Jump to content


KaneTheMediocre

Member Since 04 Jul 2009
Offline Last Active Jan 01 2019 09:23 AM

Topics I've Started

Fixed magazine systems (Kanetana?)

27 December 2018 - 09:23 AM

Lately I've been doing a lot of work to replace hoppers with a magazine system for short darts.  I started with katana magazines, but I didn't want my blasters to rely on a 3rd party to supply something so critical, especially when the price and quality isn't great.

I somehow wound up abandoning detachable magazines, in favor of integrated magazines with convenient top (and later side) loading. 
The first two blasters are top loaded, and have some horrible and crude means of affixing helical springs in inconvenient places without making things larger.  They are both on thingiverse and youtube:

I put the first one on an XBZ:

https://www.thingive...m/thing:3275173

 

And the 2nd on a HAMP:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiqY-gEGKSc

https://www.thingive...m/thing:3275208

The 3rd one was, like so many things I build, a fascinating high-capacity piece of shit, and it never got put on a blaster.  I still did a video, and published the thing.
The main takeaway from this was a switch to using a single door that stops the dart at the same place at any contact point, and using magnets instead of springs for the return.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W89g2N9Bj58
https://www.thingive...m/thing:3275634

The 4th one was sort of a sad, familiar ABS story.  But it took a more sensible approach to the dart door mechanism from the third attempt, with a proven, straight-track design, and added easy mounting options instead of hot glue. There was also the theory that the hinge rod for the dart door could optionally double as the priming stroke connector for a pump action blaster, which I abandoned.  It worked quite well despite it's deformities but I never put it on a blaster.  I also omitted the endstops on dart door travel, which is bad, but I wanted to more accessibly test the mechanism, and figured I'd kludge something on later.  At this point I started calling them Kanetanas and decided the project was worth publishing on thingiverse. 

https://www.thingive...m/thing:3275664

The 5th one switched up the design to isolate the receiver print from the magazine print, in hopes of avoiding sad ABS stories.  I also eliminated the mounting holes and bulk of the previous version, with the bolt pattern on between the magazine and receiver being usable for plate mounting. It never got put on a blaster, but I did assemble and test it.  While it worked, I over-shortened the dart door, which made the magnet less effective towards the outside of it's intended travel.  This was more of a problem due to the continued lack of endstops.
https://www.thingive...m/thing:3291331

The 6th one finally added endstops, although not in a robust fashion.  The dart door length was increased, and a finger clearance cutout was added, similar in purpose to the one in Kanetana 0.2.  The ergonomics of and function of this one were nearly perfect, and so I kludged together a short stroke pump-action crossbow from a abandoned/failed project parts, and actually took the trouble to link the breech to the priming stroke.  No video yet, but IMO it's pretty sweet.    The thing is available, and should work well so long as nothing breaks.
https://www.thingive...m/thing:3305153

The 7th one has been printed only, and not fully assembled or tested.  It separates the receiver into an upper and lower, and in doing so makes the entire assembly much more robust.  If you're going to print one, I still recommend this one over the others even though it's untested.
https://www.thingive...m/thing:3307637

There has been hole size drama throughout this, but I've always been able to kludge around it. Some due to incorrectly predicting printer behavior, some due to plain old stupid.  So maybe check out the sizes with the step files before printing one for yourself.

The magnets used were 3mm x 12mm neodymium discs.  I got them at Ace.  Basically you have a 13mm hole to work with.
The follower spring was a foamblastshop.com drum replacement spring.  Specifically the rejects sold at discount recently, they all worked fine for me.  Presumably the non-rejects are also fine.

Goals for future versions are primarily variations with different mounting options, possibly including adaptations for specific blasters.

So yeah.  That's a thing.  If you're into that sort of thing.


The Foam Conflict (gametype)

04 June 2017 - 09:58 AM

I'm working on a class system to make nerf wars fair and fun with a variety of unequal blasters and equipment. Team fortress classic and firearms half-life mod were my primary inspiration for this system. Stuff has point values, classes have point value budgets and special abilities.  None of this is in any way war tested at time of writing.  Anyways, I value your input even when I ignore it, and welcome you to hate on my system, suggest improvements to the system, make your own remix of the system, tell me what I've missed etc.  

