Disposable Camera Hack?

Hi, im building a capacitor bank for my coilgun, and I have 17 disposable camera capacitors in them.
(wired in parallel (or whatever one means + is atached to +, and - is atached to -))
But for some reason wenever I start chrging it, after a little wile, it makes a huge spark across one 
of the capacitors. That probobly means its arcing right? but its only 300 volts
(there wired in parelell so only the amperage goes up, not the volts). 

I then tryed to charge the caps to a point before they arced, wich took about 1 min (the battery is full)
and my ammo only shot 3 inches! 17 capacitors, charging for 1 min, and it slid across the floor 3
inches! I have no idea what im doing wrong. Im using wire from a microwave motor 
(wich is realy small) for the coil, and its 5 layers thick, wrapped around a hollowed out pen.

So, to sum it all up, here are the main problems:
1) the caps arc when charging
2) the ammo only goes 3 @#%!ing INCHES!!!!!! arg!

Ps, i heard someware, that if you have enought amps, it will arc even with lower voltages.
Maby thats whats happening?

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NachoMahma6 years ago
1) It sounds to me (and the first picture seems to confirm it) like your wires are too close together and arcing is occurring at a fairly low voltage...
2) which means your capacitor bank will never fully charge.
.  It volts that make an arc. Got to have amps to maintain it, but volts determine how far it will jump.
Stuffses (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
 but 300 volts isnt enough to make it arc, the closest point at any two wires is about 3 mm
.  Well, if you have arcing, you have some wiring too close together, some carbon tracking, or some other "short."
.  Or possibly a bad cap. Try removing the cap that arcs from the bank.
Stuffses (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
 ok i tryed that and it works! thanks! i got rid of the bad cap. but theres still the problem of the gun only shooting 3 inches...
.  Are you sure you're getting 300V? Have you measured it with a voltmeter?
.  How far do similar designs shoot? Do you have enough capacitance (looks a little small to me, but I'm no expert)?
Stuffses (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
 Somewone from another forum said I should use a thicker wire, with less turns, because the electricity was being distcharged from the caps too quickly.
.  Certainly worth a try. But it seems to me that thicker wire with fewer turns would have less resistance and discharge the caps even faster. (Which should give you more oomph)
Stuffses (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
 ok i tryed with some thicker wire, but i think it was to thick. how thick should it be?
.  I don't know. You need to find some plans that show the proper dimensions or do some experimenting (or both).
Stuffses (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
 well theres tons of plans online, but i have no idea wich one to use...
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