PAT Members Attended the PGI Convention

Some notes from PAT Members who attended the PGI Convention this year. I heartily recommend attending this event annually.

The PAT-Texas contingent launched a chain of salutes with Cobra to open the Ground Salute line.
Dr. X launched a signature multi-break salute to open the B-line.
A 16" lampare blew up inside a steel tube and pulverized the cement barricades.

PGI Biz: Paul Smith - President and Carol Hostetter - 2nd V.P. nominated and elected unopposed. Bruce Blom defeated Fred Hopper for Media & Publications Chair on Thursday. After an an eternity of Robert’s Rules of Order, PGI By-laws amended, Committee Chairs can only be selected/removed with approval of whole Board, not just President. Eddie Hostetter, Treasurer, reviewed cleaned up and more transparent financials. Also, made a motion to move “up to $400k” of PGI cash to Fireworks Foundation to shield it from litigation. PGI has $892k in Equity. The Fireworks Foundation currently has $175k even after donating back $130k to the PGI since its formation 16 years ago. PGI Membership 2018 is 2241 Members. PGI Operators Course 2018 used a completely revised new Manual and tests.

Two thunderstorms(one in afternoon, one about 6:00pm, rained out the Public Display and yielded muddy conditions for the next couple of days. PAT members cooked dinner for the Volunteer Teams(Safety, Fire/Med, Security) as everyone huddled under cover from the storm.

During the storm, I got a chance to chat with Dr. Steinberg, 1st VP PGI, along Nick, President of our PAT Club. We asked mostly club questions, was interesting to us that the PGI “shared” their ATF License to those builders bringing made-effects to the Convention. Transport of explosives require an ATF license to transport. Clarified also no need for Manufacturers License to build when not in commerce and not transporting, and ATF requirement for storage in a Magazine that meets ATF requirements need not be a Registered Mag. And he reviewed that while some clubs register all Members as Employee Possessors, he recommended not doing so as it is not required, except for those club members who are remunerated by the club for some type of work. He also noted there are some planned additions to NFPA 1126-160 regarding “Hybrid-Flame Effects”, an effort to codify the use of gas mines and creamora’s.

Had fun building 6"-Double Petal shell in the MUM class, great folks to learn from.

Finished my Shell in the MUM class, they had WASP’ed it overnight, along with over 100 of other class’s shells.

Saw a presentation by Jesse Ververke, Passfire Series 3 is in post-production with a concentration on Asia. Saw the premiere of Series 2, had a cool Florida Club Anniversary segment and an extended Australia segment. Series 2, very cool.

Attended a Cobra Seminar by Scott Smith. 6-cue module very close to release. Interesting progress on Version 6.* software, with SMPTE and some DMX support, more details/releases in 3-9 months. Also a Cobra Portal project in progress, storing Control Panel files on a cloud platform for re-use and comparison. Also another project, building a cloud platform, add music to a show, help with “melding” to a show, but also allow end users to listen to display’s music via cellular or WIFI, useful for very large displays with sound crowd-timing issues, and for backyard users to not need large speaker systems. Hardware-wise, a beta 18R2 in a factory(Cobra) case with large battery and an tilt-adjustable tablet location sitting inside the lid of the case. Spoke with MJG, their e-matches with fixed 2-pin female connectors available for Cobra release of male receptacles for Cobra modules, should be interesting if Cobra users move toward using them.

Competition Displays, then:
Opening Night Public Display, PGI Seating not very crowded, a bit muddy. Videos and snippets on multiple FB pages.
National Anthem - Iowa Pyrotechnics Association
Rozzi Fireworks
Flashing Thunder

BATF Seminar by George Semonick, Program Manager, Explosives Industry Branch. Lots of questions from beginners, Hellrazor counted one old guy asking 38 specific questions, tedious. Did clarify EX#'ers required for 1.4G designation, UNO 336/7 and UNO 431/2, also e-matches included in device under EX # become part of that device. Also Black Powder(BP): Commercially manufactured BP less than 50lb., can be obtained/used by public without license if intended use is:Sporting, Recreation, Cultural in antique firearms/devices. Interesting, reproductions of antiques ok. Homemade BP is never Exempt. Industry Operations Investigators(IOI) train for 2-years with other Investigators, typically will do Magazine Inspections with other Investigators, said not to get nervous if 4-5 IOI’s show up, training on Inspections is common.

Attended the last 30 minutes of the Creamora class, and also the last 30 minutes of Corbett’s gas mine class. Seemed like that covered the class’s content in a time effective way. And, I got to see the classes ignite some examples of each on the C-Line.

