Special Ops Paintball: Launcher Guide - Special Ops Paintball

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Launcher Guide

#1 User is offline   Blitzen 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:11 AM

~WARNING~
This document is not intended to be a guide to go out and build your own potentially hazardous device. This document is a collection of information based on my own experience in building my air cannon. What you do with this information is your responsibility, and not mine. Serious injury could result from misuse of an air cannon, or compressed gasses. An air cannon should never be fired at a person who is not wearing the appropriate protective equipment, and has not given consent to be fired upon (such as a player in a paintball game). Even while wearing appropriate safety equipment, an aircannon can still be very hazardous. I can not accept liability for someone applying or misapplying information from this document. The information here is provided for entertainment purposes only.
~WARNING~

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//////General Overview
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If you have always wanted to use a grenade launcher in paintball, or wanted to be called "grenadier" well then you have come to the right place! This guide is designed help you build a compact, simple, co2 powered grenade launcher. These guide is geared more towards players who are new at building launchers, want a simple design, dont want to spend alot of money, and/or players who arent on a paintball team, but still want to use a launcher.
*NOTE* I recomend that you read the full guide before buying and deciding on what you want to do.

//////Supplies
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(This list will start out as being very general, but as I remeber more I will hope to make it more detailed)
Tools
1. Work Bench :happy:
2. Drill, with drill bits
3. PVC Primer and Glue

Materials
1. Sling (Optional)
2. 2" PVC Piping
3. 2" PVC End Cap (Depending on Design)
4. 1" Brass Ball Valve
5. 1" 90* Steel Elbow ((Depending on Design)
6. Small 1" Threaded Steel Piece
7. 1" Steel Piping Piece
8. 1" to 3/4" Steel Piping adaptor
9. 3/4" to 1/2" Steel Piping adaptor
10. 12 Gram quick changer
11. Tippmann Barrel Condom (Depending on Design)
12. Two worm clampls (Depending on Design)
Now, you went to the store and got all this...what in the world do you do with it all??

//////Choose your Design
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I am going to be covering two different types of designs in this guide! Both of them are designed to be compact and deadly. One will be a stacked design, while the other one will be more of a bazooka styled launcher. Both of these launchers will require the use of PVC glue and primer, before you use these things here are three important rules to follow:

Quote

#1.USE PVC PRIMER AND GLUE IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA! The primer and glue let off some very powerful fumes, and they could make you lightheaded in a closed-in room.
#2. Always, Always, Always apply primer first---never try to skip a step and go straight to the glueing.
#3. Most importantly LET THE PVC GLUE CURE COMPELTLY (Cure time is 24hrs) before putting any pressure/force on it. A number of people have told me stories about how they eagerly tried their aircannons too soon, blowing out the air chambers

To help you choose here are two pictures of the two different designs:

"Stacked" Design
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Bazooka Design
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//////Building the "Stack" Launcher
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Start off by priming and glueing your 2" pvc end cap to your barrel section. After that is done, your going to want to assemble your steel piping. The Quick Change adapter will screw into the 3/4" steel pipe reducer and that will screw into the 1/2" reducer. This 1/2" reducer will be mounted to the long piece of steel pipe that in turn goes into your ball valve. Don't try anything smaller than a 5" long pipe (you can go longer but not shorter). The pipe will act as an air/expansion chamber for the 12grams. Use teflon tape (plumber's tape) for all the steel tubing threads to keep them from leaking. After your endcap is glued and your metal chamber is bult your going to want to drill a hole into the barrel near the end cap. I used I think a .5 inch drill piece and slowly filed it larger to fit the 90 deg elbow. After this is done, your going to want to thread the metal airchamber (via the 90* elbow) into the barrel. You really want to thread the 90* elbow into the barrel pretty far. When finished the end of the 90* elbow will act as a stopping point. For example if you were to slide a sabot down the barrel, it should slide down the barrel till the back of the sabot hits where the elbow pokes out. End it by attaching a zip tie to the front of the barrel (to keep the barrel and airchamber stacked ontop of each other), a sling for easy carrying, and a nice paint job.

