I've spent a lot of time developing this device, which I call the MK IV. It's very cheap and easy to make (It takes only about 5 minutes to build), and I would rate it against expensive commercial-grade simulators.
- 1 small bottle, such as a Gatorade/PowerAde bottle
- 1 bag of helium-quality balloons
- 1 bag of "punching balloons" (optional)
- 2 rubber bands (preferably #64, which can be purchased at places such as Staples or Office Depot)
- 1 #2 pencil, or similar rod-type object
- something to cut the bottle with (for example, an Xacto or Olfa knife)
- something to burn the sharp edges of the plastic with (for example, a soldering iron)
- Cut a 2" hole in the bottom of the Gatorade bottle, then cut a 1/2" hole in the cap. Burn the edges until they are no longer sharp. This will prevent breakages during use.
- Cut 1 to 3 small holes in the bottle near the cap.
- Cut the last half inch of the bulb off 2 of the helium balloons, and then cut the neck off right where it stops tapering.
- Cut the last half inch off the bulb of one helium balloon, leaving the neck in tact, or cut half the bulb off one of the punching balloons.
- Stretch the 2 double-cut helium balloons over the base of the bottle, aligning the holes in the middle.
- Run the neck of the helium/punching balloon through the cap, then screw the cap onto the bottle.after that, stretch the neck over the cap.
- If you used a helium balloon, insert the pencil into the cap and use the edge of the eraser to "hook" the balloon, and stretch it through the base of the bottle (this can be difficult, so I stick with the punching balloon). If you used the punching balloon, just grab it with your fingers through the base.
- After you've run the main balloon through the base, and insuring that there are no twists, carefully stretch it over the base, leaving at least an inch covering the bottle.
- Use the rubber bands to secure the two ends in place.
I've tried various different lubricants with this system: Vaseline, lotion, baby oil, and K-Y. The only thing that won't break the helium balloon is the K-Y, which when mixed with a little water works a lot better. The punching balloon is a little more durable and can withstand most lubricants.
Some things explained:
- The holes cut near the cap allow the latex to expand. Without them, you won't get in very far.
- The 2 extra helium balloons make the opening a bit tighter.
- Anything beyond 2 will hurt, and anything less than 2 will feel like a glass of water.
- The "frame" can be reused over and over, as the only thing that will ever touch it is the balloons. It's probably good for at least 50 uses.
- The #64 rubber bands can be wrapped 3 times for a snug fit, but any type will work.