This is a contents page for various classes that All Hands Active has offered at some point in time. We make no claim to ownership of this information. Like many things, much of this is based off other peoples' work. Permission has been acquired, and attribution is applied where appropriate.
Piezo Igniter Film Canister Launcher
General Information Piezo Igniter Film Canister Launchers are an awesome way to start a discussion on: Sound Pressure Electricity Heat Velocity / Acceleration / Force / Work Propulsion It's an excellent way to get kids excited about data logging (recording amounts of fuel needed, distances launched, etc. in a spreadsheet) Class Time: One Hour Cost: ~$1 p/student I:S Ratio: 1/4
Raw Materials: Film Canister with Cap Piezoelectric Igniter 6" Wire with Alligator Clips on both ends 3" Wire - Solid Core ~22awg, 1/2" stripped on either end Single Squirt Breath Freshener (with Alcohol) Hot Glue Electrical Tape
Tools: Hot Glue Gun 1/16" Drill Bit 7/32" Drill Bit
Assembly Instructions: Put a 1/16" hole in the side, about 1/4" from the bottom.* Put a 7/32" hole in the bottom, in the center!* Put the piezo igniter in the bottom hole Put a 3" wire into the hole on the side Attach the 3" wire to the igniter wire Test fire the piezo once or twice, if it fires consistently, move on to step 7 Apply a small amount of hot glue around the piezo where it meets the base of the canister Apply a small amount of hot glue around the 3" wire where it meets the side of the canister Use 1" of electrical tape to cover the exposed leads on the Alligator Clips & Wires
Firing Instructions Wear Safety Goggles! Dry fire the Piezoelectric Igniter BEFORE adding fuel. You will need to make sure you can see the arc of electricity If no arc, double check wire connections, and make sure internal wire is within 1/4" of the piezo cap Once arcing is confirmed: Put 3 or 4 squirts of the Fuel (Breath Freshener) into the film canister Place cap on film canister Aim away from people Fire! Use caution, sometimes the film canister does not self extinguish. Flames from alcohol are very hard to see!
Warnings/Recommendations * The size drill bit you use may differ depending on the wire and piezo igniter you use. It may be helpful to have staff control the use of the Breath Freshener / Fuel Specify a firing range where people can launch the film canisters safely Piezoigniters can shock people, equipment, etc. Please use safely! These are LOUD, and can launch quite a distance very quickly. Use safety goggles, and you may find ear plugs necessary.
Sources Wire can be acquired from your local hardware store, radioshack, sparkfun, hackerspace, etc. Piezo igniters can usually be found any place that sells lighters. Grill lighters are more common, but more expensive. Bic offers a mini electric lighter that usually comes out to $1. Film Canisters can occasionally be found at local camera stores, the awesome Huron Camera in Dexter, MI recycles them. Ask and you shall receive!