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#1 The_Djinn

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 10:10 AM

This link is intended for members who participate in professional displays to share some of there experiences with the forum.

I will kick it off with two recent displays.

Date ? 5th June 04
Event ? UKRA
Firing for - BPS
Type ? Cat4
Duration 5 ? 6 minutes

As I am sure you have noticed, the ?firing for? is BPS. I termed it BPS as the entire display was set up and fired by BPS members being RichardH, AdamW, BigG, The_Djinn, Tony. Unfortunately Rhodri who was a major contributor towards this display was not able to make it due to circumstances. Arthur Brown also arrived to offer his assistance later in the day.
For those of you that think working on a display is all glamour, let me advise you now that it is far from that as it is non stop hard laborious work.
AdamW and RichardH started setting up around 10am with myself arriving around 11am and BigG not to long after.
There was a lot of digging to do as all the larger single mortar tubes were buried in the ground. All the racks had to be positioned and staked securely. All the cakes used had to have quick match added and had to be wrapped to make them water resistant. A great deal of time was then spent fusing the various size shells that were used and grouping some of them together. Spanish delays were also used to add timing between some of the shells. Once all the shells were loaded into there mortars and the cakes had been positioned and staked we then set about adding the electric match to each of the fuses. Once this was complete we got down to running a few miles of wire from the cue modules and connecting everything up.
After a walk around inspection that everything had been connected, AdamW carried out a continuity test on the system. AdamW and myself resolved the couple of open circuits that showed during the test and we were now ready to fire the show? the time was 10pm. That?s right, 12 hours with barely a break to set up for a show that was fired in just over 5 minutes. Believe you me, the aching muscles and blisters go to show that it is no easy task and glamour is the last thing on your mind.
After we all retired to a safe distance, leaving RichardH and AdamW in the middle of the field with the firing box, the show got underway. The show was fired fast and furious and there was not even a split second were the sky was not full of stars from the bombardment of shells being launched as fast as AdamW?s fingers could move.

All in all and excellent display as I am sure all those members present will confirm as well as the client and guests.

I hope this first post has given some of you a bit of insight into the work that is involved on the day never mind the preparation that goes in leading up to an event.

Mark
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#2 Richard H

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:18 AM

It was a long, long day, and it was great that so many members came along to help out and muck in with setting up the several hundred kilo's of pyro! We couldn't have dont it without you guys, so give yourselves a round of applause!

Rhodri was there in spirit, hopefully he will be there in person next time :)

Here are lots and lots of pictures taken before and during the display. Some photo's were taken by myself, the better ones being taken by The_Dijnn and Bob Arnott.

Click below:
http://www.ukrocketr...ls.php?album=33

#3 The_Djinn

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:25 AM

Date ? 19th & 20th June 04
Event ? Belvoir Castle ? Jooles Holland Concert
Firing for ? Kimbolt0n
Type ? Cat4
Duration 5 ? 6 minutes

As Most of you know, Kimbolt0n is the only fireworks manufacturing company in the UK which gives them a slight advantage that when required they can make specific effects for their displays. Those of you who have read ?Principles and Practices? will also know who owns Kimbolt0n.

The shows on these two days were to end off the concert on each evening. Great thing is that you only have to set up the mortars and equipment once but when it comes to fusing, that is still carried out on each day.
Even with a 3 man crew the set up was pretty quick due to the mortars being racked and not having to be dug in but still a lot of work to carry and position the rack?s and secure them. Cakes and candles were staked and then the task of fusing shells began.
Once the shells were loaded we started to wire up the cakes and candles to the digital firing system (used manually on this occasion). The shells were to be fired by hand.
All in all it took around 5 hours to set up not taking into account the pre prep during the days leading up to the event.
The object was to fire as fast as possible to avoid he fireworks display becoming the main attraction of the evening. Come launch time we received the cue to stand by followed by the cue to commence.. all hell broke loose. For those of you who have never sat directly below a show with 8? mortar racks no more than 10 feet away, let me tell you it brings new meaning to ?feeling the earth move?.
Unfortunately for those who like to appreciate a great display, sitting in the middle of it means you get to see practically nothing and in general you are to busy in any case.
All in all, there was a good selection of shells of various types and bursts as well as some great cakes. The candles were also spectacular. Fast firing shows like this leave no pauses through out the show and are always pleasing to spectators.

