Coil Gun

HiI am planning to build a small (length about 15 cm) portable coil gun. There are some really good intructables out there. (I still don't have enough knowledge of how to build this thing) I found this site to be pretty interesting. How can I make a powerful coil gun like that with capacitors (not that whole blob of camera stuff)? I am hoping that it could be rechargeable, perhaps by a USB connector (5V). But that would not last long right? So I guess by adding some batteries would help. Trying to get this coil gun to the smallest size with a powerful blow. By the way, there is something called EMF that affects the system?Thanks

Topic by J50Nunlimited   |  last reply

Coil Gun Project

Hey guys, I am currently building my first coilgun, first of all, the components: Charging:     Disposable camera circuit x 2     2 x D cell batteries Capacitors:     2 x 1200uF 200V     2 x 680uF 200v     2 x 300uF 200V     1 x unknown (attached to camera circuit with no info) Switch:    250V @ 15A - 6 pole toggle (I will upgrade to some for of solid state when I have the money) Now, because I have two of each capacitor I have put one of each into a parallel bank, giving me 2 cap banks with one of each cap, I then connected the two banks in series, I have not done a lot of maths yet which I think I should but I was hoping that would give me 400v which seems to be average. The problem is, it is only charging to 340v tops, I think that may be due to the camera circuits being wired incorrectly. I have the two batteries in series, both charging both of the circuits, then the circuits both charge the caps, the + and - outputs meeting on the caps, am I doing that wrong? Also, does having 300uF caps in series with 1200uF caps hinder the bigger ones? Would I be better of with just the 1200uF and 680uF, or maybe even just the 2 1200uF in series? should I also leave the small cap on the circuit or take that off? Thanks in advance guys, any help would be greatly appreciated. I am having a lot of fun with this project and while I wouldnt like to be on the other end, it is still not as powerful as I would like, even for it's small size.

Topic by TristanD27 

Coil Gun Question?

So i have a coil gun with 5 capacitors at 330v and 120 uf. If i charge them with a 9 volt battery will it burn the camera circuit out?

Question by Kante Tech   |  last reply

coil please ?

Ok so i am in the middle of making a coil gun i am using a disposable camera flash circuit at the charger for the capacitors an i can get it to work but i dont think i did it right for the reason it being the projectile comes out of the tube slowly and or sometimes flys back at me.... if anyone has some answers it would be a great help or even a whole new idea would be awesome to.... i love learning new things

Question by jjohnson-9   |  last reply

coil gun ammo holder

I am currently creating a coil gun within a small nerf pistol. Everything is going well, it all fits within the gun quite nicely actually. But one problem I've realized is that there is nothing keeping the ammo within the barrel (a bic pen tube)  I would like to hear some ideas on how to keep the ammunition (which is currently undecided, if that helps. I'm considering either small steel balls or nails) within the barrel until the coil is activated. It is worth noting that because of the design of this particular gun, the trigger is not a lever, but instead a simple sliding mechanism that hits a button situated right behind it. One option I'm considering is using an electromagnet hooked up to a NC (normally closed) switch also hooked up to the trigger. The magnet would keep the ammunition in place, and pulling the trigger would turn it off. I have already added a sliding switch to turn on and off the gun, and I could wire the second magnet to that switch as well. The complication I foresee arising from that is that the electromagnet may still have residual magnetism for a few milliseconds, which could hold the ammunition in place for longer than it takes the capacitors to discharge. thoughts?

Topic by berky93   |  last reply

Best voltage for coil gun?

In my coil gun project I have 36 330v 120 uf flash capacitors. When I had them arranged in 4 banks of 9 linked together in series (.5*1200*1200*1000e-6 = 720J) the projectile could easily punch through cardboard. But when I tried to increase the power by making 7 banks of 5 giving me (.5*2100*2100*500e-6 = 1100J) the projectile has trouble getting through cardboard. The coil I am using is 50 feet of 22 gauge wire. Is there any thing that I am missing? Thanks.

Question by eskibro830 

making a coil gun help

When i make a coil with magnet wire,i have enamelled wire, do i have to sand the whole thing so the copper touches in the coil, or just the ends going to where im hooking it up? EDIT: i changed my title, because i have more questions about coil guns in general.

