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Member Since 13 Sep 2007
Offline Last Active Sep 04 2020 10:05 AM

#89018 accidental efficient way to produce conductive lampblack

Posted by icarus on 03 May 2020 - 10:31 PM

conductive lampblack is very useful in the production of bridgeless igniters these can be mass produced from ribbon cable.

i had purchased a 4kw diesel chinese heater . These have a drip feed pump and glow plug combustion chamber a12v fan blows hot air out for use in vehicles    etc  I was far too mean to spend money on diesel fuel so i ran it on kerosene central heating oil . after 5 hours running it stopped and would not ignite fuel.

i unbolted the combustion chamber the chamber was totally filled with about a cup full of high quality conductive lampblack i emptied the chamber into a secure jar. on reassembly the heater works well -no damage .

commercial production of conductive lampblack was from kerosene many years ago , its main use in industry today is making conductive rubber

 bridgeless igniter composition uses cmc a water based binder carboxyl methyl cellulose is found in cake shops as an additive when icing cakes if it isnt available then wall paper paste is a suitable alternative the small quantities of anti fungal present do not affect its combustion

#89007 who is still alive? or active?

Posted by icarus on 19 April 2020 - 08:15 PM

Hi i am hoping to make a visco machine it would be very interesting to see how different compositions behaved as a fuse core I have been playing with fuse compounds mixed into silicon sealant and then loaded back into a sealant cartridge so the mastic gun becomes a fusing gun  if the compounds are reduced in viscosity by the addition of cellulose thinners then they can be dispensed from a syringe but cannot be stored in the syringe as the solvent damages the syringe plunger rubber 

#88850 Some photos of bits I made for bonfire night 2017

Posted by icarus on 28 February 2018 - 09:09 PM

its time to buy shares in titanium flake producers ..They looked great!!!

#88674 Boric acid

Posted by icarus on 12 January 2018 - 11:53 PM

that is really re assuring!! boric acid was also called boracic acid  the pure pharmaceutical version was sold by chemists shops in solution with an eye bath . it was a superb mildly antiseptic eye wash . i used it when due to lack of experience/ carelessness i got  arc eye  from careless welding . You only get it once !!- the day after welding agonising pain from recovering uv fried eyeballs. Boracic acid eye drops were the best for easing the pain and i am thankful to read that it  also killed any residual ants or cockroaches.  reprotoxic?-  no worries  at age 60+  !!! 

boric acid is very useful for production of green flames

#88303 Quiet around here

Posted by icarus on 09 August 2017 - 10:09 PM

everyone stopped a lot of there experimental work when legalisation was on the horizon ..I am one of the offenders , I have a large field that would make a perfect amateur test area , Ive spoken of it many times we have had good events their  in the past, but when it comes to actually getting it up and going , ive not got round to it . I am at the stage at the moment where chemicals and equipment are in safe storage and i havent had the time to set up a few sheds. I am slightly biassed towards the production of the old lost favorites such as for example the jumping jack  and along side the older fireworks making rocket motors. At the moment no room left in the workshop, It has been taken over by amateur radio electrical vehicle projects ,welders ,chop saws ,a small lathe  etc and my ball mill filled with dry sand as a polishing machine. Summer is a bad time for pyro as the nights are too light but i am looking at a large lump of ashfalt  and want to start making an ammonium perclorate/asphalt  rocket motor !! .. I will pm  Exat 808 and see what he thinks to continuing the concept of an amateur research facility . as to optimum placing of .tiny work shed  and firing area/pit  followed by small drying and equipment store and a separate chemical storage locker . I have a visco machine that is 95% completed and i am looking forward to trying different chemical compositions in the fuse core. incorporating silicon sealant to make a cartridge of silicon based pumpable waterproof air drying fuse was reasonably successful but it formed a much more reliable fuse when paper cased . i intended to use the visco machine to weave the casing but at the moment it sits boxed awaiting a revival.

