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Electric green strobe


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#1 Voryon

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 03:52 PM

Name of composition: Electric Green Strobe
Composition Type: Star, might be used for strobe pots too (didn`t test that yet)
Creator: me (inspired by the "forli nitrate red strobe" composition on passfire)
Color/Effect: Green strobe
The Composition: all ratios given in parts (weight)

Barium nitrate 71,5
Magnalium 20-60 mesh 24
Parlon 7
Potassium nitrate 5
Barium carbonate 2,5
Dextrine 2
Red gum 2
CuO 1
Copper(I)chloride 1

Binder: 10% NC in acetone

Any Precautions/Incompatabilities: Soluable Barium compounds are poisonous, wear gloves and a respirator/dust mask while working with it!

Precedure/Preparation: Mill the oxidizers as fine as you can get them, do the same with all the other ingredients except the magnalium, finally put all components in a ziplock-bag and mix until uniform. Pour the mixture in an acetone resistant container and add as much 10% NC in acetone to get a workable "dough" and make cut stars.

As you can see in the video the stars are pretty hard to ignite, I did not test it yet but I would recommend a 75-50-25-0 priming with blesers #22 igniter + 5% MgAl and a final layer of good old meal prime.

Bleser #22 igniter + 5% MgAl:

Potassium perchlorate 75
Red Gum 12
Charcoal airfloat 9
Dextrin 4
MgAl 5

The camera doesn`t show the true type of green that it is producing, its not that washed out, it’s the intense light output that overcharges the camera.

The video: http://pyrotube.com/play.php?vid=308

Moreover I think that the Copper(I)chloride can be substituted with Copper(II)oxychloride, because the “forli nitate red strobe” composition calls for Copper(II)oxychloride. I can`t say anything about storage stability since I developed the formula yesterday and now I am out of Barium nitrate…can`t wait to get my hands on that kilogram of Barium nitrate I ordered :D

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#2 NightHawkInLight

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 07:49 PM

Looks great. Throw them up in a shell or mine. I'm interested how they will burn/look in air.

#3 TrueBluePyro

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 06:14 AM

Looks like a good non AP colour storbe formula, I think i'm going to have to give it a go.

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#4 Voryon

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:21 AM

@ NightHawkInLight: I would really like to do that, but at the moment I am quite busy at my work and tomorrow I`ve got to shoot a show (and I didn`t have time to prepare anything until now). The next week wont be any better, thats the reason why I posted the formula right away hoping for someone who makes a video of them in the air ;)


@ TrueBluePyro: That is what I was after! I`ve experimented a little with AP based strobes, but as it is not possible for me to coat mg with dichromate those stars decomposed between 1 and 4 weeks and I had to prepare the AP for those tests by neutralizing ammonium hydroxide with perchloric acid and boiling away the water...

#5 Ushie

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:02 PM

Name of composition: Electric Green Strobe
Composition Type: Star, might be used for strobe pots too (didn`t test that yet)
Creator: me (inspired by the "forli nitrate red strobe" composition on passfire)
Color/Effect: Green strobe
The Composition: all ratios given in parts (weight)

Barium nitrate 71,5
Magnalium 20-60 mesh 24
Parlon 7
Potassium nitrate 5
Barium carbonate 2,5
Dextrine 2
Red gum 2
CuO 1
Copper(I)chloride 1

Binder: 10% NC in acetone

Any Precautions/Incompatabilities: Soluable Barium compounds are poisonous, wear gloves and a respirator/dust mask while working with it!

Precedure/Preparation: Mill the oxidizers as fine as you can get them, do the same with all the other ingredients except the magnalium, finally put all components in a ziplock-bag and mix until uniform. Pour the mixture in an acetone resistant container and add as much 10% NC in acetone to get a workable "dough" and make cut stars.

As you can see in the video the stars are pretty hard to ignite, I did not test it yet but I would recommend a 75-50-25-0 priming with blesers #22 igniter + 5% MgAl and a final layer of good old meal prime.

Bleser #22 igniter + 5% MgAl:

Potassium perchlorate 75
Red Gum 12
Charcoal airfloat 9
Dextrin 4
MgAl 5

The camera doesn`t show the true type of green that it is producing, its not that washed out, it's the intense light output that overcharges the camera.