Some stuff I know is fucked:
Sword and shield sizes are undefined.

Bandaging is not explained.

Really, none of the basic rules most of us take for granted are not explained.
Knight and Tank classes are just prefab equipment choices that couldn't be legal otherwise.  Sort of the same deal with the Grenadier and 

 

 

 

 

This is what I have so far:
Classes:

 

Light 10, instant respawn
Medium 15, 10s respawn
Grenadier, 8, 10s respawn, unlimited grenade carry and big ammo blasters are free
Medic 10, 20s respawn, fast bandaging
Mad Scientist 12, 20s respawn, adders and attached blasters are free
Heavy Weapons Guy 20, 40s respawn
/Knight 2 40s Gets free large shield and WTF, large, or small sword.
/Tank 3 60s Gets free large shield and attached blaster valued up to 10. 

 

Stuff:

 

Basic Sword +2
Single-shot nerf pistol +2 (stock)
Single HAMP +4 
Single Aabow +4 
STAN gun +4
Human powered nerf blasters +3 to +5 (stock)
Magazine-fed blowgun +5
small shield +6
Large sword +6
Battery powered nerf blasters +8 (stock)
Hopper Hamp +8 
Hopper Aabow +8 
Pullback springer w/ hopper +10
Pump-up air blaster w/ hopper +11
Pump-action springer w/ hopper +12
WTF sword +14
large shield +15
 
Adders:
 
Attached hopper blowgun +5
Attached (very) small shield +5
Bipod +1
Magazine ammo capacity +1 for every 10 darts after the first 10.
Other blaster ammo capacity +1 for every 20 darts after the first 10.  Extra magazines count.
 
Stock Ammo only -2
Big ammo only -2
Bow arms instead of spring -2
RSCB instead of hopper -2
single load instead of hopper -3
 
"Grenade" pouch +2
Bandage +1 each (medic only)
Bandage +4 each
 
starter classes:
Light 10, instant respawn
Medium 15, 10s respawn
Grenadier, 8, 20s respawn, unlimited grenade carry and big ammo blasters are free
Medic 10, 20s respawn, fast bandaging
Mad Scientist 12, 20s respawn, adders and attached blasters are free.
Heavy Weapons Guy 20, 40s respawn
Knight 2 40s Gets free large shield and WTF, large, or small sword.
Tank 3 60s Gets free large shield and attached blaster valued up to 10. 
 

  I chose not to distinguish between all the types of "singled" blasters- muzzle loaders, breech loaders, speedloaders are all treated the same as long as there's no magazine. 

 

I'm expecting/assuming the homemade springers and bows to all be roughly the same power, shooting about 200 fps with 1 gram darts.  I can get away with this more because I'm providing them, but even if I weren't actual range doesn't change much with more velocity than that, and I'll probably ban anything that shoots a LOT harder than that for safety.

 

 I also choose not to distinguish between the various blaster layouts (eg bullpup, double-rainbow, other different bullpup) or the type of catch.  And of course there are many other ergonomic factors that make some blasters easier to use than others, and I'm ignoring that too.

I also choose not to distinguish between a pullback blaster, bolt-action blaster, bad lever action, or any priming action which requires removing one or both of your hands from the ideal firing position .  

Pump action is meant to include things like (good) lever action, push-action, or any other priming action where your hands never leave the firing position when priming. 
Semi-auto is not likely to show up aside from battery powered nerf blasters, which (at least stock) don't have amazing performance and are categorized as 8 points. I don't know what a fair point value would be for a NIC powerful semi-auto so I havent assigned one.

 

Some stuff I know is fucked:

 

Sword and shield sizes are undefined.

Bandaging is not explained.

Really, none of the basic rules most of us take for granted are not explained.
Knight and Tank classes are just prefab equipment choices that couldn't be legal otherwise.  Sort of the same deal with the Grenadier and 

 


Modded blasters are not really part of my system yet.  I don't really have any, and if I'm lucky it's a question I won't have to deal with.  I just feel hopeless doing anything but a case-by-case analysis for modded blasters.

