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Old 04-04-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
WaeV
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Default WaeV's APH

Hey guys! I just built my first APH, but the results aren't very spectacular. Perhaps you can help me figure out what's wrong?

I'm getting about 20 ft range no matter which nozzle I use; 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, or the 3/4 pipe with no nozzle.

here's a schematic. I had to use so many adapters on the pressure tanks because Home Depot had a lousy selection of pieces in stock. I ended up having to drive 45 minutes to a Lowe's anyways, because HD didn't have any check valves. >_<

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Old 04-05-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Your water gun has three pressure chambers. That means more power, but also much more pumps to fully pressurize it. Maybe you aren't pumping enough. For my APH, which only has 2 pressure chambers, I need to pump 70 to 100 times.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

It gets really hard to pump after about 10-20 pumps, I wasn't really counting. Even then, it just seems to break up at those pressures. I get 20 feet for the first 8 seconds or so when I use the 1/8" nozzle. Could turbulence be a problem? When I look down the tube I can see some PVC cement along the walls (my first time cementing PVC).

Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aicfg2qoCv4
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Wow, that's a cool video.

It looks like your pump is narrow enough, so I think you're reaching suitable pressures. Also, the number of pressure chambers really shouldn't matter.

The problem probably lies with the nozzle. It looks like your stream is 1/4" or so in diameter; try 3/8" or larger.

I've never been able to drill a smooth nozzle, which is necessary for a clear stream at high pressures. If that's also a problem for you, consider using a metal pipe nipple. You'll need some type of threaded reducer to hook it up, though.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

yeah, looking at the video at 1:20 I can see some odd things going on with the spray; it doesn't look right until the pressures drop. I'll see about getting a better nozzle, and try to smooth out the current one until then.

I like the small nozzle because I can keep up with the pressure by pumping. Would a bigger nozzle achieve more range?
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

^ Sometimes. If the nozzle is too big, range will go down. Of course, if the nozzle is too small, you can't soak anyone. My favorite size is 3/8 inch.
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Old 04-05-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

The biggest I used was 1/4, and i was using 1/8 for the shot.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

See our page on physics and water gun nozzles if you're interested.

A rough explanation: the ratio of momentum (from the stream's volume) to air drag (from the stream's surface area) increases with the diameter. In practice, all streams break up easily at high pressure; but in a sense a larger stream can "expend" the water on its edges.

As Goldfish mentioned and as you may have noticed from the riot blast, massive apertures aren't good either. If there's any limit on the flow, it should be at the nozzle, not a narrow barrel or trigger valve. That's why Supercannon II and firehoses perform well with 1" streams, while Flash Floods and riot blasts simply peter out.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Your pump seal is dodgy. There's water spurting out the end! That may or may not be the cause of your range shortage, but it's still an issue.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

I tried it with a 3/8" nozzle today and the effect was essentially that of the riot blast - the stream could only be maintained for a second or so. i want a blast that can be sustained if not as fast as I pump than at least as long as five seconds.

i definitely need to fix the pump. I have two o-rings; the first one stays on the rod okay but leaks a bit, so i added a second which helps but is a pain to keep in the groove. Everytime it pops out it's a combination of the groove taking up too much space and not holding the ring tight enough. I've tried replacing the o-ring, maybe i'll try flipping the rod over and using the other end.

Also, while 3 PCs may seem like that much extra space, I don't think it really is. I decided on 3 PCs when Home Depot didn't have any 4" caps and i was forced to use 3". I imagine it comes out to approximately the same volume.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

You can't conserve water and get maximum range at the same time. Look at Supercannon II, which I linked to above: 73 feet of range, but the shot only lasts a fraction of a second.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Ah, ok. So which nozzle would you recommend for all-around use? 3/16 seems pretty good from what i've tested.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Yeah, if anything, shy a bit on the narrow side instead of aiming for maximum range. You'll get nearly the same range but you won't waste as much water.

As far as actual numbers go, I can't really offer much advice - predicting ranges gets really complex, so trial and error is the best option.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

Oh yeah, silly question, but are you measuring ranges with the gun angled or level? A level range of 20 feet isn't so bad.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: WaeV's APH

I wasn't measuring, I just eyed it. It seemed to go a bit further than the XP 240 that I was using.

It's actually more like 30 feet, now that I think of it. A friend is getting some nozzles drill-pressed for me, then lined with copper for smoothness. I'll have him start with a 1/4" hole, but it will be smaller due to the copper.
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