The Mission to Make Snow.

Vermillion

Pool Room
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Nov 13, 2005
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As some of you would know, early in june i posted a thread asking for a parts sheet on how to make a homemade snowgun. Well a month later, a lot of arguing with bunnings and about 100 bucks worth of plumbing parts later i have success.

Tonight i went out to my location, and even though it wasnt cold enough to make snow, it was the first trial run of the gun. A lot of time was put into the parks and physics and crap like that behind the gun, and this was the first time we would test it in action.

Well, lets just say it was a success, and while it was too dark to take pictures, and too warm to make snow, i can safely say that given the right temperature and humidity conditions, this gun WILL make snow.

So anyways, this is just a thread for people who care, and might wanna come have a slide with us one morning when the conditions are right. Below is a picture of the head of the gun, the parts will be described also:

DSCF0035.sized.jpg


- Blue Ball Valve at the top is the water inlet. This inlet is coming from a garden hose because it was too much trouble to use a pressure washer. This also means i can plug it into any garden hose and not have to lug a pressure washer around. The end can be taken off so maybe in the future a piece to match a pressure washed will be put on.

- Yellow Ball Valve is the gas (air). 10mm hose from the compressor is clamped over the top of the copper piping, making it airtight. This is a cheap and nasty way to do things, but it is airtight so there's no pressure loss.

- The air and water meet at 15mm Y piece. They have been at 15mm until this point.

- Just after the Y piece the width is increased to 20mm to allow for increased mixing of the gas and water.

- The end cap has 3 1.5mm holes drilled through it in a straight line of even width apart. This is what gives the mist. Any wider holes than this and u get too big droplets.

Hope people enjoy this, and hopefully sometime soon it will get cold enough for me to take some photos of snow that it makes.

:cheers: and PS - VSG, if u could crayola my picture with the relavent parts, that would be beneficial to anyone else who wants to make a similar gun
smile.gif
 
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Vermillion

Pool Room
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I would have taken pics but not only were my digital camera batteries flat but it would have been too dark to take pictures, plus a bit of wind made the mist move too much.

Tomorrow night is a minimum of 2C in Scoresby. If this occurs it would be 1C or below at my location, so we're gonna take a gamble and head up there early tuesday morning (around 1am) and fire the machine up, hopefully to make a bit of snow by the time the sun comes up on tuesday morning.

This time i will have batteries and a good camera and we will get photos.
 

Vermillion

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sassa would be perfect because its even higher than my spot and possibly would be cooler. if u have an oil lubricated air compressor im there
smile.gif
 
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Vermillion

Pool Room
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yeah i remember one year when they had snow on the dandenongs they had cross country skiers at the golf course that arvo, would have been sweet.

we'll see what we can get together snobuni.
 

rollyz

One of Us
Jun 2, 2005
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Get ya machine up here to Bathurst! We have been having -6's nearly every day for the past 2-3 weeks (even a few -7's and a -8.2) I got a hill accross the street from my place that would make a great slope to ski
smile.gif
 
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Fro

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Jun 7, 2006
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Across the road from RollyZ is a school, the little boys would love the snow there when they got out of bed the next morning
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POW Hungry

Old n' Crusty
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what sort of measures do you have in place to stop you blowing your tap off the wall. I'd probably think about putting a pressure relief valve before the ball valve.

I can't see three holes for the mist being enough. I think your tap/water line will be put under pressure.
 

Vermillion

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POW - Good questions that we thought up while putting the thing together, and have worked out so that a disaster doesnt occur.

- The gun was run for 2 hours straight last night, and no pressure problems were associated with the water side of things. The water is coming from mains tap, so its at around 35-60PSI, which isnt a lot. The fittings are copper so there is no chance of them blowing off.
- For us this is not a problem because the water is always fully flowing at the air compressor has its valve slightly closed (depending on conditions and the holes in the cap) to generate the best mist possible. If a pressure washer was being used then i would have to get a high pressure hose for the water line but because im not i dont have to.
- The only problem we can have is water going down the air line, but this is fixed by proper shutdown proceedure (turn off gas first, then water and dont open the gas valve until the airline is disconnected) to prevent this.

