David Russell has dedicated over 30 years to being a research engineer, wireless expert, and embedded system designer. Around 2004, while discussing fireworks with colleagues, David realized that the architecture was wrong. Previous generations of firing systems used master-slave architecture configuration. However, this wasn’t the best scenario if you wanted to go wireless. David’s thought process brought him to design and patent what’s now called a Distributed Processing Architecture, which is the main feature and functionality of Firelinx. You have the Command Module, and all Firing Modules that synchronize wirelessly while being out in the field. Each firing module is loaded with the show and operates independently after having been fed all details from the Command Module wirelessly. The show download and synchronization steps all happen pre-show when timing and reliability are less critical due to low radio frequency in the environment. The wireless communication system is just used for synchronization and safety, and not for firing. This breakthrough was granted a US patent allowing the system to be called “Reliable Wireless” – synchronization of modules which allow for independent firing.
After two years of engineering and development, Firelinx Generation 1 was launched to the market and sold out by 2011. In the same year, Firelinx was asked to assist Birket Engineering, creators of several ride and show safety systems at theme parks, in solving safety issues with pyrotechnic shows at theme parks. The engineering analysis of the current pyrotechnic systems found 18 different mechanisms where the existing firing system at that time could accidentally fire a shell. Having identified the cause of the problem, Firelinx advised the theme park that they would need a new firing system. The theme park approved production of Firelinx Generation 2, which would be sold exclusively to theme parks around the world.
However, David had a vision of selling a safe fireworks firing system to backyard enthusiasts. Due to the the power, exclusivity and cost of Generation 2, David came up with the concept of Firelinx Generation 3.
With Generation 3 you’ll get more of what you need:
- More channels per module
- More accuracy – Synchronization between modules in the microsecond range, firing times in milliseconds
- More safety – hardware/software interlocks prevent runaway code
- Crewsafe™ continuity testing designed for safety
- More connectivity – 2Wire connections AND Wireless come standard
- More ways to fire – SMPTE Timecode Scripts, Manual Script Firing, and Manual Channel Firing all at the same time
- More options with the Open Pyro Network – functional boards you can add to your module for more cues, DMX, Arduino, etc..
- A Wireless Wizard helps find the best channel and changes all RF Channels on the modules for you
- OLED Graphical User Interface for better operation in different environments
- Green, Red, Blue, and Magenta illuminated modules allow you to see exactly what’s going on in the field