Consumer igniter failures - a closer look

Discussion in 'Firing Systems And Fusing Fireworks' started by Pyro Pete, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Pyro Pete

    Pyro Pete Forum Editor

    There's been a trickle of reports each season of people experiencing failures with consumer igniters and it has been hard to know the causes of these. By consumer igniter I mean clip-on talons and also the consumer e-matches, both designed to work directly on the visco.

    In the last few months as I have been playing about with electrical firing I have also experienced some duds. I think the non-firing talons can be explained by a non-compatible firing system (more on that in another video) but the consumer e-match failures are harder to explain.

    So I thought it would be a good idea to test fire, and film, a load of each type of igniter and see where we are. It seemed a good idea on paper and I was expecting a short video but as you will see once things start to go Pete Tong and I disappear down a rabbit hole of igniters and fuse, it turns into a bit of an epic.

    Apologies then for the length of this video but I want to make a point of including footage of each igniter as proof of my findings and hope this will stimulate some discussion and ideas on how to improve the success rate - keeping things simple of course as these are consumer items (so bypassing the visco completely is not an option ;) ).

    Also it was good good opportunity to give the DB04r a decent test with lots of switching on and off ;)

  2. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    Great video Pete. More of this kind of thing! :cheers:
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  3. RocketRev

    RocketRev Moderator Supports UKFR

    Excellent @Pyro Pete :) (And I stuck with the video to the end! No problem doing so.)

    Haven't we come a long way since I did the test review of the original BrightSpark consumer firing system! And that used what in effect was Talons. So it seems that, used properly with the right system, for consumer fireworks with variable quality visco fuses, Talons have stood the test of time and are the way to go.

    E-matches seem to be fine with 3mm visco, but that's not normally used on consumer fireworks. Getting some 3mm visco and adding a strip of that alongside the firework's own fuse might be more successful. But that's beyond the scope of most fireworks users - and shouldn't really have to be done to ensure success anyway. But for the sake of rigorous testing, maybe that'd be worth doing. Might be worth ordering some thin visco to do it with, or else bite the bullet & buy in plenty of fuse donor selection box fireworks!
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  4. When I used them last year I cut the fuse down at an angle and also cut the middle bit of the "loop" out then put both bits of fuse in the igniter so there was two strands and taped.
    Only used 5 tho on a homemade nail board and all worked fine. Even with the doorbell wire extenders
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  5. Jon

    Jon Pro Firer/Crew

    Great job!
    Rookwood likes this.
  6. Pyro Ed

    Pyro Ed Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    Very thorough!
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  7. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    I don't do it often but when I need to light Visco with a firing system I wrap tapematch round the visco and embed an ematch in the middle of it so the black powder catches easily. Always works.
    RCT, Beal, Rookwood and 3 others like this.
  8. nickjee

    nickjee Supports UKFR

    Great video, thanks @Pyro Pete!

    I'm in exactly this position. This will be my 1st year remote firing, and indeed with an entry level firing system! Although I bought a small number of talons to try out, my proposed way was/is with consumer matches.
    I had a practice a while back on small selection box fountains, but I linked 3 fireworks together using 3mm visco, cut at an angle, pushed down into the shroud and taped over, which worked perfectly.

    As @RocketRev suggested, perhaps adding a length of 3mm visco to the fireworks fuse might be a good plan? Not ideal, and I guess a bit of a pain, but for peace of mind....??

    I can feel a weekend of testing ahead..
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  9. Well made video.
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  10. PyroJon

    PyroJon Supports UKFR

    Great video Pete, and well done to the DBO4. The baby consumer version of my firing system from the same company. I can't fault my semi-pro 96 cue system from them either it has never failed me yet. Regarding ematches, I tend to use the pro version even for visco...I pull the shroud back slightly to expose the ignitor, put the visco alongside the ignitor head and then slide the shroud back over both the ignitor jambing the visco against the side of it tightly. Can't remember ever having a failure using this method. Might be worth a bit more research into this method... :)
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  11. Ive got the DB04r and so far its never let me down ( it takes a bit of thought pairing units up), ive had a few (literally only 3) failures but on checking all have been down to broken wire at the match end, possibly my fault rather than manufacturers. I go with the cutting the fuse at an angle and taping it in, new batteries each time aswell.

    Great video Pete.
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  12. nickjee

    nickjee Supports UKFR

    I guess that method could work with consumer matches too by just bypassing the plastic loop holes at the top?
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  13. PyroJon

    PyroJon Supports UKFR

    Possibly Nickjee although I think the consumer shroud pops off instead of sliding back down the wires. When I bother with visco I tend to slide the shroud back, push the visco into the loose shroud and then when you slide the shroud back over the ignitor the visco gets really tight against the side of it.
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  14. Maybe that's how it should be done ?? I didn't know that the tops come off the consumer ones till watching the video, maybe you're supposed to take the top off, thread that onto the visco using the loop then re attach to the igniter which would trap it against the fuse ??
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  15. PyroJon

    PyroJon Supports UKFR

    Quite possibly Pidgey
  16. nickjee

    nickjee Supports UKFR

    The match head does slide up on the consumer ones too. Infact the loop top snaps off really easily to make effectively a pro version! 20201014_211906.jpg
    PyroJon likes this.
  17. PyroJon

    PyroJon Supports UKFR

    That's perfect, as you have it in the photo, jamb the visco down the side of it and then pull the wire until the ignitor tip pulls back into the shroud and gets tight.
    nickjee likes this.
  18. Damp Squib

    Damp Squib Supports UKFR

    Plus one for using tapematch. You only need a small amount to wrap around the tiny fuses, and it's not expensive; a 15m roll would do a shedload of fuses. I've not used a lot of consumer matches - very strange how difficult it was to get them to light thin visco, yet burn through the 'wrap' on the bigger stuff without it being scored or otherwise interfered with. Though the discussion so far may well have solved that ! This video has certainly struck a chord.

    Is it Mr Pyro Pete Senior we ought to be saying happy birthday to ?;)
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  19. RocketRev

    RocketRev Moderator Supports UKFR

    I've used tapematch for lances but prefer quickmatch for everything else - eg putting visco and ematch in a sleeve of quickmatch. But having QM or Tapematch to hand and being competent to use them, as well as taking the time and effort to do so to get visco reliably lit electronically, might be fine for many of us on this forum. But having to find such work arounds to get visco fuses reliably lit electronically is beyond the scope of most of the firework buying public who might be interested in buying an inexpensive straightforward firing system for occasional home use.
    Pyro Pete, nickjee and PyroJon like this.
  20. Owen93

    Owen93 Supports UKFR

    Well this evening I went out in the garden to test out my new MS32Q system as both types of my e matches came today. It’s also my first time electronically firing any pyro.

    I tested out a Celtic Wap candle with a consumer e match. I cut the fuse at an angle, looped it through and down into the shroud a few mm then taped the whole lot. God there’s something good about pressing a button and watching it go off.