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**The Plasma Gun prototype** (NOW WITH VID)

Built a miniature cannon? Then post it here! This section is for completed, finished cannons that you have built. Please include pictures and information.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:09 pm

Hotwired wrote:Electrothermal gun or plasma gun... or are they the same thing?

Well, they both use plasma, but in different ways. Electrothermal guns heat (and pressurize) air with plasma, and do quite an efficient job of it.
The most complex plasma gun concept I have running around uses the plasma as a magnetic sabot for a reluctance gauss gun to let it fire non-ferromagnetic projectiles.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:14 pm

I think you said sabot in the video, and I just have to tell you, it's pronounced suh-boh.

That is definitely cool to watch. So I guess you could somehow mod the lights to make them stronger. Or heck, pull the filament out and put it in something else. I'd like to see this done with, say, a 60-watt bulb and a lot more capacitors.

Edit: So if you could get a few long filaments and put them in a metal chamber with a burst disk valve, then use a really big cap bank to blow them, I wonder what kind of velocity you could get...
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:28 pm

Indeed.

The most complex cannon design I have running around uses an automatic nose-to-tail projectile feed and multiple kpsi of stored pressure.

But I don't like to dream too loudly :wink:


As far as the bulb launcher goes, I'd put forward the electrothermal gun tag because the spark (the plasma) isn't the propellant itself anymore than heat to water for steam is the propellant for a steam cannon.

The heated gas from a bit of the wires vapourising and any trapped air behind the bulb is the propellant.

Counter-theory?
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:29 pm

Hotwired wrote:Counter-theory?


It goes boom!
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:57 pm

Hotwired wrote:As far as the bulb launcher goes, I'd put forward the electrothermal gun tag because the spark (the plasma) isn't the propellant itself anymore than heat to water for steam is the propellant for a steam cannon.

The heated gas from a bit of the wires vapourising and any trapped air behind the bulb is the propellant.

I'd agree, but I think we let him call it a plasma gun if he wants - it uses plasma in a way. It's closer than anything else on this forum so far.
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:34 pm

A plasma gun design could reach amazing velocities, probably better than a LGG. It's designing the switching and buying the capacitors that gets more difficult as you increase the power. I doubt if a plasma gun on a scale even remotely close to that of a normal spudgun will ever be possible without funds far greater than those available to the average hobbyist.

The main interesting part about plasma guns is the novelty, and the extremely high velocity potential.
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:39 pm

:thumbup:

I don't think I'll ever get off my butt to make an electrothermal gun personally, too much effort needs to go in and not enough energy comes out.

A cookie to those that have the desire to take a less trodden path to projectile flight :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: FeLeX » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:47 am

No one thinks that my idea is good?
Zap a piece of copper wire to melt it and a split second later you activate the coil to send it through the air. You get a plasma (molten copper) gun.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:51 am

FeLeX wrote:No one thinks that my idea is good?
Zap a piece of copper wire to melt it and a split second later you activate the coil to send it through the air. You get a plasma (molten copper) gun.


I hate to be a spoil-sport, but copper isn't affected by magnets, even if it was, molten metals aren't affected by magnets, and molten metal isn't plasma.
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Unread postAuthor: FeLeX » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:55 am

Well what is plasma then :( sorry being dumb then I thought I had a good idea
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:00 am

FeLeX wrote:Well what is plasma then :( sorry being dumb then I thought I had a good idea


There's solid, liquid (which includes molten metal), gas, then plasma. Plasma is an ionized gas. Basically, a gas that's been super-energized to the point that electrons are stripped from their respective atoms. This ionized gas is electrically condictive, and often very, very hot. The sun is actually plasma that is heated by a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction. There is cold plasma, but this refers to a plasma in which only about 1% of the gas is actually ionized.
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Unread postAuthor: FeLeX » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:53 am

is it supposed to shoot a projectile or the ionized gas? if it shoots a projectile then I get how it works but if it shoots the gas...
Edit: Over here it says that it is sent through the air be electromagnetic acceleration. So was I right in a way or what. I dont get it.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:58 am

This one is using the plasma to prople a object.
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Unread postAuthor: FeLeX » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:01 am

I was thinking more like actual plasma. =/ Sorry for my dumbness
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:01 am

That is a very good explanation of the definition plasma, paaiyan.

I doubt that this "plasma gun" really creates plasma.
And if it would, it would be just a lil cold plasma where a spark is jumping, wich is basically happening in every electrically ignited combustion spudgun.

Besides that, the excistence of plasma in this "gun" does not have anything to do with the working of this gun. It doesnt matter if the heated gas becomes a plasma. In fact, every joule of energy "wasted" into the gas becoming plasma (thus ionizing) does not contribute to the creation of heat and thus pressure.

I would call this class of guns "Electrothermal guns" since that is the source of the pressure.
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