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Simpler air canisters

Written by WaterWolf
Last updated on 2007-07-27


Note that you, the builder and user of any of these assume full responsibility for your Custom built Water-Weaponry and what happens with them. Work safely. Play safely. Remember, all of these are powerful and anybody wielding one needs to be responsible with them. Treat it with respect, never over charge their pressure tanks. Never fire them at somebody's head - This is especially necessary for the water balloon launchers. Never fire anything but clean water/water-balloons. In the hands of an experienced, responsible player these can be safe and fun to build - highly useful in giving your team the technological edge in Water-Warfare.

Now, on to our regularly scheduled content.

This is a piece that I designed as an add-on to water balloon launchers, Cannons or most any air powered homemade and would be highly necessary if the equipment is intended for use in the middle of fast moving combat.

The premiss of it is fairly simple, a large container of high pressure air, feeds through an air-regulator and out to the pressure chamber of the launcher after every shot. This would allow for balloons to be fired as quickly as they are pushed down the barrel and cut the reload-time of a launcher down a speed at-which they would be more practical in the recently developed "Tactical Theory" strategies of water warfare.

The air canisters can be used like batteries to power most homemade weapons. Once a canister is drained, plug in a second and its ready to go. Recharging them however, requires an air-compressor or bike-pump that can achieve the fairly high Pounds-per-Square-Inch necessary to allow for multiple shots. But these devices are often not too expensive or hard to find. In order to prevent loss of air between water balloon launcher shots, I also have a homemade air FLOW regulator (different than a pressure regulator), which allows more control over the air as it moves between the canister and the pressure-chamber.

Air-Canister V1.0 "before" picture.

The current version of air-canister is made out of a 3-liter soda bottle. I tested it for durability by first charging the bottle to 140 PSI (This a little ways beyond what I would suggest using them at), then proceeded to abuse it as strongly as possible (from a safe distance). The first test involved throwing it several times at a boulder (no effect), after which I took cover behind a barrel and began pelting it with a barrage of stones, each significantly bigger than my fist. Basically putting more sudden and hard impacts on it than it would ever have to withstand in a water-warfare battlefield. Eight hits later, it finally ruptured after being smashed dead-on with a particularly sharp edged rock. The result was an explosion as the air that sent plastic derbies up to thirty feet away. Interestingly enough though, the shrapnel I had worried the most about (the metal adapter used to plug it into the air compressor) had not moved more than a few feet from ground zero.

Even though this test demonstrated a surprising level of durability, in an end model of the bottle air-canister, I would have a chicken wire cage or cloth sock surrounding it, to prevent any shrapnel from flying out.

Air-Canister V1.0 "after" picture.

I'm thinking of trying to use a different container for the body, such as a mini helium tank, which I could buy an adapter for to hook it up to standard air-hose connectors. With an easy way to hook them up, the steel canisters would be better, since they can take a greater volume of air at a higher PSI without bursting and are tough enough that it would be very difficult to damage one of them without some heavy tools and plenty of repeated smashing.

I can fit three bottles in a standard backpack. How many shots you get per canister depends greatly on what PSI you set the air-regulator too and how big your PC is.

I haven't tested this idea yet, but these canisters should be easy to link together with a few Tees.

Another advantage of a steel canister is that its simply a cleaner set up than multiple bottles linked together. The mini helium tank I found doesn't seem to be too heavy either, its about 8 pounds and can carry six times the amount of air in sheer volume. My only concern with it is that it might stick out to far from my back, but I should be able to get the part to test it quite soon.

I have built several of these "Air Battaries" and intend to battle test them on my new CAP cannon at our team's next meeting.

Construction is simple and fast, but there are a few key items that, if followed correctly, allow it to contain air for many many hours without much (if any) noticeable loss of pressure. I will discuss these in my following guide on how to build them.

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