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Discussion Starter #1
I'm building one of those carnival games where you shoot water from a gun into a clown's mouth, causing a balloon on top of his head to inflate with air and pop. I think I've got it all figured out except I don't know what type of sensor or trigger to use where the water hits it. It would have to be fairly sensitive and obviously waterproof.

Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Hello SD. Just thinking off of the top of my head. You would need a target on a spring. Water hits, target goes back and closes a circuit. Water misses, circuit open. I'm thinking you could have a shaft on the back of the target that extends through the back wall and closes the circuit. The spring would go around the shaft and be between the target and back wall. I'm not sure what you have designed for the inflation of the balloon. If you have air through a DC solenoid you could have one wire/contact on the end of the shaft and the other contact mounted in line when the target is compressed by the jet of water. If this is too confusing let me know. I can try to draw something up for you.
 

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Could also make it like a clock pendulum, but swings front to back instead of side to side.
Place a micro-switch near the top (pivot point) so leverage from force of water on the larger bottom part is enough to close your switch.
 

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Are you open to using an infrared trigger? You could use electrical tape to make the viewable area of the sensor very small, and aimed directly at the stream of water when it should be hitting the target. You can enclose the sensor in a cheap waterproof box like you would use when camping or boating.

-Guy
 

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If it's DC powered, you could make it easy by just cutting one of the power wires. Strip the ends to bare wire, and mount them close together.

Then let the water itself be the conductor to act as a switch.

If it's AC, forget it..........
 

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Put the target on a flexible spring arm limit switch I used them when I was in manufacturing as safety kill switches. Hook that to an air valve witch will blow the balloon up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great ideas you have all posted. I'm going to order some parts and try at least three of them to see if one works better than the others. I'll be sure and let you all know how it works.

Thank you everyone!
 
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