Blowguns are a HUGE omission in my system so far, with only STAN guns/hopper blowguns represented.  However, I'm not going to allow blowguns without an amazing mouthpiece or at least something flexible for the mouthpiece, and that kind of kills the simple pipe blowguns that dominate with old-school (not ancient-school) darts, and still work well with 50 cal darts.  However, there are a variety of magazine fed blowgun styles that don't present such a safety concern, and I would guess they would be in the 4-6 point range (I don't get sweet range with 50 cal blowguns) plus whatever magazine capacity adder.

 

The STAN gun

03 June 2016 - 11:49 PM

The S imple T ype A utomatic N erf gun.
 
Materials:
 
18" Schedule 80 1/2" PVC Pipe 5.85 (120")
 
30"+ Schedule 40 1/2" PVC Pipe 2.21 (120") 
 
12" Schedule Anything 3/4" PVC Pipe 2.86 (120")
 
2x 3/4" PVC Tee  0.44 http://www.mcmaster.com/#4880k42
1 ft vinyl tubing $1 (estimate, need to confirm at Ace)
1/2" CPVC 45 degree elbow 0.36
 
 
Duct tape 3.75 (1 roll)
 
Price for 1 with leftovers:  5.85+2.21+2.86+0.27+1.59+0.38+2*0.44+3.75+1+0.36 = $19.15
Bulk price per blaster (60 LCD, 16" magazine):5.85/6+2.21/4+2.86/10+0.27+1.59+0.38+2*0.44+3.75/3+1+0.36 = $7.55
Bulk price per blaster (6 LCD, 26" magazine): 5.85/6+2.21/3+2.86/6+0.27+1.59+0.38+2*0.44+3.75/3+1+0.36 = $7.91
 
The basic mechanism of the STAN gun is the well known hoppered blowgun.  The STAN gun is intended to take advantage of this amazingly simple and economical mechanism in a way that more meaningfully passes for a blaster.  There's still no trigger, and it's still lung-powered, but there are at least handles and a stock, as well as a flexible tube that prevents the user from getting their teeth knocked out in a collision. 
 
 The hope is that STAN guns help NIC-isolated war hosts to provide enough loaner blasters to start a community with normals.   There's no question that a traditional hoppered springer NIC primary is a superior blaster for a typical playing field and playing style (These are 50 ft blasters tops), but these are still good enough at what they do to have a role in an NIC war (Provided at least a LITTLE bit of cover) and enough WOW for a person who's never seen homemades to hold their interest.   The cost for 1 blaster is a bit deceptive, as very short lengths of pipe are required.  This not only means dramatic savings for making more blasters, it also makes it more likely that a given NIC homemade enthusiast would have everything needed to make a STAN gun already.  The wye is the only really obscure part, but we've all come to peace with the fact that we need to order a bunch online every once in a while.  Schedule 80 pipe can be hard to find locally depending on where you live and if you have a day job (Menards always carried in in Chicagoland, but the closest Menards to me in WA is in Wyoming), but you can always order it online. 

I plan on this evolving into more of a writeup than it is currently, but I always do, so we'll see.  In the meantime, the video shows you everything you need.  I recommend watching it, and really all youtube videos, at 2X speed.  It's in the quality settings menu.
 
Troubleshooting the feed:
+Make sure that the vinyl tubing is pushed in far enough to seal in the sch40 1/2" pipe but not so far that you can see it when you look in the top of the wye.
+Make sure your barrel entrance is as smooth and gradual as needed for your darts.  Some darts need more than others.  With Artifact darts, you need an extra-gradual entrance.  Sometimes tray style hoppers like Zorn's optimal wye are needed for springers, although I've always gotten blowguns to work without them.
+Make sure your darts are short enough.  Artifact darts are 36mm, and I think that's about as long as you can go with such rigid foam.  If you have darts made with very soft and flexible foam, you may be able to go a little bit longer if you want.
+Take the magazine, and ALL of the darts out of the wye, and put them back in and try again.  Hoppers are voodoo, sometimes this just happens.
 
 

Artifact darts

07 May 2016 - 04:36 PM

Artifact Blaster Modworks has been making short rubber domed darts which I have recently discovered.  If you are familiar with the black, full length ACC darts, these are basically a short and more colorful version of them.  They have been sold in a few color schemes, my favorite is the all-pink, of which I just received 4k.
 
