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Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2004
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ok i found out that i had an old B engine lying around and no ignitor, i dont wanna go all the way down to the hobby shop and spend 6 bucks on a pack of ignitors that im only gonna use one of. i was wondering if i could use a firecracker wick or something else to ignite it
WE NEVER USE ANY TYPE FUSING to ignite model rockety motors. If you are really that pressed if you strip a piece of lamp cord and take one of the very thin strands of copper wire about 1-1/2" long as an ignitor. bell wire or tie wrap wire will also work. bent the piece in half taking care not to allow any part to touch itself. install it with a small wad of flame proof wadding and launch as usual. ELECTRICALLY!
I went launching today. I had reached 2 in the countdown to launch my Hesperis Flipper when the pad fell over, with the rocket faceing me. If I had been using a pyro fuse, instead of an electric one; I'd be sitting in A&E at Southmead Hospital now, and not typing this!

Leave the pyro fuses to fireworks .... even professional firworkdisplays use electric ignition.

Another idea - if you are going to buy more motors anyway, the 3-packs at Wal-Mart come with 4 igniters per pack, so there's always an extra one in case of misfires. Buy a pack and you'll have enough igniters for 4 launches.
You can also buy Estes ignitors seperately at your local hobby shop. They come in six packs.

I would also have to say exnay on trying to light a motor with a fuse and I think it's also against the NAR safety code.
Jojo, thanks for asking FIRST! :) It's better to get your hand slapped (lightly) here than to have one burned off.

I've been tempted to talk to the guys running the local hobby shops to remove the fuzes they sell... anyone else tackle this at the retail level?
Its worth the few bucks to buy a few ignitors...

The hospital bill would be one heck of a lot more than six bucks, thats for sure!:eek:

Im pretty sure theres something in the safety code, or at least something on the little card that ocmes wtih the motors that says to only light by electrical means.

back in the old days (ok, 2 or 3 years ago.... ;)) when my parents thought a C was as big as they come, and we were discussing "rocket camp" (which I am now helping to teach:D ;) ) with the director (also the woodshop teacher.... Real great guy.), and they were discussing safety... my dad had gone with his friend to launch a rocket once a loooonng time ago, and I think they were still using fuses back then... He asked the teacher about that, and he said "oh no, we dont have these kids standing under explosives with matches anymore!" LOL!!!! If the reply was different, I would be in the ICU unit right now.... :D
i had my hand burnt by BP motors once, it was a cluster of 3 Cs. It was using electrical igniton, the launch system was fouled however. It lit as soon as the second clip touched. I didn't even have time to react before 1/2 of the skin on my left hand was scorched with 3rd degree burns. NOT FUN!!!! Being a southpaw made it even worse. To ease the pain, i had to duct tape on a water filled rubber cleaning glove. After i was able to remove it, the burnt, and literally crispy skin took another month to finally peel off. Thank God this wasn't an AP motor.:eek:

The moral is, do everything as safely as possible at all times. Sometimes accidents happen, but lets keep others from happening.

So do yourself a favor and buy some ignitors for yourself. I'd hate to hear about anyone else getting burnt or otherwise injured like i did. Besides, you can use the extras for those pesky misfires, or for a nice little cluster!:)
...They just have to be electrically initiated.

Thermalite fusing was great for that since it shipped with nichrome wire prewrapped around it. You could literally bend a piece over, attach clips to either end, hit it with 12 volts and away you went. For cored motors (i.e. AP) you could wire wrap wire around it and insert it into the core.

I still have a roll of it that I use for making ignitors.

If you want to use cannon fuse, you can, although not with any kind of great success. It's not hot enough and burns too quickly to reliably light AP. For BP it should be fine.

To ignite it, crack a flashbulb out of a photocube. Doesn't have to be a Sylvania AG1-B, either. Any old disposable flash bulb will work. Tape the fuse to the flash bulb. Insert other end of fuse into motor. Fire flashbulb with electric ignition system.

WARNING: Most Estes controllers will set off a flash bulb during continuity check...

it was a home built system. I had tested it and it worked fine previously. I suppose there was a short somewhere along the line.:rolleyes: oh well, that was a while back, and i'm all better now:)
Jojo, if you still need an igniter I can give you one on 6/12 out at Great Meadow.
nah i got one today but thanks. i might see you there anyway