Topic by um0123   |  last reply

Coil Gun Charging circuits?

Ok so i made this coil gun using a camera flash circuit but im using 450V caps so the circuit only charges to about 330V how would i step up the voltage in a cheap way. Buy another camera circuit or build one? If you need any more info just ask and thank you.

Question by rocket_man 

how to build a coil gun

Good day , I would like to build a coil gun but I don't want to use the disposable camera method I want to build my circuit from scratch  , I'm asking for some guidance , can you help me please 

Question by franzakeem   |  last reply

A Hybrid of Coil and Rail gun

So I said i'd throw this up in the comments section on Youtube not too long ago, and I don't like it when something easy and free doesn't happen. This is some ideas and observations that have to do with coil guns (mostly). I'm in the process of finishing up several projects, so my resources are kinda spread out. I should have a prototyped coil gun finished in 2-3 weeks though, so if this doesn't clear things up, hopefully that video will. I should point out, I am a chemist with expertise in biochemistry, not electrical engineering. Basically my idea is to combine a railgun and a coil gun for the expressed purpose of avoiding the pitfalls that a pure coilgun or a pure rail gun have. At present, none of the designs out there would be capable of competing with an actual gun. By mixing the two, i'm hoping to get something that might eventually be capable of doing so. So.. I've included a very poor drawing (I'm not an artist). The barebones circuit is sketched in the lower right hand corner. The gun barrel, which is a piece of aluminum tubing split into two pieces to sever as a rail system, is sketched in the upper left, and again in the middle figure to show how to integrate the coil and rail system. Looking at the circuit design, you can see that this starts off as a very basic capacitor-inductor circuit. The charge is purposefully allowed to trickle through the circuit until the coil reaches saturation and the capacitor(s) are charged. When the trigger is pushed, the inductor side of the circuit has to dump into the rail system to complete the full closed loop. Because of the ferromagnetic material (the brown stuff), the magnetic force persists for a while (that is to say, it has high reluctance). The ferromagnetic material does one other thing that is important here. It forces the middle of the coil to be far off center. The coil is pulling the projectile into the middle of the magnetic field, but that is not necessarily in the center of the winding. Adding ferrite, or other high reluctance material, towards the end of the barrel biases the field towards that end.  At the same time that the coil stops getting current, the rail system become active. This allows a charge to pass through the bullet/projectile, and, even though the majority of the force is going to be caused by the inductive coil, the rail system allows an eddy current to setup in the bullet. This does several things. First the bullet doesn't have to be iron, nickel, or cobalt. With a stray eddy current in the projectile, any conductive material will work. The advantage here is that once the current stops, the non-magnetic material stops being  to the magnetic field, preventing backwards acceleration of the projectile as it exits the barrel.  Second, Rail systems and coil systems are not often used because they are perpendicular to one another, but, this can be used to put spin on the projectile, in a similar manner to rifling in a barrel.  After the projectile is fired, the circuit is open, preventing excessive electrical discharge.  My circuit design is really badly drawn... =T if it needs more explanation please post up questions. 

Topic by Qcks   |  last reply

Multistage coil gun power switching?

How can we switch power between coils on a multistage coil gun setup (3, for example)? What i am reading out there is people using physical switches to infrared sensor but i couldn't understand much especially on how can we implement it. I'll be grateful for any explanation anyone can tell me to. Thanks! Sorry for my bad english :)

Question by Vigasto   |  last reply

Space Elevator or Lateral Coil Gun? Answered

What would be a batter way to get off the earth, Space elevator or lateral coil gun?

Question by nfarrow   |  last reply

Coil gun doesn't work help?

I used about 5 ft of 22-24 gauge insulated(thin) wire(single strand)and coiled it into about 1 inch long coil, the power is about 170VDC , when I test it out nothing happens, My ground is soldered together and I test it by connecting the positive to the other end of the coil, there is a spark but no projectile i try moves at all.

Question by tom10122 

How to use a SCR in a Coil Gun?

I want to increase the power of my capacitor but i can not figure out how to add a SCR. So i was wondering if somebody can show me how.

Question by Kante Tech   |  last reply

help with a coil gun (or linear accelerator)?

hello, i want to make a coil gun (or something) where is a good place to get capacitors (short of buying them of coarse)? any help (nomatter how off topic would be lotsa help) thanx!

