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Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:22 pm
by Silence
If people don't even know about metal ball valves, then they will just be confused by having two almost identical pictures--even we might find it hard to discern them. We should be "advertising" metal ball valves more as it is, and we don't need having such a program as an excuse not to tell others about it.

Maybe you can pin a thread that talks about the finer details and tips for building homemades. Many people, no doubt, might even be using standard PVC valves, not even PVC ball valves!

I agree that pictures are much more effective--but for me, at least, buying the parts and all long before building isn'at always practical. I do like the common picture of the almost-completed n00b Killer, as the picture shows all the details clearly.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:23 pm
by Silence
I've been playing around with this program a bit more, and I think pictures, Paint, or joannaardway's preferred program are the best options. The problem is that it's hard to design something in "cookie-cutter" applications like this, even if it's not going to be proportional and even if you already have the design in your head. It's a nice try, but unfortunately, all programs like this are somewhat clumsy. Thanks for creating and offering it, though--I just might use it someday.

I've used a new post because this is a completely different topic--in fact, it's my opinion on the whole thread. Sorry.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 8:57 am
by joannaardway
I haven't tried this, mostly because I am always suspicious of download websites and unknown software.

Besides, I'm happy enough with drawplus (by serif) that I don't feel a need to change - I am in no way limited to parts lists.

However, I recommend this concept to newcomers, to make your plans better understood. Paint diagrams are often very cluttered.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:13 pm
by Silence
I took a look at Drawplus, and I found out one thing: you have to pay for it. I would've tried it, but I don't feel like coughing up $100-200 just for something I can use to draw better soaker blueprints with...

Instead, however, I settled with VCW VicMan's Photo Editor. It isn't the best thing out there, and I haven't tried it, but it's gotten a bunch of good marks, especially considering that it's free. I tested it for spyware and the like, and it's perfectly safe (only if you download it from the VCW site, though). I just need to test it out now...

IMO, Drawplus > Vicman > PVC Designer > Paint. That just about wraps it up for me.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:46 pm
by wetmonkey442
Duxburian wrote:But most users don't even know metal ball valves like, exist, and still are using the crappy PVC ones.

That hurt me, Dux. :p In all seriousness, I've never been a fan of metal ball valves. They're too expensive to be used realistically in every homemade. Perhaps you have cheper prices down where you live, but up here, a 1" ball valve will cost well over 20 USD. That's more than I usually dish out for an entire homemade gun!

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 11:51 pm
by Silence
wetmonkey442 wrote:Perhaps you have cheper prices down where you live, but up here, a 1" ball valve will cost well over 20 USD. That's more than I usually dish out for an entire homemade gun!
Are you sure you're actually looking at the correct model? I don't think Duxburian would even consider paying $20 for a simple ball valve, and only the ITWC needs a 1" one. Maybe he could show you the correct piece at or somewhere...

But you're absolutely correct, $20 is way too much.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 12:37 am
by DX
This kind of stuff is expensive in this part of New Jersey. Then again, everything is expensive in highly populated areas. But side by side, 1" metal is up to $8 cheaper than 1" PVC. Our prices also fluctuate wildly. 1" metal can be as low as $12 or as high as $25 depending on the economy. Similarly, 1" PVC is $15-28, but usually is a good $5 higher than metal of that size and almost always rests at or above $20. I'm not about to pay more for a part which functions worse.

My favorite place to buy metal ball valves is Home Hardware, a smaller store with a small selection of parts, but those parts tend to be be better. Lowes and Home Depot don't offer $2 schrader valves or metal ball valves up to 3" in size! :p

In non-water cannon/launcher homemades, I use 3/4" metal, which I can buy on discount days at Sears for $3 a piece.

Douchenator valves run the highest. 1 1/4" metal valves are $20-30. [PVC valves of that size are not offered except at Home Hardware. $35, and you can't actually turn them. They are that stiff! :rolleyes:

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 12:54 am
by Silence
Thanks for the information. I never truly realized how expensive these were, as I had thought they were only $5 or so (but definitely no more than $10). I guess this is why homemades can total so much.

Well, this is even more reason to buy metal ball valves instead of PVC ones. However, wetmonkey442 must get dreadfully cheap (or maybe poor-quality) PVC ball valves if he finds $20 to be such a huge price jump. Granted, neither can thus be used realistically in any homemade unless you want a truly high-quality soaker. I'm assuming standard (non-ball) valves don't cost nearly so much.

While my city does have a Lowes and now a Home Depot, it also has what I believe to be quite a few smaller DIY and especially plumbing stores. In fact, my phone book has a directory title that lists "O-ring suppliers." Now that's something!

