I thought I'd finally share my creation with the world. I built this over 4 years ago before any super soaker forums even existed (I looked then, couldn't find anything). Since then it has long gone into retirement, but a recent squirtgun activity brought it out of hiding and I finally got some footage of it.
Where my idea came from:
I was having good clean fun with some friends and our super soakers. Soon we began modifying and, eventually building our own super soakers and water balloon launchers. I owned the infamous 'Super Soaker Monster XL', but I had some issues with it and it was time for me to step up to the plate and join the homemade party.
Here were my issues with the XL:
#1 It was heavy - really heavy. All of that uncompressed water held in one arm made you weary fast.
#2 pumping - god you had to pump it so much!
Then I discovered when using the 'quickfill' that not only did it refill the resevoir, but it also used the pressurized city water to re-pressuriz the MonsterXL's water bladder. As a result, I would always run to the quickfill to repressurize my water bladder, then just stop when it would finish filling the bladder and start to fill the resevoir. Leaving the resevoir empty greatly reduced the weight, and I never had to pump again! Hence my idea was born... to improve upon those strengths and remove the weaknesses.
So this is what I wanted in a homemade:
- No pumping
- No electricity, batteries, or electircal air compressor needed to pressurize anything.
- No excessive weight on my arms - I wanted the water storage on my back.
- More Water! I wanted to shoot normal streams of water longer, and I wanted an option to let it all go in one, even LARGER big kahuna blast. What I ended up with was about 3 gallons of big kahuna blast ^^.
After about 4 or 5 versions, I reveal to you my results:
Fresh out of the storage closet and cleaned up with a rag.
Me at my friends house testing it before a squirtgun party; my apt doesnt have hoses!
At the heart:
Two, steel, 2-gallon water bladder tanks. These are the same tanks well water pumps use to temporarily store pressurized air and water so they don't have to kick on and off constantly; the same tanks people use to water their lawns and gardens -- only smaller. These little tanks are used as booster kits for under sinks and the like. I got them at a local well water and irrigation supply co. Inside is a rubber bladder that fills and stores the water, and outside the bladder (and inside the steel casing) is pre-pressuriized air at about 25psi that is constant. This ensures that city water at greater than 25psi will flow in, but as the tanks empty you will never completely lose pressure -- at the very end of your water supply you will still have 25+psi...
Essentially they will initally output whatever the pressure your available water hose is. I've had it pressurize up to 65psi in the city and with the current version, no leaks or hose swelling.
Why two tanks? simple - twice the throughput. Each tank is designed to maintain the water throughput of a typical hose. So two tanks double that throughput. This makes for the perfect 'big kahuna' blast. Their 3/4 pipe fittings are sweated together and meld into a 1 1/2 hose fitting, which at no point narrows from where they meet... all the way to the opening of the barrel. (although this last version in the video accidently used too small of a ball valve and pinched that 1 1/2 throughput a bit; the gun needed some fixing, and I forgot which parts to use it had been so long...).
Keep in mind 4 gallons is your water and your air, so you end up with give~or~take 3 gallons of water.
Surprisingly the weight is very easy to carry snug on the lower back, and I sprint with it all the time.
I later lowered the pressure in one tank slightly (2.5 psi) so when using the big kahuna blast, when one tank bottomed out the other tank still had some water left in it. This allowed me to get off another 5-10 normal blasts while returning to the refill station, so i would not be without ammo after using the main cannon.
Their are two nozzles on the gun, and very simple.
One is a garden hose. Wide open the gun will maintain the full output of the garden hose nozzle for 33 seconds (essentially you have a mobile garden hose...), and firing in quick bursts lasts you a loooong time. I've tested other head units with other nozzles, but nothing quite matched the overall distance, soakage, and ease of use of the good ol garden hose nozzle. Although having 15mins of streaming water out of a tiny nozzle was somewhat humorous, it was impracticle.
The other is a large ball valve. Open it up, and it will dump 3 gallons of water in about a second or two. A previous version used a larger ball valve and actually dumped faster with even more kick; actually causing you to brace yourself for a moment. The current version useses a smaller one by mistake - If I ever work on it again maybe I'll put it back one day. It's still plenty fast - check out the video.
Also on the gun has a PSI gauge to let you know when the gun is fully pressurized (takes about 20 seconds, and you can still shoot while its re-charging from the hose).
To top it off, at the bottom of the gun is a hose 'quick connect'. This will connect you to a hose with the quick connect in mere seconds - or is the perfect height to connect to the REFILL STATION... see below.
REFILL STATION (background of first pic above)
I got tired of ppl ignoring the rules and attacking me at the refill area which was supposed to be a no shooting zone. This was a later project that increased the madness. I didn't want to kneel down to pick up a hose at any given time and remain vulnerable. So... thus was born the refill station. The male quick connect on top of the refill station mates perfectly and at just the right height as the female quick connect on the bottom of the water blasters head unit. Cinderblock, concrete, pipe, and a fancy 'no kink garden hose' fitting. This allows instant connection to a water source. A 1/4 turn of the handle starts charging the gun. Meanwhile you can tilt the gun up, down, and rotate 360 degrees and fire endlessly while connected to the hose. Best of all it is pressurizing in the tanks all the while, and in addition to being in 'unlimited garden hose mode' you can even use the big kahuna blast every 20 seconds or so. No vulnerability...
This was just a spontanious video from my digital camera of me shooting a tree. I didn't have optimal pressure in the gun at the time either; perhaps one day I'll return with a better video.
My friends each built elaborate water guns themselves; very dissimilar to my own. Unfortunately they are all married now so getting them to dust theirs off to post about em' isnt going to be likely haha.
Glad to see these forums now, I afraid I havn't looked around so I hope I'm not too late to the party! Amazing other nutz out there get overly into this stuff like me haha! A forum would have saved me a lot of money in revisions back in the day. Hey sorry I didn't share earlier. Hope u all enjoy!