We used both two 9V alkaline block batteries in parallel (as suggested by Grant Thompson) and a 6V battery that I salvaged from an old pump. Both solutions work perfectly although with the 9V block batteries the match ignited faster. I used two alligator clips to connect the igniter to the battery. I placed the igniter is a third hand to prevent that it sets something on fire by accident.
A word of caution. The 6V battery that we used is of the sealed lead acid type. Since you will short circuit the battery it is safer to use a alkaline battery instead of rechargeable battery (lead acid, Li-ion, NimH etc). Rechargeable batteries can explode or catch fire when short circuiting it. Since I short circuited my lead acid battery no longer than a few seconds I figured that there was no danger. In conclusion it is safer to use the alkaline batteries and short circuit them only for a few seconds in a row.
So how is it possible that the match catches fire. I already mentioned that you short circuit the battery. According to Ohm's law I = V / R. The resistance R is very low (it's just the copper strand) while the voltage V remains the same. The current is therefore very high. The heat produced in the circuit is proportional to I2 * R * t. With the current squared the heat rapidly increased with increasing current (even though the resistance is low). At a certain point the heat ignites the head of the match.
|We used these simple tools and materials to make the igniters.|
|The fruits of hard labour.|
|Make sure the strand of copper fits into the notch of the matches head.|