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Firing Cat 3 fireworks Electrically


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Dear all,


I'm doing some research into firing domestic (Cat 3) fireworks electrically.


Does anyone have any experience of safe / practical methods of linking igniters and the indiviual fuses? Does a standard igniter burn hot enough for a domestic fuse to catch quick enough?


I think what we're after is some kind of magic product that catches instantaneously when the igniter is detonated and burns for long enough to let the fuse catch. My first thought would be flash paper, but this doesn't seem like an ideal solution.


Any products above Cat 3 (IE Quickmatch) are out of the question.







PS: I am totally aware of all the safety implications / risk assessment issues involved. This is only a hypothetical project until a safe method can be found.

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The components (fuse, etc.) of Cat3 fireworks are exactly the same as those on Cat4. The only difference is that Cat3 products are already assembled, fused, etc. to a level which makes them suitable for use by "the public", whereas Cat4 products require fusing, etc. before use.


Theoretically, to fire a Cat3 firework electrically, all you'd need to do is to cut off the delay (the bit that you actually apply the portfire/taper/etc. to) at the top end of the quickmatch, leaving an open end on the match into which you'd then insert and tape an electrical igniter.


By the sound of it, though, this isn't quite what you're looking for. I don't know whether an igniter would produce enough heat for a long enough duration to be able to ignite the delay on a Cat3 firework. Hopefully Mark Thomas (our LeMatire rep) will pass through this topic and enlighten us. Failing that, you could always send him a PM ....

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  • 4 weeks later...

sorry one further note


all cat 4 fireworks are fused with "quickmatch" sometimes refered to as "pipematch" or just "match" this stuff burns at 600ft a second I think (off the top of my head excuse me if im wrong) and u just stick a det into the end power it up and its instant (well near enough)


cat 3 fireworks have silly long burn fuses on them, so short of ripping thm to bits :) (illegal unless u have a licence) there really isnt much you can do


had this problem many a time so if you do find a soloution id be very very intrested !


even if u did rip a cat 3 cake or candle to bits ud have a further problem as I said above that dets are cat4 and they really are the only thing for the job of turning electricity into fire !!!


- tom

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Igniters (some people call them dets, electric matches and some people incorrectly call them squibs) are not actually cat 4, thay actually do not come under the firework category system. They have there own UN number.


You can legally buy igniters through any Le Maitre distributer. But modifying category 3 fireworks can only be done in a place licensed to do so.


You can't simply tape the igniter to the visco fuse, the igniter burns too fast to light the fuse. serious modifications are needed - these modifications are very dangerous (it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!!) and should not be carried out by people who don't know what they are doing.



Mark Thomas

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ok maybe the dets we use at work are diffrent

these thing explode with a bang!

but if you see there cat3 ur the man in the know!


at any rate theres not much use electrically firing things with fuses that may take 3 seconds, 5 seconds, ten seconds or any random amount of time - u cant really tell how much fuse there is inside the pyro on most cat 3 stuff or even how long the fuse on the exterior will burn for,

most cat4 fireworks go off the moment you apply the leccy thats why cat four can be fired to music so precisely, lucky for us most companies issue burn times for fireworks and time from ignition to detonation (whether first of many shots or single shot) meaning we can get the pyro to explode precisely when we want it too


ive never seen anyone do this acuratly with cat3


at work they do not sell any pyro with dets on to the public to my knowledge hence one of the big factors on me thinking dets are cat 4


if your thinking of computer controlling your fireworks dont forget u need a dead mans handle, we use pyromate firing systyms and if we have to use cat3 the factory modifies for us (which makes it cat4 of course)


- tom

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ok just spoke to my boss !


we do sell cat3 pyrotechnics fused electronically


the dets are legal for publid once inside a pyro!!!


we offer a wired display servide where u can fire it yourself electronically, but its all wired up at the factory


and u can only use it for private displays


thanks (sorry for my lack of accuracy previously)


- tom

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I work for a entertainments company that do discos shows etc - due to legal reasons I obviously cant fire pyrotechnics (allthough its not long to go !)


our company is a smaller sister to vulcan pyrotechnics, we do all their pa and lx work for displays and do lots of shows with them, a few of our members of staff are trained to work with pyro and thus we do jobs for and with vulcan


I know stuff about it because long journeys in the vans enduce technical conversations !! ** laughs out loud **


- if you want me to enqire about pre wired stuff im happy to do so Rob (or anyone else)


we do sell it


thanks -



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  • 2 years later...


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