Watching the mortars being lit by hand at the rate they were was a show in its self. The crew member basically pirouetted up and down the line with a port fire in his hand following the same routing over and over? remove cover from quickmatch rotate, brace.. fire etc. etc.
For the second show everything was the same, except this time I positioned my video camera a couple hundred feet down the field to catch the show on film (only way you get to see what it looks like). Unfortunately I need to invest in a wide angle lens otherwise you tend to miss out on so much being so close.
I tried to fire off some stills but didn?t have as much luck as I did with the UKRA event. The pics will be online soon in the forum gallery and I will see what we can do to get the video online.

Mark

Edited by The_Djinn, 26 June 2004 - 11:23 AM.

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#4 adamw

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:23 PM

Yes a big thankyou to all that helped out at the UKRA event. You all worked extremely hard and I'm sure that like me you saw that it all payed off. Everyone loved it and next year they say that want it even bigger!!

Bob and everyone who contributed the photos - excellent job! Some truly awesome ones there! If anyone else took photos or videos we would be interested to hear from you. Videos from the audience side are of real interest.
75 : 15: 10... Enough said!

#5 The_Djinn

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Posted 01 July 2004 - 04:24 PM

Displays this weekend

2/07/04
Goodwood racecourse
Superstars Spectacular Fireworks Concert.
http://www.chifest.org.uk/events04.cfm

3/07/04
Bedford
Bedford River Festival
http://www.bedfordon...only.asp?id=414

Write ups next week.

Mark
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#6 pyrotechnist

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 11:16 PM

Has anyone got vid to show yet? I am dieing to se. What type of fireworks did you use what company? I am just curios what firing system did you use as well? I am making one at school in electronics for my main project next year. So ho in the photos is Adam W and Richard H and BigG ho is in the photos that shows some people setting it up pleas tell me :D ?. Thanks.

:P
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#7 The_Djinn

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 09:20 AM

*Yawn*

Okay, brief round up.

Fridays show at Goodwood was brilliant. No picks or vid as there just isnt time. Rigging started around 1pm, fiered the show 10:45 and got back home around 4:30 only to get up at 8:30 to start all over again for the Bedford event which I got back from at 2:15. This gives you an idea of the hours a crew works and as mentioned else where in the forum it is not a life of glamour, it is back breaking hard work which I think BigG will tell you as well after working on the Bedford show.
To answer pyrotechnist's questions, nope... no video but did get some pics from Bedford which I will send to Richard for the Gallery. Fireworks used are all Cat4, consisting of fountains, cakes, candels, mines and 3" - 10" shells. Both shows this weekend were fiered using the Fireone system as they were choreographed to music. For those of you who dont know about some of the technology involved with the digital fireing systems, this system knows that if you want a shell to burst at an exact point in time with the music like on a drum beat, it already knows that the will take 3 seconds to get to altitude and burst and will fire it automatically 3 seconds prior to the brum beat that you want it to burst on.
The company is Kimbolton which reminds me, just to let those of you that wish to buy Lancaster's book, the 4th addition is at the printers and is due out in a couple of months... lots of new formula and all the pictures have been re-drawn.
The people in the picks are Adam and Richard, Tony, BigG and I think they may have snuck on in there with me on it... will have to check later when my eye's are open properly.

Just to give you an idea of the layout for Goodwood, there were 9 front positions which consisted of candles, fountains and mines used for chase sequences and what would look like a wall of fire. Two Middle positions consisting of cakes and candles with one rear position of shells... to many to count (stop drooling :P ).

Bedford show was much the same but with 11 fronts of mines, candles and fountains, 6 middle cakes and candles and 3 rear shell battery's. Must add this, when a 10" willow fieres, you think it will never end - talk about hang time in the air.
I could go on to tell you about the fiering sequence, but it would not do the shows any justice. You have to be there to really enjoy it and appreciate it with the music.
Okay, back off to bed now but I am sure BigG will add to this to give you an idea of his experiences over the weekend.

Mark

Edited by The_Djinn, 04 July 2004 - 09:23 AM.