What if we had local group meetings??? Is there anyone else out there in the midlands willing to have a midlands meeting -is it worth starting as . a new topic ???

#87955 a safe legal location for amateur experimentation and testing in N W Leiceste...

Posted by icarus on 14 February 2017 - 10:38 PM

In answer to  Vics question on liability . Although not a commercially licensed facility we would have to adopt  safe working practices at all times  . . When you are at  work the health and safety at work act states that your personal safety and the safety of others is your responsibility .The same rule applies under British law in that if at any time you are acting irresponsibly  for example cycling at high speed on the pavement . you face not just the risk of prosecution but if as a result of this negligent action you collide with and injure someone they may well sue you and receive substantial financial payment from you.this is due to your negligence.


Therefore  I would be able to appoint anyone as site safety marshal for the day. they would simply sign to acknowledge acceptance of this responsibility. They would then  ensure that experimentation that day was carried out   within the rules we had agreed .

Working in pairs offers excellent safeguards  chemical quantities can be checked , procedures discussed  as an extreme example it would prevent a novice from tumbling flash composition in a ball mill

I believe Exat was of the opinion it would be possible for me to  appoint others to work in my absence    So  yes it can be used when i am not present with responsibility transferred


Working alone i made a mistake which had unsuspected consequences  had i sat back and thought it through they would not have happened!!

I was experimenting as to the effects of different binders resorcinol, araldite , silicon sealant  etc had on an oxidiser fuel mix .  To do this i caste the samples in ice cube trays..I was placing visco fuse into each sample as a safe ignition method . I had a large quantity of poor quality insensitive bridgeless igniters i was testing. I had my results and needed  to dispose of the igniters  so without careful consideration i placed some of  them into the ice cube tray mixes as an alternative to visco . fuse .  The result was as i should have predicted and didnt --- on firing the igniters lit the centre of a resin contained cube -this resulted in a loud report as pieces of ignited mix were expelled in all directions effectively a mini mine!!!

As this occurred behind my recycled riot shield screen it was entertaining and presented no danger .but it  served as to a Wake up call  not to continue work when tired ,

#87941 a safe legal location for amateur experimentation and testing in N W Leiceste...

Posted by icarus on 08 February 2017 - 11:45 AM

HELP WANTED----is there anyone  who is willing to offer qualified legal advice as to liabilities incurred best way to move forward  as an informal hobby group etc


also has anyone  small sheds  we can use to make  production area , storage,  rocket motor pressing  , drying  etc as separate widely spaced tiny units


Anyone supplying such a shed would be welcome to come and take it back off site if for example they moved house and  wished to take it with them at any future date.. What i am offering is free siting and maintenance in return for use by myself and other visiting hobby enthusiasts .

Please post the base dimensions and position of doors , I hope Danny will be able to allocate an optimum position and direction door faces on the site plan

The site plan is presently a blank sheet of paper


It would be nice to have hydraulic press  fly press , star rollers ,visco machine  etc later   (my wish list!!!! )


I do  not wish to micro-manage this project if anyone out there would like to take over any aspect of it they would be very welcome.


I have a title deed copy from land registry newly arrived  just in case we need it later.  the ordnance survey extract was wrong scale so replacement reqd

I will be posting field dimensions and shape to give everyone an idea of the scale of what is possible..


It appears that i can transfer  responsibility from myself to whoever is using the area   If this proves to be correct it will be possible for 7 day 24hr availability 



#87874 a safe legal location for amateur experimentation and testing in N W Leiceste...

Posted by icarus on 13 January 2017 - 12:51 AM

Hi  I am now back in the UK. 