//////Building the "Bazooka" Launcher
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First off your going to want to take your 2" PVC coupler and glue it to your 2" female 1" threaded PVC piece. Then take that "combo" piece and glue it to your barrel. After that is done, you are going to want to build up your metal airchamber. Once again the Quick Change adapter will screw into the 3/4" steel pipe reducer and that will screw into the 1/2" reducer. This 1/2" reducer will be mounted to the long piece of steel pipe and then to the ball valve. Now take your Tippmann barrel condom and cut away the bag part leaving only the elastic cords. Now its time to attach your two worm clamps. Attach one at the base/top of the 2" PVC coupling, and put the ends of the elastic cords under this worm clamp, and secure it down. Attach another worm clamp to the top of the barrel. Your going to want to take your 1" metal threaded piece and screw it into the 1" threaded PVC piece. Your going to want to get this as snug as possible. You should be able to screw your ball valve onto this 1" metal piece. To compact this launcher you can actually take the ballvavle/metal chamber part and put it inside the barrel. Then you take your tippmann elastic cords and wrap it around the ball vavle handle to keep it from coming out. When it is compacted it should look like this:
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Once again add a sling for easy compactibilty, and a nice paint job

//////Launcher Gallery & Videos
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"Stacked" Launcher Video
Bazooka Launcher Video

This post has been edited by Blitzen: 06 October 2008 - 07:09 PM

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#2 User is offline   Blitzen 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:15 AM

~WARNING~
This document is not intended to be a guide to go out and build your own potentially hazardous device. This document is a collection of information based on my own experience in building my air cannon. What you do with this information is your responsibility, and not mine. Serious injury could result from misuse of an air cannon, or compressed gasses. An air cannon should never be fired at a person who is not wearing the appropriate protective equipment, and has not given consent to be fired upon (such as a player in a paintball game). Even while wearing appropriate safety equipment, an aircannon can still be very hazardous. I can not accept liability for someone applying or misapplying information from this document. The information here is provided for entertainment purposes only.
~WARNING~


Posted Image


//////General Overview
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So you say you want to make a nerf launcher? Better yet you want to make a cool, more sophisticated launcher that will turn heads at your local scenario. Well I am here to help. This guide is designed to help you to create a floating barrel style launcher that will caltipult you into a tank killing legend. Whats so great about this design you ask? Well for starters it is powered by an electronic valve. By using an electronic valve you are able to open the valve quickly allowing for air to escape much faster than if you were using a manual ball valve. Also by using a floating barrel design, you are able to reload both faster, and easier than your standard breach loader design. Anyways enough chit chat lets get down to business...
*NOTE* I recomend that you read the full guide before buying and deciding on what you want to do.

//////Supplies
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//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
(This list will start out as being very general, but as I remeber more I will hope to make it more detailed)
Tools
1. Work Bench
2. Bench Clamps
3. Dremmel
4. Hack Saw
5. Screwdriver
6. Soldering tool
7. Drill, with sander/grinding drill bits
8. Measuring Tape
9. PVC Primer and Glue
10. Epoxy
11. Teflon Tape

Materials
1. One Anti Siphon rainbird water valve
2. 2 inch Schedule 40 PVC Pipe
3. One 2 inch PVC T section
4. One 1 inch PVC Cap (or whatever size you feel like you will need)
5. Numerous brass fittings
6. Two 2” PVC ” Female threaded pieces (Depending on how you chose to build your launcher you might need three of these pieces)
7. Two 2” PVC Couplings (Once again depending on how you chose to build your launcher you might need three of these pieces)
8. 2" PVC End Cap (Depending on how you chose to build your launcher )
9. Paintball ASA
10. Three Worm Clamps
11. One Fill nipple
12. Paintball Regulator
13. Pressure release valve (Can be found at McMaster-Carr)
14. Electric wire
15. Paintball trigger frame with microswitch


