Saturday, March 31, 2012

Street Tag Warfare on facebook!

I have been meaning for a very long time to set up a facebook page for this blog, but I'm always so damn busy and procrastinate a lot when I'm not busy. After seeing that Bazookafied had set up a facebook page for Tactical Tag, I decided I really should get round to making one too.

So, get yourself on it! share with your friends, discuss what you like on the page and help this little blog grow to reach a wider community! Link below!

Street Tag Warfare official facebook page

Thursday, March 29, 2012

B.S.R 75 - Bolt action spud gun

 When you think of the words "spud gun" or "potato cannon", the image of a redneck (or bogan, in my language) probably comes to mind, with them holding a bunch of slapped together PVC pipes and a can of hair spray, blasting vegetables off in to the distance. Most potato cannon builders aren't anything like that image, but that is how I think I look in my mind anyway. Most self confessed spudders probably build a couple of hair spray cannons then move on to something that requires some kind of calculated science, like a metered propane cannon or piston valve cannon and leave the old hair spray propellant idea behind.

the B.S.R 75 bolt action spud gun

However, every now and then, someone works with the basics and produces a masterpiece. That's what the B.S.R 75 is. I actually saw this cannon quite some time ago on the spudfiles forums, and loved it. but, I completely forgot about this design created by spudrogue420 and didn't stumble upon it again until I did a search for ideas for a combustion potato rifle. It turns out, that this is still the only hair spray cannon I've ever seen like this. Better yet, the B.S.R 75 was built from mostly ABS and PVC pipes, including the scope.

Hard to believe that this is all clever use of plastic pipes...

Bolt action open, shell exposed
The design is somewhat similar to the Serbu BFG 50, except the bolt handle is further forward presumably to accommodate the combustion chamber in the stock. The operation of this cannon is also pretty interesting. while the ignition is a simple peizo button ignitor with button mounted where the trigger would be, and no fuel metering devices, the bolt action system is very clever and also does two things: 1: opens and closes the chamber for a 5 inch long shell to be loaded, and 2: exposes the end of the combustion chamber for fueling and activates the venting fan while the cannon is unloaded.

Man, I'm on a roll with the spud banger posts lately. I think this incredibly innovative cannon deserved a lot more recognition than it received, simply because it shows what you can do with little more than some time, thought, and basic hardware materials. I'm also surprised that no one has tried to build something like this chambered for Nerf darts... Or perhaps someone has? Leave a comment if you've got a project you're particularly proud of, especially if it's a potato cannon that fires Nerf darts.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Uncertain futures?

According to various sources brought to light by Nerf Mods and Reviews, the popular Nerf Alpha Trooper is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and perhaps has been discontinued. This stuns me quite a bit, since it is such a popular blaster and there seemingly is no reason for it's disappearance. Quite a large percentage of this blog's traffic is from searches about the AT.

I'm not sure what the stock levels are like here in Australia, since they are a Target exclusive and haven't been to a Target in ages, however I have noticed that the current stock levels of other blasters in other stores have been pretty sub-standard for a while now, which is more than likely simply due to the long period between the last toy sale and the next. So the whole lack of availability issue with the Alpha Trooper may simply be because of retailers only purchasing what they need to fill space on shelves until the next sale rather than putting much effort in to department that they aren't up-selling. Still, I wouldn't want to see the Alpha Trooper disappear.

In other news, I have discovered that the Urban Taggers blog has been temporarily taken offline due to some unknown legal issues with Hasbro. Updates on the future of the blog can be found on their facebook page. This worries me for two reasons. One: because Urban taggers is one of the very best Nerf-based blog out there, and it would be absolutely horrible to see it go down because of Hasbro's legal crap, and two: because this may effect every other blog that posts anything to do with Hasbro. By extension, this could mean blog authors may need to more closely monitor what they post, and assess whether or not it may land them in hot water too.

Call this a mini rant, if you want, but in my opinion I think it's unfair that Hasbro forced UT to go offline for what I presume is the leaked information on the upcoming Nerf Hailfire. Many sources of media leak information about other company's upcoming products and to be honest I don't see what's so wrong with that, since it builds interest for that product anyway. The way I see it, is if a company is worried about information being leaked early about a product, it's up to that company to guard the information better. Besides, at the end of the day, they're toy guns, and no one should really be taking things seriously and dragging the fun down with legal battles.

End rant, have a good weekend everyone!

Dart Tagging is never supposed to be serious, it's always about fun!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

OMW: New Massacre kits available now!

I'm a little late on the uptake for this one, however Orange Mod works now have their long awaited "Massacre" mod kits available for the Nerf Alpha Trooper, Longstrike, and Raider. These are the kits with polycarbonate parts that are stronger than the original Nerf plastics, and will give your blaster a serious performance boost, reaching around 90 feet per second muzzle velocity.

