Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 9, 2010

Shoot a Bullet through a Spinning Propeller Blade

at 2:53 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking


It is sometimes fun to think of a cool problem and come up with an electronic solution. Have a look at this project that Matt Meerian from Home Brew Electronics put together, it is a way to Shoot a Bullet through a Spinning Propeller Blade. This was a common problem years ago when planes needed to have a forward mounted gun shoot through a center propeller. Matt thought it would be a cool challenge to complete with a microcontroller and a handful of electronics. If you are wanting to give this project a try Matt has the project code in his writeup.

The software isn’t too complicated. When the user presses a button, the analog comparator interrupt counts the time (using Timer 1) between the propeller blades passing the infrared sensor mounted under the gun. Once we know how fast the propeller is going, the software then looks for analog comparator interrupt and counts 1.5 times the time between the blades, minus the time it takes the pellet to come out of the gun.



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10 Responses to “Shoot a Bullet through a Spinning Propeller Blade”

  1. stunmonkey Says:

    Not to be a downer or anything, but people ‘solving’ these problems with modern microcontrollers doesn’t seem so inventive or impressive nowadays. I rank it right up there with flying across the Atlantic. Used to be impressive, when you had to develop new ideas and technologies, hand build the resulting equipment to do it, and rely on your brain and some giant brass balls. Now you buy a ticket online, get on a jumbo, and watch a movie all the way there. Not the same thing. Neither is this. Sorry.

    Maybe for next weeks ‘hack’ you can cover someone flying across the Atlantic.

  2. Propeller and machine gun timing - Hack a Day Says:

    […] [via Hacked Gadgets] […]

  3. Andrew Says:

    I do love “brute force” engineering, so congrats on taking what you know and applying it to an engineering challenge. However, the systems engineer inside me would suspect that unless you really needed to change an operational variable on the fly (fire rate, muzzle velocity, etc) the reliability and life-cycle cost of the old-school mechanical method might still be the better design alternative.

  4. lokey Says:

    which would still be impressive. Just because someone got their before you doesn’t invalidate your own success. I for one am pleased with this…

  5. Mattman Says:

    The idea was to take an obsolete device and put a modern spin on it. There are numerous other projects on this theme. One that comes to mind is the Ma-bell rotary phone with a cellphone inside of it.

  6. Akos3D Says:

    It should meant to be a fun project.
    Otherwise it’s just bad design.

    Please, please, let the first be true!

  7. Alan Parekh Says:

    Projects don’t need to have a all mighty purpose. If they did we would never have hard drive clocks and other fun stuff. Hacked Gadgets would surly also have no content. 🙁

  8. Ora le riproduzione WWII possono avere una marcia in pi! - BaroneRosso.it Forum Says:

    […] le riproduzione WWII possono avere una marcia in pi! Shoot a Bullet through a Spinning Propeller Blade – Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog __________________ Thunder Tiger SSK, Serpent Impact 10 […]

  9. Elektronika.ba Says:

    is there really NO video of this thing in action? …so sad 🙁

  10. elmosdaddy Says:

    i could see this used on rc aircraft dogfights anyone

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