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Thread: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

  1. #1
    Member Array Gcijeff's Avatar
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    Default Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Not going to get into all the other things that went horribly wrong this year, but the ematch failure rate for me was more than just irritating. It's unacceptable.

    I had about 30 out of the 300-ish matches (those were the ones that I managed to hook up...show was supposed to have 565 matches, but I'm not going to talk about that right now) fail to pop.

    When I go back over the show and clear the site, if there's product that didn't go and the ematch leads are still good an intact, I'll usually try to just pop them with a straight battery terminal touch. But none of the 30 failures popped (so I know it wasn't a bad connection, miscue or anything like that). Next thing I check is whether the pyrogen is still there after removing the match. In every one, pyrogen was still there.

    So I had to swap out the matches and pop them to get the rest of the shells out of the tubes. And even one of the swapped ones didn't go.

    I should have known something was up when we were "Testing" earlier in the day, and one match didn't pop a "test shell". I figured I lucked out and got a bad match, and kept going my merry way trying to get whatever amount of the show cued up that I could.

    So ~10% fail rate...unacceptable. Who's got better quality ematch?
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  2. #2
    Member Array shrapnel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I have never heard of that many bad matches in a show. I have also never heard of the company you mentioned. Did you buy them domestically? If so you may have some recourse with the supplier...if you brought them over from China, well, good luck.

    I have been very happy with the Dominator matches, I can say that in the last 5 years we have popped around 10,000 ematches and I can honestly say that I can remember less than 5 instances where the match was suspect in a cue not firing.

    Your numbers are horrendous compared to industry averages.
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    Member Array BobinNC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Yes, I would say that MJG fires better than 99% in my experience, and even mediocre Chinese e-match usually only have a 1-3% failure rate, and some of those were very old, or were set up in downpours, and some failures are also likely due to bad slats or pulled wires. We often just manually lit the few failed cues that we had, so it is hard to always tell what the exact problem is in that situation. But the wost I have ever seen is about 5% failure using very old e-match in the rain. The Chinese stuff we use has orange wire and off white covers on the shunted ends. I just hate that the Chinese stuff has a random length of stripped wire, wildly varying from 1/2 to 1 1/2" in length. The MJG is more uniform, and the wire is easier to pull apart. Martinez appears to be a nearly exact copy of MJG, only seen it a few times, don't know if as good. I've always wondered how they look so close to MJG.

    The only real e-,match pain I had was in one show where both the main e-match and backup e-match both failed to light on a section of finale, likely from a loose wire, we had to manually light it and get back. One of my more experienced great crew members did that, but I don't let new guys anywhere near the finale. But we had several finale sections, so it was not a big deal, thankfully.
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    Member Array KyBoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Seems I had an extra ordinary number of failures this year also. I don't know who made mine but they were pink also, so maybe the same company. I also had to shoot in a pouring rain storm which might have contributed to the problem.
    Chris,
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Did they test ok when you did a continuity test?
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    Member Array KyBoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Some did some, did not in my case. I changed some in the field after tubes had been loaded because of continuity test failure. Those are bad enough but failure to fire after that sure makes you mad!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fasttrack View Post
    Did they test ok when you did a continuity test?
    Chris,
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by KyBoom View Post
    Some did some, did not in my case. I changed some in the field after tubes had been loaded because of continuity test failure. Those are bad enough but failure to fire after that sure makes you mad!
    That is frustrating. What type of firing system were you using? I suspect the problem is with the filaments that are supposed to ignite the pyrogen. My guess is that some of those "dud" e-matches actually have a much higher resistance than you typically see in an e-match. Trying to fire at 12V or 24V may not have been enough to provide the all-fire current needed.

    The reason I say this is because I noticed some problems with e-matches in series at a show I was working a couple of weeks ago. They were being fired from a Cobra module with no scab wire. There was 4 matches in series and the first one in the chain popped but the others did not. First time I had seen that... usually that happens when you try to fire Talons in series because they have a pretty big variance in their resistance.
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    Member Array Gcijeff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fasttrack View Post
    Did they test ok when you did a continuity test?
    Don't know, cause I didn't have time for the continuity test. One of those other "horribly wrong" things that I alluded to earlier. I didn't get the ematch (or the rest of my B-product, for that matter) until about 6 hours after I had planned. All of my helpers that showed up (7 of them) waited around a few hours and all but 2 ended up leaving. I lost 35 man-hours because of this, and consequently we spent a lot longer matching cakes the day of the shoot, when the plan was to be wiring everything the day of the shoot.