Question by cheesewzrd   |  last reply

how much would this cost all toghther?

Im just asking how much money you need to actually make it.

Question by dehlome   |  last reply

Tesla Ray Gun (Bwahahaha)

I have other projects going right now and I probably wouldn't even attempt this if I could, but is it possible to use a small generator, in a backpack, to power a 15kv transformer, to power a gun similar to a Tesla coil? The user would obviously have to wear some sort of protective suit and be well grounded, and there are a butt-ton of holes it the idea. I'm just throwing the idea out there to see what happens. Any input would be appreciated. Oh, and again, I'm not doing this project, as I would likely die horribly, so neither should you.

Topic by martzsam   |  last reply

Tesla coil and spud gun vs. Chrome

Google made this slick video to show off just how fast Chrome can render web pages. They compare it against a spud gun, a speaker filled with paint, and a Tesla coil. Check out the video to see the lovely slowed down footage and the second video to see how it was done. making of

Topic by fungus amungus   |  last reply

what is the best type of wire for coil guns?

I've been planning on making a coil gun for a while, I've got around 25 capacitors and the charger circuits, but i'm unsure as to what type of wire i should use, i know that the thinner the wire and the closer the winds are the stronger the electromagnetic pull but what is the best type of wire? any help would be appreciated p.s i plan to make a coil gun grappling hook launcher

Question by freerunnin1   |  last reply

Use of transformers/ignition coils in a coil gun.

I've seen a couple of suggestions that an ignition coil, or a decent sizes transformer set up in a similar way, can be discharged into the coil of a coil gun, it the place of the usual capacitor bank. The main advantages seem to be a much faster recharge time, no need to create 200+V, and the availability of parts. I only have 540uF worth of capacitors at 200V, which should work for a small gun, but I have several large transformers, and a crate full of ignition coils. Does anyone know of any reasons why this would not work, or any modifications needed to make this setup work? Thanks in advance for any replies.

Topic by The Skinnerz   |  last reply

My coil gun project is becoming a problem Answered

I'm wanting to make a coil gun but the flash mechanism I'm wanting to use from my old sony cybershot camera has a ribon cable that all the circuitry and battery's connected to and I can't seem to decode it if you know anything or can help me please answer this (: thanks?

Question by sampson111   |  last reply

Looking to make a coil gun will these capacitors work?

So far i have two 200v  470 microfarad three 10v  2200 microfarad and two 16v 2200 microfarad capacitors i'm thinking these will work but wanted a second opinion before i use up my solder it cost too much in gas  to go get it

Question by Sessha   |  last reply

[Coil-gun]What is size coil will work best with my capacitors?

I am building a Multistage coil gun and have some 450v 1000uf capacitors. I understand it is important to have the wire size and amount of turns correspond to the capacitor for maximum performance. I have also figured out that the coil should be about twice as long as the projectile. My projectile will be part of a nail.What gauge wire should I use and how many turns should my coil be? 

Question by eskibro830 

I'm wondering how easy is is to make a capacitor for use with a coil gun?

I would like to build a coil gun and have it run off capacitors of my own make but i'm wondering what i should make them out of and what medium i should use like maybe a salt water lemon juice mix or some acid or alkaline solution or a oil I'd prefer vacuum from what I've researched but i have no idea how to make a vacuum cap I'm a broke mad scientist

Question by Sessha   |  last reply

how do u connect 2 coils?

I have wounded 2 coils but i was wondering how can you connect them together or you connect them to seperate circuits.

Question by Kante Tech   |  last reply

How many capacitors of 3.15 uF will it take to run a 250 volts magnetic coil in coil gun?

I am Making a Coil Gun in which i have 4 Capacitors of 3.15uF to run a magnetic coil of 250 volts so i am asking how many capacitors of 3.15 uF will it take to run a magnetic coil of 250 volts

Question by siddharths067   |  last reply

Aluminum Slugs for coilguns?

Throwing around the Idea of a Coilgun , can I cast some aluminum slugs to use with it ?

Question by tom10122   |  last reply

can i power a coil gun with 11.1 v with 4400mah with a c rating of 50?