  I do not have any plan to develop the site into a commercial facility . The last thing I want is a full time commitment ,The annual running costs  of such a facility precludes any profitable business if run on a part time basis.  . The  new clear explanation of what is available in the UK under the constraints  of MSER  offers a fantastic opportunity for amateur hobby research .  As I  travel around the midlands it is wonderful to visit other amateur researchers . Working in sheds, garages and old caravans  they  pursue their hobby . I cite by way of example , Arthur A   who as a retired shed dweller  held patents for tilt and steer vehicles ,linear motors , and improved steering of hovercraft , Marek who showed me the mysteries of a passive craft hovering in his garage over a high voltage array . Jim who designs and flies high altitude kites often receiving letters of complaint from the  civil aviation agency . 


Until now amateur pyrotechnic research has been difficult , not fully knowing the legal implications of what we wished to do. Many people living in towns cities or villages are so close to there neighbors they have not got room to safely manufacture even small quantities of energetic substances and would be unable to undertake amateur research.

I can offer  a safe secure private location. Pyrotechnics is not my only hobby . Working alone is not very rewarding.Working together in small informal groups is far more enjoyable.

 As to flash compositions- if a competent person wished to research for example shock sensitivity , or effects of granular separation by mixing in for example polystyrene micro-beads  or comparative testing of different compositions . this would be possible . However if you wished to produce and fire a 99g flash salute this would not be possible . It would be great to build test machinery to measure shock sensitivity by falling weights and propellant power by a swinging arm as at the royal powder mills . a rocket motor thrust test rig would be good . along with drying and milling facility . The emphasis at all times would be on safe shared research with documented results on site . The ukps  is a superb organisation whose members have made this idea possible I welcome the support of ukps but if i do not limit it to members only then the  ukps would not be liable for what occurs .This would be casual regular meeting of friends sharing a common hobby and totally open in all that we do


Thanks for the fantastic offer of unpaid compliance consultant  --Open Q and A on the forum is perfect


here we go


I have not applied for EPP  yet as applying to  storing larger quantities of for example perc for at cost transfer to other members would be difficult to justify  prior to this venture.


would you recommend that I apply on EPP  to hold larger quantities , and if so what quantities?    or form a small chemical sales company that holds the stock and sells to epp holders?


I have undertaken shotgun training safety and competency courses . at some future date i would like to apply for shotgun certificate and explosives cert to store black powder . I intend then  to buy a muzzle loader for clay pigeon shooting .

Would this be better left in abeyance for a year or more or should i apply rapidly to obtain confirmation that i am a fit and proper person?? there is also of course the totally different use of the black powder that would have to be specified on the application .

is it easier to initially go for pyrotechnic use only??. 


And now the big questions

what type and size of small sheds would be appropriate?- Initially as small and as few  as is practical as it is easier to increase the number of them later ......What simple modifications could we do to  make them  safer  and compliant? . I like the concept of sand bagging around our test area as it is also noise deadening is it possible to place a corrugated steel sheet and sandbag roof on the back 60 cm of for example a 1square metre test area  to direct the noise??.


So far I have deliberately done nothing so that you have a completely blank canvas to work with . The site has been agricultural farmland for the last 100 years and registered with defra as a smallholding  for 20 years. There is a polytunnel and veg garden at the furthest point from the house and stables and garden at the rear of house .There  are no declared demarcation lines in between  as to what constitutes garden or field..  google earth gives a reasonable view( i can pm an exact location if required) you would be very welcome to visit anytime. Advice as to optimal placing and spacing would be greatly appreciated .. . It would be good to mark out the sheds etc with bamboo stakes and bailer twine    showing position and direction faced

add a bonfire barbecue and charcoal making fire pit  and safety distance line  for pitched tents for summer visitors and we have a perfect site

I can get a 100th scale plan drawn showing the placing of your layout and i have the ordnance survey extract of the house and fields  . Would it be better at that stage for you to approach Leicestershire  constabulary with the proposal as it is very easy to make any changes at the planning stage if required ?????

I have been told by the council planners no consent for small sheds for hobby use is required . They welcomed my offer to paint/stain them dark green .  .

