NES Light Gun Fires Awesome Laser Effect

[Seb Lee-Delisle]’s NES lightgun gave us pause as the effect is so cool we couldn’t quite figure out how he was doing it at first. When he pulls the trigger there erupts the beam of light Sci Fi has trained us to expect, then it explodes in a precision sunburst of laserlight at the other end as smoke gently trails from the end of the barrel. This is a masterpiece of hardware and trickery.

seb-lee-delisle-nes-zapper-trick-thumb
Demo video posted by @seb_ly

The gun itself is a gutted Nintendo accessory. It looks like gun’s added bits consist of two LED strips, a laser module (cleverly centered with two round heatsinks), a vape module from an e-cigarette, a tiny blower, and a Teensy.  When he pulls the trigger a cascade happens: green light runs down the side using the LEDs and the vape module forms a cloud of smoke in a burst pushed by the motor. Finally the laser fires as the LEDs finish their travel, creating the illusion.

More impressively, a camera, computer, and 4W Laser are waiting and watching. When they see the gun fire they estimate its position and angle. Then they draw a laser sunburst on the wall where the laser hits. Very cool! [Seb] is well known for doing incredible things with high-powered lasers. He gave a fantastic talk on his work during the Hackaday Belgrade conference in April. Check that out after the break.

So what does he have planned for this laser zapper? Laser Duck Hunt anyone? He has a show in a month called Hacked On Classics where this build will be featured as part of the Brighton Digital Festival.

26 thoughts on “NES Light Gun Fires Awesome Laser Effect

    1. On thinking about it, if the laser burst effect was broadcast from the gun, you’d have to hold the gun REALLY STILL while the burst is going on for it to look right. With the external projector, you can wave the gun around and if you pull the trigger, wherever you’re waving it will get the burst even as you keep waving the gun.

    1. You should read the article :
      “a camera, computer, and 4W Laser are waiting and watching. When they see the gun fire they estimate its position and angle. Then they draw a laser sunburst on the wall where the laser hits. “

    1. It is inside the projector, as per the link explains.
      Small laser pointer in ‘zapper’; a camera and computer see and extrapolate the position and an animation is sent to a laser projector.

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