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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have drooled over Arduino for years and have just never been able to get beyond the basics. I want to build an air cannon to shoot rubber chickens. I have an idea that will use a compressor with tank, an secondary (much smaller tank) A normally open valve and a normally closed valve. I have included a picture. Is there way to do this with only one valve rather than two? I have looked at several sites talking about 4 and 5 way valves but none look like what I need.
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I built one awhile back using the method that Cyclone Jack had shared, and it used only one 1/2 two way valve. The design did use a check valve to ensure the air only flowed one direction. I will see if I can find the thread and link it. It worked really well for me, and I used a similar setup to what you mentioned. The only difference was that I was running a handful of pneumatic props off a smaller compressor so I added another 10 gallon storage tank in line right behind the air cannon to make sure it had enough air at all times. I am not sure that was necessary but it made me feel good, and it never failed. I also used a regulator at the prop as I do with all of them so I can set the main line at one psi and adjust each prop individually.
 

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Found it
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Found it
Thanks for looking that up. Is there a momentary switch that will allow a long enough burst without using up the little tank?
 

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Thanks for looking that up. Is there a momentary switch that will allow a long enough burst without using up the little tank?
Yes, I used a prop controller to fire mine because it was part of a scene. The one that Cyclone Jack built he wired the button in line with the power so it only fired while the button was depressed. Even easier than that, the first pneumatic prop that I built was an ankle tickler that used the exact same valve setup I actually controlled it by plugging it into a power strip that had a switch that I would quickly flip on and then off again to blast the air through. What you will need to do for that setup is use a barrel adapter that has the screw terminals on it to plug into a power supply which will plug into the power strip. I will link some examples below from Frightprops. You will have to make sure the voltage on all of your parts match. I would suggest running it in 12 volt as later on if you wanted to use a prop controller to power & manage it that would be an easier upgrade.


You can certainly find the parts out there cheaper through Jameco, Amazon & Ebay, but when I got started in pneumatics I found the resources available at those links pretty valuable in getting me off the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all the effort you put into your reply. Frightprops is probably a safer option to ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the projectile I intent to use.
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Depending on how automated this 'rooster booster' has to be, you could likely get by with a simple ball valve for your 'normally closed' valve and just use a small orifice...possibly 1/16" - 1/8" for your 'normally open' valve. No electrics/electronics needed.

To fire the 'projectile', just give the ball valve a quick twist and reset. In that 1-2 second interval, you won't loose much from the main tank through a small orifice. But closing the ball valve, your secondary tank will refill over the next few seconds it takes to reset the rooster for another round.

PS - sorry for the big pic! Somehow when I search for 'Mona Lisa' or 'Declaration of Independence' I get a 512x512 thumbnail... when I search for 'ball valve' or 'grease zerk' it's a 10 megapixel high-definition image!

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I love the name "Rooster Booster" and that is the pretiest picture of a ball valve I have ever seen. The chicken will be fired by the player. I have been looking into a delay relay timer. The problem is people who will hold the trigger too long and bleed off the tank and wear out the compressor. That is why the second valve and the second tank.
 

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Rooster Booster :ROFLMAO:, that is the perfect name for it. I guess it is a different ball game when you have a random participant triggering it instead of someone who has been trained how to trigger it; you could indeed end up completely bleeding the system everytime it is fired. Forgoing the controller route for a time delay switch could very well work. The timer would probably have to be able to be adjusted for under 1 second to allow for a quick burst of air, and having an ability to set a delay between triggers would definately help. I known I have ran across timers that adjusted down to one second, but I am not sure that I have seen one that would go lower. I will see what I can dig up.
 

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Now that I have thought about it, maybe a one second burst or more for your prop depending on the flow rate of the valve would be needed. I am not sure how much air it's going to take to get your rooster air borne, but I would imagine the pipe inserted into your bird would have to clear the air cannon pipe it is sitting on before the air is cut off so you may actutally need the additional time. I am sure that is going to be alot of trial and error, but I did find this timer that may work for you:

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
INTERVAL ON
Interval
Upon application of input voltage, the output is energized and the time delay (t) begins. At the end of the time delay (t), the output is de-energized. Input voltage must be removed to reset the time delay relay.
The one you proveded looks like it would allow multiple shots but not a continuous blast that would drain the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now that I have thought about it, maybe a one second burst or more for your prop depending on the flow rate of the valve would be needed. I am not sure how much air it's going to take to get your rooster air borne, but I would imagine the pipe inserted into your bird would have to clear the air cannon pipe it is sitting on before the air is cut off so you may actutally need the additional time. I am sure that is going to be alot of trial and error, but I did find this timer that may work for you:

I just ordered it from Amazon. We will know next week if it works.
 

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There is an air canon YouTube video on how to build exactly what you want ( I think ). Here is the build video… this canon could be adapted to use Just the electric sprinkler solenoid instead of the hand held air valve attached to it I think.


Since the solenoid would only release for a fraction of a second you wouldn’t need 2 valves due to line size. The gun would dump quickly through 1” lune but the refill from generator would fill from 1/4” or 3/8” line. Your compressor would not empty or dump.
 

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I just ordered it from Amazon. We will know next week if it works.
Awesome! Let us know how it works out. It would be nice to also have a delay before it can be triggered again, but that is probably a feature you are only going to get with programing a controller. Atleast it shouldn't drain your tank in one shot if it works the way it describes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wanted that too but not available. If you look at the diagram, one switch is labeled "safety". That is for the operator to press and hold after loading the next chicken projectile and standing in a safe zone. This way the player can't shoot the operator in the face whole loading.
 

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I wanted that too but not available. If you look at the diagram, one switch is labeled "safety". That is for the operator to press and hold after loading the next chicken projectile and standing in a safe zone. This way the player can't shoot the operator in the face whole loading.
Oh yes, I see that now. If that is something that an operator will be manning how about adding either a toggle switch between the trigger and the timer so that the signal can be turned off or interupt the power coming into the board momentarily while it is reloaded. Assuming there isn't a start up routine programed into the timer it would be easiest to plug it into a power strip with a switch so that the power coming in could be turned off rendering the valve in the nomarlly closed state inoperatable until power is restored and it is triggered thus ensuring no one ends up with rooster face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The safety button does that. It is normally open(off) interrupting the power to the system. It must be pressed, and the player trigger pressed to complete the circuit and energize the solenoid valves and fire the chicken. I've been thinking about LEDs and sound too. All this could be done with an Arduino better if I could use one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There is an air canon YouTube video on how to build exactly what you want ( I think ). Here is the build video… this canon could be adapted to use Just the electric sprinkler solenoid instead of the hand held air valve attached to it I think.


Since the solenoid would only release for a fraction of a second you wouldn’t need 2 valves due to line size. The gun would dump quickly through 1” lune but the refill from generator would fill from 1/4” or 3/8” line. Your compressor would not empty or dump.
Thai is amazing. It takes much less psi per launch than I realized.
There is an air canon YouTube video on how to build exactly what you want ( I think ). Here is the build video… this canon could be adapted to use Just the electric sprinkler solenoid instead of the hand held air valve attached to it I think.


Since the solenoid would only release for a fraction of a second you wouldn’t need 2 valves due to line size. The gun would dump quickly through 1” lune but the refill from generator would fill from 1/4” or 3/8” line. Your compressor would not empty or dump.
That is fantastic! It uses musc lower psi than I realized.
 
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