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Hey guys, Newbie here, any first-timer advice?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Hey guys, Newbie here, any first-timer advice?

Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:27 pm

Hi, I'm OneIntervention, and I'm completely new to SpudFiles and the Potato Gun universe. I've recently discovered some videos on Youtube dealing with these cool guns, and I've recently been wanting to make one for myself. I have a ready testing ground (ocean) and a Home Depot not too far away. I've been looking to follow This Youtube video to make my first potato gun.
I'll look around on the Wiki, but if any of you have some extremely informative sites up your sleeve, it would be great if you could post them.
If there's some advice or heads-up I should know, please speak up.

Thanks for your time!
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:41 am

Welcome to spudfiles :)

That video is fairly spot on, if you feel a bit more adventurous you can add such amenities as a chamber fan to mix the fuel or a meter to avoid the silly hairspray fuelling, there are plenty of examples in the combustion cannon showcase section of the forum you can consult for inspiration.

If there's some advice or heads-up I should know, please speak up.


These basic safety rules apply to any projectile launching device.

Other than that, pay attention to chamber:barrel volume ratio, the amount of fuel you're dispensing, make sure to vent your chamber between shots and use adequate ignition and you'll be fine.
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Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:32 pm

Thanks for the reply, is there any place where I can learn what all those hoses, levers and meters I see do?
And also one quick question, I see a lot of people put fans in their guns, but in a combustion gun, wouldn't the fan get fried?
Also, I think one of the PSI meters measure the pressure inside the combustion chamber, but how would that work, if the chamber is open to the atmosphere through the barrel?
Finally, how do you put the potato inside the barrel? Using a stick? Because I see some with not-clear barrels and really long barrels.
Thanks!
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Unread postAuthor: evanmcorleytv » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:59 pm

OneIntervention wrote:Thanks for the reply, is there any place where I can learn what all those hoses, levers and meters I see do?
And also one quick question, I see a lot of people put fans in their guns, but in a combustion gun, wouldn't the fan get fried?
Also, I think one of the PSI meters measure the pressure inside the combustion chamber, but how would that work, if the chamber is open to the atmosphere through the barrel?
Finally, how do you put the potato inside the barrel? Using a stick? Because I see some with not-clear barrels and really long barrels.
Thanks!


The "hoses and meters" that you see regulate the gas injection into the chamber, but those are only on advanced potato cannons, and a noob REALLY shouldn't mess around with that when they are starting out.. And no, the fans won't get fried.. That is, if you don't get a REALLY cheap one.
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Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:05 pm

All right, so I should stick to that one in the video, I guess. I'll make some slight modifications like a BBQ spark generator instead of a taser gun, maybe a syringe injecton system or another way to get the fuel in the barrel, and I'll look into fans.
Thanks, and I'll post my results in the Combustion systems discussion!
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Unread postAuthor: evanmcorleytv » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:13 pm

OneIntervention wrote:All right, so I should stick to that one in the video, I guess. I'll make some slight modifications like a BBQ spark generator instead of a taser gun, maybe a syringe injecton system or another way to get the fuel in the barrel, and I'll look into fans.
Thanks, and I'll post my results in the Combustion systems discussion!


Sounds good!! Except you'll want to post that in the "Combustion cannon showcase!!"
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Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:15 pm

Oh, my bad, thanks for the help!
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:10 am

Defiantly put a fan in there its so simple to do and makes a massive differents more then a meter in my experiences.

A good way of getting spuds in to your barrel is to make it stick into the chamber a bit about 1/2way that way you sharpen the back portion and load ammo form the back no need for a ram rod then.
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Unread postAuthor: warhead052 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:30 am

Some good advice new members don't take, is to not bump old threads. Cannon wise, you may hear from some members like I heard, "We don't spoon feed info". So use the search function before you post.
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:56 am

In my own opinion there is nothing wrong with doing some research first and building an advanced combustion with metered propane, fan and ball valve venting. If you are going through the trouble of making a cannon you might as well do it "right" :D Propane meters are not dangerous by the way. Just understand how they work first and you'll be like "oh, thats it?"
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Unread postAuthor: Lockednloaded » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:25 pm

evanmcorleytv wrote:... a noob REALLY shouldn't mess around with that when they are starting out...


That's REALLY not true. Metered propane is pretty safe actually, because if you don't know what you're doing it wont explode, it just straight up won't ignite. I think an advanced propane metered combustion would be a great first cannon with some research
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Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:48 pm

Thanks guys, but I'd like to start a bit barebones to get a taste of how these things work. Eventually I'll get to work on the most badass spudgun anyone's ever laid eyes on, using meters, propane, those ball valve things and all that, but for now I'll start a bit low.
Moonbogg, huge fan of your Viper series, thanks for posting, and I get what you mean about doing it 'right', and I'll hit the wiki :D
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:26 pm

What kind of barebones are we talking here?

I assume the standard US 4x24" combustion chamber, 2" barrel?

Syringe injection can be added easily, and is a great way to start your journey. :p Using larger chambers, you'll probably need to get a very large syringe (meat marination is a good market niche to find one), measure out the volume of butane required in water, draw into the syringe, and mark with a sharpie.

Oh, and a chamber fan is a simple addition too, which will save you much headache in the form of misfires. :roll:

Oh, and a handle made from 3/4" PVC works well with BBQ igniters.

Oh, and breech loading is a simple addition as well. :roll:

And so on, and so forth, until you have something sweet. :wink: All modifications can be done after you've built your barebones system.
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Unread postAuthor: OneIntervention » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:31 pm

I had in mind making something like in the video, with some additions like a folding chamber fan which I found too cool to pass up, and the syringe injection system seems like a nice and easy addition. The only problem with that is then butane or propane would probably be involved, and I don't know about that kind of thing before I've got my feet wet.
Breech loading seems like a fantastic idea, though I've no idea about how to do that sort of thing.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 pm

If you're building a combustion cannon, fuel needs to be involved at some point. :lol:

Why have all of the useless and messy additives found in hairspray, starter fluid, etc.? Having and using a can of butane is no more dangerous than having a can of starter fluid lying around. Just multiply your chamber volume by 3% and there you go.
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