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Igniting Large BP Clusters

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Buckaroo

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So I've used clip whips to launch 2 & 3 motor BP clusters without any issues. I've got a rocket on the drawing board that will use 10 BP motors in the first stage (9x 13mm around a 24mm core).

I'm looking for any thoughts on igniting this package. What have folks used succesfully (or not). Thanks
 

jimzcatz

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forget those useless clip whips. Flashbulbs and small pieces of thermalite. I have lit 13 BP motors that way. If you dont have thermalite,wrap 3/4" masking tape around the end of the motor,pour some BP in the nozzle till it just overflows,put a flashbulb(never use magicubes,ALWAYS use flashcubes to get the bulbs) on the BP and squeeze the tape around it. I have lit 7 D-12s this way.
 

rstaff3

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For BP, Quickmatch works great. You can ignite huge clusters with a single Estes igniter. This is a fast burning BP fuse. Unfortunately, it's not easy to get hold of.
 
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Buzzard

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The new Quest Q2G2 igniters. They are like small electric matches and are fairly sensitive (test one on your system before you put the model on the pad). Quest now sells them in a 24 piece bulk pak.
You may have to add a short piece of colored wire to the leads (two colors per igniter) to allow for easier connections.

Chas
 

Pantherjon

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Here is how I wired the ignitors on my TriosDuex..3 duece motor mounts stacked- 13mm to 24mm..


Simple wire extensions of the igniter wires and then bundled down at the bottom to use a single standard clip..Do away with the clip whips..
 

Micromeister

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2 to 12 motor clusters I do with clips wired directly to the Relay launcher. wired as in the sheet below.

Others use spider cluster igniters that seem to work very well also.

However you connect your motor igniters to the launcher try to keep them as short as possible between the Battery and igniter. and give them a bit of slack to allow for a little first motion before they are ripped for the slower lighting motor(s).

It's also a very good idea to check and recheck the motor igniters before and after they have been installed in the motors, and one last time on the pad.
 

knarfster

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One of my friends uses a flash pan with great success. He goes to the local magic store and buys flash paper. He fill each estes motor with BP and then glues (Elmers white) a round piece of flash paper (Be careful with that stuff, cut out the circles ahead of time, DO NOT glue a piece to the motor and then try to trim it!!!!). He then fills a flash pan (small pie tin type pan) with BP and puts one little estes igniter in the pan.

Hit the button and Foosh!, all the motors ignite.
 

Buckaroo

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...pour some BP in the nozzle...
Flash pan! :D
...He fill each estes motor with BP... He then fills a flash pan (small pie tin type pan) with BP...
I know there are different "grades" or types of BP out there, does is matter which type I use for these setups? :confused2:


Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm hoping to have this rocket ready to fly at Southern Thunder, I'll post a rocksim pic later.
 

WillMarchant

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Be careful with that stuff, cut out the circles ahead of time, DO NOT glue a piece to the motor and then try to trim it!!!!
Scary. You'd want to be extremely careful if you were transporting motors prepared like this. And you may run into RSOs that consider this a "modification" to the motor. The various flash-pan and spider techniques sound much better.
 

bobkrech

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One of my friends uses a flash pan with great success. He goes to the local magic store and buys flash paper. He fill each estes motor with BP and then glues (Elmers white) a round piece of flash paper (Be careful with that stuff, cut out the circles ahead of time, DO NOT glue a piece to the motor and then try to trim it!!!!). He then fills a flash pan (small pie tin type pan) with BP and puts one little estes igniter in the pan.

Hit the button and Foosh!, all the motors ignite.
Filling a motor with BP and flashpaper is an accident waiting to happen. This type of rocket needs to have the igniters inserted before going to the pad and the method you describe would not be safe to bring through safety check, and wouldn't be allowed at most club launches.

Boris Katan routinely launch clusters of up to 32 motors at CMASS launches. He makes his own igniters and is meticulous in checking the continuity before and after insertion into the motor. He uses hardwired series wired strings of 3 igniters each that are then twisted and paralleled together with a ~98% success rate in lighting any given motor.

With the new Quest igniter cluster ignition should be very easy since each igniter only draws 0.12 amps at 9 volts and 0.16 amps at 12 volts. Use a wire wrapping tool to put extensions to the igniter, twist the end together and put your clips to each of the twisted wire ends.

A much safer and robust method than flash paper.

Bob
 

TheAviator

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Just a quick note: Flash pans and spiders tend to muck up the bottom of your rocket.
 