Q3jT9PL.jpg
 
These are special because they are by far the cheapest dart EVER mass produced to be visible, safe, and fly reasonably straight at high speeds.  A few similar products have existed in the past, but were generally much more expensive and often had tips so hard that they might as well be made of concrete.
 
Weight:
 1.1g.  Seems to be very consistent.
 
Length:
36mm
 
Tip:
SOFT rubber semi-ellipse.  This is the softest tip I have ever felt for any mass manufactured dart other than stock darts.  It does have high friction and takes a bit of tweaking to work with hoppers if you don't make your blasters for varmint hunting.
 
Fit: 
Stock-ish.  Tighter than grey mcmaster or ace foam, but looser than (most) of the beige stuff that gets around.  Still usually will slide through sch80 1/2" pipe without resistance, but like stock foam, not quite 100% of the time.
 
Color: 
sub-optimal pink cheese all over, ofc.
 
Range: 
 Depends on the blaster, duh.  Seems basically the same as my sillydomes, but I didn't have both for comparative testing when I had the opportunity to shoot yesterday.  
I tested ~12 darts with a pullSCRT (Basically a toned-down +bow without the face diddle) with a 2-stage barrel (100mm CPVC+300mm sch80) and modified hopper.
 Flat +-3 degrees:  37m +-3m
12+-3 degrees: 60m +- 5m
(Yes, ranges were actually measured and actually took place on level ground.  Darts landed on pavement, roll/tumble distance was estimated as 4m.)
 
Stability:  
Good, but not great.  If you've fired other solid rubber domes before, you probably have seen how they squiggle in flight sometimes without the total chaos seen with stock darts.  As usual, higher velocity blasters will generally fare worse, and barrel setup can make a big difference.  I expected the squiggle threshhold to be higher than my sillydomes due to the extra mass, but they seem about the same.  Dramatically better than stock darts and good enough to be useful 30m out, but not precise at that range by any means.
 
Condition:
Darts SEEM to have a dye on their tip that can sometimes rub off on your fingers if you rub the tips, which is puzzling because the rubber tips are not just red on the surface, but through the entire inside of the dart head.  Red marks on white walls have been reported.  This may just be an issue of needing to air out the darts to let them finish setting, but I don't know yet, I just got these this week and havent opened more than a few bags.
 
Darts come a little bit smushed from the way they are packed tightly into bags.  Not usually bent, but often a bit flattened and dented once in a while.  Use and handling tend to fix or at least smooth over this problem.  In an ideal world these would be packed perfectly orthogonally in a magic cartridge that dissolves when you open the box, but I'm inclined to forgive Artifact for doing this the cheap and easy way because holy cow they pass on the savings.
 
Price:  
~$0.10 in the USA
If you pick them up yourself from the factory in China, they're about $.03 if you buy at least 1000 (Not much by China manufacturing standards).  Ordering them through a Taobao agent and getting them to the USA will at least double the price and take a few weeks.  Guys like me who went through that and are redistributing will want at least $0.10 each, but that's still two and a half times cheaper than my own domestically made domes, and dramatically cheaper than any comparable product AFAIK.  
 
Hoppers:
In most cases, a standard wye hopper will need to be slightly modified to work, as the darts tend to nosedive hard and get stuck on the bottom even more than other rubber domes.  Some high power or at least high volume applications can overcome this without wye modding, but I got it working on basic homemade springers by just glueing a halfpipe of CPVC in the bottom.  Some form of Zorn'​s "optimal wye" is probably the best/most elegant solution, the "brithop" format would be more difficult to carve out the necessary roof chamfer for clearance with these.
 
Update:  A CPVC variant of the optimal wye feeds 100%, but poops sometimes and makes the darts fly funny.  The CPVC glued to the bottom seems to work better.  The optimal wye  CPVC is centered with a significant gap (~1.5mm) between it and the inside bottom of the wye, so it may be that the darts need more room to drop than the optimal wye, but less than an unmodded wye.  
 
Taobao
 

Plusblow 5

18 July 2015 - 12:00 AM



QDMSsAb.png
Files are here: http://www.thingiver...om/thing:929380

The Plusblow 5 is a double-barreled blowgun with a 24-shot dart capacity in dual inline clips. This version is designed to fit Buzzbee suction darts, and WILL NOT WORK WITH NERF BRAND DARTS. However, I am working on a version for streamline/elite darts, and a version for taggers and other Nerf big headed darts may be on the way as well. Just tilt back, rotate the mouthpiece, and you've got 2 shots ready to blow.