Like i said, the water line is fine, its just a normal tap and if the water is turned on first there is no way air can travel back down the water line and increase the pressure. The highest pressures are at the Y piece and the mixing chamber, not the ball valve area.
smile.gif
 
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rollyz

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Looks like I will have to go to Bunnings to make one myself, and also buy a air compressor... I wonder if Bunnings will have a workshop on How to make your own Snow Machine?
smile.gif
 
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Vermillion

Pool Room
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not cold enough on monday night, doesnt look like ill get another chance til i get back from the slopes now, so not before say the 15th july.
frown.gif
 
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carveitup

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Apr 20, 2006
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if you do it in belgrave, i live in ringwood nth and would love to come and have a look and board . .
wink.gif
?

how much did all the parts cost verm ?

this will be the best thing in belgrave.
good work man !
 
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Vermillion

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Ratrac said:
Vermillion, you have just answered all of the snowmakers dillemas in one post.
:D

We'll try again when i get back from the slopes. I am currently looking to purchase a new compressor, something that will pump out AT LEAST 10CFM @ 90PSI. If anyone can help that would be awesome.
 
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Stratus

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Apr 22, 2005
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Excellent Work. I was going to get around making the exact gun a few months ago but somehow couldn't find the time to do it! In my spare time i hope to prop one together aswell.

So could you find ALL the parts from Bunning's? Also do you think the pressure off the garden hose is enough?

Re air compressor: I'm sure i've seen plenty of 90PSI rated compresser's at Super Cheap Auto, even Bunnings should stock them? Want oil lubed though i suppose!

:cheers:
 

iSki

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I reckon it'll fail, i'm not impressed until I see it working, I commend you for getting this far, and hopefully it does work, but knowing your luck, it will probably blow to bits next time you try it out
 

Vermillion

Pool Room
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BN - Yeah super cheap had a sale on one for $129 and it was ok, but only 8.3CFM. Garden hose is acceptable if you're using a compressor below 10CFM but above that you will need a compressor. A small karcher one does the job perfectly. I will pick up a new one when i get back from the slopes at some stage. The current one works, a bigger one would make more snow though.

Rainy - ill be sweet
laugh.gif
 
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cervelo

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has anyone ever thought of in some way, adapting one of these??

High_Pressure_Cleaner.jpg


we have one (about 3 times as big as the one shown) but cant use it due to water restrictions. its a high pressure hose you use to clean moss of pathways
 
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Mogul

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Vermillion said:
BN - Yeah super cheap had a sale on one for $129 and it was ok, but only 8.3CFM. Garden hose is acceptable if you're using a compressor below 10CFM but above that you will need a compressor. A small karcher one does the job perfectly. I will pick up a new one when i get back from the slopes at some stage. The current one works, a bigger one would make more snow though.

Rainy - ill be sweet
laugh.gif
A GOOD 10cfm compressor will set you back around $1,000, don't buy a cheap one it won't last and it won't give you a true 10cfm.
 
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Vermillion

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thecan - Yes. The instructions say if u want to get the optimum preformance you should use a pressure washer like the Karcher 1300i that i have.

Mogul - I saw an oil lubed 10.3CFM for $499. I was thinking about it, but i will most likely go with the $199 8.3CFM one i saw (i know its sh*tty GMC, but it'll do). This way i will make less snow (im not sure exactly HOW much less snow, but it would be less). i can also buy another compressor and make another snowgun for less than it would cost me to buy a GOOD compressor, as you put it. 2 guns would definately make more snow than the 1, even if it was a 10CFM compressor. This way i can also snowmake in 2 areas instead of the 1, reducing the amount of shovelling ill have to do.
 

Stratus

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Apr 22, 2005
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Well i think you would have to be running the machine for a pretty long time to do some shovelling Verm
wink.gif
. I am a bit skeptical about how much snow your one machine would make though, you may be over-estimating it but really i have no friggen idea! Thats why i am very interested to see how it goes!

:cheers:
 
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Vermillion

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aparentely with a 12CFM compressore and the karcher 1300i i can make 60 cubic feet per hour.
eek.gif
with the smaller compressor and no pressure washer (just a garden tap) if i can make 1/3 of this i would be happy and i dont think its an unrealistic estimate.
 
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Cadsy

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Jun 12, 2004
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this thread is awesome.....fark imagine making your own terrain park in your backyard
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laugh.gif


work verm :cheers:
 
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InMyTree

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May 18, 2001
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One problem you might have is getting this stuff to settle. If the ground warms up during the day, it might not stick.

