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View Full Version : gauging interest in new product



nzanesmith
02-13-2009, 07:32 PM
Hows it going guys. I recently was looking for air toys of any kind for our haunt this season and after seeing prices on basically similar products i decided to build my own for much less. I am a bit of a tinkerer in my spare time so of course i got to adding on things and thinking about other products and when i priced out what it would be to build my own as apposed to buying something similar, the retail was anywhere from 3 - 6 times as expensive. Now i know my labor was free where as there's was not. Now what I'm getting at is would there be interest in another offering for some air canons, concussion canons, air distribution tanks and or manifolds, fire/water canons, truck and or train horn props, various power and triggering options for all of the above? For an example my air concussion canon had a cost of around $65 in materials and took about 2 hours to construct and paint so i would set a cost of around $100. This canon is all metal constructed and was tested at 180 psi with no problems with several repeated firings. Recommended opp orating pressure would be anywhere from 60-100 psi and fires less then a half gallon of air per shot and has enough force to where you feel it inside you. Basically let me know if there would be interest in this and i will build a few examples and get some pics and videos as well as pricing options. Let me dig up my camera and i'll go snap a few pics of my current canon. Rough measurements 28'' tall and 4'' around at the widest part.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d108/nzanesmith/100_1170.jpg

badlander2000
02-13-2009, 08:29 PM
You should bring your products to MHC!

nzanesmith
02-15-2009, 03:29 PM
I also offer proper high end pneumatic valves as an upgrade and tanks as well. I basically will offer anything from the cheapy that has lasted me just fine to a very high end product that will last for many many seasons to come. I am also working on a fluid delivery system that utilizes the Bernoulli's Principle and ventures so there are no moving parts to break or wear out. This MAYBE be offered as an option if it works with satisfactory results with the math does say it will but theoretical and practical are two different things.

drfrightner
02-15-2009, 04:08 PM
What does it do? If you bring this to market you should come to the www.HauntShow.com (http://www.HauntShow.com) coming up in 5 weeks.

Larry

SomeThingInTheIce
02-15-2009, 05:16 PM
It takes $100 dollers out of your wallet.lol.I'm just kidding nzanesmith, I couldn't help myself.

What does it do? If you bring this to market you should come to the www.HauntShow.com (http://www.HauntShow.com) coming up in 5 weeks.

Larry

nzanesmith
02-15-2009, 11:55 PM
Basically what I'm offering are air cannons of a few different varieties with several different triggering device options as well as air distribution tanks and manifolds. As I said this is not a new product or a new company this is just something I enjoy doing in my free time and if anyone would rather buy a ready built product then build it themselves I will sell you one. If you want one like in my picture that is a cheapy and would work fine for a home haunt then that's what I'll sell you and if you need something a bit higher end I can put together a very nice setup with full pnumatic valves rated to 250 psi with a nice powder coating and motion triggered water cannon, or anything in between. I'll be honest most anyone could build these products but its just one more thing to worry about. So if you'd rather spend a small amount of money rather then running back and forth to the hardware store then this is your solution. You get whatever your budget allows for withing a few days shipped to you in a box ready to plug in and go.

For example if your a home haunter and want a small air cannon with say a wireless remote trigger and a portable DC power supple we can set you up with that. If on the other hand your a bigger haunt and need everything from the compressor(s) to reservoir tank(s), distribution manifolds for say 6 different lines at 6 different pressures with a hand full of different cannons we can set you up with that too.

Monster-Tronics
02-18-2009, 03:02 AM
This has come up many times before, please reconsider selling props that are made with water sprinkler valves, they can be very unsafe. Spend the extra $40 for a real pneumatic valve.

I know this air cannon design is on several “How To” websites but the people that do these are not professionals and have not done their homework.

Any problem from these that occurs at a pro or home haunt will shed a ton of bad press on haunters and we don’t need bad press let alone the fact of someone getting hurt.

Have you ever seen a pneumatic valve made of plastic? There is a good reason for this….

