NerfHaven: How To Make The Reactor Less Embarrasing To Wield. - NerfHaven

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How To Make The Reactor Less Embarrasing To Wield. And make it more likely that you'll actually hit someone with it.

#1 User is offline   Draconis 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 11:17 PM

Basic Concepts in Reactor upgrades.

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The molds for the Reactor were first used to produce the shells for the AirTech Ball Blaster in 2003. There have been three different decoration patterns throughout the years, and now there are many of these blasters in the wild. At 15-20 feet for average range, they aren't the best ballguns ever produced, but they are certainly the most prolific, and one of the few still in production. I rarely purchase any blasters new, but I've never actually purchased a new ballgun. So if you are like me, then your Reactors are likely to have a questionable plunger seal. Just like with any other blasters, the first step is to open up the shell.
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Then clean the crap out of the plunger assembly.
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You will no doubt notice that there is some empty space back here, not to mention a funny plastic pipe jutting out. Now, the inside diameter of this orifice is about 5/8", which is one major reason why I am content with 1/2" PVC for feed piping on the ball RSCBs. The pipe's purpose is to keep the consumer from destroying the skirt of the plunger seal by collapsing the thing at the end of the compression stroke.
We, however, are less concerned with longevity, and more with performance. So let's get rid of the dead space with two simple tasks... Cut down the pipe so it doesn't halt the travel prior to full compression, down to the edge of the skirt. One half of an inch should be plenty.
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Next we need to add some material to take up the remaining excess space. Just as with spring powered plungers, foam works nicely. I am not really sure where I got this stuff, but it appears to be vinyl based and rather dense. Simply cut out a torus and insert it within the skirt area. I cut the center hole with a piece of 1/2" copper pipe, so it fits snugly around the inlet pipe. I didn't bother using any adhesives, but from experience, PVC cement works well with this particular foam.
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Next step, simply reassemble the back end. Woo! Looks like a stock Reactor! And still performs like one. Mostly.
We get an extra couple feet, but nothing special. Less than the difference between green and yellow balls. :D
No matter! I have another idea...

So, as I have tried to explain before, I simply love thrift stores. There really is no substitute for the randomness which may be found amongst the former belongings of others. Well, just wash whatever you find, right? In this case, I have found EXACTLY what I was looking for. PETG.I know, ground breaking, right? Hardly. Except this is perfect for original equipment ballistic balls. Big deal you say? Why not just use 1.5" thinwall PVC? Because it won't fit. At least, not without some extra work, like sanding down the muzzle of the blaster, or the outside of the pipe. Both of which are time consuming (like women) and neither of which I wanted to do (like Waffle's mom). This stuff really is perfect, as it fits right inside the muzzle, with no deformation and no empty space around the outside. At any rate, I was very lucky, and found not one, but two rain gauges on the shelf at Goodwill. They are each about 16" long, which should yield plenty of material.
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In the case of the Reactor, most of the pressure built by the rather large plunger is needed to simply overcome the barrel restriction and begin moving the ball. But all of that air doesn't just vanish once the ball is gone. It turns out that we can actually use a couple inches of barrel and harness all of the power! Some of you folks have scientific and mathematical methods for choosing barrel lengths. I rather like a simple approach, myself. What I figure is that if you start with barrel which is far longer than what the blaster could require, then just fire the projectile through it, then the projectile (balls here of course, but it works with darts too) will stop at roughly twice the optimal barrel length. This is because the ball will continue to accelerate until there is no longer enough air pressure, at which point it will begin to decelerate and finally stop. In this case, the ball travelled about five inches. We want to cut the barrel where the velocity is greatest, which is approximately one half the distance from the muzzle to the stopping point, or about 2.5 inches.
Installation of the barrel is relatively easy. You can use Goop, cyanoacrylate, or epoxy and get the job done. I used PVC pipe weld, which bonded marvelously. Simply prime both pieces as normal, then apply a small amount of cement to the outside of the barrel itself, and carefully insert it into the muzzle of the blaster. All the way in, until it bottoms out against the restrictor (TWSS). After the cement was dry, I added a layer of epoxy down in the the beveled space between the muzzle and the outside barrel surface, just to add some stability. The best part is that the position of the barrel actually increases the resistance in the restrictor as well.
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Once all of the adhesives are dry, we may begin testing! Which is really boring! This is certainly no StreamMachine blaster, that is for sure. Simply not enough plunger volume to produce that kind of range. We have definitely succeeded, though. The new average ranges vary between 30 and 40 feet. Roughly double the original range.

