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'Pyro Control via PIC'
1999\10\15@090835 by David Duffy

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<x-flowed>Hi everyone,
A client has asked about firing pyrotechnics via a computer system.
Has anyone had any experience with this ?  I don't see any great
problems doing the software & serial hardware but I'm not sure of
the best (safe) way to fire the igniters. I thought of sending the data
out to the remote points via RS-485 and having a PIC in each firing
module that decodes the commands & activates the individual outputs.
Each module would service a group of up to 25 charges I guess.
That way, only a comms line + say a 24Vdc power cable is required.
I imagine the user wiring ALL of the igniters to the remote modules
FIRST and THEN hooking up power & comms back at the controller.
Does this sound like the way to go ?  Please reply either on/off list.
Regards,
Dave Duffy.

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1999\10\15@092955 by M. Adam Davis

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Well, as long as it is a fail safe system:

1) Said modules should use relays to connect voltage the flashpots
(which voltage spikes, emc/emf will not affect) The relay should default
to connecting both lines of the flashpot to ground.  Make sure the
flashpot itself is grounded so that any hands that come near discharge
their static into the flashpot casing, and not the powder itself.
2) Modules should individually have a keylock power switch.
3) Said modules perform a power up test to ensure that they are
operating correctly.
4) Whatever protocol you use must have rock-hard error checking.
5) The data transmission method must be fault tolerant/fail safe such
that any huge voltage(or emf/emc) placed on the line will not cause the
modules to go off (ie, the connector just happens to be connected to the
sound board with 48v phantom power, or, in extreme cases, comes in
contact with 120/240ac...)  (this is a good argument for
non-standard/hard to get connectors)

Of course, the only good flashpot is a hardwired one...

-Adam

David Duffy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\10\15@132914 by Dave VanHorn

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IMHO, the only way to make it SAFE would be to break the power until
everyone is off the range, and put that switch in the hands of the RSO.

Once everyone is off the range, then the system can be powered up, and if
something misfires, it's merely embarrasing. An 8" mortar shell can ruin
your ENTIRE day.

1999\10\15@144148 by William Chops Westfield

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There are any numnber of commercial pyro firing systems controllable by
computer, some selling for less than $5k including a laptop computer, and
presumably by people who have the liability insurance issues covered.

I liked the demo at Western Winter Blast a couple years ago when they played
drum riffs using salutes...

BillW

1999\10\15@145003 by Larry G. Nelson Sr.

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Check out http://www.magicfire.com


At 11:39 AM 10/15/99 PDT, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>There are any numnber of commercial pyro firing systems controllable by
>computer, some selling for less than $5k including a laptop computer, and
>presumably by people who have the liability insurance issues covered.
>
>I liked the demo at Western Winter Blast a couple years ago when they played
>drum riffs using salutes...
>
>BillW
>
>
Larry G. Nelson Sr.
spam_OUTL.NelsonTakeThisOuTspamieee.org
http://www.ultranet.com/~nr

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