Balloon-Only PC

Guides and discussions about building water blasters and other water warfare devices such as water balloon launchers.
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soakinader
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Balloon-Only PC

Post by soakinader » Mon May 26, 2014 2:37 am

So I'd just like to hear some discussion about homemade balloon-only PC's. I have heard of people trying to make these but without success.

What I'd like to know is:
-How many balloons have successfully been nested?
-How many balloons have been used in a working test shot? How is the output?
-How many balloons have been tested but exploded under pressure?

I have a piece of PVC working it's way up to 15 balloons so I was just curious.
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the oncoming storm
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by the oncoming storm » Mon May 26, 2014 6:25 am

if you want to learn about balloon bladders, I would go over to SSC and look at the threads related to the CPH Custom Assault Rifle. As far as I know it was the only successful one.
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wetmonkey442
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by wetmonkey442 » Mon May 26, 2014 10:18 am

Are you using the PVC pipe as a base to start layering the balloons? You might want to consider using a hose barb or something similar.

The CPS Custom Assault Rifle that storm mentioned is a great build. Here's the link: http://www.sscentral.org/homemade/cpscar.html

Let us know how your project turns out!
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HBWW
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by HBWW » Mon May 26, 2014 10:38 am

I checked that article some time back. Unless I missed something, I don't see any documentation on how to layer the PC properly, but from discussions here, it seems that simply using a stick to push back the base balloon should work. Hard to say, since when I tried (without anything to keep the basr balloon taught), the bladder was layered unevenly and was a complete failure. (Balloons snapped apart when testing.)

Of course, the shoddy image host (Imageshack) had to delete many of the images there too. Although not as bad as Photobucket, they're not a host you'd want to use.
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martianshark
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by martianshark » Mon May 26, 2014 11:35 am

I'd kind of like to know this myself. But, the SSC article doesn't give any details on how to actually make the PC.
CA99 wrote:It's funny because you can get 5 water bottles and a pencil for much less than $90.

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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by HBWW » Mon May 26, 2014 11:48 am

As far as I'm aware, no one has documented a proper balloons-only PC. Just layering balloons over a barb doesn't work, since they won't go on evenly and the outer layers will start tearing out from being stretched unevenly.

I've tried some experiments with K-modded PC's to power a CPH, but haven't finished yet. The balloons that were already on there (I got the bladders from DX) weren't evenly stretched over the whole bladder, thus the bladder would try to expand at the weak points first. In a typical PC case, this is not a problem because the case keeps that area from expanding. I did manage to get a PC case over a bladder with a 1/2" barb and adapter in it, but I really do not trust the bladder not to shoot off (in order to prevent that, you need to use a 5/8" barb, not 1/2", and the clamp has to be attached very well if not using a case), so I'm placing it back in a CPS casing and working the internals around it.

Given the rate of pull valve failure in CPS's (most of which cannot be repaired very practically unless you have a fortune to spend on epoxy), there should be no shortage of bladders to go around in the near future. Our concerns about CPS bladders going bad have not yet been proven, but another culprit has taken its place: the seals (especially in the pull valve and sometimes pump) go bad very easily. Or perhaps I'm not cycling clean water often enough, since these blasters are getting exposed to natural water more and more often (which in turn seems to speed up rusting and make the seals go dry more easily).
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soakinader
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by soakinader » Mon May 26, 2014 10:35 pm

OK cool. That answers some questions of mine!

CA99, what do you mean about "clean water" vs "natural water" ? Do you mean using tap water versus water from a lake/stream, or filtered water? I have never even considered that the water I am using might be damaging my guns.

So when I go on my parts run, I think I will pick up an extra 1/2" and 5/8" barb and a whole whack of balloons. Once I do that, I can assemble all of my LRT experimental bladders, hook them up to my new pump (or maybe just my QFD) and get to work. Ideally all of the PC's will be threaded and interchangeable for testing purposes.

