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Hornet Shuttle Valve Mod, By Split


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#1 Split

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:06 PM

Feel free to ignore this block of text if you just want to do the mod (Skip to "Materials:")
On my quest to make the hornet a worthwhile primary, I figured out what I consider to be its greatest flaw. Whenever you need to re-pump, you need to move the slide forward and back, or "re-trigger," as I call it. Once you re-trigger, however, you can't fire the barrel(s) you still have loaded. This just kills usability in the field, by making strategic reloading more akin to a retreat.

From there, it was my goal to make it so you could repump whenever, and still be ready to fire the other barrels. If you know anything about back pressure guns, you'll know this is harder than it sounds. Once you pull the trigger on a hornet or blastfire or the like, a pathway is opened from the back of the tank to the open air. This means whenever you try to pump, the tank can't hold any pressure.

My solution is perfect - it closes off the connection to the open air whenever you repump, but only to the fired tanks. Concurrently, it opens a channel directly to the pump to put air into the tanks. Whenever you're fully pumped and ready, you can re-trigger and push a button, and the system returns to a fully primed state.

Did I mention it's extremely simple to do?

Materials:
Five (5) 1/8" Tubing Tees (Mcmaster part: 9675T33 [pack of five])
Five (5) 1/8" Shuttle Valves (Mcmaster part: 6667T14)
Extra 1/8" tubing

It's pretty straight forward. Splice 5 Tees anywhere between the pump and the trigger mechanism (white tube that holds orange piece, splits to all 6 tanks), run each of those lines into one input of the shuttle valves, run the output of the shuttle valves into the tanks, and run thes line that used to run into the tanks into the other input on the valves.

I figured a diagram would be much simpler to understand than a picture of my finished jumble of tubes:
Posted Image

Recap for legibility:
5 Shuttle valve outputs into first 5 tanks
5 Tees between pump and trigger mechanism
5 lines that used to run into the tanks into an input on the respective shuttle valve
5 lines from the Tees into the shuttle valves' other input, in any order.

From there, you just need to hook a blast button into the line somewhere between the pump and trigger mechanism. This can be simply made from one of the existing buttons, or several other ways.

Done!

Protips:
The outputs on the shuttle valves are the leg on the T shape.
You can rearrange the firing order of the tanks to whatever you like!

To use:
If the gun is already "re-triggered," pump to full, and press your blast button. Ready!
If the gun is partially fired, pump to full, re-trigger, and press your blast button. Ready!
If the gun has been fully fired, re-trigger.

Final product:
Here's how mine turned out-
Posted Image
Posted Image

Notice how I managed to conserve space on the inside with the tubing. It allows me to keep the gun looking as if it were bone stock. I do hope the judges can find it in themselves to look past the pump replacement. That's neither part of this mod nor writeup, and is the only thing that makes it look non-stock externally.
Posted Image

Keep in mind that mine is arranged to fit into the shell, and be ready for the "Hornette" minimization mod.

Closing:
I feel this mod adds near-infinite functionality to the Hornet, allowing you to not need a sidearm even. It's easy to replicate, and pretty clever, if I do say so myself ;). This will work on every back-pressure gun I can think of (that can take advantage of it, of course).

Hope this gets some new ideas turning. The uses for "shuttle valves" are very wide ranging. I find this mod to be only the first step.
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#2 dizzyduck

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:16 PM

Nicely done.

One thing, though; will the trigger spring still fit if you run the tubing up the handle shaft? You don't have it pictured. I would assume it would but I figured asking would make sure.
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#3 Gears

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:22 PM

This is the most amazing mod I have ever seen.
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#4 Split

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:29 PM

There haven't been any trigger springs in any of the hornets I've worked on (3 total - one of each color, incidentally). There's a spot for them, they just don't seem to be included. On that note, you don't need them, but they will still fit if you decide to put one there. Also note that with this mod, the tubing can still go into through the stock per normal. Mine is just set up for minimization.

Edited by Split, 24 July 2009 - 07:30 PM.

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#5 Soothsayer

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:42 PM

I think I get the gist of what this does, and if what I think is correct, nice job split. I will say I'd like to see a video of this all in action.
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yeah I'm that guy who made that cool thing with the cool paint.


