Forums > Technical Discussion > Button-start flame (staff) idea

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TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
There is always a bit of hassle involved with lighters or tea lights or matches or campfires or whatever else you might use to set light you your poi/staff etc.

What I am proposing would be a method of button-starting flame cool for that extra wow! factor. Whether it would work or not is up for debate.

You'd need to run a few strands of wire similiar to that used in bathroom bar heaters (see: https://www.omega.co.uk/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=NI60&Nav=temh03)
through or around the wicks of your staff, and then have the wire connect to some thin but non-red hot wires running down the staff shaft (perhaps inside it for aluminium ones) to a battery compartment within the staff body (not sure what batteries would be necessary), and through a small switch in some unobtrusive position.

You'd press the switch, the coils in the wicks would glow red hot (which could be a cool side effect) and then set fire to the wicks, whereupon you could deactivate the switch and start spinning. By incorproating the battery into an in-staff compartment, the balance and contact-staffability of the staff isn't affected.

This could be implemented into devilstick easily, and perhaps to poi with some extra thought (the bulk of a battery would make it much easier IN staff than ON poi).

Potential problems I can forsee with this method are as follows:

-Installation of the battery compartment.
-The wire is quite expensive, but you get a lot on one reel.
-Batteries and current. I don't know the current output for a AA battery in a high-resistance circuit, nor do I know the current required to reach the flash point for paraffin. If any electricianish people can help with this, that would be great.

Now the question is, who is willing to try this out, as I haven't ever even made my own wicks let alone anything on this scale...(and I just ordered a large quantity of bits of kit off here on a student budget and am broke eek)

*HyperLightBRONZE Member
old hand
1,174 posts
Location: Great Malvern [UK]


Posted:
I think you'll be hard pressed to get the wire hot enough to light your staff without burning through it (the wire) altogether.

You'll need some fairly beefy batteries - NiMh are probably best because they can sustain very high currents.

Just be careful.. batteries can explode if you try and draw too much current!

Cake or Death?


TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
The wire is temperature resistant to over 1000 degrees (or so sayeth the website) and so that shouldn't be a problem. You can also get wire with higher temperature resistance should that be necessary...I can't imagine the flames getting that hot. Do you know the safe operating current for a, say, 2300mAh NiMh battery? Or am I being stupid, and it would be 2300mA?

polaritySILVER Member
veteran
1,228 posts
Location: on the wrong planet, United Kingdom


Posted:
You may want to take a look at the batteries used for R/C cars, as they're designed to withstand a much higher discharge current than ordinary household batteries, and they come in a size called 'sub-C' that should fit in a staff grip quite well (slightly thicker than AAs). They also come with solder tags welded to the ends.

If you google and look around some manufacturers sites you may be able to find the safe discharge currents for their batteries (try Fameart and Yuasa, as they're big producers of batteries, and probably have theirs rebadged for a lot of other sellers).

maH is a measure of capacity (the current draw that can be sustained for 1 hour). You can take a higher current from the battery, but it won't last for the specified hour.

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.


drvarietySILVER Member
member
75 posts
Location: Mission viejo CA, USA


Posted:
I may be missing some obvious technical error in this idea, but wouldn't it be easier to start the flames by creating a spark, similar to a stove, and having a very small battery than having huge NiMh batteries attached to the staff. Just an idea... shrug

There is nothing to be afraid of. Virtual reality will eventually rehabilitate your mind and eventually your body. Everything will be allright, i promise. Just concentrate. Try some music.


drvarietySILVER Member
member
75 posts
Location: Mission viejo CA, USA


Posted:
oh ya, not nearly enough fuel for that to work, just ignore that last post...

There is nothing to be afraid of. Virtual reality will eventually rehabilitate your mind and eventually your body. Everything will be allright, i promise. Just concentrate. Try some music.


TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
In so far as I am aware an NiMh battery is easily and most readily available in AA size, and so they would fit easily into the average staff shaft.

It takes an age to light cold kit with a lighter flame, let alone sparks! wink

polaritySILVER Member
veteran
1,228 posts
Location: on the wrong planet, United Kingdom


Posted:
best site for battery information

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.


TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
Thanks. Hmm lots to think about, and still no clue about the current that would be required...any physicists or electricians or engineers that can help with that?

AdeSILVER Member
Are we there yet?
1,897 posts
Location: australia


Posted:
check out the self igniting staff thread on HoP as well...some discussion there that might save you some time and money... smile

TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
Thank you.



Having just read *hyperlights thread about his HyperPoi that he has designed and built, I've decided that this is well worth some experimenting and designing, so I'm going to make a start and see how I do. For now, I'll just make some cathedral wicks with the wire embedded in them, then soak them in paraffin and see what I can do with getting something to set fire smile Although having said that, I'll need to wait for a few days for some money to come in...(who wants bank holidays when you have a cheque that needs to clear?cool)



If anyone has further advice or ideas let me know...
EDITED_BY: TotalEclipse (1156771716)

Suibomaddict
577 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
Biggest problem I see with this is that the flame occurrs on the outside of the wick, not the inside. So, there would have to be some exceedingly hot wiring happening exposed to ignite the outside. You wouldn't want this happening on the inside so much, cause that will likely end up degrading the inner wick. Also, you generally want to minimize the exposed metal, as this is what causes them nice little scars.

