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Newbie seeking intro to pneumatics

Post questions and info about pneumatic (compressed gas) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about valves, pipe types, compressors, alternate gas setups, and anything else relevant.
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Newbie seeking intro to pneumatics

Unread postAuthor: Deli » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:50 pm

Hello everyone. This is my first visit here :)

I'll be honest, I'm a little bored. Track just ended, school sucks, etc. I like to fill my time with inexpensive projects that I build then touch once a year. I had kinda run out of ideas though (and money, but that's a different issue). So I got the idea that I wanted to move beyond wood-working and into either electronics or projectiles (like I said, I like to build something then never touch it. I have a ballista sitting in my garage). I was browsing for something to make on the internet when I found this: Sniper Paintball Gun

So I got kinda excited and I have been browsing your forums for hours now. I'm still excited. Then I started seeing price tags associated with CO2. I've played some paintball, but it was always on a friends tab so I never really new the cost. My solution (since actually playing is not really a goal of mine) is to use good old muscle power to pump a tank myself. I have failed to find any help on this subject though.

I'm pretty handy, but I don't have too many tools (a drill and a saw, I am gonna get a hacksaw). If anyone could point me in the right direction to get started making my own Sniper, I'd be very grateful. I'd like to start simple, but powerful. Ideally, something I could mod in the future (rifling, CO2, Scope, etc) would be perfect. And I need someone to point me to a tutorial on how to make a hand-pumped Cannon.

Thanks.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:58 pm

To be honest, there are no plans on how to make a 'sniper' paintball cannon on this site. Here we believe in supplying the information and help, while you research a design and how you are going to build it.

You can ask us for any help with the design or construction, but the reason we don't have plans is because these 'snipers' are so easy to build once you know what you are doing. It's just a bunch of pressure rated PVC fittings and a valve.

A hand-pumped cannon? Why don't you just buy a shock pump? They're like $10. It's not like you need to make a high pressure pump for a PVC cannon.

What you should do is go through the showcase sections, pick out a few favourite cannons, read up on Sprinkler Valves either on the forum or from the SpudWiki (top of the page on the right). Then read up on the basics of pneumatic cannons, how to fill them up, what PVC you will need etc.

Then just make a quick design in MSPaint or similar, ask us anything if you need help with it, and we'll help you with it. After that just write a list of the parts you'll need, go to Home Depot, buy them. Make it, and you're done.
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Unread postAuthor: judgment_arms » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:59 pm

First, if you plan on using it in paintball, 300fps is as fast as you’re allowed.

Second, soon I will be selling rifled barrels, PM me if you’re interested.

As for actually building it, if you’ve really done some looking you know we don’t take kindly to greenhorns who ask questions that could be answered by clicking the search or wiki button.

If you can’t figure it out on your own, you don’t need it because your either to lazy or to dumb. ;)

edit: what MrCrowley said...
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Unread postAuthor: the cats in the bag » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:03 pm

If your making a sniper-rifle then i would use a piston valve, if youve been going trough the forum for a few hours than you should no what this is. they have much higher flow than a sprinkeler solinode valve and can handle higher pressures.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:06 pm

the cats in the bag wrote:If your making a sniper-rifle then i would use a piston valve, if youve been going trough the forum for a few hours than you should no what this is. they have much higher flow than a sprinkeler solinode valve and can handle higher pressures.

Why the hell would you need a piston valve on a paintball 'sniper' plinker?

Too complicated for someone starting out most of the time, unneccesarry, over-powerful etc. Also why would you need to go over 140psi in a PVC plinker?

No offence mate, but I don't think it's the best idea for this guy just yet.
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Unread postAuthor: biggsauce » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:11 pm

I like to fill my time with inexpensive projects that I build then touch once a year


You may find these projects hard to put down. :wink: And as soon as you get "spudders itch," projects will get a bit more involved and expensive.

Do yer reading, looking forward to seeing the cannon
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:18 pm

Here's a how-to for a paintball cannon made a few years back:
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/paintba ... t1944.html

I wouldn't use it as plans, but more of a guide. So you know what's involved and what not.
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Unread postAuthor: LikimysCrotchus5 » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:19 pm

MrCrowley wrote:
the cats in the bag wrote:If your making a sniper-rifle then i would use a piston valve, if youve been going trough the forum for a few hours than you should no what this is. they have much higher flow than a sprinkeler solinode valve and can handle higher pressures.

Why the hell would you need a piston valve on a paintball 'sniper' plinker?

Too complicated for someone starting out most of the time, unneccesarry, over-powerful etc. Also why would you need to go over 140psi in a PVC plinker?

No offence mate, but I don't think it's the best idea for this guy just yet.


that actually makes me think of building a high pressure sniper, made from copper or galvanized pipe.. hmm

Or a hybrid sniper?

Read the fine print:

(I copyright all of my ideas so i will sue if anyone copies :D )
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Unread postAuthor: Deli » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:39 pm

Here's a how-to for a paintball cannon made a few years back:
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/paintba ... t1944.html

I wouldn't use it as plans, but more of a guide. So you know what's involved and what not.


I looked at this and it didn't seem too hard. I don't exactly understand how the sprinkler works though. I know how to make one from looking at tutorials, but they all fail at showing how they work. I understand the piston though (which may lead me to making one of those instead)
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:41 pm

Luckily for you, I just wrote out an in-depth explanation for another topic yesterday:
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/sprinkl ... 14225.html

As you can now tell, a sprinkler valve is a valve, a valve regulates or completely stops a fluid from going through a passage. In a sprinkler valve this is done by the 'diaphragm'. When you fill your chamber up with air, the air leaks through an 'equalization' hole in the diaphragm and into the 'pilot volume'. This air pressure in the pilot volume then pushes the rubber diaphragm down and seals the hole to the barrel.

So now the pressure can build up in the chamber while the diaphragm is sealed against the barrel port in the valve. A sprinkler valve usually uses a 'solenoid' to empty the pilot volume, but us Spudders find that solenoids are too slow and restrict flow, meaning the valve opens slower. You also need 3x9v batteries to operate them.

So instead we use a blow gun, this does the same job except it's pneumatic and not electric like a solenoid. When you mod the valve so the blow gun is above the pilot volume area, the valve in the blow gun holds back the pressure in the pilot volume keeping the valve sealed.

Once you press the trigger on the blow gun, it opens the valve in the blow gun, letting the air pressure in the pilot volume out, this creates an unequal force on the diaphragm, which now has pressure from the chamber pushing it up, but no pressure holding it down, so the diaphragm opens very, very quickly, letting the air out into the barrel port, and firing your projectile.



Here's an overly-complicated diagram: :)
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Unread postAuthor: Deli » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:00 pm

This seems like a pre-assmebled piston to me (unless I'm getting it wrong).

Oh, now that I understand it, I'd use a shock pump instead of a compressor, but I'd use a hand pump to fill the chamber.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:04 pm

Yes, but it uses a diaphragm instead of a piston.
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Unread postAuthor: Deli » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:07 pm

Whats the difference?
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:13 pm

A piston is a moving object, it moves a certain distance to seal against the 'seat'. A diaphragm is usually a piece of rubber that is stationary. It's held into place a certain distance from the seat.

A diaphragm works by putting air behind which flexes the rubber forwards so it seals against the seat. When the pilot volume is removed, the rubber unflexes and is pushed back instead, leaving the 'seat' open so the air goes out through the barrel.

The 'seat' is what a piston/diaphragm seals against, it's the port to the barrel.
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Unread postAuthor: Deli » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:22 pm

ok, I got it. Thank you very much.

I also found this picture, which helped me very much.
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