The video: http://pyrotube.com/play.php?vid=308

Moreover I think that the Copper(I)chloride can be substituted with Copper(II)oxychloride, because the "forli nitate red strobe" composition calls for Copper(II)oxychloride. I can`t say anything about storage stability since I developed the formula yesterday and now I am out of Barium nitrate…can`t wait to get my hands on that kilogram of Barium nitrate I ordered Posted Image



I am really not sure where to begin with on this site.
I looked into various sections and found that none were of much help.
I am really new to this hobby. I have a friend that is really expert in it but I wish to surprise her with something clever.
I know she loves things that strobe, and this green one sounds great. I know that reading is very important and have done so.
I read that many kinds of strobe things use ammonium perchlorate. Now I told you I am new to this but not a dummy. Well, not a complete dummy. What kinds of chemicals react with ammonium perchlorate to create the strobe effect?
Yes! I have searched the inter net and I come up with nothing but pieces of information.
As I typed before I am not even sure this is the right place to be in asking about this.
If anyone can help me please be kind enough and do so.

#6 shagaKahn

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:13 PM

Gorgeous green--but it does NOT strobe.

Did you test this in a shell or stargun?

Couldn't check out your video as the link's dead--perhaps as dead as this thread...

#7 Adrenaline

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 08:13 AM

They do strobe. Voryon did post a video of them in the aerial shell thread.
Thats the video:

http://www.amateurpy...&attach_id=1769

#8 Voryon

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 08:26 AM

Gorgeous green--but it does NOT strobe.

Did you test this in a shell or stargun?

Couldn't check out your video as the link's dead--perhaps as dead as this thread...


You can see also see a second video on page 177 in the aerial shell thread and please read the last paragraph. When testing them on the ground they behave more like a strobe than they turned out in the air. I`ve also seen quite big chunks of composition burning somewhat constant on the ground. I do have some theories (just therories!):

1. My main assumption is that the flashing in this composition comes from a big MgAl particle or a group of particles burning fierce and between that the composition burns with less light output.

I base this assumption on the observation I made when I lighted the stars on the ground from just one side without a prime, they tend to burn without emitting much light until they started erupting in bright green flashes (firefront hitting MgAl particles). When the burning process proceeded more composition burned at once even to a point where the flashing seemed to become a constant burn. When the burning process proceeded even further the star became smaller and so the number of flashes decreased and so the shimmering changes to strobing.

This makes clear that the particle size of the MgAl is crucial and when the particles are too small constant burning occurs.

When you watch the video you`ll see that the smaller the stars become, the more distinct the flashes are. I think this is due to less flashes occuring because of less composition burning.

2. As there is more oxygen available for the star while travelling through the air, the burning speed of the low light burning is increased and so there are again more flashes occurring in less time which leads to the shimmering.


With my next batch I’m going to produce stars which are small and long (like little cylinders with maybe 3 to 5 mm diameter and maybe 15 to 20 mm length) and slurry priming from just one end. This could possibly solve the problem.

I`m sorry for you shagaKahn that this composition doesn`t turn out right for you, if you have no flashing at all I would try using a different maybe coarser MgAl.

Heres the “green strobe” info from the aerial shell thread in short form:

… The stars are not strobing like I had known it from the commercial ones, but they are so much more green than all other strobes I`ve ever seen. They burn more in a flickering-flashy way and produce quite some noise (its not the wind that hisses on the camera). For that small caliber I was quite impressed and I like the stars, they are somehow "spooky"…

Edited by Voryon, 17 January 2011 - 08:40 AM.


#9 shagaKahn

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:54 AM

Thanx V for your prompt and in-depth response to my note.

My application of your formula was for strobe pots and (at least so far) I've not gotten any strobing. They barely even shimmer and this is with the coarsest MgAl I've got (-100).

That being said it is the most glorious electric green I've ever seen--it lit up the whole neighborhood.

Will definitely try it again with coarser MgAl and meantime make the comp into some stars as I did love your video of them in a shell.

Again, thanx for responding and providing that link to your amazing video. Was that shot on this recent NY's eve?

#10 Voryon

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 03:44 PM

Thanx V for your prompt and in-depth response to my note.

