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First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:30 pm
by David
Hello hello,

First of all, I'm new here and in a bit of a hurry. Second, I'm Dutch so my English could be a bit... you know, especially with the terms used in this forum.

Long story short: Local water battle organised via facebook, at the moment there are 2700 people attending (this is gonna be real fun).
First thought was "i'm gonna buy a overpriced super soaker and kick ass". *Investigate*. *Find out most of the new super soakers suck*. So that is how i came here, i was going to make one my own and kick ass. Looked up a bit of stuff on the site and it didn't sound to hard, and it wasn't.

However, since PVC is only used for electrical wiring here it's hard to get the stuff i needed so i decided to go for copper.
The design is from Aurum and is found here (at page 3 you can find the final plan).

After getting the mats and putting everything together (had some difficulty with my pc because that would be a coca cola bottle and the pump) i had it working.
However, since i was aiming for it to be better than the cps 2000 it lacks range... a lot.
I think i barely made 8 meters.

So now i come to you, hoping you can help me figure this out, i'm open to all suggestions but the battle is monday so i has to be finished by then. :D

Quicky how i attached the bottle since it was 1,5mm short for attaching perfectly with my 22mm pipe. Heaten pipe, push it in. Use some hard pvc glue, and that ring thing which is arround it now. I know, a bit crappy but for now it holds.
The water reservoir is a 5 gallon camping show which will hopefuly fit into one of my school bags... And the tube running from that fitted nicely in a 15mm pipe so that was lucky.
The check valves are 22mm so that's why the couplers/reducers?? come from.
And for the 22/22/15 tee which could've been 22/22/22, already bought it and was lazy.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:59 pm
by wetmonkey442
Hello and welcome to the forum! This homemade is very impressive, but we'll see if we can improve it. Is the gun lacking range because it is not powerful enough, or because it is too powerful and is breaking up the stream?

A larger pressure chamber might help, although it will be hard if you do not have access to PVC. Perhaps multiple liter bottles?

I would also suggest pumping air into the gun and holding it underwater in a pool or bathtub. If you see air bubbles, then you know your seals are not water tight. I would guess that your range is suffering from some combination of bad seals, not enough volume, and poor stream cohesion.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:05 pm
by C-A_99
I don't know if you came across this thread yet or not, but if not, you should have a read.

Bottom line, be careful and safe. When there are that many people attending an event, there's a good chance for something to go wrong.

Anyway, nice job on the water gun. I'm curious to how well that pump will work. You can find good Super Soakers from eBay, but building is a good option too.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:19 pm
by David

I have tried the gun with a 3mm hole - i thought it scattered to much and didn't came far enough
after that i made it a 4mm hole - more scattering in the beginning and i lost my pressure very fast, could've been that i didn't pump it enough since i was a bit sick when i tried
tried with a 1,5mm hole - that was more like a mist... it lasted long tho, but still 1,5mm so was a bit pathetic

3mm was the best till now, any clue on what size i should use?

I was also thinking about another bottle, but if that is what i'm gonna do i gotta work fast, so that's what's holding me back. I prefer keeping just 1 pc but if 2 is the way to go so be it.
Also my pump is not yet... perfect. I'm gonna get an end cap with a 6mm hole so my pump fits, if i'm pumping fast it tends to get a bit messy, if the pressure gets to high i'm taking lots of water out to but i'm hoping the 6mm hole helps a bit. Weird long sentence...

I already did the underwater check, it's not leaking any air, but it just... lack range, maybe i should put more pressure behind it.. I'll try again tomorrow and maybe film it.

Well, i understand what you're trying to say, but my gun isn't capable of hurting. I wish it was, then i could just pump a bit less.
Also, since its a facebook event i think we're lucky if only 1/4 of the people get there. Besides, i live in a student city, with about 40% of the population being poor students which probably use their old super soakers or just buckets of water. I can't imagine anything going wrong but i'll keep it in mind.
I'll let you know ;)

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:01 am
by SSCBen
Hi David,

I would suggest adding a pipe nipple (or the equivalent in Europe) to your nozzle and putting straws in it. Here's an example that uses PVC: . Test range before and after trying this to see if it helps.