I'd probably run the wire to the tip of the staff, then expose a small coiling on the top of the wick, just enough to be exposed to fuel and oxygen. The downside is staff drops to the end are likely to damage the coil. The other thing is that you want to make sure (depending on staff build) the area where the wire is pulled to the top of the staff is sealed tight, so you don't have fuel leakage into the core.

Peace,
- Sui

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
HoP claims that the kevlar is temperature resistant to 650 degrees, and looking at the current/temperature values and using some of my A-level physics, I can work out the voltage that will provide a temperature of around 570-600 degrees (safety margin of 50 degrees). I plan to construct the wick using 1.6mm kevlar as opposed to 3.2, and have the wires below the outermost layer of wick, thus not leaving exposed metal but still being close enough to the surface. I'll experiment with wire wool as well on a non-staffed up wick before I invest in some nichrome wire, as its quite costly for a reel.

Alternatively, I could mount a coil not above but right below the wick - save it being dropped on and prevent fuel leakage - but still have the non-wick metal.

I shall experiment. I am confident that I can get it running on AA batteries (although they might need to be 2300 or 2700mAh rechargeables).

polaritySILVER Member
veteran
1,228 posts
Location: on the wrong planet, United Kingdom


Posted:
https://www.modelpower.co.uk/
has a few more battery sizes if you need to pick a size to give maximum power, although they don't do much by way of lithium batteries.

You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.


TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
Cheers. Got the body of the staff today, going to be a long one (150cm) Shall order some wicking soon to test with, but for now I am just about to try lighting a tiny amount of paraffin in a dish with some fuse wire and standard AAs, and see if I can get a response. I'll try some steel wool as well pre-nichrome, as it'll take a while for the nichrome to arrive when I order it.

Does anyone have any tips for drilling metal poles? Or should I return to my old school tech department and borrow their vices + pillar drill? And everyone who makes their own staffs - I have never made a fire one before, so any advice on that front would be _very_ welcome!

UCOFSILVER Member
..lonely.
15,416 posts
Location: South Wales


Posted:
Mertal poles you say?

I reckon a bit of masking tape, over the area you want to drill wil help to not let the bit slip off.
Obvisouly hold the pole in a vice.

Or is that glass you need the masking tape for? umm


I'd go back to school. they are REALLY useful for that sort of thing, just take a piece of paper signed by you stating that you wont sue the school in case you get injured, and you shoudl have no problem... especially if you got on well with the DT teachers. ubbrollsmile

TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
Good idea about the paper. I'll acquire the wooden dowel first, and drill with that inside the tube to prevent any buckling or denting it might be tempted to do. The masking tape is a good plan as well, although in theory the pole won't be able to move at all on account that the vice is viced to the drill itself.

I did 2 years of resistant materials in school, and consequently I do happen to know the teachers rather well cool

Oh, and before I go off drilling holes - does anyone know the size of screw I should be using to attach the wick? diameter-wise? (and length wise, but for the purposes of the holes, diameter wise? abd is there anything I should know about attaching the wicks in terms of washers or materials? I've looked at various sites, but I'd appriciate any tips from those who have built.

UCOFSILVER Member
..lonely.
15,416 posts
Location: South Wales


Posted:
Aye, a pillar drill should be just the job, but you will end up having a massive pole sticking out of the side of it.

and resistant materials was one of my favourite GCSEs bounce
We got used to caling our teacher by his first name :cooler: wink

Size of screw, depends on how thick your pole is really. Thicker pole = longer screw, and I reckon a 5mm bit should do you nicely.

TotalEclipseGOLD Member
Member
120 posts
Location: Nr Petersfield, United Kingdom


Posted:
From what I remember of the pillar drill there should be plenty of room. I'm using a 19mm pole - should the screws go all the way through, or just into the dowel?

Resistant materials was excellent. My coursework, I remember, had some ridiculous curve on it made of layers of thin wood, which took a huge former and about 15 G cramps and some sash cramps to secure...they were the days... bounce

Quick update:
I managed last night to use two AA 2300mAh batteries to smoulder some fuel-soaked kitchen towel in a coil, but the batteries were fairly flat and I couldn't repeat the experiment. they didn't break a sweat though, stayed cool, so the current draw there was evidently ok. Problem was, that the fuse wire evaporated the fuel from around it and then just charred the towel. I was using lighter fluid though - not sure if that has a higher or lower flash point than paraffin. Will have to look that up.

UCOFSILVER Member
..lonely.
15,416 posts
Location: South Wales


Posted:
You only want it into the dowel, in my opinion, as if it goes through to the other side, the pokey bit can damage the inside of your wick. Not that that matters for ages though.

I got one of the highest marks in my class for my project. I made a wooden trolley with different colour building blocks that went inside the trolley. It was brilliant biggrin
Ahhh, those were the days.

I remember getting marked down for "getting too much help from the teacher" using the big bench saw which we wernt allowed to use anyway confused
Would have taken ages by hand rolleyes

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