These step-by-step instruction were designed for the coil gun kit offered on the Stuff for Sale page. If you purchased this kit, you should have all the necessary parts to complete this project with the exception of tools and other building equipment.
With a bit of super glue, secure a section of the magnet wire to the pipette leaving a few inches of extra wire sticking out as a connection point. The placement of this coil should be near one end of the pipette, allowing easy access to it for positioning the projectile. Now wind a single layer of the coil neatly up the pipette, approximately 0.5 inches long. Now secure this layer of the coil in place with a dab more super glue. When the glue is dry, wind the next layer on top of the first layer back towards where the first one started. Repeat this until there are 5 layers of windings. Glue everything in place and cut the wire leaving a few inches of extra for connection to the circuit. You may also want to wrap the entire coil with some electrical tape to make sure everything stays put. Now take a sharp knife and scrape off the enamel insulation from the two leads that you have left for connection. Sometimes the enamel coating is clear, so it may be difficult to determine if it is gone. To find out, try measuring continuity (ohms) across your coil's leads. If you have removed adequate insulation and made good contact, the resistance should be only and ohm or two.
Once you have removed the circuit board, try to figure out how the circuit worked in the camera i.e. charging up the and make the flash work. Usually, there is a "charge" button on the front of the camera (red arrow) which when pressed begins the charging cycle. As for triggering the flash there is generally a mechanical switch in the camera so that when the shutter flings open it somehow triggers the flash. But now we have no shutter, so we must jumper these switch terminals (short them together) to make the flash go. These two terminals are usually some bulk metal pieces (black arrows in photo) that used to attach to the shutter system. So put your battery back in (carefully) and test charging and discharging the flash. If you can't get it to work here, it will never work in the completed project. Once you are satisfied with this, remove the battery and short out the capacitor with your screwdriver again. You may want to solder an actual switch in the place of the old shutter mechanism to trigger the flash, buy you don't have to.
Connecting the coil this way allows us to use the existing flash tube as a "trigatron" to switch the high voltage and current. If we were to use a regular switch, the switch wouldn't last very long.
Well this is only the beginning. Once you have made a single stage device you know most of the principles involved in building a higher power multi-stage device. Sensor controlled switching, silicon controlled rectifiers, velocity and timing circuits. This project can keep you busy for a long long time!
The author assumes no liability for any incidental, consequential or other liability from the use of this information. All risks and damages, incidental or otherwise arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein are entirely the responsibility of the user, have a nice day!
Last updated: 06/22/03