Search for potato cannon in Topics


potato cannons

Hey, just wanted to see everyone's potato cannon designs. please post yours and I will post mine. a great instructional book on how to make these can be found at your local library, called backyard ballistics.

Topic by nerfer  


potato cannon?

I remember seeing a video of a guy shootin nerf footballs out of an air cannon which he reloaded like a bolt action grenade launcher. i cant find it anywhere!!! help plz?

Topic by BigBossXtreme    |  last reply


potato cannon

Alright peeps, i made a potato cannon and it works really well. any tips to make it even better? message me for instructions on how to make!

Topic by molmstead13  


Potato cannon efficiency? Answered

I created a potato cannon that only has straight pieces of PVC.I have seen other designs where the combustion chamber is wrapped around 180 degrees with two elbow pieces thus making the cannon more compact.  Does anyone know which design is more efficient as in terms of launch power and speed?

Question by bobert610    |  last reply


What is the best potato cannon?

Ok, I have seen a lot of variants on potato cannons (here on instructables as well as all over the internet) and have a few questions: 1. What is the best best cannon design? 2. What is the best propellant? 3. What is the best ammo? 4. What is the best barrel size?

Topic by Valkyrie103    |  last reply


Are potato cannons legal in Michigan?

We have been using potato cannons in a BSA camporee and someone just told us that these cannons are illegal. When they are used they are in a safe place, like a rifle range. The cannons are mounted so they can only go up and down and not side to side. If you know of a Michigan state document I can use to show the legality, please let me know.

Question by hsmomof6    |  last reply


potato cannon engineering survey

Hey, I need help from people who have built or bought potato cannons. my capstone high school senior engineering project is centered around building a better potato cannon, and part of the project is doing some market research. I've got a quick (10 question) survey that's built to just get an idea of problems with current potato cannons, the kind of demographic that generally uses them, etc. Please help with this project. I'll probably post instructions on making it here when we're done. here's the link to the survey. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTNSBJW thanks if you can help.

Topic by codongolev    |  last reply


Whats better for a potato cannon, ABS or PVC? Answered

Whats better for safety and your wallet?

Question by Xenel    |  last reply



potato cannon airsoft mortar ammo?

I recently built a pneumatic potato cannon, and i would like to use it in airsoft as a mortar of sorts. anyone have any ideas of something i could shoot that would cause splash damage when it hits the ground? cause i dont wanna have to hit someone directly, or hurt them......

Question by generaljuan    |  last reply


Are air cannons legal in California?

I'm wondering if air cannons (potato cannons powered by air) are legal in California. And if they are, then what would happen if you accidentally hit (but not break) a neighbors window?

Question by Comhippy    |  last reply


I'm making a pnuematic potato cannon and I need help on what is the best piston release method?

I know of two ways, but am looking for advice from veterans. I am not a novice at this, and cost is not a problem, so give all and any ideas. (illogical ones are accepted!)

Question by caspar97    |  last reply


i am making a co2 powered potato gun and it will be running off of a 20 oz canister. how would i connect it to the gun?

If you are aware of how co2 canisters connect to the guns (they screw on) then what parts would i need to make that possible to make the connection to the gun?

Question by jadams5  


Make a small battery operated spark gap?

I want to make a potato gun but I don't want to use a grill ignitor (unreliable) and I don't really want to buy a taser (kind of expensive) to light it. I would really like to build some simple battery powered high voltage circuit capable of making a small spark or operating a spark plug. I would like it to meet these requirements. 1. Minimal circuitry. 2. No flyback. 3. Fits in/on an altoids tin I'm still just beginning to understand circuitry so the less complex the better. 

Question by Schober    |  last reply


Why the #@$% isn't my potato cannon igniting?

I can see a spark, but can't get it to ignite. I have tried using hairspray and Lysol, and have tried different amounts of both. I also tried wiping off the screws for a better spark (which actually seemed to help, but still no ignition.)

Question by log63    |  last reply


Can i shoot t shirts out of a combustion potato gun ( spud gun)? Answered

I wanted to make a t shirt cannon for school spirit week and i thought a combustion cannon would burn the t shirt. so if anyone knows anything about that please answer.

