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The Eclipse is a pneumatically powered, semi automatic 40mm launching platform. This entry is my final pre-production prototype. The firing cylinder and drive cylinders are external in this variation. There is no spring in place or drive rod guard at the time these photos were taken. The trigger and mechanical safety as well as the rubber grip is missing too. The production model is going to be anodized black. There will also be a keyed system instead of the front clamp/spindle connection. The drive stars will be Delrin and the bore sight area will also have a round appearance instead of the box. A few hose clean ups and a stock/foregrip and you get the idea.
The Launcher is designed to be convertible between a breech loader and a semi automatic action. It can also accept adaptation between 40mm and 54mm barrel bores.
One of the innovations is a quick change radial receiver. It consists of two star shaped drives that accept a six round belt of ammunition that wraps around a spindle and connects to itself, allowing for a rapid change of spent ammunition belts by simply breaking the belt in any number of different ways such as Velcro, snaps, hooks bands or pins. The receiver is also adaptable to accept ammo boxes that feed from various angles to the drive system. These can be in various sizes and capacities. One other way to feed the launcher is by a belt feed adapter that can accept a continuous belt. Selectively replaceable rounds is another possible configuration.
Another innovation is the bore sight that is located to allow easy viewing into the receiver for determining if a live round is chambered to launch. It is made of a product called Makrolon that is 30 times the strength of acrylic and 200 times stronger than tempered glass. The material is cut into the shape of a cylinder and trapped in the valve body in a way to allow passage of the pressurized air during launch. Small holes drilled into the rear disc allow viewing of the other 5, non chambered rounds. This increases awareness of current ammunition status.
The gun is fired by allowing air trapped in a volume chamber to pressurize a cylinder and piston that is of a greater surface area than the valve it is connected to. As the firing cylinder is pressurizing, but before the valve is shifted, another smaller piston is pressurized and extends a steel pin with a spring load along a track and in a groove on a cam in a straight line. The steel pin extends as it falls off a ledge in the groove pattern of the cam drive. When the launcher is fired and the main volume chamber that feeds the entire system is emptied, the small cylinder will retract and the steel pin will index the cam drive to the next round of ammunition. At this point the main firing valve would have retracted as well and the next volume of air would be raising the pressure in the launcher once more.
The cam drive is similar to that of Paul Mauser's 1878 Zig-Zag revolver patent, but with modified ramping to reduce friction during indexing.
The multi force valve choke reduces the amount of air reaching the ammunition and in turn reduces the velocity of the ammunition. This is useful in close combat situations when a high velocity shot is not desirable and it allows for range adjustment as well.
The barrel system can be adapted for a pneumatic or manually powered telescoping of the barrel to allow for a choked or increased pattern of shot paintball
The cam drive sytem can have various sized star shaped drives interchanged as well as variable lengths to allow for different sized ammunition. This allows the launcher to be kept at it's lightest configuration for the given task.
The launcher also fires sabots made from a biodegradable corn starch based foam material similar to biodegradable packaging peanuts, but made to fit the subsequent bore size. This negates the need to track down all of the sabots from previous shots to keep from excessive litter.
It has also tested successfully with the Scepter 40mm grenades and the Paintball Ordnance Warhead Rocket.
semi automatic action tested to 1 round per .75 seconds
Variable length volume chambers
Variable length barrels
Multi force valve choke option
Multi range indexable barrel option
50-300psi operating range tested with high pressure air. CO2 should also prove effective.
Pneumatic and mechanical safeties
350 psi safety relief valve
Positive force piston valve launching mechanism
Manufactured of Aluminum (6061 and 7075) and Stainless Steel. These materials are anodized and nickel plated respectively.
Viton or Silicone o-rings and washers
Precision sealed bearings
Makrolon bore sight
Colt 1911 Style pistol grip
.68 Caliber test
Last edited by Solar on Tue May 01, 2007 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
This i very nice...but i think it might not be able to be entered in the contest because you've already shown it....ohwell..best of luck
Umm he showd a earlier verson.
Hope ya win man. Its nice to see some decent piccies and a vid of it in action.
Raise your horns if you love metal.
In regards to an earlier version being shown, this is a different launcher and I have not until now released any of the above details of operation regarding the reloading system, indexing mechanism or bore sight.
Here is a picture of an earlier model.
