Pyro battery circuit plans needed

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Cameron Anderson

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Anyone have a circuit diagram or experience with a seperate pyro battery set up for missileworks components? I have a PET2 timer and I want to airstart my second stage with an Aerotech J500. I bought some Wildman Big Uns to test which should be ignitable using the timer only, but I'd like to wire up some batteries (and maybe some capacitors) to light a fastfire igniter which takes 12v and 3 amps on a separate circuit.
 

davdue

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Most people would tell you that you need more than a timer. I understand that the PET2+ has additional triggers like MECO that make it smart. I wasn’t able to use that for my one attempt at a 2 stage rocket. However I did use the RRC3 for sustainer ignition but something happened and the RRC3 never fired. With all that said there is a diagram in the current PET2+ users manual for a pyro battery.
 

Cameron Anderson

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The diagram is great at showing the theory and saying "yes it's doable," but what I'm more looking for is an actual circuit schematic from someone who has successfully got 12v and 3a to an airstart. Or is that a bridge too far and do I need to start working an e-match dipped in pyrogen/pyrodex for motor ignition.
 

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Steve Shannon

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An e-match inserted into a Pyrodex pellet that fits snugly up into the motor core works without additional circuitry. Otherwise look at how Jim Jarvis has described his multi stage projects.
 

timbucktoo

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Not sure where you fly but some clubs won’t allow a timer for air start. I’ve had great success using the aux output of an RRC3 for staging.
 

SteveThatcher

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of note, the MissileWorks RRC3 can handle the 12 volt (even up to 30 volts) on the outputs when using a second battery. Their current is at your max of 3 amps though and they really want you to use something that will limit the current to three amps like a 9 volt battery does (you could series two of them for 18 volts). Personally, I would prefer to be running the output at least 20% below its maximum. I would definitely look to some other lower current method for firing the air start.
 

Cameron Anderson

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Not sure where you fly but some clubs won’t allow a timer for air start. I’ve had great success using the aux output of an RRC3 for staging.
I've heard that, and with pure timer functionality I understand why. Luckily PET2+ has adjustable angle inhibits so it won't activate if the airframe leaves the envelope.
 

Cameron Anderson

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of note, the MissileWorks RRC3 can handle the 12 volt (even up to 30 volts) on the outputs when using a second battery. Their current is at your max of 3 amps though and they really want you to use something that will limit the current to three amps like a 9 volt battery does (you could series two of them for 18 volts). Personally, I would prefer to be running the output at least 20% below its maximum. I would definitely look to some other lower current method for firing the air start.
Yeah, definitely looking like motor ignition will be a heavily dipped e-match and some aerotech blue propellent slivers.
 

davdue

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An e-match inserted into a Pyrodex pellet that fits snugly up into the motor core works without additional circuitry. Otherwise look at how Jim Jarvis has described his multi stage projects.
I was going to tell him that. I actually got that from Jim Jarvis. He also had me use a small piece of dowel rod to hold the igniter up in the sustainer motor.
 

Cameron Anderson

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I was going to tell him that. I actually got that from Jim Jarvis. He also had me use a small piece of dowel rod to hold the igniter up in the sustainer motor.
I'm working with a 38/600 and 38/720 so my core and nozzle diameters aren't amazing but a thin wooden dowel might work. I was thinking laying a piece of paper between the top two grains and weaving the ignitor wire through it to help keep it up.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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I picked up a really small 3 cell LiPo and a MOSFET switch from Amazon that I will use in my Viper IV to airstart two 24mm motors (possibly tomorrow). The battery at full charge is over 12 volts and while I forget the capacity and "C" rating, it will easily and readily source 25 amps, I think surge to 50...without voltage drop. The board can only hand 30 or so at that voltage IIRC.
Ground testing has proved it works. The MOSFET board has 3 connections: power in, power out and signal in/trigger (or whatever it is called) The AUX terminal on my RRC3 connects to the trigger, the LIPO to the power in and the starters will hook to power out. The RRC3 uses a 9 volt and experiences only that current. The high current runs through the MOSFET board. If something goes wrong then the 8 dollar board fries and not the RRC3. A would imagine a similar setup would work for the PET timer.
 

JimJarvis50

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I've heard that, and with pure timer functionality I understand why. Luckily PET2+ has adjustable angle inhibits so it won't activate if the airframe leaves the envelope.
Are you sure about the capability to inhibit based on angle? I quickly scanned the manual. The description of the off-axis function isn't very clear (imo), but it looks to me like this feature is more about the initial launch than the airstart. I'd love to be wrong about this, but assuming I'm not, then I would recommend you use an altimeter capable of an altitude check (rather than a tilt check). Quite a few altimeters can do that.