A Quick Note on Safety and Materials
I am going to kick this section off by stating the obvious:building an air/Co2 powered launcher is a very dangerous task. Lets take just a second and think about whats going on here...You are taking a Co2 tank that is holding thousands of PSI, and releasing it into a 2" PVC airchamber that is only rated for 280 PSI. Obviously not a good idea. I would also like to take this moment to inform you that when some materials are overpressurized they rip in half or pop a clean hole however, this is not the case with PVC. When PVC is overpressurized it explodes like a bomb with shards of shrapnel flying all over the place. This project can only be done with the use of three crucial items: a paintball regulator, a pressure guage, and a pop safety valve . Let me explain to you what these three things do. The regulator will take the high pressures of the air/co2 tank and drop it down to a pressure that is safe for your PVC airchamber (say 80-90PSI). The guage will let you see what pressure the airchamber is at. Finally, the pop safety valve act acts as the ultimate safety device. Pop safety vavlves are made to open when a certain pressure is reached. For example if you got a pop safety valve that is rated for 100 PSI and the pressure got above 100 PSI the valve would open and vent the air out. All in all you should know that you are a building a BOMB! If you are not going to give this launcher the respect it deserves, or if you are not going to buy the materials needed, then please do us (and you) all a favor and dont attempt to build one.


//////Cutting your Barrel & Airchamber
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Your first step is to decide on the lengths of your barrel and airchamber. Now alot of people are going to immediately ask: "What barrel/airchamber length do I need to make it?"
Well here is your answer...

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I do not know. In receiving feedback from other people who have built aircannons for use in the 100-200 psi pressure range, it seems that an air chamber volume that is close to the total barrel volume (if they're both 2" make the lengths similar) seems to work well.

I know that alot of people here are going to want a definitive answer so here are my measurments:
1. My barrel--24 inches
2. My Airchamber---22 inches
So measure out your PVC pipe to whatever length you desire, clamp it down and cut both your barrel and air chamber.

//////Making your T Section
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Next comes the most time comsuming and possibly the hardest part of this project--your T section. If you notice when you take your barrel and put it into your T section, you can only get about 2-3 inches of your barrel to stick into the T section. Your barrel needs to be able to side easily in and out of your T section. Take your T section and clamp it onto your work bench. Now take your drill and attach your grinder bit and grind away on the inside of your T section. Continue grinding on the inside of your T section until you can begin to push your barrel in. Once you get to this point your going to take off your grinder bit and switch to a sanding bit (to avoid taking too much PVC off of the T section). Sand away on the inside of the T section until you can easily slide your barrel in and out of it.

Now that you can slide your barrel in and out of your T section its time to cut some slits in the bottom of it for the worm clamp. You need to take your dremel and cut some horizontal slots into the sides of the T section so that the worm clamp can slide through it. These slits need to be on the same spot on each side, and (ideally) need to be the same length. Now that you have that done you need to cut a "half circle" on the bottom of the T section so that it fits onto the top of the airchamber better.

Heres a picture to clarify.:
Posted Image


//////Building Your Airchamber & Fittings
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*NOTE*
In this section I will be talking about the use of PVC Glue and Primer. Before you use them, here are three important rules to follow:

Quote

#1.USE PVC PRIMER AND GLUE IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA! The primer and glue let off some very powerful fumes, and they could make you lightheaded in a closed-in room.
#2. Always, Always, Always apply primer first---never try to skip a step and go straight to the glueing.
#3. Most importantly LET THE PVC GLUE CURE COMPELTLY (Cure time is 24hrs) before putting any pressure/force on it. A number of people have told me stories about how they eagerly tried their aircannons too soon, blowing out the air chambers