Question by GianniMora    |  last reply


can you use a spark plug for a potato cannon? Answered

I have a spark plug at home and have no idea how it works, all i know is it makes a spark

Question by Jewson    |  last reply


Can a potato cannon work at 9000 ft above sea level? Do you need canned oxygen because the air is too thin?

I live in Lake City Colorado and my potato cannon won't work is it because the air is too thin? If so can i correct the problem with a can of oxygen? And where can i buy a can of oxygen? Online or if you know of a store where you can buy it, please post a link in comments.

Question by GusN    |  last reply


Why doesn't my potato cannon work? Answered

Today, I finally got to test my spud gun. I loaded it up with a plug of potato, sprayed in one second of hairspray, twisted the cap shut, and pressed the barbecue ignitor. I heard the ignitor work, but nothing happened. I tried this again and again, using different potatoes, cleaning the cannon, and checking the sparker. Every time I did it, it didn't work. I followed the instructions step by step from Backyard Ballistics, but I used ABS instead of PVC. I also used a barbecue ignitor instead of a lantern ignitor. I used all ABS parts, with the right cement for ABS, so I don't know what went wrong. Could it be my hairspray? I bought a $1 can, which seemed a little strange, because all the other cans were at least five dollars. Is cheap hairspray made with different chemicals? I believe the hairspray brand I used was called "White Rain", but I could be completely making that up.  Thanks, Noahh 

Question by noahh    |  last reply


My mini potato gun/spitball gun wont work! Answered

I have made a mini potato gun and at first it was working but it doesnt seem to be working. I spray into the gun then when i go to shoot it it doesn't work. There is a spark and I'm definitely spraying enough aerosol so that shouldnt be the problem. Im not sure what im doing wrong, can anyone help or make any suggestions ?

Question by jcosi97    |  last reply


Pneumatic soda can cannon on Mythbusters?

I just watched a Mythbusters where they made a pneumatic soda can gun.  Go to 5:50 in this video to see their description of it.  Go to 7:00 to see it in action.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMYuQ5daXxk&feature;=related My questions are: what is the "fast acting valve" he used?   How do you refill that thing? Anyone seen an instructable for something similar?  I've seen lots of PVC versions, but I like the metal version because it's sexier looking, and potentially higher pressure/power. Thanks!

Topic by guaps  


I'm making an air cannon and I'm trying to make it automatic. How do I make the timing circuit?

I don't have all the details worked out but it should look like: http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o290/Strid3r34/EggCannon.pngI just need to know how to make a timing circuit so that the bolt reloads (the servo should retract then detract), and then the solenoid valve is switched on for a split second (so as not to waste the air) and then reloaded again. I need it do this as long as the trigger is held down. I have no idea how to make this circuit, and I'm totally new to this so please explain in detail. pictures would help a lot.?

Question by strid3r    |  last reply


B.S.R. 75 bolt action spud gun

This is my latest creation a breech loading bolt action spudgun. video at.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnnbcmTH0pc

Topic by spudrouge420    |  last reply


does anyone know where to find free (or very cheap) sheet rubber? Answered

I'm currently in an engineering class, and our goal is to build an improved potato cannon. we need sheet rubber for a couple parts of our project (1/16 inch thick), but we don't have money to make it. does anyone know a good place to get free (or very cheap) sheet rubber?

Question by codongolev    |  last reply


What should I name my spud gun? Answered

I just finished making my first potato cannon. I'm only waiting for the cement to dry, but everything else is done. The cement should be dry in a few hours. Just for kicks, I would like to have a cool name for it, though. so, A) What should I name it? and B) how should I apply (paint, write, etc.) the name onto the spud gun? Thanks, Noahh UPDATE: I ended up named it "Pomme de Terror". Get it? Pomme de Terre is potato in french. Terre? Terror? Classic!

Question by noahh    |  last reply


How can I make a piezo-kinetic igniter?

I want to build a mini potato cannon and i do not have any pre-made igniters that i can use for it. I wanted to make a piezo-kinetic igniter like the ones used in electric lighters. is there any link (or video preferably) with instructions on how to do this? I also want to know if you have to refill the gas chamber thingy after every shot of the potato cannon.

