"GUY THING" water guns, jello bombs, quarter shrinking.

Michael Lorrey (retroman@tpk.net)
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 14:35:08 -0500

Got this from the website of Bill Beatty. I figured Gene, Anders, James,
and the rest of the pyros on the list would get a kick. The Dale T.
mentioned below is my freind Dale Travous, who I've referred to in the
past re the railgun we tested.


by Bill Beaty, experiment by Dan Y. and Dale T.

The capacitor discharge gun was a 6" cylinder of mild steel, 2"
diameter with a 1/2" hole bored most of the way through axially.
At the base, two holes were bored in from the sides and threaded
to take standard sparkplugs. The gun was fired at up to 40KV
from a bank of six 3uF capacitors (about 1/2 cubic yard in size!)
using 1-1/2" x 1/2" copper busbar as conductors. The switching
gap was a pair of metal spheres between which a short length of metal
rod was inserted using air pressure. About one cm^3 of water was
placed in the gun, and a steel ballbearing was initially used as
the projectile.

In the initial tries, the sparkplugs blew out violently from the
gun, and the ballbearing was gently lofted from the barrel. We assume
that the force originates in the discharge gap, and so we need to
position the gap closer to the base of the barrel.

The sparkplugs were replaced with turned teflon rods and copper wire
conductors, with the single discharge gap centered in the barrel. The
ball bearing was replaced with a black polyethelene cylinder with flat
ends, which gave a slip-fit into the bore. A clay cube of about 10" to
12" thick (water based modeling clay) was used as a target. When fired,
teflon rods and the copper conductors were still blown out of the holes.
But this time the slug went through the entire clay block, leaving a
entrance hole and a tiny exit hole. The entrance hole was conical, with
ripples and spirals on the walls. Amazingly, the projectle had not the
slightest bit of damage, and the edges of the beveled end were even
sharp and polished. Even more amazing, after going through the entire
block of clay, the slug was stopped by the thin poly bag that covered
back of the clay block.

5/95 - In the spring issue of ELECTRIC SPACECRAFT JOURNAL, the Richmond
Virginia Tesla Coil Builders Assn. have an article on their own watergun
experiments. They manage to perforate a 1/4" aluminum plate with
but the water fired from the end of the gun. They attempt to look
for anomalous energy production, but their results are inconclusive.

For info on subscribing to ESJ, see FREE ENERGY NEWSLETTERS AND JOURNALS
in WWW Weird Science at

Some references recommended by Tom Coradeschi

IEEE Transactions on Magnetics:

Vol. MAG-18, No. 1, January 1982
1980 Conference on Electromagnetic Guns and Launchers

Vol. MAG-20, No. 2, March 1984
2nd Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Vol. MAG-22, No. 6, November 1986
3rd Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Vol. 25, No. 1, January 1989
4th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Vol. 27, No. 1, January 1991
5th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Vol. 29, No. 1, January 1993
6th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

Vol. 31, No. 1, January 1995
7th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology

or, Blowing Stuff Up: a "guy thing"

We tried discharging through small pieces of agar gel with various
lengths and spacing. Capacitor bank: three 100uF, 30KV units in
Switching gap: two 1-1/2" brass spheres moved by an AC solenoid, with
flexible contact made via several flat 1" ground braids. 8" lengths of
heavy solid copper wire (#12?) were run from the capacitor terminals and
were bent to form a gap, into which small blocks of agar were placed. A
styrene cottage cheese bowl was placed below the gap to shield the
conductors from agar splatter. A 12" Tupperware bowl was placed over
the gap to shield the rest of the room from flying agar.

At low voltage (under 2KV) there was no explosion. Instead, the agar
yellow, sputtered, and melted adjacent to one electrode wire. This is
similar to the "glowing 120V pickel" demo, where an arc burns pickel
from around an electrode with a crawling arc which sequentially attacks
the material closest to the electrode.

With electrodes inserted 1/2" into the agar at 1" spacing and 2.5KV,
was an extremely loud blast which shattered the styrene cottage cheese
we had placed below the wires in an attempt to shield the conductors
agar splatter. But even with a blast like a shotgun discharge, the agar
simply broke into several pieces and fell from the electrodes. The
explosion was all sound, but with very little mechanical force.

With 1/2" electrodes at 1/4" spacing, the blast was extremely loud, the
agar was thrown out from the discharge as a liquid spray, the cottage
cheese bowl was again shattered and blown downwards, and the 10"
tupperware bowl that covered the assembly was shattered! Bill thinks it
happened not only from overpressure, but from fast risetime of force
shattered the plastic like sillyputty with a hammer. Because the agar
splattered on this run, we suspect that the voltage and spacing in the
previous run must have been just at the explosion-producing threshold.
Also note that the explosion energy seems to be nonlinear with respect
e-field, and with respect to total input energy since reducing the gap
while keeping capacitor voltage and capacitance constant seems to have
enormously raised the energy output. Perhaps energy is proportional to
peak current? Or perhaps there is a threshold in voltage or current
which explosion energy falls rapidly.

Since the discharge is intensely loud, Bill suspects that the extremely
loud noise from the quartershrinker^* setup may be coming from the
switching gap, and not from the exploding coil. After all, covering the
quarter with the iron pipe did not reduce the noise all that much. Dr.
P. Graneau has written about anomolies with high current air arcs,
pointing out in particular that the sound from lightning may not simply
be from thermal transient air expansion, but from unexplored plasma
dynamics which produce shock waves via motor effects. Perhaps this is
the source of the intense sound from the discharge.

Quartershrinker: device which electrically compresses a coin
into a small, shrivled, spherical lump. See EXTRAORDINARY
SCIENCE, Vol 5 No.3, Summer 1993, p10 (pub of the Intl. Tesla
Society, Colorado Springs, CO, 719-475-0918. Email the author
at ghawk@eskimo.com, or http://www.eskimo.com/~ghawk

THese guys have FUN to say the least. Dale has apparently gotten quite a
bit of attention from Hollywood recently, through his past performance
at MIcrosoft's Halloween party in 1995, and is pretty busy doing what he
enjoys the most.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President retroman@tpk.net Northstar Technologies Agent Lorrey@ThePentagon.com Inventor of the Lorrey Drive Silo_1013@ThePentagon.com

Website: http://www.tpk.net/~retroman/ Now Featuring: Mikey's Animatronic Factory http://www.tpk.net/~retroman/animations.htm My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ Transhumanist, Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Arms Exporter-see below. ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}