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Brand New, Need some assistance - Tennis Ball Cannon

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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Brand New, Need some assistance - Tennis Ball Cannon

Unread postAuthor: asims33 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:10 pm

Hey all,

I have been reading about making one of these for a while and took a trip to Lowes tonight only to find they dont sell half the stuff i needed. I got home and said "there has to be an online forum for this type of thing" and here i am!

I searched your site so please dont get angry at me :p

I am trying to build a basic tennis ball cannon for my dog. We live on the lake and hit tennis balls into the water for him, of course he loves chasing them so this winter we decided a launcher would be great to have.

I found what seems to be the typical launcher here:

Its a 2.5 inch barrel with what looks like a 1 inch sprinkler valve?

My objective here is to be able to launch about 200 feet.

After seeing these forums i am seeing some awesome designs and ideas so i thought i would ask before i start building mine.

Do you guys recommend the build i linked? Or is there a better solution for what i need this for? Perhaps a metal air chamber with a standard PVC barrel? I have also heard pistons are better than sprinkler valves...

If you have any links to a better build DIY or instructions i would be very greatful!
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Last edited by jrrdw on Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed video.

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Re: Brand New, Need some assistance - Tennis Ball Cannon

Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:11 am

That's a good 1st build and will due nicely for playing fetch. Yes that is a 1" Rainbird Sprinkler Valve. Metal chamber is overkill in this case just keep your pressures 125PSI-ish and under, you should be fine.

Make sure you take your time planing your build, prep means everything. The youngen in the video forgot to use cement on the 1st 1" piece of PVC pipe going into the chamber, it looked like he missed it, maybe not just don't miss that kind of thing doing your build.
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Re: Brand New, Need some assistance - Tennis Ball Cannon

Unread postAuthor: Boomer58cal » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:29 am

Welcome to Spudfiles.

Sourcing parts can be a pain in the back side depending upon where you live. Normal hardware stores generally don't carry anything over 2 inch. On occasion they will have 3 inch, but I've yet to see one carried the 2.5 inch pipe needed for tennis balls. Search your local area for an actual plumbing supply house. Generally speaking if they don't have what you need they can get it.

Look for the thin walled 160 psi or 200 psi pipe for the barrel. It will fit tennis balls better than sch 40.

Just for your information walmart sells both 2" and 3" tennis balls if you cannot find a barrel for standard tennis balls.

Good luck.
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