#6 Fome

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:48 AM

Very, very cool.

I'm still having difficulty wrapping my head around how this system works, even after reading through your write-up twice and typing "what the fuck is a shuttle-valve" into google. I realize that the "blast-button" takes on an entirely different role, but in your opinion is there a way to integrate a way to fire all barrels at once?

This seems rather expensive though, $9.55 per shuttle-valve. Although I suppose people have spent far more on mods before.

Edit: Upon retrospection, this is fucking stupid. Why would you spend $50+ to make a shitty gun perform slightly less shitty? Even the benefits are arbitrary, you're adding a level of complexity as well as losing the ability to fire all your barrels at once, that sucks. Props for figuring this out, however this mod has 0 practicality or reproducibility.

Edited by Fome, 12 September 2010 - 02:58 AM.


#7 Split

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 09:48 AM

I'm still unsure about posting a huge explanation on how it works - I imagine that anyone who wants to adapt shuttle valves for a use other than these can figure out the nuances about the inner workings, but I'll probably end up explaining it anyway.

The mod overall doesn't affect range or the like; instead, it allows you to reload and repump while still being primed - something that is impossible with the stock setup. For instance, when you need to reload before this mod, you have no available shots while pumping (the part that takes the longest). After this mod however, you have six, minus the shots you're reloading, still ready at a pull of the trigger.

I actually didn't know these valves existed until after lots of research. I designed (on paper) the kind of valve that would be needed and different ways it could function or be fabricated.

Warning: Relatively complicated explanation follows. This information is not necessary to making the mod work, only to understand why it works.

Givens:
1) Shuttle valves are seemingly simple. They have two inputs and one output. The input with the highest (air) pressure is opened, and the other is closed, (near) simultaneously.
2) Back pressure tanks, as many people know, work off of what is basically two air tanks. One holds the valve closed, and the other holds the air to fire the dart/whatever. When all of the air is released from the tank holding the valve closed, the valve opens and the air rushes out the front. Whenever you pump air in the rear, both tanks become pressurized (equally).
3) In this situation with the hornet (or any back pressure gun), the "output" connection actually has to become the input connection, since the air has to run out the back of the tank so that the valve can open.

In a tank that is hooked up directly to the trigger mechanism, once that tank is fired, there is a pathway to the open air for the "tank" holding the valve closed to release its air. That pathway doesn't close afterwards. So what we need is something that closes that temporarily, and establishes a connection to the pump. That's where the shuttle valves come in.

When you pump with some barrels already fired and the shuttle valves in place, no air gets to the trigger input side of the shuttle valve - it all goes to the other input. The shuttle valve then closes the connection to the trigger, since it has lower pressure, which allows you to pump the tank back up.

Then, when you need to fire, you "re-trigger" (move the slide forward and back) and push the blast button. When you re-trigger, the fired tanks and now pumped tanks equalize in the trigger mechanism. There is now near equal pressure on both inputs of the shuttle valve.

When you go to pull the trigger, if the blast button hasn't been pushed, the air will rush out of that section of the trigger mechanism, the pressure will drop, and the shuttle valve will close off the tank, and it won't fire.

If you've pushed the blast button after re-triggering though, the pressure in the non-trigger input of the shuttle valve is far less than the trigger side input of the shuttle valve, so the shuttle valve closes off the input to the pump. Where the system stands at this point is identical to a stock, fully primed hornet. There is a pathway from the back of the tank to the trigger mechanism, and it is completely ready to be fired.

As an aside, when you pump with the slide completely forward after this mod has been completed, again, (near) identical pressures are on both inputs of the shuttle valve. If you don't push the blast button, the gun will still not fire.
/end complicated explanation

There is yet more potential for this mod too, not just the valves. One could theoretically link the pushing of the new blast button to the moving of the slide, thereby removing the only downside of this mod (the extra step of pushing the blast button).

In response to fome: If you leave the shotgun blast buttons where they are, you can still have a shotgun blast like normal. I find myself not wanting to use the shotgun blast. I can just shotgun load a single tank for the same effectiveness and more practicality. As an added bonus to removing them, there is significantly less dead space in the system, and thereby it requires fewer pumps to achieve the same pressure.
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#8 Talio

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:59 AM

Shut the fuck up, Bob.
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#9 Split

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:00 AM

If the blast button still has a role in air flow, why doesn't it appear in the diagram?