I know when it snows here in Germany early on in the winter, it can snow constantly for hours but still nothing settles.
 

POW Hungry

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thecan said:
has anyone ever thought of in some way, adapting one of these??

High_Pressure_Cleaner.jpg


we have one (about 3 times as big as the one shown) but cant use it due to water restrictions. its a high pressure hose you use to clean moss of pathways
Yeap tried one at work on buller outside the kat workshop, it was about -2C on a clear day(not sur eof RH) but the spray it produced was not really fine enough...
 
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Stratus

A Local
Apr 22, 2005
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Vermillion said:
aparentely with a 12CFM compressore and the karcher 1300i i can make 60 cubic feet per hour.
eek.gif
with the smaller compressor and no pressure washer (just a garden tap) if i can make 1/3 of this i would be happy and i dont think its an unrealistic estimate.
Heck just making the snow in the first place would be enough fun for me!

So update me again, you HAVE a compressor, and you are looking at buying a pressure washer or are you just looking at 'upping up' the compressor to a more powerfull one?

But say if you just had a garden hose running at 60PSI max, and a compressor pumping out 110PSI, wouldn't that just stuff if all up? You would want the water pressure + air pressure to be even?

:cheers:
 
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Vermillion

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Before i post further, BN - That is why i have a ball valve for both the water and the compressed air, so i can regulate the pressures myself. I dont know much about the actual mecahanics behind it, but the more compressed air you have in your mist the finer the droplets and this is good for making snow at higher temperatures. So for instance when it's 1/2C i pump in more air to make finer droplets, but this doesnt make as much snow. At -2C and below i can crank down the air and pump more water in and get bigger droplets and more snow. As you can see at around 0C and above when it is possible to make snow you really only need a garden hose connected to the gun. What it gets colder though and i want to make the machine more efficient i will need a pressure washer so that i can crank up both the air and the water and make more snow.

Anyhow, tonight i was a bit bored and brought a new compressor
laugh.gif
. Its a GMC one thats 8CFM @ 90psi and was only $149 on sale at bunnings so i thought what the hell and brought it. Its 11C at my place so definately no snowmaking, but i thought id give it a test run and try to take some photos in the dark to see what it looks like. i plan on making a small video during the day tomorrow or sometime soon and posting that, but until then this is what ive got. Please note that the stand is pretty makeshift (a ladder and rope
laugh.gif
) but it does allow me very quick adjustment of the nozzle's direction, which becomes vital sometimes:

First pic, side on view
DSCF0039.sized.jpg


Second one, from behind the gun, sorry i forgot to rotate the pic before i posted it
DSCF0037.sized.jpg


And a final shot to show the mist path and landing of it
DSCF0045.sized.jpg


The mist i used tonight is very fine, it was dizzling at the time i was testing it out, like a very light drizzle, and the droplets from the gun were smaller than that, which i thought was good in terms of hang and freeze time.

Like i said i will try to get a video tomorrow sometime, and looks like i could have some days down around 3C or so which might give me a chance to try and make snow, although that will be marginal conditions.

Finally, with respect to cooling the ground, i dont want snow to ski on more than a rail or funbox or whatever, and i know it will not last through the day but there are a few things i am doing to try to cool the ground as best as i can before i fire up the gun:
- Hosing with water the afternoon before so it can cool as the sun sets and until i fire up the gun.
- Considering a surface that cools down a lot overnight (EG stones instead of dirt/grass, concrete bases etc...)
And when i am making the snow there are a few things i will do to cool the air and water down as much as i can:
- Take water from tanks not mains as it can be colder.
- Coil the water hose in a big tub, fill with water and ice to cool the water (however minimally) before it gets to the gun.
- Try to find the coldest air for the compressor to intake.
- Cool the airline.

Hope everyone gets as much of a kick out of this as i do :cheers:

kris
 
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POW Hungry

Old n' Crusty
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Should have taken it up to buller with you...
Good work Kris! I'll be interested in the outcome. No reason why it wont work with the right conditions. :thumbs:
 

Vermillion

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i would have POW, but its hard to find a garden tap and take a compressor up with u aswell
smile.gif


if i did i would have had a better base outside my lodge than on B street
laugh.gif
 
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