Question by Tochi97    |  last reply


How will I be able to switch power from sprinkler valve to sprinkler valve in air cannons?

I want to build an air cannon that uses four sprinkler valves. I want to be able to hit a momentary switch and the first valve will open. Then when I hit the momentary switch again it will open the other valve instead of the first valve. How will I be able to do this without the use of micro controllers?

Question by Pizzapie500    |  last reply


Air cannon/spud gun trigger Answered

I've opted to go for the modded sprinkler valve trigger. My questions are thus: Where can I find the required 'blow gun'? What is the 'blow gun' for when not killing potatoes? Will the valve reseal if the trigger is released before all the pressure in the tank is gone? So, can you fire more than once before pumping up again?

Question by AdmiralNiik    |  last reply


Figuring Out Acceleration on a Potato Gun

My newest craze is potato cannons. I built a simple potato cannon powered with hairspray. I didn't plan out ratios of chamber volume to barrel volume, but I must have guessed pretty well because the potatos go far. Really far. I shoot them in an empty bean field and they stay in the air for 10 seconds before hitting the ground at what I guess is 300 yards away. I want to measure it to be sure. I'm probably exaggerating the distance out of sheer amazement. But the potato goes really far. I got to thinking, though, that I could go beyond just shooting the potatoes, and actually turn this into something useful. If there was a way to determine the acceleration of the potato inside the barrel, that would be super cool. I've had a few ideas on this so far:The most complicated involves drilling holes on each side of the barrel. The holes would be every inch the entire length of the barrel. On one side led's would be installed and wired in parallel to remain on constantly. On the other side photoresistors would be installed and also wired in parallel with a microcontroller. When the potato traveled down the barrel it would block the light to some of the photoresistors and the microcontroller would get a readout. If there was a way to program this whole system and get a graph on a computer of the acceleration/time curve, that would be awesome!! Another way would yield a less accurate number. Shooting the cannon straight up and timing how long it takes the potato to hit the ground would give you the initial velocity. Vf = Vi + Gt, so: -2Vi = -9.81t . Once the initial velocity is known, if the time it takes for the potato to leave the barrel can be figured out, the acceleration could be figured out.Let me know what you think!Note: I will attach images as they come.

Topic by intoon    |  last reply


I need a way to evaporate methanol quickly. Answered

I'm working on a potato cannon that's using methanol as a propellant. it has a piston that pushes the spent air out and pulls good air in, and it pulls it in a tube that contains a methanol soaked rag. I thought this would be enough to fuel the cannon; however, there isn't enough methanol vapor leaving the tube and entering the combustion chamber. I was wondering if anyone knew of some way I could get more fumes to enter the chamber. I've already tried quilt batting soaked in methanol and cardboard soaked in methanol.

Question by codongolev    |  last reply


Very nice propane spud gun with range of 150-200 yards for under 100$ should i post?

So i spent the last few weeks designing and building a very nice powerful and yet simple propane spud gun. When i first realized i was going the cleaner burning more powerful propane way, i came to Instructables first. but after some hard looking i found nothing on these cannons, so i made my own plans fros online sights with chamber calculations and what not. Based on my results i felt it neccesary to post my results and what ive discovered about this cannon, however i am always busy and im just wondering if it is worth the time, if there is anyone else out there looking for plans for a successful cannon like i was.

Question by knex luver234  


Could an O2 sensor from an automobile be used inside the combustion chamber of a potato gun?

So I was shooting my potato gun after talking about car repair today, when I got the idea. Could an O2 sensor from an automobile be used inside the combustion chamber of a potato gun to achieve optimal fuel/air ratio? Finding the chemistry of the aerosol fuel would be difficult, and I wouldn't know where to start with the computer stuff, but could it be done? If so, has anyone done it? I searched instructables and no one has even mentioned it. I found on a mazda forum that a wideband O2 sensor may detect the air/fuel ration when using propane, but what about aerosol? Propane in a plastic gun is just begging for injury. I use Right Guard sport deodorant (Without antiperspirant) as the fuel, I think it works the best. The primary ingredient is Denatured Alcohol.

