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3rd July 2011 17:58

Alan Yates wrote...


Why thank you Peter.

The website is a bit of a labor of love. I haven't been as attentive to it lately as in the past, it is due for a bit of TLC in the coming months. I should write a script to check for broken links and fix them up...



10th May 2011 08:55

Peter P. Pryor Jr. wrote...

Yours is a very informative website. There are a few broken links to other sites, but your site is excellent. I have been programming for over 50 years now, as well as puttering around with much of the stuff you have done. Even if I had accomplished as much, I could not present it as well. congratulations.

And thanks,


26th September 2008 00:50

Alan Yates wrote...


I've always wanted to build a 3D printer, it has been a long-time ambition. I probably have all the bits and pieces, one of these days I'll sit down and do it. I think it would be very handy to have a machine that can in principle construct any shape.

The output seems a bit rough in all but the most expensive commercial rapid fab machines, the surface finish is pretty horrible and needs lots of cleaning up, but I could live with that.

The basic X-Y platform and Z-axis tool holder would be very useful for things like milling, not just 3D printing. EDM would be something to try too, it is capable of very good dimensional accuracy.



23rd September 2008 19:30

Ian Titter wrote...

I'm pleased to have found your site.

I can't offer you anything as interesting from my own resources, as I am not a publisher, but I have found two sites which may interest you (assuming that you haven't found them already yourself.)

Have a look at '' and '[]' sometime and see what you think.



3rd March 2008 10:48

Alan Yates wrote...

Hello Mark,

My "fuels" coffee grinder mainly. FerroSilicon is a wonderful abrasive, and after about 20 seconds of comminution in the grinder the blades were but stubs.

I made some hot prime with it.

As an spark generator it is very boring, producing only dim red sparks. But as a heat carrier in a prime it works great.

Never did try the Japanese Minium and FerroSilicon prime (which is meant to be somewhat friction sensitive). I just added it to drossy BP-like compositions rich in Sulfur and Potassium Nitrate.



1st March 2008 00:10

Mark wrote...

G'day Alan.

So what did you blow up with the Ferro Silicon.



20th December 2007 17:35

Alan Yates wrote...

G'day RZ, long time no hear!

You never know, my hobbies go in cycles. I get obsessed about something and work on it almost exclusively for ages, then swap to something else, eventually to come back again.

I don't think I'll ever be quite as active as I once was, but I have plans to do something with the Pyrotechniques DB in the near future. While the Pyrotechniques project itself kinda died, the code I developed for it shouldn't be dropped, it had great promise, the composition DB in particular.

To that end, I have recently registered a domain for the project. No ETA at this point, as it will take a little while to write the account management and a suitable UI, but it will happen eventually. I plan to make it a public site that any pyrotechnist can edit, comment, post media, etc. It will be composition-centric, at least at first, so it isn't looking to replace other great resources like the many forums and of course Passfire.

20th December 2007 17:12

RZ wrote...

Will you ever get back into pyrotechnics.