Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Phone Launcher: Can we break the record?

A German phone/game platform asked me if I wanted to do a coop with them. There is a new app for android phones, called "SMTH"

The idea is that you start the app, throw your phone up as high as you can, and then catch it again. The height will be recorded and added to the highscore list automatically.

The goal is to make a launcher that shoots a phone higher than anyone else!

I already designed the device, have to build it soon. We will use the Samsung XCover 2, which hopefully will survive a fall from, like, 100m.

I made a dummy of that phone, with the same dimensions. In order to match the weight, I put in eight M10 hex nuts (pump gun ammo). I fixed everything with a bit of car body putty.

The weight of the dummy is 155g, vs. 149 for the original.

Of course once everything works, we will switch to the original. Should be interesting!

I built the launcher today.

It works great! This thing lauches the 155 gramm phone dummy really high - I don't know how high exactly, but it is quite astounding what two full width TBG per side (= four in total) can do in combination with a 180 cm net draw (counted from fork to the end of the rope loop).

It is actually easy to cock (in comparison), I just put my considerable weight on the rope and that is pretty much it.

I added a lead weight as a plummet, so it is easy to shoot straight up into the air. Phone came back in a radius of about 5 meters from the launch position, not too bad.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back from the Videoday 2013

I was invited to the biggest European YouTube fan event, the Videoday in Cologne/Germany. Really cool, more than 9.000 fans and most of the famous German YouTubers. I was probably the oldest of the creators, and certainly amongst the oldest 1% in the whole place...

Full blown VIP access, so I could hang in the VIP lounge with great view of the arena, free snacks and drinks. I met several fans, and also some TV teams.

Here is a picture with a nice couple that won tickets from me:

 I also met my YouTube support team (they work out of London and Ireland), which was really good.

A fun day! Not a single slingshot on me, though... felt strange.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Broom shooter with steel tips

I will drive to Berlin in a few hours, for an upcoming appearance in a new German nationwide talkshow. They have requested my broom shooter (anti quidditch ack ack) as one of the items they want to see in action.

So I dug it out of "the pile" and tested it again. Everything worked fine. I added a nine inch nail to the tip, and also made a smaller "arrow" from a Halloween broom for kids.

The small one weighs only 450 gramms (including the nail), roughly one pound. The full size version is three times heavier.

Shot from the same weapon with the same amount of rubber, look at the impact difference. The small one went through the particle board and about an inch into the oak panel. The big one... well, see for yourself.

I think you can brin down water buffalo with this thing.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Semi Starship

Shooting the monster world record slingshot in Greenville got me thinking.

One of the major advantages of a starship is that you get no handslaps. Not even if you shoot very lightweight ammo with very strong bands. Which you must, if you want to break records.

Another advantage is that your hand is well protected, at least if you use my "board" design. No RTF shot, no ball-dropped-out-of-the-pouch shot can hurt you.

Due to legal reasons, I had to leave the record slingshot at Nathan's place. But yesterday, I slapped together a few pieces of leftover wood (mostly a pine board) and created a "Semi Starship".

The very comfortable handle is complemented by a hand rest (legal in Germany, as it does not touch the arm) and the fork piece is looong. The top and front of the hand is completely protected. The hand rest allows a slight (9cm) draw length extension. Not quite as much as a full starship, but it is a lot more compact.

Normally I don't trust pine boardcuts, but this one is 100% safe due to the fiber direction. Unbreakable.

You can actually remove the top board (9 screws total) and replace it with a longer one. Than you would have a full starship, as long as you want. Of course this may be in conflict with the German law in principle (slingshots that are "prepared" for wrist braces are illegal, too), but then again pretty much any slingshot can be mounted to a length of wood. Hard to outlaw wooden boards, right?

I want to use this to shoot faaast. As long as it is still warm outside, I want to see how fast I can shoot a BB.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The SlingaLaunch - A Drill Powered Machine Gun

In eight days (August 22nd), one of the most interesting crowd funding campaigns ever will end. The Slingatron, a launcher that uses the methods employed by the ancient "david sling" to launch small objects into the orbit.

See it on Kickstarter

It is far from completion, and I want to give it a boost. This weekend, my adaption will premiere on YouTube. You guys get a preview, as always - the priviledges of fellow forum members.

Here is my "SlingaLaunch"!

This sample is experimental, very small (just 50cm is diameter). It is powered by a drill. Inside of the thing, there is a lever that rotates, and a track system that is "chambered" for 25 mm steel balls.

The track system allows the lever to "gently" accelerate the steel ball to the exit velocity, which is significant - even in this small scale model. I haven't found a single steel ball back that I have launched with it so far :)

Here you see into the "muzzle", with a steel ball just about to exit.

This is the lever that has just shot out the ball.

Here you can see the spiral like tracks.

These are the cutouts - one heck of a saw job for sure. The tracks (negatives of these) have been filed and sanded of course.

It works great. Now I have to make the bullet feeder, to turn this beast into a full auto steel ball launcher. I hope the video will bring in some money for the guys! Using slingshot technology to launch stuff into space? I HAVE to suppport them.