Electronic Fireworks Igniter/Detonators




Shows how some household things can be used to make some handy "detonators" for fireworks.

This is for informational purposes only, I refuse to be held responsible for any accidents or illegal activity as a result of people using this information. By reading this you accept that you will use this information responsibly, and not do anything stupid/illegal with it.

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Step 1: Stuff You Need

You will need the following:

Some speaker wire (very cheap to buy, you need about 5-8 cm for each detonator)
Some steel wool (The really fine stuff, usually theres some hiding under the kitchen sink, but it has to be the fine stuff, the heavier stuff doesn't work)
A wire stripping tool

Step 2: Cut and Strip the Wire

Cut the wire to the desired length, It doesn't matter how long, but about 7cm usually does it

Seperate each wire, and strip about 1/2 cm of each of them on one end (photo 1)

Use the scissors to carefully cut through the insulation of the wire (but not the wire itsself) to allow you to strip both wires without seperating them on the other end (photo 2)

The end of the wire which is not seperated is the end used with the wool for the detonator.

Step 3: Steel Wool

9V batteries go nicely with steel wool, its very easy to start the whole ball of wool burning real quickly without even trying. Try out the batteries you'll be using with the wool to see how many strands the battery can set off at once.

Now, get a single strand of steel wool, and wrap it around one of the wires on the end of the length of wire where they aren't seperated. wind it round several times to make sure it doesn't come off.

Then wrap the strand around both of them twice. This gives you 4 strands which will be melted, usually the battery can handle this easily and works every time (for a standard square 9v battery).

Now wind it round the other wire like you did with the other one, and bend both of the wires outward, and down till they're bent round 180 degrees. Trim off any of the excess wool with the scissors.

Now they're ready to use. To use simply put them in whatever you want to ignite, and allow the current from the battery to flow through.

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    10 Discussions


    11 years ago on Step 3

    Using a similar idea to ignite the last 10 or so fireworks for a grand finala for a wedding. But would like to have a large display of initials (letters B & M ) that would all ignite & sparkle for several minutes??? Need ideas. I have thought of using the wire sparkalers that you hold in your hand? but they don't burn all at once to highlight the initials. So HELP!! any ideas anyone??

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think either of these will sparkle for several minutes though. If you got enough sparklers to spell out the letters standing them ON END then they'd burn at least for a couple minutes. The problem would be getting the sparklers to all light at the same time. We all know how EASY it is to light sparklers. Maybe somebody else has an idea about that. Gordie. Do I need the disclaimer? IF YOU USE MY IDEA, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I just had another idea. you could pound nails part way into a board in the shape of the letters, in pairs. Then you run a pair of wires along the nails soldering them to the nails. (one wire to each of the pair of nails) THEN you put the steel wool on top pressing it onto the nails. You apply power to the wires the pairs of nails the steel wool shorting them and burst into sparks in the shape of the letters growing quickly in size to random shaped blob. Probably want to use an igniter with high current capacity to make sure everything lights at the same time. Just an idea. Do your own experiments. Gordie Do I need the disclaimer? IF YOU USE MY IDEA, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    how about making the characters on a board with glue and pour blackpowder on the glue (like sparkle cards in kindergarden) Then get some big rolls of steel wool from the hardware store. Unroll then into sheets and staple them to the board in front of the blackpowder letters (after the igniter(s) of course) the blackpowder should make a nice letter shaped flash. Then orange letter shaped showers of sparks growing quickly in size to random shaped blob. I've never actually done this, I was just thinking out loud, but if it sounds feasible to you do some experiments an see whether it's acceptable. Gordie Do I need the disclaimer? I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS MYSELF! IF YOU USE MY IDEA, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Sweet thnx Wrap the stand of wool around a match to make a really good starter!