FireOne™ Pyrotechnics Management















Hardware Details

FireOne™ is the brand name of the "FireOne™ System". This System consists of hardware and firing software. The FireOne™ hardware referred to in this section is the "firing" hardware that is used in the field to fire a display. FireOne's hardware is manufactured entirely in the USA by trained FireOne™ factory technicians. This is more expensive than having the hardware made out of the country, but the benefit of this approach is that the technical staff at FireOne™ knows the hardware inside and out. Some of FireOne's competitors have their hardware designed and manufactured by outside vendors. As a result they know very little about the design of the hardware or how it works. They can't help you when you have problems.

At FireOne, we provide 24 hour 365-day technical support. We offer superior service because we design and manufacture our own hardware and author our own software. All of our competitors cannot make that claim.

Laptop Computers

The FireOne™ hardware system is supported by a laptop computer, which may be used for firing the display or for downloading the display into a FireOne™ controller. The added benefit of the portable laptop computer is that the FireOne™ software may be used for last-minute editing of the display.

Laptop connections


Nine Pin Serial Port

The serial port is the legacy connection point between the laptop computer and the Master Module control panel or the FireLite™ control panel. We suggest that every effort be made to locate a laptop with a serial port.

The serial port connects to the Master Module or FireLite™ through a nine-pin serial cable.

Serial Cable

Female End

Male End

The female end of the cable connects to the computer and the male end connects to the control panel.

USB Connections

Most of today's generation of computers comes standard with one or more Universal Serial Port bus connectors. The Universal Serial Bus is rapidly becoming the defacto standard for serial connections between digital devices. In general, USB connections will pass data faster than standard serial connections and the USB connection has the ability to handle connections to multiple devices.

The USB standard uses an "A" and "B" connector to avoid confusion.

"A" USB Connector

"B" USB Connector

The "B" connector is the square connector that connects to the FireOne™ controller.

Although the "A" type connector, found on the computer end of a USB cable, is always the size shown in the "A" picture above, the "B" type connector comes in more than one size. FireOne™ uses the original standard "B" type connector (Approximately 8 millimeters by 8 millimeters) that is most commonly available. The miniature version of the "B" connector is used on small portable equipment such as digital cameras and is about 4 millimeters and is almost round.

Laptop specifications

When purchasing a laptop computer the "correct" unit is always the laptop with the best "market price". This means that it is reasonable to purchase the laptop that is priced the most competitively rather than the one with the largest screen or biggest hard drive or most RAM (random access memory). This is true because the FireOne™ software that will be used on the laptop is not an extremely demanding application for today's generation of computers.

FireOne™ 2000 will operate correctly on a fairly low-grade computer including older "Pentium I" type machines. Therefore, it is almost impossible to purchase a new laptop computer that would not meet the minimum requirements to operate FireOne. Although a unit with the following specifications will perform adequately, for the purposes of firing a display with FireOne, this is not the specification for a top-of-the-line machine.
Pentium III or equivalent processor
128 meg of RAM
CD Drive
3.5" floppy drive (A nice convenience)
Serial Port
USB port (A nice convenience)
20 meg hard drive
800 X 600 minimum screen resolution

Master Module Control Panel


Master Module Connections

Input Connection

The Master Module control panel connects to the laptop computer via the industry standard nine-pin serial cable.

The serial cable provides communication protocol between the laptop computer and the Master Module control panel at a data rate of 19.2 Kbps.

Output Connection(s)

The Master Module has eight independent output connections for the Firing Modules. These outputs are industry standard 8 pin RJ-45 connectors. These connectors may be adapted to the 2-wire™ system by using 8 to 2 wire adapters. Thus, the Master Module control panel may be used with either the legacy 8-wire Firing Modules or the 2-wire™ Firing Modules.

Each of the eight output (channels) has an independent power source and independent communications drivers. This unique feature of the Master Module control panel provides a high level of redundancy in the event that one of the main connection wires to the Firing Modules is damaged or destroyed during the firing of a display.

If one of the outputs is inadvertently shorted or disconnected, the other seven outputs will continue to fire the display. Obviously, maximum dispersion of Firing Modules across the outputs will provide an extremely high level of redundancy. This type of setup will ensure that the major portion of a display fires even in the event of a wiring problem.

Time Code Inputs

FSK Input
The Master Module control panel has two time code input connectors. The unbalanced "RCA" connector and the balanced three pin "XLR" connector. The unbalanced "RCA" connector accepts FireOne's proprietary FSK (Frequency Shift Keyed) time code. FireOne's Time Code Wizard generates this time code. The time code is generally connected to the "RCA" connector from a high level (+4, +8 dbm) audio output of a radio receiver or telco link.

