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  1. #11
    DBP
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    How about flash paper, which is still available commercially for magicians? The light won't be as intense, but with modern film it won't need to be.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    You had switches? What a luxury!

    We had two nails with a bit of 5 amp fuse wire wrapped between them, wired up to a round pin 15 amp plug. The flash powder was poured over the fuse wire. On cue, you pushed the plug into the socket and off it went. I don't recall any ever failing.

    This was twenty years ago in pantomimes with lots of children on the stage. I don't think we would get away with it now!


    Steve.
    Dear Steve,

    This is turning into a Monty Python sketch:

    "You 'ad switches? When I were a lad..."

    Your point is fully taken otherwise. But the ASM used so many turns of fuse wire that it wouldn't blow. 'Two cultures'.

    Cheers,

    R.

  3. #13

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    Hats off gentlemen!

    http://www.theatrefx.com/store/commerce.cgi

    Photo A&B Flash Powder
    (Photographers Flash Powder)

    Creates a flash of bright light and a puff of smoke. Makes less smoke than White A&B and burns faster.

    Specifications
    Expect 8 - 10 shots per ounce.

    Cheers,
    Clarence

    I have not actually used this.

  4. #14
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    Pyrotechnics used to be a hobby of mine some time ago. I'm not sure what kind of flash powder was used by the old photographers however I can tell you this...

    The standard "flash powder" in pyrotechnics is a 70/30 mix of KClO4 (potassium perchlorate) and very fine aluminum powder. I would highly recommend you DO NOT use this for photographic purposes since it burns so fast that the air around a burning pile sometimes confines the flame enough that it actually "explodes". This is the exact stuff they used in real M-80's.

    Probably a slower burning flash powder using a less powerful oxidizer such as potassium nitrate would be good. I had good fun burning piles of this stuff. It would burn instantly with a "whoosh" and you'd have that spot in your eyes for a good while as if you've just stared at the sun. There's a lot of variations on the mixture but it could be anywhere from a 50/50 to a 70/30 mixture of KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and aluminum or magnesium powder. You can alter how fast it burns with the ratio of oxidizer to fuel and how fine the metallic powder is.

    In the pyro world it was recommended that if you're mixing KNO3 with Mg, you coat the Mg powder in linseed oil and if you're mixing it with Al then you mix in about 1% boric acid (commonly used to kill cockroaches) to stabilize the metallic powders. But this was only for long-term storage purposes so if you planned on using the mixture shortly after making it--you probably don't need to worry about it.

    You can get all of these chemicals by the pound at online pyro stores such as www.discountpyro.com or www.skylighter.com.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by OPTheory; 08-03-2007 at 12:37 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRhymer View Post
    Hats off gentlemen!

    http://www.theatrefx.com/store/commerce.cgi

    I have not actually used this.


    On that site one is shown a plastic bottle to contain flashpowder, which though having a thread is stopped with a cork. Makes me think...
    Last edited by AgX; 08-03-2007 at 04:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    WOW!! Gordon Bennet!!!!! I only asked a simple question.......

    Thanks for all your replies. I will follow up a few of the leads shortly, they look kind of interesting.

    I didn't realise just what a wealth of information you all have, as well as a sense of well-being & safety for other APUG users. I am aware potential dangers & thanks for all your concern.

    I certainly don't want to get labelled as a bomb maker!!

    All I trying to do is enjoy my photography and exploring some of the older methods used in days of yore.

    Has anybody actually tried using flash powder at all? I'd be interested if any of you have.

    Thanks again,

    Marcus


    PS How do I get (magicians) flash paper??

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    If you click on the site CRhymer mentions, go to flash powder and scroll down, there is some photographic flash powder for sale.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #18
    JPD
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    I experimented with Mg + KNO3 flashpowder in the early 1990's. I got burning magnesium particles in my face, and had to buy new eyeglasses.

  9. #19
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    "I experimented with Mg + KNO3 flashpowder in the early 1990's. I got burning magnesium particles in my face, and had to buy new eyeglasses."

    What a coincidence!:o The haircut looked cheap too.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  10. #20

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    Thanks again guys, something for me to follow up now.

    Marcus

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