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Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:01 am
Ben wrote:Right now I've decided to just do the 6-month hosting plan until we get some more money. Thanks to those who donated.

Store plans are looking good now. My original price for a powerful CPS water gun was around $80 - 90, but now I think I can sell one for $70 and still make a good profit. A few things, such as the PC casing I used, are far too expensive and cheaper options are definitely available. Replacing the PC case with ABS pipe saves about $10 and weighs less as well. That's the only change I made to the design so far for mass production.

I guess you will buy materials in bulk to get a cheaper rate?
I wouldn't mind paying $70+shipping for a one of your CPS. Will you build the models first and then offer the sale, or take pre-orders and then build them?

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:48 pm
by Silence
I might buy some LRT if you buy it in bulk (wasn't that one of the original key objectives? :cool: ), although I doubt you'll make much of a profit by selling it. I believe you said the item you saw was something like 100 feet of LRT, in which case you actually might save a lot and in which case I'll try to help relieve you of some of it.

@ ZOCCOZ: I'm pretty sure, if he's building many of them at a time, he'll end up selling most of them or all of afterwards, but I can't be sure.

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:51 pm
by SSCBen
Yes, materials will be bought in bulk to get a cheaper rate as well. The price easily could drop more. I'm hoping that I can sell these for $70 or less. This CPS water gun I am hoping will be our main product.

I also don't think anyone will be surprised by the price tag. Yes, technically I could sell these water guns for $50 with a backpack, which is about the price of a CPS 3000 back in the day. I would not make much or any profit however. This is more powerful than any previously sold water gun, holds more water, is more durable, and takes less pumps, to leave out a lot of important details. The $70 price easily could be paid for and by Larami's old prices, it is a good deal.

I actually considered something like $100 because I knew it would get paid anyway. Loads of people paid over $100 for worse water guns on eBay this year - they're my main target. Not for all casual visitors. If most who visited bought one, I wouldn't be able to keep up. Obviously, most visitors won't buy one anyway. If I cut into my profits, I can sell this water gun for cheaper. Some Monster XLs sold for that much in stores anyway. It's not like we're being outrageous in the pricing though. This is one damn good deal for everyone but those who can build it themselves.

Right now I'm looking into other LRT manufacturers because they usually have cheaper rates that McMaster-Carr (which is a reliable middleman). I've already done the math concerning the thickness of the chamber, and we can have a chamber that is 5/8 inches (0.625 inches) thick without bike tube layers if I order the right combination of tubes from the internet.

For comparison, a combination that has comparable power to a CPS 2000 only has a thickness of 7/16 inches (0.4375 inches). The new planned chamber is nearly 1.5 times as thick as the mythical unattainably thick CPS 2000 chamber. I'm hoping that these tubes will be cheaper in bulk so we all can use them. For the person who would like to get one of these tubes cheaper, I will be selling the tubes alone as well.

Once I finish my device to ease layering, I'll also be able to make thicker chambers than anyone else can. This will be a big advantage over others who may want to sell water guns with similar power. Basic instructions on constructing the device certainly will be made available, but I doubt too many people would make it given that it would be moderately expensive.

I'd also like to look into buying check valves at a reduced price because they account for $10 - $12. The ones Hasbro makes probably cost them only $2 total. Bulk appears to be the only option for me however. I can and have built check valves by myself before, but the factory made ones are of a higher quality and definitely work better. None of my price cutting measures will reduce quality - everything must have same or similar performance.

The backpack I will provide as well is just a big flexible water storage container with tubing attached. It will need an actual backpack to contain it. This keeps the price down. I'm assuming that most people have a spare backpack.

The water guns will be built when they order. Part of my plan is to make each water gun as customized as possible, so a few changes undoubtably would be necessary. If I do build a few in advance, I'll just ship one out if requested. One of these water guns should not take more than two days of work - one day for cutting the pipe and such, overnight being the curing time, and the second day for testing. All water guns will be tested. Unlike Hasbro I can do that.

Feel free to ask any questions too. Unlike Hasbro and even Buzz Bee Toys, we'll listen to exactly what you want, not the masses. We're not selling to the masses. They can go ruin whatever other products they want, but not ours.

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:01 pm
Ben wrote: Feel free to ask any questions too. Unlike Hasbro and even Buzz Bee Toys, we'll listen to exactly what you want, not the masses. We're not selling to the masses. They can go ruin whatever other products they want, but not ours.

