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I am a total electronics rookie, but have been asked to produce a prop for a stage production which can only be created electronically.

I need to created a simple system by which it will be possible to create a spark/flash at the push of a button, sufficient to ignite a small ball of Magician's Flash Cotton (which is essentially cotton wool soaked in parrafin and other flamables and then dried).

Someone has suggested a 9v battery and resistor setup, but I have no idea what to use or how to start - HELP ME I BEG OF YOU!!!

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Since you say it can only be electronic, its wise you came to this website. What needs to happen is for you to create a small spark, eletrically. This small spark will propably ignite the gases that thingy you sayed was dipped in. And you got yourself a fire. Now into detail on how you should come across this spark is by a fair amount of voltage/amperage. Such as when I was trying to make a spud gun, or gun that shoots stuff with gase(s) ignited, I simple made a small spurt of fire with just hairspray as my "gas" and a voltage around 13 Volts. Aha. All you need is conductive wire and possibly a car battery. The bigger the voltage/amperage, the bigger the spark I assume, so if you can get several 12 volt batteries, or even the electrical outlet, which is awfully dangerous, the better the chance of a spark happening. Now that you have your potential spark, you need a spark gap, which is where the electircal current breaks the dielectric thickness of air. Have the two wires close together and crank the voltage. If nothing happens, theres propably not enough electric current going, so either put the gap of the two wires together or crank up the voltage. If all fails, there are projects you can study and possibly make like the Tesla Coil which produces a high voltage/nice spark gap. And you can and carefully use the AC wall outlet to get that spark going.

I'm glad you read this, I needed to get my high voltage lecture out. ;D Ask me for questions.

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