Trade Show - Talked to Russ at Platte River, HDPE prices have doubled in the past year due to fracking demand. Also wood prices for rack building have also doubled. He advised to wait until next year to buy in quantity as prices of both racks/tubes may come down a bit.

Met Jim Salzman from Texas, had never met him before. He made some of the first electronic firing systems beginning in the 1980’s, had some great stories about doing Macy’s Parades and other big Displays back then. I used some of his systems for Texas display companies for about 4-5 years, so it was great to meet him.

Competition Displays leading into Evening Public Displays:
Casabella Pyrotechnics - Old school, no music display. Was a filler for a firm that canceled.
Iowa Pyrotechnics Association - Very cool display!

Of course, had to watch the fire dancers presentation. has fire dancer’s gear.

Collectors Corner: Scored some period rice paper Black Cat and Zebra posters for $10 each.

Trade Show: Scored some reproduction framed cracker packs for $5. each. From PostersMax out of OK, he’s on FB and will ship.

ATF Presentation - Iowa Agent Flattery: Suggested reviewing Statute 173.56(b) and it references other statutes. Bit of a discussion: Transporting under 1001lb. of 1.4G doesn’t require placarding or CDL Driver. Does require Hazmat insurance, Bill of Lading, load blocking, as would a larger shipment. All in-commerce explosive transport requires Hazmat insurance. Read off the “in-commerce” definition, no dollar amounts referenced, no minimum level of compensation defined, in-commerce is applicable even with small amounts of compensation. Interesting, noted DOT may assign civil violations, State Troopers/Police may assign criminal violations. For companies in biz: ~FEMSA/ offers crew training that is required.

JPA Display - A really nice display, most of the display was a quality multi-song scripted pyromusical, the kids each launched a row of fast fused cakes at specific times during the display, well done.

PGI Auction at the Afterglow - Some cool items, rocket press went for $1100. as first item. Some bargain chemical and collectible pickups.

Fireworks in Film and TV seminar.

Regional Club Meeting by Bruce Blom. Presentation by CPA on different non-profit organization types pyro clubs have chosen. Survey returned: 501c3 - 5 clubs, 501c6 - 2 clubs, 501c7 - 7 clubs.

Gillette, Wyoming Cam-Plex is PGI Convention’s 2019 site, rep. on-site in Iowa. Camping registration for PGI begins on-line on Monday, 8/13/2018: This site also has Hotel Blocks in a .pdf.

Rocket Line: Spanish style “Cohete” rocket launch at 5:00pm. A whole line of rockets designed to go off in a linear fashion.

Rocket Rodeo on Rocket Line just after dusk. 100’s of rockets going off about the same time. Awesome!

Accident on the B-line. A very large salute shell (4”) fell apart upon leaving the tube and the lowest part (bottom shot) fell back to the ground near this particular guy. It went off, and the cardboard shrapnel hit him in the face and cut his cheek open. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, lots of facial stitches but ok.

Got to launch some class shells with friends on the B-line. Took forever, half the tubes were shut down due to the accident. Safety Team folks were rattled, on edge.

Packed up some friends gear in Manufacturing.
PAT Member Chris R. won 2-2nd Place Trophies in shell categories!

C-Vending (1.4G)
From Stuntborg: “Class C was annihilated. Pyroland, 76, waynes world all ran out of product. Looked like great grizzle had little left and i think starr brought in a second load. Dominator product also sold out.” Vendors: Wayne’s World, Flashing Thunder, Great Grizzly, Pyroland, Tiger Tooth, King Bird, Spirit of 76, Starr.

Packed 17 cases of 1.4G into a Hellrazor’s jeep, left just enough room for the driver…

Public Display
Cracker Burn - 1,294,700 firecrackers.
National Anthem - Heartland Pyrotechnics Arts Association (HPAA)
All Stars - Great Shells
Fireball Dudes Nuclear Holocaust - 660 gal. in gas mines, 200lb. in creamora’s, salutes
Spirit of '76 - Very Cool Display
Casabella Pyrotechnics - Massive 22 minute Display, the best of the week.

The PAT-Texas Gang cooked food for the volunteer Teams every night on the Ground Salute Line, lots of smoked ribs, brisket, burgers, cooked by Blake, BBQ chef extraordinaire, and grilled steak & steaky bits from Ray. And we grilled tons of Iowa Corn, $5. for 15 ears, we soaked them in water, salt, and lemon for flavor.

PAT Members also poured beer every night at the Afterglow, wow, 19 kegs, that’s a lot of cups. It was fun pouring beer with the Cobra Team on the last night.

PGI - Fun, Food, Fellowship, & Fireworks.