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Old 05-15-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
WesTheBotMaster
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Lightbulb Timed Water Balloon Grenade

Hello! This is my first post, so sorry if I posted this in the wrong forum. I recently built an APH, so now I want some grenades to go with it.

Ok, you've probably heard discussion on this idea before, a device that pops the water balloon in air a few seconds after you've thrown it. Specifically, i'm thinking of a device you would attach to the water balloon, activate, and then a few seconds it would pop the balloon.

I am pretty sure this is possible. The criteria for such a device is the following:
1. Small and lightweight -- It needs to be small to fit on the baloon, and not hurt anyone if it flies through the air and hits them
2. Waterproof -- (duh) This puts electronics out of the question.
3. Hold on to the balloon -- It must stay attached to the balloon
4. Inexpensive and easy to make-- You want the ability to make lots of these, so the cheaper and easier to make the better.
5. Pop the balloon after a timed delay -- (also duh) This is the hardest part.

Allright, so here's what I have so far (pictures attached), the main structure and a method of holding on to the balloon. (first attachment)
To attach it to a balloon, open the clothespin (second attachment), and slide the tied end of the balloon through the slot. Release the clothespin, and it is attached securely. Most of the parts of the clothespin that stick out past the pipe are not needed and could be cut off, reducing the size some.

Now, all I have to do is add the timed balloon popper, and its all good!

Unfortunately, I don't have a timed balloon popper, so here are my ideas:
1. A sharp, pointy screw, being turned by a coil(or snail) spring or rubber band, would inch down slowly toward the balloon, finally popping the balloon on contact.
2. A firecracker that you would light, the fuse burning down and popping the balloon.
3. A spring or rubber band turning a lever with a pin. The lever would have resistance, so it would turn slowly. When the lever turns far enough, it stabs the balloon, popping it.

Also, keeping the device from activating should be simple, so i'll work on that after I have a working popper.

Finally, there has been some discussion on a device like this here: http://www.airsoftcanada.com/showthread.php?t=12247

Any input is welcome!

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to attach the pictures.
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Last edited by WesTheBotMaster : 05-15-2011 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
zeda.beta
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

What about a timed fuse (aka 30 sec, 10 sec etc) that sets off a party popper. The popper has a thumbtack in the area where the confetti usually goes, and it pops the balloon. Drawing will be up in a bit.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

Then you have a flying thumbtack.
That seems dangerous to me.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

The idea in theory sounds awesome, but in practice, it has two major problems:

1) most water balloons don't "explode" much unless filled to near breaking already. These sort of balloons tend to break when throwing too hard. A less-filled balloon won't pop when punctured by a pin, merely letting water out

2) even if everything works perfectly, you'll end up having a hard object flying through the air also potentially hitting one's target. While getting hit by water is the point, not sure how well another will take to getting smacked by the device, even a small one.

Fun idea to tinker with, but a timer device that is attached and thrown together with a water balloon is really not recommendable for water wars.

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Old 05-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

Ditto what iSoaker said.

The main problem with water balloons is this: large balloons explode easily but are not easy to throw and most of the water is lost in a downwards direction when they hit the ground at a steep angle. Small balloons are in almost all situation better, except that they do not explode reliably. Furthermore, because small balloons carry a small volume of water, you can't really afford to miss.

A practical solution I have found for reliable explosions with small balloons is to pinch a side wall between your thumb and forefinger. Using your teeth, bite a small hole through the side wall. This will release a small stream of water, so you want to wait to do this until you are preparing to throw. By compromising the integrity of the side wall, the balloon will explode much more easily. I've found that this works almost 100% of the time, and is a very effective way of delivering smaller water balloons on target.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

I was just tossing ideas out, but when I tried this, (Oh yes, I did try it ) the popper ended up shooting the thumbtack, and it just stuck in the balloon. On the few occasions that this didn't happen, the balloon didn't pop reliably, as the flame is inconsistent.

(The thumbtack did make the balloon explode on impact, but I feel unsafe throwing sharp metal at friends.)
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

@isoaker, though I agree that you dont want to hit someone with a hard object in a water war, this device is so light, one would have to throw it really hard to hurt someone with it.

The thing with a party popper should work if the balloon was filled enough, but it is true that the possibility of a flying thumbtack is not good. Another thing is you would have to keep buying more party poppers, and you would lose the thumbtacks in the grass, giving someone a nasty poke later.

I tried my third idea, (A spring or rubber band turning a lever with a pin. The lever would have resistance, so it would turn slowly. When the lever turns far enough, it stabs the balloon, popping it.)
This will not work, because the resistance has kinetic and static friction. So, once the rubber band is strong enough to break the static friction, it breezes through the kinetic friction, resulting in no delay.

I will try my first idea, the screw idea today if I get time, the screw would be turned by a rubber band like a wind up balsa wood airplane. I'll post my results.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

@WesTheBotMaster: my point about being hit something wasn't as much on injury, but more on annoyance. Hit someone with a small stream of water in a water fight and it's ok. Hit that same person with even a quarter, penny, or even a paperclip and I don't think they'd take it as well. Moreover, if it's a small device, you have the problem of losing it. Larger objects, even if light, will be received less favorably.

That said, no harm in experimenting with things. I'm just pushing up concerns, but if it ends up working well and those using it are ok with it, great!

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Old 05-17-2011, 06:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

I tried a plain party popper with a timed fuse (10 seconds) It took some wrangling, but I managed to make a consistent pop with only minor debris (0.2 gram plastic casing) Depends on the degree of filling, as most of the balloons would have popped on impact anyway.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Timed Water Balloon Grenade

@zeda.beta, that sounds good, could you include a picture?
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