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Ballzooka Mp150

Warning: extreme potential for ball jokes

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#1 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:52 PM

For as long as I have been modifying Nerf blasters and attending Nerf Wars, I've heard: "Ball blasters are worthless. They get crap range and the balls are extremely easy to dodge. If you get killed with a ball, you are a terrible player."

And I thought: "That sounds like a challenge."

I took a motorized Ballzooka...

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...and added two cordless drill motors...

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...and an 18V battery.

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Suddenly, I had a ball gun that could fling a ball over 40 feet.

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I call her "Christine."

The original blaster "weighed in at 5 pounds with a full ammo complement and batteries, it was extremely bulky and noisy and it took a few seconds before the wheels were up to speed for firing, giving up your position." Mine weighs in at 8.75 pounds, features a comfortable shoulder strap, is noisier and bulkier than ever, and comes up to speed immediately. Damn revealing my position. By the time you hear it, you're already dead. Additionally, it comes with two speeds: Normal (with motors in series at 9V each) and Crap Your Pants (with motors in parallel at 18V each).

Internal Comparison

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After tearing out the tiny, tiny motors (which only sent my balls about 10 feet... and I needed my balls to go much further), I added some Lexan to cover strengthen up the housing and to attach the larger drill batteries. I removed the original posts from the flywheels, added Lexan disks, and drilled holes 1/32" smaller than the diameter of the drill shaft (I preferred a tight fit for testing). I lucked out with the spacing here, but I had enough wiggle room for shafts too long or too short. I didn't glue the flywheels to the shafts (at first) so I could make sure I could take everything apart if there was a problem. After confirming everything works, glue the flywheels on. Otherwise the new larger balls will eventually knock them off the shafts.

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The lower 9V speed tosses my balls a pretty good distance (45-50 feet), and I figured with the full 18V I would get considerably more distance. Actually... the flywheels spin so fast at 18V, that they slip, and can't throw my balls any further at all. But the sound was impressive. I needed more friction, so I tried rubber bands around the flywheels... which get thrown off and chewed up. So I tried hockey tape... which eventually comes loose and gets jammed. Finally, inspiration: Plasti Dip.

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With a rubber coating for the flywheels, I can shoot my balls about 55-60 feet.

I built a Lexan body to accommodate the larger motors, drilling plenty of ventilation holes (since drill motors tend to get pretty hot), and adding CPVC around the edges (since no one wants to be accidentally gouged).

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The original blaster had a translucent fluorescent green sleeve that would slide back and forth to keep balls from falling out. Mine was loose and kept sliding open if I turned too fast. I removed it, drilled some holes in the shell, and threaded some elastic rope (specifically elastic packaged with the Big Bad Bow... you know, the ones everyone cuts off and throws out... not me, I save every part).

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Now I can just slap my balls in there and not worry about them flying out when I run. Proper ball restraint: always a good idea.

Dramatic Photos:

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Ranges: 45-50 feet on lower 9V setting; 55-60 feet on higher 18V setting (ranges may vary due to spin)
Preferred Effective Range: 30 feet
Weight: 8.75 pounds
Length: 20 inches
Width: 12 inches
Ammo Capacity: 16 balls

Usually I'll get a pretty straight shot with a nice arc, but my balls do tend to curve in flight. They fly straight for about 30-35 feet, then either dive, or make a sharp right. I've shot people hiding around corners, much to their irritation. I don't see a flaw... I see a bonus. I tried adding a couple of variable resistors so I could control the speed of the motors independently (and control my curve), but the series/parallel wiring I have makes this ineffective. Also, I melted the resistors.

I realize this is far from most people's idea of a preferred primary weapon, but it kicks so much ass during indoor wars. I also find it ideal for Zombie Games since I can wait for zombies to get pretty close to me, and I don't have to worry about leaving welts on anyone. I also find it useful for guarding flags or bases.

