Instructables
Picture of Wireless Firework Igniter
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For all you pyrotechnics out there, here's a simple solution to keep you a little safer, and maybe save a hand or two! For this make, all you need are some simple components, a breadboard, and a Basic Stamp 2 along with knowledge on how to program it, as well as some method of programming it. And since it uses infared, it is (coincidentally) perfect for use in the dark!

Be sure when using this device to take proper safety precautions, as well as using it appropriately. I am not responsible for any injuries caused because of the improper use of it.
 
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Step 1: Parts List

1) 2x Panasonic PNA4601M Infared detector
2) 1x 7805 5V Voltage Regulator
3) 2x 220-Ohm Resistors
4) 2x 1K-Ohm Resistors
5) 1x Red LED (or any color you wish, and the value doesn't matter; just use one that is 1-3.5V)
6) 1x White LED (preferably white; you can use another color, but make sure it is bright because you need to be able to see it from a distance. same values as above)
7) 1x 5V Buzzer
8) 1x Toggle Switch
9) 1x 9V Battery and Clip
10) 1x Breadboard with Binding Posts (you will need the binding posts for holding down the cables going to the igniter in case they get yanked)
10) 1x Basic Stamp 2 Microcontroller, as well as some method to program it (e.g. parallax's found HERE and the microcontroller HERE)
11) 2x Alligator Clips
12) Estes Rocket Engine Igniters OR Nichrome Wire (the same stuff Estes uses) NOTE: it is definitely more cost-effective to buy a spool of nichrome wire than to spend five bucks on a pack of Estes rocket engine igniters for the same cost as the spool of 10 feet of it)
12) Some Wire

Step 2: Tools

1) Multimeter
2) Computer
3) Wire Strippers
4) Glue Gun
denbecr1 year ago
Have you measured the range? For my purpose I need at least 100 ft., preferably 200-500 ft. I will probably need multi inrared LEDs and lenses, right?
Prfesser3 years ago
Thank you!  You named it correctly! One of my pet peeves is the clueless folk who incorrectly call such devices "detonators." (As though they're setting off high explosives.)   It's called an ignition system or a firing system, or for rockets, a launch system.

As suggested elsewhere, if you could make the device RF rather than IR, the problem with premature ignition would go away, and the range could be extended significantly.

One great thing about a microcontroller in this application is that you have the potential to install one or more (software and/or hardware) safety interlocks to make ignition impossible until you're really, really ready to light the sky with beauty.

As you mentioned near the end, a multi-channel device would be excellent!  One of the drawbacks of commercial wireless firing systems (besides the cost) is the number of different items that can be ignited.  When I do a small, family fireworks show, I have to work with just ten channels.  A lot of people would love to see a device with 20-50 channels.

Good job!  Keep plugging away!!
Check out my instructable (http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-an-expandable-professional-pc-contro/). I recently made a pcb for this which means all you need to do is order one and slap in some components (all thru hole) for 3s shots and stack them on top of each other for multiples of this, up to 250 shots (could be expanded by changing some code). Its also pc controlled so It could be done via wifi/bluetooth or changed to use an xbee shield for the arduino.
The PCB is listed here http://www.batchpcb.com/product_info.php?products_id=89346&check=b350c5bbd3311b9c47fb5adb70ba0d60 for order (I make 0 profit off this, I'm not selling anything of mine) or contact me for the gerber files
RPisces (author) 2 years ago
Looking back, there's a lot wrong with this instructable...

You need some sort of transistor between the BS2 and the nichrome wire, or you'll just blow out the pins on the microcontroller driving the high-resistance nichrome wire.

The BS2 has an on-board regulator that will accept a voltage as high as 15V.

The sun will not really affect this device.

Heed warning!
jonjones484 years ago
your link for the BS2 file seem to redirect to: http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FCN/68A1/F6B7T1QG/FCN68A1F6B7T1QG.tmp
BOXHARD5 years ago
Or you could just hack a 150' wireless doorbell... Just hope there are no stray radio waves around to trigger it... lol
raykholo5 years ago
my idea is a lot simpler --- estes model rockets are set off through an electrical igniter, so instead of the big box with long wires and everything --- open up a usb cable and access the 2 power wires. hook these up to the igniter u need a laptop with an ir control, cuz those r the only ones that can actually turn it on and off (hp) turn off the laptop or hibernate -- then turn it on and watch ur rocket go ir whatever u want to set off... it might be better to still use longer wire and keep the laptop about a foot away from the fireworks...
RPisces (author) 6 years ago
The simple "IR Interference" problem can be countered by using an IR detector that filters out all but one frequency (say, 38Khz, like THIS ONE from RadioShack). Then use a remote that sends out that frequency only (Sony remotes use that frequency), and you're set!
The 38KHz filter is good to make sure that plain light doesn't trigger it, and is certainly an improvement. While it ups the complexity significantly, you might seriously consider something that detects a code string to fire, whether you're using IR or radio. I'm pretty sure that's how the big boys do it.
A+NON+O+MUS6 years ago
lol wow thats allot of stuff needed!
Shifrin6 years ago
Cool!
pmac936 years ago
the debug commands in the program are kind of pointless unless you have a computer near your fireworks......
Biopyro6 years ago
Interference from a garage door opener or something might make it considerably less safe. This is why very few professional pyrotechnicians use these. That and they get expensive
RPisces (author)  Biopyro6 years ago
By the way, garage doors NEVER use IR- they use RF. Although, yes, IR can interfere with this device, BUT, usually when you are lighting fireworks, you are far away enough from any sources of infrared (TV remotes, etc.). You could use and RF transmitter for this, but it would be ridiculously expensive. Or, you could (there must be a way...maybe?) program it to only receive a certain frequency, then use a remote (or develop a transmitter) that uses the same frequency.
moomoocows6 years ago
One question if I'm a pyro am I really going to spend my time building something like this and not blow something up? Besides that the instrucable was clear and I felt well writen.