#87836 a safe legal location for amateur experimentation and testing in N W Leiceste...

Posted by icarus on 31 December 2016 - 11:44 PM

setting up a 100 g max  private amateur research facility within the requirements of MSER shouldnt be too difficult it only requires a few small green  sheds designated as chemical storage   , casings and drying , automated ball milling and star tumbling and presses  , composition research, burn test   etc  .within a remote  gated  enclosure  towards the end of our field . as this is out of sight  on private land well away from houses and gardens it should not cause any problems . It is far better that we carry out hobby research .openly  in a totally safe environment .I would be happy to run a company  that charges a 5p surcharge to inspect all relevant documentation and sell chemicals to visitors Its stock would be purchased from our present suppliers and passed on at cost thus easing their  epp sales, its commercial status eases the transfer and storage of the chemicals..The next stage is to declare my intentions to Leicestershire  Police authority and see how they view this activity . As any sale of chemicals is from a locked  store away from the field . the activity on the field is purely private  hobby research and not commercial. It would not therefore be subject to obtaining any form of planning consent, so experimentation could start as soon as the sheds were erected .. There is also room for a barbecue, fire pit and charcoal producing area , . camping or caravan is not a problem  if you wish to visit overnight . we often have a vacant room .Apart from 04 jan to 08 jan I should be around and in UK  The forum went very quiet as everyone waited to see how the mser review panned out ,but now we can make a start 

#86171 Looking For Any Pyro Work

Posted by icarus on 11 October 2015 - 09:45 PM

Hi kali and Luke Great to see you are still around . Displays are good but they all come at the same time of year and as i am  a lazy old git averse to anything resembling hard work I have stopped assisting at them.There is all that setting up and cleaning up to do that i dont like !!. The answer is to specialise in  small weddings parties and birthdays ,Ive even done a funeral rocket. My max display size is normally 4 to 6 fireworks, Birthdays often one cake or rocket . Cat 3 although more expensive is big enough , no storage problems on small quantities I  only have 2kg of stored fireworks for events . I normally take about  1 hr max to set up and I often get a superb meal-especially at asian weddings. I wander round afterwards handing out business cards .Clearing up takes 10 mins .Also none of the larger companies out there want this work  .Insurance per event is reasonable so no big outlay . Do pm me for more info if you want to try this where you are . I turn down and pass on the requests i receive for larger displays because as stated earlier i dont do hard work!!. Also this work occurs all year round. My next job is a wedding where the bride takes a replica machine gun and destroys a large pile of fishing tackle belonging to the groom (he is giving up fishing once married ). I must admit this one has taken a lot of pre -event set up time done at home but has been  great fun to prepare.

Another route  is local amateur dramatic societies they dont pay but are great experience .

                                                                                                                                                      Very best wishes Steve

#86058 Pyro day Yorkshire/Leicstershire 26th September 2015

Posted by icarus on 15 September 2015 - 08:32 AM

sounds good I will come if i get my mot done in time - it runs out just before the day

#84277 Power pal power supplies

Posted by icarus on 05 February 2015 - 06:20 PM

do be careful how far you discharge lead acid sla batteries if you accidentally totally discharge them they rapidly die and will not respond to charging attempts with normal chargers.


Re The "mobility" scooter it  is a 2 wheel jobbie and corners at about 45 degrees!. I hit 35mph returning to car in Hunstanton on a rainy winters day . The camera system is in working order there were 2 police cars patrolling the road a few minutes later. As it has pedal assist and no speedo requirement it is obvious that i must be an olympic standard cyclist despite the metal legs!!!

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#79876 Hybrid rocket motors

Posted by icarus on 14 May 2013 - 04:57 PM

the most innocuous fuel is to use a zinc dust and sulphur mix,  common practice is to put a weak cover over the end of the motor when pressure builds up and this ruptures there is hopefully enough thrust from the motor for the rocket to lift off .

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