And I thought: "That sounds like a challenge."
I took a motorized Ballzooka...
...and added two cordless drill motors...
...and an 18V battery.
Suddenly, I had a ball gun that could fling a ball over 40 feet.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
Edited by TheAbused, 28 May 2010 - 10:44 PM.