Now that is out of the way the next thing to do is start working on your airchamber. The airchamber is the power source of your launcher. The airchamber is really a part you wanna take your time with. This chamber will take the brunt of the pressure, and is most suceptiable to leaks. Get your 2” PVC airchamber out and place it on your work bench. For this part you will also need your 2” PVC ” Female threaded pieces and your 2” PVC Couplings. These 2” PVC Couplings are made to attach other 2” PVC pieces together. These 2” PVC Couplings slide over the threaded PVC pieces. Apply some glue to both the threaded piece and the coupling. Slide the threaded piece into the coupling and hold it there for a few seconds. This will give the glue some time to seal, and after a few seconds the two PVC pieces should be locked together. You should now have a “combo” PVC piece that is made up of a PVC coupling and a threaded PVC piece. You will need one more of these “combo” pieces. Once you have these “combo” pieces done you will need to take one and glue it to the end of your airchamber. Now, to finish your airchamber, you will need to “cap off” the other end. This is where you get to decide what you want to do. The first path is to simply get another 2” PVC Coupling and another 2” PVC ” Female threaded piece from homedepot. This will allow you to screw in a series of brass pieces to complete your air chamber (If you are new at this, or are doing it for the first time, I would recomend taking this path). The other path is to screw and thread into a 2” PVC end cap.



Using A Threaded Piece To Complete Your Airchamber
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Using An End Cap To Complete Your Airchamber
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Using A Threaded Piece To Complete Your Airchamber
This is a rather easy way to finish up your airchamber. You will need to make another "combo" piece, and attach it to the other end of your airchamber. Then you use brass reducers till you get to the standard 1/8" paintball threading.
Heres A Picture Of Using A Threaded Piece To Complete Your Airchamber
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Using An End Cap To Complete Your Airchamber
This route is a harder path, and requires the use of a 2" PVC end cap and some brass fittings. Take a 2" PVC end cap and a 90* 1/8" brass fitting. Clamp and fasten your end cap in your work bench. Take out your drill, and find a drill bit that matchs up with your brass fitting. Using this drill bit, drill a hole into the center of the end cap. Thread/screw in your 90* fitting into the end cap. Once you have it in there, get a nut that fits onto your 90* 1/8" brass fitting. Put this onto the threads of the brass fitting and screw it down. This nut will help pull the brass fitting to the PVC end cap, thereby decreasing the possiblity of leaks. When you are getting ready to put this peice onto the airchamber, I would suggest covering the end of this brass fitting and the nut with some sort of epoxy to further decrease the chances of leaks. Once you have this end cap, and your brass fitting secured, simply glue your end cap onto your airchamber.
Heres A Picture Of Using An End Cap To Complete Your Airchamber
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//////Another Option for your airchamber (double wrapping your airchamber)
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I am going to mention another here about your airchamber. Both saber and I "double wrapped" our airchambers. You do this by taking 2" PVC Coupling pieces and grinding sanding them down till they can slide over your airchamber. This was done mainly for safety reasons. The logic is that if your airchamber was to over pressurise and expolde, this second layer would absorb and/or stop the impact of the explosion. I must pause and say here that this theory hasnt been tested, and we dont really know what double wrapping the airchamber will do incase of an over pressurization (its just a theory). I dont really think that it is necessary, since you have a pop safety valve, and double wrapping your airchamber adds weight to your launcher. I did it simply because I think the launcher looks better when it is double wrapped.
Here is a comparison:
One Layer Launcher
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Double Wrapped Launcher
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//////Attaching everything to your valve
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Alright so you got your airchamber totally sealed and ready. Now your front end will hook up to your air input/power source On the other end you are going to attach the air chamber to your valve. The valve takes 3/4" threads and IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WHEN YOU ATTACH THE AIRCHAMBER TO THE VALVE YOU USE A METAL OR BRASS FITTING, IF YOU USE A THREADED PVC PIECE IT WILL LEAK. At this point you will also want to attach your top "combo" piece to the top part of your valve. When attaching thise peice ot the valve it is okay to use a 3/4" PVC piece.

