Igniter number, length and series/parallel calculator

Discussion in 'Fusing Guides, Video And Tutorials' started by easypyro, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. easypyro

    easypyro Pro Firer/Crew

    So as every year, I'm bombarded with customers asking how long they can extend their igniters by, and how many igniters they can fire at the end of X metres of wire.

    Well - fear no more - here's a neat calculator we wrote to work it out for you!


    It's fully responsive so it will work well on your phone when you're in the field.

    It's still in beta test so if you have any suggestion or notice a fault let me know.

    Andrew @ EasyPyro
    Mike.W, Delly67, FraidSo and 9 others like this.
  2. Daveandkate

    Daveandkate Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I like that bloody good idea
  3. Briliant, now if it was an app to download ;)
  4. Pyro Pete

    Pyro Pete Forum Editor

    Fantastic idea, definitely a frequently asked question :)
  5. it already is an app on the iPhone
    or at least I have a version of it
    Drrusty likes this.
  6. Thanks for providing this.
    If I interpret it correctly, it's calculating parallel igniters as using a shared single-pair of wires ?
    Not sure if this is intentional.

    (For example, with length=2m and thickness=24awg, the wire resistance seems to be constant 0.3ohms, regardless of the number of igniters).

    Thanks, Matthew
  7. Just reread the opening post. Guess it must be for parallel igniters over a shared wire pair.
    Sorry the confusion.
  8. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    There's an option to select series or parallel - under 'circuit type' on the left of the page.
    Butler_Fireworks likes this.
  9. Yes, I saw that. My query was about how the parallel option is calculated, though I think I worked it out.
    Thanks, M.
  10. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    My guess would be all igniters in parallel connected at the same point, the end of the bell wire.
  11. easypyro

    easypyro Pro Firer/Crew

    That's correct.
  12. easypyro

    easypyro Pro Firer/Crew

    That iPhone app is very old. While it's no less valid, it's not maintained. It was written as a favour to us. We'll be updating the http://www.easypyro.com/calc.html one

  13. Ad


    Fantastic, thanks for creating this. I've got a few questions, mainly relating to yours and other Sponser versions of this type of 12 cue type firing system, that a lot of us will likely have.

    1. Is it a 12V firing system, (with 9x1.5V AA batteries you have 13.5V) and can be connected to an external 12V battery?

    2. The minimum ignitor current requirement is preset at 1A, is this best left as is (applying to all ignitor types)?

    3. When using say a 12V, 12 Cue entry level system, have you tested or seen what the drain is on batteries once you get to cue 12? For example a nice slow display to start with the first cues, then ramping up with multiple cakes in the mid-section and ensuring there's enough juice left for say 5+ ignitors from cue 12 for your finale ignitors to all go off?

    4. I see the resistance of E-match is a lot lower than Talons (2 Ohm vs 7 Ohm). In this case would you recommend using e-match with visco adapters (or CM) for multiple cakes with visco fuses?

    5. In relation to the above ignitor resistance comparison, would Consumer Match have the same 2 Ohm resistance as E-Match, as the ignitor heads look identical but just have a different plastic shroud?

    I've seen advice on here before and videos showing x4 ignitors working fine in parallel from one cue, now with this calculator it shows I can use a 12V system (assuming fresh batteries), parallel wired 6m extended E-match ignitors (with 26AWG shooting wire) and fire 5 (maybe 6) off the same cue. But switching the same calculation to Talons you'll only be able to fire 2-3 reliably in comparison.

    Really useful for me as I have loads of Talons and was looking to use around 4 per cue in the finale area for ease of connection. But this calculator shows that might not work, ruining the finale, so I'll switch to E-match to visco converters or just grab some Consumer Match ignitors (depending on the answer to questions (4&5).

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    Mike.W likes this.
  14. easypyro

    easypyro Pro Firer/Crew


    1) If you mean the MS12 then it takes 8 x AA cells giving 12V output.

    2) Yes, best leave it at 1 Amp. You could use less but 1 Amp generally means very reliably ignition. Le Maitre igniters are specified to 1.25 amps all fire current but in my experience that's very generous.

    3) The igniters fire in a fraction of a second so there will be no difference in the battery level by the time you get to cue 12.

    4) E-match are more suited to firing multiple matches from one cue. Talons are easy to use and quick to attach, and intrinsically safe (not sensitive to static etc). However they can't be wired in series. For multiple effects from 1 cue on a small system I'd go with e-match, and if possible wire them in series. Don't forget that using our calculator for parallel circuits, there is no upper bound on the current available from the system. However in real life, there will be. For example you won't get 10 Amps out of 8 AA batteries as the internal resistance is too high. So, use e-match, wire in series if you can. Remember the calculator is for multiple igniters at the end of 1 run of shooting wire, not for using several wire extensions in parallel.

    5) I con't know what you mean by Consumer Match, sorry. There are generally 2 types of igniter - Talon (which is just a bridge wire) and electric match (e-match) which is a very small bridge wire encased in pyrotechnic material.

    Andrew @ EasyPyro
  15. I'm suprised you don't know what consumer match is? It's basically e-match with a different plastic cover designed to take visco. I think the actual igniter is the same (but stand to be corrected). Would compliment your line of products.
  16. Daveandkate

    Daveandkate Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    What's more reliable
    3x1 mtr e matches in series
    5 mtr shooting wire branched into 3 1mtr ematches

    Used both with good results but have a big show in Nov so want to know what's more reliable

  17. K9Girl

    K9Girl Tinsel Town Sales Reduction Ambassador Supports UKFR

    Did you get Sufia to draw that? :p
    Daveandkate likes this.
  18. Daveandkate

    Daveandkate Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I drew it with my wenus
    K9Girl likes this.
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