How to Make Rocket Igniters (Electric Matches)

How to Make Rocket Igniters (Electric Matches)


For this video, I’m going to show you how
to make a handful of remote controlled, electric ignitors from things you already have around
the house. That will ignite fireworks safely, and from a distance. Or launch your homemade
rockets, with the simple press of a button. To start this project, you’ll just need
a book of paper matches, some tape, and an old cell phone charger. Chances are you have
a spare charger somewhere in the house, but if not, you can easily find them at thrift
stores for about a dollar. Now get to work with a pair of scissors, and
carefully chop the head and charge controller off of the cable, then cut it up into smaller
pieces around 2” long. If we remove the outer jacket, you can see
there are two insulated wires inside, made of very thin, stranded copper wires. And for
this project, the thinner the wires are, the better the ignitors will work. Now we don’t need the outer sheathing at
all, so go ahead and pull the wires out and strip the other ends down about half an inch. Carefully single out one copper strand, from
the bundle of wire, and pull it to off the side. And now the other frayed wires, are
all garbage, so just twist them together, and use a pair of scissors to snip them off
at the base. Now let’s take a close look at the other
wire. If it has nylon cording mixed in with the copper strands you need to get rid of it.
And the most effective way to eliminate it, is to lick it with a flame from a candle,
or a BBQ ignitor. Now hold the two cables side by side about
1/4” apart, then twist the bridge wire from the first cable, so it binds together tightly,
and meshes in with the other strands. This will ensure the bridge wire has great electrical
contact, and should prevent it from unravelling. To hold the wires in place, simply lay a small
piece of tape on the table, so it’s facing sticky side up, and press the wires down into
the center. Now make sure the bridge wire is poking out
around 1/4” from the top, then bend the excess wire back, and press it down beside
the wires on the inside. Alright the ignitor leads are completed, so
let’s take a quick break from all that, and spend some time modifying the match heads. Take the matches, one at a time, and carefully
slide them down the edge of a sharp pair of scissors. You can see it scores a very small
grove, right down the center of the tip. Now bring back the ignitor leads, and line
the bridge wire up with the groove in the match-head, and secure it firmly in place
by wrapping one side of the tape tightly over the base of the match, then reinforce it again,
by firmly wrapping the other half of the tape the other direction. For one finishing touch, it’s good practice
to burn the nylon strands on the ignitor leads as well, then twist them together tightly
so they’ll make better contact. At this point, your electric match is finished,
and ready to go to work. To test them out, I tried connecting alligator
clips to the leads of the ignitor, then running the wires to two 9 volt batteries, in parallel. Now all it takes for ignition, is the press
of a button to complete the circuit. Or in this case, a touch of the wires to the battery
terminals. The matches light off because when the circuit
is completed, over 6 amps of electrical current surge through the tiny bridge wire on top,
and the electricity gets the wire so hot it ignites the chemicals in the match head, causing
it to burst into flames. And you can see that all happens very quickly. Now just for fun, I got an old N64 controller
and converted it, into a rocket launch controller. So now I can launch homemade sugar rockets
with the the press of a button. Look for how I made this in another project video. Well now you know how to mass produce electric
ignitors, with junk you probably have lying around the house. By the way, if you try using different colored
tape, you can give your ignitors your own custom touch. And if you can’t find paper
matches, wooden matches will work just as well. Well that’s it for now. If you like this
video, perhaps you’ll like some of
my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com

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