Friday, December 31, 2010

Slimming down

It turns out it's taking ~1.5ms to drain each capacitor as they fire. If the projectile is 2cm long and going 50m/s, it's length will pass in just 400ms. I've put in an order for smaller capacitors that I'll use in the place of the 1800uF ones I have now.

As a result, I've got some time to kill before I can put on more accelerating gates...

Since design I'm using now puts the firing circuits right next to each magnet, there's less need for overarching support circuitry and thus less room taken up in the rear of the rifle. This means I can cut off some of that extra metal to slim it down. Of course, I'll have to brace it and very carefully on piece off at a time.

It also means I'm going to spend some time cutting meta, which I hate because it takes forever. If you have to do this, I recommend getting the largest pair of bolt cutters you can find. Making the major cuts with the bolt cutters will keep the milling and hack-sawing part of the job to a minimum. As you can see from the pictures I've taken about 6cm off the bottom.

Since I'm just waiting on the capacitors, I've also take the opportunity to solder the parts on to all the remaining firing circuits. I only have 9 so I'll need to get another board's worth printed but 9 should get me most of the way.

I've also had the 3d printer working overtime. In a couple places I need to remove the bracing on the brackets of have ones that are slimmer to accommodate the fact that I've unevenly cut the printed circuit boards. Well, that's the beauty of the printer: 1-off products coming up no problem. :)

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