I have 2 x 11.1. volts 2200mAh in parallel which gives me double the current but the same voltage. will this power a multi staged coil gun?

Question by icey.hood   |  last reply

I am trying to make a coil gun but I need a simple designs. Answered

Sorry I am lazy I need some simple designs for a good coilgun. I dont want one of those bulky boxes but one that acual looks like a gun. Thanks.

Question by Rebreg   |  last reply

How can I improve my coil gun's coil? Answered

My coil is made of 22 gauge wire and the inside diameter is about 1/8 in. It's 1 3/4 in long with about 7 layers. The ammunition is a little over an inch and fits snugly inside the coil. How many more layers should I make it, and what else can I do to improve it?

Question by cardboarddude   |  last reply

advice on making a rail/coil gun also known as a electromagnetic accelerator for someone who understands basic electrics

Im looking for advice on how to make a "rail/coil gun", i understand the principals behind it and the componets needed but id like to know what is the most efficent and powerfull componets. have in mind im looking at making the gun completly portable but a stationary charging for the battery would be prefered id like to keep the device 12v dc if possible using a battery to charge up capacitors, a switching device which allows the capacitors to charge and switch of the battery input automatically to prevent the electricity draining back into the battery. also another switch which discharges the capacitors into the coils but is switched manually(trigger), multistaged coils hopefully around 16 if possible( the way i see it lots of power running into lots of coils means the projectile traveling faster and further) ive also been told that once the coils have been charged they'll need to be discharged within micro seconds and theres a certain componet which allows that im not sure exactly what that is?. Having many coils means ill need a timing mechanism to activate the coil when the projectile is within the magnetic field, ive done a bit of research on that and come up with a microswitch between every coil or infared diode and a photosensitive diode(not sure exactly the name of the second one). 1. how many rows of coils would i need for each coil, what gauge wire would best suit my needs, what grade of wire, a way to prevent the magnetic field affecting the coils next to it, to optimize the energy in the capacitors should i start with a larger gauge wire at the first coil and slowly decrease it per coil, 2. what size capacitors would best suit my needs also bieng small in size, also would it be better have 1 or 2 capacitors per coil 3. what sort of switching device would be best for charging the capacitors and isolating the battery when there charged 4. is there another switching device for turning on each coil seperatly when the projectile is in range of the coils magnetic field to optimize the use of the magnetic field 5. more info on when the coil needs to discharge would also be great any ideas or inputs would be greatly appreciated no matter how big or small or if only concerns a certain aspect, cheers, chris cross australia

Question by crossy   |  last reply

Electromagnetic coil gun help with power(electric) source ?

How could I build a small coil gun with magnetic wire. I know how to make it just what could I use as a small but powerful powerful power source would a 9 volt battery work.  Many other ideas?

Question by planetroverrobo   |  last reply

programmable micro-controller for multi-stage coil gun?

Hey everyone, right now I'm in the early design stages for a large, two coil, coil-gun that I'm going to be building sometime in the next few months ( I need to gather the money for the project lol) Anywho, I'm looking for a programmable micro-controller that I can easily adjust ( I know some programming, mostly C++ and java script) That can send a low voltage signal to two separate thyristors at a certain interval ( probably a few milliseconds apart, but maybe even lower), or not send a signal to one at all, if needed. On a side note, one thing I can't find anywhere, for maximum velocity, should the two coils have the same, or different strength ( aka, should the second give off a stronger magnetic burst then the first, or should they be the same. If anyone knows a better way to do this than using a micro controller, then please feel free to tell me. 

Question by epicbobman52   |  last reply

Why won't people use dpdt switches in their coilguns?

I know that switches are not so efficient because the contacts spark. But i will start my coil-gunning with switches.

Question by jukees   |  last reply

switch for a coilgun Answered

What is the minimum amperage rating needed for the fire switch and what will happen if u use something lower, like a 20a light switch? also how much one would cost would be nice to. i have heard that 40 or 50 A will work, but i would like to use something smaller, easyer to find, and more affordable. any help would be nice.

Question by the mechanical engineer   |  last reply

What excactly is a Coilgun? Answered

Title says it all. I heard some guys in the Tech catagory talking about this.

Question by TigerNod   |  last reply

Coilgun Capacitor Question?

