Well, you've got a point about the heating of the whole length. It's fairly plain to see that the Estes igniters are one piece of wire, so nichrome the whole length, and I assumed the Quests were the same, but now I'm doubting. It seems like the welding would be an expensive extra step, you're right about the resistance of 16" of nichrome wire.
It also seems like we've got a case of battling assumptions. I've got a bunch of the igniters in my field box; I'll try one when I get home from work. For now, lunch hour is over.
Battling assumptions... I like that, lol.
I've got some extra solar igniters at home, so I'll dissect one of those if you're going to take care of the quest side. I have some quest igniters, but I think I only have enough for the motors I have, no spares.
I'm inclined to think the estes solar igniters are not, in fact, one single conductor. I had a spent one that we re-used for probably 10-12 times for my daughter's 4-H demonstration talks over the last couple months. It broke apart at the "pyrogen" end and I had to twist and solder it together. If you can't solder nichrome, then it definitely is NOT nichrome the entire length of the bare lead, as I was able to solder the twisted end together (the simulated "igniter" portion) with no issues.
I'm guessing that there's a smaller piece of nichrome that's bridging the two pieces of larger, bare lead wire together, and that the entire bridge and its connection points with the lead wire are dipped in the pyrogen.
Like I said, I'll dissect one this evening or next and we'll see for sure.
Thanks for bringing this up; love these kinds of discussions, as usually everyone who participates or reads them will come away having learned at least SOMETHING.