Altoid Coil Gun




Introduction: Altoid Coil Gun

I've been working on this for awhile and this contest is perfect timing for me to show it off.  This is a coil gun put in to an Altoids (technically two) containers.
All you need is:
disposable camera
magnet wire
2 Altoids tins
2 push buttons (1 has to be rated for at lease 3 Amps)

Now unfortunately I do not have picture of me making the above coil gun; but i did make a quick example circuit to show the step by step process.

Step 1: Inside of the Camera

Take the camera out of its plastic container. you can remove the extra metal wings ( they where mechanical contacts) we don't need them anymore). You should also remove the flash (unless you want it to flash as you fire the coil). Last remove the capacitor; you might want to note which side is negative on the PCB. 

Step 2: Charging Button

Extend the button out.
Please note that as this is for demonstration purposes you may want to extend yours further.

Step 3:

Now you can throw out the capacitor; use more capacitors for a stronger magnetic field. Just remember to keep the capacitors in parallel; you also have to keep all additional capacitors at 330 volt and as photo-flash capacitors; you can have varying farads.

Step 4: The LED

Now its time to pull out the LED; take your time in desodering, and remember the position of the leads.

Step 5: The Fire Button

Now take you firing and connect one end to the positive side of the resistor

Step 6: Coil

Next use that pen tube and start to wrap with the magnet wire; I suggest using a 20-22 AWG and making at least 3 wraps.
remember the neater the coil and the more wraps you have equal a stranger magnetic field.

Step 7: Final Connection

Now connect one end of the coil to the capacitor and the other to the button

Step 8: Closing Remarks

I am surprised at how may people think I can kill with this; my capacitor bank totals 480uF and my coil is warped 5 times to fitt my alltoid form factor. My estimation is that you need at least 1000uF and 15 wraps on the coil. I shoot my coil at people and they don't even realize it it's so week; just don't point in at  an eye.

Also remember to scale everything you see in the pictures up; and that you can use any farad of capacitor as long  as it is rated and 330 Volts and for photo-flash.

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    12 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Could I use a huge can capacitor? 100K uF at 600VDC


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You can use more capacitance; but the shutoff point of the circuit is 300V. It is not piratical to use a 600v capacitor because it will never charge mare than 300V.


    7 years ago

    How the heck does this shoot anything? How does it work?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    when electricity is travels through the coil it generates a magnetic field; that magnetic field propels the metal projectile.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, but, this is similar to the coilgun by 115494...except you threw it in an altoids tin and he did not.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I didn't realize there was another coil gun in the competition till after i enter; I've been slowly toying with this for the last few week's trying to get the smallest button i can for the fire button. Thanks though, I have a ting for putting thins in Altoids tins.