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12.2 How do those 'Copperhead' igniters work? They only have one wire?




Description

This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.

12.2 How do those 'Copperhead' igniters work? They only have one wire?

Copperhead igniters are actually two strips of copper wire with a
thin mylar insulating layer between them. To use these with regular
alligator clips you need to use masking tape to insulate opposite sides
of the igniter from each clip.

           'Thin' (side) view of copperhead igniter:
                      |      |
                      |______| < Motor with Copperhead inserted
                         ||
             Masking   > ||
             tape      > ||
                         ||
                         ||<  Masking
                         ||<  tape
                         ||

Attach one alligator clip at each masking tape point, so that each clip
only makes contact with one (opposite) side of the igniter.

The Quest 'Tiger Tail' igniters are the same type of igniters as
Copperheads. They come with a special 'wrapper' with openings for
alligator clips.

NOTE: Copperhead igniters require a 12 volt ignition system.

 

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previous page: 12.1 Copperhead, squib, electric match, thermalite, flash bulb. What are all these types of igniters, how much current do they require, and when are they used?
  
page up: Model Rockets FAQ
  
next page: 12.3 I've heard that Copperhead igniters are 'unreliable' for igniting HPR motors. Is that true?