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Member Since 14 Apr 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 23 2018 10:16 PM

#88766 Problems with Expanding Stars after/during Drying

Posted by Rob.L. on 31 January 2018 - 09:24 PM

Just out of interest is it definitely expanding or is the drying layer contracting?


If expanding It could suggest a gaseous reaction of some kind? Have you or can you test for the presence of any evolved gas? Is another solvent miscible with water suitable for this comp without an adverse effect?


I don't have experience of this, just some thoughts based on simple chemistry.

#88449 Membership renewals/Applications.

Posted by Rob.L. on 01 October 2017 - 02:11 PM

Hi All,


Just a quick note to say if anyone has recently applied for membership or has a renewal due then please be patient with us.


There are an awful lot of changes going on but we are going forward. The problem is that there are not too many of us to do what amounts to quite a bit to do.


If you are in that category then hang in there, you are not lost or forgotten.



#88307 Quiet around here

Posted by Rob.L. on 10 August 2017 - 07:19 AM










You have obviously put time and effort in to adding humorous artwork into your posts, perhaps adding some content about what fun you have been having on the pyro front would be good too?


Then that would reduce a little of the tumble weed flying about?


Just an observation.

#88201 UKPS 2017 AGM!

Posted by Rob.L. on 09 May 2017 - 07:05 AM

Full show:

The video is almost as good as the actual display!!


I have to say this was better than what I have seen at some bigger events by far. Really good. Thanks to all who gave their time to the set up.

#87761 A&K Application problems review...

Posted by Rob.L. on 26 November 2016 - 09:18 AM



So, here I am in darkest Northamptonshire, arguably one of the best places to be if you want to go somewhere else!


Although I have made progress with my licence applications, I've had a very interesting response from Northants finest that the rest of you guys might be interested in seeing.


In April this year, I submitted the forms for an A&K for BP and an AO for fireworks and, after several phone calls, a Firearms Enquiry Officer was assigned as my case officer. After speaking to him on the phone, he admitted that he knew nothing about explosives or fireworks and was only comfortable with firearms. He was, however, comfortable with BP due to it's firearms application.


Eventually, he visited me in August and decided that I was an OK person and the upshot was that I had my A&K for BP delivered on November 5th, couldn't have been a better date as far as I'm concerned but there was no AO.


Talking to the FEO, he told me that he had been advised by the ELO for Northants that the A&K for BP was all that I needed so I, diplomatically, pointed out that my understanding gleaned mostly from the Society and many hours of reading through ER2014 and other documents was very different and I was sure that a certificate was needed and he said that he'd refer it back to the ELO.


I've now heard back and the ELO is saying that I don't need an explosives certificate for fireworks but, if I want to make them, I need an manufacturing licence from the HS&E so I should talk to them. In other words, they haven't refused me one on legal grounds just think that it's unnecessary.


So far, my response to them has been to:


Point them at the Society's Good Practice Guide, especially the section on legislation. They've responded that it wasn't helpful as they didn't understand it! Sorry Wayne.


I've copied them with a verbatim quote of Regulation 6, 1 and 2a of ER2014 to try and explained the manufacturing exemption, as best I can, and why I don't need a licence to manufacture provide that I stick tom the restrictions in the above regulation.


I've copied them with the definition of BP on p5 and asked them if, given the precise definition of BP in terms of components, I add other components or replace all or part of the potassium nitrate with another nitrate then is it still BP because, if it isn't then my A&K isn't valid. I've also pointed out that many fireworks do not contain BP or any of it's components so my A&K won't cover them either.


Finally, I've copied them with the definition an "explosive substance" and "fireworks" on p 7 of  ER2014, the "explosive substance" being, in my opinion more of an exact description of a pyrotechnic substance than an explosive, and "fireworks" being defined as "explosive articles" and therefore, requiring a certificate. However, nowhere in ER2014 can I see a black and white phrase that defines a pyrotechnic substance as an explosive that requires a certificate. That may just be my tired old eyes though!


