The Auto Loading Potato Cannon





Introduction: The Auto Loading Potato Cannon

Well, I made a trigger system for a potato cannon that, when you push up on the trigger, it opens a small 1/2 valve and sprays the AXE body spray into the now open valve. When you release the trigger it shuts off the AXE, and shuts the valve. Then you can pull back on the trigger which is connected to one of those "long-lighter sparker" it jumps a small arc across the combustion chamber- igniting it. Now, all of you potato cannoneers like me can appreciate the speed and ease of this system, you no longer have to unscrew the back of it, tilt it open, spray it in, close it before it escapes, make sure the threads are lined up, find your igniter, aim, then fire, - That all takes about 30seconds, well this system (once it is already loaded with a projectile) only takes 3 seconds. The only problem I have now is that it looks like a bomb. Soon I will be making this cannon into a six shot revolver, my next instructable, and most B.A. potato cannon of all time. Happy shooting!



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    32 Discussions

    Try carrying that into an airport. Or for that matter, anywhere there are other people (take a video so we can all see!)

    Anyone ever try using an auto charging Flash cap stystem out of a kodak to make a mortar ignigtor, like the shell would have an open space at the botton that you would spray, then drop into the barrel. At the bottom it would cross two wires on the pos And neg of the capacitor causing it to discharge and ignight the gas, launching the shell out. Anyone think this would work? Flash caps create a preaty powerful spark when they discharge( popped a couple tiny cauterized burn holes in my hand when me And my friend were tazing each other with then the otherday, And yea it hurt, still does 8 days later.)

    1 reply

    That sounds like it could work pretty well; in fact you might even be able to hack it one step further and use it to control the sprayer. It would essentially be a comparator that compares the capacitor voltage to a potentiometer (for adjusting the air/WD-40/axe/starter fluid/other mixture) that then controls a solenoid valve between the propellant tank and the combustion chamber.

    I lke the concept but make the apperance cleaner. Bundle wires and so on.

    this whole thing would work alot better, if it used a pray system that works the same as that of an inhaler cartridge

    I have a suggestion where to source a metal springloaded butterfly valve but you will have to cut the valve out of surrounding housing . Go to a wrecked car that has efi and take the butterfly valve from the air intake . many cars run butterfly valves about the size you are after and they are housed in aluminium as a rule. i would suggest a turbo car as they are generally heaver in build

    Im gonna try and post a video soon of it working and firing, i dont have any blue prints of it since i just made it out of random stuff that worked for it that i happened to have in my room. i think im gonna update it tho since i changed a couple different things on it with the arching mechanism, upgraded that to a 12,000 volt bbq pulse ignitor that arcs thru 3 different points and therefore causes a faster combustion and more powerful shot. i fired it at a 1/2 in thick plywood board using a golf ball and it went strait thru and kept going, made a perfectly round hole too, pretty funny. 

    would you mind telling us how you made yours. im working on a similar project and am running into a small problem. after the first shot there isn't enough oxygen in the chamber for there to be combustion, so now i have a pump action potato cannon that still needs to be opend up to fire again. would just adding a fan do the trick, and what is the proses of firing yours ie. pull lever, press button, ext

    heres the link to mine if anybody has advice

    2 replies

    sorry, i havent been on here in a while, what im intending to do is use a large butterfly valve, roughly 2 inches in diameter to blow air into the chamber. as of right now i still havent gotten the time to make it into a revolver, the fan im going to use is actually ripped off of a old dishwasher but with one of the motors from a old powerwheels cars to spin the fan instead of the AC motor originally on it. i just kind of rigged the DC motor onto it btw. I still havent exactly figured out how im going to rotate the barrels accurately so it lines up but i think a locking mechanism will do the trick. its going to be very heavy tho bc of all the additional stuff, im gonna be using a computer backup 12 volt battery mounted as far back as possible to counter the forward weight from the extra barrels. I need to post a video of it, ill work on it.

    nevermind i spoke to soon, i see you seem to have the same problem. for my design i just used 1/2 ball valves, but they do make larger ones. the problem with a revolving barrel is that you would loose pressure from both gaps, i was thinking revolving first but settled on bolt/pump because you can cover and seal the cartridge with the slid. im making the seal tighter by gluing pices of rubber from bike tubing around the barrel.

    a similar design 2 my friends baloon popper, ill have 2 ask him about the pressuriser

    i was thinking a butterfly valve but i dont know where to find one, i doubt that home depot would have something like that but i havent checked. If anyone knows a place to find one of those vavles or something i could use in its place let me know. I was thinking about sealing it up but just havent got around to it. ive been busy with some other projects and stuff. Once i get the valve i can finish the cannon, it just hasnt been at the top of my priorities list recently.

    Yes, like Ryuu Kasai said, can we see a video of how it works? I'm very curious. Also, any info on your progress with the revolver? Any pictures of you building it? Thanks

    2 replies

    Thanks, I have been really busy with schoool lately and ran into a problem with the valve. I need a valve that can open about 2 inches in diameter to allow air to flow by smoothly so that the fan can push out the co2 for the next shot. The valve also must survive presures of at least 200psi and survive 200 F ( just to be sure) and open and shut quickly. want to get it finished though, but i need the valve. Another problem i ran into was that the arch i was the arch i was using wasn't hot enough to arch after the first shot and had to let it air out completelybefore i could use the arch to launch agasin otherwise i would just use the lantern ignitor. I got a 6,000Volt car transformer- It adds weight but it archs every time, even in low oxegene enviroments. I also thought about hiding all the wires but it is kind of frankinstein-like.

    i have an idea for a valve that might work if you ever heard of a butterfly valve it would be perfect,the mythbuster used on their chicken cannon