The 2009 ShmooBall Gun


The registration desk hasn’t opened yet at ShmooCon 2009, but we’re already running into old friends. We found [Larry Pesce] and [Paul Asadoorian] from the PaulDotCom Security Weekly podcast showing off their latest ShmooBall gun. ShmooBalls have been a staple of ShmooCon from the very beginning. They’re soft foam balls distributed to each of the attendees who can then use them to pelt the speakers when they disagree. It’s a semi-anonymous way of expressing your dismay physically. [Larry] has been building bigger and better ways to shoot the ShmooBalls for the last couple years. You may remember seeing the 2008 model. This year the goal was to make the gun part much lighter. The CO2 supply is mounted remotely with a solenoid valve and coiled air line. The pistol grip has a light up arming switch and trigger. The gun is fairly easy to transport: the air line has a quick disconnect and the power is connected using ethernet jacks.

10 thoughts on “The 2009 ShmooBall Gun

  1. . . . and he looks so much happier than last year. Am betting this wasn’t/isn’t part of his ‘carry on’ luggage . . . can almost hear the snap of latex against wrist . . .

  2. Ouch, power is connected via ethernet jacks? Damn, those things snap so easily! Go to and search for LEMO connectors. The EGG style plug and the appropriate receptacle make a good pair (or was EGG the receptacle? i forget). It’s about $50 for a connector and receptacle but they are solid, high quality, and attractive.

    For something cheaper check out military style connectors. They don’t have the same signal integrity but for power it doesn’t matter, and they are good and robust.

    In fact, hackaday, you should do a hackit post on connectors, so people stop using cheap brittle ethernet jacks for everything!

    Hell, in my industry, we carry millivolt level signals through connectors to a high quality a2d to read strain gauges – so signal integrity is a big deal – and we only use LEMO connectors for that, but some competitors use ethernet! You can’t that a connector meant for digital signals and expect it to work for millivolt analog signals! a digital circuit doesn’t care if it gets 5 volt logic or 3.9 volt logic usually, so even a couple ohms of resistance would be tolerable, but in millivolt signals this *ABSOLUTLEY* isn’t true! Gah, it bothers me so much when i see the cheap stuff our competitors use! Grr.

  3. Hello, Larry here – the dude in the picture.

    eyrieowl: Thanks! Lots of fun to make

    kyle: Not Paul in the picture. :-) Unfortunately large quantities of beer does not make for a sexy waistline. The sacrifices I make….

    Hue Mann: Definatley not good for any type of baggage. We had it driven down with some folks.

    jesus in techicolour, pepe prawn: Only in the privacy if my own home.

    Taylor Alexander, error404, hacknet: For a proof of concept, no funding for a one off device, $50 for a connector seems a bit extreme. It is only intended to deliver 18V to trip a solenoid for a fraction of a second. It is what I had on hand short notice, fit in the right space, and fit with the theme of “Hacking Home Depot”

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