To load the magazines, push darts past the flaps into the thinwall PVC magazines. With this length, you should be able to fit 11 into each of the two magazine tubes. To load darts into the firing chambers/ barrels, just tilt back and rotate the mouthpiece/dart holder drum 90 degrees. To fire, just blow each of the two mouthpiece holes in front of the barrels.

Photos are at the end.

1) Print 1 each of the .stl files. You may need to adjust the hole fit for your individual printer--a .stp file is provided for those that have a CAD system to edit the parts.
2) Cut 2 pieces of thinwall 1/2" PVC pipe to a length of 28"
3) Cut 2 pieces of schedule 40 1/2" PVC pipe to a length of 28", and bevel the inside of one end. This will be where the dart enters.
4) File the top of the dart holder drum so it's smooth enough to superglue, then glue that surface to the bottom of the mouthpiece, lining up the holes as best you can.
5) Drill out the center hole to 1/4" as needed, then put a 6" long 1/4-20 screw through the mouthpiece, dart holder drum, and the magazine holder drum. The smooth bottom surfaces of the dart holder drum and the magazine holder drum should be pressed against each other. The head of the screw should be on the mouthpiece side.
6) Put a 1/4-20 nut loosely on the screw. Tighten it down so that the dart holder drum and magazine holder drum are gently pressed against each other.
7) Put a dab of superglue just above the nut from step 6, then put another 1/4-20 nut on the screw. Tighten the nuts against each other, but not against the printed parts. At the end of this step, the magazine holder drum should be pressed against the rest of the assembly, but not so hard that it's difficult to turn.
8) Insert the barrels (28" of 1/2" schedule 40 PVC pipe) bevel-side first into the magazine holder drum. They should be diagonal from each other.
9) Insert the magazines (28" of 1/2" thinwall PVC pipe) into the magazine holder drum. They should be diagonal from each other as well.
10) Place the front magazine holder on the barrels/magazines at the front of the blowgun. Press everything together.
11) Add a strip of rubber or other flexible material in the provided slot to create a dart-retaining flap. I hot-glued a couple strips of rubber in there, but you could achieve the same effect with cardboard or folded paper if need be.
12) Put some orange tape on the tip of this to prevent anyone from getting butthurt about toy gun ID.


To load the magazines, push darts past the flaps into the thinwall PVC magazines. With this length, you should be able to fit 11 into each of the two magazine tubes. To load darts into the firing chambers/ barrels, just tilt back and rotate the mouthpiece/dart holder drum 90 degrees. To fire, just blow each of the two mouthpiece holes in front of the barrels.

The dart retainer is extremely crude, but it works well. My first rubber strip was too thin, so I put another on top of it. Both are attached with hot-glue, and can
XMGqWlp.jpg

The rotation occurs between the top two pieces as shown here--the bottom one (the mouthpiece) is glued to the middle one (the dart holder drum). There is no indexing, but the alignment doesn't need to be perfect and it's easy enough to do manually.
yV1736z.jpg
UPC3ySh.jpg
mHVQ9x4.jpg
The printed mouthpiece looks super-nasty. It's actually only slightly nasty, and is very comfortable. If I were patient, I'd vapor polish this and wait 2 weeks before putting my face on it.
6uhUmlO.jpg

I'm very pleased with how this turned out. My first version had major performance problems, but this version shoots about as well as a regular singled blowgun of the same length. The feed mechanism seems to work perfectly when fed buzzbee suction darts only, and the blowguns don't ever squeak/fart at room temperature*. I did have had a couple of jams due to darts. Mostly these were from accidentally putting a Nerf brand suction cup in the blaster, but I also found a few Buzzbee suction darts that had leftover flashing from sloppy molding, and did not fit in schedule 40 PVC.

*Anyone who's used PVC blowguns has probably experienced "dart-farting", when the dart slowly travels through the barrel in a forced oscillation, making a loud noise and not going very far. This seems to happen more often in warm conditions, and I expect the Plusblow 5 will not be any different.