You already sound like an online store. And thats not a bad thing. :D

Do you already take pre-orders? And what would be the range in customization as you mentioned?

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:28 pm
by SSCBen
You can order now if you want to I suppose, but I will be unable to construct the water gun for some time. I still need to do some research to ensure that the pressure chamber will be as thick as possible. Right now this means buying a bunch of different sized tubes, testing them out to see which ones work best, and then ordering tubes in bulk. Cheaper check valves also are a priority at the moment. Finding good and cheap carrying straps also is a priority. I need to research my options for parts to ensure I produce the highest quality product.

I'll let everyone know once I've finished that work. I'll also let you know ZOCCOZ once I have those water guns you want fully ready. Right now I'm in a tight squeeze for money and have decided to pay for 6 months of hosting and also get the few parts I'll need. A compromise seemed to be the best option, but I had to leave a few things out obviously.

Lots of things will be customizable:

- the selection of nozzles
- whether or not a rotating nozzle selector is wanted (will cost extra)
- inclusion of a basic trigger system (will cost extra)
- color (but realize that I'm not the best with paint)
- length of pressure chamber and rubber tubing
- owner's name sticker
- amount of layering in the pressure chamber (can save some money or cost extra)
- pump shaft length
- other things I'm forgetting

Everything I can change will be customizable in short. If you want it that way, I can make it that way.

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:16 am
by Silence
Does this mean that you have created a rotating nozzle selector? The trigger mechanism for a ball valve, to my knowledge, hasn't been done before, but the rotating nozzle comes as a bit of a surprise.

And if the trigger mechanism isn't desired by the customer, another option might be the position of the ball valve. Unlike most others, I prefer the handle (if there is one, of course) to be on the bottom, and this would also probably be easier to convert to a trigger at some point. Lefties will want the handle on the other side, although that will change the way you'll have to move it. I suppose an extra mechanism could make it useful on both sides, but still...

Also, some people might find the pump to be too hard if the CPS bladder is so strong. I personally have never seen a CPH, let alone pump one up, but I'd imagine they could be hard to pump--unless they were well greased, etc. Perhaps a 3/8" pump would be suitable in these situations.

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:41 am
by SSCBen
No rotating nozzle selector has been made, but I know how to make one easily from PVC parts. I've made something similar for a Nerf gun (rotating barrels). Since I've been wondering why no one has duplicated the design in water guns. Not hard at all.

A trigger mechanism for a ball valve is easy as well. Another thing I believe others should have done first. You just need a small arm, rubber bands, a string leading to the trigger, and a trigger. The trigger can be free or mounted onto something (free obviously is easier). It essentially is the equivalent of a pull valve.

Ball valve position is a good option as well. I'll definitely have to mention that when an order is made.

Pump diameter could change as well. I don't have any trouble with pumping, but I can imagine others will. ;)

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:42 am
I guess I can already think of some customized CPS version for my order. The rotation nozzle sounds good. How exactly would it look like? Would it be similar to the Nerf revolver or other similar Nerf rotation barrels?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:44 pm
by Silence
I didn't want to outline my design again, but I'll just direct you to the "Artic Shock or AS2K turret." It was done using a Nerf turret (or nozzle selector in the soaker world), and you can see the problem--there is way too much turbulence. You could use a screw on a disk method as I suggested, perhaps with a spring to increase the force against the flow of the water.

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:51 pm
by SSCBen
That's not what I'm going to use.

I'm going to cut a small circular piece of wood, put some PVC pieces in holes drilled in it, solvent weld endcaps on, and add a dowel rod down the center. Some parts attached to the nozzle area will attach this rotating nozzle selector to the water gun. A spring holds the nozzles in. For simplicity and reliability, all you would do is plug the nozzle into a coupler on the end. Not as easy as simply rotating, but reliable except with the most powerful water guns on smaller nozzles (which actually might be a problem here).

Really easy and can get you a lot of nozzle options. Something I'm surprised no one else has done.

Size of this depends completely on how many nozzles you want. As for looks, it would just appear as a piece of wood with PVC sticking out of holes along the outer edge. If wood isn't your thing, I suppose I could look at other options as well (aluminum comes to mind).

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:04 pm
by Silence
I think I get the picture...would you pull the PVC out, swivel the entire thing, and then let the spring hold in the new PVC fitting? Of course, that might not be what you meant...