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#8 Creepin_pyro

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 10:56 AM

Sounds excelent - I hope to get to a show sometime... need to pass my driving test :-) Would love to have been there filming - it sound like you guys put on a fantastic display.

I've always wondered, assuming you e-match everything (nessicairy for a musical show?), where do the matches sit in the shell leaders? surely you want as little physical delay in the piped matches to get that millisecond precision...
then again, you don't want to be sitting there with a 10" shell on your lap, cutting the quickmatch right next to the lift pouch, and inserting a friction sensetive (is that right :rolleyes: ) e-match......

#9 The_Djinn

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 11:07 AM

To answer you question, the e-match is inserted directly into the shell leader (quick match) wich has a burn rate of somewhere around 300ft a second hence the delay from the e-match to shell lift is micro seconds.

For choreographed displays 99% of the time it will be shot electronically. Good results can be achieved with cleaver fusing and delays and a stop watch but not as acurate as the systems used on large displays.
There is also a lot of skill and knowledge involved in the design of a diplay and Kimb0ltons display manager knows his stuff which can be seen by the string of international awards they have won.

Mark
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#10 Richard H

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 11:11 AM

There are several techniques used, by different companies. Some will actually place the e-match into the lift charge pouch of the shell itself and secure the wire around the leader loop to prevent the matchhead being ripped out and igniting (which could be very nasty indeed).

Another technique is to shorten the shell leader to around 1 foot and then secure the e-match to it, again taking care to prevent any accidental removal of the e-match should the shell need to be lifted out.

Generally e-matching operations are safer where the shell itself is in the mortar tube, as if the worst happens the shell will travel away from the firer in a controlled direction (i.e. upwards!), rather than functioning at point blank range.

Another technique is to use electronic time fuse chips onboard each shell, and program in the correct delay accounting for the desired altitude and the Ms duration of the shell leader fuse. Obviously the last method gives the greatest amount of control where split milisecond timing is required.

For more info see:

http://www.magicfire...ors_family.html

Generally though it is most common that the e-match is placed at the end of the leader, after the shell is in situe within the mortar.

#11 pyrotechnist

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:35 PM

Did you lot buy the firing system? Or did you rent it from Kimbolton or someone else? Hoe did you lot do the music thing did the software do it all for you or you had to program your self?s? I am a computer programmer C, C++ I know but like fireworks more but if you ever want help with any programming give me a call. I am stuck on how to use the firing systems I do not have one. I am building one soon at school for my main electronics project. How does it all work and what does it all look like? Thanks for your info up to now thanks looking forward to hearing from yas.
fireworks is my aim setting of is the game

#12 The_Djinn

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:45 PM

pyrotechnist,

I didnt hire the system from Kimb0lton, I work on one of their display crews.
With regards to the software, have a look at this site there is all the info on Fireone's systems and there software.

Also on the previous post by Richard, there is a link to another system has simular if not the same features as the Fireone system.

Mark

Edited by The_Djinn, 04 July 2004 - 08:41 PM.

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#13 pyrotechnist

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 03:48 PM

Do you have a picture of one close up or which shows the detail of one or know were there is one? I am in great need for a picy of one so i can see the text on it and know what it says only the controler not the slave box. How do you wire it up? Do you plug the slave box into the controler and then plug the wires from the slave box into the fireworks? Thanks.
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#14 The_Djinn

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 04:23 PM

pyrotechnist,

Dont have link to bigger pictures. If I get a chance I will take a picture and post it for you to see.
Most systems are simular, but a brief explanation of the Fireone Firelight system is the control box is connected to the firing module using a 2 wire cable. The firing modules have there own address. Connected to the firing module is a slat / rail which has 32 connectors on it known as cue's. You connect the electric match to each of these. From the control box you can select which firing module and which cue on that firing module you want to fire.
The system can be fired manualy by selecting the firing module and cue and hitting the fire button or with a computer connected you can program the firing sequence and let the computer controll the show. You can also insert timecode into a music track that can activate the firing in time to your music.

Thats pretty much it in brief.

Mark
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#15 pyrotechnist

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 08:05 PM

Hi thanks what type of cable does it use? What are the cables called so i can buy some for my firing system i am building.
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