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Tennis ball ammo

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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Tennis ball ammo

Unread postAuthor: duane » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:53 pm

I've been thinking about the tennis balls that I'll be using as ammo for my up-coming tennis ball mortar.

Admittedly, I know almost nothing about tennis, but seem to remember that new tennis balls come in a slightly pressurized can, and the balls from a freshly opened can have a slight pressure in them, to make them bouncier.

I'm wondering if this means anything when used in a tennis ball mortar. No, I don't care about the bounciness. 8)

I'm thinking about the difference between a fresh tennis ball, and an old tennis ball, when it comes to the barrel seal. The ball would seem to flatten out a bit as the sudden burst of air hits it from the valve/chamber.

Just wondering if a new ball or a old ball would act any differently.

BTW, I'm not going to be using new tennis balls.
:lol:

Now for the real question...

What if you poked a small hole in the ball, and used that to insert a short streamer of something like orange surveyor's tape? Seems like that would make it much easier to follow it's flight path, and be more visually satisfying for those watching.

Thanks,

Duane

Edit: Moderators, I just realized that I put this in the wrong place, but don't know how to move it. Sorry.
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:18 pm

I would think new ones perform better because they're a tighter fit, so it takes more pressure to fire it out, yet the fuzz/hair allows for less friction once it's moving. I could be wrong.

I don't think adding a streamer in an effort to stabilize its flight will make much of a difference except to add drag. Tennis balls already have such a low terminal velocity. Again, just my two cents.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:47 am

Blitz wrote:I don't think adding a streamer in an effort to stabilize its flight will make much of a difference except to add drag. Tennis balls already have such a low terminal velocity. Again, just my two cents.


Agreed.

Also, at low pressures they don't deform much, this was with a very old ball:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en8NnW7TIus[/youtube]
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Unread postAuthor: dart guy » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:55 pm

Shot yourself in the foot right there! You knew the rule, stated your understanding of the rule and broke the rule all in the same sentence!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssx-hFuO2kk[/youtube]

Edited by jrrdw.
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Unread postAuthor: duane » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:04 pm

Hmmm... I guess a few holes placed correctly, and then filled with baby powder would make it into a powder spewing device.

Something to keep in the back of my mind.

Thanks,

Duane
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:35 pm

Not sure what that'd accomplish, though I suppose it can be augmented into a different way of cropdusting. :)
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Unread postAuthor: duane » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:24 pm

Yeah, I think I'll stick with the streamer idea. 8)

Duane
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:10 pm

What are you trying to accomplish by adding a streamer?
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Unread postAuthor: duane » Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Blitz,

Seems like that would make it much easier to follow it's flight path, and be more visually satisfying for those watching.

Thanks,

Duane
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:30 pm

Ah okay. If you go that route, go minimalistic with the size of that streamer; the more you add, the more it'll hurt aerodynamics.
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Unread postAuthor: BigDeutcher » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:07 pm

Shipping is a killer now, 100 balls to almost anywhere from ebay is ($30-55 shipping cost only), that is a lot of balls bought locally. It is almost to the pint where one will have to buy land close to a spud or corn field and pray for a racoon or deer infestation :lol:
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Unread postAuthor: duane » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:00 pm

We made about 30 shots Saturday, without streamers. (I thought that I had a roll of the Orange surveyors tape in the truck, but didn't)

Didn't matter. The bright colored balls were plenty visible without it. :)

We kept shooting the same 5 balls, with kids collecting them and throwing them back. No balls were lost. At this rate, 50 balls should last a long time.

Thanks,

Duane
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