You will not find any plastic water valve or plastic pipe manufacturer backing the use of their products with compressed gases.

The laws of physics are different between compressed gases and water under pressure. You can not compress a solid (water) but you can compress a gas which will store energy. If a plastic part fails, it will send shrapnel like an explosion where water under pressure will usually not.

Most plastics degrade over time by UV light and from oils that may be in a compressed air system. Many times a valve/prop is left outside all year long in the sun light and the UV breaks down the plastic.

Compressed air systems will have water in the system from condensation pulled in from the air. In many parts of the country they will have freezing temperatures well before the end of Oct. When water gets into a plastic valve it freezes and can crack the valve.

Regards,
Jeff Londos
Monster-Tronics
Innovators in Haunt Technologies
www.Monster-Tronics.com
See us in St. Louis at TransWorld’s National Haunt & Attractions
Show, booth 714, March 27th -29th 2009
Proud Member of the Halloween and Haunt Vendor Association
www.halloweenhauntvendors.com
www.youtube.com/MonsterTronics

Haunted Farm
02-18-2009, 08:41 AM
I would love to add so water cannons to the haunt! Let us know:o

nzanesmith
02-18-2009, 03:04 PM
This has come up many times before, please reconsider selling props that are made with water sprinkler valves, they can be very unsafe. Spend the extra $40 for a real pneumatic valve.

I know this air cannon design is on several “How To” websites but the people that do these are not professionals and have not done their homework.

Any problem from these that occurs at a pro or home haunt will shed a ton of bad press on haunters and we don’t need bad press let alone the fact of someone getting hurt.

Have you ever seen a pneumatic valve made of plastic? There is a good reason for this….

You will not find any plastic water valve or plastic pipe manufacturer backing the use of their products with compressed gases.

The laws of physics are different between compressed gases and water under pressure. You can not compress a solid (water) but you can compress a gas which will store energy. If a plastic part fails, it will send shrapnel like an explosion where water under pressure will usually not.

Most plastics degrade over time by UV light and from oils that may be in a compressed air system. Many times a valve/prop is left outside all year long in the sun light and the UV breaks down the plastic.

Compressed air systems will have water in the system from condensation pulled in from the air. In many parts of the country they will have freezing temperatures well before the end of Oct. When water gets into a plastic valve it freezes and can crack the valve.

Regards,
Jeff Londos
Monster-Tronics
Innovators in Haunt Technologies
www.Monster-Tronics.com
See us in St. Louis at TransWorld’s National Haunt & Attractions
Show, booth 714, March 27th -29th 2009
Proud Member of the Halloween and Haunt Vendor Association
www.halloweenhauntvendors.com
www.youtube.com/MonsterTronics

Jeff once again you are absolutely correct. I stated in my original post the a proper valve is an option as are explosion proof valves. That designs was absolutely taken from deathlord for the simple reason it is simple to build, strong and economical. I would never recommend the use of that cannon for a commercial haunt but i thing for a home haunt thats open anywhere from 1-3 days or so it is a great economical option for those that can't afford the big boy toys. Also as a side not the different types of plastic operate differently under pressure. PVC which is normal sprinkler piping will explode under presure and will throw shrapnel as you said. ABS plastic will bulge and rip similar to metal when it fails usually not sending out shrapnel. A properly designed air supple will have the equipment to deal with vapor in the system as well as oils, this is especial of concern in colder climates as you pointed out where water in the system can fracture or block lines. That exact cannon pictured is made out of cast iron pipe rated to 250 psi at 150 F and yes that is well above what that valve is speced at and should be operated at. Having said that I have tested it at a constant 120 psi with out fail with repeated firings. For that exact cannon pictured I would recommend a safe operating pressure of between 30-60psi which i think would fit a small home haunters needs quite well. With the upgrade to a proper pilot or direct acting pneumatic valve I would double those recommended operating pressures. I'm not crazy nor do I want to hurt anyone I test everything I sell and would never ship a product that I though could hurt someone when operating correctly. Safety systems can easily be added to any cannon to insure that it is never used at a higher presure then recommended as well.

