2019-07-05 07:13:00

Hello,
Happy 4th of July to those in the US, but to also those who may be celebrating it elsewhere.
I have wondered, for the longest time now, whether there were any ways to light fireworks independently without exposing yourself to any unnecessary risk of it exploding prematurely.
In case there weren't, I've come up with something that could work in theory, but whether it would work in practice I know not. Anyhow, I was thinking that there could be a device out there that is like those used for firing cannons. You would connect some wires to the fuse, stand back a short distance, press a button, which would send a spark of electricity to the fuse and ignite it.
If you have successfully lit fireworks by yourself, what was your experience like? What strategies did you use to keep yourself safe?
Thanks!

Ulysses
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AKA TheForeverFlyer and HeavenlyHarmony
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2019-07-05 08:18:24

Lol I actually like the idea of the button thing. As for lighting fireworks, I don't really know since I've never done it myself, but I'm sure there is a way.

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2019-07-05 08:24:11 (edited by Green Gables Fan 2019-07-06 11:34:36)

I actually read about the button thing method from having done research on other things. I think it's called a primer.
EDIT1: A friend actually told me about something called a cannon fuse, which is simply a super-long cord that you light with a match or lighter. You'd tape the end that is not lighted to the fuse of the firework. At least you would have more time as it would obviously take more time before the firework actually went off.

Ulysses
Ham radio call sign: KJ7ERC
AKA TheForeverFlyer and HeavenlyHarmony
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2019-07-05 08:28:11

Hi.
I have thought about this the whole life. A lot of years ago, I also gave it a try, where I was close to put myself in extreme danger. Nothing bad happened though, but it was close.
I love fireworks, I really do, but because of all the noise going on from other fireworks lovers etc. I have realiced it is too dangers for me. Just one time you don't realice the fireworks is on and you're done, and you will regret your action the rest of your life.
But, if someone have any experience with any great and safe solutions, then I would love to hear about it.

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2019-07-05 08:36:40

Model rockets actually use such firing mechanisms, but from what I understand tampering with fireworks fusing can be a highly regulated thing, partly because of the dangers of, well, exploding. There are a number of remote firing systems available though for pyrotechnics [here], [here], and a kit [here], among others. As always though, be sure to follow safe practices and applicable laws when handling explosives.

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2019-07-05 10:41:59 (edited by Green Gables Fan 2019-07-05 11:05:04)

Thanks.
I forgot about the moddle rockets thing. I remember actually launching a rocket this way by lightly touching a contact to close the circuit.
I had someone light the fireworks for me this time and I used my 'Zoom H1 to record it, though I don't particularly like how it picked up so much handling noise, and it had such a really bad auto-gain control mechanism.
ctually, come to think of it, this rticle does mention electriclly-lighting fireworks, but from what I understand, they are more common in fireworks display. Nevertheless, I can see myself using something like this to indpenednetly set off fireworksk.

Ulysses
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2019-07-05 10:49:07

I have lit fireworks for about 9 years and my fingers and other bodyparts are still attached. I have burnt my fingers a bit, but nothing major.
A big disclaimer! I do not hold any responsibility for the consequences that may happen while trying my method, which is as follows:
1. Put the end of a match, the one you will strike, and the end of the fuse together.
2. Strike the match.
3. Wait a little bit.
4. When you hear the sizzling of the fuse, drop the firework and run! If there's no sizzling, whaitt a bit more and then repeat the loop from step 1.

So, this method won't work so well in a noisy environment and will probably get quite dangerous.
And the most important thing, use your goddanm common sense!