Because the diagram is how to run the shuttle valves... Installing the blast button isn't even mentioned until after it...

Edit, re:Bob's editted post: Anywhere between the pump and trigger mechanism, as it says in the step about installing the blast button.

Edited by Split, 25 July 2009 - 11:32 AM.

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#10 Ice Nine

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 12:46 PM

I was going to ask why the sixth tank didn't get a shuttle valve too but then I realized it and felt rather stupid for wondering.

Split, this is really cool. Now I totally understand what you were telling me in chat that I never really payed attention to before. Shuttle valves = sweetness.

One question, though; what'd you use to plug the hole where you cut the blast button port off? That shit adds so much dead space to Hornets, it's disgusting.

I'm going to preempt Split's response with this: ;-;

Edited by Ice Nine, 25 July 2009 - 12:49 PM.

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#11 Split

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

I was going to ask why the sixth tank didn't get a shuttle valve too but then I realized it and felt rather stupid for wondering.

Split, this is really cool. Now I totally understand what you were telling me in chat that I never really payed attention to before. Shuttle valves = sweetness.

One question, though; what'd you use to plug the hole where you cut the blast button port off? That shit adds so much dead space to Hornets, it's disgusting.

I'm going to preempt Split's response with this: ;-;

When I was explaining it to you before, I didn't even know shuttle valves existed. I was just working off of my diagrams. So yeah, the preemptive crying is perfect. :D

I covered the hole with a piece of 2k shell and goop.

I'd really like to hear more opinions on this. I understand it's costly from mcmaster, but I've seen these things not sell on ebay for 1/4 the price. I can't really say "find them on ebay, pay $12 instead of $50", and expect it to be easily repeatable though. I also obviously can't link the auctions.
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#12 Hipponater

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:17 PM

I'd really like to hear more opinions on this. I understand it's costly from mcmaster, but I've seen these things not sell on ebay for 1/4 the price. I can't really say "find them on ebay, pay $12 instead of $50", and expect it to be easily repeatable though. I also obviously can't link the auctions.


It's a great mod, well thought out and greatly improves the stock blaster, but I think the major concern of most people is the complexity and the cost. I had to read through your posts a couple of times and look at the diagrams before I understood how and why this worked. Also, I didn't even think of ebay, but a quick search found 4 for $4 each, which is still $20, more than is usually spend on modifying a blaster. Between the cost and not exactly understanding the workings, most people may be turned off.

Part of the problem is that underneath it all, it's still a hornet. That tricky tubing filled hella-complex blaster. The tanks are a bitch to get apart from all the plastic to add barrels, but can easily be expanded by adding PVC offshoots or what not to give it more power. And more pumping.

Overall, this is ingenious though. I'd love to do it if I could pick up some real cheap shuttle valves.

Major props, your work is awesome, as usual.
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#13 white moonlight

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:30 PM

This does greatly improve the stock blaster.

It also greatly improves basic mods for this blaster, and even some advanced mods.

It looks like a great job, and this gun should be very useful in war.

That thing would look sweet with a paintjob.

Have you been to any wars with it yet?
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On his trec to Colonfest...
VengefulWaffle BOY, 12 KILLED IN MOUNTAIN PASS BY WILD RACCON, EXPERTS SAY HE ATTEMPTED TO HOLD IT OFF WITH NERF NITEFINDERS
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Guess who he was talking about...

#14 Split

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:59 PM

Hipponater, these are good points, so I'd like to address them.

I think the major concern of most people is the complexity and the cost. I had to read through your posts a couple of times and look at the diagrams before I understood how and why this worked.

As I said several times, you don't actually need to know why it works to do it. It's an extremely simple mod to perform. I am baffled by the wording "the complexity;" I feel that putting in what is effectively 5 Tees isn't that complex at all.

Also, I didn't even think of ebay, but a quick search found 4 for $4 each, which is still $20, more than is usually spend on modifying a blaster.

