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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Up in smoke! » » What is more reliable than a finger flasher? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Count Zapik
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Is there some other bit of kit, more reliable than a concealed finger flasher, for secretly igniting flash cotton in the hands?
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Count Zapik
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Finger flasher / hand flasher -same thing ;-))))
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Ray Pierce
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The small flesh colored flint style cup with the finger clip is still my “Go To” method. Not much to go wrong with it and always works.
Ray Pierce
Count Zapik
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You say it always works for you - that is great. I find that the flint does not always send out a strong enough spark to ignite the flash. In the same way that a zippo sometimes misses first time. I was just wondering if there were any tips to maximise the success rate- it can look a bit naff without that accompanying flash when producing an object out of thin air.
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Wravyn
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Are you using flash paper or flash cotton? For me, I found cotton to ignite easier from the spark wheel. Also, if your spark is getting weak, even though there may be flint available in the device, it is time to change it out.
Count Zapik
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I am using flash cotton which catches the spark a bit easier, sometimes I use a bit of flash paper beneath the cotton to heighten the effect and make the flash a little stronger. It is all down to the device the magician is using I suppose. I have been using my collection of ancient flint hand flashers from 20 years ago for a new routine I am developing. Recently, I have tested the JLB Flasher but without 100% success. The Bracco hand flasher, which arrived in the post today seems a bit more efficient, but its early days and I have yet to road test it on an audience. It is important I have a device that is efficient and reliable since I work professionally. I hedge my bets, using John Carney's appearing deck, ('Chill deck' from Carneycopia), in case the flash does not go off, desperately hoping that if there is a flash to magically accompany the appearing deck so much the better. Ideally, as I am sure you can imagine, I want more confidence in the device I end up using. I know there have been recent electric or electronic flash options. But, and here is here is the million dollar question, do any of them work? A few that have appeared in recent years are no longer available. That fact speaks volumes. Whoever comes up with a reliable and 100% efficient method to make a flash accompany a production in real world performing conditions deserves our unreserved thanks. For my part I suspect we are all still waiting... If anyone knows otherwise I, indeed all of us, would love to hear from you...
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
Ray Pierce
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For me, the most important thing is making sure the flint is ground down enough that it gets 100% contact with the flint wheel. When the flint is new, it only contacts the wheel in the center giving a very small spark. Once it is worn down a little and broken in it creates more surface area contacting the wheel and produces a much more reliable ignition. I’m sorry I didn’t spell that out earlier but makes so much difference in reliability.
Ray Pierce
Count Zapik
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Thanks for that insight Ray- great experiential knowledge - I will check it out. ;-)))
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
FrankFindley
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The problem with traditional electronic ignition based on heated wires (e.g. nichrome) is that the timing has been unreliable. It can take a second or two after actuating for the wire to heat up to the point to ignite the flash cotton/paper. And this delay varies based on the amount of battery charge. Just the other day, I had a three count delay with a pyro-mini.

However, the newer plasma based ignition systems are a game changer. They produce a hot plasma arc that ignites 100% of the time practically instantaneously. I am slowly converting everything over to plasma ignition. I now have a plasma-based flaming wallet, hot book, and a plasma lighter on a p***. I got the wallet from Daytona Magic at the IBM Convention and it was literally the last one they had. They sold out in first couple days.

Depending on what you are doing a plasma lighter on a p*** is very nice. You just palm off your flash paper whenever you need fire and you can ignite it, throw it and your hands are then free. So easy to get into play. You just need a plasma lighter that is button activated and doesn't have a sleep mode. I wish Fantasio was still with us as I am sure he would have incorporated this technology into his appearing candles. He was looking for a solution like this.
Count Zapik
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Sounds good Frank. Has anyone used the technology to creat a hand flasher?
I feel as if I have been whisked here from another life....it may even have been my own!
FrankFindley
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Quote:
On Aug 9, 2022, Count Zapik wrote:
Sounds good Frank. Has anyone used the technology to creat a hand flasher?


I have not yet seen anyone micro-size the technology to that level. But pretty much everything else has been done by someone. One I forgot to mention is embedding a plasma "candle" or "BBQ" lighter in a wand (i.e. painted tube). People use that to not only ignite flash paper but to magically ignite lighter fluid in dove pans, ash trays, etc.
FrankFindley
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FYI. "High Voltage Arc Igniter" embedded in a TT has just started appearing in online stores like ebay and aliexpress. So it looks like this type of microsized technology is now on the menu.
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