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Propane Noise Cannon

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Propane Noise Cannon

Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:53 am

I saw an episode of "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel where they had employed a "Propane Cannon" to occasionally shoot to help scare off birds from landing on a very salty lake. The boom sounded fairly impressive at least based on tv sound.

Anyway, I do a significant amount of DJ and sound work and I would like to have a couple of these things to use during fireworks shows, pool parties, and just in general....basically a big serious BOOM device.

Does anyone here have any experience with these devices specifically as they looked commercially built. Otherwise, I would like to get ideas from several of you as to what type and configuration of cannon would produce the loudest, ground shaking boom.

My initial thoughts would be burst disk hybrid, big chamber 3000 - 4000 CC ish, , 2X-3X mix, short 2 or 3" dia., 1 to 2 foot barrel or so.

I know most all "large bore" guns we play with are noisy. I want one completely optmized for BOOOOOM.

Thoughts.....
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Unread postAuthor: Novacastrian » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:59 am

You will have to limit the amount of noise generated, a simple burst disc no barrel combustion is very loud.
If you want a big boom make a big strong ass chamber, a burst disc set to blow at say 450psi and some bottled gas- easy as.
You don't want to deafen people do you?
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Re: Propane Noise Cannon

Unread postAuthor: Pete Zaria » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:02 am

starman wrote:My initial thoughts would be burst disk hybrid, big chamber 3000 - 4000 CC ish, , 2X-3X mix, short 2 or 3" dia., 1 to 2 foot barrel or so.

I know most all "large bore" guns we play with are noisy. I want one completely optmized for BOOOOOM.

Thoughts.....


Hell, if you just want to make a lot of noise...

Just use a foot of 2" SCH80 PVC with an end cap on one end and a 2"-1.5" couping/reducer on the other, going to a 1.5" union. No barrel.
Run it at 2x atmospheric with propane - that's all you're going to need. Much more than this is going to waste propane and damage eardrums.
A foot of 2" should come out to about 38ci or 622cc. With no barrel and a 2x mix, it should make a 12 gauge shotgun sound quiet.

Just my two cents. Shouldn't it be more by now, given inflation?

Peace,
Pete Zaria.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:22 am

Novacastrian wrote:You will have to limit the amount of noise generated, a simple burst disc no barrel combustion is very loud.
If you want a big boom make a big strong ass chamber, a burst disc set to blow at say 450psi and some bottled gas- easy as.
You don't want to deafen people do you?


Booms comparible to professional fireworks explosions are what I'm looking for, obviously reasonably distanced from unpluged eardrums and set-off remotely.


Pete Zaria wrote:Just my two cents. Shouldn't it be more by now, given inflation?


At least 2 bits I would think..;-) Thanks for the recommendation.

It just occured to me, the "touchdown cannons" used at college football games I believe are CO2 based and are relatively small.
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Last edited by starman on Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: ammosmoke » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:55 am

Umm well you could go for 50-50 oxy-acet mix that is in 2ft of 4" sch 120 steel, reduced to 2" by a bell, encased in cement and buried in the ground... But idk what your experience is, and I'm not sure how safe that is... :lol: Oh yeah and don't forget an endcap on the 4" end, and to weld it together. And uh, maybe some plastic wrap to prevent leakage on the top end? Anyways that would make a massive boom.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:18 am

ammosmoke wrote:Umm well you could go for 50-50 oxy-acet mix that is in 2ft of 4" sch 120 steel, reduced to 2" by a bell, encased in cement and buried in the ground... But idk what your experience is, and I'm not sure how safe that is... :lol: Oh yeah and don't forget an endcap on the 4" end, and to weld it together. And uh, maybe some plastic wrap to prevent leakage on the top end? Anyways that would make a massive boom.


Yes, I'm sure that would do it...boom-wise anyway. My experience level is quite broad, so a cement encased acet bomb is well within skill. However, I was looking for something a little more portable. The ground buried thing is an interesting concept though...
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:20 am

I had proposed them as a potential source for an auto-combustion mechanism here.
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:41 am

uhh usually for loud booms people use black powder based "concussion cannons". (no projectiles, ever)
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Re: Propane Noise Cannon

Unread postAuthor: toddcella » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:33 am

Pete Zaria wrote:
starman wrote:My initial thoughts would be burst disk hybrid, big chamber 3000 - 4000 CC ish, , 2X-3X mix, short 2 or 3" dia., 1 to 2 foot barrel or so.

I know most all "large bore" guns we play with are noisy. I want one completely optmized for BOOOOOM.

Thoughts.....


Hell, if you just want to make a lot of noise...

Just use a foot of 2" SCH80 PVC with an end cap on one end and a 2"-1.5" couping/reducer on the other, going to a 1.5" union. No barrel.
Run it at 2x atmospheric with propane - that's all you're going to need. Much more than this is going to waste propane and damage eardrums.
A foot of 2" should come out to about 38ci or 622cc. With no barrel and a 2x mix, it should make a 12 gauge shotgun sound quiet.

Just my two cents. Shouldn't it be more by now, given inflation?

Peace,
Pete Zaria.


Pete, Would you be willing to make one of these for me? My brothers and I have a pirate ship that we enter into parades during the summer. We have a black powder cannon on it that makes a huge boom, but it is very expensive and dangerous. We would love to have the same boom with more safety. I would pay for all your time and costs to make it. I just need something that is Loud!

Thanks,
Todd Cella
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Unread postAuthor: SpudFarm » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:16 pm

you know toddcella pvc hybrid vessels is a bad ideà from the start point!
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Unread postAuthor: jimmy101 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:32 pm

Another possible design would be a "BigBang" like cannon using calcium carbide and water. No projectile, no burst disk, fuel ratio completely non-critical.
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Unread postAuthor: starman » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:10 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:I had proposed them as a potential source for an auto-combustion mechanism here.


Yep this looks like the type on the show although those were all white and looked metal and somewhat bigger. Actually the price for the Zon cannons didn't seem too bad when considering constructing a full-on consumer worthy hybrid with auto-timing, fuel measurement and firing will run into some $$ as well.

spudfarm wrote:you know toddcella pvc hybrid vessels is a bad ideà from the start point!


As long as you keep the mixtures at 2x, all sched 80 2" pipe and parts and don't let the heat build up in them (no rapid fire) you should be fine.

jimmy101 wrote:Another possible design would be a "BigBang" like cannon using calcium carbide and water. No projectile, no burst disk, fuel ratio completely non-critical.


Yes yes that's the touchdown cannon I was thinking of...those have been around long time. Nice brass ones are a little pricey, basic ones only $160.
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Last edited by starman on Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudFarm » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:14 pm

notice the "should" be fine.
it isn't much more expensive to use steel.
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Unread postAuthor: Davidvaini » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:31 pm

you could purposely make a modified sprinkler valve wrong... talk about a really loud foghorn noise... haha
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:02 am

Ummm... You do NOT want to recreate the commercial bird cannons (or whatever they're called). I didn't see the episode of "Dirty Jobs" that you speak of, but a quick google confirms what I suspect.... Yup, the place they're talking about in that episode is about 5 miles from my office.

I can hear those cannons every day.

From 5 miles away.

I don't think you want to be anywhere near one of those when it goes. Loud just becomes painful (and damaging) after a certain point, ya know?
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