Also, make sure that you drill your holes as cleanly as possible, and if you can, try different things for nozzles. The best nozzles are shaped like cones. This gives the water a better transition into a stream. See this nozzle, for example:


I will post more tomorrow when I have more free time.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:27 pm
by atvan
Did anyone else here laugh at the number of participants? :p . Anyway, it sounds like your nozzles are just a flat plate with a hole drilled into it. That is terrible for laminar flow. There are some articles here on that, and Ben had som good suggestions in his post.

Also, soda bottles are not the best option, but other options may be difficult.

At such a large event, you will need strict rules or authority, or somebody is going to get POed and get into a fist fight, or worse. You should contact local authorities beforehand to get an OK, and also to alert them to the real possibility of problems. In a large scale event like this, you should probably have about 1 in every 25 people be a referee. They can still play, but should be mature enough to rule fairly, and should be able to communicate with other referees in case of large problems. Also, set game rules that must be followed. Any intentional breaking of the rules must be punished with expulsion from the game, to prevent escalation. Otherwise your fun game will quickly turn into a large scale riot. Finally, if the is anything dangerous spotted on a participant, such as a knife or gun, inform the police immediately, and pause the game until you are sure the violator is gone. If you think that they might come back, it would be a good idea to cancel altogether.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:47 pm
by David
@Ben & atvan

I was at a hardware store today and looked for anything that could use as a nozzle while not be bigger than 9mm but couldn't find any? Everything is to huge to use :(

Also i tried looking for a pipe nipple as you said ben, but here that stuff isn't so easy to find, was also wondering what is it doing? :P

I know soda bottles are a crappy pc but as you said other options are difficult, haven't found anything else yet, still looking tho.

About the event itself, as said its a facebook event so it would be a miracle if so many people showed up. The weather isn't going to be great, 60% change of rain, not so sunny etc etc. I'm just hoping 1/5 shows up, about teams or rules nothing has made clear so i think its just gonna be a giant free for all.
Police have been informed and there are some reload points arranged, we'll just see what happens :)

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:55 pm
by atvan
Free For All=Things get out of hand fast. You need rules and control on such a large event, unless you want a riot on your hands.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:18 pm
by David

Everyone just received word that the event is being postponed, last 2 days another 2000 people decided to join. Heh heh, september 3 is new date, including emergency posts, refill points, firemen, police, and... last but not least... and not certain... the guiness book of records! :D

This also gives me a lot more time to finish the gun.

Still looking for a decent nozzle or how to make one, if anyone knows...!

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:13 am
by atvan
It is good that you got more time to plan, and that the authorities will be present.

For the nozzle, if you can find them, tubing barbs make fairly good nozzles.

An example in copper: ... 81&bih=632

Also, notice that Ben never replied as said. I think he got a job though and is busy.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:47 pm
by SSCBen
David, sometimes you just have to keep looking until you find what works where you live.

Tubing barbs are a great suggestion. Also look into garden hose nozzles. I have one that has a ball valve built in.

I am busy too. I'll reply if requested, but there are no guarantees.

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:22 pm
by atvan
Not meant to insult, just more reason to think you got a job. (Or two)

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:25 pm
by David
Aye aye, i'm looking for a specialist in my town at the moment. Think i found one but it might take a while for me to get there since there's no hurry... en when there's no hurry... i become lazy.
I'll keep you posted!

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:41 pm
by Aurum
Glad to see my old Copper design is in use... I should try and upload my updated version now I've finally got all the bugs sorted out ;) (perhaps in an easier to read font too!)

Re: First time, Copper homemade

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:52 pm
by cantab
On the smallest nozzle that gives a stream (ie not mist), is that stream forceful?

If it isn't, you aren't building enough pressure, and need to improve your pump.

On larger nozzles, is the stream forceful?

If it isn't, maybe your valve is too narrow inside. You could try taking it off the blaster and looking through it. Ideally you should see a hole the size of the pipe right through.

If the streams are always forceful, but you still have poor range, you probably have a poor-quality nozzle.