One of the perennial questions I and others are asked on the flying field are:
1 Did you make it yourself mister? 2. I was told you couldn't get Rapiers now? 3. Surely Rapiers could be made in the UK - it would be easy? 4 : how can the Rapiers I've got be fired up as there isn't any fuse?
Only question (4) deserves a detailed answer as (1) can be answered by a grunt, (2) by a sigh and (3) by 'please go on to our website and explore this topic and come back with informed comments /questions!'
So, to answer (4), years ago Dr John Emmet developed a Jetex igniter which is also suitable for Rapiers:
These do occasionally appear on eBay but they are rare and need a really high power Ni-CAD battery to work well and they drain even a 2500 mAh 'D' battery quite quickly.
Clever rocketeers have been using a 'Bovie' cauterizer for years now - I think there is a blog about it somewhere.
But there are problems with this useful tool:
1. they are quite expensive and will not be sold in bulk to a non-medical person.
2. They are quite tricky to modify when the batteries run out or the element breaks - which happens all too soon.
But now there is a better answer: Tony Butterworth found this neat device recently:
This 'non medical' product is about 10-15 pounds and, being for multiple, rather than single, use, rather better made than the Bovie. .
It also has the advantage that the end can be unscrewed, old batteries removed and two new ones popped in.
The element it comes with is rather too short for our purposes, but the supporting electrodes can be filed and the ends cracked off to reveal a convenient hole (which some Bovie tools do not have) to for a new 28 SWG Nichrome element to be pushed into.
Above: modified Cord Zapper. The 28 SWG element is bent so as to fit the Rapier orifice ( those of the L-1 are slightly narrower than the L-2) but do leave a gap between the wires! Broken elements are easily removed and replaced.
Two AA batteries appear to give a quite healthy glow, adequate to ignite most Rapiers, but I would guess one would have to go to the flying field equipped with a goodly supply of batteries (at least eight) and 5-6 2" lengths of Nichrome wire.
I bought mine on eBay (inevitably) but I'm sure there are other sources.
See you on the field - do not hesitate to ask for zapping!
Hi Guys, a very happy rocketeering 2017 to you all.
I was putting a package together for a modeller recently. This consisted of a batch of Rapier L-1s and a batch of L-2s and, of course, as he is new to the game, an igniter.
As you can see from previous posting on this thread,one favoured means of igniting Rapiers is the 'Cord Zap' discovered by the estimable Tony Butterworth.
So I tried to buy some Cord Zaps, not thinking there would be a problem - after all, I bought several last year.
However, it seems the only readily available 'Zapper' is now the 'Thread Zap'.
Above: the Thread Zap is smaller than the Cord Zap
OK, Ok, you say, so?
Well, the 'Thread Zap uses only one, not two AA batteries like the more powerful 'Cord Zap' and therefore may not ignite a Rapier, or if it does, not when the Rapier is 'oldish stock' and needs a lot of heat to get going (but is otherwise OK) and not when it's cold and windy.
Now I'm sure the Thread Zaps ali body can be modified to take two or even three AA batteries, but it's a shame we can't now get the original (or not easily and cheaply, as before - I don't really want to deal with a seller in Canada) and it's enough to put any new Rapier flyer off. Which is a pity.
How about an old cigar tube or plastic tube to extend the Thread Zap ll?"
This is all good stuff, but I note the first website is dated 'March 2016' and things may have changed since then.
The cigar tube idea is good, but note the internal diameter of the cigar tubes would have to be 17 mm to be a snug fit . The tubes I've seen are 19 mm. Anybody know of a source of suitable metal tubing?
Any engineers out there - perhaps we need to craft our own igniter?