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Lengthening Estes Ignitors

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judo

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What are some of the ways that I add length to Estes ignitor wires. They idea is to get the micoclips out from under the nozzles when flying clusters. My options do not include purchasing nicrome wire, unless it is available locally. I also do not want to make my own at this time. So, with those two limitations, what are my options?
 

shreadvector

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cjl

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Any wire should work - it doesn't have to be nichrome. Just add on a bit of scrap wire, and it should work fine.
 

Buzzard

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I extend leads for clustering and flying the clones of the Centuri The Point. I use two different colors (or colours for our friends) of wire. Some folks solder the connections. I have, but usually don't take the time. One thing I did learn with Estes igniters - use a forceps or needle nose pliers as a heat sink. I got distracted and the pyrogen got hot enough to ignite.
The method I use now works if you have a Habby Lobby near by. They occasionally have a 50% off sale on base metal jewelry. They carry a metal bead that is 6mm long and wide enough to shove an igniter lead and some wire from opposite ends. Then I just crimp the bead. I check them with a meter and then add a little electrical tape to insulate and support them.

For clusters, always check each igniter for continuity prior to (and sometimes after) installation. I used three of the Quest Q2G2 igniters last Saturday in a SEMROC SLS Brighton with D12-5s. They would be easy to extend with additional wire. Plus, you can hear them "pop" prior to the motor firing.

YMMV.
 

Luv2launch

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I use lengths of cat 5 network cable cut out of its sheath to extend estes igniters it works like a charm just trim the sheath off one end about as long as the igniter lead and twist them together really tight.Since I have been doing it like that I haven't had to use a clip whip on any clusters and have yet to not light one.
 

DAllen

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Next time you go to a launch go to the high-powered and mid-powered pads and pickup all the used ignitors. Usually they are pretty long and are very easy to strip and cut. Not only do you get decent wire for free but are also helping to clean up the launch site as well.

-DAllen
 

luke strawwalker

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Any wire should work - it doesn't have to be nichrome. Just add on a bit of scrap wire, and it should work fine.

In fact it's better if it's NOT nichrome... lower resistance in the lead wires means more current actually across the bridge wire in the pyrogen-- more dependable firing!

I'd go with telephone wire-- you can strip 4 wires out of the jacketing and so a little goes a long way, and you can generally find 25-50 foot rolls of phone wire at the dollar store for a couple bucks.

Hope this helps! OL JR :)
 

shreadvector

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Micromeister

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If your using a relay and twisting pairs of standard Ignitors extensions really aren't necessary. They only add resistance to the system anyway, slowing down the delivery of the power and heating you want to be as instantaneous as possible.
I've found using a relay system placing the clips and wires between motors you don't burn up as many microclips as you might think.
It's also possible this way to have enough slack in the clip lines to allow first motion of the model before everything disconnects allowing that stray slow lighting motor to catch up.
If you really must add wire keep them light and as short as is managable.
 
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judo

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The method I use now works if you have a Habby Lobby near by. They occasionally have a 50% off sale on base metal jewelry. They carry a metal bead that is 6mm long and wide enough to shove an igniter lead and some wire from opposite ends. Then I just crimp the bead. I check them with a meter and then add a little electrical tape to insulate and support them.
Sounds like a "Butt Splice."

I'd go with telephone wire-- you can strip 4 wires out of the jacketing and so a little goes a long way, and you can generally find 25-50 foot rolls of phone wire at the dollar store for a couple bucks.
I've got plenty of that just sitting around the garage.

Next time you go to a launch go to the high-powered and mid-powered pads and pickup all the used ignitors. Usually they are pretty long and are very easy to strip and cut. Not only do you get decent wire for free but are also helping to clean up the launch site as well.
That's a great idea! I wonder how many of those folks recyle their own wires to make new ignitors for themselves.
 

powderburner

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Quote from Buzzard:
The method I use now works if you have a Habby Lobby near by. They occasionally have a 50% off sale on base metal jewelry. They carry a metal bead that is 6mm long and wide enough to shove an igniter lead and some wire from opposite ends. Then I just crimp the bead. I check them with a meter and then add a little electrical tape to insulate and support them.

Quote from judo (quoting Buzzard):
Sounds like a "Butt Splice."

My two cents:
Whatever part of the anatomy you use, that's a great tip, Buzzard! Thanks for sharing, now I have to start watching for 50% off ANOTHER category at that store!
 

ronhill

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I likely posted this photo a couple of years ago, but I use the crimp connectors available in fishing shops to fasten the ignitor to the leads. Any kind of wire works.

IMG_1426-small.jpg
 

judo

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I actually went to wire-wrap school in the navy. 30 AWG seems really tiny. I tried to strip some phone wire yesterday and just mangled it. I had much better luck today with some 24 AWG solid core. The soldering didn't go too badly. I only burned my fingers once. I soldered one wire on short and one on long and then twisted the wires together. It came out pretty well until I went back and covered the exposed wire. I boogered up two or three of them. Next time it will be: solder, tape, twist. If I had the Quest ignitors, the glass beads would have saved me. But if I had the Quest ignitors, I might not need to lengthen them.
 

billspad

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I actually went to wire-wrap school in the navy. 30 AWG seems really tiny.
I also use wire wrap. It seems too small but it works. I've used it recently on a 4 engine cluster and I'm pretty sure I used it on a Hydra with all 7 engines a couple of years ago because I never use clip whips.

I don't know if Bob Kaplow has found it to this forum but he has a technique for making an oversized wire wrap tool that can use phone, bell or CAT5 wire.
 

powderburner

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My two cents:
Whatever part of the anatomy you use, that's a great tip, Buzzard! Thanks for sharing, now I have to start watching for 50% off ANOTHER category at that store!
These jewelry bead pieces are half-off for the whole week at HobLob

(If someone wants some, and doesn't have a HobLob close to their house, and needs me to shop for them, PM me)
 

powderburner

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I'm guessing that you could make do with a pliers




or did I miss some other meaning to your qstn?
 

Buzzard

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I just use a needle-nosed pliers to crimp the metal beads I mentioned earlier. You can get an Estes igniter lead and the stripped end of a piece of telephone wire in them side-by-side. The bead is only 6mm (<1/4"), so one or two crimps is sufficient.
A post long-ago mentioned using fishing line crimping beads, but I never found any small enough. These beads from Hobby Lobby work well enough. Again, use two different colors of wire to speed the twisting of the leads. Heck, these things are like 60 for $1.79 and they are on sale at half-off about once a month it seems.
 

Micromeister

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using wrap wire it's pretty easy to strip off a bit with a fingernail and simply twist onto the estes leads.

Works on Micros also with 30ga nichrome igniters.
 

judo

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No, Powderburner, you did not miss anything. I think that most "Klein" type electrical pliers have pins and divots for different gauge crimp connectors. If regular needle nose pliers work, fine, it's one less thing I'd need to buy. I'll check with my daughter to see if she has any of those beads. She used to make spare cash by making jewelery for her friends. Now, she's weaving bracelets with embroidery floss.
 
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