Question by MistaStokes  


Question about sprinkler valves? Answered

I'm planning on making a potato cannon, however I want to make it be able shoot multiple times with one tank. If I make the firing valve a pneumatically powered sprinkler valve, will it have to empty the entire air tank before it can close? Or can I just release the trigger and have the valve close with still some air in the tank? I'm already going to have a 2 tank design with a firing tank and a primary air tank.

Question by General Eggs    |  last reply


Why is the ball valve of my potato gun releasing the pressure? Answered

The ball valve of my air cannon releases the pressure once it climbs above 5 psi. Is there any way to fix this? Or am I stuck with a $30 door stop I'd buy a new one but it just started to leak air, it was working, plus it's glued to my U joint, and really don't wanna rebuild it.

Question by monkhm    |  last reply


will hot nichrome wire light a highly flammable aerosol? Answered

im planning to make a micro potato cannon and i need a simple egnition source. i have heard that some things are ignited by hot surfaces like gloplugs and i am wondering if nichrome wire when heated will light a highly flammable aerosol

Question by FREETHINKER!    |  last reply


how can I make an easy spark gap?

I made a potatoe cannon with PVC tubes, and I have an electric bug zapper as the power source, but I need some sparks to fire it up.If someone has got the circuit´s plans please live a comment. THANKS!!! :D

Question by madbot1999    |  last reply


Calling all Potato Gun Aficionados and wanna be Combustion Scientists

This is message to anyone who enjoys hearing the sound of forced combustion, or better yet, the loud crack of a potato gun being fired. My co-conspirator and I are in need of some mathematic assistance. Ideally we are looking for a “magic” formula concerning barrel length to blast chamber ratio for optimal performance. The ideal fuel would be propane or butane. We have been using a 4” by 33” blast chamber coupled with a 3” by 44” barrel. So far, we have had significant success with this combination, but are curious if there is a better ratio to use. With our current specs, we are able to shoot a 3 – 4 lb. ball of plaster over 250 yards (this is the carry distance, not the total distance traveled) at a 47 degree angle. If anyone out there knows a formula or has advice on Blast Chamber to Barrel ratios we are greatly interested to hear what you have to say.

Topic by benihana    |  last reply


Is K’nex Gunning Dead?

I know there are some people still doing it (myself included). Much like potato cannons, k’nex guns have lost popularity over time. It’s really a shame that it’s lost so much popularity. Maybe someone could make a website dedicated to K’nex’ing as a kind of KI mark 2. I really hope that it starts up again (without all the block triggers!) sometime but it seems unlikely.

Topic by PotatoDemon    |  last reply


Solar Death Ray, Robot Foosball, Snow Cannon...

Sign-up for our newsletter here. Dec. 27, 2007 Welcome back! The Laser Cutter Contest ends on Jan. 1, 2008. If you're still sitting on an amazing Instructable, submit it now to win a VersaLaser worth over $15,000! Don't forget to enter the Homemade Holidays Contest! Share your homemade holiday gift ideas through an Instructable, a Slideshow, or a Video, and win great prizes from CRAFT magazine! Check out these cool instructables! Giant Fresnel Lens Deathray: An Experiment in Optics So you don't have access to your own rail gun or military space laser....but never fear, we'll use the sunlight in your yard to instantly set things on fire! posted by DrSimons on Dec 26, 2007 Build a Microwave Transformer Homemade Welder Making a DIY welder is easy to do and it's pretty much FREE! If you feel comfortable playing with electricity, check this out.posted by stasterisk on Dec 24, 2007 Fix a stuck pixel on an LCD monitor Fix those pesky stuck pixels in just a couple of minutes and enjoy a fully functional monitor. posted by Line Master Jorbob on Dec 23, 2007 The Ambience Enhancer Listen to your music in style with this wondrous steampunk device.posted by Porkshanks on Dec 21, 2007 How To: Jailbreak your Ipod Touch 1.1.1 to 1.1.2 (Windows) Jailbreak your iPod Touch to add some custom applications. This is worth it for the instant messenger alone. posted by RTheaven on Nov 19, 2007 Just a few days left to win a $15,000 VersaLaser! The Stirling Engine, absorb energy from candles, coffee, and more! A simple way to get introduced to the Stirling engine. Unleash the power!posted by thecheatscalc on Dec 21, 2007 Build a Wind Harp!A wind harp is just what the name says, a harp played by the wind. You don't need lessons with this instrument, just a light wind will do.posted by botronics on Dec 26, 2007 Cheap secret compartment! Learn how to make a secret compartment that can be built into a bookcase, or some other piece of furniture. A sneaky lock keeps it hidden. posted by Hoverboy06 on Dec 21, 2007 Autonomous Foosball Table The robots are take over living rooms one foosball table at a time. Are you with them or against them?posted by eski on Dec 25, 2007 Pneumatic Snowball Cannon A lot of people make potato guns, but it's winter so let's shoot some snowballs instead! posted by cvxdes on Dec 18, 2007   Now go make something awesome, and I'll see you next week! - Eric

