Our New Water Balloon Launcher - Engineered for battle practicality.

Guides and discussions about building water blasters and other water warfare devices such as water balloon launchers.
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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:02 am

After a couple of months of building, modifying and adding new features, our new design water balloon sniper is complete.

Our team designed this launcher from the ground up for battle practicality. It uses a 25mm solenoid valve modified for air actuation, and features two pressure chambers for two full strength shots on every pump. Loading times were kept to a minimum with the use of a compressor and breech loading system, and we replaced the tyre valve input with a quick-release valve for minumum pressure loss when we detach the compressor. We also constructed a tripod for steady aiming.

Here's a video of us loading and firing the launcher at my old treehouse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq_HZSjOTTE

Here's a link to our photo gallery of the launcher.
http://s157.photobucket.com/albums....578.jpg

Tell me what you think.

HBWW
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Post by HBWW » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:35 am

Very nice. I like the chamber quick-loading. Hmm... Maybe a bolt action (or some other kind of quick-loading method) system can be created based off of that. Launcher itself looks cool too. Just a question, it doesn't seem to be easy to aim the launcher at high angles (perhaps over 70 degrees), so how is that done? Also, it seems like the diameters of the 180 degree joints from the PC's are kind of small and flow restricting, but doesn't seem to be a problem because the launcher is more designed for direct fire.

Overall, very nice design. Painting is great and I like the loading system.
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WaterWolf
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Post by WaterWolf » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:39 am

MUST... GET... Blueprints for that breach-loader.
Looks awesome, if a bit bulky.
What kind of ranges are you getting and how much did it cost to build?

My own WBL design is nearing completion. The Tactical-PGL as I call it, uses a CAP system that has never been seen before in WBLs and is built to be highly battle-practical.
The Maple-Mountain-Marines.

Terrifying, but oddly refreshing.
-B.D.

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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:52 am

Since the tripod was designed for accuracy when sniping, we wouldn't have much use for it when aiming over 45 degrees anyway so we just use the launcher without the tripod in those circumstances.

We were also concerned that the smaller diameter pipes joining the PCs to the solenoid were going to be a problem, but we did the maths and after some testing we found that there was not a noticeable loss in performance compared to our old design launcher which had the same diameter pipe all over.

As for the cost, we ended up spending $200-300 AU building this thing with all the accessories. The smaller diameter brass fittings which join the PC to the barrel were the most expensive part at around $80, and we also bought a good compressor for around $100.

The launcher can fire further than the diameter of our local cricket field (a couple hundred metres, but we haven't actually measured it) but we rarely fire that far as the chances of hitting anyone are slim.




Edited By Falcon on 1177769188

Silence
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Post by Silence » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:19 am

Very nicely built. Looks very powerful, and the only concern is size, but then again, a WBL can't do much more than artillerize. :laugh:

I wouldn't be concerned about flow from the pressure chambers. A sprinkler valve is going to constrict that flow anyway.

The compressor looks useful - what pressures and flows can it generate? I know wetmonkey442 used a portable on in one of his water balloon launchers, but this looks like it's a bit more powerful.

Good luck with using the launcher, and I'd love to see some battle reports! :cool:

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isoaker
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Post by isoaker » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:47 am

Sweet WBL set-up you have there!

Out of curiousity, how much water do those balloons end up delivering on their targets?

And, as Silence mentions, battle reports as well as in-battle pics/videos of WBL action would be great to see, too!

:cool:
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Post by DX » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:58 am

NICE launcher! Love the craftsmanship, breech, and overall practicality. I'm not particularly fond of compressors, but they do probably deliver faster reloading. How many shots can you pull off in a minute and 2 minutes?
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Silence
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Post by Silence » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:09 am

I'd expect a decent rate of fire with that compressor. Keep in mind that you can only really compare that rate of fire to that of a different WBL if you limit the pressures and performance of this one. Ie, compare rates of fire for similar ranges. :cool:

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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Sun Apr 29, 2007 5:16 am

The compressor looks useful - what pressures and flows can it generate? I know wetmonkey442 used a portable on in one of his water balloon launchers, but this looks like it's a bit more powerful.

The flow rate is rated at 72 litres/min. Max pressure is 150PSI and that's also the max pressure at which we pressurise our launcher.


