Vortex cannon


I have made vortex cannons with my kids before. The most fun were the large ones made from trash cans. Add in a smoke machine and it is even better. Anyone that has not seen these just search “vortex cannon”.

I just saw this:

I had never thought of using a speaker as the membrane to fire the shot. It seems like it should work great and I could see adding a 2-axis aiming system using some servos and have a remote control unit for even more fun. Maybe add a small vaporizer for the smoke source.


cannon anything gets me excited!


Cool. But we just use our 50 year old Wham-O Airgun. A little dusty but still works like a champ. Probably not as safe as a laser though.


And its big brother on steroids…


Small potatoes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHiTDsFTFQQ


6:22 for the action!


I have a blue one like this! :grinning:


Yes, mine’s blue too.


My wife and I put out candles by saying “puh” near to them. Much better than blowing because that can spray wax and takes more effort.


Not a physicist, but there has to be a contribution by the air the driver (speaker) is pushing.
Kind of neat using the sound of fire burning, but I’d wager the pulse of air a 10 inch subwoofer pushes concentrated through a 2 inch opening would work as well.


That is my thought exactly! The speaker is just supplying the pressure to the cannon like the membrane in any other vortex cannon. Although, it would be fun to play around with a frequency generator and see what happens.


You probably just tune it to resonate for maximum efficiency.


I am not sure that would be true. I would think that should make it the loudest, but a vortex cannon is all about moving the most air. My guess would be a very low frequency with a quick square wave type application (on/off) and then a long pause. Just basing all this off our experimentation with our DIY cannons. But like @printolaser, not my field.

I think this will make a fun winter project, so maybe I can test our theories.


Now I feel old, but nostalgic. I remember having one, but can’t recall how I either lost or broke it.


I “lost” mine after too many times of blasting my sister in the face with air donuts. It never got old


Didn’t they shoot ping pong balls?


Oh, dangit I got turned around. I was talking about the big brother version you posted not the awesome whamo one


I’m sure the Whamo one could shoot air donuts, too! That’s what I thought you meant. :grinning:


Mine (50 years ago) had something like an 8" spring loaded diaphragm with a convergent duct down to about 3". The air doughnut would traverse the room.
Speaking of Doughnuts :dolphin:


When I worked at NCAR, I made a giant one out of a large cardboard box, a garbage bag, and of course, a fog/smoke machine for a Super Science Saturday event…

A little larger than these: