Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Threads related to water balloon launchers.
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MunkeyB
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Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:44 pm

To make a long story short:

We went to a HUGE Pirate event. We had a massive ship but not much firepower. For the next event, we're looking to build a canon or two that will fire water balloon over a great distance. While looking for specs I came across your site. (Great Stuff!)

The canons will be mounted to stands and will roll about the ship. Since we'll be on a ship the canons don't have to be entirely portable. Plus they'll look cooler as real canons.

Here's the issue most of the canons I have seen look like they can only fire once and then they need to be refilled. Since we will be on a ship we won't have access to a compressor. However since we will be building stands a pre-filled compressed air tank is possible.

Are there any specs out there for canons that can fire multiple shots using a larger tank? We'd like to make firing these as simple as possible. As few steps as possible

Any help you can give us would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you

~MB

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soakernerd
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by soakernerd » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:37 pm

I would suggest a Douchenator, with a bike valve (or similar) in the tank so that it can be fired multiple times.
you would fire, plug in the extra tank to the bike valve, disconnect the extra tank, fire, and repeat.
you could also try a Semi-Auto homemade

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zeda.beta
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by zeda.beta » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:23 pm

I would reccomend any kind of regular WBL mounted on a wheeled stand, with either bike pumps for every one, or pre charged canisters, like the ones that Waterwolf made. And I agree with soakernerd, the canisters would probably be a better idea, especially because the semi-auto WBL only got around 80 feet if I remember correctly. http://www.sscentral.org/homemade/air_canisters.html
-Zeda
Last edited by zeda.beta on Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
Quack damn you.

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martianshark
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by martianshark » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:43 am

Any ordinary water balloon launcher will work, as long as it has a tire valve. To make it look like a real cannon, I would use ABS pipe or spay-paint it black. And yes, WBLs have to be repressurized after fired, but something like a CO2 tank and a regulator could solve that. If you can build a breech, it would also be easy to reload water balloons.

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MunkeyB
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:41 pm

Thank you guys for the help!

Zeda/Soaknerd,
I like the Douchenator design. If we mount it on a stand with the tank underneath that could work.

Martian,
Definitely going to spray it black. We're thinking a 3" tube inside of a 4" tube. The 4" tube will give the canon some bulk. You mention using CO2. What about a compressed air tank with a regulator on it.

Maybe something like this:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=66795

From my research I see we would need the tank, a regulator, the feed line, the valve and then the firing tube. Am I missing anything.

My brain is going in two ways with this.

Plan A we run it in that order Tank, regulator, feed line, valve, firing tube

Plan B we add a smaller pressure chamber inside the 4" tube which is refilled from the air tank as needed. So it would go. Tank, regulator, feed line, pressure chamber, valve, firing tube.

Here's a diagram. (pardon the terrible graphics)

Image

Any help you could give me would be GREATLY appreciated.

~MB
Last edited by MunkeyB on Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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C-A_99
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by C-A_99 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:59 pm

You'll want to go with plan B. Create a pressure chamber about 1ft long (3" diameter) and use a modified sprinkler valve between that and the barrel. 3 ft is a good length for the barrel, which should be 3" but can also be 2" if you're using smaller balloon payloads.

For 2" barrels, there are also a few breeches that can be constructed for faster loading. However, as far as I know, no one has made a breech for 3" barrels and while it's difficult to do, it is probably worth it. I may look into creating one myself in the future since muzzle loading + ramrodding is just ridiculously slow.

After the pressure chamber and barrel, a bike pump provides the most basic method of inputting air. Since you have a good air source however, using a regulator will speed things up, though you may want to have the bike pump attachable just in case air from the tank runs out.

Plan A will not work because, to the best of my knowledge, the regulator will just release air until it's all gone. It's not designed to let out controlled bursts of air.

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MunkeyB
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:11 pm

Great Thanks C-A_99!

I was definitely leaning towards Plan B.

I don't plan on using a breach system. I am designing a tethered sabot system which will be loaded using a wet towel ram rod. This way the tube gets lubricated and the sabot gets placed. (Plus it's more Piratey!)

Since we'll be firing on other ships I want to use larger balloons so a 3" tube is what we'll use.

A question about using a bike pump. I understand that this may vary based on the size of the chamber and the pump BUT with a standard bike pump and a 1 foot PC. How much pumping does it take to get the required PSI?

Again any assistance is appreciated.

~MB

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martianshark
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by martianshark » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:50 pm

Yes, it does depend on the sizes of the PC and the pump, but I think 20-30 pumps will be enough.

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zeda.beta
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by zeda.beta » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:37 am

Go for the biggest pump that you can comfortably use, and if possible, attatch a pressure gauge to the pressure chamber. Then you can see how many pumps it will take to get to the desired PSI, and be able to use that number on multiple cannons.
-Zeda
I reject your reality and substitute my own.
Quack damn you.

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MunkeyB
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:20 pm

So here is the plan ans schematics:

We're going to use roughly a four foot piece of 5" PVC (properly rated) to create the outer shell.

Image

We'll use a scuba tank or another compressed air canister rated for a PSI as our source. Which will flow through a regulator and gauge into our pressure chamber.

Image

Inside we'll use 3" PVC for the barrel. The Pressure Chamber and Sprinkler valve will also be contained withing the shell. After running some calculations we can use a 6.75" inch length of 4" PVC for the Pressure Chamber and still have the same volume as a 12" piece of 3" PVC.

Image

A covered button will be mounted on top for firing and the Pressure chamber fill valve and gauge will be mounted so they are visible on the side of the cannon. All PVC will have the required pressure regulations.

Any thoughts or recommendations before we begin building?

~MB

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soakernerd
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by soakernerd » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:03 pm

I am speechless. That looks AMAZING. However, I am worried about the price. How much can you guys spend on these. you could also probably save some money by using PVC instead of a scuba tank. properly made PVC tanks can withstand a large amount of pressure.

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MunkeyB
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:20 pm

Thanks Soaknerd!

We have a bit of money to throw at this project but even so we'd like to cut some cost. I considered using Large PVC tubes as the air supply however I run into the issue of volume.

Since I will be taking these cannons out on the high seas I need them to be able to fire a lot of rounds before needing to refill the air. A scuba tank is rated at 3000 psi which means with a smaller tank and using the secondary pressure chamber we can get more shots. I doubt a PVC chamber could handle 3000 psi.

We have a few 3000 and 4500 psi paintball tanks around that we are going to use to test the system before we purchase the scuba tanks. Considering they are the most expensive and sort of a variable on this project we'll leave them til last.

What are your recommendations on sprinkler valves to use?

Thanks again.

~MB

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martianshark
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by martianshark » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:37 pm

I agree with soakernerd. This looks awesome.

You should use a sprinkler valve that doesn't make a U and fits into whatever pipe size you're using to connect it.

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MunkeyB
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by MunkeyB » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:44 pm


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martianshark
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Re: Water Balloon Pirate Canon

Post by martianshark » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:11 pm

You don't need any mods to make it work electronically. It's the pnuematicly activated kind that needs modifying.

Any of those valves would work (except for maybe the second one; I don't know much about pnuematicly activated valves) as long as it will fit in the pipe.

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