Alpha Trooper kit - From the OMW facebook page
All kits are $36.99 U.S +shipping and include the following:

-Trigger catch
-2x Strength trigger catch spring
-Reinforcement plate
-2x Strength min spring (6kg)
-Polycarbonate bolt sled with pin
-Polycarbonate breech with o-ring
-Polycarbonate plunger
-1 tube of silicon grease
-2 OMW stickers
-Instruction sheet

They have also have A to Z  mod guides available for FREE download for the Nerf Recon, Alpha Trooper, Longstrike and Raider, along with video assembly guides for the Massacre kits on each of the product pages.

For more information and purchase of the new or existing kits, visit Orange Mod Works.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Air cannon project: Upgrades!

It's a rainy Thursday afternoon, and I have nothing better to do other than work on my cannon a little. I decided that the simple design I built the other day was far too long to be practical for transport and trying to aim it was awful. So, I made two changes that has fixed that and should give me a little more power too.

First, I changed the chamber to an over-under layout, so that the length of the chamber is essentially halved. Using two 90 degree bends gives me a flat area to put my shoulder to achieve better aim, and the added volume of the bends slightly increases the overall chamber volume. not only that, but I can now stand the cannon on it's end for storage without risking damage to the fill valve, which is now under the main valve instead of at the end of the cannon.

Tin foil burst panel to be seated between the
back of the barrel and the o-ring on the other half
Secondly I wanted to be able to remove the barrel for storage and breech loading capabilities. I was originally going to cut the barrel and add in a simple male/female threaded fitting, but I was lucky enough to find a union coupling of the correct size at Bunnings, which means I can also add in a tin foil burst disc, sandwiched in the coupling. The burst disc won't break until a certain amount of pressure has built up behind it, allowing more time for the ball valve to be opened which will increase flow and increase initial acceleration of the projectile. Having the barrel removable also means I could build different barrels for it, possibly a Nerf dart barrel? A vortex mortar? Or even a paintball bazooka barrel? Oh the possibilities... Testing with projectiles might happen on the weekend, if the weather is good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

VERA: another video!

What does the world's largest, most powerful "potato cannon" look like? It's bright yellow and sits on the back of a truck trailer, of course. If you've been reading this blog since the very early days (over a year ago now! missed my own blog's cake day, whoops!), you may remember the initial testing video of project "VERA" or "Variable Energy Research Accelerator". This was only a video of the testing stage and was eventually taken down, so I removed the post the other day when I found out there was to be updated details.

Basically, VERA is a research tool developed to test projectiles that are of an odd shape with less violent acceleration forces. It uses the same technology used by hybrid potato cannons, that is, compressed flammable gas and air ignited by electrical arc, which in turn expands and builds pressure in the combustion chamber until the burst disc ruptures, unleashing the burning pressurized gasses upon the projectile. It's 19" bore x 40 foot long barrel might be a bit large for a potato though, so as in this video, other projectiles are launched with the aid of a sabot (a shell to guide it out the barrel) which is caught by a sabot catcher after the projectile has left the barrel.

Anyway, since this video was posted on the spudfiles forum today, I thought I should share it. After all, potato cannons can be park of this blog too, and I promise you, you will be stunned.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A simple air cannon

Remember how I said I might build an air cannon this weekend? Well I did, for less than $30 AU. This design is probably one of the cheapest, simplest and most reliable potato cannon designs you could possibly build. All parts are rated to at least 12 bar (174psi), which is a ton more power than needed for a bit of fun.

You should have seen the looks I got when I pulled this out of the garage...
This thing is over 2 metres long, has a 30.25mm I.D barrel, 50mm I.D pressure chamber, simple ball valve operation and a schrader valve as the fill valve (car tyre valve). So far, I've done test shots using potato ammo at 50, 60 and 75psi and the results so far have been AWESOME. This cannon at 75psi is as powerful as my old propane cannon of the same caliber. I'm pretty interested to see the results of taking it up to 150psi, but I need a decent compressor to test that. I may need to add barrel rifling to stop the potatoes from going out of control too...

While at the moment it remains in an unpainted, rather crude look with bootlace to attach the shoulder strap, this cannon can easily be changed to an under/over layout with a threaded barrel for breach loading, so in the near future I might either upgrade this, or build bigger and perhaps go to a 45mm I.D barrel with a 65mm I.D chamber. Even then, I doubt that kind of setup would take more than $40 and 30 minutes work. So, I guess now you know that I don't just screw around with Nerf blasters, I also try to put vegetables in to low orbits!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Better than a whole lot of coffee!

Do you have a work mate that comes in every day looking a bit tired even after a few cups of coffee? Want to wake them up a bit? A Nerf gun ambush just won't cut it these days. You need to think BIG. Like, giant air cannon big! These scientists conducting science have done just that, and applied their abilities in such a way that will sweep your tired work buddy right off their feet!

That is one seriously awesome workplace prank, though I do not suggest firing an air cannon at people at home. That said, I do love air cannons. I may just build one this weekend and post the results here. It's definitely not going to be THAT big, though. Anyway, thought my readers might enjoy a little change from Nerf every now and then.