Why do we need to splice quick match if most shows are electrically fired?
There are a few reasons to know how to spice quick match.
1) You may have to repair it from time to time, so it is important to know how to deal with it.
2) If you have 5 finale chains that are supposed to fire on one cue, instead of using 5 electric matches, you can splice all of the chains together and only fire it with one (two electric matches is standard practice for redundancy).
3) Give redundancy to multiple chains firing from a single cue. For example if you have 2 chains firing on one cue, and you have two electric matches to fire them, you can splice the two chains together to give you additional redundancy/reliability.
Why so much redundancy?
When quickmatch fires, it is very violent, which frequently causes it to blow apart before it has a chance to transfer fire to all of the shells in the chain. This is the main cause for shells not to lift in the finale. By adding redundant splices on both sides of the chains, you are giving additional paths for the fire to travel around the chains, thus circumventing and blown piece of quickmatch.
How to splice quick match
There are many techniques to splice quickmatch, for simplicity only one will be shown here.
Step 1) Expose black match on both pieces to be spliced. You will generally create one "male" end and one "female" end for easy splicing.
Step 2) Insert the male end into the female end, making sure to have black match touching black match. It is very important to make sure you don't insert the male end between the different layers of paper. Black match on black match!
Step 3) Using masking tape, tape the splice together, making sure to cover at least two inches on both sides of the splice to ensure it stays together long enough to transfer fire from one piece to another.
The picture to the right shows two separate finale cues. The two chains on the left are spliced together, and the three chains on the right are spliced together. This means one cue, two chains will fire, and the other cue, three chains will fire.