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Spudfiles Kinetic Energy Contest

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Spudfiles Kinetic Energy Contest

Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:50 pm

Over the past couple of years, the focus of this community has shifted away from innovative design and the pursuit of high energy launchers, and more towards the construction of the same recycled cannon configurations. I'm not trying to single anyone out here, but I think it's less than impressive progression for the community, and fails to even scratch the surface of the collective creative insight we have on this forum.

So, I'm proposing a theme for the next Spudfiles contest: Muzzle energy to launcher size ratio.

Essentially, members would attempt to pack as much muzzle energy as they can into as small of a launcher platform as possible. A shining example of this type of cannon design is Larda's hybrid: A ~5ft long, 1" bore cannon that achieves >10,000ft-lbs of muzzle energy.

Now I realize that most members don't have access to such elaborate resources as Larda does, but this is where the truly innovative thinking comes into play. It might initially seem ridiculous to attempt to win such a contest using standard, off the shelf components, but hey, the first hybrids were made from PVC. I'm not implying that you'd need to build a 200x hybrid from Sch40 steel pipe, but in order to push the limits of design, you must step out of the circle of what's generally accepted and ordinary.

Now, there would need to be some criteria in place to prevent people from taking the easy way out and simply connecting a HPA tank to a standard metal barrel sealing pneumatic and running it at 3KPSI.

1. Launchers must be capable of supersonic (There would need to be a lower limit, probably around Mach 1.5) velocities with a projectile of reasonable mass.

2. Launchers cannot use solid propellants. Aside from other obvious safety and legality reasons, it's against the forum rules.

3. Electrothermal propulsion (Energy is supplied from an external capacitor bank) is acceptable, despite not currently fitting within any of the launcher categories frequently discussed on the forum.

The contest would have a run time of at least a few months to allow people to design, obtain supplies, test, and finally optimize their launchers. I believe it would be highly beneficial to the community to have such a significant motivating factor directed towards ingenuity, creative design, and the never ending pursuit of more energetic launchers.

Thoughts?
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Not my cup of tea

Unread postAuthor: Davidvaini » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:21 pm

Personally in my opinion, there is no way im gonna do any contests, not that this is a bad idea.. but for the longest time I asked for an innovation contest, and when they finally did one.. the winners were not that innovative in my opinion and not only that, but most of the winers of these contests are always the guys with CNC or other advanced tooling that dont need the prize money anyway since they can afford all the stuff in the first place...

Now thats my opinion. Someone might look at the cobra striker and be like.. yeah I can make that with a Drill press, saw, Dremel, hammer without any problem, I however am not one of those people. My opinion was expressed before the contest started saying, "I hope it doesn't become one of those contests where the person with the nice machining equipment wins like every other contest"

Now I realize that not all contests end up that way, but I am a member on multiple forums for multiple different things that involve engineering/building skills of some kind, and I keep seeing this being the case.


If this was based on power to weight ratio only, then it would be obvious that a more expensive, awesome hybrid would win.

Im not saying you cant be innovative and make a powerful cheap cannon, but its not going to win against "200x hybrid launchers out of steel". And joining a contest knowing you are going to lose right out the gate, that doesn't promote much competition, which in turn is the point? If its not the point, to push ourselves to be innovative, push the envelope... its kinda hard to push ourselves without motivation to win...

Again, im just speaking on my own feelings. I believe I have built plenty of innovative designs over the years and im not trying to squash this. I am simply giving my 2 cents about how I am not going to enter and why im not going to enter.

In other news: I will be working on a couple of innovative ideas I have been working around in my head. Cant wait to post them!
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Re: Not my cup of tea

Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:55 pm

Davidvaini wrote:If this was based on power to weight ratio only, then it would be obvious that a more expensive, awesome hybrid would win.


What exactly is the problem with this? The purpose of this contest is to inspire people to pursue such designs, as there are very few "Awesome hybrids" in comparison to the basic, low energy designs that dominate the forums. Doesn't have to be expensive; look at what DYI was able to achieve with simple hardware store parts in early '08.

Im not saying you cant be innovative and make a powerful cheap cannon, but its not going to win against "200x hybrid launchers out of steel".


Barring the return of Larda, I have my doubts that there would be any 200x capable cannons in the contest. In terms of resources, the playing field would be much more level, and design effectiveness would be more dependent upon the ingenuity of the builder.

And joining a contest knowing you are going to lose right out the gate, that doesn't promote much competition, which in turn is the point? If its not the point, to push ourselves to be innovative, push the envelope... its kinda hard to push ourselves without motivation to win...


If one were to constrict themselves to such a mentality, then they probably shouldn't enter. There are plenty of individuals on this forum who would have a strong chance of placing highly should their motivation be directed towards this type of useful spudding innovation.

Again, im just speaking on my own feelings. I believe I have built plenty of innovative designs over the years and im not trying to squash this.


This contest would be more about directing innovation towards a concept that has been almost completely abandoned as of recent times. Restarting the kinetic energy movement, per say.
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Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:08 pm

I think this is an excellent idea. My main goal is to create high muzzle energy guns. In fact, coincidentally, I just came up with an idea that would fit the exact criteria of this contest.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:30 pm

Maybe make a materials list that can be used to built the cannon.

Like: 1) Barrel can be 1" bore no longer then 5'.
2) Chamber can be 3" diameter 12" long.

Just a starting example.

Limits like this would keep the playing field even and the winner would be the one who could be the most innovative with whats given to work with.

Is this contest for hybirds only? Sorta seems to be headed that way all ready...
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:58 pm

jrrdw wrote:Limits like this would keep the playing field even and the winner would be the one who could be the most innovative with whats given to work with.


Not a bad idea. This would make it fair to the people who don't have the space to build and test very large cannons.