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This post has been edited by Draconis: 11 February 2010 - 11:26 PM

[15:51] <+Noodle> titties
[15:51] <+Rhadamanthys> titties
[15:51] <+jakejagan> titties
[15:51] <+Lucian> boobs
[15:51] <+Gears> titties
[15:51] <@Draconis> Titties.
[15:52] <+Noodle> why is this so hard?
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#2 User is offline   bourbon 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:09 AM

This is ballin'.

Yeah, I know, that was pretty bad. But seriously, 40 feet out of a Reactor is like a dream come true. I've been looking for a way to make this gun usable because it's so cool, but there is like no modding information about it, save for this write-up you have here.

I do have one question though, maybe two. You mentioned that 1.5" PVC is more difficult to use, but it IS possible, right? I'm sure this doesn't surprise you but I've never seen rain gauges that specific size in a thrift store or otherwise. My second question is, are the Buzz Bee foam balls the same size as the Nerf ones? I don't have anymore green balls and am hoping the Buzz Bee balls will both work in the Reactor and have a snug fit into 1.5" PVC.
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#3 User is offline   Samzilla 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 12:38 AM

All we need now is ball gun specific rounds and/or rules that allow hits after rolls and bounces.
BAFF WTB Airtanks, pumps, airgun stuff
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#4 User is offline   KeiichiRX7 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:24 AM

Based on what you saw of the workings of this gun, would it be possible to cut the tube down to have fewer balls in it? I've been wanting to try a underbarrel launcher on my recon for quite a while and this looked fun. never tried it though.
Capt Slug thinks this thread is idiotic. Why did any of you seriously reply to this?

Why so serious?
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#5 User is offline   Lion 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:42 AM

View PostKeiichiRX7, on Feb 12 2010, 06:24 AM, said:

Based on what you saw of the workings of this gun, would it be possible to cut the tube down to have fewer balls in it? I've been wanting to try a underbarrel launcher on my recon for quite a while and this looked fun. never tried it though.




Yes, did that for my long shot.
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#6 User is offline   Draconis 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 08:53 AM

View Postbourbon, on Feb 12 2010, 12:09 AM, said:

I do have one question though, maybe two. You mentioned that 1.5" PVC is more difficult to use, but it IS possible, right? I'm sure this doesn't surprise you but I've never seen rain gauges that specific size in a thrift store or otherwise.


Yes, you can use the1.5" PVC, but it requires you to either shave down the pipe quite a bit so it will fit in the same, or ream out the inside of the muzzle. Or both. Also, the rain gauges were a new clearance item from Target, which had been donated to Goodwill. You might be able to find units on the shelves this spring. I also plan on talking to a local aquarium shop which carries PETG, and asking if they can special order some of the right size for me.

Quote

My second question is, are the Buzz Bee foam balls the same size as the Nerf ones? I don't have anymore green balls and am hoping the Buzz Bee balls will both work in the Reactor and have a snug fit into 1.5" PVC.


The Buzzbee and ERTL balls are roughly the same as the yellow Nerf balls, though a hare bigger. Like maybe a millimeter. The green balls are about the same diameter as the Buzzbee and ERTL balls, but far more firm. They should all work fine, but the ranges will be best with the green balls.


View PostKeiichiRX7, on Feb 12 2010, 03:24 AM, said:

Based on what you saw of the workings of this gun, would it be possible to cut the tube down to have fewer balls in it? I've been wanting to try a underbarrel launcher on my recon for quite a while and this looked fun. never tried it though.


Yes, as Lion said, it can be done. I have to think that it would be easier to do it at the front, rather than the back, though.
[15:51] <+Noodle> titties
[15:51] <+Rhadamanthys> titties
[15:51] <+jakejagan> titties
[15:51] <+Lucian> boobs
[15:51] <+Gears> titties
[15:51] <@Draconis> Titties.
[15:52] <+Noodle> why is this so hard?
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#7 User is offline   John 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:23 AM

Holy crap... You got 40' out of a Reactor? When it warms up, or I can at LEAST go outside without freezing my butt off, I'll go dig out my old one. I also heard somewhere that you could do some mod to make this thing shoot darts, is it possible? If it is, I might finally have a use for my stefans.
I haz a cheezburger wif 2 pickles an longcat's blessing. Oh yeah, and a side of awesumsaus.
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#8 User is offline   sistermol 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 09:57 AM

View Post-John-, on Feb 12 2010, 09:23 AM, said:

Holy crap... You got 40' out of a Reactor? When it warms up, or I can at LEAST go outside without freezing my butt off, I'll go dig out my old one. I also heard somewhere that you could do some mod to make this thing shoot darts, is it possible? If it is, I might finally have a use for my stefans.