Look at it this way though - The raw parts for adding on a marvelous salvo, without buying in bulk, are over $40. Buying a 2k off of the trading forum here typically runs you about $20+shipping. the brass alone that people commonly spend on, say, a 1500 (4' for 4 9" barrels) will still be $16 (possibly +shipping). Other common air gun modifications including adding second tanks, new pumps, bladders from other guns. Replicating that without coincidentally having those parts laying around is costly.

With all of that and more, a large majority of modifications done to or with air guns are averaging around the cost of this mod or more.

Part of the problem is that underneath it all, it's still a hornet. That tricky tubing filled hella-complex blaster. The tanks are a bitch to get apart from all the plastic to add barrels, but can easily be expanded by adding PVC offshoots or what not to give it more power. And more pumping.

Several facets to this. First, this mod can be done to any back-pressure gun. The difficulty of other mods to this blaster (though seemingly exaggerated in your post*) really has little to nothing to do with this mod. I'm not saying that you're explicitly saying it's detracting, but it's just something to keep in mind for those who "may be turned off."

Getting more explicitly on the topic of making the hornet usable, Ice Nine has replaced the hornet's tanks with big salvo tanks, for very respectable ranges. The same goes for the tank expansions you mention. I feel that thoughts on this are hesitant to give it a chance just because it is done to a hornet. Yes, tank expansions or replacements will require more pumping, but guess what? You're no longer unarmed while pumping. With this mod, you don't even have to pull a side arm either. Just squeeze the trigger.

That is just the start of it - the strategic pumping and rush-defense. How about when you're rushing someone else? Not too many people have that 6 shot semi-auto blaster, let alone one that can tag 80-100+! How about dual wielding these! I think it opens up another dimension to the game, by making hornets and the like more viable.

*Air restrictors are a matter of a 3/8" drill bit; 17/32" barrels slide right into the stock barrels, and otherwise 9/16" is a common drill bit size as well. Don't even need to open it.
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#15 Hipponater

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:17 PM

I think I wrote my post with the wrong tone in mind. I didn't mean to come across like you thought I did, the internet/text took away my real tone.

I feel that because it's rather new (shuttle valves) people may be persuaded away from it. I was just trying to give some opinions and feedback because this really does deserve more attention.

I your point in the cost situation, I forgot about some of the more expensive parts and how the older guns are really running up in cost. I do not use brass (because of the price) but taking it all into consideration, I retract my previous statement of the high cost. It's on par with other blasters, maybe even lower due to the hornet's low cost. (Does the $5 replacement part still work? I thought I read they were out of stock somewhere).

Rebarreling for me has always been worse because I don't use brass, however I may need to get some, but cutting up the tanks would be very worth it for this final product.

After thinking about it again, and seeing you state it, this is an incredibly powerful gun that fits my play style perfectly (trying to never spend much time reloading, so I mainly use rscb clips). I will certainly be on the look out for the shuttle values, and maybe make my own Ts to save on cost.

Sorry for my previous post, I didn't mean to come across sounding like this gun was too hard to do or just a bad mod in general, it's really something that can propel back-pressure guns more to the forefront as you have eliminated that issue. I was just trying to give the opinions you asked for, it just might be too big of a project for some people for whatever reason.

In terms of modding, this is the biggest improvement over a stock gun I have seen, you didn't just give it more range, but changed the way it works to make it superior.

Edit: Took out the quotes, wasn't really needed.

Edited by Hipponater, 26 July 2009 - 02:18 PM.

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#16 Split

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

Sorry for my previous post, I didn't mean to come across sounding like this gun was too hard to do or just a bad mod in general (...)

Oh, no way dude. That's exactly what I was looking for. I'd like to hear criticism on this, so that I can work to change people's opinions on the mod. I know it seems like an attack on you, but I just wanted to clarify a few things. I saw no malicious tone or any of that. I think it was a very productive post actually. Thanks for putting it up.

You mention another good point that I forgot about. The hornet still in production. This means it has higher availability, and generally lower initial cost. Plus, it's currently an unwanted gun.


*When I ordered replacement hornets, they replied saying that the Unity set was out of production. I admit that I only assume that the Hulk sets/Blue hornets are still in production.
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