Out of curiousity, how much water do those balloons end up delivering on their targets?

We measured the average volume of a water balloon to be 80mL. The barrel is 2" so we have to make the water balloons relatively small so they will fit. This assists in accuracy at ranges though which is what we were striving for.



NICE launcher! Love the craftsmanship, breech, and overall practicality. I'm not particularly fond of compressors, but they do probably deliver faster reloading. How many shots can you pull off in a minute and 2 minutes?

It takes 1 minute to pump both chambers at once to 100PSI. After firing the first shot, it takes approx 10 seconds to have the next shot loaded and ready. We don't usually fire shots that rapidly in a war though since we like to take our time to get a good shot in.

WaterWolf
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Post by WaterWolf » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:47 am

Hmm, ten seconds is the reload time that I have calculated for mine as-well, except that mine would be getting 4 to 5 shots with that speed.
If I could integrate your breech loading into my design, the rate of fire would be even higher.

I have the gun all assembled, I just need an air-regulator and it will be complete.

I'm building mine to act more in the role of a heavy assault-rifle, rather than a sniper.
It fires 75-mm (3-inch) balloons rather than the 50-mm (2-inch) balloons that I had seen in previous WBL rifles. This is so that it can deliver a bigger payload and hit a larger area with one shot. But I've built all the components on mine to be removable, so if necessary, I can switch it to a "Sniper mod" with a 2-inch barrel if the situation calls for it.
The Maple-Mountain-Marines.

Terrifying, but oddly refreshing.
-B.D.

Silence
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Post by Silence » Sun Apr 29, 2007 11:52 am

Nice - it sounds really powerful. Just wondering though, is the compressor battery powered? I don't see any cables in the pictures, but I might have missed them.

I also really love your sabots.

I'd suggest modifying the sprinkler valve such that you can increase the opening time and power.

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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:15 am

Yeah the compressor is battery powered, this can be seen in image 4 of the photo gallery where the compressor setup is shown.

We did modify the solenoid valve for air actuation and also modified the valve to open further. In image 6 you can see a handle on the end of a hose extending from the base of the launcher, this is the trigger and the hose is connected to the top of the solenoid.

By the way, for anyone who is thinking of building a WBL with a solenoid valve and has never built one before, it's definitely worth modifying the valve to be opened pneumatically. The first launcher my friend and I built used a solenoid but it was operated electrically. Every time we fired the launcher it would make a loud "honk" sound and the results were less than pleasing. Since we modified the valve for air actuation, it opens a lot faster and the shots have so much more power. Definitely worth it.

WaterWolf
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Post by WaterWolf » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:28 am

I'm in the process of modifying mine right now.
How do you think the Solenoid valve does range-wise when compared to a ball-valve?
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-B.D.

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Post by marauder » Sat May 05, 2007 1:35 pm

That's really sweet! I wanna see more, there isn't enough information on WBLs out there.
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Post by sogoie » Sun May 06, 2007 10:58 am

thats awesome

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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Fri May 11, 2007 3:08 am

WaterWolf wrote:I'm in the process of modifying mine right now.
How do you think the Solenoid valve does range-wise when compared to a ball-valve?
Sorry for the late reply, I've never actually made a soaker with a ball valve. My friend and I moved straight to solenoids when we built our first launcher since they open almost instantly.

I can imagine the range increase would be fairly large since there would be almost no loss of power from a valve which opens so fast.

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Falcon
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Post by Falcon » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:29 pm

Well after having the compressor die on me a few months back and with my friend moving away to his mum's place in search of a new job, the launcher hasn't seen much action.

But summer is approaching here in Australia and my friend is going to start visiting fairly regularly. Yesterday he drove down with a repaired compressor - so we're back in action.

We plan on making a new video to show the cannon's capabilities. This video will hopefully be a lot longer than the one already posted, showing off the capabilities of the launcher when fired at various angles and ranges. We're planning on making the new video over the weekend so expect to see it around then. I'll keep you posted.

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isoaker
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Post by isoaker » Tue Oct 02, 2007 9:13 am

'tis bad news about the compressor, but good to hear you now have access to a repaired one. Definitely looking forward to any pics and/or videos you can share. Autumn has hit up here and its just a touch on the cool side these days to get others interested in holding a water fight.

:cool:
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