My application of your formula was for strobe pots and (at least so far) I've not gotten any strobing. They barely even shimmer and this is with the coarsest MgAl I've got (-100).

That being said it is the most glorious electric green I've ever seen--it lit up the whole neighborhood.

Will definitely try it again with coarser MgAl and meantime make the comp into some stars as I did love your video of them in a shell.

Again, thanx for responding and providing that link to your amazing video. Was that shot on this recent NY's eve?


The MgAl I`m using is from cooperman http://www.cooperman...h595i1haidbjnj7 don`t know how well known this supplier is here. The product from him is really accurately sieved and there's really no noteworthy amount of fine MgAl. Moreover the size distribution seems to be quite uniform and I would estimate that at least 50% of the particles are in the 20-40 mesh region. Before weighing it in I always have to mix the bag to get it uniform again as the bigger particles strive to move to the upper side of the bag.

Glad to hear that you like at least the colour, I really dislike encouraging someone wasting his precious chemicals.

The shells in the link that Adrenaline posted were shot on this NY's eve, the one in my post was shot in the beginning of august `10, but the shells were prepared on the same day. Still have sitting some of the stars out of that batch to see how long I can keep them. After some reading I was a bit insecure about the stability of CuCl. The stars were prepared in april `10 which means that they are stable for at least 8 month.

Don`t know where the video on pyrotube went … as far as I can remember it said something like I`ve violated the pyrotube rules and really don`t know where I´ve crossed their border…(maybe it`s the distracting noise that it got from my video editing software)

That being said, I`m sure this forum can handle it so here it is again ;)

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#11 shagaKahn

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 09:21 PM

What a delicious video--thanx for sending it here again; would have hated to miss that and it's definitely a keeper.

(And surely no doubt that you're getting strobes from your comp).

So it all seems to boil down to particle size for your Mg/Al. Clearly mine's still too fine.

Started trying to make strobes with -200 and even straining my eyes I could barely detect even a pulse, the frequency was so high.

With -100 I have been getting some nice strobe effects but nothing quite as electric-gorgeous as your green.

It's also possible I'm being too impatient with my strobe pots and am not giving them sufficient time to dry completely. (Just tested one from a green batch I made several weeks ago and when I first lit one of them--after only 48 hours drying time--it did not strobe at all but tonight it pulsed quite satisfactorily).

Maybe your electric-green formula will strobe better if I just sit back and let this fresh batch dry for a few more days.

Again, that was a fabulous video V--thanx again for giving me a second chance to view it.

#12 Adrenaline

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:25 AM

What a nice video. :)

I definitely will make a batch of those stars when i receive my coarse MgAl.
Is it hard to ignite those stars or is a normal bp + MgAl prime adequate?

#13 Voryon

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 10:14 AM

For sure it is vitally important to have a completely dry composition as with any other pyrotechnic composition, I can`t remember a single exception. I hope you are using NC-Laquer as I`ve found that this also promotes the flashing. I`ve found out that even if the NC-Laquer solvent is straight acetone when pressed into some kind of tube the drying time can be lenghtened to quite some extent depending on the tube Material and/or thickness. I've had some small plastic tubes that I filled with NC-Laquer wet composition that took about 2 weeks until all the smell disappeared and even that is no guarantee that the acetone has evaporated completely. Cut stars like the ones used in all of those videos did take no longer than overnight at app. 20°C.

Adrenaline I`ve now come to the conclusion that these stars must be step-primed! I can't stress that enough, I`m sure the stars won`t light from a single (even when applied thick) bg+mgal prime, at least most of them. Use the composition I`ve given in the first post of this thread (Bleser #22 igniter) and do at least 70 – 40 – 20 step priming (this is what I did). Other prime compositions might work, possibly better or with just more “finer” steps. Don`t shy away from step priming, it`s not rocket science and even if you don`t want to weigh the ratios just eyeball them and I’m sure the outcome will be ok. I`ve learned it the hard way letting unburnt stars rain on me thinking about all the wasted effort put into those devices and now I never omit proper priming. You can also save the coarse MgAl in the step-priming composition and put some composition away before adding it and using some finer MgAl for the step prime.

