View Full Version : Poppers poppers poppers...

11-07-2011, 11:27 AM
Man, those things are awesome, and very versitile! Love 'em! Used them in 3 different sets, with great effect.

BUT... I don't love their average life expectancy... We have 4 kinds from two vendors- one of which is highly rated and the other- not so much. I have the plate style, the large wand style, the small wand and small tube styles. ALL but the small wand, which got the least use- due to the cheap inverter in my portable power unit taking a dirt-nap, have issues. Namely longevity and electrode wear. Some of the electrodes are G-O-N-E, gone- as in evaporated. Which is to be expected after all- we are talking about a high voltage arc, but I'm a little surprised at just how little time I actually got. I had mixed results with the others and trying to re-adjust the electrode positions- some worked again, some didn't.

The longest lasting were the plates, but they JUST barely made 13 days with modest use imo. I calculated they probably ran an total of 1.5 hours over 13 days with an average use of 5 seconds per group. The small wands came in second at about 50% of that and the large wands last with about 25% of that. These were all actor controlled and I watched them (and could hear them when not watching) pretty closely- making sure of their proper, conservative use.

In the end- I think they can be an awesome asset, but reliability and cost are pretty serious considerations. I'm hoping that improvements can be made so that I can broaden their use!

I may have to explore pneumatic poppers in combination with strobes, but I'd rather not due to larger foot-print, initial costs and still unknown reliability.

11-07-2011, 01:05 PM
We went through 3 large wands in only 10 nights of opening......actually 9 nights because on the last night we didn't even use any. As for the disc version we used 2 that both made it through all 10 nights but have really lowered in intensity and I wouldn't trust them for another year. When you consider that the large wands are about 100 bucks a piece......you would think they might at least last a season. I hope someone in America can come up with something similar with heavy duty parts that will last longer. I think people would be a lot happier with the product if you didn't have to worry about them working every night.

11-07-2011, 02:22 PM
or make replacement heads available...

I can't believe I just recommended that... sigh

11-07-2011, 05:25 PM
We had the same problem with the poppers. Had two out of three sets we were using crap out after 10 nights.

11-10-2011, 07:14 PM
We used the pow stick (wand) and it stopped working after about 7 nights. Fortunately, we were able to replace the cord with something better and get it working again. At $100 a pop, you would hope they would use better components. Perhaps they are unaware of the super limited life span. If it weren't for the low reliability, I would recommend them to others, but few are going to be willing to replace anything as often as that. Let's hope they sort it out.

11-11-2011, 09:56 AM
The reason these break is because they cost about $3 from CHINA. They aren't available or manufactured anywhere in America. Companies order an entire CRATE of these things from overseas, and have to charge such a high price because shipping is what they're paying for, the actual sticks cost pennies in comparison to shipping. That's why they are unreliable.

I am trying to make my own, and make them battery powered using 9V batteries, but it is definitely tricky, I want to make it so the damn things last! We went through ours in all of 13 days! Only one survived to the last weekend!

So any vendors reading this, try making your own out of really reliable parts??? We'll buy! lol

11-11-2011, 11:26 AM
Fright Props (You Guys are awesome!) was kind enough to put up a troubleshooting guide on their website- check that if you haven't. Beyond that- the problem seems to be the electrodes wearing out and there is only one solution for that- replacement.

If I had to guess, I'd say these things might be industrial furnace igniters or similar. I know the smaller ones are made as electric fireworks- maybe the big ones are too...

11-11-2011, 11:34 AM
Yeah I saw that, the poor quality/longevity has nothing to do with Fright Props, their service is some of the best in the industry, that's not the argument.

I just wish that it wasn't a replacement issue, if we could just find a better one to put in there, to make it last longer, it wouldn't be as much of a problem.

11-13-2011, 11:11 AM
Someone needs to use the same design but with long lasting parts. At $100 a pop, there is still plenty of money to be made on them. No commercial product should poop out after a week of use. "Build a better mouse blender, and the world will build a pathway to your door."