What makes the show go?

Besides the hundreds of hours of planning and setup, there are about 5-6 hours of final setup on the day of the show.  This involves lining up all of the fireworks and connecting them all together according to the show design.

In the past, we had connected all of the fireworks together with fusing.  So, at show time, we would like one fuse and it would go through all of the fireworks and set them off in the designed order.

Starting last year (2014), we got our first true electronic firing system.  What a difference that has made!  Now, all of the fireworks are clipped to their own individual electric igniter.  Each igniter is then connected to the firing module.  The entire show is scripted and run from the master controller.

Here is an excerpt from this year’s show script:

#Event Time,#Channel,#Cue,#Description

STEP,1,1,INTRO FOUNTAIN
STEP,2,3,”PH1 1 DO,DO,SC”
00:00:00.5s,6,3,”PH1 1 DO,DO,SC”
STEP,2,1,”PH1 2 LC,LC,SC”
00:00:00.5s,4,3,”PH1 2 DB,LC,LC”
STEP,1,2,”PH1 3 DB,RR,RR”
00:00:00.5s,5,1,”PH1 3 DB,RR,RR”
STEP,3,2,”PH1 4 CP,CP,SC”
00:00:00.5s,5,3,”PH1 4 DB,CP,CP”
STEP,1,3,”PH1 5 DO,DO,SC”
00:00:00.5s,4,4,”PH1 5 DO,DO,SC”
STEP,3,3,”PH1 6 DB,LC,LC”
00:00:00.5s,5,2,”PH1 6 LC,LC,SC”

STEP,1,17,FIN 19 AD
00:00:00.5s,2,18,FIN 19 AD
00:00:01.0s,4,17,FIN 19 AD
00:00:01.5s,5,18,FIN 19 AD
00:00:02.5s,1,13,FIN 20 MORTAR
00:00:03.0s,4,16,FIN 21 MORTAR
00:00:03.5s,2,14,FIN 22 MORTAR
00:00:04.0s,6,12,FIN 23 MORTAR
00:00:04.5s,1,16,FIN 24 MORTAR
00:00:05.0s,5,14,FIN 25 MORTAR
00:00:05.5s,3,14,FIN 26 MORTAR
00:00:06.0s,6,15,FIN 27 MORTAR

This year’s show consists of about 110 lines of code.  It is vastly more reliable and easier to change than the old method of fusing each firework to a main fuse line!

Can’t wait to see everyone out there this year!

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