Table of Mechanics Demonstration

List of Mechanics Equipment & Supplies

Lecture Demonstrations

Ballistic Cart Launcher (CENCO), 1D60.10a

Topic and Concept:

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The CENCO ballistic cart is equipped with a spring loaded vertical ball launcher. The ball is launched vertically into the air when a pin is pulled out by a string that is attached to a clamp on the table. The cart and ball move at constant velocity. The cart catches the ball some time later after the cart has gone underneath a bridge and the ball when over the bridge.



ID Number

Ballistic Cart Launcher (Cenco)

ME Cabinet, Bay A5, Shelf #6


Corrugated Vacuum Hose

Stock cabinet by elevator

Wooden Bridge

ME Cabinet, Bay A5, Shelf #5

Lead Blocks

Rod and Tack Cabinet

Important Setup Notes:

Setup and Procedure:

  1. Make sure that the lecture bench is level.
  2. Clamp the C-clamp with string and trigger pin to one end of the lecture bench.
  3. Set up the bridge. Make sure that the bridge is the right distance the cart with the trigger string fully extended. This distance is about 1 foot.
  4. The hose is set out some distance from the bridge such that it stops the cart from roll off the table. The lead bricks are used to hold the hose.
  5. Load the ball into the launcher by pressing it down all the way and placing the trigger pin in the second whole.

Cautions, Warnings, or Safety Concerns:


Give the cart a good push. It takes practice to get the right speed so that the ball is in the air when the cart is under the bridge. After you push it, the cart rolls at constant velocity. It launches the ball, goes under the bridge, and catches the ball. The ball goes over the bridge and the cart goes under. Because both the ball and the cart have constant velocity in the horizontal direction the ball will fall back into the launcher. Horizontal and vertical motion are independent.








fw: CencoCartLauncher (last edited 2018-07-18 16:27:45 by srnarf)