Nick

Monster-Tronics
02-19-2009, 07:59 AM
Nick,

I’m really glad you are concerned about safety, obviously I’m pretty anal about it or I would not have been posting this.

A good haunter is always on the look out for something they can convert to a haunt item but if someone takes a potentially dangerous item and uses it for something it is not designed for just to save a couple of bucks it is a bad move in my opinion. I’ve seen others debate this kind of stuff till doomsday and I’m not going to go there. Have also seen others use some pretty screwed up logic trying to justify using crap like door closers as air cylinders (Hey I ran it a 100 times and it has not blown up yet!).

The cost difference to use a real part is comparable to going out to dinner so if a home haunter can’t afford go to Applebee’s maybe they should not be buying these toys in the first place. 9 times out of 10 you can buy “new” real pneumatic parts at surplus sites or eBay for less then you pay for plastic junk or a “door closer of death”. Even used pneumatic parts are better than the makeshift stuff.

I use to have a house with a large lawn sprinkler system and when the lawn guy did a crappy job blowing out the lines the valves would crack like walnuts. So whether the lawn sprinkler valves are made of PVC or ABS or titanium plastic, they are still plastic and will fail when used improperly.

Selling a potential dangerous prop to unsuspecting home haunters is in my opinion is even more dodgy then to a pro haunt since the home haunter caters to young children and just the thought of a kid getting hurt make me ill.

In your logic for using these you are taking for granted that everyone is a pneumatics expert and uses good filtration systems, I’ve seen dozens home haunts and many pro haunts that do not use any filter at all. If you’re targeting the home haunter and expecting them to have a several thousand dollar dryer/filter on their $100 compressor something does not make sense (those $10 Harbor Freight filter do nothing but maybe keeping a rat from shooting thru the lines). If they can afford a real dryer they can afford a real valve. You’re also assuming pro haunters are not cheap and would automatically pick a better more expensive product. lol I’m not even going to go there….

You said “ABS plastic will bulge and rip similar to metal when it fails usually not sending out shrapnel”. The part “usually not sending out shrapnel” still is not giving me the warm fuzzys if it only shoots out shrapnel some of the time…. Even if it never shot out shrapnel, when the valve blows it can blow whatever is around it up and shoot wood splinters or dirt it to someone’s face.

These are my opinions and how I do business, I go cheap on a lot of things but not when it comes to safety.

Many start up companies greatly under estimate the cost of doing business and most haunt buyers don’t understand the costs to the vendors related in a small volume industry, and that is why I posted some of the other costs for you in the other thread. Haunt buyers (like what you have said about the cost of a air cannon) will size up a product and say “hmm $5 worth of latex another $50 bucks for parts a fare price should be $60 bucks” and what they don’t realize is all of the normal business costs that go into every product, plus the cost of making something in the USA (vs most other products you buy and farmed out to China or Mex), plus the cost of doing a half dozen tradshows (since haunters want to see the products in person). I’ll steal a quote from Leonard Pickel “If you sold the same prop to every haunt in the country, would you be rich?”

One last thought, if you are selling air cannons, even the “explosion proof” ones you will want to get good liability insurance. Air cannons used properly can still hurt people if they are too loud or too close to someone’s ears can cause hearing loss and if pointed at the guests feet and someone falls to the ground and gets dirt blasted in their eyes, they will sue. Depending on the state you live in you can usually get liability insurance for $500 to $600. Hmm… maybe those $250 air cannons sold by existing haunt vendors aren’t that expensive after all.

I wish you success in your endeavors and hope you have fun doing it!

