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Unread 07-19-2018, 04:07 PM
FredK FredK is offline
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Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

We were having problems with shooting distance or our cannon and are questioning our solenoid. We bought this one https://ussolid.com/1-brass-electric...er-diesel.html which lists a Cv of 12. However, it uses a diaphragm that is less than 1" in diameter and moves 2-3 mm when open. It makes a very loud noise as the air rushes through the small opening and seemed inadequate. Despite the listed Cv, we were doubtful, so we exchanged it for a 1" ball valve that we opened manually. The 1" ball valve shot the t-shirt 150 ft without the noise of the solenoid, the solenoid distance was 40'.
We would like to hear what solenoids or valves other teams are using on their cannons.
Our setup is a 3" cannon reduced to 1" nipple into 1" solenoid, teed into a 1.5 gallon accumulator tank through a 3/4" reducer.
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Unread 07-19-2018, 10:16 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

We are using a similar-looking (but with no obvious branding) 3/4" valve that I am 90% sure came from Amazon. As we are moving our air cannon from an AM 31" nanotube chassis to a golf cart, we are considering upsizing to a 1" valve. Obviously, I'll avoid this brand.

Update: Oh - reread the description. The solenoid valve we are using is a 1/4 turn ball valve, not a diaphragm valve. I recommend a 1/4 turn ball solenoid valve.

Likely example: https://www.amazon.com/BACOENG-DC12V...32966631&psc=1
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Last edited by GeeTwo : 07-19-2018 at 10:19 PM.
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Unread 07-20-2018, 09:10 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

It appears to say the ball valve you referenced takes 3 seconds to open fully. Have you tested this?
Thanks
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Unread 08-06-2018, 03:53 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

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Originally Posted by FredK View Post
It appears to say the ball valve you referenced takes 3 seconds to open fully. Have you tested this?
Thanks
Sorry; I thought I posted about this a while back! This is not actually the valve we have. We have one which is a solenoid actuated 1/4 turn valve; the one I suggested above is a motor actuated 1/4 turn valve. The motor actuated variety makes more sense when you are going to have the water/air running for long periods of time as it uses less current, especially when holding each state.

Thanks to your heads-up, we have purchased this one instead for our rebuild. This solenoid actuated spring return style will get quite hot used in that application, based on online reviews, but should switch quickly for the air cannon use case. We have not had a chance to do any serious testing with this one mostly due to thunderstorms on our build days, but it is definitely sub-second to switch.
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Unread 08-07-2018, 01:19 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

We have yet to test the one we bought but have high expectations, it is a MAC VALVES 57D-33-501AA we got it off eBay for around $125. It is supposed to have around open time 23 msec and a closing time that is even faster, it also has a Cv of 17.4. This is a very similar solenoid to the one that the Poofs used on Shockwave. It is more expensive than some of the others that have been posted but should allow for greater control and a more reliable system.
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Unread 08-07-2018, 03:27 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

Please post the results of your testing when you are ready.
We have used this one https://ussolid.com/1-brass-electric...er-diesel.html which lists a Cv of 12 but I don't believe it. We are getting over 100' at shooting pressure of 30psi with a manual ball valve and a 1" sprinkler valve (please do not lecture us about plastic) but when we insert the solenoid from US Solid, we get about 20'. Although a 1" fitting, the actuated diaphragm opening is much smaller.
From the info on their website, 254 shoots at 120psi, which we are a little hesitant about.
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Unread 08-08-2018, 11:42 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

We use this: 1" Asco Red Hat pilot valve #8353C035. It is pilot operated so you need a pilot valve to control it. It meant for back pulsing filters so it is fast and has a high CV (20).
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Unread 09-08-2018, 12:13 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

The 1" valve we purchased this year does not seem to allow as much air through as the 3/4" valves we purchased our rookie year, so we went back to using one of those. It turns out that we can get far better range shooting t-shirts using a 3" i.d. barrel than a 4" i.d. barrel (rolling shirts appropriate to the diameter). It appears that the terminal speed of air moving up the barrel is more important than the force based on pressure times area. Using the 4" barrel, we had trouble reaching past the first few rows in our stands at the football game. Using a 3" barrel, we literally hit a guy who was standing on the top row in the head this evening, and could have dialed up our time and pressure and put it over the stands completely. We are also planning to try a 2" barrel to see if it's as good or better.
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Unread 09-12-2018, 10:32 AM
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Bringing back a dead thread.... Tshirt cannons are allowed?!

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Unread 09-12-2018, 11:14 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

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Bringing back a dead thread.... Tshirt cannons are allowed?!

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T-Shirt Cannons are generally off-season projects and not usually allowed at official FIRST events (though I've never seen anywhere that it's expressly prohibited in the rules). We use ours primarily for outreach at our school and community.

FIRST Guidelines don't dictate what your team is allowed to do in its free time.


Back on the original topic, we use THESE valves on our T-Shirt cannon. A bit pricey but they work great (though in retrospect we should have gone with the 1.5" versions for better airflow).
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Last edited by cbale2000 : 09-12-2018 at 11:17 AM.
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Unread 09-12-2018, 11:19 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

Has anyone tried using a design like this https://makezine.com/projects/boom-stick-air-cannon/ to get more air flow?
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Unread 09-12-2018, 11:30 AM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

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T-Shirt Cannons are generally off-season projects and not usually allowed at official FIRST events (though I've never seen anywhere that it's expressly prohibited in the rules). We use ours primarily for outreach at our school and community....
We regularly bring our TeeShirt cannon to First events to be used in the official program. You need to coordinate with the event organizers and not just show up with it though.
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Unread 09-12-2018, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
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We regularly bring our TeeShirt cannon to First events to be used in the official program. You need to coordinate with the event organizers and not just show up with it though.
Do you guys build your own cannons or buy them? We're thinking of that...

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Unread 09-12-2018, 01:50 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

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Do you guys build your own cannons or buy them? We're thinking of that...

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Most teams that have them build their own, they're easy enough to make, but please avoid PVC (for safety).

We built ours with a custom steel storage tank (couldn't find one with a large enough output) and 3" diameter steel barrel (both of which were professionally pressure-tested by a local shop, for safety). We originally powered the system with a large compressor, but switched to a 4500 PSI SCUBA tank that we got second hand (and also had tested).

There's lots of designs here on CD that you can find with a bit of searching.
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Unread 09-12-2018, 01:59 PM
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Re: Solenoid for t-shirt cannon options

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Do you guys build your own cannons or buy them? We're thinking of that...
Our tee-shirt cannon is on a robot. We built it. I suspect there would be less interest in the traditional hand held tee-shirt shooters. That is generally would this thread is a about.

Back to your original question. I would be sure you had permission before taking anything that shoots projectiles to schools. But generally tee-shirt shooters are not seen as weapons. We have ours at Educational conventions, football games and parades and never an issue.
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