Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pulse Rifle: Almost ready

As of this post, I am hopefully only a day away from having my M41A Pulse Rifle project fully compatible with Lazer Tag Phoenix blasters, just in time for the start of our 7th Summer Season of laser tag.

To the left, there's an image of the Sensor housing/Hit Light tray that's in progress still.  We've gone through dozens of prototypes for this design and I think we've finally got one that'll work well.  If you're having a hard time picturing it, lay that piece flat on the ground, put two IR Sensors in those boxes on the right and left of the design, and put a row of red LEDs on that tray between those two posts.  Then set that inside the vent housing of the Pulse Rifle and you've got the right and left sensors plus hit lights mounted on the blaster.

That being said, there's a lot to do still on this fella, but I'm pretty much spending the entire day tomorrow (Wednesday) before the game to work on getting this thing operational.  Here's the checklist of what needs to happen to make that work, just to give you an idea of how crucial tomorrow's work time is.

  • Mount sensors/hit lights in Vent
  • Install front hit light below lens housing
  • Paint sensor housings (Black)
  • Finalize Arduino Programming
  • Finalize Sound Board
  • Install and connect Arduino board to - 
    • Switches
    • Power Supply
    • Sound Board
    • Sensors / Hit Lights
  • Close up blaster/quick tests
It's kind of a daunting list, but as long as things go smoothly, I think having close to 8 hours of construction time on it tomorrow should have her ready to rock.  This blaster has been functional before with a Laser Challenge V2 board at it's core.  However, now that the MLTA is using Phoenix LTXs for our regular games, we've had to refit the blaster with inbuilt sensors and new features.  This is why the Arduino is at it's core, controlling all the custom functions like authentic Pulse Rifle Sound Effects as well as a rate of fire to match.  There will be more planned for this blaster, but just to get it working enough to participate in a game is our goal right now.  

Future expansions for the Pulse Rifle include utilization of the "95" ammo counter, expanded lens options, and an external sensors port to plug in things like a back sensor or even head sensors.  For now, these are all long-term goals.


  1. You sound pretty excited. Have fun!

  2. I'm just wondering, how do you work on this thing all day, if you are an adult? Don't you have a job? (I wish I could work on stuff all day.)

    1. I work Thursday through Monday. Had today off, much like normal people get weekends off.