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my super simple tennis ball cannon will it work?

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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my super simple tennis ball cannon will it work?

Unread postAuthor: newkidspudster » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:04 pm

ok, this is it from butt to nose,a 2and 1/2 inch endcap then a 1 foot piece than has a tire valve in it and a ball vaulve hooked onto it,then just a piece of 2and 1/2 inch 3foot long pvc. thats it will it work? ive never made a pneumatic before and need to know if it will work thnk ya.


:newb: :newb: :newb: :newb: :puke:
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Unread postAuthor: schmanman » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:12 pm

do you really need to use so many smilies?

should work.

ball valve wont yield the best preformance, though.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:14 pm

Please stop using a whole bunch of useless smileys at the end of your posts, it is very annoying.

Your design will work, but ball valves suck, and there is no reason to use hard to find 2 1/2" pipe and fittings for the chamber. Make sure all of the parts are pressure rated.
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Unread postAuthor: Velocity » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:17 pm

Its kind of difficult to understand what you are saying... but I believe you are building a simple ball valve gun, with a 2.5"x12" chamber, a 2.5" ball valve, and a 2.5"x36" barrel, correct?

Yes, this setup will work, but it is certainly not ideal

1) A 2.5" ball valve is pretty hard to find
2) A 2.5" ball valve is VERY difficult to turn quickly enough to get any power... I am not sure if you would even be able to achieve 100 feet
3) Finding 2.5" pipe and fittings is difficult; if you order from mcmaster, this changes everything.
4) If you do decide to order from mcmaster.com, you will be forced to buy a 5-foot, rather than a 4-foot, length of 2.5" pipe. I would give 2 feet to the chamber and 3 feet to the barrel, for this will yield slightly more power

If you want to make it even simpler, build a combustion. Here is what it will look like, from the back to the front (as you described yours)

2.5" threaded screw cap
2.5" female adapter
2.5"x60" PVC pipe

Thats all the pipe fittings that you will need. At about 24" from the bottom, put a bolt all the way through the pipe, to prevent the ball from rolling down the entire barrel.

Add an ignition system; I am sure you can search and find one if you need to.

This is just my suggestion
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:18 pm

Ofcourse it will work but you're looking at small distances and power. I would recomend:

3" pvc 18" long
Modded Sprinkler Valve
2.5" barrel 3' long


Don't ask what a spinkler valve is just use the search button at the top of the page. It has also been stickied.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:37 pm

I agree with MrCrowley, if this is your 1st pneumatic, the build he described will suit your inquiry alot better. rmich732 also made a great point, the ball valve is hard to find, and hard to work, yielding unsatisfactory performance. Let us convince you to go with the modded sprinkler valve, you will have a blast!!!
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Unread postAuthor: alextheametuer » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:55 pm

it should work i made one just like it i was shooting mine about two hundred feet but i suggest you get a quicker opening valve like sprinkler valves
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Unread postAuthor: garrettee » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:07 pm

Thanks for saving the smileys and good luck.
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Unread postAuthor: dippydodo03 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:05 pm

i agree with MrCrowley. other wise good disign.
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Unread postAuthor: jjk92 » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:29 pm

my friend built a similiar cannon and it shot less than 50 ft with the ball valve but if you do choose to use a ball valve use metal not plastic because the metal (brass) ball valves open much quicker than plastic
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:42 pm

Metal ball valve>plastic.
They are easily reusable and cooler.
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Unread postAuthor: jjk92 » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:00 am

plasitic are reuseable just put a male or female adapter at the end
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:27 pm

They still suck
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Unread postAuthor: jjk92 » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:11 pm

im not saying that they dont i was just trying to clear it up for anybody sitting there going ? there not reusable
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