Our 400 Shot Firing System

As featured in "American Fireworks News," "Danger Zone," and ABC7 News

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NBC4 pyro innovationsOur 400 Shot System
This 400 shot system utilizes a simple analog circuit with a built in instantaneous continuity check. There are 100 separate metal pushbuttons to fire the individual cues on the firing panel. Each metal pushbutton has a built in L.E.D. ring for continuity indication. Upon turning on the firing system using the key switch, it automatically goes into continuity mode, causing the L.E.D. rings on each pushbutton firing switch to illuminate if there is continuity on that particular cue. The built in continuity system sends a very low current through each electric match.

There is a 4 position rotary switch that causes the pushbuttons to switch from being able to fire shots 1-100, 101-200, 201-300, and 301-400. There are 8 industry standard 50 pin ("25 pair") amphenol connectors, used to connect to a field module capable of firing 50 shots each. So two cables equals one bank of 100 cues. Each cable connector also has a ground terminal next it. It is important that the ground from each particular cable be connected to the connector immediately adjacent to the cable only. An L.E.D. light next to each set of two cables indicates which set is currently selected by the rotary switch.

glowing fireworks systemWanting to eliminate the need for an external light or needing flashlights to see the firing panel during a show, an innovative glow panel was designed which causes the firing panel itself to illuminate a dim red which minimizes loss of night vision and yet still allows you to see all the buttons, switches, and firing panel labels. This feature really helps to set this firing system aprart from the rest.

This system utilizes internal batteries configured to give 24volts. Improper under or over charging batteries can damage them and shorten their lifespan dramatically, so a smart battery charger was integrated internally, so that all you need to do is plug it into any 120VAC socket. The smart charger regulates the battery charging to maximize battery life. However, in the event you forget to charge the system before you leave to your show, there is a port on the firing panel that allows you to attach a set of external batteries to power the system. All you have to do is flip a switch, and you are on external power.

fireworks firing systemIn addition to having the ability to fire up to 400 individual cues using a standard 24VDC, the system also has a single-shot High Voltage Capacitive Discharge (HVCD) circuit that gives you a single circuit that will fire at 240VDC. This feature is useful in situations that yeild a large number of electric matches that need to be fired in one shot, or you have 1000's of feet of wire bettween your firing system and the shot needing to be fired.

This system also has digital meters which give battery voltage and the ambient temperature.

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Closeup of a majority of the firing system controls

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One of the firing system circuit boards before components were soldered in Mike explaining how to use the system Mike using it to shoot a fireworks display, system is illuminated with the "glow panel"

We have two kinds of field modules; the box kind (seen in the pictures below) and the strip kind (not shown). The box is self explanatory, and the strips simply consist of a cable with connectors at every 10.5"'s along the cable (useful for shooting shows with rows of mortars). Most firing systems similar to the one described above have one of two disadvantages. They either use 5 of the conductors in the firing cable as a ground (which will eliminate 5 cues from each field module for a total of 40 fewer cues, and makes reading cue sheets and scripts a little more confusing), or they will have a ground terminal on each field module in which you will have to run ground wire back to the firing system from each field module, which wastes a lot of time and wire. So we designed our system to eliminate both of those problems. It uses a ground terminal on each field module, which when used with firing cables that have an external wire attached for ground, allows you to utilize all 50 conductors for actual shots in each firing cable without wasting a bunch of wire each time.

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