Tesla Coil Powered Film Canister Gatling Gun

What do you get when you combine a Tesla coil, 315 film canisters and a fortune wheel? The answer is of course a film canister Gatling gun. [ScienceBob] has taken the simple film canister cannon hack to a whole new level. The idea is simple, the film canister has a lid that fits tight and allows pressure to build up, so if you fill it with alcohol vapor and ignite it with a spark gap, you get a small explosion that sends the can flying  away.

[ScienceBob] uses 21 rows of fifteen canisters each around the wheel. There is a spark gap for each canister, and all the spark gaps in the same row are in series. You need a lot of volts to turn on fifteen spark gaps, and that is why the Tesla coil is part of the game. When the outer end of the wire in one row passes near the Tesla coil, a spark jumps and fires all the spark gaps, igniting the alcohol vapor and fifteen cans are expelled from the wheel. The wheel rotates until all rows are fired.

While this nice piece of artillery is sure a lot of fun to fire, but don’t ask us to reload it! If you want more power, check this Gatling gun that fires crossbow bolts, or the Gatling water pistol.

22 thoughts on “Tesla Coil Powered Film Canister Gatling Gun

    1. There’s another version where Americans go “wth are kinder eggs?”


      These and film canisters are two of the most useful things in existence for containing easily lost small items or small amounts of substances like hair gel. Except for the fact that they’ve since ruined the kinder egg container by fixing the lid to the bottom with a hinge which isn’t sealing properly all the way around anymore.

  1. Damnit. The idea is great. Awesome actually! But why did he put such a poor central axis guidance… I mean two simple ball bearings would have done the job. Also the board is way to flexible and the stand lacks of stability. What a shame, for me this ruins the whole hack.

    1. i know what you mean, but there were probably other design constraints: time and the ability to quickly drill through it to ‘sew’ the spark gap cable. Maybe it would have been too heavy to assemble. but yes, just an A’frame with a couple of spokes to support the disc… I wonder how much kick those canisters were putting out…

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