Is this contest for hybirds only? Sorta seems to be headed that way all ready...


Not necessarily. Entries would only need to be capable of reaching the supersonic velocity requirement. High pressure light gases and high temperature air should have no problem with this, and electrothermal launchers will easily qualify. Obviously you could use an atmospheric combustion gun as well, but there's no hope of winning this type of contest with so little energy density.

Perhaps an additional judging criteria should be added, one that is based on the builder's use of off the shelf components in the design, as opposed to machined or specialty components.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:09 pm

SB15 wrote:Perhaps an additional judging criteria should be added, one that is based on the builder's use of off the shelf components in the design, as opposed to machined or specialty components.


Off the shelf un-modified as a entry class.

Off the shelf modified as a entry class.

That could be a limiting list, and give leway to innovation.

Pics for proof of modification of off the shelf parts?

Again, just coming off the top of my head here...
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:13 pm

jrrdw wrote:Maybe make a materials list that can be used to built the cannon.

Like: 1) Barrel can be 1" bore no longer then 5'.
2) Chamber can be 3" diameter 12" long.

Just a starting example.

Limits like this would keep the playing field even and the winner would be the one who could be the most innovative with whats given to work with.



the only issue with that is that every entry will use the max specs ex, EVERYONE's launcher would use a 3"x12" chamber with a 1"x5' barrel, 1-1.5" union, MAPP, and as high a mix as possible.

Perhaps modify it a bit and say " most KE given 2 minutes of loading and firing" In that case, I believe something like the GB semi would beat out larda's hybrid, simply because larda's hybrid requires a substantial time to load. VERA would be out of the question. That would coincide with the forum's recent interest in rapid fire guns, but would put people with SCUBA tanks an advantage over those with bike pumps, and screw people using ETG's and the like.

[url]Is this contest for hybirds only? Sorta seems to be headed that way all ready...[/url]

Well if it has to exceed mach 1.5...

Tell you what, if you build an atmospheric combustion or air powered pneumatic that breaks mach 1.5, you automatically win.
:D


EDIT:

air powered pneumatic that breaks mach 1.5, you automatically win.


I forgot about that method. :oops:

perhaps we should try for >2 km/s
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Last edited by ramses on Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:23 pm

My idea is not a hybrid at all, and if it works, could fit in a very small package. I am not sure if it could exceed SOS, but it could certainly achieve KE of at least 1000ft/lbs.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:26 pm

I've already won an innovation contest. :D

To level the playing field, the limits were, no combustion, max pressure of 100PSI if air or nitrogen is used, and the projectile was a standard large t shirt.

https://inteltrailblazerschallenge.wikispaces.com/Blazer+Game
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:13 pm

the only issue with that is that every entry will use the max specs ex, EVERYONE's launcher would use a 3"x12" chamber with a 1"x5' barrel, 1-1.5" union, MAPP, and as high a mix as possible.


There's an easy fix to this problem, and it's essentially what SB15 already proposed: effective energy density.

Divide achieved muzzle energy by the launcher's total internal volume (barrel + chamber), highest number of joules/cm<sup>3</sup> wins. It includes everyone, regardless of available testing area. My idea for the two necessary classes in such a contest are:

1. Off the shelf parts with no more modifications than are achievable by common tools (drill press, all hand tools, grinder, MIG/stick welder, etc...)

2. Parts requiring use of a mill, lathe, or other very expensive, uncommon equipment, whether using heavily modified fittings or machined from bar stock.

Everyone modifies their parts to some extent.

And remember, ramses, before you make the gun full-auto, the technology needs to be available to launch things. I get the feeling that much of the problem here has been caused by builders ignoring our stagnating launch technology in the pursuit of high rates of fire and ergonomics. With the number of valves and user comfort features we've developed, high pressure light gas pneumatics and 100X+ hybrids should be mundane. The fact that they're both entirely absent indicates that something has been approached backwards in the past years.

I like your idea, Spudblaster. If it turns into an actual contest, I'll provide some incentives.
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Unread postAuthor: PCGUY » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:39 pm

Keep going.... :D

Even though I don't fully understand how this would be measured in the first place accurately and honestly by each contestant. If someone could explain, I would be grateful.

Most people do not realize the enormous amounts of details and rules and planning it takes to get a full contest in swing. When valuable prizes are involved, everything has to be exact and guidelines have to be air tight and it CAN be hard to make things "fair" to get a large amount of the forum to participate. The past contests have not always been the best, as it can be hard to come up with ideas for the contest. This sounds interesting however...
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Unread postAuthor: urgle the danish cow » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:43 pm

idk i just try to make it work first :roll:
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Personally? I think it's a BAD idea.

You've got two options....

1) Unlimited tech. This results in the familiar, "He with access to a CNC mill wins" that's already mentioned.

2) Pushing limited tech beyond the normal boundaries.

Number 2 means safety margins go away. Number 2 means there's a very good chance that somebody gets hurt. Not good.

To add insult to injury.... If that someone is a kid with a less than enlightened mother, the sponsors of said contest could find themselves with a very ugly lawsuit on their hand as they set up a contest in such a manner that people would be encouraged to push designs to the very edge.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:49 pm

I would tend to be in agreement with Mr. Hall here, the premise of such a contest immediately eliminates most spudfiles members by its very nature.

Over the past couple of years, the focus of this community has shifted away from innovative design and the pursuit of high energy launchers, and more towards the construction of the same recycled cannon configurations. I'm not trying to single anyone out here, but I think it's less than impressive progression for the community, and fails to even scratch the surface of the collective creative insight we have on this forum.


This is also a good point, however I don't think a contest based on the criteria mentioned is the best way to promote innovation.
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