I'm waiting for a response but, in the meantime I thought I'd ask if anyone can point me towards something simple, in black and white that states that a certificate is required for possession of fireworks outside of the permitted four occasions every year or indeed any other legal "ammunition" that may help.


Hello Blackcat,


I will be going through this process myself shortly and one thing that is apparent to me is that the authorities that grant certificates have not been correctly briefed in this area or simply haven't had the time to study it.

I notice there appeared to be some confusion over 'making fireworks' and 'constructing experimental pyrotechnic articles' almost like the wording sent them up the wrong road.

To tell you to speak to the HSE confirms that to me.


My point is that ant future applicants, myself included, need to carefully word everything and maybe even add an explanitory letter at the outset of the application.


When I applied for my EPP I gave them a supplimentary note of explanation alongside my application. Also when getting variations I did the same.

I get the feeling that this went a long way to helping my position be clear and application be successful on every count. (in fact I had a reply to that effect)


Whilst this is a fundamentally different process, I can see that there are still too many unknowns for the authorities and possibly us for that matter. I do not think it is quite 'in the bag' yet!


I have seen this first hand in the past with a small specialist police force trying to make sense of airgun law after seizing an air weapon, they had the book out and were not finding it easy and in fact came to the wrong conclusion. As an enthusiast known to them (we worked in the same place) I was able to explain why it was not section 1 or prohibited firearm. When you do not know it is not easy.


Sometimes we have to do our utmost to intelligently assit the authorities to get the correct result. All of this is groundbreaking stuff still and we would all do well to remember this when making our approach.


I know this post may not help you directly but I think it is a factor for all amateurs to consider.


#87669 Great day of experiments.

Posted by Rob.L. on 22 October 2016 - 05:48 AM


Greetings All,


I had another good night of Pyro experiments last week.


A local young person had shown an 'interest' in all things pyrotechnic so I invited him and his dad around for an evening to demonstrate what could lawfully be done.


Needless to say he is still raving about it now and I am looking forward to the next one, it really encourages me to see this you know.


Black powder and some other small compositions were made.


I will post some more on the next meeting, hopefully get some pics next time. That is if my Photography is up to it!

#87576 Great day of experiments.

Posted by Rob.L. on 11 September 2016 - 07:56 PM

Hello all,


Since my joining here I have begun to get to know folk and have had my first meeting with a member to do some experimentation and socialising.


Also a good opportunity for reagent exchange!


Most of the time was spent discussing the usual matters of the law and so on but we did get some fun small scale experiments done eventually.


The Pharos serpent is always a good one!


If anyone out there is thinking of getting involved then please reply to this thread publically and perhaps we chat or can meet up If you are in my area.


Most importantly,  it is good Join up to the UKPS and get yourself licensed if you want to get more involved. This is really the only way forward if you want this to continue into the future. Ther are other forums and resources out there doing a good work and I like them too!


Please remember to keep it legal, I am not interested in rennegade pyros :D. Seriously, I know we all started somewhere but we must streamline what we do to keep within the guidelines. There is more room than you think but not as much as you may like!


#87567 Buying Firecrackers

Posted by Rob.L. on 09 September 2016 - 09:11 AM



Hi, so I'm a pyromaniac and I really want to buy Firecrackers, but to my understanding, they're banned in the UK. However, I saw another post on here saying that the users friend order Firecrackers, and they arrived, meaning that they went through customs. If I were to buy these, would I get them? Some people on here have said that these are illegal in the sense that if you are caught with them, you will be fined the amount of damage you have caused. Does this mean if I buy these online, I will get them, I just need to not get caught? I intend to use them in a field with a mate, away from any livestock or people. Also, does anyone know a website where I can get cheap firecrackers/fireworks? Bombashop is incredibly cheap, and I can get 60 firecrackers for 38p, but everyone on here seems to hate them and tell people not to buy from them, why?

Hello Pyroguy,


Have you considered a diiferent approach to your enthusiasm for fireworks?


There is a better way than your current approach and you will be pleasantly surprised to know that depending on your age you can have alot of freedom to experiment given a bit of time.


And all without the worry of "lists", Police and the weight of the government bearing down on you. If you give out the wrong signals I promise you the authorities will persue it and come to say "hi"!


