AFN Articles

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AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:37 am

I thought it might be useful to create a thread to contain all the articles we have submitted to AFN. Most of the relevant AFN issues are referenced elsewhere in the forum, but they are scattered in such a variety of locations that they are not easy to locate.

LATER EDIT:
As I add entries, I'll accompany them - if appropriate - with comments about their context. Also, following Bradley's suggestion two entries down in this thread, I'll include their links in this first post.

EVEN LATER EDIT:
A limitation of the forum software on how many attachments can be included in a single posting means that all the entries can't be included here. So I'll just list the dates and titles.

Here is the first article that Ken and I submitted to the September, 2015 issue. It describes the results of some of our early experimentation with heavy-metal-free crackle.

Other articles (posted later in this thread)
October, 2015: Crackling Micro-stars - an Update
November 2015: Charcoal Density and BP Burn Rates
December 2015: Black Powder Revisited
January 2016: PVB-based Star Compositions
February 2016: Further Findings on BP Behavior
April 2016: Another New Crackle Composition
February 2017: Another Cheap Crackle
December 2017: A Study of 'Hot' Primes
October 2019; A Brief History of Strobes
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Lloyd » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:49 am

Please, Richard and Ken,

DO consolidate all of your articles in one thread. It's important to the art. (and they happen to be good articles, also! <grin>)

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:15 am

Oopsie, I might be part of the culprit to the spread out of information. I know I've shared some AFN articles as the released in respective threads.

Might I suggest as you add each additional article you do so to your original post Richard. So that they don't get lost down in the shuffle as this thread grows.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:42 am

This update to our September 2015 article appeared in the October 2015 issue.

I might add that, to this day, we still don't understand why, of all the additives we experimented with, PVB proved to be by far the most effective in mixtures of this type.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:38 am

This article, which appeared in the November 2015 issue, gives the results of a long series of trials of the effect of different charcoals on the performance of BP. This is an area of research that has been covered by many people over more than three centuries, but still generates a plethora of opinions and arguments.

I find it fascinating that such an apparently simple mixture can show so complex a behaviour.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:27 am

Another excursion into the vagaries of black powder. This article, which appeared in the December 2015 issue, makes the somewhat subversive suggestion that it might be worth fitting BP's composition to the particular type of charcoal, rather than vice versa.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:46 am

Ken's opus on PVB-based star formulations, which appeared in the January 2016 issue.

All good compositions but, in particular, the red and green are - in my opinion - as good as, if not better than, any others I have seen.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:35 pm

This article, which appeared in the February 2016 issue, is a more detailed examination of the effect of changing the proportions of black powder ingredients, and how that depends on the particular charcoal that is used.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:46 pm

I feel I should preface this article, which appeared in the April 2016 issue, with a few words of caution. It describes our early exploration of crackle compositions that contain no nitrocellulose, using resorcinol resin as the binder. At the time we were unaware that Lloyd Scott Oglesby had, in October 1989, reported the potential hazards associated with mixtures containing resorcinol and, amongst other substances, copper oxide and magnesium.

As soon as we heard of this, we ran some simple sensitivity tests, which indicated that our mixtures appeared to be no more sensitive to friction or impact than any other crackle composition. However, tests on a few grams of crackle grains don't guarantee the safety of large batches, particularly if they are stored for any length of time.

Looking into the circumstances that led to LSO's report suggests that he was talking about formulations that also contained ammonium perchlorate, or potassium or barium chlorate, and that the main issue appears to have been with confined mixtures that were used as rocket propellant. The situation may very well be different when the composition contains none of these additional substances, and is in the form of loose granules.

Nevertheless, I feel it would be unwise for anyone to experiment with the compositions described in this article. There are better, cheaper, simpler and safer options.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:57 pm

This article was published in the February 2017 issue. It describes a cheap, rollable crackle composition that is similar in its formulation to the ones currently being made in China.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:00 pm

We have two infamous people in this one Best of AFN VII

http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php ... f%3Fdl%3D0

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Pyro-Gear » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:34 pm

Wow thanks for the update Brad made my evening, that has encouraged me to release more information on the PVB stars.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Mon May 01, 2017 12:45 am

Ken, even if it's not said or never gets back to ya there are a lot of people that appreciate your efforts and sharing. It's been pretty inspiring to me even if it does 't always show. I'm honored to have been accepted into the pyro world across the pond and am impressed the generousity of pyro's doesn't know anything about borders. I hope one day to be able to become a border jumper and visit your side of the pond.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Mon May 01, 2017 10:51 am

And more wow! Thanks for the heads up, Bradley.

I knew that Best of AFN VII was due, but I never even thought about the likelihood of any of our articles being included.

