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Topic: "Synchronized" Flashpots
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Feb 20, 2009 03:42PM)
I have no use for this right now, but is it possible to synchronize flashpots so as to cover a wide area (eight feet or more) with flash and smoke simultaneously? If they were just parallelled, it seems like there could be delays in the ignition and firings of the multiple pots.

Just curious...
Message: Posted by: trey (Feb 20, 2009 06:03PM)
Why not use Co2?

Message: Posted by: Loyal R (Feb 20, 2009 06:16PM)
Have a look here: http://www.starmgc.com/flashpot.html
Message: Posted by: Fitz (Mar 2, 2009 04:09PM)
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 2, 2009 10:05PM)
I realize that this was probably a strange question.

I'm not really looking for an alternate technique (such as CO2). I'm just curious whether six or eight individual "standard" flashpots with glow plugs can be synchronized to fire at once, or if there is a more advanced type of flash pot "hardware" with this capability built in.
Message: Posted by: trey (Mar 2, 2009 10:13PM)
There are some really nice flash pots out there. I have seen some really advanced controllers too. So I would guess that you could get pretty darn close. I think if you had all your flash pots loaded all the same. And all running to the same switch. Not daisy chained together. That would be pretty close. Or DMX is an option.

Message: Posted by: Dr. Solar (Mar 2, 2009 11:44PM)
They will fire a rapidly as electricity travels. You wouldn't see the difference from the first in line to the eighth, maybe a second. They could also have delays between them for set times between flashes. CO2? How would that flash?

Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 3, 2009 01:34AM)
Firing pyro all at one is very simple. As glow plug flash pots are not 100% reliable as far as timing goes, I would recommend flashes that are ignited by a small squib (electric match). LeMaitre is a good manufacturer.

For firing, just connect all wires to a single firing unit (or one channel of a multi-channel unit). Just make sure the unit has enough power to make sure everything will go off. In film work, I have very often used a 12V car battery charger as my power source.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 3, 2009 04:53AM)
On 2009-03-03 02:34, mvmagic wrote:
... I would recommend flashes that are ignited by a small squib (electric match). LeMaitre is a good manufacturer.

Thank you. I figured it could be done, but I wasn't familiar with the squib units. Now I understand what Loyal R is pointing me to, above.
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 3, 2009 06:07AM)
Yeah, those are good units too. Larger initial investment, but as you add the chemicals yourself (and the squib/match) you can customize. LeMaitre units are ready-to-use one-shot units.
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Mar 3, 2009 11:55AM)
The standard in the industry is Pyropak. You won't be able to just order this stuff online though .. you'll need the proper licensing, and that's not easy these days. This is the very same stuff bands like KISS use in concert.

As far as your original question, a set of flashpots can easily be fired at once without delay. Flashpots can be daisy-chained together three per circuit, up to six channels on one board .. for a total of (18) devices. On the controller it's a matter of arming the devices and turning a key. Up

There is no delay .. BOOM!

Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Mar 3, 2009 12:52PM)
"BOOM!" not good... "POOF!" good...
Message: Posted by: Regan (Mar 3, 2009 01:53PM)
My band used to like the "boom"! We louded some flashpots for flash, some for fire, some for colored flames and/or sparks, and some for sound. The audible ones created the type of booms you could feel!
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Mar 3, 2009 02:24PM)
You also have to remember the very same stuff brought down a club in Rhode Island. All joking aside, you have to play it safe and leave it up to the experts in this field. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt .. or killed.

Message: Posted by: Regan (Mar 3, 2009 03:40PM)
Steve is right! Pyro can be dangerous!

We (my band) took some chances in the past that I would never think of doing now. By the way, just so I'm not misunderstood, I said we "my band used to like the boom". I'm not in a rock group now, and I have eliminated most fire effects from my shows.

Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 4, 2009 01:20AM)
Yes, Steve and Regan are right. You can [i]never[/i] be too careful with pyro.

I designed and supervised special effects and illusions for the play Harold & Maude. During one scene, Harold assembles a bomb (that could have been a change from the original) from sticks of dynamite, attaches a fuse, lights it and walks offstage and the bomb explodes in the wing. That was a 3 part physical gag. We had a flash pot, a medium maroon (loud bang) and an air cannon to shoot pieces of cork, dust and balsa wood on stage. All were fired at the same time.

For the flash and maroon I had the scenery shop weld a mortar which was two pieces of thick-wall (about an inch) steel tube welded to a flatbar and angled properly. Each tube had a mesh cap that was screwed on to prevent burning debris from flying.

I was not on site every day as there was a trainee who was lisenced to fire pyro. He found the steel mortar to be too heavy to move around (it was 20+ lbs) so he took two empty [b]pineapple cans[/b], screwed them to a 2by4. All this without asking me. When he fired the event, the can with the maroon totally obliterated, making it a shrapnel bomb. Pieces of the can were embedded in scenery and they tore right thru the blacks nearby. Fortunately no one got hurt.

Long story, but things can really go wrong with a seemingly simple thing. He had thought the maroon is just a bang and not a "real" explosion-but didn't realise that to make that loud of a bang, there gonna be a [i]lot[/i] of pressure.