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2019-07-05 10:56:39 (edited by the_ruler_of_dark_forces 2019-07-05 11:00:21)

Sorry about double posting, but if you want to hear this method in action, you can listen to a recording where me, couple of other blind pyromaniacs and one partially sighted guy enjoy making the newyears fireworks. In the beginning it is quite mild, but later on it gets more hardcore.
The talking is in Estonian, but hopefully you get the main idea. The word "Süüde", which is repeated there fairly often, means ignition.
And again, if you feel like trying it, do it at your own responsibility!
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jngf9xm8nx1ip … s.mp3?dl=1

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2019-07-05 11:08:27

Well, unfortunately the sizzling of the fuse method won't work well for me, if at all, because I have severe hearing loss in both ears, especially in the high range. I could barely hear the  shrieking and whistling sounds except for any resultant tones that were at a lower frequency, which sort of gave it an interesting sound.
By the way, I updated post six.

Ulysses
Ham radio call sign: KJ7ERC
AKA TheForeverFlyer and HeavenlyHarmony
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2019-07-05 11:48:18

Lol why is it that for some of these fireworks in the recording post eight linked to, car alarms go off. Lol kind of cool though. And around 20%, for those wondering, you can see post seven in action for the first time.

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Have a nice day peeps

2019-07-05 12:38:14

Isn't it basically the same as lighting a candle, just worse if you screw up? Light match, touch fuse, get out of the way?

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2019-07-05 14:17:31

@11 Yeah, kind of. Only usually when lighting the fuse, the match and the fuse are already together before striking the match.
@8 The car alarms tend to go off quite often when a loud bang occurs. The cars were not so close, but yeah, they can be quite sensitive to that. Sometimes I have heard in my apartment how the car alarms go off after a really loud thunderclap.

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2019-07-05 15:20:14 (edited by Green Gables Fan 2019-07-05 15:34:57)

What was that weird hollow explosion that sounded like something was in a bucket or something that you were laughing pretty hard, at around 50 minutes and 49 seconds?
@10, twenty percent of what, and how exactly can you see post seven in action? Are you saying that 20% of the time you could hear the sizzling as the fuse was ignited?

Ulysses
Ham radio call sign: KJ7ERC
AKA TheForeverFlyer and HeavenlyHarmony
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2019-07-05 15:38:24

The problem is that sometimes, the fuse will not catch right away. I think this is fairly common, so you can't be like touch fuse and match, strike match, count to three, drop and run, because it may or may not have actually lit. Lighting a candle is fairly consistent and nothing bad really happens if you hold it a bit too long unless the thing is low in its jar or something and you burn yourself. Penny sticks are an example of a type of firework that have a very short fuse. You better throw that thing the very instant you hear that sizzle or it'll blow up in your hand. I don't really do those. I don't really do fireworks actually, I have a time or two, but it's pretty easy for something to go wrong.

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2019-07-05 15:53:51

@13 That was probably the firework in a really really old washing machine. Yes, we got the permission from the owner to do various stupid things with it  and yes, it can be dangerous, so as the saying goes: Kids, do not try this at home.
@14 Usually the fireworks we have in Estonia have quite sizzling fuses, so when you strike the match but don't hear the sound, then the fuse didn't ignite. So then just grab another match and repeat. Of course it has happened that I was not sure if it actually lit or not, so just in case I threw it down and run away. I have wasted some of the stuff this way, but better safe than sorry.
And short fuses are really uncomfortable to light indeed.

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2019-07-05 16:13:22 (edited by Ty 2019-07-05 16:15:09)

The way i was taught to do it is feel for the fuse, use a lighter like you normally would, listen for the sound of i lit firework, quickly put it down, and run back.
And because of that, i can only do fireworks that take a second to go off, i can't do any of those light it, 3 seconds later, boom! type ones, because i don't have the reflexes, timing, or skills to be able to do that.

Ty

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2019-07-05 22:21:36

No 20% of the entire clip. I use nathan's media player calliope, so can't say the exact time.

