New Product … Conductive Starter Mix



Nothing could be easier, now you can make starters that fit your needs and you don’t have to use bridge wires.  It’s Simple, all you do is mix it up, prepare your leads, dip, dry coat and fire.  Easy to follow procedure included, anyone can do it and produce a dependable starter.  Everything you need is included with the kit, except Acetone.  Acetone can be found at most any hardware or home improvement store.  Make a few and you’ll be an expert.


Conductive Starter Mix comes in two sizes, the 14 Gram kit and the 28 Gram kit (shown below).  Using this product, you will be able to make Motor Starters the way you want them.  Big, little or in between.  These starters are compatible with all Club Type 12 Volt Launch Controls or with the QuickBurst line of Nova Launch Controls.


The 14 Gram kit sells for $22.50


The 28 Gram kit sells for $37.50


You will be able to make many starters with either kit.  The 14 Gram kit will make approximately 700 starters and the 28 Gram kit will make approximately 1400 Starters.  These numbers are an estimate calculated using known weights and your results may vary.  It will depend on how heavy or how light you dip.  Larger or smaller starters will make a difference.  If your bottle of mix should dry out, you don’t need to worry, simply add acetone and stir it will come back good as new.  Keep the jars sealed tightly to help delay the drying out of the mix.  The new lids have a gasket inside to help stretch bottle life out.


Here’s how simple it is.


Shooter Wire Start                                                                Cat5 Wire Start



First Coat                                                               Final Coat


There are six steps.

As follows:

Step 1 –  Select lead wire either Shooter wire or Cat5 cable.  While Cat5 wire will work, the Shooter wire is much easier to work with.

Step 2 – Strip one end of your lead to begin dipping.

Step 3 – Dip as you require.  You will control the size and length of your starter.

Step 4 – Dry over night.

Step 5 – Apply coating, then allow an hour to dry.

Step 6 – Bench test, this is a very important step, do not skip it.


Conductive Starter Mix FeedBack:

This is a review of QuickBurst’s “Conductive Starter Mix” (CSM). Executive summary: a simple, straightforward and well-described process and product for creating impressive BP and AP motor starters, without the need for bridge wires.

CSM is a three part mix, consisting of a jar of dry pyrogen powder (I think it’s pyrogen, but it’s not listed as such and I could be wrong), a bottle of “binder” powder, and a package of oxidizer powder. To make the mix, you pour the binder into the pyrogen jar, add 100% acetone (which you supply) to create a slurry, and THEN add the oxidizer. The directions, which are well-written and progressively disclose the mixing steps along with advice and precautions, are very clear as to warn not to add the oxidizer to a dry mixture. Presumably the potential results are to be avoided.

Once the slurry is created and the oxidizer is added, you mix with the wooden sticks provided until a consistency is met that allows for clinging to the wire pair that you’ll be subsequently dipping. Too much acetone, and you’ll wait a bit for it to evaporate (or blow on the mix as advised). Too little, and you’ll need to add a little more. Because acetone is highly flammable/volatile, the instructions are clear on the safety precautions that must be maintained during this process. Additionally a well-vented area is suggested. I used a respirator mask designed for VOCs while mixing/dipping as I’m sensitive to such fumes. The directions state multiple times that the product can create unremovable stains, so I also took care there during the starter creation process.

“shooter wire” is recommended for use as the duplex wire for dipping. Lacking that, I opened up some CAT-5 cable and pulled some stranded twisted pair from that – 22 AWG I think. I also created some twisted pair wire from wire-wrap wire – 26 AWG I think. After stripping ~3/8″ from the ends and positioning them to provide 1/16″ of separation, I proceeded to dip.

Dipping is the art here. You dip the exposed ends into the slurry, and continue to dip until you get the thickness you desire. Waiting ~5-10 seconds between dips for the acetone to evaporate helps with the build up. For reasons I don’t understand, it was harder for the dip to bridge the gap of the wire-wrap than the CAT5 strands, but perhaps that was due to the viscosity of the slurry at the time (or perhaps solid core wire on the wire-wrap vs. stranded copper on the CAT5). Ultimately I was able to get an adequate amount of pyrogen on those ends of the wire-wrap, and so set them all aside to dry/cure overnight. For this exercise, I created 4 starters from CAT5 wire, 4 from wire-wrap, and dipped 4 Estes solar igniters (which is not an advertised use of CSM).

The instructions state that, after curing, a correctly dipped ignitor should show both continuity and a resistance reading of 2-6 ohms – a starter that reads outside that range should be redone by returning the dried starter to the slurry and starting over. Evidently I did things right, as all of my dips passed both tests. An important note – my experience was that if you test for continuity and resistance prior to that overnight cure, you won’t get acceptable readings. What a difference a day makes. After a successful bench test, I coated the igniter pyrogen with a fluid that QuickBurst supplies for protecting the pyrogen from chipping. In a pinch, the directions state that nail polish can be used sparingly.

My local NAR club launch was cancelled, and I’ve not yet had the opportunity to test these starters in a motor. However, I did fire one of each of these igniters, and shot some video for review. I used my launch controller based on a LiPo jump battery (12v is recommended) and the results were impressive. Each starter, including the Estes starter yielded a burst of sparks and flame for a time such that I couldn’t imagine the more difficult of AP motors not leaping off the pad, clustered or not. So impressed that I can’t imagine not using starters created with CSM. The product works as advertised, and the detailed included instructions, if followed, make it difficult to not succeed in creating reliable and immediate BP and AP motor starters.

What would I change? If I could do so economically I would purchase some 24 gauge shooter wire to facilitate lead preparation – stranded CAT5 and wire-wrap are too fiddly to get the gaps right. Also, I’d wish for a more air tight container for the final slurry, as it seems to be unavoidable that you’ll be adding more acetone between dipping sessions, but perhaps that’s an unavoidable side-effect of using acetone solvent. As well, I wouldn’t have minded some guidance on how much pyrogen to supply to the wire tips to create a motor appropriate starter, but I suspect that like dipping, this is also an art that is optimized with experience. Finally, there are two conductive mixes on QuickBurst’s website, and it’s not clear to me the situations under which one product is preferred over another. But perhaps since CSM is a new product, it will replace Conductive Hot Shot? QuickBurst’s owner is quick to answer emails, so questions there can be quickly resolved.

Congratulations to QuickBurst for a impressive and easy to use product. No bridge wires need apply.


Todd Lainhart