The Tuber Tosser 200!

Due to a long and complex chain of events that boil down to my being able to prove it's all my ever-indulgent wife's fault, I now have a pnuematic Potato Cannon. That's it above, fully operational, painted, but not yet decorated. It turns out they're surprisingly easy to build and not very expensive. Get the book 'Backyard Ballistics' by William Gurstelle (ISBN 1-55652-375-0 available on-line and in better bookstores).

I bought the parts on the way home Friday night, built it within the two-hour time specified and we test fired it on Saturday morning. I did have to make two minor design changes - instead of a 'T' for my pressure tank I used an 'L' (it's what they had) and because I couldn't find a 1.5" - 3/4" reducing bushing I wound up going with a 1/2" valve. This has dropped my range significantly but I'll try a longer barrel when I get a chance. As it is I still have some high (well, 30PSI) pressure left in the tank when the tuber reaches the end of the barrel. Because of this I'm only getting about a 200 foot range. Here's a pair of shots showing one of our test firings (before we painted the beast):

Please note: I'm not steaming and neither is the gun - someone lined the power plant across the river up with my head.

If you look carefully at this shot you can just make me out way down by the next backstop holding up the potato. We measured it off right at 200 feet (thus the Tuber Tosser 200)

For the technically inclined refer to the picture at the top: you can see the air inlet valve up by Winnie's shoulder, the air pressure gauge under her elbow and the release valve between the blue sections.

If your connection supports it, here are a couple of .MOV files of test shots out into the Missouri river:
Right-Click here and select 'Save Target As' for a 2.9M mini-movie
Right-Click here and select 'Save Target As' for a 2.7M mini-movie
(one taken with Winnie's Minolta DimageX, one with my Minolta Dimage F100 digi-cams). Please note: the movies play in QuickTime and RealPlayer but some people have had problems trying to play them with the Microsoft Media player.

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