A fireworks project

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

I believe it was in my second or third year of my previous education when during a break, I was having lunch with one of my mates and another friend of us approached us with an idea. He LOVES fireworks and always wanted to make a firework show on music, but had no idea how to make it. My friend and I were immediately enthusiastic and started brainstorming what we could do. During the following few months we regularly discussed ideas and build prototypes. Since we were like 14-15 year old, we did not know that much of programming or making proper prototypes, but were able to make things work in a, when I am looking back on it, not too neat manner. Let's just say there were too many straws and hot glue involved, some of which with a insulating purpose. Eventually we did make a semi working prototype before new years. With semi working, I mean that it would be enough to pass a DBL, but not enough to host an actual show. This meant that we had to skip the first year and take what we learned to the next year. That year we tried again, improved almost everything about it, but still it was not reliable enough to host the big show, however this time we were more convinced that it would work and people were already coming to see the show. I remember a moment where we were standing outside in the afternoon of December 31st, next to a flat trailer, testing the system and telling each other that if it worked three times in a row, we would take our changes and accept that it "worked". As you might imagine, this took about 15 tries until it worked three times successively.

The evening started and a small crowd was gathering in front of the house. The show would be at 10:00, so everybody could be at home with their family at 12. We had our fingers crossed that everything would work, because from the moment the music started, the rest of the show goes automatically. Sadly after the first few minutes of the show, our power supply gave up and the show stopped. Bumped at it failing like that, some guys who helped with the show poured out some gasoline on the remainder of the fireworks and lit it. Yeahh... I was not too fond of that idea too. From that moment on, we were done with it. Next year the show was going to happen no matter what! We solved some issues with the power, made the rest of the system way more reliable and tested it like never before. That year we finally really did it. Of course there were still some issues, but the show was awesome! From that year on, the system was used for 3 more shows, which were all successful! Even though I live in Eindhoven now and don't have the time to go over to help out as much as I would like, I still always look forward to the few days before new years where we have to put the show together in the few days between when we can buy the fireworks and the 31st.


Stay safe and enjoy!


Mike Zanderink

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