Regards,
Jeff Londos
Monster-Tronics
Innovators in Haunt Technologies
www.Monster-Tronics.com
See us in St. Louis at TransWorld’s National Haunt & Attractions
Show, booth 714, March 27th -29th 2009
Proud Member of the Halloween and Haunt Vendor Association
www.halloweenhauntvendors.com
www.youtube.com/MonsterTronics

SinisterControls
02-19-2009, 11:57 AM
I have to agree with Jeff 100%, safety first. Second only to safety is - liability. If you do bring this to market don't forget about product liability insurance. We re-sell, manufacture, and offer engineering services so we have to contend with general liability, product liability, & professional liability insurance. Depending on what your local and state laws dictate, you may need to have your product inspected. If your not a degreed engineer you can pass on the professional liability. Its pretty obvious if your prop blows up and hurts someone you'll get sued. But did you know that if your product fails to work and there is lost revenue you can get sued as well? Just make sure your policy covers you as a manufacturer of props. Good luck.


Scott

nzanesmith
02-19-2009, 11:37 PM
Thanks Scoot, I appreciate both yours and Jeff's concerns. As I work for a marketing company and organize several events a year for our company I am well aware of the liability issues and will be sure to cover my own 6 "legally" of course :-) I have no intentions of selling an unsafe product to any customer, that can only hurt me. As I have said repeatedly I am doing this in my free time so I have no warehouse to pay for, or employees or even as Jeff pointed out, travel expenses to a half dozen conferences. Because of these cost savings for me I feel I can offer a lower priced alternative. If it turns out that in spite of those savings I can still not have a lower price then i will still have a competitive price. This is FUN for me, I'm not intending on opening a business with this so enough profit to cover expenses and lunch would be fine with me. If things happen to go extremely well and I do decide to open up a prop company then everything would have to be adjusted to cover the costs of doing business of course. I appreciate all the concerns that have been expressed and the support and interest I have received.

Nick

nzanesmith
02-24-2009, 03:52 PM
ok guys and gals i just got an order so i had to finalize on some prices. For the low profile version like in the pic but with the proper pneumatic valve and a remote would be 175. For a 5 gallon tank style with a remote would be 200 and if you wanted to upgrade to a 11 g tank your looking at 220. All options will effect price and there are things that can be done to cut costs if your really pinching pennies. Dimensions for the low profile version are roughly 6'' diameter and about 24'' tall. The 5g tank style is roughly 14'' x 18'' x 16'' and the 11g is 12'' x 14'' x 24''.

Thanks
Nick.

nzanesmith
02-25-2009, 10:48 PM
Youtube vids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxePbGfrLng

This is the concussion cannon. The sounds isn't as loud but there is much more force behind it. If you look the cannon moves when im not holding it with this effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_MLMuT1AQ0

This is the regular air cannon. The sound is much louder. The honk at the end is a result of the style of valve that is on this one and will not appear in the production models. It honks due to the valve closing slowly where as the pneumatic valves close about 5 times faster eliminating the honk sound. I was also holding the trigger down longer then i needed to keeping it open longer.

You can also see in the videos that when the kill switch is off the trigger button doesn't work. This is to keep unwanted people from triggering the cannon.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d108/nzanesmith/100_1654.jpg

In this pic you see the whole cannon and remote at the top. The production version will have a different valve on top but will look nearly identical, unless you order the tank version in that case everything will be built off of a small air tank.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d108/nzanesmith/100_1655.jpg

In this pic you can see the kill switch on the right of the remote and the trigger button on the left.

gadget-evilusions
02-26-2009, 01:09 PM
Is that a water sprinkler valve?

nzanesmith
02-26-2009, 01:20 PM
yes that one is but as i said in the most recent post that the production model that is for sale comes with a proper pneumatic valve rather then the sprinkler valve. Its safer stronger faster and eliminates the honk issue at the end.

jason-x
02-27-2009, 09:02 AM
I am interested one with the proper valve.Have a ball park figure. would need trigger and cannon I have a compessor

nzanesmith
02-27-2009, 12:58 PM
I am interested one with the proper valve.Have a ball park figure. would need trigger and cannon I have a compessor


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