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Handheld Bottle Rocket Launcher

Built a pneumatic 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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Handheld Bottle Rocket Launcher

Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:21 pm

I don't know if this counts as a "pneumatic cannon" but it's pretty darn close. I haven't seen any other bottle rocket launchers on spudfiles (although maybe there are some), so I figured I should post it.

I got the idea from http://www.sciencetoymaker.org. In fact its nearly an exact copy minus the length and male and female adapter.

Basically, the bottle is pressed against a rim (made by heating the pvc) and creates a seal. It is held there by having zip-ties lock around the neck of the bottle and a piece of 1.5" sch. 40 pvc is lid up preventing the zipties from pushing out. the zip-ties are held onto the 1/2" "barrel" with hose clamps. More detail and constructing instructions and videos can be found on the website. I have nothing to do with the website. I just thought it would be pretty fun to build and shoot.

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The entire gun
11221.jpg
the locking system
Last edited by jrrdw on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed video.

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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:13 am

Nice work and pretty sweet website, I used to love those sort of things as a child and parents should encourage their offspring to partake in such projects.

Have a look at a slightly more sophisticated version by labtec using a commercially purchased quick connect:

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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:34 am

Have a look at a slightly more sophisticated version by labtec using a commercially purchased quick connect:


Heh thanks, just wanted to link to that one :D


How high can you take the pressure before the zip-ties fail?
The design is pretty appealing to me, because there's no need to mod bottle caps to fit the quick-connect fitting.

Seems like a fun project for the summer hehe
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:33 am

Labtecpower wrote:Heh thanks, just wanted to link to that one :D


The brain chip I implanted in that piston I made for you is working well :D
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:14 am

Ah, that must be the cause.
It's still standing on a shelf above my bed, the honed steel pipe I wanted to use for the QDV was nicked at school.. I may use it for a future piston hybrid tough :D
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Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:03 am

I've pressurized it up to 150 psi and the only trouble I've ever had was that I needed another hose lamp because one wasn't enough. There's really too many zip ties for anything to go wrong.
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Unread postAuthor: Brian the brain » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Nice idea...a homemade zip-tie quick connect...hmm..

I immediately started fantasising about a 12gram CO2 bulb version... :D
With something to punch a hole bigger than the standard nail..

anyway...back in '87...when I made my handheld bottle-zooka..
I used a steel clamp made from a coathanger...
This is much better.

I could see some simple improvements like having the inner barrel touch the bottom of the bottle.
Another would be to use a pipesize that fits the inner bottleneck as close as possible.( if that isn't the case already)

Also...during my experiments I found that a smaller "jet" gives significantly longer flight time.

Perhaps a bottlecap with a smaller hole could be used with some adaptation to the QD...?

I know I'll have work to do this summer.. :D
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Last edited by Brian the brain on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oh my friggin god stop being so awesome, that thing is pure kick ass. Most innovative and creative pneumatic that the files have ever come by!

Can't ask for a better compliment!!
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:58 pm

I used the quick-disconnect garden coupling as a nozzle for the water rockets, indeed gave a longer flight time :D
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Unread postAuthor: Brian the brain » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:02 pm

I used a ( heavy) steel QD for pneumatic use.
Worked fine dispite the added weight...
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Gun Freak wrote:
Oh my friggin god stop being so awesome, that thing is pure kick ass. Most innovative and creative pneumatic that the files have ever come by!

Can't ask for a better compliment!!
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Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:21 pm

You can't use a bottle cap with this design because then you couldnt put it onto the PVC. And the 1/2" sch. 40 is probably the closest there is. If you put some soap, or even sunblock on it, there's practically no friction while shooting.

And the barrel should be longer. This gun was designed for smaller bottles. I had one for a 2 liter bottle (and boy did it have a recoil) but that one has since been thrown out due to a tragic accident involving a pickup truck in motion, hard tires, and a lot of Broken PVC
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Re: Handheld Bottle Rocket Launcher

Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:56 pm

acs2997 wrote:I don't know if this counts as a "pneumatic cannon" but it's pretty darn close.


Make it combustion. :D
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Unread postAuthor: acs2997 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:15 pm

I was actually just drawing out a way to make it a hybrid :D
I was thinking I could add propane, pressurize it, then have an electric connection that set off a stun gun with wires going inside the barrel and out towards the muzzle at the same time I pulled back the release. Maybe a little risky, but if I could get it to work, I could get coke bottles into orbit
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