It's probably a bit of an understatement to say that I'm quite pleased.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Mon May 01, 2017 1:00 pm

I placed an order for the new addition. It should hopefully be here near the end of the week. There may be another article or two from y'all in there.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by sambo » Mon May 01, 2017 7:38 pm

Brad,

what's the best way for me to get my hands on a copy of the best of AFN VII ?

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Tue May 02, 2017 12:47 am

Sambo, If they won't ship internationally I'll send ya mine as soon as it arrives and order another if you'd like?


http://www.fireworksnews.com/Item/BestofAFN7

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Tue May 02, 2017 11:41 am

I just got my snail-mail copy of the May issue. It shows a few signs of minor production problems, and the reason is not hard to understand: Jack Drewes has recently been in hospital, and his daughter, Betty, who now does most of the production work, is very seriously ill.

My heart goes out to them both and I wish them well in what is clearly a very difficult time.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sat May 06, 2017 6:01 am

Richard, you've got a BP density article in AFN VII

Ken's PVB based stars

Both BP revisited
Both further findings on BP behavior
Both of ya heavy metal free crackling micro stars
Both another new crackle comp

Dave Forster common wax prevents Catos

Lloyd SMPTE time code

Some other names that popped up I have had communications with Bob Svenson and Chris Spurrell

I got an email today while on the road offering free copies of the new AFN with purchases of the set or if ya have those you can contact them for other options.

I jumped the gun and purchased mine and a slew of other things to quickly, lol.

Sambo, have you heard anything yet about getting a copy?

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by sambo » Sun May 07, 2017 7:18 pm

Sorry Brad,

I mean to thank you so much for that overwhelmingly generous offer. I got side-tracked by the passfire movie and 2 catos last night of some rockets that contained my final efforts of the sodium nitrate slow gold ( having spent weeks preparing and drying it all ). I had accidently used my super-milled KNO3 for the motor fuel, which I've been using for Dave F's single component milling experiments. The slow gold looked good from the 3ft or so of air it got from the launch tube but I have to say this is another instance where Ken is right - something about a Russian, a lettuce and maybe a dish, you know the rest :D

anyway, I'll pull my finger out and see what they say.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sun May 07, 2017 11:25 pm

All good Sambo. Life and learning new things comes first.

Glad you're experimenting with Dave's methods a little. He has some new tests to hopefully report on soon. It was funny when we were talking about them recently he was open minded enough to say that he didn't know what the results might be. So we discussed it further and think we came up with a method to narrow down a couple of things dependent on what the results are. In discussions with each other another possible cure or assistant for an issue some of us have may be in order to test.

Always something new to learn in this art and lots of fun experiances along the way.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:39 am

Looks like Richard has been at it again

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6wbv8cz1nkgdi ... 7.pdf?dl=0

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:24 am

Nice one, Bradley. I haven't even received my own copy yet!
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:54 pm

I've been looking at the latest (January 2018) issue:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2us1frpbkdu4h ... 8.pdf?dl=0 (link stolen from Bradley's posting on AFN).
There's an interesting piece by Ian von Maltitz that he says was inspired by my previous month's 'hot' primes article. He talks about the ignition of a variety of crackle-like compositions - a topic I'm very familiar with - but approaches the subject from a different angle, which means there's stuff in there that's well worth thinking about.

One thing I'm not particularly happy about is his suggestion that the use of copper leads on my thermocouples is distorting the readings, by allowing the 'cold' or 'reference' junction to warm up, and is the cause of my recording lower than expected temperatures from 'hot' primes. The implication is that my findings are wrong.

Even if that were the case, since the rise time from ignition to maximum temperature is about the same for all the primes I tested, all the readings would be roughly equally distorted. All absolute temperature measurements might be too low, but the relative differences would still be significant.

But it just isn't true. From the practical point of view, I would have seen the effect on my constant-temperature calibrations - which apply heat for much longer than any of the tested compositions - and I have never seen any evidence of it happening. Also, I have done the sums on how much heat is conducted to the cold junction, and it's tiny. Under the absolute worst case assumptions, which greatly overestimate the effect, the temperature rise of the cold junction doesn't exceed 2 degrees and in the most realistic cases is around 1/10 degree.

I emailed Ian about this yesterday, but haven't yet had a reply.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Lloyd » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:15 pm

Richard,
Without saying anything negative personally about Ian von Maltitz, let me only say that I find myself sometimes in disagreement with both his work methods and his findings.

Faced with differing opinions about the same subject from you and from him, I'm more likely to accept your findings without testing them myself.

Lloyd
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:42 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Lloyd. I'm touched. I also hear what you say: I believe I'm quite good at reading between the lines - and I suspect you are, too.

