Thursday, July 2, 2015

Combination railgun/coilgun development platform (version .01 craptastic)

Coilgun with projectile
Way back in 8th grade summer and freshman year of high school I got bored and decided I wanted to make an electromagnetic accelerator so I went googling and did a ton of research. As I had zero budget I had to kludge together most of this from junk I had laying around. As a result of this, the efficiency and overall power are abysmal.
The coil is torn out of a doorbell, barrel is a wind chime, capacitors and charger are from 3 disposable cameras, rails are an L bracket sawn in half, ammunition is a printer drive shaft hacksawed up. This unit is EXTREMELY unsafe as I learned when I accidentally armed the system when loading a projectile in the rails, it spewed sparks and arced to my arm, leaving a pretty nasty burn that still hasn't properly healed almost 6 years later. This prototype sorta works, launching the projectiles about 50 feet or so off of 2 AA batteries stepped up to 300V. Recently, it has started to lose power due to deterioration of the capacitors caused by reverse energy flow because I FORGOT TO ADD A PROTECTION DIODE (I was in 8th grade and a bit of an idot, couldn't find high enough rated diodes at the ratshack so they weren't used). Originally I'd intended to enter this in the science fair though I was barred from entering due to them freaking out over the title "Coilguns and electromagnetism" because it had the word "gun" in it and schools get overly worried. The following year, I helped a friend at a different school build a coilgun as a science fair entry which we titled "Linear Electromagnetic Accelerators". That project placed second, first was taken by a pulsed laser system. 2 months ago I dug this out of storage to see if it still worked, decided to catalog the old design before I went and redesigned from the ground up. Redesigning this has been added to the list of projects in progress and will be updating as it gets advancements.
The whole experimental system
L bracket railgun (FAIL)
Coilgun and railgun modules
Highly unsafe HV junction to the energy storage banks
Different projectiles
Projectile and loader (toy gun's shell casing)
Projectile in loader
Loading the projectile

Edge on view of loaded coilgun
Side on view of loaded coilgun

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