[DIY throwball Air-Cannon Q's] Any triggers that are not "90deg valve-turn"? And any other tips b4 I build it are appreciated :D

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arborjunky
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tl;dr --
#1 I've yet to see another option for "trigger"/releasing-pressure besides that generic Home Depot 1" Ball Valve's open&close arm, which "needs to be released fast/at-once" yet requires a 90deg turn of the arm, have seen people adding lengtheners to the arm to speed the release of the pressurized-air but can't help thinking There's gotta be something better for the trigger-apparatus of this thing!
#2 Any "build guides" online that are considered "worthier" than the rest? Or even just "the newer/current-state" of this build? I've watched over a dozen youtubes and confident I can make all "the usual versions" but again I suspect much room for improvement in this build..


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So after getting a new(to me) truck, totally "heavy duty & professional" compared to my old lil truck or the sedan I had, at any rate I'm doing more business each week (my own, not climbing for others!!) and realized how much time I'd save if I got a better ladder (I have just 8' A-frame, and 10' straight....it's half of a broken extension ladder :p ), since I throw my throwbag from a ladder all the time (it's not just "I still need practice, it's that the Oaks are so dense that it's often easier to go up 10' and toss my heavy 1lbs throwball another 15', usually needing 1 or 2 tries, for something that'd take me many tries more if from the ground)

But a ladder seemed a silly expense when I realized I could set lines quicker & easier with an air-cannon!! Since I'm "a McGuyver type" I am naturally looking at this going "Yeah I think I'd prefer to build my own", so have watched all the vids, I already have all the equipment to build anything of this nature (have many years of handyman work, and all the tools/equipment, under my belt here so these things are simple for me I would expect to build this in under an hour once back from h.depot)

Thanks a ton for any advice on this, the "finalized" nature of the finished product (using pvc cements and, likely, epoxy/epoxy-type goops on pvc-to-metal connections, pipe-lengths cut that cannot be 'lengthened' in any practical manner, etc) makes me want to ensure I nail the build, otherwise will be pissy when I see something I missed and be trying to make a v2 version which I'd really rather not LOL!
 
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arborjunky
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Oh am also curious Re "PSI - to - Height" ratios....the retail versions seem to state ~1' for 1PSI until they pass 50PSI at which point it's >1' for each additional PSI.

I do not work tall conifers, I work Oaks and Camphors like 90%+, canopies full of crap both lush FL growth and spanish moss etc, I want (ideally) not only the ability to "pack a punch" of 100' but would love to load it to 30PSI, 50PSI etc to learn to "lob/control" it (IE instead of just launching it through the crotch so fast it's still ascending wayyyy after it's past the crotch!) Uncertain if these cannons allow such fine-grained control but can't see why they wouldn't :p

Feel so ridiculous as I was literally pricing tall extension ladders + roof-rack for my truck (and still considering air-cannon "a luxury item" while doing so, until "it clicked" and I felt ridiculous & decided I'm building the cannon instead of getting a new, taller ladder!
 
msellers

msellers

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Search for diy pneumatic air guns. Found a guy building his valve mechanism from scratch. Don't see why you couldn't combine the 2 principles for a better useful piece. Plus then you could potentially get mire launches from a single tank fill.
 

ATH

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I made wine using a modified sprinkler valve. It works really well. There is also a butterfly valve. It looks like a quarter turn ball valve except since it is a flap in there it all opens at once. That is what tree stuff uses on their air cannon.
 
kjorrrits

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Check these out, should be easy enough to copy this setup. They run off a solenoid so all you do is hit the button.


I saw one in person with an Asco powerpulse 353, pretty sure that the solenoid you would need.
 
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arborjunky
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Check these out, should be easy enough to copy this setup. They run off a solenoid so all you do is hit the button.


I saw one in person with an Asco powerpulse 353, pretty sure that the solenoid you would need.
Thanks a ton this is precisely what I was thinking!!


I can’t imagine a tree guy rolling up with a step ladder and half of an extension ladder.
Ladders are ubiquitous in my area, for 'tree guys'....was even contracted onto a job by an ISA climber a couple months ago and not only did he have a ladder but he was doing some salami cuts with a >4' bar from it when we'd gotten the trunk below ~20'. I use my 8' A-frame ladder, to great effect, with my fiberglass extn.pole, using the loppers to remove ends of limbs that I otherwise couldn't go up & cut without risking them banging something....couldn't imagine not having my a-frame and polesaw available (of course this isn't for every job, sometimes there's zero use for the ladder or for any of my pole saws/loppers/etc, but I find plenty of instances where it makes a ton of difference!)

Am guessing your average project is a large one...mine are small (getting bigger though!!), I mean if you're removing 10 trees for every job that's just "limb over house", then I can understand! For me, a chipper wouldn't even be of much value (yet) as I can just do 2-3 trips to the dump and that's plenty for any job I've gotten myself (to be clear I am basically at 50% of the way through my first year of being "a solo tree guy", before that I was doing most of my real climbing for other people, and taking landscape jobs alone alongside the small amount of tree work I could find for myself.....thankfully I've finally hit a stride where I'm not needing to go seeking work so often in fact I've been working referrals only since maybe mid-april -- having got a bigger, better truck seems to have made all the difference insofar as how people see me, suddenly with my new(to me) truck at my jobs I am getting work w/o asking for it, this is a very new phenomena for me :)
 
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arborjunky
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https://www.************/forum/media/l1-jpg.1060/full

WOW just found this on ******** (by-accident, was just in the newer Media entries!), wow this really changes things am no longer "about ready to go to Home Depot" & no chance I'm building something today, need to understand this ^ thing because it looks incredible!
 
