Shell finale timing ideas

Discussion in 'Professional Fireworks' started by Dodgey, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    Thought I'd put this out there - interested in learning more timing methods for shell finales. I'm self taught so do it one of two ways but am curious as to other ways to do it. (when I say shell finale, aren't they all? - what I mean is a rolling finale - bursts on top of bursts , increasing in intensity)

    a) - I use several full racks on pyrotimers, with chains for left (20 degrees or so), up , and right. I'll add extra chains with shorter delays when I want the finale to build up. For example

    Left angle rack, 8 x 3" shells, 4 second pyrotimers between each.
    Mid straight up rack same, but offset by 1 second
    Right andle rack same , but offset again by 1 second

    So they all go up staggered

    Then I'll add another streight rack of 8 x 3" on 2 second pyrotimers, that starts later - so they all finish together.
    Then budget allowing, I'll add a rack of 6 x 4" on 2 second timers too.

    You get the idea.

    b) simple lifts - fans of 3 shells, fired one after the other - I tend to do this with musicals, to the music. Calibre increasing towards the end.

    What do you do?
  2. blackbat

    blackbat Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    Pretty similar to what you say above, tbh!
  3. Never used delays. I’d hate to have to justify there use in court.
  4. jayartibee

    jayartibee Pro Firer/Crew

    My delay strings are all supplied to me by the company, with ready-made buckets to join with the shell quickmatch. We do similar to you - with delay strings of 4" - and then finale (no delay) strings trying to match left/right - but we always finish with Tit Willows - usually a pair of 6 inchers. The finale strings have igniters at both ends, just to be sure.
  5. 100% agree
  6. dazuto

    dazuto Supports UKFR

    Elaborate on this. Curious.
  7. blackbat

    blackbat Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I think what is being suggested here is that if a string of shells has a misfire mid-string which disrupts tubes in a rack, the tubes which are then no longer contained in the rack could continue to fire if on delays and potentially cause injury. If the company was deemed negligent and taken to court, the question may be asked why they didn't have each shell in the display on individual cues so that in the event of an incident on the firing site the display could be stopped immediately without shells on delays continuing to fire.
    dazuto and Firework Crazy like this.
  8. dazuto

    dazuto Supports UKFR

    Gotcha, I took "delay" to mean an individual cue that was offset programmatically; not a physical fuse delay.

    Makes much more sense now. Thanks.
  9. Yes, blackbat has it correct.
  10. blackbat

    blackbat Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I suspect the majority of display companies in the UK, certainly the larger ones, use either Pyroclock/Pyrotimer for shell delays or pre-fused shells. The main reason being that in the busy season with many large displays out on the same night it cuts down on the amount of firing kit required, as well as the amount of rigging work required at a challenging time of year when crews can already be stretched.
  11. I'd love to hear the counter argumnent to that.

    Essentially you'd be accused of either A, not assessing the risk properly or B, cutting corners.

    Saving money, time and man power would never win an argument in court over safety.
    Pyromania and blackbat like this.
  12. blackbat

    blackbat Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    Just to clarify - I'm merely suggesting why companies may use delays, not providing an opinion as to whether their use is appropriate or not :)
    elmo, Pyro Pete and Firework Crazy like this.
  13. Understand.

    But if a company hasn't got enought kit or the crew, don't take the booking or purchase the kit, train the crew.

    Essentially, that's how it would play out in court. They "the prosecution" would argue that you were just interested in the money and you cut corners for profit.
    The Real Malta Pyro likes this.
  14. Illusion Fireworks

    Illusion Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    I use lots of delays, it’s the only way to achieve our 4/500 shell finales. And I do have the kit, crew and firing ability.

    You must get through a lot of single shots - because cakes and candles present the same hazard as a string of shells. Observing safety distances mitigates the risk.
    pyroplayer and oldgit like this.
  15. You can always mitigate risk, but you’d need to be firing 3” shells at 180+ Metres and 4” shells at 220+ metres to ensure that no stars reached the audience.​
  16. scoops

    scoops Pro Firer/Crew

    Not the only way, you have the kit, the crew and firing ability- so ignite and programme each one and to say a cake malfunctioning and a shell site going Pete tong have the same hazard is just ridiculous
    Jon likes this.
  17. Some load strings across a cluster of racks ie
    Shell 1 tube 1 rack 1
    Shell 2 tube1 rack 2
    Shell 3 tube 1 rack 3
    And so on
    Basically each string will only fire from each rack once
    Dunno if I’ve explained it very well
  18. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    What an absolute load of bollocks.

    Always one in a thread to turn an enquiry into a "safety lecture".

    The vast majority of companies use delays to keep cue counts down. If I didn't try to streamline and control costs I'd not make a reasonable profit. You assess the risk and control it.

    Pyrotimer and pyroclock would not exist in the market if they were an indefensible danger to use in conjunction with shells (which they are designed for).

    We are all capable of assessing risks and taking reasonable measures to mitigate them. The word reasonable is important. Going on your no-exceptions approach you'd want to be firing in another county.

    For my setups, I'm satisfied that my racking system can handle tube blow outs and continue to fire safely, as it has done. Wooden racks with nailed boards on the side? I'd be less happy, but with pyroquip, and smoking boots, I know they can handle mid rack detonations without tubes "falling over". In fact with payroquip style racking they (racks) simply cannot fall over .

    Pyrotimer is a great tool to have in the arsenall.
  19. It's not a load of bollox at all.....

    I said that I don't use them as I would never want to justify there use in court and gave my reasons for making that decision, and how, if something did catastophically go wrong on a show when using them what the consequences could be...

    Did I ever say "the should be banned" or "No one should use them" No.

    If you've assessed the risk of using them outweighs the risk of using alternative measures of delay firing to achieve the same end result and the initial risk doesn't increase the probability of an injury or worse to your staff or members of the public then fine. But for me, If I can reduce the risk by using other methods I will.

    Each to their own.
    dazuto likes this.