Halloween Candy Mortar
By Paul McCabe
Candy in a 35mm film container is launched towards a trick-or-treater when they step on a foot pedal 50 feet away from the launcher.
What inspired you or what is the idea that got you started?
We love the paper air rocket launcher this is based on. We pull it out for birthdays and school events. With COVID, it seemed like a good idea to come up with a social distancing trick-or-treating solution.
What is your project about and how does it work?
Candy in a 35mm film container is launched towards a trick-or-treater when they step on a foot pedal 50 feet away from the launcher. A Paper Air Rocket launcher built several years ago was repurposed. It uses PVC pipe, a cheap electric sprinkler valve and two 9 Volt batteries in series connected to a push button switch and a foot pedal switch. Both the push button hand switch, held by the operator, and the pedal switch, used by the trick-or-treater, must be pushed together to launch the candy. The air chamber is made of 2" PVC. A small electric air compressor set to 27.5 PSI charges the PVC tank. The launch tube is 1.5" inside diameter PVC pipe which is a perfect fit for the film containers. Two containers, each containing a small chocolate bar and a glow stick, can be launched at once a distance of about 45'. The intent is to have the candy land on the grass in front of the trick-or-treater. The canisters are fairly light and do not hit the ground very hard.
What did you learn by doing this project?
I prefer building projects over documenting them :). Video production and editing are hard. Additional features may not be worth the time. Considered a wireless foot pedal and a parachute for the candy, but they were difficult to implement.
What impact does your project have on others as well as yourself?
It was ridiculous but it was lot of fun and everyone really enjoyed using it.