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.
As the operator holds down the push button switch near the launcher the trick-or-treater, in the orange shirt, steps on the foot pedal. The system will only launch when both the operator switch and the foot pedal are pushed. Two film canisters, each with a 3Musketeers bar, travel about 45'. The red flags mark the 30, 40 and 50 feet points.
ESP32 LAUNCH Sign Code: ESP32 Web Server. Connect to the Private IP it is assigned from your Wi-Fi network and push the button to turn the LEDs on and off.
Code is based on this tutorial with some minor changes.
Web page controlled Launch Sign: Used an ESP32, 6 LEDs, and a usb battery for the circuit. Code is from Random Nerd Tutorials (ESP32 Web Sever). Built a simple sign from a polycarbonate sheet and some pieces of wood. Hot glued the LEDs under the sign. Scratched the word LAUNCH into the polycarbonate sheet with a Dremel. Idea is to place this on a stand next to the foot pedal and activate it when we are ready for them to step on the foot pedal.
Bought a bunch of 2" glow sticks and added them to the film canisters along with the candy.
Difficult to film the effect when launched but they work well and when they land it makes them easy to find in the grass. The green glow stick is much brighter than the purple glow stick. The added weight does not seem to limit the distance much. See the video.
Also made a parachute from tissue paper and kite string that was taped to the outside of the canister lid. Taped a paper sleeve around the canister and slid it up about an inch then tucked the parachute into it. Did not work well. Parachute either deployed too early or too late. No pics of this.
Began working on an ESP32 controlled LED sign that tells the next trick-or-treater when they can move forward to use the launcher. Picture something like two EXIT signs stacked on top of each other, one saying LAUNCH and the other saying WAIT. Controlled by an phone app.
Circuit is built, need to work on the app and then then the actual box to hold it.
Ruled out shooting candy without some kind of a container. Considered using plastic Easter eggs since several were available. However, no PVC tube is made with 1.75" inside diameter. Only 1.5" and 2.0" are available. 35mm film canisters were also available and fit nicely into a 1.5" PVC pipe.
Purchased the PVC parts to convert the 3/4" Female thread on the sprinkler valve to 1.5" PVC tube that would fit the film canisters.