How to Make a Simple Electrical Firework Detonator

Written by cindy crabtree
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A simple electrical firework detonator can be used to light one firework or hundreds; it's just a matter of how many fireworks you connect to each switch. Using electrical wire, the current provided by the battery ignites any fireworks attached to that line, causing them to all light at the same time. By connecting each cue to a common ground, attached to the negative end of the battery, the circuit is completed when the positive end is touched to one of the nails on the wooden board.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Nails
  • 2-inch by 4-inch piece of wood, minimum of 12 inches long
  • Permanent marker
  • Shooting wire or zip wire
  • Alligator clips
  • Ematch
  • Car battery and cables

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  1. 1

    Nail a row of horizontal nails into a piece of wood. Use one nail for each cue, the switch for firing a firework. Pound an additional nail in the wood for the common ground, separating it from the others with a bigger gap so it is easily differentiated. Number the nails with a permanent marker to keep track of the cues.

  2. 2

    Cut 50 feet of shooting wire, two-way electrical wire used for firework detonation, for each nail attached to the wood. Separate the ends of each wire, on each end, a few inches from the tip. Attach small alligator clips, metal clamp-like clips, to each separated wire.

  3. 3

    Clip the alligator clips to an ematch, an electrical fuse for a firework, on the end attached to the fireworks. Connect one wire of the alligator clip to the appropriate nail on the firing end and attach the other clip to the nail serving as the common ground. Repeat for each cue.

  4. 4

    Clip a cable clamp on the negative end of your battery and the other end to the common ground nail. Connect the positive clamp to the positive end of the battery. Touch the clamp from the positive end of the battery to a nail to fire the firework attached to that nail.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution when operating an electrical firework detonator; the charge from the battery can be harmful.

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