Topic by fungus amungus  


Is it possible to use a transformer to step up voltage in a DC circuit?

I have two 6V solar panels connected in series that are generating electricity which I plan to use to make hydrogen but I'm wondering if I can somehow use a transformer to increase the amount of voltage being supplied. I know a disposable camera does something similar and I have taken apart several of them before (to make sparks for potato cannons) but is there a way I can incorporate that into my own DC circuit?

Question by Ke-Bob    |  last reply


No patent on this one.

I have an idea. It could be a good one, and it could be a useful one. It could even be a money-spinning one, but I want to spread it instead of earn from it.What I'm thinking of was inspried by potato cannons:Imagine a combustion chamber of reasonable size, say a gallon volume. Cylindrical, it is domed at one end t withstand internal pressure, but the other end tapers to a narrow outlet.The idea is that an explosive mixture in the chamber (anything handy, but gasoline/air, ethanol/air and butane/air are the most likely) is ignited by a spark, just like a potato cannon. There is no ammunition, though.The tapered pipe (I hope) concentrates the blast to release a "bullet" of rapidly-moving gases.The whole cannon points down at the ground, the muzzle only a few inches from the ground. The detonation is triggered via a long cable (metres long). The "gas bullet" hits the ground with a large enough force to simulate the step of a human or animal, or the passing of a tyre. This triggers the landmine left months ago under the soil.My idea is, in effect, a low-tech device, capable of being built and repaired by semi-skilled locals, from scavanged materials, in war-torn areas. With a bit of training, a small team could use one to safely pound a mine-field hard enough to trigger the mines and make the area safe to live in. The cannon would be damaged by explosions, but not so badly that it would need repaired after every use, and it could be easily fixed with scrap from the nearest wrecked landrover.Would this work? Or would they need solid ammunition, say lumps of timber or rocks wrapped in rags to make a seal? That would need a staight (not tapered) barrel, but it's the same idea.I don't have the space or equipment to make one myself, and land-mine charities won't tell me how much force is required to trigger a mine, but most of you reading this are in the US, and it seems you have an easier time finding this kind of thing out.Run with the idea, chaps. Build one if you can, and ship it to somebody who needs it, or come up with better plans than my rough idea, and post them to those who need them.

Topic by Kiteman  


No patent on this one.

I have an idea. It could be a good one, and it could be a useful one. It could even be a money-spinning one, but I want to spread it instead of earn from it.What I'm thinking of was inspried by potato cannons:Imagine a combustion chamber of reasonable size, say a gallon volume. Cylindrical, it is domed at one end t withstand internal pressure, but the other end tapers to a narrow outlet.The idea is that an explosive mixture in the chamber (anything handy, but gasoline/air, ethanol/air and butane/air are the most likely) is ignited by a spark, just like a potato cannon. There is no ammunition, though.The tapered pipe (I hope) concentrates the blast to release a "bullet" of rapidly-moving gases.The whole cannon points down at the ground, the muzzle only a few inches from the ground. The detonation is triggered via a long cable (metres long). The "gas bullet" hits the ground with a large enough force to simulate the step of a human or animal, or the passing of a tyre. This triggers the landmine left months ago under the soil.My idea is, in effect, a low-tech device, capable of being built and repaired by semi-skilled locals, from scavanged materials, in war-torn areas. With a bit of training, a small team could use one to safely pound a mine-field hard enough to trigger the mines and make the area safe to live in. The cannon would be damaged by explosions, but not so badly that it would need repaired after every use, and it could be easily fixed with scrap from the nearest wrecked landrover.Would this work? Or would they need solid ammunition, say lumps of timber or rocks wrapped in rags to make a seal? That would need a staight (not tapered) barrel, but it's the same idea.I don't have the space or equipment to make one myself, and land-mine charities won't tell me how much force is required to trigger a mine, but most of you reading this are in the US, and it seems you have an easier time finding this kind of thing out.Run with the idea, chaps. Build one if you can, and ship it to somebody who needs it, or come up with better plans than my rough idea, and post them to those who need them.

