Water Rocket Launcher 3.0 :: Ignition

I haven’t have much experience with high voltage, but wanted to be able to generate a good spark to facilitate ignition of the water rocket.  I took the easy way out and picked up a cool little spark generator at (of all places) sparkfun.com.  Creates a scary loud mean-sounding continuous spark.

To put the spark in the bottle I used the cnc machine to route a ‘plug’ of sorts to go in the top of the 1/2 pvc pipe.  Drilled and tapped a couple holes for stainless steel cap screws I had lying around and I had a pretty good start.  I had to bend the left one a bit to ensure they didn’t touch at the top where the caps are.

I probably went a little overkill, but I used some 12gauge house wiring I had for the leads going to the screws.  I didn’t want the sparks ‘gapping’ inside the launch tube.  I used the mini-torch and soldered the copper wires to the screws and shrink-wrapped them up.

And here was a quick test to see if it was sparking ok.  Pretty small, but continuous and hopefully will make ignition happen!

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