Miniature Flame Poofer

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melodiousdirge
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Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:57 pm

Alright... I dunno if power and illumination is the right sub for this - mods please move if appropriate.

I was having idea diarrhea today and thought of a few ways I personally have never seen before of enhancing a fire staff performance. One of these ideas was to use an electric match to ignite the heads, so the act starts with what appears to be a low budget LED practice staff, and at some point there is a whoosh and the heads roar into ignition... but I know how I want to accomplish that... I guess I have verbal diarrhea too. I hope these things don't come in threes.

Anyway the big idea was to use a very small fuel reservoir with propane or butane or some other easily aeresolized fuel (think small CO2, or whipit sized fuel reservoir) for a one time effect during the spin session where fuel is blasted out either end of the staff like a propane poofer. The resulting fireball would be relatively small, but big enough for a "whoa, holy shit what just happened?" effect, I think. Obviously this would have to be triggered in a safe manner by whoever was in control of the staff (I'm thinking radio switch on my belt or something).

Anyway, has anyone tried making small poofers? I saw a couple smallish setups on bicycles this year (actually saw an ugly looking incident where some dolt fired his off into some girls face by accident) but I'd need to go extra uber small. I'm thinking the valving and reservoir parts from a creme brulee torch or butane lighter might work. The trick would be releasing all the fuel at once though to get any appreciable poof.

Anyone got thoughts? Yes I know this is a dangerous idea - believe me I won't be trying it if I can't find a way that lives up to my safety standards.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:56 pm

You're solving a problem that magicians have already solved. No need for mini gas tanks, igniters, pressurized anything.

Flash paper and flash cotton would provide the effect you want. Add a glow plug or a small piece of nichrome wire and an AA battery should heat it up enough to make a nice poof.

Available as flash string as well as various colors.

[media]

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:58 am

maladroit wrote:You're solving a problem that magicians have already solved. No need for mini gas tanks, igniters, pressurized anything.
That's interesting you should say that; I was thinking of using flash paper for an unrelated puppet show gag - thanks for the video - I will have to look further. I'm thinking of a pretty significant poof though, like I envision holding the staff horizontally and it shooting a 3-4 foot fireball out each end; does flash cotton burn fast and bright enough to do something like that if wadded up inside a staff? I was also thinking it would be cool if the fire ball was also what ignited the heads of the staff - this will probably be a dragon staff with 5 wicks at each end to ignite, so a nice fat fireball would be needed to engulf the wicks. I don't know if it would even work to light the heads though, considering the high flash point and slow catching of most performance fuels.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Fri Oct 30, 2015 12:16 pm

You should try it out, you get a pretty impressive fireball from a small amount of flash paper. Flash cotton is even more violent and it actually pretty dangerous if you compress it (formerly known as guncotton). Flash string would get you a traveling fireball type effect that could follow a staff and be used as a fast, flashy fuse (maybe twine it into an intricate pattern around the staff and lead it to each flame head). If you have some flash cotton tamped below a wad of flash paper in a tube, it will throw a fireball. Just flash paper wadded into a narrow tube and you get more of a flame jet effect.

I realize you might not get the SAME poofer type effect, but you'll get something impressive and it seems way better for a one-shot thing. If you want poofs on command, which would also be pretty cool, then going through the hassle of pressurized gasses and igniters and such may be worthwhile.

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:36 pm

maladroit wrote:You should try it out
Well, it is a pyrotechnic prop. Clearly I should try it out, suitable or not :p. Any good sources? I'm assuming it can't be shipped. [edit; I wrote that before googling. Appears there are several online vendors. Thanks again!]
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by EspressoDude » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:25 am

take a look at "Tournament of Kings" at Excaliber /Vegas. they use props like you describe
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by caffeineslinger » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:13 pm

I carried a couple small fireball shooters that could easily be hidden in my hand. I got a lot of oohs and aahs. Flash paper is available in different colors as well.

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:57 pm

caffeineslinger wrote:I carried a couple small fireball shooters that could easily be hidden in my hand. I got a lot of oohs and aahs. Flash paper is available in different colors as well.
Alright so clearly my 2016 obsession is going to be fire props, because this sounds f'n incredible. Throw some titanium powder in there and you'd have some pretty intense effects.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by Jackass » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:02 pm

This year I ended up strapping a motorcycle exhaust to my bike and it looked pretty bad-ass. So much so that I had many compliments and people taking pictures of it. People would often ask, "Does it work?" Which I would reply, "Hell yes it does." It didn't do anything but hang there, but I didn't want to let anyone down.

