water balloon launcher...

dvsDave

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Alright... I need to make a water balloon launcher capable of delivering a payload of 10 balloons per launch at a distance from 20 to 50 yards.

I was thinking some sort of trebuchet, but can't think of how to make that even somewhat accurate.

anyone have any ideas??
 

bdesmond

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I either saw one of these at the store or online, actually built one for launching oranges a couple years ago.

For water balloons, get some sort of strong material as the basket, I would recommend you cut a PVC pipe down the middle. Cut two holes in either end of the PVC pipe, and run a piece of surgical tubing (1/2" diameter is plenty) through either end.

For handles, get a couple pieces of threaded rod (along with eight nuts to fit), perhaps 12" long each, and bend them to make handles. Put one nut on the each end of the handles and thread them up a ways. Slide the handles into the holes on the back of the pipe, and using the remaining nuts to lock the handles in place. You may want to get some of the plastic tool dip at Ace and dip or paint the threaded rod in that to avoid scraping up your hands.

I used a 8" PVC pipe cap when I built mine, but it was for launching single oranges. Be careful with one of these devices, we had an accident with an orange that didn't leave the launcher and backfired.

I can get some pictues of the orange launcher if you need them.
 

soundman

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zac850

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is this for a show or for a water-balloon fight???

sounds like it wouldn't be a bad idea to make it for a water-balloon fight..
 

dvsDave

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it's for a water-balloon fight! :twisted:
 

ship

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Trebuchets’ can be difficult. Saw an episode on Junkyard wars about doing this and one key factor became just how the hook holding the bag was shaped. Though the amount of pressure on the balloon during the acceleration would be I expect much less drastic on such a contraption than with other means. In the same respect of starting slow and picking up speed rapidly, perhaps something can be built dramatically slower using a fly wheel and multiple position fan assembly to hold the baloons in a magazine like drum operated by the fly wheel’s help. Perhaps you can even work on an automatic fire type mode such as a Gatling Gun type feed mechanism. Think a combination of squarrel fan with size between blades large enough to hold a balloon, a gangster like Thompson machine gun from the gangerster era having a 50 or 100 round drum, and a fly wheel perhaps off a two cycle lawn mower in compensating counter balance for weight and speed, or just with a large fly wheel equally weighted in starting slow in acceleration but building up to a lot of force behind that speed rapidly. Such a fly wheel is part of my constant weaponry theory for my Robot Wars bot’s ice pick weapon and flipper arm. Major difference is that as opposed to a volume of balloon fire, you would have a more machine gun like fire including as many balloons as fit in the magazine/drum, but the initial rounds would probably be falling short as opposed to all falling in a group that might or might not be on target and cannot be swivelled to the target. On my concept of mediaeval weapons, my concept is more of a ballasta like in that you would probably need at least a short barrel to better aim, but it’s direct instead of indirect fire. For your range you would need to compensate for that, but it still would be more simple to adjust to the target while firing and have less size and ballast needed for it.
 

Mayhem

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My memory of water balloons is that they burst quite easily and you may find that you burst more that you launch in anything with moving parts.

Thought of using an oversize lcrosse thingy?
 

bdesmond

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Chicago, IL USA
miniwyo said:
Why dont you try just a simple catapult. Just build a base and then get a somewhat flexible board or other material that will snap back quickly when you release it from a bent back position.


RJ
Rock Springs Wy.
A 8" wide piece of spring steel would do the trick here. The larger issue is where to secure the ammunition whilst you're lacunhing it. You'd need some sort of basin type gig, I'd reckon.