Pocket Cannon Jollies
The Pocket Cannon is a confetti/streamer cannon. As its name implies, it's quite small - only 8" long. Yet it's capable of shooting streamers to distances of 30', and showering a stage or dance floor with confetti.
How is such a small device capable of these feats? Every single detail of the loading procedure and confetti/streamer manufacture is designed to optimize the effect. Don't expect to simply stuff the barrel full of party confetti, press the lever, and get the results I'm describing here. However, these results can be achieved, and are achieved, by professional and amateur performers all over the world, every day.
The Pocket Cannon uses one 8 gram CO2 cylinder per shot. When the firing lever is depressed, the cylinder is punctured, and the gas is allowed to escape, providing the power to launch the cannon's contents. Theatre Effects sells only "military specification" cylinders. These are the most reliable, with the highest pressure, and the most consistent plating (inconsistent plating damages the cannon's firing pin, and makes the lever hard to press). If you want to get the most out of every shot, and more importantly if you want to know exactly what your shot is going to look like, time and time again, use only mil-spec cylinders.
The Pocket Cannon uses one 1" Lifting Cup and one 1" Backpressure Cap per shot. During the loading procedure, the Lifting Cup is inserted into the barrel before anything else, and pushed down to the bottom. The Backpressure Cap is placed over the barrel's end after the confetti or streamers are loaded, and taped around the outside edge with masking tape. When the firing lever is depressed, these two items (Cup and Cap) force the pressure to build up for a second, until finally the cap blows off and the confetti/streamers are launched high into the air. The height achieved is more that double the distance you'd get if these two items were not used. If you want to get the most distance out of every shot, always use a Lifting Cup and a Backpressure Cap.
The most effective streamer load for the Pocket Cannon is 20-30 18' Aerostreamers. These streamers are made of lightweight tissue paper, so they float in the air. But the dense design (they're tightly coiled) means they can be shot high into the air; then they unroll as they fall.
The most effective confetti load for the Pocket Cannon is 2 stacks of Turbofetti. Turbofetti is 1/2" x 2" rectangles of lightweight tissue paper, so they spin as the fall, thus hanging in the air for the maximum possible length of time. But the dense design (the confetti is stacked in a "deck") means it can be fired high into the air; then it separates and the confetti falls slowly back down.
Other interesting facts:
*Due to the taped-on Backpressure Cap, the Pocket Cannon can be loaded well in advance.
*Due to the taped-on Backpressure Cap, the Pocket Cannon makes a loud "pop" when it is fired, thus drawing attention to the effect.
*Two hands are required to properly fire the cannon - hold the barrel with one hand, and depress the firing lever with the heel of the other hand.
*Aerostreamers and Turbofetti are available in flame-resistant varieties, which are suitable for indoor use, and safe for use in proximity to pyro special effects.
*The Pocket Cannon can also launch puff balls, business cards, money, water, and most other lightweight objects that can be stuffed into its 1" diameter barrel.
*The fact that no electricity is required means the Pocket Cannon can be easily operated anywhere.
So . . . shoot white streamers as your newlywed friends leave the church. Shoot multicolored streamers when the fairy godmother appears in your child's middle school performance of Cinderella. Shoot confetti at your next karaoke party. Shoot up, shoot down, shoot all around! Don't be limited by your imagination - ask your friends what they imagine and do that too!
And don't forget to thrill your neighbors by shooting streamers and confetti all over their house and yard (including their trees and pets), being sure to clog up the roof gutters causing them to overflow when it rains. (See our special feature on how to hide from thrilled neighbors in next week's article.)
Theatre Effects Customer Service Department
Theatre Effects, 1810 Airport Exchange Blvd. #400, Erlanger, KY 41018
Phone: 1-800-791-7646 or 513-772-7646 Fax: 513-772-3579