A unique opportunity exists in this country so make the most of it and be a part of the legitimate community, meet up and do it right.

#87565 2016 AGM

Posted by Rob.L. on 08 September 2016 - 08:21 PM

Hello All,


Over the past few weeks I have been wondering about all the issues that face us all as members of the society and forum and have been trying to understand and catch up with it all as best as I can.


Whilst I do not know all of the ins and outs I have had some very positive conversations with people recently and can say that regards to the AGM we are all going to have to be patient for a little while longer.


Please do not assume anything other than there are severly limited resources for all the planning.


It will happen and I have no doubt it will be a watershed for the entire community.


If I had the opportunity to communicate anything to all current and prospective members it would be this:


Please remember that we are the product of the sum of the effort put in, that applies to anything, not just our interest.

Secondly it is vital that we all focus on why we are here and the priceless opportunity we have within the UKPS to have a vital link to to the authorities. We cannot exist for long without this in the current political climate.

We all love science and pyrotechnics and as long as that is our ultimate goal we will get past all other issues. We need to start meeting again, travelling to see each other and organising small events that we can all enjoy.

I know that chemical supply and the licencing system can be a hurdle for some but with co-operation help can be given and a legitimate local suply chain established, this is something I am currently working towards and will be speaking to legitimate people currently doing this to find a sensible and safe way forward.


We all have to believe in ourselves here, members old and new, the relative novices like me to the more experienced members who can assist us to get it right.


Please reply positively to this thread and even have a change of heart if you need to. It is a new day people, one that WE cannot waste.

#87485 2016 AGM

Posted by Rob.L. on 05 August 2016 - 09:55 PM




It is true that we eventually need some form of direction, announcement or timetable from the top.


It is also true that the rest of us need to pull to and think about where we can meet, what can WE do and maybe give those at the 'top' time to regroup and see that we are all worth fighting for.


Maybe folk do not have the heart to write a post or are really on the edge with the whole thing? I do not know but I do know we all need the coming months/years to be a watershed. Too much has been achieved to go to waste.


I may be new to the forum and pyrotechnics but I am not new to the world of science and have existed in my own right on my own terms. I have handled very reactive and dangerous chemicals since the age of nine, set the cutains on fire at the age of eight and got told off for bringing concentrated sulphuric acid to my primary school science club. been electrocuted several times before the age of twelve with mains voltages and so on. As for the basement myself and a freind used to frequent.....well....the battery explosion,the Chlorine incident and the accidental wall demolition are best left alone!.... hmmm......a golden age!


My later years saw work in the sharp end of the chemical industry with exposure to biohazards, heavy metals, even a Hydrogen Fluoride leak! Sulphur Trioxide, Manganese etc. It's a wonder I have never sustained lasting injury.


These days I have numerous measures in place to control hazards, risk assess experiments, do homework, mangage waste and have respect for my neighbours and the law. A benign affair in comparison but just as rewarding.


It is all very well for me to carry on but I feel I must do more than that, much more. I need the society to be working and alive as much as anyone else here. I could go on but perhaps someone else has good things to say? Come on people, lets step up our game here.


The UKPS is worth fighting for. Period.



#87482 2016 AGM

Posted by Rob.L. on 05 August 2016 - 07:31 AM


As a new member of the society and forum I am watching all of this with keen interest. Whilst it is clear that there have been some major changes and that the folk who run all of this are busy, we ALL need the society and forum to go forward.

Without all of the good work done by the society the small corner of the world that is amateur pyrotechnics might not exist as it does now post EPP license.


The situation with the law is more positive than ever before so we need to thrive not starve.


Yes, good to know when the AGM is to be held but more importantly people 'out there' need to know there is somewhere to go and then become a part of this community.


I hope with gentle and careful encouragement my two young sons will take an interest in all of this.


I am really serious about this, the world of amateur experimentation is my life and the first foundation of scientific discovery.

Maybe we all need a new day to start and to press forward.


My personal thanks and grattitude goes out to the UKPS for everything that is being and has been done so far.