To a certain extent it doesn't really matter, but I'd hate to think that anyone might disbelieve my findings for spurious reasons. I expect that Ian is a lot more familiar to the majority of AFN readers than I am and his opinions - even if (as in this case, at least) they are not exactly well thought out - are bound to carry more weight.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by snipperfizz » Wed May 16, 2018 12:45 am

I have been reading most articles posted here and I have to say: Ken,
Richard, hats off to you guys! The scientific approach in the articles is something I haven't seen much in pyrotechnics so far. I have already learned a lot the past couple of days and I'm itching to put this information in practice!

Now to find me some cheap PVB...

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Pyro-Gear » Wed May 16, 2018 9:26 am

I have PVB Snipper

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Yus » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:37 pm

Nice papers.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:45 pm

Welcome Yus! Hope ya found what you were looking for.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:12 pm

A teaser from Best of AFN VII ( from end of AFN VI to Nov 2016 are covered in this selection ) which features two of our own members in the snippet. Thank ya fellas for sharing your knowledge and experiances.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5nlygfp5g3f8 ... i.pdf?dl=0


Edit: After reviewing the index it looks as though we may have two additional fellas works in this version I believe?

If I’m correct in recalling my articles there are works from

Pyro-Gear ( Ken Ganney)
Richardh08 ( Richard Harrison )
Lloyd ( Lloyd Sponenburgh)
Dave F ( David Forster )

I hope I didn’t miss anyone.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:21 am

There's no reason why the content of this thread should be restricted to articles from Ken and me. I don't have the right (or the source material) to post any of our other members' contributions to AFN, but they are welcome to do it themselves, if they so wish.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Mon May 06, 2019 2:39 pm

Another honorable mention for the resident experimenters

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ab51kt6eylub ... 9.pdf?dl=0

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Mon May 06, 2019 2:48 pm

:)
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Pyro-Gear » Tue May 07, 2019 12:33 pm

I have got something in the pipeline regarding cross-linking phenolic resin at room temperature so far tests have shown positive but the resin sets to fast so it’s just a case of balancing out the ratios but it works!

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by dave321 » Tue May 07, 2019 8:10 pm

ken,
i have some phenolic resin with hardner.

are you using hexamine by any chance ?

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Pyro-Gear » Wed May 08, 2019 12:19 pm

No I am not using hexamine Dave I found the temperature too high to get the resin to cross link.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:26 pm

Looks like Richard has been at it again.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/054wl3uo5o1xu ... 9.pdf?dl=0
-------------------------

Yup! I get it on paper every month! Richard is 'productive', to say the least!

(Thanks for the quote! <grin>)

Lloyd

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Lloyd » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:38 pm

Yep! Richard has been 'productive', to say the least!
Thanks for the qudos on the comment.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:33 am

Lloyd, I see what happened, but not sure how. You’ve got a post merged onto mine that replaced the quotes I listed. Let’s see If I can dig them back up and post them again I thought the decade one was pretty good.

Quote of the decade:


[t]he secret to a good fireworks display is no longer a knowledge of the combusting properties of potassium nitrate or magnesium. What you really need is a law degree and the number of a bloke in China.
The [London] Daily Mail in a feature article about Ron Lancaster in the run-up to Guy Fawkes Day:


Quote of the month:

There's a lot of "magic" in pyrotechnics. Some of it
is just "black magic", without basis or the ability to
be corroborated.

Lloyd Sponenburgh

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:53 am

Thanks for posting that link, Bradley. I don't yet have a copy myself. In fact, despite my subscription not expiring until December, the last copy I received was the June issue. I've spoken to Betty about it and on two occasions she has said they would send me the missing issues. However, nothing has arrived. I don't understand what's going on.

I also don't understand how those two posts got merged, but I like the quotes. I hunted down the one from Ron Lancaster to a 2007 article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... years.html. Someone ought to get AFN to print it.

AFN's juxtaposition of the quote from Lloyd with my article is spookily prescient, as I have it in mind that the article might be a first step towards clarifying some of the 'black magic' that surrounds strobes. But don't hold your breath, as there's still a lot of investigation to be done.
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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Pyro-Gear » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:28 pm

Wow, that picture of Ron holding those rockets reminded me that I have all his stock of sticks.

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Re: AFN Articles

Post by Boophoenix » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:21 pm

I’ll dig around and get you links to the months you’re missing. I kind of have slacked on sharing after the one article I wasn’t comfortable sharing was printed.

I kind of had hoped he would have accepted the offer to attend FPAG’s 50th anniversary event a couple of years ago, but understand why he declined. It would have been an honor to meet him.


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Re: AFN Articles

Post by richardh08 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:48 am

Much appreciated, Bradley.

I still have hopes of (eventually) getting hold of paper copies of the ones I'm missing.
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