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Spud Gun Myth for Mythbusters?

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Should I try to get an episode aired?

No. It's a bad idea.
4
19%
Go for it. It would be interesting.
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Total votes : 21
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:51 am

If the mythbusters would make an episode about spudguns, then many stupid people will try to build studcannons too. This will cause accidents because all those stupid kids who like to play with fire will not know what they are doing.
And these accidents will give spudding a bad name.
so... NO
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:49 am

BigGrib wrote:Not at all. Their message would be this is a hpbby for people experienced enough to glue pvc together but it must be done in a safe manner.


I have to disagree with you there. They are governed by the insurance companies, which WON'T let them promote anything remotely close to building spudcannons on TV. There have been a few episodes where the insurance company has called right in the middle of a build or project and put it off. It's what happens when you have the funds like that... you also have people over your shoulder constantly looking out for the good of the company, (Discovery).
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:40 am

No Sh!t, they're called overthinkers. No if you read Ragnarok's post on the last page, he states perfectly clear that they'd have a disclaimer saying don't do this at home. And damn well they should cause yeah sh!t happens, but that doesn't mean people who are responsible about it and research the whole thing first shouldn't be encouraged to make one.
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Yea, that's definitely going to get you at least a tazer.

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Unread postAuthor: Solar » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:32 pm

They start EVERY show with the "don't do this at home. EVER." disclaimer. A good example would be the mentos myth episode wherte they showed it as a safe thing to attempt, yet let the audience see how the other "home" projects were all more dangerous such as the dry ice bomb and showed the effects and commented on the possible dangers. Having them explain how NOT to make a launcher would be ideal to help prevent those morons that think a plastic jug is a good ballast chamber.
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:40 pm

Now THAT would be a good idea. Maybe some good research into the potential of gaseous combustion mixtures, like pressure-transducer readings from a 2x/3x hybrid mix on closed chamber, and then the ballistic potential of PVC shrapnel, maybe. They have plenty of ballistics gel... could a PVC launcher really kill you if it exploded? I know there are a few people out there who believe that the fragments are so light, and their acceleration so short-lived, (probably following, ROUGHLY, the inverse square relationship), that would not be that damaging to body parts, (other than the eyes or other sensitive areas, which SHOULD be protected when shooting anyway). That'd be another.

And BigGrib, I am saying that ASIDE from the normal disclaimers after every commercial break and before the show, they would throw in a few blurbs about how people shouldn't be doing this at all. The thing is, most people don't recognize this as a hobby. Most people see it as a one-time, dangerous thing to do. Therefore, the insurance company would make them throw in a few comments on the issue. While there is hope, (Tory actually went on camera the other day and actually explained step-by-step how to make a dry-ice bomb, which surprised me), I don't have much of it.

I believe, if they were to do a myth, it should be from the angle Solar described. How NOT to build a spudgun. Also, some popular myths, such as "Gasoline is dangerous!!!", or "If you add too much hairspray it'll blow up!!!", should be beaten down with a baseball bat, and explained, very meticulously, so that idiots can understand, why it won't happen.

So, basically, here's my list of myths:

1.) If you add too much fuel to a standard combustion launcher's chamber, it'll cause too much pressure and make the pipe explode. (We all know this one's busted, but like I said, the idiots need to know...)

2.) Gasoline is somehow more dangerous than other combustible fuels such as propane, butane, etc.

3.) Fuels such as acetylene, or any oxygen enriched mixtures, are dangerous with the incorrect materials. (Another lame one, but it NEEDS to be explained for people so they don't go and grab their acetylene torch to fuel their spudgun...)

4.) The explosion of a pneumatic or combustion PVC launcher will produce fragments with enough kinetic energy to severely harm or kill somebody. (Eyeballs and eardrums excluded, because they should be protected at all times.)

5.) Supersonic velocities are impossible using atmospheric air at feasible pressures, (i.e. below 300 PSIG), with standard ammunition. (Think golfballs. They're consistent and "standard" for the most part).
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Unread postAuthor: rcman50166 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:02 pm

lol. I think I may have started the "gasoline is dangerous myth. All of the cannons that I use (which I have 7 or 8 ) have had gasoline firing in there chambers. Not one of them have ever failed of me. But I guess the "General" (SpudFiles Forum Index » Combustion Cannon Showcase » Monsters of the Potato Gun World (with video and pictures!)) has caused a big contriversey with its large size. I'm fairly sure there is no fear from the fuel as its combustion sounds exactly the same as other fuels I've used. But the other "myths" you've sugested would make good bench tests for the show.
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:22 pm

Gasoline is more of a fire hazard, but not quite as powerful a fuel as propane.

And I don't even know about the "supersonic using air at feasible pressures" thing. Obviously there are PCPs that can do it. I think that with an extremely fast valve, significantly larger than the barrel ID, and a frictionless evacuated barrel, it could be done. But frictionless, evacuated barrels are a lot less feasible than just using more pressure or a better propellant gas.