It is possible
I'll edit in a link in a minute when i find it.

EDIT: Here it is: http://nerfhaven.com...?showtopic=2214

This post has been edited by sistermol: 12 February 2010 - 10:02 AM

Without darkness how would we recognize the light?
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#9 User is offline   John 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 10:24 AM

Thanks Sistermol. I wish I had my Reactor with me, I'd do both of these. Well, once I get some CPVC, I got about 6 feet of PVC accidentally. Oh, and for future reference, don't buy supplies when you're tired. You WILL mess up.
I haz a cheezburger wif 2 pickles an longcat's blessing. Oh yeah, and a side of awesumsaus.
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#10 User is offline   KeiichiRX7 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 11:40 AM

View PostLion, on Feb 12 2010, 05:42 AM, said:

View PostKeiichiRX7, on Feb 12 2010, 06:24 AM, said:

Based on what you saw of the workings of this gun, would it be possible to cut the tube down to have fewer balls in it? I've been wanting to try a underbarrel launcher on my recon for quite a while and this looked fun. never tried it though.




Yes, did that for my long shot.


Eeeexcellent. Did you cut down the tube like I mentioned or is that with full capacity?

For those of you who care about the particular mod being discussed by Lion and I.
Capt Slug thinks this thread is idiotic. Why did any of you seriously reply to this?

Why so serious?
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#11 User is offline   Lion 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:37 PM

View PostKeiichiRX7, on Feb 12 2010, 02:40 PM, said:

View PostLion, on Feb 12 2010, 05:42 AM, said:

View PostKeiichiRX7, on Feb 12 2010, 06:24 AM, said:

Based on what you saw of the workings of this gun, would it be possible to cut the tube down to have fewer balls in it? I've been wanting to try a underbarrel launcher on my recon for quite a while and this looked fun. never tried it though.




Yes, did that for my long shot.


Eeeexcellent. Did you cut down the tube like I mentioned or is that with full capacity?

For those of you who care about the particular mod being discussed by Lion and I.


Yeah, I cut the tube down, full capacity is 4 nerf balls.
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#12 User is offline   Vengeful Waffle 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:50 PM

This is nice. I've seen things very similar to your rain gauge barrel there, but they were not ridged enough to allow me to fit balls in without distorting the tube. Do you have any problems with your barrel like that?

Also, I congratulate you for turning down my mom. Some people...just way too desperate.
I'm a runner, and I like to run.

[18:46] <+Famine> With the cock ring coming out the back of it?

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#13 User is offline   Draconis 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:44 PM

View PostVengeful Waffle, on Feb 12 2010, 02:50 PM, said:

This is nice. I've seen things very similar to your rain gauge barrel there, but they were not ridged enough to allow me to fit balls in without distorting the tube. Do you have any problems with your barrel like that?


No, this seems just rigid enough to not distort. The material is about 0.5mm thick.



Quote

Also, I congratulate you for turning down my mom. Some people...just way too desperate.



Intriguing as and mysterious as she seems... I do have standards.
[15:51] <+Noodle> titties
[15:51] <+Rhadamanthys> titties
[15:51] <+jakejagan> titties
[15:51] <+Lucian> boobs
[15:51] <+Gears> titties
[15:51] <@Draconis> Titties.
[15:52] <+Noodle> why is this so hard?
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#14 User is offline   death by cheez 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 03:52 PM

Congratulations on making the Reactor a little less disgusting one modification at a time.

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#15 User is offline   Keith 

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Posted 12 February 2010 - 05:59 PM

View Postsistermol, on Feb 12 2010, 11:57 AM, said:

View Post-John-, on Feb 12 2010, 09:23 AM, said:

Holy crap... You got 40' out of a Reactor? When it warms up, or I can at LEAST go outside without freezing my butt off, I'll go dig out my old one. I also heard somewhere that you could do some mod to make this thing shoot darts, is it possible? If it is, I might finally have a use for my stefans.

It is possible
I'll edit in a link in a minute when i find it.

EDIT: Here it is: http://nerfhaven.com...?showtopic=2214


Here's one with an RSCB, and here's one that shoot balls or darts. These writeups both have pics.

Cool stuff, Draconis. I'll have to keep an eye out for those rain guages.
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