Introduction: Remote Control Ignition System - How to Make Firework Igniter

About: My name is Simon Sörensen and I am the creator of RCLifeOn. I´m 19 years old and live in a town called Trollhättan, located in the southwestern part of Sweden. I´ve been in the RC hobby f…

A remote control ignition system can be very useful, and increases the level of safety during explosive ignitions or anything of that nature. One great application for the RC ignition system would be igniting fireworks from a safe distance.

By using very inexpensive parts found in your local hobby shop, this is a very effective method of remotely igniting gas, fireworks, black powder or fuel from a safe distance. Depending on the transmitter, but you can expect range up to 2km!

Total cost of this project: approximately 40$

Step 1: Materials

A signal will be sent from the transmitter (held by the user) to a receiver (part of the ignition system). The receiver later sends the signal to the brushed speed controller, also called ESC. The speed controller basically works like an ordinary switch. A 2S (7.4V) lithium polymer battery is connected to the ESC, and when an input by the user is made on the transmitter it allows current to flow through the negative and positive wire. By using a coil made from kanthal or nichrome wire, the coil heats up to very high temperature, high enough to ignite most materials.

Here's what you'll need:

You can choose between using resistors or kanthal wire as the ignition source. The resistor does not reach the same high temperature, and does not work for igniting gas. However, in some applications the resistor will work better than the kanthal wire (yes, nichrome wire works just fine). I use the kanthal coil almost exclusively.

Step 2: Connection

The receiver will have multiple ports, connect the electric speed controller (ESC) to the port named "THR" (throttle port). However, you could use any port as long as you assign the channel in your transmitter.

Next step is to connect the battery, if working properly a red light will be flashing indicating a proper connection. Start the transmitter with throttle stick at mid point, this is the neatural position (no current flowing). Move the throttle stick upwards to allow current to flow.

Step 3: Ignition

There's two very effective ignition sources you could use, resistors and coils.

Very inexpensive and reliable, it also catches fire which could be beneficial in some applications. A resistor only works once as it usually burns up, however, reloading is very quick. One major drawback is the toxic fumes generated from the resistor as it heats up. Don't breathe in!

This is what I use, mainly because it's even more reliable and you can use one coil multiple times! However, it doesn't catch fire as the resistor does. Add a match to make fire using coils! Also, coils does not generate any fumes!

Step 4: Protective Box

This step is optional but highly recommend, obviously it depends on how you are going to use the ignition system. The plastic container protects the electronics from fire and debris upon ignition. I found that the plastic container saved me several times. Drill holes for the power cable and the antenna, also, remember to aim the antenna vertically. The same goes with your antenna attached on your transmitter, it should always be vertically placed.

Step 5: Usage

Remote controlled firework ignition is a great application where this ignition system can be used to safely ignite fireworks.

When using a resistor ignition usually is delayed up to 5 seconds because the resistor has a harder time to reach high enough temperature. However, the coil usually ignites within 2-3 seconds, which suits certain applications better.

Move the throttle stick to its highest point, 5 seconds ignition time and we have a remote fired firework! Awesome, what else could you use this wireless ignition system for? Comment below!

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