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JamesinLA
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Inner circle
Los Angeles
3400 Posts

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I want to use a wand to ignite some hidden flash paper in my hand. My idea is to use a battery in the wand to heat up a wire at the tip of the wand.
So far, I'm in the testing phase. I got a 2 foot piece of copper braded wire and taped it to a D battery. After 10 or 15 minutes, I felt the wire. It wasn't very hot at all, however, the battery itself was extremely hot!
Maybe I used the wrong type of wire? Does anyone have any ideas how to make this work? Is it possible? It will also need to use a smaller battery that will fit into a normal looking wand.
Thanks, everyone.
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Shadow Dancer
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Melbourne, Australia
61 Posts

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Try Hank Lee's magic, THey have a flash wand at this web address http://hanklee.org/xcart/customer/produc......p;page=1 you might be able to use that in someway, or just get more info on it.
Shadow Dancer
'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.'
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Eldon
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Virden, IL
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You need a really thin wire. You might try a glow plug. If you want to go low tech you can use what I use. A small piece of PVC pipe painted to look like a wand. I think it is 1/2" pipe. It holds a lit cigarette in one end. Like I said low tech but very dependable.
mnmagic
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If you are doing shows in homes do you still use a cig?

If you used a 2 foot piece of copper braided wire you have a couple of issues: the length of the wire... and the gauge and type. You would need a car battery to get that thing hot.

My personal reccomendation would be to but one made already so you can put the time and energy into practice, rehersal, and preforming. There is a good chance you will spend as much if not more money trying to create the final product the if you went out and bought one.

If you want the joy of making your own then I think that your best bet would be a glow plug and several AA batteries or you could try just a short piece of nichrome wire (you can get this at a magic or theatre supply store) connected between two pieces of your braided wire and connected to the batteries in series. Parallel might be better but a pain to wire when you want to hide the batteries in a wand...

I can't really give you more specifics then that. I spent a lot of time in high school trying to build a candle that would ignite from a few feet away. Spent a lot of time and money on it and in the end couldn't get it to work before my deadline. It doesn't sound like you have a deadline but if you have the time and patience let me know if I can help further.

shawn
Grandillusionsmagic
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I would get a glow plug from Denny and lee ( http://www.dennymagic.com/cgi-bin/hazel.......m=003523 ) and by connecting it to one AA battery (I would also add a switch) then using a piece of brass tube for the wand, put the glow plug about 2-3 inches from the end you want it to shoot out of, then the switch and battery (in a battery holder) at the other end you should be set to go. PM me know if you want more details.
Magically,
GI
www.boisemagic.com
mnmagic
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Somebody posted in another forum that Walgreen's sells a windproof lighter for $2.99.

Do they make glow plugs that will light off of a single AA cell?

shawn
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Thank you, everyone. I will look into the glow plug advise. If there was a wand commercially available that could just be a hot tip, or even cause a spark like a lighter, I would buy it. I will post what I find out and how it goes. Thanks for everyone's advise.
Best,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
ClintonMagus
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Southwestern Southeast
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Nichrome wire is what you need for this. That's what is in glow plugs. Nichrome wire is a high-resistance wire that will heat up very quickly when current is applied. I'm sure a Google search would turn up several sources.

Something else you might try is removing one strand from picture-hanging wire. It is not high-resistance, but I have used it in a pinch before with enough current.

Amos McCormick
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
kaytracy
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Central California
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They do get used up, but the little starters from model rocket engines will work also.
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
m.ruetz
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Peoria Arizona, USA
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A single AA may not do it. As I recall the glow plug I had worked well with a 9 volt battery. 6 AA batteries gives you 9 volts so that may work.
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JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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To follow up, I wanted to report that I got some nichrome wire and it works perfectly. I got a rather thin grade of the wire. 30 gage. With a AAA battery, the wire heats up enough to quickly set off flashpaper. I first tried it with a D battery. The nichrome wire glowed red and burned out with the D battery!
The next thing I tried was a camera battery. I bought two different sizes of these wafer-type batteries, one smaller than the other. However, neither of them worked. The nichrome wire did not get even hot to the touch. Maybe I wasn't touching the battery connections properly? I held the leads to opposite sides of the wafer battery.
I had hoped it would work because the wafer batteries are 1.5 volts the same as the AAA batteries. Anyone know why this didn't work? Thanks.

Jim

PS: I wanted to use a wafer battery to fit inside a TT.
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Budihaha
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Bandung - Indonesia
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Maybe a D-Lite can answer your problem.

And don't forget that voltage (volt) is different than ampere (watt). Maybe wafer battery has same voltage, but with small ampere. Just a guess, I'm not an electronic expert.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
www.budihaha.com
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Volts versus Amperage must be the problem. Thank you, Budi H. I'm pretty much clueless about electricity. I will look at the amps of a triple A battery, which does work well with the nichrome wire, and compare that amperage to the camera wafer batteries. I will report back what I find out.

If anyone who understands electricity better than I do has other suggestions, I would appreciate hearing from them.

Thanks,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
mvmagic
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Has written
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How about one of those long lighters that are used for fireplaces and such? They’re piezo operated and don't require a separate battery. I am not sure whether the piezo spark alone will actually light the flash paper as I have never tried it but naturally the flame does. I have seen models, which are long and narrow. Maybe you could work that into a wand?
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