Topic by Kiteman  


UPDATED: I am having difficulties deciding which book to pick from AMAZON

I will get a list of the ones I am considering at the moment soon, and would like suggestions from you all too. Ok, here is my list; I want to pick one of these, OR if someone has a better suggestion....let me hear it:   Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices by William Gurstelle Whoosh Boom Splat: The Garage Warrior's Guide to Building Projectile Shooters by William Gurstelle Adventures from the Technology Underground: Catapults, Pulsejets, Rail Guns, Flamethrowers, Tesla Coils, Air Cannons, and the Garage Warriors Who Love Them by William Gurstelle MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery [Paperback] Charles Platt Getting Started with Arduino (Make: Projects) by Massimo Banzi Practical Arduino: Cool Projects for Open Source Hardware (Technology in Action) by Jonathan Oxer 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius [Paperback] Simon Monk 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius by Brad Graham Mechatronics for the Evil Genius: 25 Build-it-Yourself Projects by Newton Braga 123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius (TAB Robotics) by Myke Predko 22 Radio and Receiver Projects for the Evil Genius by Thomas Petruzzellis The Geeks' Guide to World Domination: Be Afraid, Beautiful People [Paperback] Garth Sundem Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) by Robert Bruce Thompson Chemical Magic by Leonard A. Ford The Best of Make (Make 75 Projects from the pages of MAKE) by Mark Frauenfelder Theo Gray's Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home - But Probably Shouldn't by Theodore Gray BTW:  I have the one pictured, and actually am not pleased with this particular one.  Which is why I am being cautious....

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply


Mags, Websites, Fairs Tap Tech DIY Boom - Instructables in the Washington Post

Instructables, Make, and Dorkbot are all mentioned in this Associated Press article: Mags, Websites, Fairs Tap Tech DIY Boom By SETH SUTEL NEW YORK -- What do you do when you've bolted a computer onto a remote-controlled car, hooked it up with Internet access, a wireless router and a camera but you don't have anyone to show it off to? Just ask Mike Davis. He brought his mobile Internet access point to a meeting with other readers of Make magazine, a how-to publication for people who just love to tinker with stuff. The 28-year-old systems engineer from Brooklyn found people who built homemade LCD displays, a clock that makes you solve a math problem before setting the alarm and a class in mastering pipe mechanics - something with many uses beyond just making a potato cannon. Make magazine, not yet three years old, is leading a new wave of interest in build-it-yourself projects. Even as technology comes to us in packages that are ever harder to take apart and tinker with, Make harkens back to a time when it was OK to build your own radio, get under the hood of your car and open up electronic devices like record players just to see how they worked. Its Web site sells hooded sweat shirts emblazoned with the credo: "If You Can't Open It, You Don't Own It." People seem to be catching on. In the summer of 2005, not long after Make's first issue came out, an MIT-educated engineer named Eric Wilhelm launched a site called Instructables.com with how-to instructions for all kinds of projects, while a meet-up group called Dorkbot has been springing up in cities around the country to showcase artistic, musical and just plain quizzical inventions with one thing in common - using electricity. ... Wilhelm started an early version of Instructables.com while still a starving grad student because he was seeking advice about how to make equipment to support his kite surfing hobby on the cheap. The site is now nearly profitable and is seeing online traffic grow about 10 percent a month, hitting 2.5 million unique visitors in January, said Wilhelm. One of the most popular projects is the "Invisible Book Shelf," made by attaching an L-bracket to a book which you then attach to your wall, and then pile more books on top. More news articles about Instructables here.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply