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Self loading confetti cannon Answered

I'm dressing up a golf cart for parade duty. I thought the "exhuast stacks" should be used for confetti cannons. However I don't want to stop jump out and dump more confetti down the pipe in the middle of the show. Any Ideas?

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frollardBest Answer (author)2012-02-24

I'm inclined to suggest compressed air and a venturi -- it's how most 'large volume continuous feed' ones work -- the air is blown into the open end of a pipe and the flowing air causes suction at the open back end -- add paper there and it will go flying. It will be noisy, but I'm leary of using actual pyro and paper near people.

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heathbar64 (author)frollard2012-02-24

OOH! I like the venturi Idea. I'm not sure about having a sufficient air supply though. I wonder if an electric blower would work instead of air compressor. This would be going on an electric golf cart, so I have 36 volts to play with, or could tap off 12 volts, or could hook up a small inverter for 115 volts ac. But I don't think I could run a compressor except the little 12V type. I could use an air tank, but not sure how long it would last.

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frollard (author)heathbar642012-02-24
a leaf blower would work awesome. ...so, a pvc tube with a y adapter, and a small blower:

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heathbar64 (author)frollard2012-02-25

It doesn't get any simpler than that! I could just put the one leg of the wye into the back of the cab and drop in a handfull when desired. Now, to make bulk confetti. I guess A leaf shredder and newspaper would take care of that.

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frollard (author)heathbar642012-02-25

use flyers for more colour...

You're sure your parade is okay with you dumping piles of paper everywhere?

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heathbar64 (author)frollard2012-02-26

Thanks for all your idea's. I've got a lot to work with now. If it really gets built, I'll post a picture.

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bwrussell (author)frollard2012-02-24

+1

I was about to suggest a leaf blower too. Although they can be pretty loud. Not sure if this is a concern or not.

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Aron313 (author)2012-02-27

Make small cannons on the side instead of the exhaust. Have a board with switches so you can shoot them off at different times!

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bwrussell (author)2012-02-24

I'd also be wary using a combustion process for launching rather than air. Get a compressed air cylinder like used on paintball guns. They are small, easily integrated, and most importantly have built in safety features.


Will these cannons be arranged such that you have access to them in any way? A little more description of the layout could be helpful.

As far as reloading, maybe look into a breach load system, similar to @The Skinnerz. Using the cartridge idea, cut a section out of the side of the barrel near the bottom, above where the air comes in, just big enough for a cartridge to fit in. Then get a piece of pipe that just slips over the barrel and is slightly longer than the breach. Make sure when resting, the cover completely covers the breach.
To operate simply lift the cover, slide in a new cartridge, drop the cover back over the breach, and fire. If you insist on combustion you will need to take extra precautions, like seals and locks on the cover, to prevent hot gases or even flames from escaping and injuring the vehicles occupants.

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heathbar64 (author)bwrussell2012-02-24

I'm hearing the air no fire counsel and I think it is valid. As I said in response to frollard, I'm concerned about the source of the air, given the limited room and power.How long do you think one of those small air tanks would last?
I havent got a specific design yet, but I'm picturing a piece of pipe going straight up behind the cab on each side. I was imagineing an occasional BOOM!! with a shower of confetti, rather than a continuous spray of it.

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bwrussell (author)heathbar642012-02-24

a 48 in3 3000 psi tank gets 500-650 shots from a paintball gun. The tank I was looking at was rated for 800 psi output, which should be much more than necessary to propel a cartridge of confetti, especially if you keep the barrel as short as you can. If you spent a little time fine tuning the variables (force of each shot, length of blast, weight and diameter of cartridge, etc) I bet you could get a decent number of shots. They sell tanks that are much bigger than 48 ci too. If you alternated firing the left then the right, that would effectively double the number of shots you can take.
Paintball guns also run on CO2 and even some on propane so you could look into those as options as well to get the most bang, literally, for your buck.

I think you could operate a simple breach load if the pipes ran up the back corners of the cab. If you cut a o-ring groove into the barrel in the area the breach cover travels it would allow for one handed operation of the reloading by keeping the cover in place when you slide it up. The picture doesn't show it but you would want a line between the air tank and the barrel so you could include a valve to control the shots with.

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heathbar64 (author)bwrussell2012-02-26

Thank you for your suggestions. I've got lots of great idea's to work with now. If I actually bets built, I'll post a picture.

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The Skinnerz (author)2012-02-23

What are you using to propel the confetti out of the tube?

You can probably get away with cutting a door in the side of the tube near the bottom, allowing it to be re-filled.

If you need something more automatic, a revolver style setup should be fairly simple to implement. For faster reloads you could pack the confetti into short cardboard tubes, and cover the ends over with tissue paper, allowing you to just swap the tubes out instead of re packing it.

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heathbar64 (author)The Skinnerz2012-02-23

UMM, Yes. thanks for the input. I had thought of paper cartridges but how to load them inconspicuously was the wonderment. the revolver idea is worth playing with. I haven't yet decided what propellant, but probably a combustible rather than compressed air, for the sake of compactness.

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