Introduction: Make a Poweful (green) Railgun!
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for anything that happens.
The goal of this guide is to show you how to make a railgun. Railgun's offer a green method of projectile acceleration, with minimal byproducts and waste. Railguns use electricity to propel a projectile. because of this, they create no waste.
In addition, the materials used do not pose a ecohazard, while the materials makes it very long life.
Depending on your resources, this project can be free, or up to 1000$.
Do not attempt this unless you have expiereance with high voltage and projectile's, this can be FATAL. You should know how to make one already. Vital information that is easy has been left out, I do not want everone to make oe and kill themselves.This is a guide on the order to do it, or if your skills lie soewhere else, and you do not know about one area. Emai me if you have any questions
Check out my rogowski coil, it was used in this: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make_a_Rogowski_coil/
Step 1: Obtain Parts
Here is a parts list:
1)capacitor bank. I used 18 400v 3900uf capacitor's in parallel. This comes out to 5600 joules. Make sure you stay above 300v, and below 600v.
These are harmless to the enviornment. They are aluminum based.
2)busbars. I used aluminum.
3)3 120uf 300v capacitors.
4) 60A 600v diodes
5)cable's. I used 00 AWG
6)rails. Copper bars here
7) 2"x.5"x12" aluminum.
8)projectiles. Make it close tolerance.
9) A railgun enclosure. I suggest designing your own. It should have a .5" bore, with strong materials.
Mines GREEN! both ways!
Email me if you want a design (firstname.lastname@example.org)
10) misc. support equipment.
11)PVC for injector. Use your own design. Look up "spudgun" for ideas.
Step 2: Assemble the Enclosure
Using your design, put the rails in. put the projectile in, and attach the injector.
For the injector decide on a good chamber volume. My injection stage was 1 foot long, so i decided to use 4 feet of .5" PVC. My valve consists of a membrane, which is punctured by a nail when i push it in. If you want to go simple, use a ball valve. The enclosure should use many bolts, as to distribute the force. Make sure you material is strong, mine is made of garolite G-11. A cost effecive material is GP03 fiberglass, check out mcmaster-carr.
Your rails should only be after the injection stage. At the front, put "fake rails". This is where the projectile is accelarated by the injector. This should be non conducting, I used teflon. Before construting the bank, fire the injector, to make sure the projecile can slide through.
The projectile CAN NOT be too lose, do as close tolerance as you can.
Keep in mind the projectile has to be diamagnetic, and conductive. The best that meets the criteria is aluminum, copper, and carbon, NOT GRAPHITE!
Test how well the chamber can hold its pressure, test the vavle a couple of times. Do not get carried away with the injctor, you want the main power to come from the railgun. I only use 60 PSI. If you do not wan to pump, add a co2 system, such as a paintball tnk. Make sure you have a regulator, or a chamber capable of the full pressure.
Step 3: Make the Bank
Now its time to assemble the bank. Depending on the power you plan to use, you need the be carefull about the layout. All positive and negative connections will repel. sometime enough to force them apart. Arange your capacitor's to the desired configuration. Make sure all the terminals are parallel. Lay your bus bar, cut to length, next to one row of terminals. Mark there location on the bus bar, and measure in to te center. Take a nail, and hammer a inprint onto each of these points. Take all you cut to length bus bars, and stack them up. Put some layers of tape around it to hold, with the marked one on top. Drill through the bars STRAIGHT! Untape all of them, and sand the bus bars, as well as the capacitor terminals. This is important, as i discovered, the oxide laer that forms is enough to cause a bad connection, and exploding bus bars. Screw them all on. I used a corrosion (conductive!) inhibitor (kopr-shield) o prevent it from oxdizing again.
Now take another bar, and lay it perpindicular to the bus bars. Mark each alternating bar, and drill. Cut some squares to elevate the bar, and connect the bar to alternating bars to connect the rows in parallel.
Charge the bank with a 9 volt battery to test if there is any shorts.
The main page picture shows this well
Step 4: Make the Charger
I used a voltage tripler, but this may be too powerful for smaller banks, and cause them to overcharge. The maximum output of this is 500 volts, I stop it when it reaches 400volts. Use this to make it:
Make sure your diodes are rated enough, or they will blow. This has a large insrush current, you must be on a house fuse that is rated for 20 amps or higher.
Note for 240v users:A voltage doubler will be enough for you guys.
Connect the voltage doubler to the bank, and take it to your banks peak voltage. Hold it there overnight, it will help your capacitor's.
Make sure your target is strong enough, mine was better then expected. I suggest a cardboard box to catch ricochet, with metal plates on the inside. Behind the target, put some blankets to make sure.
Railgun's are all about innovation. If you have a resonable idea, try it. If you intend to actually do research, some instruments would be nice. I made a rogowski coi (on my site).