Electric Match




This instructable will show me making an electric match suitable for igniting fireworks.
It will cover the materials, tools and techniques used.

When I use thees i set them of with a 12 volt battery.

This is a pyrotechnic device which could cause harm and might be illegal to make in some countries, if unsure regarding laws and safety be sure to ask someone who knows.
As stated, this could be dangerous and I will not take any responsibility for damage caused by it.

Now to the fun of creating.
This is my very first instructable so bare with me.

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Step 1: Tools

You will need a basic setup of tools for making this device.

I used the following:
- Long nose pliers
- Side cutter
- Hot glue gun
- Knife
- Multimeter (ohm meter)

Step 2: Materials

The materials used are:

- A cup for mixing
- Acetone
- Nitrocellulose, low nitration.
- Black powder
- Nichrome wire
- Solid core network cable

The nitrocellulose can be replace by ping pong balls.

Step 3: Prepairing Cabel

First of all, cut a piece of network cable in the length you desire.
Then cut through the sheath and pull out the cables.

Take a pair and remove the insulation from the end of each cable, about 5 mm or 3/16 inch is adequate.

Step 4: Fasten the Nichrome Wire

Here the goal is to fasten the nichrome wire to the copper wires.

Start by bending the coper wires back.

Then place the nichrome wire in the bend and press the copper cable around it.

Take the hot glue gun and place a little bit of glue on the insulation thus protecting the tip from pulling apart.

Now measure the resistance on the other end of the cable to make sure there is a good connection.

When done twist the back end together to prevent accidental ignition. Do not separate the wires until you are ready to use it.

Step 5: Ignition Agent

Start by dissolving the nitrocellulose in acetone.
When done put the black powder in the solution and stir it.

Now we can start coating the cable with the nichrome wire.
Dip,let dry and repeat until it has a sufficient coating.

Let dry, the acetone will dry out quite fast so a couple of hours should be enough.

Step 6: Result

The end result could look like this.

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    11 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    12v lead acid battery? Wow!!! thats way more current than you need. I use to be heavy into pyrotechnics displays and such. You either need to switch to a thinner bridge wire or work on your composition. They should be able to ignite from the current in a tiny little button cell battery.

    Some using thicker bridge wire that necessitates the higher current is better for safety reasons and in certain situation it can be. In reality your system design & physical setup can contain flaws that can be a disaster waiting to happen; even more likely using high amps. The current your using could melt, or damage a wire if you had a bad match. That alone is reason enough to switch, not to mention wire is expensive you should be able to re-use it for a long time; integrity testing should still be done.

    If your using electric ignition for any level of display you really should research how to properly design, handle, setup, fuse and ignite your item or full display. I haven't had the time or cash to keep up with this hobby. To properly cover all areas of this subject would take lots of time and effort; off the top of my head pgi.org will lead you to the information you need. Be safe and Have fun, there is nothing like the thrill of taking part in putting on a large show; even a decent small backyard one is great!

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for your great correct explanation,I would highly suggest to those that want to get involved with this stuff to read a lot before even thinking about building their own. You need to understand the electrical side ,ohms against volts and then the amps going though it all. Then get involved with the pyro side. reliability and safety is the main consideration



    Question 1 year ago

    Will it ignite flash paper with out the ping pong ball?


    2 years ago

    Thanks for your great instructable, can match powder be used instead of black powder?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Pardon, I don't speak English, maybe I passed it, but I think you don't say if this device goes with a battery or home electric line. ¿How many Volts/Amperes needs it?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your feedback, forgot to mention that. I run them on 12 volts from a small led-acid battery, I've added it to the instructable.
    If I have the need for smaller currents, like in special effects i tend to use an other igniter based on Christmas lights. Later I may cover them as well.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I keep reading these, hoping to see something reusable, or less time consuming to make. Have wanted to hook up sort of a magazine of 10 firecrackers, to a motion detector and a 4017 chip, detonating one firecracker each time motion (cat) is detected. It would be a good project, if only had to replace the used firecrackers.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    You could use a 12 volt cigarette lighter and place the fuse on it, then connect the lighter to a relay and pull it for a couple of seconds. Then just replace the fire crackers.