My favorate way to light motors is with dipped ematches. For larger motors, I use two ematches, connected to one wire, to improve the chances of lighting the dip. I use the magnelite from PML. Seems to work pretty well and isn't brittle. By folding the ematch, you can increase the amount of dip on the ematch, and with two folds, you can light N motors.

I like to use a stick to support the ignitor for motors with larger cores. For K motors and smaller, unless it is a very high acceleration boost, I don't use a stick.

Jim
 
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Cameron Anderson

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Initial boost won't exceed 500mph and my sustaier is a 38mm J so based on what you said I should be fine with a bend in the wire to keep the ignitor in place.
I bought some Wildman Big uns and have some Wildman e-matches I can dip in H-3 pyrogen I am going to play with as well. I plan on testing my ignitors in a single stage configuration in the motors I intend to airstart to ensure it'll light and to get the ignition timing sequence down.
I absolutely agree the angle component of the timer is vague at best - I would love to hear from someone who has used one. The best I've been able to find is some discussion threads that imply the tilt angle is a gate.
What altimiters would you recommend? Clearly you have experience with this and I'd love any recommendations you have.
 

cerving

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A bend in the wire won't keep your sustainer's igniter in place, you need to tape it to a skewer or skinny basswood stick and hold it in place with the motor nozzle cap so it can't slide down. I've done 54mm to 38mm's, and they light fine if you keep the igniter from coming out.

As far as the electronics go, I strongly recommend lighting the sustainer with something that has some kind of off-axis check, either altitude@time, velocity@time, or an IMU-base tilt detector. A simple timer won't keep the sustainer from lighting while pointed in an undesirable orientation if you lose a fin or have a booster cato.
 

JimJarvis50

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Initial boost won't exceed 500mph and my sustaier is a 38mm J so based on what you said I should be fine with a bend in the wire to keep the ignitor in place.
I bought some Wildman Big uns and have some Wildman e-matches I can dip in H-3 pyrogen I am going to play with as well. I plan on testing my ignitors in a single stage configuration in the motors I intend to airstart to ensure it'll light and to get the ignition timing sequence down.
I absolutely agree the angle component of the timer is vague at best - I would love to hear from someone who has used one. The best I've been able to find is some discussion threads that imply the tilt angle is a gate.
What altimiters would you recommend? Clearly you have experience with this and I'd love any recommendations you have.
Yes, you need to keep the ignitor in place, stick or no stick. I use the motor cap typically.

My belief is that an altitude check is for safety and a tilt check is to stay within the launch radius. I use either an altitude check or an altitude check with tilt, but not tilt alone. I have used the EasyMega and the Raven, but the RRC3 and the Eggtimer product will do it too. There are others.

Jim
 

MikeyDSlagle

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Wow, I'd love to see that set up.
This is built into a lower bay that I had a user 3d print the panel and frame for me. I originally had a terminal block and clamp in there but when I couldn't get my homemade starters to reliably light I had to come up with something else. The battery box and lid are wood because I don't have a 3d printer and didn't want to get off in designing one and wait for someone else to print it. The lid doubles as the sled for the board.

lower bay 1.jpg
lower bay 2.jpg


Using this battery and this board

The battery will charge to over 12 volts. I successfully ground tested it with 2 Wildman Tiny lighters hooked in parallel to my RRC3 and using MDacs through a laptop to fire the AUX circuit.
The speaker wire running into the green terminal which I had to add to the board runs to a DC jack that plugs into a socket on the lower bulkhead of the A/V bay. That socket is wired to the AUX terminals on the RRC3. It is designed to pull apart when the drogue charge fires. The empty terminal is the OUT and that is where the lighters/starters will be wired.

This is all in a LOC Viper IV, which is a 2.6" airframe. Build thread here.
I have yet to fly it but everything has ground tested. I see no reason why it will not fly. Maybe I can fly it in October.
 
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Cameron Anderson

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Looks good Mike. I spent all night trying to get Wildman Big Uns to fire off with a 9v (as they were advertised) but so far, I can't get them. I am going to try some Wildman e-matches dipped in pyrogen tomorrow...my launch is this weekend so I am pressed for time and testing. I'm slightly upset at Wildman, I specifically emailed prior to my order to verify ignition voltage/amperage.
 

