Thanks to -- I forget! Igniters hacked!

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Bat-mite, Oct 18, 2019.

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  1. Oct 18, 2019 #1

    Bat-mite

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    To whomever put the article in Sport Rocketry about Estes igniters, Fabri-Tac glue, and BP: THANKS!

    I just coated up a new batch last night. That's about half of them.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Oct 18, 2019 #2

    mbeels

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    Nice, have you tested any of them yet?
     
  3. Oct 18, 2019 #3

    kuririn

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  4. Oct 18, 2019 #4

    Bat-mite

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    Yeah, this is my second batch. A LOT more reliable ignition with the hack.
     
  5. Oct 18, 2019 #5

    Bat-mite

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  6. Oct 18, 2019 #6

    markg

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    I leave the cornstarch on as well. I took a bit of high speed video of the igniter with/without cornstarch and didn't see any difference.

    I've had 100% success rate since I've started using BP on igniters, probably 25 launches or so.

    cheers - mark
     
  7. Oct 19, 2019 #7

    base890

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    What’s special about fabritac glue? Are there substitutes?
     
  8. Oct 19, 2019 #8

    rharshberger

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    You can also use Duco Cement a Nitrocellulose glue.
     
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  9. Oct 19, 2019 #9

    hcmbanjo

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    That was my article in Sport Rocketry.
    I use the Fabri-Tac glue because it has acetone in it. Acetone is very flammable.
    Other glues with nitrocellulose will also work.
    You can find Beacon Fabri-Tac glue at Hobby Lobby and fabric stores. Look for the red "lighthouse" top.

    The Fabri-Tac is a great glue to adhere plastic to tube joints, like a plastic adapter to a Kraft body tube.
    Also good for plastic nose cone bases.
    It is like old plastic glue cement, long "webs" are there when you pull the glue bottle away from the parts.
    Don't use it for delicate plastic to plastic joints, like a Saturn V escape tower. Use bottled plastic glues for those.

    I noticed faster ignitions when the corn starch - glue tips were removed from the Estes starters.
    Soak them in water for a minute and the clear tips flake off with a fingernail. Go easy - the tip bridge wire is thin.
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. Nov 5, 2019 #10

    scadaman29325

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    It must be oblivious to everyone except me, but what is the process? Mix 4F with Fabri-tac and coat the loop? How much of each?...

    Thanks.
     
  11. Nov 5, 2019 #11

    markg

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    I put some fabri-tac onto a scrap of plastic, and some 4F on some other plastic. I take each igniter and bend the end upwards so when I put it down on the desk the end will be up off the desk.

    Next, dip each igniter end, basically all over the clear end, and then dip that into the powder until it's covered. Let dry.

    cheers - mark
     
  12. Nov 5, 2019 #12

    Nytrunner

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    I just tried it the other day. After soaking off the coating, I squeezed a bead of glue to the tip of the bottle's nozzle and just carefully dipped each igniter into the nozzle, then into the loose BP in the cap of my bottle.

    Haven't used them yet, but they look good
     
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  13. Nov 5, 2019 #13

    cwbullet

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    Flexible nitrocellulose can make them less brittle.
     
  14. Nov 5, 2019 #14

    Bat-mite

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    That's my process, although I do not soak off the corn starch.
     
  15. Nov 5, 2019 #15

    caveduck

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    I'm for taking off the cornstarch, I can confirm Chris's observation that they light up faster without it, which makes sense because the cornstarch is just a bit of vaguely flammable (at best) coating that contributes nothing to the ignition process. Instead it actually adds a bit of thermal insulation between the hot wire and the stuff that needs to get ignited. It's only there to physically protect the bridgewire. I'd be interested in test results looking at whether leaving the cornstarch increases the misfire rate.
     
  16. Nov 5, 2019 #16

    Tom

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    Quick question about the black powder.

    Do you need some sort of permit or can I just go down to the local hunting supply shop and buy some?
     
  17. Nov 5, 2019 #17

    Bat-mite

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    You can buy it anywhere they sell supplies for muzzle-loading weapons. Many gun stores do not carry it. Call ahead.

    When you buy it, you sign a book for the government. Legally you are supposed to submit a LEUP to the ATF, and buy a specialized lockbox to store it in.

    The government (local, state, federal) needs probable cause to look into your personal business. Get the LEUP, or make sure you don't give them probable cause.

    I am not a lawyer and no one should ever listen to me.
     
  18. Nov 5, 2019 #18

    Tom

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    What is a LEUP? I tried to look it up but nothing relevant came up.
     
  19. Nov 5, 2019 #19

    rharshberger

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    low explosives users permit
     
  20. Nov 5, 2019 #20

    rharshberger

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    Or just ask someone at a launch or a vendor, they mave have some and be willing to share. If you own a Muzzleloader or Blackpowder firearm you do not legally need any permits to purchase (some municipalities do have storage restrictions so check, usually its no more than 50lbs....).
     