SMPTE Input
The balanced "XLR" connector is the SMPTE input. It accepts a balanced and unbalanced signal. Connected in the unbalanced mode the SMPTE signal level must be between +1 to +20 dbm. In the balanced mode the SMPTE signal may be —5 to +20 dbm.
This input will accept SMPTE signals of 24 fps, 25 fps and 30 fps-drop and non-drop.

Specifications
Battery
12 Volt 33 Ampere-Hour sealed lead acid battery

Internal charger
Maximum battery charge rate 6 ah.
Battery charge indicators:
  • Alternating pulsing between yellow and green LEDs indicate that battery is close to full charge.
  Extremely fast flashing indicates that battery is fully discharged and should be replaced.
Dimensions
14", 35.6 cm high x 17", 43.2 cm wide x 9", 22.9 cm wide

Weight 40 pounds, 18.1 Kg


FireLite™ Control Panel

FireLite™ Connection

Input Connections

Serial Input
The FireLite™ control panel connects to the laptop computer via an industry standard nine-pin serial cable.



The serial cable provides communication protocol between the laptop computer and the Master Module control panel at a data rate of 9600 bps.

USB Input
FireLite's USB input requires the standard "B" type connector.



The FireLite™ control panel may alternately be connected to the laptop computer through a USB cable. The USB input operates in the same manner as the Serial Input.

Time Code Inputs


RCA Input
The FireLite™ control panel has two time code input connectors. The unbalanced "RCA" connector and the balanced three pin "XLR" connector. The unbalanced "RCA" connector accepts FireOne's proprietary FSK (Frequency Shift Keyed) time code or SMPTE . Both time codes may be generated by FireOne's Time Code Wizard. The required input level for FSK is —10 dbm to +15 dbm. The required SMPTE signal levels are +4 to +20 dbm.

XLR Input
The balanced "XLR" connector is for SMPTE only. It accepts a balanced and unbalanced signal. Connected in the unbalanced mode, the SMPTE signal level must be between +1 to +20 dbm. In the balanced mode the SMPTE signal may be —20 to +20 dbm. This input will accept SMPTE signals of 24 fps, 25 fps and 30 fps-drop and non-drop.

Output Connections
FireLite™ has a single output that connects to the Firing Modules. The output has two types of connectors. A pair of industry standard RJ-45 connectors for eight wire Firing modules and a set of nickel-plated, spring loaded terminal posts for 2-wire™ Firing Modules.
Up to twenty Firing Modules may be connected to either set of terminals.



FireLite's 2-wire™ output terminals connect to the firing modules with almost any two-conductor wire. The suggested wiring is 18 gauge (1.024 mm) stranded "lamp cord" or speaker wire. This wire is extremely cost effective, at pennies a foot, and is readily available in most towns and cities at hardware and home supply stores. FireOne's 2-wire™ System obsoletes multi-conductor cabled firing systems with their heavy cables as well as firing systems that use bulky cables (with connectors that must be soldered and repaired from time to time). FireOne's 2-wire™ wiring system is light-weight and fast to setup. 325 feet (100 meters) of FireOne's 2-wire™ cable weigh only seven pounds (3.2 Kg).

The following table represents guidelines for the number of Firing Modules that may be supported on a length of wire. The phenomenal amount of Firing Modules and the distance over which they will operate, with the 2-wire™ System, is truly outstanding. There is no other firing system that can claim to operate over such distances. Even with "booster" boxes and other costly equipment, other firing systems cannot duplicate FireOne's 2-wire™ System performance. In a comparison of firing systems, wired or wireless, the FireOne™ 2-wire™ System is the only firing system that can claim full operation over such extreme distances, wired or wireless. And there are no hidden expenses with FireOne. The standard system with no accessories meets the performance criteria indicated in the table below.

2-Wire™ Firing Module Wiring Guidelines
(Assumes 18 gauge {1.024 mm} stranded two conductor wire.)
This table assumes the worst case scenario: All Firing Modules connected to the extreme end of the wire.
8000' (2.5Km) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 8
5000' (1.53 Km) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 10
3500' (1.1 Km) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 12
2000' (610 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 25
1000' (305 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 35
500' (153 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 42
250' (76 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 47

8-Wire Firing Modules Wiring Guidelines
(Assumes 26 gauge eight conductor communications cable.)
This table assumes the worst case scenario: All Firing Modules connected to the extreme end of the wire.
5000' (1.53Km) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 2
3500' (1.1 Km) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 4
2000' (610 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 6
1000' (305 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 12
500' (153 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 18
250' (76 meters) suggested maximum number of firing modules = 20

Specifications
Battery
12 Volt 12 Ampere hour sealed lead acid battery

Internal charger
Maximum battery charge rate 1 ah
Battery charge indicators
Red LED indicates battery charging is powered.
Green LED indicates battery is charging. When green LED goes out the battery is charged. Suggested charging time is 12 hours.
Dimensions
6", 15.3 cm high x 14", 35.6 cm wide x 10.5", 26.7 cm wide

Weight
16.5 pounds, 7.5 Kg

Firing Modules
The FireOne™ Firing Module is the most advanced digital control unit available in any firing system. Each Firing Module contains a state-of-the-art microprocessor that provides data control and firing control. The unique design of the FireOne™ Firing Module results in extremely low power consumption and allows the modules to operate at extremely long distances from the operator. This provides the display designer with unprecedented flexibility when designing and executing complex displays.