Well, now I want fire to blow from it. Actually I want an reasonable explosion (kinda like a potato gun minus potato) with a quick flash of fire, as I'm intending on flying under the pyro license radar. I'm currently in the "lab" performing tests as time allows.

I will be following this thread to see what new ideas are emerging, if I come up with some good stuff I'll share it... I already caught my bike on fire once, probably won't be the last time either. Still have my eyebrows...R&D can be risky.
Last edited by Jackass on Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:05 pm

Potato-cannon type stuff works. A piezo BBQ sparker and some spray of flammable substance in a semi-closed container.

I have no idea if flash-paper fire effect stuff counts as fireworks or as magician's props. Technically it is an object you burn to make people go oooh and aaah. The fire spinners and poofers use a liquid or gas fuel, not a solid material. Is that the distinction? Or is a "firework" something with poorly translated lettering on it and a fuse?

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by Jackass » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:11 pm

Yes, I have a whole bbq's plumbing and ignition system. Not sure which fuel I will use just yet...Also metering of the fuel will be important, I don't want to split it wide open or shrivel the side of someone's tent or nylon pants.
Last edited by Jackass on Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:13 pm

Jackass wrote:Yes, I have a whole bbq's plumbing and ignition system. Not sure which fuel I will use just yet...
Add electronic injection and sync it up with your igniter and maybe you WILL get some thrust :)

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by Jackass » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:19 pm

Kinda like a pulse jet?...

[media]


appologies for the drift...
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:29 pm

Jackass wrote:This year I ended up strapping a motorcycle exhaust to my bike and it looked pretty bad-ass. So much so that I had many compliments and people taking pictures of it. People would often ask, "Does it work?" Which I would reply, "Hell yes it does." It didn't do anything but hang there, but I didn't want to let anyone down.

Well, now I want fire to blow from it. Actually I want an reasonable explosion (kinda like a potato gun minus potato) with a quick flash of fire, as I'm intending on flying under the pyro license radar. I'm currently in the "lab" performing tests as time allows.

I will be following this thread to see what new ideas are emerging, if I come up with some good stuff I'll share it... I already caught my bike on fire once, probably won't be the last time either. Still have my eyebrows...R&D can be risky.
This may be of interest: http://www.instructables.com/id/Sci-fi-Propane-Pop-Gun/
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by mooserider » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:52 pm

Jackass wrote:This year I ended up strapping a motorcycle exhaust to my bike and it looked pretty bad-ass. So much so that I had many compliments and people taking pictures of it. People would often ask, "Does it work?" Which I would reply, "Hell yes it does." It didn't do anything but hang there, but I didn't want to let anyone down.

Well, now I want fire to blow from it. Actually I want an reasonable explosion (kinda like a potato gun minus potato) with a quick flash of fire, as I'm intending on flying under the pyro license radar. I'm currently in the "lab" performing tests as time allows.

I will be following this thread to see what new ideas are emerging, if I come up with some good stuff I'll share it... I already caught my bike on fire once, probably won't be the last time either. Still have my eyebrows...R&D can be risky.
One of my campmates already did that this year. If you saw him riding around the city on his old metallic gold one-speed bicycle with the stinger tail sticking out the back, you may or may not have noticed the small propane pilot light glowing at the tip of the stinger, fueled by a couple of screw-on disposable propane tanks strapped to the rear-axle-to-seat-post struts. You would definitely have noticed when he flipped the electrical switch on the handlebars that opened the remote valve to the main nozzle of the stinger and it ignited a three-foot-long flame firing out the back. No tailgaters for him! Riding my bike alongside him, I could feel the heat from the flame from 5 feet away sideways.

You could probably use a similar trick, using a momentary-contact push button instead of a latching toggle switch like he did.

