Fireworks Launcher – News and Changelog

Latest news about the fireworks launcher including hardware and software updates, new added content, events and other project related news and status.  It is also a bit of a changelog for myself, so I can remember when I made major website design changes.

Added Southeast USA biker magazines.

URL links updated.

Switching to Talon igniters this year for the Fourth of July.  Also added QuickClips to the end of the launching wires for easy attachment of the Talons.

Due to Coronavirus lockdown boredom, in the process of ordering parts for a major upgrade to the fireworks launcher.  Upgrading the Raspberry Pi to the current version 4 model with 4GB of RAM, upgrading the 5V supply to a DC-DC converter due to the increased power draw of the new Raspberry Pi, switching the operating system from Raspbian to Ubuntu with the Mate desktop, and more importantly adding another 24 launch ports.

Switched from the Classic Editor to Gutenberg.

Converted external links to SSL versions where applicable.

Another Fourth of July.  Go Joey Chestnut!

Added an external links page to the Fireworks Launcher menu.

Added SSL to enable HTTPS.

Happy Fourth of July!

Well this sucks.  My launcher is packed away in my storage shed 1000 miles away.   Being a spectator for the first time is different, but then again someone else supplying the fireworks, burgers, pasta salad, chicken wings, deviled eggs, polish sausage and Boddingtons for a change isn’t so bad.  I can relax, sit in the pool and watch the show.

I published a revamped website today.  I migrated everything from a convoluted combination of using RVSiteBuilder and Wordpress to building everything 100% WordPress, which brings about many enhancements on the front end as well as the back end of the website.  Most importantly I switched to a “Responsive” theme which allows the pages to be viewed much more easily on small screen devices like smartphones and tablets.  If you find that something is not appearing correctly, I would appreciate it if you would let me know using the contact form in the above menu.

Fun Fact.  OK, a year has passed since launching the website and as of today 58 countries have visited.  Specifically In the United States, only one state has not visited (Wyoming)…..What’s up with that Wyoming….There has to be at least one person with a Raspberry Pi or Arduino or a computer or interest in Fireworks?

07-04-2014 (Fourth of July 2014!)
Unfortunately I have been too busy studying and looking for a job, so I didn’t get around to buying fireworks this year.  Also, I only ordered a couple of the parts I needed for the small launcher upgrade I was looking into doing.  I had some leftover fireworks laying around from last year, but with the rain and wind from Hurricane Arthur that was passing through, I just wrote it off… just wasn’t in the cards.  Maybe next year.

I guess it is time to blow the dust off of the launcher and get it ready for the Fourth of July.  I am currently looking into two simple modifications to make it easier to use this year.  First, I would replace the bare nichrome wire with pre-made “clothespin” style clip on igniters.  Secondly, I would replace the alligator clips with QuickClips, which would allow me to quickly attach the igniter’s lead wires to my 10 foot launch cables.  Last year, trying to attach alligator clips to barely visible nichrome wire in the dark while at the same time balancing a flashlight with my elbow and trying to swat off the horde of mosquitoes that were tearing me apart was not fun to say the least.  I also might switch the Linux Debian OS repository from Wheezy to Jessie so it more closely matches my two desktop OS’s (Linux Mint Debian).  I wish I had more time, as I would like to build a Rev 2 launcher with maybe 32 launch ports or so.

I switched hosting companies and the server reliability and page load times have increased dramatically.  No new content has been added, but I switched to WordPress for my comments page.

Fuse ignition videos were added.  No fun unless you are lighting something up damn it!  I have included demos using both American Visco Cannon fuse (30 seconds/foot burn rate) as well as Fast Burning Artillery Shell fuse (4 seconds/foot burn rate).  The Visco fuse is a tight wound waterproof fuse and the Artillery Shell Fuse is a loose wound non-waterproof fuse.  The loose packing of the Artillery Shell Fuse creates a much more violent sparking action, making it ideal for setting off other devices, among other uses.

A description has been added, along with some videos.

Knowing absolutely nothing whatsoever about hosting companies, building web sites, etc., I decided to give it a try.  It took two days of learning and playing around and the initial web site now is up and running without writing a single line of code.  You gotta love it.  Thanks to the RVSiteBuilder graphical web site builder.

07-04-2013 (Fourth of July 2013!)
…….and a good time was had by all.  After 3 hours of all of us launching fireworks it got a bit smokey to say the least.

The testing phase of the Fireworks Launcher has been completed and it will make its debut on July 4th.