What really intrigues me is JLspacemarine's trigger design. It looks like a brass valve with a cabinet door hinge plate on a 45 degree angle. I'm going to have to look around some more; most of the ball valves I have found at hardware stores are, too expensive, too stiff to open with one hand, too stiff to be closed by a spring, too heavy, too hard to modify, etc etc...
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by HBWW » Tue May 27, 2014 2:12 pm

Perhaps I should've said tap vs. natural water instead of "clean", but yes, that's what I meant. I have no evidence that natural water accelerates deterioration of metal or seals, just a hunch that it's possible. (The problem is, I haven't used these blasters with natural water, although DX used to for the ones I bought from him.)

For the barbs, I've only used them for actual bladders. I've found that nothing seems to work for bare-balloon bladders and that they simply can't be layered evenly at least without some oddball tricks. Perhaps some goofy technique involving ice would work; if you can get bladder-shaped ice over at the barb and layer balloons over that, it could work.

For CPS bladders, here's what I've experimented with so far:
PVC 1/2" barb: These have recently become common for me locally. They seem slightly larger than the Watts nylon 1/2" barbs, and are also much longer; good for bladders.
5/8" Watts nylon barb: I can't find other plastic barbs from other brands in 5/8".

I tried clamping CPS bladders (k-modded) to both barbs, and the 1/2" barb will not work. The bladder shoots off. The 5/8" barb seems to hold the bladder, but I can't be sure since the bladder expanded in the wrong direction due to uneven balloon layering. (I need to get rid of the balloons and redo the job. I blame DX!) Thus, I didn't try to expand it further and damage the bladder, so I'm also not sure if it will hold full pressure with those 60-90 balloons.

For ball valves, you really have to browse through them and test each one for how well it moves. Having silicone lube could help too, but be careful not to use too much. I've only purchased plastic valves though, and those don't lend well to being rigged for triggers.
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by DX » Tue May 27, 2014 10:11 pm

Those balloons cannot be fully-stretched the way you want in their original application (as K-modded bladders for 2100s). The clamp walls will not close unless the necks of the balloons are short enough. Uneven expansion is basically guaranteed in a heavy K-mod, it's not physically possible to have uniform distribution and still close the stock PC casing.

Around here, in the designated public water supply zone, the natural water essentially IS also the tap water. The tap water comes out of wells, drawing from the same aquifer that feeds the ponds and streams. My water runs pretty hard, with lots of mineral content, and that's not great for water gun internals, but look at a map of water hardness - Michigan water is far harder.
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soakinader
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Re: Balloon-Only PC

Post by soakinader » Fri May 30, 2014 9:49 pm

So I set out today on errands, one of which was to buy some balloons. I bought two bags of balloons from dollarama:
Image
The bag of 15 green 12" balloons was 1.25$ somewhere; either another dollar store or Walmart; I have seen them around for 2$ though and that's why I went with these two bags for 1$ apiece!

One bag of 10 black 12" balloons: 1$
One bag of:
1 tiny green balloon
15 small balloons (11 blue, 2 green 1 white 1 red)
27 medium balloons (10 purple, 5 yellow, 2 orange, 3 pink, 1 red, 1 black, 5 white) (About the same size as the 12" balloons)
2 large(r) balloons (purple, pink)
So total, 44 usable balloons: Also 1$

Now that's a deal!

As far as layering balloons go, I can't do anything proper until I get my barbs from Princess Auto. However:
CA99 wrote:Perhaps some goofy technique involving ice would work; if you can get bladder-shaped ice over at the barb and layer balloons over that, it could work
Image
Hehehe...

Originally, my thought was to fill the balloon with sand in order to layer them, but when you said to use ice... That was brilliant! Now, it is SO EASY to layer balloons.
When I make an all-balloon PC, I plan to document the whole goofy process with pictures and everything!

Here's a crazy thought for ya: Why not take a bulb syringe (the kind used for cooking/drawing liquids) and use that as the base for a PC? You would have to find one that is of a thicker, higher quality and possibly not silicone. If you can find one with the right elasticity, it could work you know.

Oh and the picture has a 5L water thingy. I still would like to have a 3L NSS Hydra Pack (those are supposedly very comfy) but I can still put this into an old backpack, and it's probably better than a 10-15$, 20 liter Solar Shower anyways.
My friends call me Nader. My foes just run.
Photos relocated to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/151868511 ... 8741427445
I find 'em, I fix 'em.

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