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:15 am
by DX
In fact, my phone book has a directory title that lists "O-ring suppliers." Now that's something!
Interesting. I wonder how they could survive here, with O-rings commonly sold in 67 cent 4 packs. :rolleyes:

A breakdown of what it normally costs for a smallish, compact, 40s range, 30x riot blast APH:

1 3/4" metal ball valve: $3-9
2 3/4" check valves: $5 each
1 stick of 1/2" pipe: $2
1 stick of 3/4" pipe: $4
1 stick of 3" pipe: $7-10
2 3/4" tees: 50 cents
3 3/4" elbows: $1
Various Reducers: $2-10
Various endcaps/unscrewable caps: $2-5
1 stick of 1/2" dowel [wooden]: $1

Of course, if you make homemades on a regular basis, you don't have to buy all this and therefore can save a lot of money. I have stockpiles of pipe, check valves, ball valves, tees, and endcaps. I pay around $15-35 for this kind of homemade instead of the $35-50 it would cost one without reserves of parts lying in their basement.

For a larger, more powerful, 50s range, 50x+, heavier APH, I pay $40-70. Normal cost would be $60-150 for people without reserves of parts.

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 1:33 am
by Silence
Hey, that's something, Scavenger: you could total the price of a homemade! It's brilliant (well, not really, but it's definitely more convenient)! And while I'm at it, could you add a T with the part that sticks up going at 45 degrees instead of 90, and have one that goes 45 degrees in the other direction? The ITWC thread at iScF also mentioned 45-degrees L pieces. Thanks.

Duxburian, that list is actually quite useful for somebody who hasn't built a homemade before (me, that is). However, I'm sure Ben once said something about a cheap CPH (because of the lack of reducers)...

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 2:04 am
by DX
Cheaper by not that much. In an APH pc, the 1-3 reducers needed to get from 3" to 3/4", or 1", or 1/2" cost about a total of $2-4. And wouldn't you still need reducers? A 3" chamber for the LRT, for example, would be impractical to have continue to a 3" ball valve and 3" endcap or 3" to something" conical nozzle.

And if Scavenger does not have the time to do all that, I certainly would do it! Prices, special parts, different angles, all that. Of course with Scavenger's permission, since the homemade design in Gamer Maker was his idea...

Posted: Wed May 17, 2006 8:14 am
by joannaardway
Yeah, Drawplus is a thing that you have to buy.

However, over here, we regularly get offers through the mail to let us buy older versions for about £10. Partly because we are on their mailing list...

In fact, some of the oldest versions may now be free... I seem to recall reading that somewhere... Buy giving away the old versions cheaply, it is essentially a "trial" version - but for us, better.

Posted: Thu May 18, 2006 1:44 am
by Silence
Duxburian, if you or Scavenger are keen on editing PVC Designer, then I have a very big request (it'll probably mean changing the engine): can you adjust the length of the PVC tube to get any length? I was testing out all the 45-degree pieces for my PCgH, especially the two-stroke version, and I was somewhat annoyed with the inflexibility of the 45-degree pieces and the PVC lengths in that direction.

@ joannaardway:
I might try the abandonware version of Drawplus (that's the term you were looking for), but if I'm happy with what I got, I'll just stick with it. I'm big on freeware, open source, Free, etc.

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 12:05 am
by Scavenger
Well, I added some parts to the current version. It's the same download link.

I actually have been considering changing the engine. Right now, when you change pipe sizes, all of the code to create the new pipe pieces is hardcoded, totaling 312 lines. If I could make that dynamic, it'd probably be only around 50 lines, and it'd be easier to add parts.

And, the problem about the 45 degree pieces is mostly fixed in the new version, but I'd still like to fix it completely. Another reason to rewrite the engine.

I've also been thinking about how I am drawing the pipe. Right now, it's all sprites, one for each size of each type. I could probably use a few gradient colors and with a little work, draw the pipe dynamically. Then, I could draw pipe at any angle and length and still get it to look good. If I could get that working, it would be pretty easy to add flexible hose.

Of course, I'd have to abandon Game Maker to get that to work, but I might have found the solution. Recently I stumbled upon GameX, an API for C++ (a bunch of functions for a programming language). I'm working on setting it up, but as soon as I do, I should be able to start on the new version.

Just to let you know, though, it may take all summer, because I have some other projects taking priority.

Posted: Sun May 21, 2006 12:15 am
by Silence
Wow...I didn't expect you to respond so quickly. Thanks.

By the way, if your looking for even more comments (I haven't downloaded the new version yet), you could have something to turn the pieces counterclockwise. Having to turn them clockwise 7 times is a lot harder than turning them counterclockwise 1 time. Of course, this is just me being picky...

EDIT: I just downloaded the new version, but the strange thing is that the download link doesn't open in a new tab/window! Usually the links here do that...