Pantherjon

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I know there are different "grades" or types of BP out there, does is matter which type I use for these setups? :confused2:


Thanks for all the suggestions, I'm hoping to have this rocket ready to fly at Southern Thunder, I'll post a rocksim pic later.
Preferably 4F powder, but, you could use 3F..I use 3F powder in my e-charges on all my dual deploy HPR's with a good success rate..4F has a tad bit smaller grain size and burns faster then 3F..And you should be able to pick up a can at a Bass Pro Shop or Cabelo's for about $20, if you have those in your area..
 

Handeman

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Also check the Gander Mountain stores. I picked up a one pound can of FFFFg last fall for $13.
 

mjennings

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Get a copy of the new edition of Sport Rocketry Boris Katan did a very nice article on lighting massive clusters. I think the biggest one had almost 30 motors most BP and a few AP.

It goes in to the entire methodology that bobkrech mentioned in post 11
 

Buckaroo

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OK so I didn't get this one built for ST09. But it's coming together now. The attached pic is the business end of the booster. A central 24mm with 9x13mm outboards. The central motor ignites another 24mm in the sustainer and the whole back section comes down with three small streamers out of the center tube in each 3 tube outboard cluster.

My question is this: If I wire up the three 13mm motors in each outboard booster section in series, and then use a 4 lead whip clip with a lead to each of the outboard "clusters" and one to the central 24mm am I risking lighting the central motor before the outboards? I am planning on using the new Quest Q2G2 igniters and a 12V launch system.

My Mechanical Engineer Brain says is should work, but then again I'm not a EE for a reason :rolleyes:

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.

Elevate 11 Rocket 049.jpg
 

jimzcatz

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OK so I didn't get this one built for ST09. But it's coming together now. The attached pic is the business end of the booster. A central 24mm with 9x13mm outboards. The central motor ignites another 24mm in the sustainer and the whole back section comes down with three small streamers out of the center tube in each 3 tube outboard cluster.

My question is this: If I wire up the three 13mm motors in each outboard booster section in series, and then use a 4 lead whip clip with a lead to each of the outboard "clusters" and one to the central 24mm am I risking lighting the central motor before the outboards? I am planning on using the new Quest Q2G2 igniters and a 12V launch system.

My Mechanical Engineer Brain says is should work, but then again I'm not a EE for a reason :rolleyes:

Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.


This is just my way,but I would can all clip whips. and I dont know the reasoning behind series or parallel.I use one flashbulb per motor. Put a tape ring around the motor,pour a little bit of FFFFG black powder into the nozzle,put the bulb into the BP,and pinch the tape over the flashbulb. Works every time. You can light dozens of flashbulbs with 12v. Of course there will be several other options given,this is just how I do it. Good luck
 

terryg

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I used the Quest Q2G2 igniters for my "That seven D's rocket" with perfect results. Just twist the ends together and you are set to go without any whips. The straws they come in work very well to hold the igniters in place. With 10 of these hooked up in parallel, you will still only be drawing 2 or 3 amps.
 

Buckaroo

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I used the Quest Q2G2 igniters for my "That seven D's rocket" with perfect results. Just twist the ends together and you are set to go without any whips. The straws they come in work very well to hold the igniters in place. With 10 of these hooked up in parallel, you will still only be drawing 2 or 3 amps.
I like that solution, but I'm pretty sure I'll need to extend the igniter leads in order to get them all bunched together. Any suggestion on the type of wire to use?
 

Chrisn

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are you going to solder them or just twist them together?
 

Luv2launch

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When I do my clusters I use cat5 cable(twisted pair network cable) that I cut up and strip off the ends and twist onto the igniters then twist up all those leads and hook them up to the clips from the ignition system.So far I have had very few unlit motors using this method and the ones that didn't light were due to clay on the inside of the nozzle.
 

KerryQuinn

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These Q2G2's are great for clusters...
Launched my Hydra 7 on 7xC6-5's yesterday - worked great - 7 of 7 lit instantly.
One request would be to get Quest to make them with different colored wires - that would make them easier to connect correctly....
(BTW... these were all 7 wired in parallel and launched off a single 2A gel battery)

quest_cluster.jpg
 
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Crazyrocket

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I've also used the Q2G2's for my Hydra 7 as well. My only complaint is that the leads could be longer. The other option is to use Magnalite's low current igniters. They would great as well.
 

DANLK66

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Quest igniters all the way. Thanks to Paul Kinzer I was able to use them at NSL to launch my 7 engine mono-copter. Everything lit and it was a piece of cake to tie them all together. I highly recomend them to anyone interested in BP clusters.

Dan
 

Bill P

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One request would be to get Quest to make them with different colored wires - that would make them easier to connect correctly....
That's why they make Sharpies... well, one of a million reasons.

There's always a Sharpie in my range box.
 
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