give Estes igniters a 3 on a 1-10 scale for reliability, what would you give homemade?
I've looked into the process and will be heading that direction soon.

#### Cnorm

##### Well-Known Member
I have feral people keep mine for me.

#### rharshberger

##### Well-Known Member
Oops, I should have pointed out that I'm talking about Estes.
If I were to give Estes igniters a 3 on a 1-10 scale for reliability, what would you give homemade?
I've looked into the process and will be heading that direction soon.
Theres nothing on a current manufacture Estes igniter to cause them to fail as long as the igniter wires are not broken. As for homemade I use them all the time and store them inside 1/4" launch lug tubes (made with shooters wire and nichrome), my modified Estes igniters are dipped in a pyrogen then tossed right back into the same pile they came out of once dry.

#### Zeus-cat

##### Well-Known Member
The new Estes starters aren't quite as good as the older igniters, but they work well if installed properly. The grey tip isn't as energetic as the older black tip, so it needs to be touching the propellant. My club used several thousand last year and had good luck with them.

#### Cmac

##### Well-Known Member
Okay then. Thanks all for reassuring me.

##### Well-Known Member
The new Estes starters aren't quite as good as the older igniters, but they work well if installed properly. The grey tip isn't as energetic as the older black tip, so it needs to be touching the propellant. My club used several thousand last year and had good luck with them.
To increase your chances of 95+% ignitions (very helpful if you are launching with a herd of Cub Scouts), consider wetting the tips with highly flammable glue (e.g.: Beacon Fabri-Tac) and then dipping them into 4F BP.

After everything dries, put them into the ZipLoc bag, and use as intended.
I've observed no ill effects from indefinite ZipLoc bag storage.

a

P.S.: ZipLoc bag with igniters goes into range/ammo box, paired with the right sized motors, for transportation safety and orderly inventory tracking.

#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I put plastic bags with igniters into a small ammo can with plastic bags of wadding for cushioning.

#### Mugs914

##### "We got both kinds, country AND western!!"
I just cut the Estes igniters apart and throw them in a compartment in my field box. I don't fly a ton of low power, so they sit in there all jumbled up for some time before being used and I still get really good reliability.

I agree with Zeus that installation is a bit more important with the new type. I like to use a small ball of tissue wadding instead of the little plugs. Press it in the nozzle real good and you can be pretty sure you have good contact with the propellant.

#### MALBAR 70

##### Build Mode Activated
I just separate the starters and stuff them into one of these:

Been using the same one since 1980 or so.
I also have a couple I use for storing loose motors too.

#### prfesser

To increase your chances of 95+% ignitions (very helpful if you are launching with a herd of Cub Scouts), consider wetting the tips with highly flammable glue (e.g.: Beacon Fabri-Tac) and then dipping them into 4F BP.
For those who simply cannot get 4F BP, or don't want to buy a whole can for this purpose...

DO NOT make a deep score in a C or D motor, lengthwise, with a hobby knife. DO NOT carefully unroll the paper casing, making additional cuts as needed, until the propellant/nozzle/delay is exposed. DO NOT remove the nozzle and delay (no delay in a C6-0 or D12-0). DO NOT crush the propellant to fine grains and store it in an airtight container, such as a small pill bottle.