I'd still prefer it if the Mythbusters stayed away from spudguns, unless they have a real expert like Rag or SB15 helping them along. If they did have a real expert, then I'm all for it.
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:29 pm

DYI, mark specified sub-300psi pressure for the unfeasability of going supersonic.
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:33 pm

And as I said, I think that it could be done below 300 psi with a frictionless evacuated bore, and a large burst disk valve. The particle speed is the same at any pressure, so you could probably go supersonic with 2 psi with the right design.
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Unread postAuthor: Solar » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:18 pm

rcman50166 wrote:lol. I think I may have started the "gasoline is dangerous myth. All of the cannons that I use (which I have 7 or 8 ) have had gasoline firing in there chambers. Not one of them have ever failed of me. .


Doesn't the gasoline effect the pvc glue adversely? long term?
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:21 pm

The gasoline vs. PVC myth has already been tested by a member on the old SGTC forums, and it is only a myth. Gasoline doesn't dissolve PVC, or adversely affect its strength in any measurable quantities. This doesn't change the fact that gasoline isn't as powerful, safe, easy to use, or clean, as propane. Why people still use it, I have no idea.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:00 am

@Markfh11q: Sounds like a good list, but perhaps #2 doesn't fit quite as well.
Most of the others are fairly commonly sprouted, and the Mythbusters might just have heard of them - I've even seen the stuff on their forums on the couple of occasions I've "wandered" around there:

"I added a whole can of hair spray and it exploded!!!"
"I added acetylene and it exploded!!!"
- Well, duh.
"My launcher exploded and nearly killed me!!!"
"I added so much fuel it went supersonic!!!"


Gasoline powered spudguns are quite rare, so I don't know that myth will be notable enough to them - but I suppose.
That list could be divided down into two myth categories - explosions, and supersonics.

But I also agree with DYI, they'll need a proper expert helping them... and we can't be sure they'll get what we would consider a real expert.
They might run across Joel, but more likely they'll get someone who has experience in the areas of science where spudguns reside, but not spudguns themselves - which wouldn't be much good, a gas explosion expert for example wouldn't make for anything exciting.

I'd wager who ever they were to dig up themselves probably won't have a clue about a lot of proper spudding technology. What we really want is a way of suggesting certain members of these forums to them as a good choice of expert.

I certainly wouldn't turn down the chance to be a "Mythspudder" and go bust some spudgun myths for a fortnight.
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Unread postAuthor: frogy » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:36 am

Ragnarok wrote:Gasoline powered spudguns are quite rare, so I don't know that myth will be notable enough to them - but I suppose.


Truly, outside of SpudFiles, I believe there are many gasoline powered guns... Most people here on SpudFiles don't build gasoline powered guns, because they know that so many other fuels are easier, cheaper, and more powerful. Now go down to West Virginia (no offense :lol: ) and see how many people are using gasoline. I know the main fuel of choice around my area is lighter fluid or gasoline from people that don't know what they're doing... and I actually think the people that use gasoline think it's more powerful than other fuels, in which I have to prove them wrong.

I've been waiting a very long time to post my decision on this thread. My thoughts about it have been going up and down like a roller coaster :o I have to actually say yes, if there is an expert SpudGunner on the show, I think it would be a good thing...

Joel Surprise would be a great expert, but I'm not sure if he knows much about hybrids if they were to test that... He probably knows plenty though... You obviously don't sell things as dangerous as hybrids.

The only thing is, that Joel KNOWS you can break the sound barrier... I believe he has broke it himself with a golfball or homemade ammo and a Supah\Mega\Ultra\Kitten valve...
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Unread postAuthor: BigGrib » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:28 am

Yeah, Joel I'm sure has definitely broken the sound barrier. I'll ask him the next time I talk to him, and I'm 100% sure that he'd appear on the Mythbusters as an expert if they actually decided to do a spudgun myth.
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Yea, that's definitely going to get you at least a tazer.

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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:55 am

frogy wrote:Joel Surprise would be a great expert, but I'm not sure if he knows much about hybrids if they were to test that...

It's not too important, but you added an R - it's just Suprise.
Joel would be a good expert, but he's wrapping up his business, and moving on to different things, I'm not so sure he'd appear as an expert as he hasn't got a business to promote any more.

And I don't want to snub Joel's many years of spudgun building, but there are a couple of things that make me suspect there might be a better choice of expert.
For example, I don't know if Joel ever used a chamber fan or ever built a hybrid (but fair enough, I haven't built a hybrid either) - and Spudtech was still selling launchers with rather inefficient C:B ratios right up until sales closed.

He'd still be an exceedingly good person to see on the show, he knows a heck of a lot, but a regular forum member will have absorbed all kinds of theory and concepts that Joel may not know of. (I know that Joel scarcely had time to look at the Spudtech forums he was so incredibly busy with his backlog of several months)
He's a great guy, but personally I'd rather see someone on the show who is both experienced, and prepared to really embrace the latest concepts in spudding. I know who I think would be the very best choice, but I'm going to keep quiet about that to avoid the wrath of other people.

And you may be right about the gasoline (or petrol as I call it), I only personally know 4 people that build spudguns (other than the obvious, there are three people I know from my old school, and I inspired all of their attempts), and most of them use hairspray or build ball valve pneumatics.
If you think it's common enough, it might be worth a suggestion.
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