Capacitance Discharge Driver (Electric-Match)
High-current model rocketry capacitance discharge E-Match/Pyrotechnic ignition system
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Build a easy low-voltage, high-current model rocketry capacitance discharge E-Match system or Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems with the EZ-Rays LEDC15CDS driver.
This small lightweight driver uses only three external parts to make an easy to use Capacitive Discharge System(CDS) for launching your rockets, incorporating into your rocket to trigger secondary stages, or deploying streamers and chutes. Uses AA, C, D-Cells, standard NiCAD's, NiMH or Lithium battery packs rated at 3.0 to 3.6 Volts. The LEDC15CDS will also operate on 1.5V without the need for special low amp pyrotechnic compounds.
Starting with low voltage, the CDS driver provides a short-burst of high current at an optimum voltage which allows the rapid heating and ignition of combustion capable compounds. Most Nichrome-Ignitors may be re-dipped and used again. Other high energy capacitors with lower working voltages may be used with the system. The unit can deliver more than 5W of power to the bridge wire when configured as in the setup diagram. (example: Using a 1200 uF capacitor with a 3-Volt input will easily light a 12-Volt 7-Watt bulb filament)
See below for videos showing the combustion of nitrocellulose/black powder dipped ignitors and the ignition of type 2F black powder. Video tests were conducted using 2 centimeter 37-AWG Nichrome wire rated at 1.5 ohms resistance, a 3-Volt power source and 4800 microFarads of capacitance to the ignitor.
E-Match Kit Includes:
LEDC15CDS - CDS Driver (colors may vary)
(1) 1200uF 10V Capacitor
(1) 1N4001 50V 1Amp Diode
Nichrome wire (enough for approx. 20 bridgewire type ignitors)
20mm x 19mm x 12mm
1.5V - 3.6V DC
.008, .003, .002 nichrome, steel wool
Voltage / Capacitance
Charge Time / Wire length / Resistance
2 x D firstname.lastname@example.orgV / 2400uF 10V
20 secs / 5mm / 1-4 ohms
2 x D cells@3V / 1200uF 10V
20 secs / 5mm / 1-4 ohms
2 x D cells@3V / 4800uF 10V
20 secs / 1cm / 1-7 ohms
2 x D cells@3V / 5000uF 10V
30 secs / 1cm / 1-7 ohms
2 x D cells@3v / 10KuF 10V
1 min / 1cm / 1-7 ohms
DIY ignitors are easily constructed with black powder. Black powder dipped ignitors are less sensitive to impact, friction, thermal sensitivity and electrostatic discharge (ESD) than most commercial ignitors and are readily ignitable with the LEDC15CDS for use in primary pyrotechnic ignition systems and secondary deployment charges. Quick, "clean" burning or explosive ignition may create dangerous pressures which could crack a grain or cause other "red alert" issues. A "dirty" burn creates droplets of molten oxidizer slag which spatters the rocket's engine grain with oxidized hot spots and thus facilitates ignition. For ejection charges, a really fast burn creates more of a shock rather than the gentle push which is desired to get the parachute out of the airframe. The LEDC15CDS is capable of exciting this type of ignitor with 1.5 - 3.6 volts. If desired, more sensitive ignitors similar to commercial Davy Fire e-matches may be constructed by decreasing the bridge wire length and using a antimony trisulfide based primer then re-dipped in a finer grade black powder. Although these type of ignitors require less current and may be excited by 1.5V or less, greater care must be taken in their construction and use because they are impact and friction sensitive.
DIY Rocket Ignitor
Igniting Black Powder
Nichrome wrapped Mg, Al, Pyrodex, Nitrocellulose Lacquer flake.
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