//////A Quick Review....
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Okay so lets review what you should have done at this point:
1. A completed T section
2. A completed airchamber that is attached to your vavle
3. A completed "combo" piece that is attached to your vavle

This post has been edited by Blitzen: 30 September 2008 - 09:16 PM

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#3 User is offline   Blitzen 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:19 AM

//////Placing and Finishing your T Section
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You now need to take your barrel and put it into your upper threaded adapter piece. Note: Like your T section, your adapter piece may fit snugly around your barrel and you may not be able to move it in and out freely. Just take your drill and grind/sand it down until your barrel moves in and out freely. With your airchamber and barrel "stacked on top of each other" you can now see where you wanna put your T section at. Size it up and when you have it where you want it, mark that point on the top of your airchamber. You are also going to want to mark where you wanna put your handle, aka your 1" PVC cap. Once you have that where you like it trace it onto your T section. Once you have traced it on to your T section you are going to want to cut a channel into the T section. After this channel is cut you are going to want to attach your handle/cap to your barrel. I did this by applying aves epoxy sculpt. Since alot of you might not have this, I would bet that any epoxy puddy would work to attach the handle/cap.
Here is a picture for reference...
Posted Image


//////Electronics and Your Trigger Frame
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Okay, set your PVC aside for a second, and lets deal with these electronics, and your grip frame. I am going to take a second here to state that any trigger frame with a microswitch will work, and that you dont need to buy an expensive Ego or DM trigger frame (mine came from an evil omen I believe). Open up the grip pannels and gut out everything in the trigger frame leaving only the trigger, and microswitch. Now on to electrics...You first need to combine two or three 9 volt batteries (I use only two) together. The valve requires at least 18 volts to operate, yet I would recommend going with 27 volts just to ensure that you have enough power to open your valve. I suggest that you use the 9 volt "battery caps" so that you can easily change out batteries, and to make the wiring easier. The valve has two wires comeing directly out of the solenoid. One of these wires will connect directly to the batteries. Now you should also have soldered two wires to the microswitch in your grip frame. These two wires should come out of the trigger frame and one wire should connect to the batteries, and the other should connect to the other wire that is coming out of the solenoid. You can also add in another switch that will act as a safety switch. If this switch is turned "off" then it will leave an uncompleted circuit and you will not be able to fire the launcher. Simply flip the switch to "on" and the circuit will be completed and the launcher will be "hot." THOUGH THIS SWITCH IS NOT NECESSARY I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU ADD IT NOT ONLY FOR YOUR SAFETY BUT FOR THE SAFETY OF OTHERS AS WELL.
Here is a picture to clarify..
Posted Image


//////A Quick Review....
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Okay so lets review what you should have done at this point:
1. A completed T section, that has a channel cut in it for the handle
2. A completed airchamber that is attached to your vavle
3. A completed "combo" piece that is attached to your vavle
4. A completed/working trigger frame

//////Attaching your Frame, and Completing Your launcher
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Okay, so your almost done with your launcher. Now all you have you is attach your trigger frame and design your "air fittings." To attach your trigger frame to your launcher simply put it under the worm clamp that runs through your T section. You will also want to put another worm clamp around the back of the trigger frame to ensure that it dosn't wiggle free. Now, how you run your air fittings is completly up to you. If you capped off your airchamber with a threaded PVC piece then you will have to get a series of brass fittings to go down from your 3/4" PVC adapter to the standard 1/8" paintball thread size. If you screwed into a PVC end cap, then you are already at the standard paintball 1/8" thread and you can go from there. In these brass fittings is where you will put your pressure release valve, regulator and gauge. You want your pressure release valve to be as close to the airchamber as possible.
Here is an example of my fittings...
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//////Launcher Gallery & Videos
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Launcher Video #1
Launcher Video #2

This post has been edited by Blitzen: 30 September 2008 - 09:15 PM

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#4 User is offline   Hubb 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:47 AM

This is a very nice how-to and a beautiful launcher. I constructed one similar.

Here's a tip: On the half-circle section for the tee, I wrapped a piece of course sandpaper over a piece of pipe the same size as my chamber. I held the tee straight and began sanding. It took longer than just cutting the tee with a Dremel or hacksaw, but the tee sits exactly flush with the chamber.