With the FireOne™ System the ability to fire electric matches is contained in the individual firing module. This is not the case with conventional firing systems.

Most of FireOne's™ competitors use the same design concepts that have been around for years. The firing power for all electric matches is provided by the battery or power supply that is located in the control panel. This has a huge drawback.

Since the current to fire the electric matches must travel the entire length of the wires, from the control panel to the electric matches (Which may be hundreds of feet.), the display designer must take the wiring power losses into consideration when designing and setting up the display. This results in very limited display configurations and limited flexibility. Additionally, these types of systems require the operators to always be concerned if the system will fire multiple electric matches due to wiring limitations.


FireOne's™ proprietary capacitive discharge firing modules stores the firing power right where it is needed, at the electric match. The FireOne™ System was designed to place the firing module as close as practical to the pyrotechnic products. This limits the wiring from the power source (The firing module) to the electric matches and eliminates the questions concerning how many electric matches can be fired. A FireOne™ firing module will fire the same amount of electric matches regardless of the distance from the control panel; even at distances exceeding 10,000 feet (3KM). There are never any calculations or concerns with complex wiring schemes or multiple electric matches with FireOne™.

Firing Module Connections


Input Connections
FireOne's 2-wire™ System utilizes a set of nickel-plated, spring loaded terminal posts for all input connections. These posts are custom made for FireOne™ to accept multiple wires. This allows the heavy-duty posts to be used as splitters to feed wiring to other Firing Modules. Up to three 18 gauge wires may be easily connected to one post. This allows each post to "split" the wiring and connect up to other Firing Modules on the cable.

Output Connections
Each FireOne™ Firing Module utilizes a 36-pin centronics type connector to supply firing commands to the firing connections (rails). The centronics connectors supply the connections for 32 active output lines (cues) and four commons.


The terminal connections for the output connector (pinouts) are as follows:

Terminal NumberCue Number
11
22
33
44
55
66
77
88
99
1010
1111
1212
1313
1414
1515
1616
17common
18common
1917
2018
2119
2220
2321
2422
2523
2624
2725
2826
2927
3028
3129
3230
3331
3432
35common
36common


Output Levels
Each output line (cue) of a Firing Module can independently supply a nominal voltage of 24 volts at 5 amperes of firing current for 12.5ms.
Regardless of the distance from the control panel, each and every FireOne™ Firing Module has the capability to provide the same rated current into each cue. This is possible due to FireOne's proprietary capacitive discharge power system.
Each Firing Module has an independent capacitive firing circuit that supplies sufficient power to enable every firing module, regardless of location, to fire every cue simultaneously into a full complement of electric matches. This means that each firing module can supply five amperes of current into each cue circuit, simultaneously, generating a total peak current of 160 amperes.
This robust output circuit is capable of firing multiple electric matches or activating relays or other tasks as may be envisioned.

Specifications
      Microprocessor controlled, capacitive discharge power system.
      Extruded aluminum case.
      Size: 8"L x 4.2"H x 2.75"W
      Weight: 1.6 pounds
      Operating temperature range: -22 degrees F (-30 degrees C) to +158 degrees F (+70 degrees C)


Rails
Connection rails are available in two types or in special configurations.


Eight foot rail
The eight-foot rail is actually a 16-foot unit with a hinge that allows it to fold in the middle for storage as an eight-foot unit. It is extremely versatile when connecting electric matches to mortar boxes or racks of mortars. With the wide spacing of the terminals an entire display can be wired with no extension wires.
Each rail connects to the Firing Modules via the 36-pin centronics connector as shown below.

Compact Rail
The compact rail is a much smaller unit that combines the 32 cue terminals into the most compact area. A feature of the compact rail is its provision of an internal space for the Firing Module. This allows the rail and module to be combined for a very compact package.
These rails are useful for stage shows, close proximity material, groups of candles, gerbs, or other material that may be located in a small area.


Rail Connections


Input Connections

Output Connections




FireOne, Pyrotechnics Management, Inc. © 2005-2010 All Rights Reserved
863 Benner Pike, Suite 100, State College, PA 16801 | (814) 238-5334 | info@fireone.com