    KYboom, do you get your stuff from Eddie or ATF by any chance? They use to import a lot of the same stuff, and I'll bet that if you purchased ematch from Eddie you probably got the same brand I did (especially with the pink leads). Seems like I recall all the other ematch I've ever used was orange, but this year was the first year I did my own "pyromusical" and it's the first year I really paid a lot of attention to the matches.
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    Member Array Bill Corbett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I didn't use any pink e matches this year however I've had several issues during the past 12 months with series circuits not popping every match & most every time I was using an ODA single cue cap discharge blisters box. At the 2012 PGI convention I had 15 of 20 cremoras go off (cue one) but all 12 gas mines (cue two) went. At the St. Louis shoot I had a cue of two gas mines not go due to one bad match. At a show on the 3rd of July three out of six gas mines didn't fire. In 11 years of shooting fireballs I never had a fireball not fire due to an e match issue until last year.
    I think it's the imported matches we get from ematch.com
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  10. #10
    Member Array pyro chris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I've only ever seen orange or yellow, but I don't think that means anything, and I'm no ematch expert and I'm not exactly well traveled on pyro shoot sites.

    Only had 1 failure after continuity checked out fine, I think a wire was kicked out while someone was putting out a cake fire.
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  11. #11
    Member Array KyBoom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I was using Cobra on these, but I really did not have a problem with the few I had wired in series. The most of mine were 1 cue 1 e-match and all batteries were new reading P9. So, I think I just got some bad e-matches. I'm try a different supplier next time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fasttrack View Post
    That is frustrating. What type of firing system were you using? I suspect the problem is with the filaments that are supposed to ignite the pyrogen. My guess is that some of those "dud" e-matches actually have a much higher resistance than you typically see in an e-match. Trying to fire at 12V or 24V may not have been enough to provide the all-fire current needed.

    The reason I say this is because I noticed some problems with e-matches in series at a show I was working a couple of weeks ago. They were being fired from a Cobra module with no scab wire. There was 4 matches in series and the first one in the chain popped but the others did not. First time I had seen that... usually that happens when you try to fire Talons in series because they have a pretty big variance in their resistance.
    Chris,
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  12. #12
    Member Array Chiprivrat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I have had first hand experience with these and will not use them!

    I don't like to badmouth anyone but I bought a case of those from ATF a couple years back more or less for test. (mfg WEH-CHI, pink leads and large red head on them). After testing a few and not having any failures I used them in a non-pyromusical show as test. I experienced many failures and anything that was in series (3-4 max) there was many times something left over. This was with an ATF system @24 volts and zero scab. In testing the resistance was very inconsistent and I also notice that the comp on these burns really slow. They just do not pop and throw flame/sparks like most others. After all that I just decided not to take any chances and now only use MJG. I never have any issues with Jeff's matches and they always uncoil tangle and knot free!

    I have also used the Dominator matches on shows without any problems. The only issue they have had is not being pre-split at the connection end and sometimes the coating is not tough enough to allow the wires to be pulled apart without pulling the wire through it. This means one has to cut between the wires with a wire cutter or scissors to split them. I think they may have this corrected on the newest ones after our feedback.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    Hi, I noticed that you mentioned the similarities of the Martinez igniter and the MJG igniter in another thread also. The reason they are so similar is because MJG was a licensee to Martinez Specialties.

  14. #14
    Member Array GK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    There were some bad runs of ematches in this years shipments.

    There really are not too many ematch factories. I don't think any of the 'brands' actually have an ematch factory....they just buy from one that others buy from also.

    The problem is that by the time matches are finally boxed up, matches from many different lots may be in the same box. And with the volume of ematches used, it can be hard to track where they came from. Even at a 1% failure rate, That would mean <in my case> 1000+ bad matches each year....with the statistical possibility that they could all end up on a single show.....

    In general it is wise to be wary of cheap matches....but for the end user, cheap from the factory doesn't always translate to cheap from your supplier.

    GK
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone else have MAJOR issues with Wen-Chi Ematch (Pink) this year?

    I had some match that I bought last year... When I went to use it, it was (and I paid for) 5m length. Every box was marked 5m. When measured they were 3m!

    It wasn't wen-chi, btw....
    Fireworks....yay!

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