Launching Fireworks with Raspberry Pi this Fourth of July

It’s that time of year again in the United States, and the skies will soon be alight with pyrotechnic displays, both professional and amateur. Amazing fireworks are freely available, sometimes legally, sometimes not. For the enthusiasts that put on homebrew displays, though, the choice between watching your handiwork or paying attention to what you’re doing while running the show is a tough one. This Raspberry Pi fireworks show controller aims to fix that problem.

[netmagi] claims his yearly display is a modest affair, but this controller can address 24 channels, which would be a pretty big show in any neighborhood. Living inside an old wine box is a Raspberry Pi 3B+ and three 8-channel relay boards. Half of the relays are connected directly to breakouts on the end of a long wire that connect to the electric matches used to trigger the fireworks, while the rest of the contacts are connected to a wireless controller. The front panel sports a key switch for safety and a retro analog meter for keeping tabs on the sealed lead-acid battery that powers everything. [netmagi] even set the Pi up with WiFi so he can trigger the show from his phone, letting him watch the wonder unfold overhead. A few test shots are shown in the video below.

As much as we appreciate the DIY spirit, it goes without saying that some things are best left to the pros, and pyrotechnics is probably one of those things. Ever wonder how said pros pull it off? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look.

[via r/electronics]

7 thoughts on “Launching Fireworks with Raspberry Pi this Fourth of July

  1. I hope the key switch is also the power switch so it can not be switched on in the armed position. Also from the pictures it looks like it is 24 cues. In a big show that is like a drop in the ocean. I thought about building one, but truthfully, you can get really nice wireless systems with multiple receiver pods so you don’t need to run wires everywhere for next to nothing on our favorite on line auction site.

  2. I think it’s pretty slick, personally.
    I also like the wine box for the enclosure. It makes the project look classy. Not wine classy. :p Regular cool guy classy. :D

  3. A French maker worked on a similar project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWlWDnz-3SU
    It can be activated remotely and adds a couple of securities. Other nice features are provided too, it can also check the good connection of a each line, the timed sequence is programmed with an small lcd screen etc.

    Even if you don’t speak french I invite you to check out his build, you don’t really need his speech to understand I think ;)

  4. @bobby you’re right no need to speek french to understand…his project is not bad but I think mine is bettter 😉
    I created four boxes containing 16 relays, an Arduino mega and à LoRa Shield.
    Everything runs wirelessy and I developped a c# program to control the all firework timeline.
    Here in France, the whole thing will be used on July,14th.
    Check it out: https://github.com/fguiet
    Bye-Bye fred

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