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How to stop mid-show?

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  • How to stop mid-show?

    Over the years I have done a lot of little "family and friends" shows, just lighting various cakes and mortars individually, one after the other, with the limitations that entails. I am now going to the next level and fusing together a number of pieces so that I can can light one fuse and sit back and watch the show. But I got to wondering, what happens if you need to stop it? Say some drunk or child breaks out of the crowd and runs toward the firing area? I though about tying strings to the main fuse at certain points and running them over to where I am standing, so in an emergency I could pull one or the other and break or disconnect the fuse. Does anyone do anything like that? Has anyone ever been in a situation where you said, "Uh oh, there are 10 minutes to go and I can't stop it!"

    By the way, an electronic firing system is not in the cards right now.

    Thank you for any advice.

  • #2
    This could be difficult to do. I dont believe pulling a string to break the fuse would be a option. Only chance would be to cut the fuse with something.
    I know you said that a fire system isnt in the cards but, a light switch system is extremely inexpensive to make and quite rewarding once finished even a simple pin board made with some screws or nails would work. I wish the old pyroreview and The U were up. There would be links for both of these.

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    • #3
      You bring up a very valid question and concern. Sadly, without a firing system there really isn't any fool proof way to stop your show midway. Strings can break or just pull away from your ignitors.
      Maybe someone else who has experience with this can chime in?

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      • #4
        Thanks for the advice. I will look into making a DIY firing system. I already have a bunch of model rocket igniters that would probably work.

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        • #5
          Bear in mind that if you're using model rocket ignitors as replacements for e-match, they probably won't fire with zero delay as an e-match does.

          One alternative would be Firewire initiators, another would be Talon clips which attach directly to the visco.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the tip.

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            • #7
              You can fuse up short segments of show and hand light them sequentially.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mguerramd View Post
                You can fuse up short segments of show and hand light them sequentially.
                I thought about that, and maybe that is what I will do. I have four boards with a number of pieces on each, all connected together with visco fuse (actually three boards and a mortar rack). My original thought was to attach a piece of paracord, maybe 50 feet long, to the the fuse segments that connect one board to the other. Then if I needed to I could pull the appropriate cord and disrupt the fuse (either breaking it or pulling it apart at the zip ties), disconnecting the distal components. I am not sure why that wouldn't work. How strong is that fuse?

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                • #9
                  Some of those fuses are knotted on the end that is inside the cake. Would be very hard to pull it loose.
                  President- Bluegrass Pyrotechnic Guild
                  Registered Ohio Assistant

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                  • #10
                    I think attaching the paracord to the chain fuse and yanking it will work. you would be pulling the chain fuse, not the knotted product fuse. There are some VERY inexpensive 4, 6, and 12 cue firing systems you can use. Fuse up segments of show, attach them to consecutive cues with a Talon, and fire away! Right now you can get an MS12Q from Pyro Creations for $99.00
                    https://www.pyrocreations.com/firing...ng-system.html Just for example you could fuse up 6 products per cue and fire 72 products in a show.
                    here's another 12 cue for $75.00:

                    https://pyroworks.us/best-seller/pho...ng-system.html
                    There are quite a few options there at Pyro works that may be affordable to you.

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                    • #11
                      Well, I decided to go with my original plan. At each point where the main fuse connected to another piece of main fuse I attached them slightly loosely with zip ties (snugly enough to hold them in place, but not really tight), and wrapped them with some metal tape. I tested that connection a number of times with some extra fuse I had, to make sure that it would transmit the fire. When I set out the boards I tied the end of a piece of rope around each of these connections, and I am fairly confident that a good hard tug would separate the fuses. Fortunately, I didn't need to test that aspect of it, as there were no problems.

                      By the way, the show was a smashing success. As I mentioned above, in the past I have put on little impromptu displays for small groups of family and friends, just lighting each item one at a time. I have never done a show of this nature, on an actual printed agenda, for a group this large (about 100 people), about half of them strangers (it was my daughter's wedding, and I didn't know a lot of the friends and relatives on the groom's side). Though I spent literally several months studying this and putting it all together, I was still nervous that it would be too amateurish. I needn't have worried, though, judging by the reaction of the guests. I think some people were expecting a few bottle rockets and some Roman candles, so there was that surprise factor (I overheard one guest, as he was putting his kids in the car, saying "that was better than our town fireworks"). As I am getting on a bit in years, a number of people came up to me afterwards and said "I think you have found your post-retirement career." And I'm thinking, maybe not a bad idea…

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