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arborjunky
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I made wine using a modified sprinkler valve. It works really well. There is also a butterfly valve. It looks like a quarter turn ball valve except since it is a flap in there it all opens at once. That is what tree stuff uses on their air cannon.
Tom Hoffman says same in video Re his 'old fart' customizations (I do want that red-dot setup though!)

I couldn't find one, just 1" ball valves (and none under $20, think I paid 27 for mine!), but.....if it's how butterfly valves on my saws' carbs work, I don't see how it's any different: Fully 100% closed when the arm is in Closed position, and moves from 100% to 0% closed as the arm is moved 90deg....don't see how the 'form' of the central 'rotating blocker' really matters (but don't doubt Hoffman...but everyone makes mistakes...but yeah for some reason even in my head it feels like it'd be a lil better)

Throwball reco's?
Am using the 'basic'/standard 4' long, 1.5" pvc (220psi rated, bonded w/ blue & purp Oatey and Shoe Goo for the schrader-to-pvc connection) build....gonna put the forward handle & shoulder-arm on it for balance but this thing's potential seems nuts...I wouldn't really know, as I don't have a throwball to fit it properly :p

So I gotta order some balls -- seems the 2 most-reco'd are the:
14oz stein, and
12oz weaver (though this is for the dtx or ptx retail version, which I'm not positive is using 1.5" for their [clear]barrel)

Would greatly appreciate any advice on good-for-1.5"PVC throwbags, I'm going to order ^those two but would sooner order 5 than 2....if I had this working for a job yesterday I could've set a line pretty immediately instead of breaking my back/core doing the 'sideways shuffle' like 20' across / horizontally along a limb that I was anchored-to (using 2 lines and flipline, advancing myself a foot at a time...because I couldn't hit the branch from the ground :/
 
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arborjunky
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Yes...it is blocked. They don't want you visiting the competition.
anti-competitive / monopolistic actions, however small and seemingly insignificant, drive me F'ing nuts... Google won't auto-fill "Startpage.com", it's a petty thing, does arboristsite really think people aren't aware of ######### ? Ugh that's both frustrating & disappointing to hear :/
And I did some rough estimating of how high the ball (10oz? I think) went at what psi:
Thanks a TON for that!!

I live in FL, I have yet to EVER be tasked with a tree that - by itself - was over 50 or 55' (and that may even be being generous, we just don't have super tall trees here) The average tree I work is maybe 40-50' Live Oak or Laurel Camphors, Oaks usually, so it's not "gotta shoot high" it's "gotta hit that target at 30', 42' etc", so thanks a TON for that chart it seems very very in-line with what I've seen elsewhere (roughly 1' per PSI until past 50-80psi, at which point there's an increase in footage-per-psi IE efficiency starts picking up, efficiency we're not getting with the sub-50psi loads.....cannot help but wonder if it's merely an artifact of using rough barrels with rough canvas bags :p )

Brought this lil sucker to a job for its first real testing as I only had 2 viable throwbags for it and didn't want to risk losing one before a job, so anyway on Fri I had to remove two Oak limbs (different trees / same property), both had good forks about 10-15' above them, I had to try twice for my first shot and for my second union I hit it on the 1st try!!! That's 2-outta-3 for my first-ever attempts shooting it at a tree ;D And the 1 first attempt that didn't work, it may have if I'd left it enough throwline, I'd tied-off the throwline for fear of launching the bag onto a neighboring house LOL and I'd tied it too-short to reach the union I was shooting at so if I hadn't done that I may've even seen a 2-for-2 on the first use!

What a frickin' game-changer this is going to be hell what a game changer it already was on 1 job, I was able to set positive-angle rigging and take huge pieces (whereas my old approach would've been me suspended from, and rigging from, the branch I was removing, soooo much harder & slower!) Gonna need to hone my "low-height accuracy" so I can determine a few key "set points" for PSI so I can get high-precision on lower targets especially the "lobbing-over" effect so I don't have to fight the bag out of a large canopy after it goes-through a 30' fork in the center-height of the canopy!!
 
pdqdl

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Consider this home-build valve. It's basically a pilot operated valve that open real fast.

With a small amount of ingenuity, you could just deliver system pressure to both sides from the air source, then install a very small bleeder valve to trigger it open. That would bypass the need for separate charge to both sides of the valve, and it should eliminate the risk of accidental discharge in the event your "trigger" air pressure bleeds off.

Some good information on your topic of fast opening valves: http://spudgunner.com/spudgun-valves.php
 
pdqdl

pdqdl

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Here is a full set of instructions for modifying a sprinkler valve to be fast-opening without any batteries:

I use a big shot. You will find that it is much cheaper, you will have a better aim, and it is more reliable. I found that it wasn't really too practical just pulling it down and releasing by hand, so I got creative and made it a bit more like a crossbow. I gave it some mechanical advantage and a trigger release.

I draw the Big Shot down with an archery trigger release attached to a tiny block & tackle (strung with 20 feet of string-trimmer starter rope from small engine repair). I can pull it down to shoot 100' high or more if desired, and I can use a much shorter draw if desired for a lower heigh. Aiming is quite accurate, and my release is very precise, because it was manufactured to for that exactly that purpose.
And... It disassembles into two 6' arborist poles that can be used for other stuff, a slingshot head that can be tossed into almost any kind of storage space, and a wad of string and tiny pulleys that you can hold in one hand. There is no fuel, no batteries to go dead, no air compressors to tote around, no air seals to fail or get plugged with dirt.
 

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