You can see the prime burning for quite some time in the shell videos, for me this somehow adds to the effect, nearly not seeing the stars but just some sparks until they burst in a beautiful green out of the dark.

Just a little side-note as I`ve refused to do that in the past: I´ve gone through the Mg Dichromate coating process with a little bit of modification that made me feel more comfortable doing it. Now I`m drying the AP I`ve again made with perchloric acid and ammonia water as ammonium perchlorate seems to be unobtainium where I live. So expect some newer and more traditional strobing from me :)

#14 shagaKahn

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 03:42 PM

Finally scored some coarser (-30) Mg/Al and my first mix with this is drying now. Can't wait to see the results--but as discussed, I'm gonna have to!

#15 shagaKahn

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:25 PM

As I wait for my strobe pots to dry (patience!) I've been searching the web for other strobe formulae and came across this one for blue strobe stars:

Magnesium, 60 mesh (treated with potassium bichromate).....23
Ammonium perchlorate..............................60
Copper sulfate....................................17
Potassium dichromate (as a stabilizer)............+5%
Bound with NC lacquer

Notice V's electric green strobe has copper and I'm wondering if anyone's been successful at building a true blue strobe?

Thanx,
s

#16 NightHawkInLight

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:14 PM

As I wait for my strobe pots to dry (patience!) I've been searching the web for other strobe formulae and came across this one for blue strobe stars:

Magnesium, 60 mesh (treated with potassium bichromate).....23
Ammonium perchlorate..............................60
Copper sulfate....................................17
Potassium dichromate (as a stabilizer)............+5%
Bound with NC lacquer

Notice V's electric green strobe has copper and I'm wondering if anyone's been successful at building a true blue strobe?

Thanx,
s

Yikes, Mg, AP, and copper sulfate. I made a similar comp containing all three of those and ended up with something that wanted to burst into flames with a drip of water. Dichromate coating on the Mg wasn't enough, which is probably why they added the extra 5%. It yielded a beautiful blue glitter when burned in a dry powder. I guess it might do fine bound with NC.

#17 shagaKahn

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:12 PM

Yeah I've got no magnesium nor copper sulfate and was thinking of experimenting with magnalium and copper oxide and copper chloride.

Start out with that 5% dichromate then see if I can ease back on it as I really don't much like working with chromium variants).

#18 Voryon

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:48 PM

I hope your strobe pots will work now shagakahn, would be great to see a video!

I´ve tried that blue strobe formula, all I got was a purplish strobe. So I´ve tried adding 5% and 10% Parlon to a small (10g) batch. The 5% made the purple colour a bit better but also increased the strobe frequency, sometimes the flashes even appeared a little blue, but I don`t know if this was from my blinded retina, damn they are quite bright. The addition of 10% parlon made them almost constant burning and the colour did became worse. I kept some of these stars to see how they`ll store until I`ll continue experimentation, because I don`t want to waste all that effort on a composition that is not even storage stable for at least 2-3 month.

Just that you know I`ve used potassium dichromate treated Mg 50-120# and lab grade dry "gray" copper sulfate, adding the copper sulfate in the last step, keeping the mixing time as short as possible and force dried the stars at just below the boiling point of acetone at 50°C to keep the water out as much possible. As I do assume the evaporating acetone is cooling the stars to a point where condensation occurs, I`d say this is the critical step and when the NC has fully dried the moisture will be kept out for longer time.

Comments and other experiences welcome!

#19 shagaKahn

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 12:53 PM

While we wait for strobe pots to dry, may I ask if y'all have any idea what "Twinkling red star Class:10" might be?

In my search for strobe comps I keep coming across "Shimizu's Twinkling Green Star #3" and that's the final ingredient, 50 parts.

Am wondering if it's a misprint that everyone's replicating 'cause why would you add a red component to a comp you wanted to burn green?

#20 optimus

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 01:02 PM

Notice V's electric green strobe has copper and I'm wondering if anyone's been successful at building a true blue strobe?


See the thread here:
http://www.amateurpy...ple-strobe-pot/

Leave out the Strontium and it makes an extremely vivid blue strobe.

I've tried a few guanidine Nitrate strobes but never got anything particularly great, hence trying to formulate my own. The silicone blue strobe rocket fuel can apparently be made to strobe in a pot but I never managed it.




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