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I'm the true source of dark evil. Beware.
Have a nice day peeps

2019-07-07 21:17:40

Oh yeah, that old washing machine! I'm one of those blind pyros in that recording and yes, it was hell of alot of fun there.
Still, still, still - funny and cool, as fireworks naturally are, they're definitely not toys or playthings. Over the years our little team of blind pyrofreaks has had some experiences we don't wish to repeat. Sutch things are when there's not enough snow, or none at all, and then obviously those fireworks, that are supposed to be somewhat buried in snow to stand in a place fall the hell over of course and begin emitting blasts in every direction or even jump around while doing that. So yeah, when messing with pyrotechnics quite a few things have to be made sure: all kinds of safety rules, even when blowing something up, sutch as buckets, canisters or washing machines; lots of empty space around without any flamable stuff in the way and still it's safer to have some sighted eyes in a team.

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2019-07-07 21:31:27

On the side note: some years ago I have made a funny rave track using sound effects obtained from fireworks lit and recorded by our little posse. Of course some mixing/processing has been done to fit the track, but here we go: Süüde!
https://soundcloud.com/drxid/s-de

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2019-07-08 09:43:55

Wow. @the_ruler_of_dark_forces and @ManFromTheDark: Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences.
People are going crazy with fireworks here in my country which is a good thing, but because of the noise, it would be too dangerous to mess with fireworks as a blind person in the cities.

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

2019-07-08 10:36:53

@20 Yes, and that's why we almost always light our fireworks at a countryside place.
One thing is the noise, but another thing is that in the cities the cars and buildings are cropped together and that can also create a lot of opportunities for the things to go really bad.

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2019-07-11 06:31:42 (edited by Green Gables Fan 2019-07-11 07:45:36)

Well, I found something pretty interesting.
It appears that this is how most displays work anyway, and was probably the reason all seven thousand fireworks went off in less than a minute in San Diego, Ca, back in 2012.
By the way, what were you laughing about at the very end of the recording? I heard a weird metallic clang or whine, and then some explosions.
Edit1: this article mentions a detonator, and I actually had an idea about connecting fireworks to a long fuse, and lighting them with a long-handled lighter.
I'm not sure what they're called, but they look like a small gun. You roll up on this big thumbwheel and pull the trigger.

Ulysses
Ham radio call sign: KJ7ERC
AKA TheForeverFlyer and HeavenlyHarmony
My new, self-hosted version of WordPress!

2019-07-11 08:38:36 (edited by defender 2019-07-11 08:39:36)

Barbecue lighters.  You could also use one of those little propane torches if you wanted
to.

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2019-07-11 10:47:07

@22 If you mean the very last explosions that were preceded by the so called whistling sounds, then it was done by the only partially sighted guy from our group and he put a firework into a metal container of a whiskey bottle. I was laughing quite hard because it sounded quite funny at the beginning, but actually that was one of these experiences, which as ManFromTheDark wrote, is the one we do not wish to repeat. After a little while the firework turned itself around and made some blasts towards the other direction, wer, as we have been told later, some cars were parked. Everything ended well, nothing got damaged, but still after finding it out, I was not laughhing so hard, as you probably guess. SO, this example also shows that fireworks are not some playthings and you have to be careful with them.
It also has to be said that we were completely sober while doing this, because as you know all too well, alcohol lowers the sence of danger and therefore it's a big no no when lighting fireworks.

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2019-07-11 16:57:58

Story time. I used to go down and visit my friend who lived on a farm. They lived in a trailer that the farmer rented to them. One of the farmer's sons was a bit of a jackass. He'd smoke weed and get stupid. He was throwing ears of corn at the trailer, the lawn tractor my friend's dad used to mow their yard and the other grasses around the farm, and so on. He was going to damage the side skirting of the trailer if he kept up, but he was high and too stupid to listen, so we cooked something up. My friend had a bunch of penny sticks and a .22 pistol. I took the gun, and stood out in front. We of course emptied it, but my buddy would stand behind me, light a penny stick, and throw it out the door. I was standing in the doorway out to the back porch. He literally thought we were shooting at him. I'd jerk the gun back like it'd recoiled on me each time. That'd what got the dumb ass to run away, us pretending to shoot at him.

I felt the wind of your passing
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