FWIW the C and D BP motors have the most propellant for the $. Best -- Terry ...who never, never did anything as foolish as what's described here... #### Nytrunner ##### Pop lugs, not drugs Right on with the folks above. The estes starters' (not black tip) only weakness is the bridgewire, so as long as your storage method doesn't allow those to get crimped or snagged, you're going to be fine. After that, it's how you install them in the motor that makes the difference. Plenty of current is your friend, and don't just punch the button. Must hold it down for a couple seconds. (I used to just punch the button with the black-tips, but not anymore) #### RFMan ##### Well-Known Member TRF Supporter I just separate the starters and stuff them into one of these: View attachment 411020 Been using the same one since 1980 or so. I also have a couple I use for storing loose motors too. Ha, mine have been in an old margarine container since the mid-seventies. #### timbucktoo ##### Well-Known Member Staff member Global Mod Oops, I should have pointed out that I'm talking about Estes. Should have realized when you posted in LP forum. My bad. #### rharshberger ##### Well-Known Member Ha, mine have been in an old margarine container since the mid-seventies. In that case Parkay..... #### Cmac ##### Well-Known Member Na man, I almost posted this in the HP forum. After that, it's how you install them in the motor that makes the difference. Plenty of current is your friend, and don't just punch the button. Must hold it down for a couple seconds. (I used to just punch the button with the black-tips, but not anymore) We have been giving this more attention and our failures have dropped quite a bit. We realized we were overcompensating by cramming them in too hard. I won't, promise!! I like to use a small ball of tissue wadding instead of the little plugs. I'll try that. I hate those plugs. I put plastic bags with igniters into a small ammo can with plastic bags of wadding for cushioning. That's kind of you, thanks. : ) Water can move under a bridge pretty fast sometimes. To increase your chances of 95+% ignitions (very helpful if you are launching with a herd of Cub Scouts), consider wetting the tips with highly flammable glue (e.g.: Beacon Fabri-Tac) and then dipping them into 4F BP. After everything dries, put them into the ZipLoc bag, and use as intended. I've observed no ill effects from indefinite ZipLoc bag storage. P.S.: ZipLoc bag with igniters goes into range/ammo box, paired with the right sized motors, for transportation safety and orderly inventory tracking. That's VERY helpful, Thank you! Not a herd of Scouts but my two sons sure do get frustrated. I'm going to put my head on the chopping block here and ask "igniters..., paired with the right sized motors" is this what I'm doing wrong?? #### Culprit ##### Well-Known Member TRF Supporter For those who simply cannot get 4F BP, or don't want to buy a whole can for this purpose... DO NOT make a deep score in a C or D motor, lengthwise, with a hobby knife. DO NOT carefully unroll the paper casing, making additional cuts as needed, until the propellant/nozzle/delay is exposed. DO NOT remove the nozzle and delay (no delay in a C6-0 or D12-0). DO NOT crush the propellant to fine grains and store it in an airtight container, such as a small pill bottle. FWIW the C and D BP motors have the most propellant for the$.

Best -- Terry
...who never, never did anything as foolish as what's described here...

And if you do decide to not heed prfesser's warnings, and you try this anyway, make sure to do the crushing with non-sparking implements such as wood, aluminum, or brass. I would also avoid using plastic or other things that can build up a static charge. I would also avoid shuffling your stocking feet on the carpet first.

#### Culprit

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Theres nothing on a current manufacture Estes igniter to cause them to fail as long as the igniter wires are not broken.
... and your batteries are brand new.

#### KenECoyote

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
store them separate *and* away from any uncovered 9V batteries!

#### Cmac

##### Well-Known Member
And if you do decide to not heed prfesser's warnings, and you try this anyway, make sure to do the crushing with non-sparking implements such as wood, aluminum, or brass. I would also avoid using plastic or other things that can build up a static charge. I would also avoid shuffling your stocking feet on the carpet first.
I have a marble mortar and pestle that would be perfect for this. I'll would probably just buy some 4F BP anyway if I actually do end up going this route.
It's not long before I start making my own from scratch anyway.

So I'll ask what I feel may be a stupid question again; are igniters for A, B and C the same? What about D and E?

#### caveduck

##### semi old rocketeer
The Estes starters are all the same, only the plastic plugs are different per nozzle size.

An Altoids box makes a great ignitor stash. Metal, stays shut and a good size.

#### Cmac

##### Well-Known Member
The Estes starters are all the same, only the plastic plugs are different per nozzle size.
An Altoids box makes a great ignitor stash. Metal, stays shut and a good size.
Thanks. That's what I assumed from the beginning (not long ago) until a post above seemed to suggest otherwise.
I'm taking your Altoids tin suggestion.