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Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2004
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have a two engine cluster dueces wild, and i want to know how i can make it so both engines ignite at the same time. any help is appreciated. thanks
Build or buy a clip whip. To buy a 2-engine clip whip, contact Thrustline (TRF's flying_silverad) at [email protected]. While you're at it, ask him to e-mail you a price list. He has a number of good products you'll be interested in.
I have to agree with illini, a clip whip is the best approach, especially if you are going to do very much cluster stuff in the future.

Your other options: twist the igniter leads together (probably not possible with a D.W. without soldering on some extensions, too much work) and use your regular clips. This is the old 'Estes' style and can work well if everything is good and clean, and if you keep all the wires separated properly.

Or use a fast pyro fuse into each nozzle, gather the fuses together and wrap the electrical igniter around that junction. Drawback: may have to get a LEUP (low explosives users permit) to be able to obtain any decent fuse.

Last on the list (IMHO) is flashpan ignition, where you spread a gob of blackpowder on a tray under the rocket and light the tray with your igniter. Then you cross your fingers and hope that the motors light (at the same time) and the airframe doesn't.
Nobodies mentioned this yet....you *need* a decent 12v launch system...the estes electron beam won't hack it!
what is a good 12v system? i'm just looking to do some E's and maybe a cluster. is there a good cheap one i can buy or should i make one?
one option,

Do you have any R/C batteries laying around?
no, i don't. any chance of getting instructions? what about the estes E electron beam? seems cheap and easy, will it do clusters?
Originally posted by Mike
Nobodies mentioned this yet....you *need* a decent 12v launch system...the estes electron beam won't hack it!

Definitely, if you are going to launch even just a few clusters, it is worth it to set up a 12V set-up. Using the little Estes ignition system, even with fresh batteries, is dicey on a two-motor cluster.

Does anybody have a link handy to the old TRF threads where we thrashed and trashed all the info on launchers?
1. im not using my own ignition system (they supply it for you)

2. how can i make my own clip whip?
Originally posted by JoJo
1. im not using my own ignition system (they supply it for you)
2. how can i make my own clip whip?

The clip whips offered by thrustaero look like fine products, if you have the time to be able to order some.

If you are in a rush and must have it "today" then it only takes a little work. A clip whip is simply a device that turns a single lead/clip into a multiple lead. For a double, you use two lengths of wire, strip and solder one end together (the end that will be attached to the provided ignition lead/clip), and strip the other ends and install additional clips there. You will need a whip for both the positive and negative launch pad leads.

If you need a triple whip for a three-motor cluster, then use three wires and three new clips. You get the idea.

For wire, you will want to use a gauge that makes your whip at least as heavy as the size of the wire in the basic launch system. For clips, you may have to make do with what you can find (there isn't a great deal of over-the-counter choice anymore) but you should try to find clips with a straight (or smooth) contact surface, as opposed to the serrated kind. This is because someday you will want to try mid-power motors like Aerotech, and the crapperhead igniters that are provided with the motors will short-circuit if your serrated clips bite completely through the igniter lead. If you ever get far enough to worry about it, come back here to TRF and get a bit more help.

Stainless steel clips would probably be best, and can be ordered somewhere off the internet, but I don't know where. And if you can take the time to order the parts you might as well go ahead and order the pre-made whips?