Perceived Bonus #1: I can kill people with balls, bringing shame to them and their families.
Perceived Bonus #2: Hardly anyone else uses balls as ammo, so I know what ammo is mine.
Perceived Bonus #3: Ball jokes are funny, at least at first.

Unexpected Bonus #1: The roar of twin drill motors makes people stumble and wary.
Unexpected Bonus #2: The Ballzooka accepts all foam balls, regardless of manufacturer and slight differences in diameter.
Unexpected Bonus #3: Balls are kind of hard to dodge at the speed I fire them.
Unexpected Bonus #4: Ball jokes don't actually seem to get old.

This modification was pretty cheap for me. The Ballzooka I picked up from my brother for free, but recently picked up a second one for $25. I picked up two matching Sears 16.8V cordless drills at a flea market for $10. The DeWalt 18V battery I already had, otherwise they are about $60 each. The DeWalt drill shell (which I needed for the battery to easily be switched out) I got for a song and a dance. If you can find a DeWalt distributor near you, chances are they have a whole bin full of dead drills, and you can probably ask nicely and get a shell with battery contacts for free. This ended up costing me about $20, raw materials and bonding agents included. You could easily spend over $100 making one for yourself, though. Ah, the price one must pay to hit people in the face with one's balls.

Final Paint:
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Edited by TheAbused, 28 May 2010 - 10:44 PM.

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#2 Fredo

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:07 PM

That is just fucking sweet. Mad props.
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22:24 Mr_BadWrench wait, you have a name that makes it possible for talio to seduce a woman?

22:25 Mr_BadWrench whats your name? john holmes?

#3 thaygor

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:16 PM

I halft to say after the last ohio war when I saw this thing in person it was pure awesome in its highest state. Good work dude!!!

Edited by thaygor, 22 November 2009 - 09:18 PM.

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#4 Kid Flash

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:17 PM

I loved this thing the moment I saw it at the war.
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#5 Captain

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:26 PM

Incredible. I'm curious to see it in action, do you have the equipment to take a video of you firing it?

And from the looks of it, you sanded the shell for a paint job, right? What color(s) will you paint it?
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#6 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:32 PM

Incredible. I'm curious to see it in action, do you have the equipment to take a video of you firing it?

And from the looks of it, you sanded the shell for a paint job, right? What color(s) will you paint it?



I can probably get video of it after Thanksgiving.

As for paint, the main body will be cherry red with metal flecks, and the housing around the motors will be black, with chrome on the edges. If the weather is agreeable, I can have that done soon, too.
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#7 Seven7h Man

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:34 PM

*Slow claps* Amazing.
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#8 Nerf Bros

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:39 PM

Holy Crap Man! I really want to see this in action, please post a video. Anyways, very creative! I love how you took a useless gun (except for ridiculous gun rounds) and made it into a total beast! This is definitely one of my favorite mods that I've seen on these forums... Nice Job.

Edited by Nerf Bros, 22 November 2009 - 09:39 PM.

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#9 cheesypiza001

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:45 PM

Wow. That looks like it would be lot of fun to use. How long does it take for all of the balls to empty out if you start with all 16 loaded and hold down the trigger?
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#10 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:55 PM

Wow. That looks like it would be lot of fun to use. How long does it take for all of the balls to empty out if you start with all 16 loaded and hold down the trigger?


Well its not full auto. I have to pull the trigger for each ball. I can get the first 6 out in about 2 seconds, pull that orange handle to rotate the ball chamber in a second, get the next 5 in about 2 seconds, rotate the chamber in a second, and get the last 5 in about 2 seconds. So about 8-10 seconds, though I've never needed to do that in the heat of battle.
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#11 fallinouttadabox

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:03 PM

This is the kind of large and ugly you don't have to be drunk to appreciate...
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#12 bpso86

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:19 PM

Damn, I was wondering when we'd see this posted... I remember the first time you brought it to Lazer Kraze, it was the loudest thing in the arena... it was great. Definitely an awesome blaster.
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#13 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:21 PM

Damn, I was wondering when we'd see this posted... I remember the first time you brought it to Lazer Kraze, it was the loudest thing in the arena... it was great. Definitely an awesome blaster.