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:56 pm

mooserider wrote:No tailgaters for him!
melodiousdirge wrote:actually saw an ugly looking incident where some dolt fired his off into some girls face by accident
Hopefully your friend isn't the idiot I saw scorch that girls face off, cuz that was kind of the epitome of a stupid fuck playing with a dangerous toy and hurting someone else.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by mooserider » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:06 pm

melodiousdirge wrote:
mooserider wrote:No tailgaters for him!
melodiousdirge wrote:actually saw an ugly looking incident where some dolt fired his off into some girls face by accident
Hopefully your friend isn't the idiot I saw scorch that girls face off, cuz that was kind of the epitome of a stupid fuck playing with a dangerous toy and hurting someone else.
I hope not. But I didn't spend much out-of-camp time with him, between working our camp's art exhibit and exploring the city (as a burgin should). So I don't know what he was doing most of the time.

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by Jackass » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:32 pm

Discreetness is key here. I want to scare the shit out of people and surprise them, yet remain somewhat anonymous. No pilot, light no large flame, no fuzz, just a loud displacement and a nice blue-ish yellow jet flash. POW!! I think I may need ether.
Last edited by Jackass on Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by mooserider » Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:38 pm

Jackass wrote:Discreetness is key here. I want to scare the shit out of people and surprise them, yet remain somewhat anonymous. No pilot light no large flame, just a loud displacement and a nice blue-ish yellow jet flash. POW!! I think I may need ether.
I'm sure my campmate could have turned down the amount of propane flowing through the electrically-controlled valve to get a smaller flame size.

The problem with the flash paper/cotton/powder concept mentioned above is the issue with reloading the place where the flame comes out with a fresh charge. Using flash powder in the theater, the flash only happened from a given flash pot once during the entire performance (if multiple flashes, then multiple pots were used) to ensure the pot was cold when loading it with a new charge,

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:05 pm

mooserider wrote:
Jackass wrote:Discreetness is key here. I want to scare the shit out of people and surprise them, yet remain somewhat anonymous. No pilot light no large flame, just a loud displacement and a nice blue-ish yellow jet flash. POW!! I think I may need ether.
I'm sure my campmate could have turned down the amount of propane flowing through the electrically-controlled valve to get a smaller flame size.

The problem with the flash paper/cotton/powder concept mentioned above is the issue with reloading the place where the flame comes out with a fresh charge. Using flash powder in the theater, the flash only happened from a given flash pot once during the entire performance (if multiple flashes, then multiple pots were used) to ensure the pot was cold when loading it with a new charge,
The bike poofer thing is a different idea, and due to the larger size and ease of transport would benefit from a retriggerable traditional poofer setup. The original poster was asking for a one-time (at least per performance) rig, and I believe flash paper/cotton/string is pretty hard to outdo in terms of weight and simplicity.

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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:29 am

mooserider wrote:The original poster was asking for a one-time (at least per performance) rig, and I believe flash paper/cotton/string is pretty hard to outdo in terms of weight and simplicity.
Not to mention the lack of requirement for a pilot. I found some youtubes of people setting it off with glow plugs driven off a 9v battery. Should be pretty easy to incorporate small components like that into a dragon staff without throwing the balance off. I'll have to get some flash cotton and figure out quantity and placement for it and see if it will ignite all 12 wicks reliably (without using so much as to be too dangerous/costly).

I'm thinking it would be pretty damn cool to get warmed up spinning an unlit staff, maybe a couple of people stop to see what you're doing, and once you're into the flow of it "whoosh!". Probly make a few people's eyebrows crawl right off the top of their foreheads.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by Lykke_Komorebi » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:27 am

In my past life, did a burlesque performance where I was a down on luck former circus clown and did cheesy magic tricks (make booze disappear, shoot water from giant fake flower) followed by better magic trick finale of clothes removal + sleight of hand and launching fireballs using flash paper. I had a palm-sized 2 barreled flash paper shooter that I purchased at a magic shop in one hand and a modified swisher tube shooter that I made in the other. They both used battery ignition and shot surprisingly big fireballs using 1-2 wadded flash papers. It was nice because it made a big impression without lighting the venue or audience on fire. Flash string sounds like it could be a great fit for what you're looking to accomplish, and I highly recommend playing around with flash paper.
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Re: Miniature Flame Poofer

Post by maladroit » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:59 pm

Lykke_Komorebi wrote:In my past life, did a burlesque performance where I was a down on luck former circus clown and did cheesy magic tricks (make booze disappear, shoot water from giant fake flower) followed by better magic trick finale of clothes removal + sleight of hand and launching fireballs using flash paper.
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