Perhaps a system like that, but without springs, would do. Instead, there could be a latch or something to hold the endcap in place, even when you're firing at high power. Of course, an O-ring in between the fittings would be needed to prevent leaks. Also, a method could be easily devised in which you turn the selector one way to circumvent the latch and switch nozzles, but then you turn it the other way to activate the latching mechanism. A spring might be need for that, but it would still be a neat system.
Ben wrote:That's not what I'm going to use.
Are you referring to the AS2K turret or my design in that thread?

EDIT: Then again, a "latch" pretty much holds the disk to the barrel, while my original design has a piece that uses the screw as an axle to do the same thing. They're both pretty much different types of levers, but a latch under which the disk slides (yet another variant of the design) might put less stress on the screw.

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:03 pm
I am curious. Will the SScentral store have a specific name, or will there be some company typ brand term?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:54 pm
by SSCBen
I'm thinking to avoid being sued by Hasbro for using their trademark "Super Soaker," these should be marketed at "Custom water guns" or something to that effect. That's what I considered two years ago.
Are you referring to the AS2K turret or my design in that thread?
Yes, I was referring to the Nerf turret. I didn't know about your design and I can't seem to find it. Could you explain it? Should help my design.

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:28 pm
by Silence
SilentGuy's post in the AS2K thread
SilentGuy wrote:Yes, that's basically what I was referring to. If you look at Super Soakers that use nozzle selectors--they seem to be quite similar to this, so you've got a good imitation--there's just open space between the actual barrel and the opening. Even if this doesn't slow down the stream, it can cause turbulence, which is very bad in soakers, but maybe not so much in Nerf guns. I'm thinking of, basically, an endcap with a good opening (not a threaded endcap, though, and no glue) that just squeezes onto the barrel, without any twisting. An O-ring across the cross-section of the barrel creates a seal right at the inside face of the endcap, and produces a stream similar to standard homemade nozzles, but without screwing.

However, this won't neccessarily stay tight; it would just blow off with the 100+ PSI of a powerful homemade soaker. If four or so endcaps can be connected together around a female axle, then it can have a bolt threaded through the axle and secured. However, this also leaves a problem: you can't switch the nozzles due to the sides of the endcap holding the nozzle in place on the barrel! Solution: cut off the side parts of the endcap. Now, when you think about it, you've essentially got the Super Soaker/AT2K nozzle assembly, but with the nozzles flush against the barrel. In fact, a disk of PVC or another material is sufficient, and that would actually allow for hole/O-ring sets as can fit on the disk.
Okay, so I rambled a bit :D ...but you get the idea. In the end, you have a disk of PVC, metal, or wood that is screwed into position near the barrel. Somewhere else I suggested having a surface, latch, or spring to keep the disk steady and prevent it from being blown out by the force of the water.

The spring idea won't work (since you need the force of the water + the force from your fingers to compress the spring so you can slide it; but the water would just leak) and it also won't be necessary--as long as the latch is smooth and lubricated, you should be able to rotate the disk. You can drill many nozzles in the disk, and an O-ring at the end of the barrel ensures a tight seal. And best of all, it might be possible to make a barrel attachment to screw onto a male adapter in case this doesn't work.

The reason I suggested a supporting surface or a latch was to be able to have more leverage against the force of a shot. A large washer on a tight screw might work, but this seems more reliable. Also, the "latch" really doesn't come off as its name might imply; it's just a piece that holds the disk back against the edge of the barrel.

EDIT: Sorry if the original post I quoted was a bit confusing...also, I can draw a diagram in Paint or the GIMP if necessary. The mechanism is really quite simple...

EDIT again, on 8/3/06: Make sure you advertise the store at iSc, as they have a large active member base that otherwise might not be interested in homemades. I like your logic concerning the name...

Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:53 pm
Ben wrote:I'm thinking to avoid being sued by Hasbro for using their trademark "Super Soaker," these should be marketed at "Custom water guns" or something to that effect. That's what I considered two years ago.

Yes, I was referring to the Nerf turret. I didn't know about your design and I can't seem to find it. Could you explain it? Should help my design.

No, I was more refering to if you plan to create your own brand name or have your online store have a created brand name. But "custom water guns" should be good. I supose it will add an aditional safety feature avoiding any lawsuits since it won't be technicaly an official company.