  21. Nov 5, 2019 #21

    Tom

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    Well I would like to prepare the igniters BEFORE the event :D

    I saw that a local Bass pro shop sells something called "Pyrodex" would that also work?
     
  22. Nov 6, 2019 #22

    Bat-mite

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    Pyrodex is a smokeless BP substitute that some people use as an ejection charge with varying results. I don't know if anyone has tried it with Estes igniters.

    One thing for sure: Pyrodex is less sensitive to ignition than BP. And since the whole point of the igniter hack is to increase sensitivity to igntion, it may not be the best choice.

    But if you are willing to buy a pound of Pyrodex and a box of Estes starters and do some testing, the results would be valuable to us all.
     
  23. Nov 6, 2019 #23

    SecondRow

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    Dr. Zooch posted a video to the NAR FB page a few months ago testing Estes igniters dipped in other materials. He didn't use pyrodex, but he found that dipping the igniters in non-acrylic nail polish and allowing to dry overnight was a very good substitute. No need for BP.



    Edited: I thought my link would also include the text of his post. Here it is:
     
  24. Nov 6, 2019 #24

    rharshberger

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    Non-acrylic nail polish is most likely just a lacquer nail polish, Duco cement will do tut he same thing as its a nitrocellulose lacquer product.
     
  25. Nov 6, 2019 #25

    Alan15578

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    Forgive me for being old school, and having no practical experience with Estes Starters. I'm not sure we need to remanufacture or dip Estes starters. What I would try is getting a puffer tube from a powdered graphite dispenser and re-purposing it to dispense small quantities of BP. Just puff a tiny bit into the nozzle before you install the starter and plug. I'd unroll a small Black Cat or similar firecracker and put the BP in the puffer tube. If you can't find a convenient source of small quantities of BP, I'd try carefully grinding a sparkler. Also, many rocketeers scratch the "propellant" grain to remove any clay covering the propellant grain to expose it for ignition. Some even use a small drill bit. Perhaps one could free up just enough powder to improve starter reliability. I have not tried this and as such I cannot recommend it, but is does sound better than buying a dip kit or a pound of BP.

    My favorite igniter is the classic Estes Astron igniter. I could cut the igniters apart to make the leads on the center igniter a little longer. This enables me to easily twist the leads together for cluster launches without fear of breaking a bridge wire. I don't know what the insulating coating is, but sure isn't corn starch.
     
  26. Nov 6, 2019 #26

    kuririn

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  27. Nov 6, 2019 #27

    rharshberger

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    IIRC isn't the powder in firecrackers actually flash powder a particulary static sensitive compound? Whats the difference between dipping an igniter in a BP mix and putting BP in the nozzle, the end result is the same. Advantage to dipped is I can do a hundred at home and not add an extra step on the field. Either method will work.
     
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  28. Nov 7, 2019 at 1:18 PM #28

    shonc182

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    Your mileage may vary.

    I find it very easy to get 4F powder....and it is way better than the Pyrodex - which imo works 'ok' for deployment charges, but don't believe it will be of any help to you for the original question. I have ordered from a muzzleloader shop in Eugene, OR. I don't believe he keeps any files on me and I have never proved my identity (to my knowledge). I don't remember which carrier brings it to the house, but I store under 2lbs in a latching plastic tote in my garage. As far as I know, this is all legal.

    I don't believe the same is true in California to the South or New California to the North. Call any black powder / muzzleloader dealer and they should be able to tell you about your state.
     
  29. Nov 7, 2019 at 2:23 PM #29

    Back_at_it

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    Since I started dipping igniters in Testors Silver paint I have not had a failure. We did a boy scout launch two weeks ago and had 40 successful launches. I've also flown a couple of E motors on my own using these igniters.

    Process is simple. Just dip the igniter tip and let it dry. No need to remove anything or mess around with BP.
     
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  30. Nov 7, 2019 at 4:02 PM #30

    prfesser

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    Correct, firecrackers contain flash powder. By law the amount is 50 mg (weight of 1/10 of an extra-strength Tylenol tablet) or less so it's not like it will blow off a finger. If I were using it as "enhancement" I'd try dipping the head of the starter into NC lacquer or Duco cement, diluted to the consistency of pancake syrup or a little thinner, then into the powder.

    Purchasing a pound of BP for use in muzzleloaders does not require any kind of permit AFAIK. Go to a launch where there are a couple of vendors; some of them have cans of BP for sale.

    In a state that has legal fireworks, aerial shells use 2F BP to lift the shell. That's too coarse, but a little denatured ethanol or acetone, and stirring will make a paste that starters can be dipped into.
     

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