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Old 12-27-2007, 02:07 PM #1
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Default Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Anybody here have any ideas on how I could make a laser powered propane BBQ igniter for my BBQ? Right now it has the standard push-click piezo ignitor, as the battery powered igniter died. Can anyone think of a way to make some type of little propane "collection chamber" by the burners that I could shine my DIY red into onto something that would heat up enough to ignite the propane?


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Old 12-27-2007, 03:26 PM #2
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

a laser by itself will not light propane. you need to hit something to cause a spark or cinder such as a match or maybe black paper. the laser itself will not lase hot enough to light propane in mid air. I don't even think a co2 laser can do that without striking a target and causing a spark, or flame of some kind.

But if you put a match in the propane area and hit it from a distance that would work, BUT bare in mind that the longer the propane is on, the farther you wanna be when that match lights =)
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:42 PM #3
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archane
a laser by itself will not light propane. you need to hit something to cause a spark or cinder such as a match or maybe black paper. the laser itself will not lase hot enough to light propane in mid air. I don't even think a co2 laser can do that without striking a target and causing a spark, or flame of some kind.

But if you put a match in the propane area and hit it from a distance that would work, BUT bare in mind that the longer the propane is on, the farther you wanna be when that match lights =)
I understand exactly what you are saying. That is what I'm trying to get ideas on what may work, such as steel wool, a chamber of mirrors with a piece of charcoal in the center for example, etc. I am going to play around a bit (without propane) with some items, such as the stuff you put in fake fireplaces that glow like embers, the "honeycomb" piece inside a butane soldering iron, etc. I was hoping someone here may have some ideas about what might work, and be somewhat re-usable.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:49 PM #4
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

One of these should work, but to re-use it will need a metal wool reload, try steel wool or the magnesium from the old type photo flash bulbs, when these fire up they should light the propane. It goes without saying, but Use care! :
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:10 PM #5
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

well, why not use a simple old match, and light that with your laser?

I once heard that (supposedly) at around 4kW peak power focused, the air gets ionized, now that might be enough to ignite your propane?
Still, the laser would most likely be bigger than your BBQ and you could either just fire every ten minutes or roast the BBQ on the laser's heat exchanger.
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:36 PM #6
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

You can ignite flint powder.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:08 PM #7
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Yeah that is a good idea, instead of trying to put a whole match there just simply sprinkle some gunpowder and ignite it that will definantly lite the propane.

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Old 12-30-2007, 10:00 PM #8
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

it is possible with a laser. perhaps a piece of charcoal, absorbs light nicely, gets red-hot, and should last some time? problem is, the propane has to be at the coal to get ignited, which means afterwards the burning propane will ignite/burn the coal.

my try would be to ignite it electrically. small engines (toy-planes and rc-cars etc) use hot wire "spark" plugs. you can as well use a (110v) bulb without the glass. not with 110v then of course! find out at what voltage (voltage-driven!) the filament glows without burning out. the tungsten will melt at over 3000C, and "burning" (like oxidizing) shouldnt happen too quick at "only" red-glowing temperature. which would be enough for ignition.
since its all metal and glass it should survive the heat in the bbq as well.

whatever you do:
keep us updated! :-)

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Old 01-08-2008, 04:42 PM #9
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Well, I've tried unsuccessfully to light it using filaments from lightbulbs, R/C motor Glow plugs, steel wool.

My next venture, i'm going to get a Photo cell and try hooking it directly to th glow plug and different filaments, to see if I can get the laser aiming at the photo cell to produce enough voltage to light one of these.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:55 AM #10
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

huh?!?
wait.. you couldnt ignite propane with steelwool, glow-plug and even a filament? cant be! either it was *that* cold that it didnt glow yet, or there was no propane (and/or air) at that place..
a filament will be 3600 before melting, get it to 1000 red-hot and you will ignite *any* fuel-air-mix that is remotely burnable!

for your new idea: sounds good, but.. how about a solar cell? how about installing that cell pointing to the sky? you need heat for ignition, therefore electrical power, which comes from the laser. a one-watt laser would kill the cell, and would still barely provide enough power for heat-generation, if it wouldnt kill the cell. you could TEC-cool the solar cell of course! oh, and widen the beam before impact on that poor cell! ;-)

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Old 01-11-2008, 02:51 PM #11
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krutz
huh?!?
wait.. you couldnt ignite propane with steelwool, glow-plug and even a filament? cant be! either it was *that* cold that it didnt glow yet, or there was no propane (and/or air) at that place..
a filament will be 3600 before melting, get it to 1000 red-hot and you will ignite *any* fuel-air-mix that is remotely burnable!

for your new idea: sounds good, but.. how about a solar cell? how about installing that cell pointing to the sky? you need heat for ignition, therefore electrical power, which comes from the laser. a one-watt laser would kill the cell, and would still barely provide enough power for heat-generation, if it wouldnt kill the cell. you could TEC-cool the solar cell of course! oh, and widen the beam before impact on that poor cell! ;-)

manuel
Well perhaps it's my lack of being able to hold it steady enough or not enough lasing power to make the filament glow, or the steelwool. The steelwool I could get to smoke a bit, but I think I moved around too much to actullay light one strand, i was kind of charring different strands a little at a time.

So I think I may take the easy way out. I have the old battery powered push button igniter. I'm thinking of wiring it up always on to a photoresistor in a small "enclosure", so when I aim my laser into the chamber, it lights the photoresistor to trigger the battery to ignite. Oh well, still may be kind of fun, and give me an excuse to buy the x-105 I want.

Wife : "I can't get the BBQ started."

Me: " oh yeah, I need to order a new laser. Pray for me, I'm going to light it with a match for now. Remind me to order that laser after dinner so we won't have this problem anymore, it will be much safer than match lighting by hand."

Wife : "yeah, it's scary lgihting with a match, better order that laser to be safe!"
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:23 AM #12
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by desslok
[quote author=Krutz link=1198768045/0#9 date=1200056107]huh?!?
wait.. you couldnt ignite propane with steelwool, glow-plug and even a filament?
Well perhaps it's my lack of being able to hold it steady enough or not enough lasing power to make the filament glow[/quote]

LOL!
i was talking about a filament and boring old electricity! :-P
but i get the point now, it absolutely has to involve a laser at some point!
well.. what laser are we talking about then, anyway? that will determine if you can use it as an igniter or as a "switch" for an igniter only..

*still smiling*

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Old 01-12-2008, 05:05 PM #13
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Default Re: Any way to make a laser propane BBQ igniter?

um, take a photoresistor, take a capacitor out of a disposable camera, make sure to keep the circuit, then hook the photresistor in series with one of the wires and position the bare wires as close as you can, then when you shine it at the photoresistor it will make it have almost no resistance at all alowing it to send electricty to the two wires causing them to spark, and belive me those sparks from that capacitor can ignite anything.

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