I've been meaning to post if for months, but I wanted to work out the high speed problem before I did.
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#14 Blue

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:41 PM

Getting a a ball blaster to take more than one type of ball is a great accomplishment. Great work.
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#15 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

Getting a a ball blaster to take more than one type of ball is a great accomplishment. Great work.


I would love to take full credit for that, but it was another thing I lucked out on. The flywheels have just enough give to allow the larger balls through.
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#16 Phree Agent

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:09 PM

The concept and craftsmanship alone make this project awesome. I love the casing and the placement of the battery. Excellent work.
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#17 analogkid

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:11 PM

I know you already addressed some of this, but:

If the top motor spun slightly faster to "hop up" the ball, that is, to give it rotation which "lifts" it, this could increase range and accuracy. Plus, the balls would follow less of a ballistic trajectory, which may or may not make them harder to dodge because of the way you perceive them coming at you. Of course, the only way I can think of to do this would be a resistor, and you already mentioned that it melts them. What resistors did you use? 1/4w ones? Maybe a wire-wound resistor would work better/not melt.

I have a paintball marker that does this, although slightly differently, it uses a curved barrel to introduce backspin, and the backspin makes a big difference. And the ball flies straight, for the most part. which makes it difficult to judge the speed of the paintball. Not sure if this could be scaled to Nerf applications (after all, NERF != PAINTBALL), but the physics behind it are still similar (I think).
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#18 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:26 PM

If the top motor spun slightly faster to "hop up" the ball, that is, to give it rotation which "lifts" it, this could increase range and accuracy. ... What resistors did you use?.


I would have to check the wattage on the resistors. Electricity is not really my thing. I just tinker until it works. I just realized I should have drawn up a wiring schematic to post. I'll see if I can get that done tomorrow.

I've done some brainstorming about backspin (good suggestion, by the way). I'm pretty sure the bottom motor spins faster, so I could probably just physically switch them. Though I did just glue the flywheels on... arg. Easy test for tomorrow: turn Ballzooka upside down to see if range increases.

Another idea I'm considering is offsetting the angle of the top motor to introduce spin (suggested by Twitch). I might even offset both. It'll be something I play with more on the second one.
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#19 Samzilla

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:46 PM

Wow thats pretty awesome. Ballguns are really funny to play with at wars.
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#20 VelveetaAvenger

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:55 PM

This thing is sweet.

I see it holds 16 balls already, which is pretty good. Have you given any though to making a gigantic hopper so it can hold 40 or 50 balls? I'm sure it doesn't need it, but it could look pretty cool.
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#21 TheAbused

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:58 PM

I see it holds 16 balls already, which is pretty good. Have you given any though to making a gigantic hopper so it can hold 40 or 50 balls? I'm sure it doesn't need it, but it could look pretty cool.


Well, if I can find another Ballzooka, I have this idea of building an extra long one to hold 31 balls. And if I can find a few of them, I just might be tempted to mash them all together.

Edited by TheAbused, 23 November 2009 - 12:09 AM.

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#22 TantumBull

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:35 AM

1. I love you.
2. Where in the fucking hell is Draconis.
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#23 Blue

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:41 AM

Also, another thing... Did you paint your balls to look like Poke balls, because they look awesome.
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#24 guardian21

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:43 AM

I've never really given ball guns much thought at all.

But i have to say i could TOTALLY see myself using one of these things.

wish i could get the parts.

EDIT:

Also, another thing... Did you paint your balls to look like Poke balls, because they look awesome.

What he said. Pokemon never dies. It just grows tumors and has internal bleeding.

Edited by guardian21, 23 November 2009 - 12:46 AM.

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DATA!

#25 TantumBull

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:43 AM

Also, another thing... Did you paint your balls to look like Poke balls, because they look awesome.

Its probably so he can see spin easier.
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