I have a big capacitor that I found in my old xbox. It's 250 volts and 470uF. Would this be better than using a bank of 8 camera capacitors?

Question by Shadow94   |  last reply

Would a microwave capacitor be a good choice for a coilgun design?

If not that what about: If neither is good then can you recommend some that would be ideal?  I already know hat disposable camera capacitors can be good.

Question by Darter76   |  last reply

Coilgun Help

Could someone please help me with a Coilgun project- I can't get a camera flash circuit of any description where I live, so could someone either post an i'ble on how to make one, or send me/post one of those technical drawings and parts list. Help would be greatly appreciated

Topic by minerug   |  last reply

Best cheap non camera circut for coil gun charger circuit?

Im building a new coil gun this time without camera flash circuits so best cheap alternative preferable with the schematic. Thank you  

Question by rocket_man   |  last reply

how can i make a coil gun for my project?

I have a project to make a coil gun that based on electromagnetic field.. so i want some basic detail n the parts or tools that are used i n it?

Question by m.s.k   |  last reply

What part of a coil gun generates the most heat, and how much?

Im building a single stage handheld coilgun, and im being cautions of heat issues, (because burning myself is less than fun) so i was wondering which part (ie the coils, or the caps. etc.) generates the most heat so i can whack a heatsink or cover over it.

Question by - Jordz -   |  last reply

How to CORRECTLY set up capacitor bank in series?

On my coil gun I currently have 24 330V 120uf capacitors in parallel. I am using multiple camera flash circuits to charge the capacitors. I want to create 3 capacitor banks of 8 in parallel linked together in series. I understand the concept of series but whenever I do it my coil gun becomes extremely weak. Do I need to switch out power supplies?  Thanks,         Nate

Question by eskibro830   |  last reply

Need help picking correct capacitors for coilgun?

My coil gun right now is using ten 330v 100uf flash capacitors from disposable cameras. They are being charged by the flash circuit on a camera. I am looking to upgrade the capacitors for more power and I wasn't sure which ones to get. I want the strongest ones that the flash circuit will be able to power. Any recommendations would be very helpful. ,Thanks!

Question by eskibro830   |  last reply

Linear LED ammo Counter? Answered

So, my friend and I are building a Coil Gun!  Nothing super powerful, but it will punch a nice hole in a cardboard box.  Here's the problem; we want to add an ammo counter to it.  We were thinking of using an IR LED, a Photo-transistor, and a voltage comparator circuit, kind of like the one here ( , first photo, right circuit)) .  The circuit would send a pulse when the projectile interrupted the IR beam. Now what?  The magazine holds 6 rounds, so maybe 3 green LEDs, 2 yellows and 1 red to count the ammo.  We were thinking of maybe using a 4017 counter IC to advance down an LED after each pulse, but doing it this way means only one LED is lit at a time.  We would really like it if somehow we could have all the LEDs lit, and after each pulse one would turn off, but I'm unaware of how to do this.  Oh yea, we don't have access to a micro-controller, which is why we have this problem.  So to recap, we need a circuit that will light 6 LEDs when powered on, then shut off one LED for each pulse received.  Is there any way to make a circuit that does this?

Question by aeronut01   |  last reply

Would 3 camera flash caps make a strong enough bank for a coil gun?

I've got 2 capacitor banks right now. The first one uses 3 300V, 120uF capacitors, and the second uses 2 16V, 1000uF caps. Is either of these strong enough to make a coil gun that fires 2mm iron pellets at around 200fps? What if I give it a second stage? Also, I've already made 2 coils around plastic tubing, one using 3 layers of 16 gauge wire with 15 turns each, and the other with 5 layers of 20 gauge with 25 turns. Which one would give me the most power?

Question by AndrewJewer1 

can i power a multi stage coil gun with 22v lipo with 2200maH?

I know i'm late on the coil gun band wagon but its still interesting to build. i have all the parts to make the gun (circuit wise) however with my power source, i don't know how many turns i have to do for best efficiency.. i have 18 AWG wire i intend on making my projectile 1" long and 7 mm Diameter. so the the coil diameter will be 7.5-8  mm.   thanks for help in advance, even a simple equation is welcome

Question by icey.hood   |  last reply