I will have some more videos soon of the rockets and grenades being launched.
oh, and my entry turned out to be my 50th post...
Technically I was a few minutes past midnight Central time, but still the 30th out here in Pacific Coast time. Happy May Day!
Let me first start by saying this launcher is incredible in concept, operation, and appearance. Pushing any similarities between it, and any other potato launcher as it is so professionally made, only really using a similar propulsion gas. I am sketchy on the method of operation, so I apologize if I go off on a wild assed perception. As I think you were purposely vague on the details for your own interests. That throwing my interest as to how everything was implemented, and designed for a loop.
I like the design, as it is capable of performing the complicated task, while not to complex as to obscure its operation. Although I think this simplification of components may hamper its "professional" image. There is this perception that professional items wield numerous, and obvious intricit components.
Got to say that the launchers ability to go from 6 "fixed" cartridges, to a belt feed is awesome. As well all the other versatile components have to make for a nice launching system. One thing I am shady on, how is the variable choking system operated? Like what allows you to change the "choke" mechanism?
Really only one component that I don't particularly like. That being the handle. It is just to two-dimensional to conform to the hand. Or so it seems... I don't know if this is just a simplification for the prototype, or you don't see a necessity for any further modification.
I currently have a 8x12 metal lathe, and just purchased a mini vertical mill. In all honesty I have yet to machine a piece of metal, although I assume that is good. Machining plastic has allowed me to get in a lot of practice, while understanding, and establishing a certain familiarization with the basic features. Once I get the mill up, and running I hope to start doing some aluminum work. (I don't see myself every advancing to steel on this machinery, at least on any major scale) Your work will no doubt serve a definite inspiration, as I hope to do some work revolving around "spudding", and aluminum.
Love your work, hope the current launcher system goes well for you, and I will hopefully see some future work.
(If I recall correctly you said this was all being done on CNC equipment. Gonna go far out here, just got a real fascination with this stuff. Per chance you have photographs, or documentation of the equipment? Hopefully that is not to much, hell you had to read this whole damn thing. That is if you even made it this far...)
pimpmann22: You can get a look at the machine I cut the cam with on the following site.
I used the maxnc15 with the fourth axis. IT also was used to cut out the trigger assembly and grip. The grip accepts .45 style rubber grips, I just didn't have one handy when I took the photos.
The choke reduces the volume of air by reducing the size of an opening in the valve manifold by use of a sliding lever. This is being offered as one of the options, most likely for use in less lethal applications.
The complexity is in a few parts that allow the rest of the launcher to be of a simple nature. This was the only way I thought it possible to make one that was affordable. The entire rear of the gun could easily be shrouded in a full stock. The fore grip and rails will alter the look as well.
Here is a pic of my favorite air source for the launcher. 12 cubic feet in style.
Last edited by Solar on Tue May 01, 2007 4:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
Oh and I forgot. Jaw drops through Earth's core yikes that is a beatiful gun. Drools all over the floor.
I concur. This gun in itself is probably one of the best looking cannons here. The revolving system is complex and amazing as well as the ability to hook up a belt feed system. Ut also is really nice to actually see this cannon opposed to simply an "advertisement" of sorts. I congratulate you on your ingenuity.
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." George S. Patton
this ius a great gun! althoguh i dont think it is fair for companies with hundreds of machines to ernter this contest. if we can only gbuild regular guns or some really good guns they will never be as good as this. and many of us do not have or have access to a lathe...
4" piston valved cannon-half done..( i spilt my cement...)
Hybrid- 75% done. need to build propane holder and drill/tap sparkplug hole..
Solar you freak... I love it I love it I love it! Been waiting for so long to finally see the actual pictures of your beautiful launcher. Ok... when I first saw the pics I was like damn... then it hit me that it kinda looked like a gunblade from the popular final fantasy series. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make a mod so u could put a mock blade under the full length of the barrel :D:D
Good luck with the comp (like you need it...)
I only own one machine personally, the one I purchased to make the cam. I prototyped this over many years out of pvc and other plastics until I was ready to go to metal. I've had to find people who had the machines to do this and learn how to program g-code in the process. As far as the contest goes and all, I think I still qualify, but I really just want to share it with everyone.
Thanks for all the good comments so far!
Last edited by Solar on Tue May 01, 2007 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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