Wave that roman candle around without risking your digits


Some people don’t mind missing a finger or two, but we’re quite attached to all of ours. That’s why we’ve never held on to the fireworks after lighting the fuse. [Dzl] and his son wanted to be (at least somewhat) safe while still having that kind of fun. So they built this rig which lets you wave around a roman candle from a safe distance. It’s not strictly limited to one type of firework either. You can see there is a PVC barrel which will send a bottle rocket off in whichever direction the thing is pointed. As you’ve guessed, a test run is shown off in the video after the jump.

The rig is build from laser cut nylon parts. Don’t fret if you lack the equipment to automatically reproduce this. It’s not that hard to fabricate these types of parts by hand. And the motors that make it go are just hobby servos rigged for continuous rotation. [Dzl] did add external potentiometers for position feedback.

This is a tame way to celebrate the New Year, which is nice if yesterday’s project was a bit too hard-core for you.

Continue reading “Wave that roman candle around without risking your digits”

A resistor’s fiery death used to launch fireworks

Check out this control center which [Awesome0749] built for launching fireworks. From the looks of his stash he’s going to be doing quite a bit of celebrating. The control console is clean and offers some safety features, and he just upgraded to an interesting ignition technique.

He’s using CAT5 cable to connect to the fireworks. At the top of the enclosure you can just make out the edge of the almond-colored wall plates which offer three jacks each. The two keys on the controller must be turned on to power the device. There is also a safety toggle switch in the middle.

The ignition is cause by running 70 VDC through a 1/4 Watt 24 Ohm resistor. As you can see in the demo after the break this results in flames quite quickly. One other thing we saw in the demonstration is that only the LED for the button which is hooked up comes on when the system is armed. We didn’t see a schematic, but he must have wired this so the system checks for continuity to ensure there’s something wired to the business end of the button.

Continue reading “A resistor’s fiery death used to launch fireworks”

Surplus bazooka converted to shoot firework artillery shells


[Mark] and his friends love fireworks, but got tired of the traditional ground-launched mortar rounds, so they decided to spice things up a bit.

A while back he purchased an Army-issue bazooka at a gun show but didn’t use it for much, so it sat unused for about 10 years. He dug it out of storage, then hit up his local hardware store for a few lengths of PVC piping. He cut the pipes to size and then used his 3D printer to build a couple of parts to securely mount the PVC pipe into the bazooka’s shell. With his standard tube, he can shoot 2” mortars from the bazooka, but says he can add a second nested length of PVC to allow for smaller rounds.

Obviously this sort of setup can be quite dangerous if it is mistaken for actual weaponry, or if your fireworks were purchased from some guy’s trunk at a highway rest stop. [Mark] and his friends have taken some precautions when they use the launcher, but this is still clearly a risky enterprise.

That said, we think its awesome, and if anyone has a spare bazooka sitting around, feel free to send it our way!

Continue reading to see the bazooka fireworks launcher in action.

Not a bazooka, it’s an AT-4. Thanks to those who pointed it out.

Continue reading “Surplus bazooka converted to shoot firework artillery shells”

Bottle rocket POV video


It’s a holiday weekend, and much like you, we’re taking a bit of time to relax and kick back a few drinks while we mingle with friends and family. Obviously, one of the bigger events this weekend plays host to is the fireworks show put on by your city or your drunken neighbors.

Roman candle wars aside, have you ever wondered what the 4th of July looked like from the fireworks’ point of view? We did, and so did [Jeremiah Warren], who put together an awesome video showing what really happens after you light the fuse and run away like a little girl.

The dizzying video was shot using a pair of key chain cameras that he strapped directly to the rockets before launching. It’s pretty entertaining, so be sure to check it out if you have a few minutes to spare.

This probably doesn’t quite fit the criteria to be considered a hack, but with explosions and the crazy point of view video, we had to pass it along.

Continue reading “Bottle rocket POV video”

Target hunting UAV armed with fireworks

Don’t just build a UAV, use it to blow things up. In this case a tri-copter seeks out colored balloons and pops them using low-grade fireworks. We’ve seen this type of flying armament before, but not in a ‘copter form factor. It looks like the targeting and firing is done by an operator, and is not an automated system despite what the text overlays on the video after the break says. The lack of autonomous firing capability makes this delightful, rather than scary. Don’t miss the build log for the tri-copter itself. How do you think this one stacks up to the last 3-bladed build?

Continue reading “Target hunting UAV armed with fireworks”

UAV reigns down vengeance upon thee

An unemployed electrical engineer can be a very dangerous thing. [Cybrown] has turned his skills toward darker, more awesome applications by building an armed unmanned aerial vehicle. This is a remote control airplane that has a movable camera mounted in the cockpit. Video and GPS data are sent back to the pilot who views the picture via a wearable display. We’re betting this doesn’t have the range that the 100km UAV did, but that’s good because this one brings doom from the skies. Check the wings in the picture above, this RC is fireworks-enable. We’ve embedded flight footage and attack video after the break.

Update: Here is a forum post covering this nugget of awesome. There are just a few details but the entire thread is interesting. Someone pointed this out in the comments but they don’t get credit because they didn’t leave a link.

Continue reading “UAV reigns down vengeance upon thee”

Firework ignitors and controllers roundup

fireworks ignitor

With the 4th of July around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to give a controller wrap up and show you how to make some ignitors. Last year we covered a microcontroller based fireworks launcher. If you like the idea of a controller but don’t want to run all the wire, we have the wireless fireworks controller. Adding a little twist to the wireless scene are cell phone triggered fireworks. Maybe controllers are not your cup of tea, you could try to microwave your fireworks. After the break we show you how to make ignitors from a diode and a match.

Continue reading “Firework ignitors and controllers roundup”