We had a similar issue with the igniter falling down in a M motor.
> Cat -
> Here's the scoop:
> You could use an aftermarket igniter with the Pro38's, as long as you are
> diligent about making sure it is all the way up the core and in contact
> or in very close proximity to the igniter pellet. But don't use something
> with 5 grams of thermonuclear goo on it, you won't change a thing about
> quickly the motor ignites. Just use something that will ignite the igniter
> pellet, and that doesn't take much - your description of a nichrome-BP
> igniter sounds suitable.
> The reason we tell people not to use aftermarket igniters is as follows:
> (1) It is unnecessary - properly installed, the supplied e-match will
> the igniter pellet every time.
> (2) The main reason: Pyrogen dipped igniters will ignite the propellant
> directly, the e-matches will not. Using an igniter with pyrogen overdip
> (and has) caused the occasional mid-port ignition and subsequent disaster.
> One would think that with that easily ignited pellet at the top of the
> that even if you accidentally touched off the propellant lower down the
> the darn thing would still go and the motor would function nominally. This
> is true most of the time, however, there have been notable exceptions.
> Stagnated cold gas in the core above the ignition event is far more
> at allowing fire transfer than you might think - it is a far better
> insulator than you'd suspect.
> One fellow sent us the remains of a 6G casing and reload parts, with an
> description of the event. What we recieved was the upper 2/3 of the
> a hardened puddle of aluminum slag, and the remains of the upper part of
> the reload inert bits. Hmmm we thought... how did this happen. As he
> decribed it, the button was pushed, there was a pop from the ignitor, then
> nothing more than a road flare flame from the rear of the motor, that
> something like 1-1-/2 minutes. Eventually molten aluminum was seen to be
> dripping from the rear of the motor..
> We asked the usual questions, did you get the igniter all the way up the
> core, did you use the supplied igniter, etc etc. Yes to all.
> Baffled, I scratched my head overnight on the issue, wondering if the
> had ejected at ignition, or if there was a blind drilled grain lower down,
> or had we shipped a whole batch of propellant missing most of the oxidizer
> (not likely), or what. But the problem was, as he described it the nozzle
> did not blow out, and he had said he used the stock igniter which I knew,
> "knew" let's say from experience, would not ignitie the propellant
> I came to the conclusion that it must have suffered a mid to lower port
> ignition somehow, sothought I that maybe the matches will on occasion
> the propellant directly. It is not unheard of that the match might snag
> between grains and cause a misfire, it has happened a few times.
> So, armed with some e-matches, a couple of 6G cases and J330 reloads I
> out to the test stand to play. I tried getting a midport igniton with the
> stock e-match. Nothing, and in fact I have never successfully ignited
> standard propellant directly with an e-match.
> Next step - I rigged a pyrogen igniter using an Oxral match and about two
> inches of double over igniter cord, and put this about 2" into the core.
> A 2 minute road flare, and after about a minute the nozzle just sort of
> out, and the bottom couple of inches of the casing melted away into a
> of aluminum. The motor never even came close to reaching operating
> I doubt it would even have moved under its own power lying sideways on the
> asphalt. The reamins were hard to tell apart from those sent to us by our
> So, a quick email to the customer to report our findings. AHA! He
> after thinking about it, that he had indeed used an aftermarket igniter,
> the conclusion was that it must have snagged in the core and felt like it
> was all the way up.
> We all laughed about this, because on the very positive side we had
> something important from the event.
> Now, all that said, in the installation instructions for the Oxral
> (now supplied with all Pro38 2G and larger reloads) I describe cutting off
> short piece of the red plastic tube used to shunt the bare leads, and
> sliding this over the match head. This single feature increases igntion
> reliabilty hugely - without the sleeve the output from the ematch goes in
> all directions except straight back of course. Problem is, we want that
> output to all go forwards towards the igniter pellet. The plastic sleeve
> accomplishes this - I did witness paaper tests to prove the idea, plus
> hurried field testing when someone had problems with a Pro54 J. So do
> yourselves a favor and don't skip this step - it is described on the
> paper instruction sheet accompanying the igniter. If this is done as
> described, the match will ignite the propellant reliably even when
> by a short standoff distance. But don't intentionally cause there to be a
> standoff distance - get that igniter right up to the top.
> FYI, we used to supply Daveyfire M28F's with all motors. Now, we only
> them with the Pro38 1G G reloads, as they have nozzle throats too small
> the Oxral. Everything else gets Oxrals. These are the only two types of
> igniters we provide.
> Mike Dennett
> Cesaroni Technology Incorporated
> > Hello All,
> > Sorry for the dumb question, but at the last launch I left behind a box
> > 4 igniters that came with the Cesaroni pro38 reloads. I was told not to
> > a "HOT" igniter to replace the lost ones, what would you recommend as a
> > replacement e-match? I do not have an ATFE LTC so I'm stuck with few
> > options, I however use nichrome/bp igniters for just about everything
> > they work with aerotech would they be ok? How about hotshot? Besides the
> > starter grain, why would a pro-38 be any different then any other APCP
> > reload?
> > -cat