Laser trip wire in an easy-to-use form factor

[Rul] built a nice laser trip wire alarm for use in Airsoft matches. Just place the enclosure so that the beam crosses a doorway and it will sound an alarm when the beam is broken. The only problem with this setup is that you need a reflective surface on the opposite side that can be positioned to direct the beam of light back to a photoresistor. But wait, there’s a second option. [Rul] also added a leaf switch that can be connected to an actual trip wire instead of using the laser.

A PIC 16F688 controls the laser module and monitors the photoresistor and leaf switch. When power is first switched on the box goes into a setup mode where it waits until the laser is detected by the photoresistor, switching on an LED to signal that you’ve got the beam aimed correctly. One press of the push-button puts it in activate mode which will sound the hacked window-alarm inside when the beam is broken. A toggle switch lets the operator chose between laser or wire operation.

You certainly won’t miss the alarm when it’s set off. Watch it scare the life out of a poor house cat in the clip after the break.

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When Airsoft gets boring, build a coil gun!

airsoft_coilgun

Here at Hackaday, we’re all about repurposing old items you no longer use. Reader [Liquider] wrote in to share his latest creation, a coil gun built from an old Airsoft pistol.

He removed a handful of components from the pistol and installed a 800 uF/300V capacitor inside the grip. A small storage compartment was added under the barrel, which houses the AA battery he uses to drive the circuit. A modified reloading mechanism makes it easy to drop a metal projectile right in front of the coil before firing.

Once the pistol is charged up, a switch installed behind the trigger discharges the cap, creating a magnetic pulse that accelerates the metal projectile forward. [Liquider] estimates that the kinetic energy produced by the coil is 0.1 Joules, which fires of the slug at a reasonable speed.

Continue reading to see a quick video demo of the pistol in action.

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Making Airsoft guns far more potent

airsoft_laser_rifle

[Drake] wrote in to share his recent project, which involves repurposing an Airsoft rifle that was sitting around, collecting dust. Airsoft guns as a whole are not all that impressive, but convert your Airsoft gun into a laser rifle, and we’re all ears.

His laser blaster is honestly pretty straightforward as far as laser projects go, but we just couldn’t resist. He pulled apart the Airsoft gun, removing all of the “airy” bits, leaving just the trigger behind. He added a 9v battery and a linear power supply to the gun, wiring them up to a 700mW laser diode from what we hope was a broken Blu-ray burner.

In the obligatory “look at what I can destroy with my laser gun” video embedded below, [Drake] shows off his gun’s potency at various ranges, popping balloons from 35 feet away. He even shows off the laser’s usefulness as a light pen for glow in the dark surfaces.

While his modifications are nothing we haven’t seen before, his gun is far more accessible than others we have featured.

Have any cool high-powered laser projects of your own? Share them with us in the comments.

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Mini-cannon built from a BBQ lighter fires Airsoft pellets

[Nighthawkinlight] has made his own palm cannon to shoot Airsoft pellets. His process, which he guides us through step-by-step in the video after the break, definitely invokes MacGyver buy using commonly available parts in a way they were not intended.

He starts with a barbecue lighter, removing the screws and plastic housing to get at the clear plastic butane reservoir which serves as the body of the cannon. The butane is carefully released from the tank, and the output valve is modified to receive the barrel. In this case the barrel from an old Airsoft gun was used, but a metal pen housing could do the trick as well. The spark igniter from the lighter is also reused, but two bolts have been screwed into the reservoir and are used as probes for the igniter wires. In order to fire this one-shot-wonder, a cotton swab soaked in 90% alcohol is inserted through the bolt on the left side. After inserting an Airsoft pellet the trigger is pulled to ignite the vapors.

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Wireless rover has two guns…one for each of ya

texas_ranger_airsoft_rover

We never really get bored with remote-controlled rovers around here, especially when they involve reusing some old hardware as well as lasers. [Tycoon] wrote in to share his creation, which he has dubbed “Texas Ranger”.

Texas Ranger is built around an old Linksys WRT54GL router, which provides the rover’s WiFi connectivity as well as the serial interface through which everything else is controlled. The rover features a pair of PIC microcontrollers, which handle all of the servo control as well as telemetry calculations.

An onboard camera gives the operator a driver’s seat view of the action, allowing for precise control of the vehicle. Laser triangulation is used to help measure object distance, and a pair of airsoft pellet guns straddle the camera for whenever [Tycoon] feels like making his presence known. One feature we are especially fond of is the pair of Wii nunchucks which the rover uses to monitor its position. Always aware of its operating angle, it auto-adjusts the camera to compensate for uneven surfaces, guaranteeing that [Tycoon] doesn’t have to tilt his head to see straight.

Keep reading to see a quick demo video he shot of Texas Ranger in action.

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Gun turret built into a cake box

Couch potatoes have a new line of defense thanks to this remote-controlled turret. The gun itself is a hacked down airsoft model. The mount started with a servo motor in the center of a plastic cake box. A thin strip of plywood was added, along with a couple of sliding furniture feet to stabilize the platform as it rotates. A second servo mounts to that platform, which allows the trajectory of the projectile to be adjusted up or down. A PIC 18F4520 controls both of the motors, as well as the firing of the airsoft module, all while listening for commands from an IR receiver. Just adjust the firmware to match an unused device on your universal remote and the power to annoy your roommates will be at the tips of your fingers.

You can see an overview of the build process, as well as a demonstration of the final project in the video after the break. The page linked at the top has a very detailed build log but some of the ‘next’ buttons on that page don’t work for us. Luckily you’ll see a table of contents in the right column which lets you navigate around these bad links.

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Propeller and machine gun timing

[Matt] was looking for a challenge. Inspired by the machine gun setups on World War I planes he wanted to make a gun that can shoot between the blades of a spinning propeller. The original guns used an interrupter gear that synchronized machine gun firing with the engine mechanically. [Matt] set out to do this using a microcontroller.

To make this work there are two important pieces of information; how fast is the propeller spinning right now, and how long does it take for the pellet to pass the blade? [Matt] used an oscilloscope and some infrared sensors to establish the firing delay at about 20-22ms. Another sensor shows the propeller is spinning at 500 RPMs, with some simple calculations showing that there is indeed a big enough window of time to fire between the blades. After testing with a visible LED and then building out the rest of the circuitry he accomplished his goal. He even added a test function that purposely hits the blades just to see how accurate the system was. We hope this shows up in a Red Baron RC replica, or other flying arsenal.

[via Hacked Gadgets]

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