SteveThatcher

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Looks good Mike. I spent all night trying to get Wildman Big Uns to fire off with a 9v (as they were advertised) but so far, I can't get them. I am going to try some Wildman e-matches dipped in pyrogen tomorrow...my launch is this weekend so I am pressed for time and testing. I'm slightly upset at Wildman, I specifically emailed prior to my order to verify ignition voltage/amperage.
out of curiousity, what did Wildman say were the specs?
 

rharshberger

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Looks good Mike. I spent all night trying to get Wildman Big Uns to fire off with a 9v (as they were advertised) but so far, I can't get them. I am going to try some Wildman e-matches dipped in pyrogen tomorrow...my launch is this weekend so I am pressed for time and testing. I'm slightly upset at Wildman, I specifically emailed prior to my order to verify ignition voltage/amperage.
What brand of battery are you using, it does make a difference. Most fliers I know use the classic Duracell Copper top (black and copper) 9v as they have welded and tabbed individual cells. The Energizer LiPo 9v have a current limiter (PTC iirc) in them to limit the output to 9v at not more than 5A.
 

Cameron Anderson

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What brand of battery are you using, it does make a difference. Most fliers I know use the classic Duracell Copper top (black and copper) 9v as they have welded and tabbed individual cells. The Energizer LiPo 9v have a current limiter (PTC iirc) in them to limit the output to 9v at not more than 5A.
Fresh Walgreen's 9v, checked out at 9.48v on my multimeter before use. Ran the 3' lead wires straight to the contacts...no solder, no switches, just me holding wires to a battery.
I tried the test function of my PET2 and I got an e-match to fire easy but couldn't get the Big Un to light.
 

SteveThatcher

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Tim said "not high current...a pryodex pellet and an e-match."

The 3 I got ohm'd out between 1.1 and 1.3.
I think the comment about "not high current" only means it doesn't need as much current as regular rocket motors igniters. The low resistance of 1.1 to 1.3 ohms means that the bridge wire is thicker that a normal ematch which is usually around two ohms. The thicker wire requires more current that an ematch to get hot enough to ignite the pyrogen. You would be much better off with the one that Rich mentioned - the Energizer LiPo 9 volt battery than a walgrens unknown alkaline. The PET2 is capable of handling the 5 amps that the LiPo can supply, so this would be a good match. One other note, not all LiPo 9 volt batteries have the same capabilities. The UltraLife Lithium battery, for example, only has a max current out of 1.5 amps (probably okay for the Big Uns, but it would have to be tested first).
 

Cameron Anderson

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I think the comment about "not high current" only means it doesn't need as much current as regular rocket motors igniters. The low resistance of 1.1 to 1.3 ohms means that the bridge wire is thicker that a normal ematch which is usually around two ohms. The thicker wire requires more current that an ematch to get hot enough to ignite the pyrogen. You would be much better off with the one that Rich mentioned - the Energizer LiPo 9 volt battery than a walgrens unknown alkaline. The PET2 is capable of handling the 5 amps that the LiPo can supply, so this would be a good match. One other note, not all LiPo 9 volt batteries have the same capabilities. The UltraLife Lithium battery, for example, only has a max current out of 1.5 amps (probably okay for the Big Uns, but it would have to be tested first).
For comparison, I checked the rest of my matches/ignitors...my Wildman ejection e-matches and their resistance was 1.2 ohms. My MJS e-matches came in at 1.1. My aerotech fastfire 36" motor ignitor was 2.4 ohms. My perfectflite minialt, RRC2, and PET2 all have no issues firing either the Wildman or MJS e-matches, but I can't get the Big Uns to go.

I switched to Walgreen's 9v batts after my prefect recommended them and I have been happy with them. They always have plenty of voltage right out of the package (but maybe not the most amperage).

I'll give the Energizer lipo a try but I have a feeling I'll be wiring up a switch/circuit tomorrow (in the 4A 18v range) just to make sure my sustainer doesn't fail to light and turn into nothing more than a payload.
 

SteveThatcher

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Every brand of igniter an ematch can have a different resistance. It is still an issue of the size of the bridge wire in the Big Uns. The Big Uns uses a larger wire that requires more current. The same resistance in an ematch can simply be a smaller wire that is shorter. They could have close to the same resistance but would behave totally different when you supply energy from a battery. I wasn't trying to imply that the Walgrens battery was bad. The fact is that a normal alkaline 9 volt battery has a rather high internal resistance that limits the available current to around 1/2 amp if I remember correctly. The Energizer LiPo is supposed to be able to supply a higher current.
 

Cameron Anderson

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Its the amp delivery that I think is the issue. I was going to set up a circuit in a switch with two 9v's in series and two more in parallel...27v at 1.5amps might do the trick. If it doesn't I'll have to get some small lipo hobby batteties to get the amperage.
 
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