Author Options:

questions for rail gun? Answered

i have a few questions about a rail gun project i'm working on...
1.) Where are some good places that i can buy parts for a decent railgun (i already know of some places like home depot (for the rails and casing) and radio shack (for some of the minor components)?
2.) Is there a better material (cost and in efficiency) than copper for the rail? (i heard aluminum is good, and i also heard silver is good but silver is expensive)
3.) what are good power supplies (something fairly mobile would do nicely, and i am not asking for specific requirements i am asking what other people have used as power supplies)

if you commented on my last question, don't on this one please, i got your opinion. I would like an answer that is to the point please and not something that has to do with whether or not i should build a rail gun (i have gotten answers like that before which bugs me when i ask a question).


1) Totally depends where you are, and what you are buying. Railgun components are as wide-ranging in the electrical world as you come, between the rail material, the bolts, the electrical components etc.
2) Depends on where you are. Some places have copper cheaper than aluminium, depending on supply and demand. Check with your local metal suppliers (phone book is a great place to start looking to get quotes once you nail down a design). The reason Cu and Al are used is they are extremely good conductors of electricity - it's whatever you can get your hands on.
3) Power supply depends on your capacitor bank. You'll want a fairly substantial power source if you don't want to sit there waiting for it to charge all day. This all depends on your electronics ability; using an ATX power supply, and an interrupter to turn the 12v rail into pulsed DC then through a big custom transformer to boost the voltage to whatever your capacitors need.

Should we encourage someone who "hates the human race" to build a weapon ?

+1 There's that and unfortunately, I commented on his previous question and am now precluded from commenting on this one.

You're not precluded at all, unless you respect the opinion of an unpleasant teenager.

Figured I was being generic enough that only someone who knew what they were doing or did the research could build it - and frankly amateur/hobby level rail guns have difficulty doing more damage than a pellet air rifle...

... being flicked off your hand with a finger.

We had one at school when I was there that could put a 1/2" steel rod, 4" long through a 1" pine board, admittedly only from around 30 feet away but still.