Also, as far as filing out the tee, a hole saw can be used, that is if one of the appropriate size is obtained. When I grinded mine out, however, I did not have a hole saw and after a few hours of sanding (since my Dremel kept dying on me) I simply split the top of the tee.
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#5 User is offline   Chaos 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 06:49 PM

What pressure do you use when the chamber is about the same volume as teh barrel? I have to use a 3" chamber at about 90-95 psi to get a good shot. Lower pressure and the valve does not want to open properly, and the same seems to be with more pressure. The valve I use looks identical to what you use, (though unpainted green) and is there a way to allow it to open and close more effectivly?
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#6 User is offline   Blitzen 

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 07:52 PM

well you need to make sure that the valve is opened all the way first....check that before you continue
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#7 User is offline   Chaos 

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 05:55 AM

Yup, little thing on the back that the knob that comes with it fits onto, all the way out. I was thinking maybe sand that down a bit on the inside. I was also wondering if and how you would oil one of these valves.
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#8 User is offline   grumpy 

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 04:38 PM

View PostChaos, on Oct 22 2007, 08:55 AM, said:

Yup, little thing on the back that the knob that comes with it fits onto, all the way out. I was thinking maybe sand that down a bit on the inside. I was also wondering if and how you would oil one of these valves.
\

don't use oil , you will need to take the valve apart and put a light coat of lithium grease or something similar on the face of the rubber disk that makes the seal. the only way i know of to speedup a sprinkler valve is to mod it to use an air trigger , not sure if it would help though cause not all sprinklers are the same when it comes to how fast they open or how much psi they can handle, some valves open slow no mater what you do cause thats how they are made.

blitzen,
nice post , some good info.

This post has been edited by grumpy: 22 October 2007 - 04:43 PM

Book of Armaments (Chapter 2, verses 9-21)
...And Saint Attila raised the sprinkler valve up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy sprinkler valve that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou remove thy solenoid and epoxy the pilot hole, then remove the guide rod, then thread your pilot valve directly to the body of thy sprinkler, lest thou increase thy pilot volume by a single iota, then lobbest thou thy nerfs towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall procedeth to the gates of reinsertion."
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#9 User is offline   saber 

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:38 PM

No oil, no grease. Its not needed on this type of valve.. it will not make it work better or work faster.. all you are doing is putting crap in air system and making a bomb..

The solenoid is the answer to part of you prob.. the relief hole in the plunger needs to be opened a little. this will increase the opening speed.. By doing this you increase the presser needed for the solenoid to operate. Most of mine will not fire if over 100 psi..
You may also have a weak solenoid. It happens

This post has been edited by saber: 22 October 2007 - 09:40 PM



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#10 User is offline   Splat Pack 

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:59 PM

great post! i love this launcher! it's by far the best i've seen. looks like i'm going to have another project in the not to distant future :P
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#11 User is offline   Chaos 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 05:35 AM

I dont suppose you have a picture of what the relief plunger looks like do ya? I just want to make sure I modify the right part, lol.
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#12 User is offline   grumpy 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:02 AM

chaos,
i sugest you go here to get help with your problem , before you do anything.
http://www.spudfiles.com/spud_wiki/index.p...Sprinkler_valve
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/sprinkler-...uide-t8780.html

Attached File  Chopped_100DV.gif (27.69K)
Number of downloads: 71
this is the only detailed pic i have ,
Book of Armaments (Chapter 2, verses 9-21)
...And Saint Attila raised the sprinkler valve up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this Thy sprinkler valve that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy." And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou remove thy solenoid and epoxy the pilot hole, then remove the guide rod, then thread your pilot valve directly to the body of thy sprinkler, lest thou increase thy pilot volume by a single iota, then lobbest thou thy nerfs towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall procedeth to the gates of reinsertion."
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#13 User is offline   Chaos 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:16 AM

Ooh, very good info. Thank you very much. Heck, I might even be able to go back to the chamber with this info.....

Thanks for the help. Good thing its a rainy day at work, I have some reading to do.

This post has been edited by Chaos: 23 October 2007 - 06:17 AM

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#14 User is offline   Reaper1101 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:41 AM

not bad...
Hashido- a way of life...
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#15 User is offline   Chaos 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:28 AM

OK, I think I have this figured out. Looks like I will want to modify the pilot valve first....
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