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Found: High Powered Railgun

Technology
Found: High Powered Railgun
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Collin sent me an email about this awesome railgun that has been posted in the MAKE Flickr Photo Pool. It looks like the builder used about 42, very large capacitors. All of them are dangerously easy to touch. Hopefully there will be a write-up soon, so we can learn more about how it was made.

More pictures of the Railgun

8 thoughts on “Found: High Powered Railgun

  1. Sam D'Amico says:

    I’ll elaborate soon, but me and my friend (Jake Davis) used 42 2900uF electrolytic capacitors at 400V for the power supply. That equates to almost 10kJ of energy storage. With those tests, we did not exceed 350V.

    We used a pneumatic potato gun (minus the barrel) to inject the projectile so it wouldn’t weld.

    The projectile is aluminum foil, which vaporizes and forms a plasma armature.

    Our web page describing some of the construction (being updated to include the recent capacitor upgrade and the pictures), can be found at http://ryft.org/index.php?title=Railgun

  2. thesamurai1200 says:

    i reaaaally wanna know what you guys use for switching. i have heard that most switches will work once, welding itself closed on the first shot. That’s a lot of fooking current!

  3. Sam D'Amico says:

    We didn’t use anything for switching, the rails are live. They are triggered when the projectile passes through

  4. zephir says:

    thats what i figured. i’m building a rail gun too, but not sure exactly how to make the rails. I’ve already figured out how to inject the projectile, now i need is what projectile to use and how to make the rails.

    my setup can inject any projectile between 40 and 500 grains up to 1000 fps. I just haven’t figured out what to shoot and what design of the rails do i use.

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